Explain the role(s) of aristocratic women in Roman history.
Politically, women were forbidden to openly display their power in public, that is, they could only exercise power behind-the scenes. According to the historian, Bill Leadbetter, the level of indirect power reached levels never imagined during the Republican Period. However, the wives of emperors were able to exercise great political influence- as seen in the case of Agrippina the Younger, Messalina and Livia.
Tacitus revealed the character of Livia in The Annals when he wrote that she was a "complaisant wife well matched with the cunning of her husband and the hypocrisy of her son". Inscr…
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