First Advisor

Brian Turner

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors




Fulvia (active 1st century B.C.)




In this study I discuss Fulvia in four, mostly chronological, stages of her life. I separate her, quite intentionally, into her roles as a daughter, wife and mother, politician, and eventually a military leader. Categorizing our subject in this manner highlights the typical way in which modern scholars treat Fulvia, as a one-dimensional caricature, and demonstrates that such limited and shallow assessments are flawed. This organizational irony, if you will, shall be utilized to prove Fulvia was never simply a wife or mother or politician or general. At various points in her life, she expressed and acted in relation to many or all of these roles and their unique responsibilities simultaneously. This multiplicity of motive and role will be demonstrated in each section by noting the times and events when Fulvia’s roles overlapped, in many cases potentially influencing her decisions and actions. The goal of this work is both to challenge various methodologies of studying ancient figures (i.e., Champlin’s lens, the limited methods of Fulvia’s modern scholars, and the biased approaches of the ancient sources) and to illuminate a richer, more nuanced portrait of the oft-maligned or ignored Fulvia.


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