Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classical Studies

Reader 1

Michelle Berenfeld

Reader 2

Jody Valentine

Reader 3

Ellen Finkelpearl

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Rights Information

2020 Maggie J Bynum


The Sebasteion at Aphrodisias is a large temple complex located in present-day Turkey. It was constructed over a 40 year period during the Julio-Claudian dynasty (c. 20-60 C.E.). The Sebasteion was dedicated to the Julio-Claudian emperors, the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and the people of Aphrodisias, and therefore exemplifies Roman imperial power in the Greek East. Women are popular subjects in the114 Sebasteion reliefs and statues, but previous scholarship has neglected to examine the intersection of patriarchy, status, and imperialism in the context of a free but incorporated city, such as Aphrodisias. This thesis argues that the imperial agenda of the early Roman Empire was reinforced by patriarchal representations of women as both agents and objects of the Roman Empire’s power in relief panels of Claudius and Britannia, Nero and Armenia, Claudius and Agrippina, Aphrodite and Roma, Augustus and Nike, and the Emperor and People or Senate.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.