The Rostovtzeff Lecture

The Fifteenth Annual Michael I. Rostovtzeff Lecture

Harriet Flower

“Women’s Property Rights and Political Crisis in Republican Rome: the Dowry of Licinnia, wife of Gaius Gracchus.”

This talk will examine the wealth of women from Rome’s most influential political families through a case study that involves the financial resources and property rights of Licinnia, daughter of P. Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus (consul 131 BCE) and wife of the activist reformer Gaius Sempronius Gracchus. Topics will include Licinnia’s property rights within a marriage (without manus), in which her assets stayed in her name and were not owned by her husband. After considering what types of property she held (e.g. a grand house on the Palatine, specially trained enslaved persons etc.), the focus will shift to the lawsuit she brought in her own name for recovery of her dowry after her husband lost his life in the violent political clashes of 121 BCE. This legal case illuminates the significant wealth (real property) held by women like Licinnia, which shaped their roles within their marriages, their families, and the wider community.

Wednesday November 10, 2021, 5:30 pm


In person November 10, 2021, 5:30 pm
Linsley Chittenden, room LC 102
Simulcast on Zoom: Register in advance:


In person November 11, 9:00 am
2021, Phelps Hall 401, room 401
Simulcast on Zoom: Register in advance:

For more information contact Linda Dickey-Saucier at

Flower poster