Importance of Marriage in Roman Sources

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Murdia, 1st Cent. BC, funeral eulogy written by her son

"She made all her sons equal heirs"

"affection for her children and equal distribution"

"maintain the marriages given to her by her parents to worthy men"

This shows us that Murdia had many children throughout her married life and treated all of her chldren equally as she did not want to insult her children in her second marriage. Through being married twice, she produced legitimate children from both of the families' bloodlines.

Problems: This is a funeral eulogy, so it might so bias towards her by not insulting her, as depicted in "praising his mother's personal virtues"

Theory vs Reality: This shows more of the theory rather than the reality because he is praising his "dearest mother" who "deserved greater praise than all others".

Sources about Cornelia, written by Plutarch, 2nd Cent. BC

"Cornelia took over the children and the household"

"Tiberius had made a good decision when he chose to die on behalf of such a woman"

"After they were born, she raised them in such a manner... their virtue was regarded as having come from their education rather than their birth"

This emphasises the importance of childbirth was to enable the woman to fufil their duties, otherwise they may have become mischievious or they would've been frowned upon by their families, as this was their duty - to procreate and bring up their children as respectable Roman citizens, and also so that their children could pray/sort the funeral for when their parents died, such as Tiberius.

Promblems: Considering Plutarch is writing about the wife of Tiberius Gracchus, he wants to emphasise how well his wife was and that him dying was worthwile because he had left behind a good wife, however, this is unreliable because…


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