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The Art of ForgettingDisgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture$
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Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877463_flower

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Public Sanctions against Women A Julio-Claudian Innovation

Public Sanctions against Women A Julio-Claudian Innovation

(p.160) Chapter VII Public Sanctions against Women A Julio-Claudian Innovation
The Art of Forgetting

Harriet I. Flower

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter points out that official sanctions against the memory of women did not exist in the public sphere of Roman life during the Republic. It notes that women were not subject to accusations of treason maiestas during the Republic and that only holders of high office could be charged under this law—and they were all men of the senatorial class. The chapter specifies that there is only a single exception, which is provided by the Vestal Virgins; they were the only college of public priestesses in Rome, and infractions against their religious duties, particularly loss of virginity, affected the whole community. It further specifies that the Vestals were subject to the authority of the pontifex maximus, who acted as pater familias in their case and had the power to punish or execute them.

Keywords:   sanctions, memory, women, Roman, Republic, maiestas, senatorial class, Vestal Virgins, priestesses, virginity

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