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Imperial woman's strength through coins

Grant number: 19/06953-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Vagner Carvalheiro Porto
Grantee:Tais Pagoto Bélo
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This work will analyse the public image of Roman imperial women through the coins, along the Julius-Claudian family, when the Principality was established under the power of Augustus (63 BC - 14 AD) until the death of Nero (54 AD-68 AD). In this period, which involved women of five generations, it will be shown how these characters managed to improve their visibility in public life, with tasks related to the imperial family, which led to the Patronage and consequently to self-propaganda, encompassing their own images in coins, which was a way to demonstrate power.The women of that time were restricted to private and domestic life due to the existence of the patria potesta, which was significant and marked the father's power relations within the Roman family, classifying the woman as unequal to the man. The conquest of women in having their names remembered, through statues, plaques, and in coins was something recent at the end of the Republic and beginning of the Empire, and was established through the Patronage. The memory of the person, in this way, was something important and could reverberate for generations in the family.Coins with representations of imperial women make it possible not only to chronologically reconstruct their existence in history, but also to demonstrate that they were active in public life and had power to obtain the coinage of their images. In this context, by using coins as a material source, this work will have as its purpose the demonstration of the public force that these imperial women conquered, even though they were under the potesta of their fathers, husbands and brothers.