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14 Pages

Inscriptions on Fabia Aconia Paulina

ByVictoria Erhart

Fabia Aconia Paulina may be taken as representative of the role and function of aristocratic women in Roman society in the Late Antique period. She represents the finest attributes of traditional Roman religion, state-sponsored paganism, in its twilight in the later part of the fourth century C.E. An analysis of the information contained in inscriptions involving her gives a great deal of information about her class of women in Roman society. Immediately noticeable, even in inscriptions dedicated to her, as in Document 65, is the fact that she is primarily defined by her relationships to the significant male figures in her life, her father and her husband. Fabia Aconia Paulina was the daughter of a Roman senator and the wife of another, younger Roman senator. All three of them merit the honorific title “most distinguished.” Each man is further defined by the addition of at least one major title relating to an important position he has held in the imperial civil service.