In 27 BC Augustus, the first emperor of
Rome, began to lead Rome from the transformation of a republic to an empire.
His great uncle, Julius Caesar, took a lot of interest in him knowing he had
great insight and ideas on the horizon for Rome’s future. He was originally named
Gaius Octavius, but later changed his name to Augustus, as we know of him today,
from the Roman Senate. (“Augustus”) His mother and father were very active in
the Roman Republic.  He was partially raised
by his grandmother, Julia Ceasaris. His guardians raised him well. They taught
him what they felt was morally right and how to be able to keep a strong head
on his shoulders, and not to give into temptation when others attempted to
persuade him.

             Augustus’ made many changes to rebuild Rome
back to its beauty and into an empire, he also made changes to the Roman
society and the way that women are perceived. Though the women in Rome,
affected by his changes, did not gain nearly as much credit as they deserved,
this being because they were women in such a Roman society. Augustus started
enforcing laws on what a woman can and cannot do. He also put restrictions on
Roman women. With some changes helping women, there were also a handful that
did quite the opposite. Nonetheless, Augustus’ rule definitely played a big
role in Roman women’s everyday lives. Men’s attitudes towards women were that
they were ambivalent and unfit.  The men
saw them as weak and only meant for inside the house. The words of Metellus
Numidicus were once quoted in Emperor Augustus’s speech saying, “nature has
made it so that we cannot live with them particularly comfortably, but we can’t
live without them at all,” speaking of their women. (Fantham) With all these
changes being put into place by the new emperor, there was a mixture of
feelings toward them. Many citizens believed his changes were making the empire
worse off than before.

Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

Premium Partner
From $18.00 per page
4,8 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,80
Delivery
4,90
Support
4,70
Price
Recommended Service
From $13.90 per page
4,6 / 5
4,70
Writers Experience
4,70
Delivery
4,60
Support
4,60
Price
From $20.00 per page
4,5 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,50
Delivery
4,40
Support
4,10
Price
* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team

Augustus was obsessed
with women’s purity. He believed that the woman of Rome should remain the role
of a faithful wife and mother. His campaign aimed to improve the dynamics of
families and his new laws targeted men and women. (Boatwright pg 176) These
laws rewarded couples in healthy relationships and punished people who were
between ages twenty to twenty-five who remained unmarried and without children,
in order for him to have his ideal society and population. Augustus, had these
laws in place, to make so relationships in Rome were to be a public matter
instead of private. He took these laws seriously. He even went as far to exile
his own daughter, Julia, to a barren island for having an affair. (Boatwright
pg 188) With Augustus having and enforcing divorce laws, it made it harder for
marriages to end. No longer were marriages broken up, like they so often were
under the Republic. (Balsdon) Although Augustus was strict on these laws and
felt strongly about marriages and divorce, he himself had been divorced and
remarried about three times. These imperial acts ended the open acknowledgement
of adultery, making it so both men and women in the next generation would not
proclaim their real or imaginary love. (Fantham) Instead of not proclaiming
love, some writers proclaimed hatred, for the way the empire’s leader was and
for women in general. In fact, satirical writer Juvenal wrote multiple pieces
on his hatred for women and even the emperor himself.

Also on the paths of
Roman relationships changing, women’s roles changed as well in society. Wives
were regarded more highly in their relationships and in their husband’s
careers. This made them more viable to the relationship and more than just a
housewife. Augustus was also obstinate on the idea that people should not marry
someone who is not in their social class, and he created laws to enforce that. Once
he became the emperor he made it legal for women to own property, inherit money
from family, and even have the ability to get a paying job. Even though it was
not easy being a woman in ancient Rome, there were small little changes that
gave them more rights. Even so, this still did not change the way people viewed
women in society.

 As well as laws Augustus enforced, he changed
some of the social events and the way people enjoyed them. By having special
regulations to viewing games such as the theater or gladiator fights, he chose
where women could and could not sit in these arenas. No longer could men and
women sit together, women had to sit far up at the top to not even see the
gladiators and sometimes made it so women could only come to the theater at a
later time, in order to define their gender roles. (Tranquillus pg 119) Women
and most citizens, were not used to this type of rule, and these tedious new customs
they were being told to follow. While their culture stayed the same, Augustus’
rule changed the lives of men and women and the daily life of the Roman
citizens.

Augustus was able to change the minds of many with his
solid points and relentless dedication to gain women the respect they so
rightfully deserve. It’s no secret men were the predominant rulers during the
ancient times, so having an emperor put women on a pedestal was a shock to
many. Once telling his Senate, “If it was possible to live without wives,
gentlemen, we should all save ourselves that bother. But Nature has ordained
that, while life with them is not easy, life without them is quite impossible,
and so we must act with a view to out lasting well-being, not to the pleasure
of the moment.” (Balsdon pg 78) Seeing how these men view women, even their own
wives, they think they are useless and not needed. Never giving women the
credit and honor they deserve in this society. 
Rome having an emperor that talked about women like this, made many men
start to think the same way. Augustus would never justify the mistreatment of
women, but would always assure his citizens, especially men, took into account
a woman is an important component to their society and to never be discredited
in any aspect.

Author