We are back with another Women's Wednesday! Our guest this week is Claudia Quinta, a Roman woman who managed to single-handedly (and literally so!) save herself from false accusations and become a symbol of greatness for all Roman women.

Claudia Quinta was a Roman matron living around 200 BC. Because of her beauty and tendency to wear a lot of jewelry and make-up, she was often the subject of gossip and accusations of unchastity. When it was time to welcome the statue of the goddess Cybele from Greece to Rome in 204 BC, however, an oracle saw Claudia Quinta as the most virtuous woman in Rome and chose her to welcome the goddess to the city. The ship that carried the goddess' statue up the Tiber, however, suddenly got stuck on a sandbar. Claudia did not lose her heart and, instead, prayed for the goddess' help; she then tied her own belt to the ship, miraculously managing to release it without any effort and thus bringing it to safety.


“Claudia Quinta”, illumination from the manuscript “Cas des nobles hommes et femmes”, ms. Français 12420, f. 116r, 1401-1500, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Paris.

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