This study explores female agency within Roman patriarchy. It brings recent developments in gender theory to an analysis of patriarchy and the experience of women within it. It cautions against assumptions that patriarchy was a fixed and monolithic system which impacted women disproportionately, without first considering its implications for both men and women and examining how it operated in daily interactions. It questions perceptions that patriarchy automatically subordinated women and denied them agency. In researching this line of questioning, it considers two meanings of subordination. While ‘subordinate’ can entail control over another, a second definition refers to social preferencing in terms of the ‘importance’ or ‘status’ of one gender compared to another. In considering evidence for both aspects of subordination, it finds that Roman patriarchy was a complex and nuanced system, one in which the parameters of women’s experience had as many allowances as it did constraints and one which respected and honored its women. This study then tests these findings through a new paradigm of inquiry- women’s position in cultural memory. This is undertaken through a consideration of both the active role of women in preserving the cultural memory of Rome through the performance of religious ritual and the representation of women in the literary construction of Rome’s cultural memory by the 1st century BCE author, Livy.