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Livys The Early History of Rome is populated with many issues concerning groups of people with different customs geographic locations religious beliefs and other characteristics In this essay Livys portrayal of Roman women is compared with his portrayal of women from other cultures In particular he compares Etruscan women and Sabine women with Roman women Livy does not speak highly of the few Etruscan women he does discuss A reason for this portrayal could lie in the artistic representation of Etruscan women in paintings and tombs which reveal that they participated in banquets reclined on couches with men and attended public events It is clear that the women of Etruria enjoyed a more privileged status than was traditional in any of the ancient civilizations Class Lecture 2999 This elevated status could have led to Livys distorted representation of them His conceptions or misconceptions of Etruscan women can further be seen by his portrayal of Tanaquil and Tullia Refusing the expectations of Roman culture Tanaquil is a strong rather than submissive woman In fact she is the governing person in her relationship with her husband In his narrative Livy gives four instances showing Tanaquils role in influencing events The first instance occurs when she persuades her husband Tarquinius Priscus also known as Lucumo to leave their home and move to Rome Livy sees her as pushy since she convinces her husband to leave everything expect monetary wealth behind and move to a place of her choosing Since he was disliked by everyone Tanaquil became unable to bear the indignity of her husbands positionLivy 133 and so began their journey to Rome The next instance of Tanaquils influence occurs when an eagle swoops down and removes Lucumos cap as she and her husband left Tarquinii After hovering above their wagon the eagle replaces the cap on his head Tanaquils reaction is nearly that of a soothsayer and interprets this omen as
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