Saturday, February 26, 2022

Challenging Gender Roles: Hortensia Goes to Court--and Wins! Val. Max. 8.3.3

Hortensia vero Q. Hortensi filia, cum ordo matronarum gravi tributo a triumviris esset oneratus nec quisquam virorum patrocinium eis accommodare auderet, causam feminarum apud triumviros et constanter et feliciter egit: repraesentata enim patris facundia impetravit ut maior pars imperatae pecuniae his remitteretur. Revixit tum muliebri stirpe Q. Hortensius verbisque filiae aspirauit, cuius si virilis sexus posteri vim sequi uoluissent, Hortensianae eloquentiae tanta hereditas una feminae actione abscissa non esset

--Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium VIII.iii.3

When noblewomen were oppressed by the triumvirs’ taxation and none of their husbands deigned to advocate for them, Quintus Hortensius’ daughter Hortensia pled the women’s case in court—and won! By using the eloquence she inherited from her father, she managed to get a majority of the taxes remitted. At that time Quintus Hortensius came to life again, in female form; he inspired his daughter’s words. If his male descendants had followed in his eloquent footsteps, then the family’s eloquence would not have ended with the lawsuit of one woman.




Name:  Valerius Maximus

Date:  1st c CE.

Works:  Memorable Deeds and Sayings



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



Little is known about the life of Valerius Maximus except that he wrote during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. His work, Memorable Deeds and Sayings, is a collection of examples from Roman and world history categorized by theme for the purpose of rhetorical exercises.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.