J.P.V.D. Balsdon

In Rome, after the fall of the Republic, women played a conspicuous, independent and sometimes ill-omened part. But it was on their follies and extravagances, rather than on their virtues, that masculine writers usually preferred to dwell, writes J.P.V.D. Balsdon.

After centuries of masculine predominance, as the Republic neared its end, a host of notable women crossed the stage of Roman history—the devoted Porcia, the beautiful Julia, the Amazonian Fulvia, described here by J.P.V.D. Balsdon as “a Lady Macbeth of the Roman world”.