JCCC Honors Journal

Article Title

Women in Ancient Rome


When we view the women of Rome, we see them closest to the roles of nature: daughter, wife and mother. While the nature of Roman culture allowed for a relatively generous amount of freedom for its women, a sense of fear and trepidation toward women of the time existed. Within the core of Latin, we can note that those phenomena that are tempestuous or uncontrollable phenomena are typed feminine nouns. Notably, both the volatile natura (nature) and fortuna (fortune; luck), over which the Romans had absolutely no control in their age are solidly gendered as “woman”. Fortuna, when embodied, is a terrible goddess, as like to vengefully smite as she is to gently smile. This may show us something of the conceptions of women, while evincing something of the role expected of women: the force and influence they wielded was unpredictable, and must still be respected.

Honors project mentor: William Stockton, Professor, History