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Science&TechnologyArcheologyThe first Roman coins with a female image are of the cruel...

The first Roman coins with a female image are of the cruel Fulvia

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

Mark Antony’s wife was reputed to be a greater tyrant than men in the Roman Empire

Ancient Roman coins with the profiles of Fulvia

As is known, when Mark Antony fell in love with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, he was married to the powerful Fulvia – a woman who literally turned the mighty Roman Empire on her finger. She is described as a skilled schemer who was merciless to her enemies and gloated over them even after their execution.

Fulvia was the heiress of two of the wealthiest families in ancient Rome. She grew up watching power shift from one hand to another, with intrigue and cruelty. She herself was ambitious and cold-blooded – ready to achieve her goals at the cost of everything. Fulvia leaves an ominous but significant mark on the history of Rome.

She was the first woman whose image was immortalized on coins in the Roman Empire.

She married three times. Her first husband was the politician Publius Claudius Pulcher, known for his disputes with Cicero and the trial of Lucius Sergius Catiline. He and Fulvia had two children. Their daughter Claudia was married to Octavian.

After Pulcher was killed by one of his opponents, Fulvia remained a widow, but for a short time – she married a popular tribune. Unfortunately, she was soon widowed for the second time. After five years, she married again – to the legendary military leader Mark Antony.

The more Mark Antony rose in power, the more his wife Fulvia took advantage of her. She managed her behind-the-scenes politics so skillfully that she literally manipulated the senate’s decisions to her advantage. In fact, he and Mark Antony shared the same political views and supported each other. As a sign of respect for his wife Fulvia, Mark Antoninus even renamed a Greek city after her.

The couple had many enemies. One of them was Cicero. The mouthy senator often made speeches against Mark Antony, and once delivered as many as 14 in one day. Fulvia hated him so much that when Cicero was being killed, she asked Mark Antony to bring his severed head to her so that she could talk with him, in turn sticking a blade in the orator’s tongue.

The love and political alliance between Fulvia and Mark Antony resists only Cleopatra’s beauty. The Egyptian queen literally turns the manly Roman into her slave.

Fulvia was sick with jealousy, but she could do nothing against her rival. In her madness she tried to start a war, but failed. She was eventually exiled to Greece, where she died soon after.

Her image, however, left a vivid mark on the history of Ancient Rome and was stamped on coins.

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