By Matthew B. Roller
Rome's transition from a republican approach of presidency to an imperial regime comprised greater than a century of civil upheaval and swift institutional switch. but the institution of a ruling dynasty, headquartered round a unmarried chief, got here as a cultural and political surprise to Rome's aristocracy, who had shared strength within the earlier political order. How did the imperial regime be ready to identify itself and the way did the Roman elites from the time of Julius Caesar to Nero make experience of it? during this compelling e-book, Matthew curler finds a "dialogical" approach at paintings, within which writers and philosophers vigorously negotiated and contested the character and scope of the emperor's authority, regardless of the consensus that he was once the last word authority determine in Roman society. curler seeks proof for this "thinking out" of the hot order in quite a lot of republican and imperial authors, with an emphasis on Lucan and Seneca the more youthful. He exhibits how elites assessed the impression of the imperial approach on conventional aristocratic ethics and examines how a number of longstanding authority relationships in Roman society--those of grasp to slave, father to son, and gift-creditor to gift-debtor--became competing types for a way the emperor did or should still relate to his aristocratic topics. via revealing this ideological task to be now not simply reactive but additionally constitutive of the recent order, curler contributes to ongoing debates in regards to the personality of the Roman imperial process and concerning the "politics" of literature.
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Extra info for Constructing Autocracy: Aristocrats and Emperors in Julio-Claudian Rome
In his landmark 1976 study entitled Lucan: An Introduction, Frederick Ahl tries to link certain movements in Lucan’s epic with attested details about the author’s life. He argues that the first six books of the poem were written prior to Lucan’s falling-out with the emperor Nero; that book 7 marks the poet’s distraught response to this falling-out; and that the later books, particularly 9 and 10, display “greater confidence . . ”4 Here Ahl assumes too direct a connection between the author’s role in public life and the production and content of his texts (so Masters 1992: 87– 88).
Quei nunquam victus est virtutei, v. 5). 18 Less ambiguously, when Cicero declares, fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent (“there was, there was, this virtus once upon a time in our state, that brave men would summarily punish a destructive citizen with harsher penalties than the most bitter enemy,” Cat. 3), the consecutive clause ut . . coercerent marks the sort of action on behalf of the community to which the virtus of the viri fortes was expected to lead.
Earlier in book 2 Cato accepts Pompey as the standard-bearer of this community (quin publica signa ducemque / Pompeium sequimur? 164). 9–14. 30 Cf. 475–84 for the idea that Caesar brings foreign enemies in his train. The reading quoi . . 554), if correct, refers to Crassus in relation to Spartacus and Caesar (Hakanson ˚ 1979: 36–38), which implies that Crassus and Caesar would have stood as foreign enemies to each other. But does hostis here encapsulate Pompey’s view of the relationship, or what Pompey takes to be Caesar’s view?
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