Women of substance: Aemiliae, Corneliae, Papiria & the lex Voconia

Published 25 March 2014

humanitiesDr Bronwyn Hopwood, senior lecturer in the School of Humanities at UNE will be addressing the rights of women in the second century BC regarding the transmission of property, during a public lecture from 9.30-10.30am on Friday 28 March 2014.

Dr Hopwood’s research interests include the politics, society, and literature of Republican and Julio-Claudian Rome, Roman women, law, rhetoric, and public space, art, and architecture in the Roman world.  Current projects include work on: The lex Voconia, The Laudatio Turiae, Octavian, and Agrippina Minor.

Her talk will look at Polybius Histories 31.25-28 provides an account of the testamentary and dotal arrangements of the Aemilii Paulli and Cornelii Scipiones.  As one of very few descriptions of the transmission of property in the second century BC, the account is invaluable.  The testaments described by Polybius encompass the introduction of the lex Voconia and are highly informative about the impact of this law.  However the complexity of the testaments raises questions about the property rights elite women were expected to enjoy.  For instance, does the increase in the number of female heirs by the second century BC reveal a developing preference for female heirs over male heirs? What kinds of property dispositions ought to be included in the study of female inheritance?

Women of substance: Aemiliae, Corneliae, Papiria & the lex Voconia will be held in A3 – Arts Building followed by morning tea. All are welcome and for more information Karin von Strokirch – kvonstro@une.edu.au