Portraits of women -- on coins, public monuments, and private luxury objects --became an increasingly familiar sight throughout the Roman Empire. These portraits, always freighted with political significance, communicated social messages about the appropriate roles, behavior, and self-presentation of women. This book traces the emergence and development of the public female portrait, from Octavia, the first Roman woman to be represented on coinage, to the formidable and ambitious Agrippina the Younger, whose assassination demonstrated to later women the limits of official power they could demand.
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