The First Ladies of Rome: The Women Behind the Caesars
Like their modern counterparts, the 'first ladies' of Rome were moulded to meet the political requirements of their emperors, be they fathers, husbands, brothers or lovers. But the women proved to be liabilities as well as assets - Augustus' daughter Julia was accused of affairs with at least 5 men, Claudius' wife Messalina was a murderous tease who cuckolded and humiliated her elderly husband, while Fausta tried to seduce her own stepson and engineered his execution before boiled to death as a punishment. In "The First Ladies of Rome", Annelise Freisenbruch unveils the characters whose identities were to reverberate through the ages, from the virtuous consort, the sexually voracious schemer and the savvy political operator, to the flighty bluestocking, the religious icon and the romantic heroine. Using a rich spectrum of literary, artistic, archaeological and epigraphic evidence, this book uncovers for the first time the kaleidoscopic story of some of the most intriguing women in history, and the vivid and complex role of the empresses as political players on Rome's great stage.
A brilliant and rich group biography of the imperial women of Rome - from an exciting young historian
Annelise Freisenbruch was born in 1977 in Paget, Bermuda, and moved to the UK at the age of eight. She studied classics to postgraduate level at Newnham College, Cambridge, receiving a PhD in 2004. For five of the last ten years, she has taught classics at The Leys school in Cambridge. During that time, she has also worked as a research assistant on a number of popular books and films about the ancient world, and as a research officer exploring the interface between the arts and the law, at the King's College Research Centre in Cambridge. She now lives in Dorset, where she teaches Latin. The First Ladies of Rome is her first book.