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Research project for the research internship abroad (BEPE-DR) - title of the PhD research project: Adultery, imperial politics, and gender relations in Rome (31 B.C. - 68 A.D.)

Grant number: 15/02566-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 10, 2015
Effective date (End): April 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Norberto Luiz Guarinello
Grantee:Sarah Fernandes Lino de Azevedo
Supervisor: Carlos Machado
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of St Andrews, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:12/19662-0 - The adultery, the imperial politics, and the gender relations at Rome (31 BC - 68 AD), BP.DR


The research project aims to study conceptions of adultery in Roman society, mainly among the aristocracy. Around 18 BCE Augustus enacted a law that treated adultery as a criminal offence. The law, called Lex Iulia de adulteriis (Julian Law on punishing adulteries), defined adultery as sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man who was not her husband. The law was part of a moral reform with political intentions initiated by Augustus after the end of the Civil Wars (31 BC), and women were the main target of the legislation. Therefore, a contradiction becomes apparent: since the legislation was aimed at re-establishing the political order, why create laws to control women, considering that they allegedly did not participate in politics? What is the connection between the sexual behaviour of women and Imperial politics? More broadly, how are categories such as male and female or public and private, delineated by this and other notions of adultery? How can different conceptions of the crime of adultery help us understand gender relations in early imperial Rome? Given these questions, and considering the Lex Iulia de adulteriis as a starting point, we intend to discuss about the ideas of adultery that circulated in Roman political aristocracy. Analysing legal and literary sources, we hope to demonstrate the nuances present in the different meanings and representations of adultery. (AU)

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