Download Constructing Autocracy: Aristocrats and Emperors in by Matthew B. Roller PDF

By Matthew B. Roller

Rome's transition from a republican procedure of presidency to an imperial regime comprised greater than a century of civil upheaval and fast institutional switch. but the institution of a ruling dynasty, based round a unmarried chief, got here as a cultural and political surprise to Rome's aristocracy, who had shared energy within the earlier political order. How did the imperial regime have the capacity 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 publication, Matthew curler finds a "dialogical" strategy 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 used to be the last word authority determine in Roman society.

Roller seeks facts 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 effect of the imperial method 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 may still relate to his aristocratic topics. by means of revealing this ideological job to be no longer basically reactive but additionally constitutive of the hot order, curler contributes to ongoing debates concerning the personality of the Roman imperial method and in regards to the "politics" of literature.

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Yet he restrains his men’s swords: Totus mitti civilibus armis usque vel in pacem potuit cruor: ipse furentes dux tenuit gladios. felix ac libera regum, Roma, fores iurisque tui, vicisset in illo si tibi Sulla loco. dolet, heu, semperque dolebit, quod scelerum, Caesar, prodest tibi summa tuorum, cum genero pugnasse pio. pro tristia fata! 299–305) All the blood in civil conflict could have been shed, even to the point of peace: but the leader himself restrained the furious swords. You would have been happy, free from kings and master of yourself, Rome, had Sulla conquered for you in that place.

In comparing virtus to an ars, Cicero attributes an internality to it, for ars—an 26 CHAPTER 1 In certain contexts—philosophical ones in particular—a much broader range of usages of virtus is apparent. In these usages, the word has little or no relation to be community-oriented modes of thought and action described above, and in fact refers exclusively to states of mind and not to action at all. 20 In part, at least, this extended semantic range arises from the usage of virtus to render into Latin the Greek term ρετ , which designates an ethical category of a different shape.

13. 538–42: iam iam me praeside Roma / supplicium poenamque petat. neque enim ista vocari / proelia iusta decet, patriae sed vindicis iram; / nec magis hoc bellum est, quam quom Catilina paravit / arsuras in tecta faces. Elsewhere in the poem as well the Pompeian cause is assimilated to the cause of the civic community as a whole. 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.

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