Vassal-Queens and Some Contemporary Women in the Roman Empire

Vassal-Queens and Some Contemporary Women in the Roman Empire

Vassal-Queens and Some Contemporary Women in the Roman Empire

Vassal-Queens and Some Contemporary Women in the Roman Empire

Excerpt

The vassal-queens, subjects of Rome, have no such significance and splendor as that of the queens of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. The names of some of them can be found only in such books as Head's Historia Numorum and other treatises on coins. The existence of others is indicated by some obscure inscriptions, e. g., Pythodoris II, daughter of Antonia Tryphaena, and wife of Rhoemetalces II, king of Thrace. The powerful old Hellenistic kingdoms were now governed directly by Rome, and the glory of the Laodices and Cleopatras had vanished. Their type, however, was permanent, and some of the dominant women among the vassalqueens were hampered by lack not of natural endowment, but of opportunity. The phrases which describe the earlier queens, "with power beyond sex," "possessing an understanding of affairs and a courage beyond her sex," "displaying nothing of the weakness of her sex," "remarkable for governing power," etc., still apply to a few of these later women in their restricted rule. Dynamis, Pythodoris, Antonia Tryphaena, though their realms were barbarous in comparison with Antioch and Alexandria, had the characteristics of strong will, courage, and political cleverness which be longed . . .

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