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Title: Livy and the Repeal of the 'Lex Oppia'
Contributor(s): Hopwood, B (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2001
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Abstract: In 195 BC, when the tribunes Marcus Fundanius and Lucius Valerius proposed that the 'Lex Oppia' be repealed, Rome erupted in a volatile display of emotions. Roman women gathered in public to beseech their men to restore their former privileges. Opposing the repeal were the tribunes Marcus and Publius Iunius Brutus, and the consul Marcus Porcius Cato. Livy's 'Ab Urbe Condita' provides a narrative of the debate that ensued between Cato and Valerius. Scholars question why the repeal of this law at the time should have aroused the passions of the Roman populace. Critics have viewed the repeal as anything from an attack on M. Porcius Cato by the Scipionic factio to the emergence of a 'feminist' movement in Rome. The law is also being reassessed: was it a sumptuary measure; a war-time measure or the attempt of the patriarchy to put women in their socio-economic place? Since Livy's account of the 'Lex Oppia' has been used as a prime exemplar of the life and conditions of Roman women in the second century BC, it is important that these issues be resolved.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Stele: A Student Journal of Antiquity, v.5, p. 121-139
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISSN: 1324-728X
Field of Research (FOR): 210306 Classical Greek and Roman History
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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