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

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 speedy institutional swap. but the institution of a ruling dynasty, founded round a unmarried chief, got here as a cultural and political surprise to Rome's aristocracy, who had shared energy within the prior political order. How did the imperial regime be capable to determine 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 unearths a "dialogical" procedure at paintings, during 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 final 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 indicates how elites assessed the influence of the imperial procedure on conventional aristocratic ethics and examines how numerous longstanding authority relationships in Roman society--those of grasp to slave, father to son, and gift-creditor to gift-debtor--became competing versions for a way the emperor did or may still relate to his aristocratic topics. by way of revealing this ideological job to be no longer in basic terms reactive but additionally constitutive of the hot order, curler contributes to ongoing debates concerning the personality of the Roman imperial procedure and concerning the "politics" of literature.

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Tusc. 43: appellata est enim ex viro virtus. v. vir: “Virtus est avec vir dans le mˆeme rapport de d´erivation que iuventus, senectus avec iuvenis, senex. ,12 provides the earliest evidence for the sorts of actions that can be assigned to, and evaluated in, this category: 2 Cornelius Lucius Scipio Barbatus Gnaivod patre prognatus, fortis vir sapiensque, quoius forma virtutei parisuma fuit, consol censor aidilis quei fuit apud vos Taurasia Cisauna Samnio cepit, subigit omne Loucanam opsidesque abdoucit.

There exists a handful of relatively brief discussions of limited scope—journal articles or single chapters (or parts thereof) in book-length studies of other questions—along with a few larger-scale investigations. 1 Yet, studies of the relationship between a society’s structuration and its ethics have much to offer both social and intellectual historians of the ancient world. For an understanding of social conditions may illuminate why certain values or ethical problems take on particular importance at particular times, while an awareness of shifts in values may in turn reveal how social change was perceived by those who lived it.

19 Other examples of the dispositional usage: Lucilius fr. 1326–38 Marx (esp. 1329–30 and 1337–38, on which see Eisenhut 1973: 35–37), Cic. Mur. 18. Despite the fairly close association of these two kinds of usages, in a couple of passages Cicero insists that only “enacted” virtus is really praiseworthy. At Rep. 2 he writes: nec vero habere virtutem satis est quasi artem aliquam nisi utare; etsi ars quidem cum ea non utare scientia tamen ipsa teneri potest, virtus in usu sui tota posita est; usus autem eius est maximus civitatis gubernatio, et earum ipsarum rerum quas isti in angulis personant, reapse non oratione perfectio.

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