Torch: U.S. LXVIII Winter 2018 - Page 13

POWERFUL WOMEN

HORTENSIA

Hortensia was known for her powerful words. She was the daughter of renowned orator Quintus Hortensius; therefore, she was educated from a young age on philosophy, rhetoric, Greek, Roman history, etc. Her excellent education and supportive household made her unique. She is most famous for her impactful speech regarding taxation on women without representation. The triumvirs had imposed a strict tax on wealthy Roman women only. Women were enraged by this tax that would only support the war in which many of their relatives and friends had lost their lives. Hortensia voiced her opinions at the Roman Forum; she openly criticized the triumvirs for proposing this plan and provided thorough explanations behind her disapproval of this tax. Although the triumvirs were displeased, they eventually decreased the number of women who would be required to pay this tax and imposed some of this onto men as well. This shows one of the few instances in which the Roman men in power yielded even only partly to the demands of women.

References

https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hortensia-fl-1st-c-bce

by Anika Park

2018-2019 NJCL Editor

OF ANCIENT ROME

13

It's no secret that there is at times an imbalance of male and female representation in Roman history. At school, students learn much more about iconic male war heroes and leaders than they do females. One may argue that this is because men generally had more privileges so they found more opportunities to contribute to history. So does this mean that there were just fewer impactful women throughout history? Not necessarily. Ancient Rome had its fair share of influential women who typically do not receive the recognition today that their male counterparts do. In this article, we will pay tribute to the five notably powerful women in ancient Rome in no particular order or ranking (please be mindful that these women are labeled as powerful rather than morally good or bad). Of course, there are so many other strong women of ancient Rome who were not included in this list. This brief overview only reveals a tiny glimpse of the underrated powers of Roman women.