Roman Society from Augustus to Titus
Unfortunately for Messalina her involvement in the Empire lead to her death, as can be seen in the writing of Tacitus:
'From then on the state was transformed and all obeyed a woman and not one like Messalina who made a mockery of roman affairs for her own lusts. This was a severe and almost manlike despotism.'
Women did have some personal freedoms, but they had little chance for individuality or personal choice. They were under the constant supervision of their fathers, male relatives, and husbands. They were considered Roman citizens, but were not given the opportunity to vote or participate directly in political activities. One right they were not given was the chance to drink alcohol. Drinking wine was strictly forbidden for Roman women and they could be punished by death. Although the women of Rome had restricted rights they were able to own property. Through wills they were able to inherit property from family and others, though there were complex and changing rules about the right of women to inherit.
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