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 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 strength 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 feel of it? during this compelling booklet, Matthew curler unearths a "dialogical" procedure 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 final word authority determine in Roman society.
Roller seeks facts for this "thinking out" of the hot order in a variety 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 process 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 types for the way the emperor did or may still relate to his aristocratic matters. by way of revealing this ideological job to be now not purely reactive but additionally constitutive of the hot order, curler contributes to ongoing debates in regards to the personality of the Roman imperial procedure and concerning the "politics" of literature.
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Additional resources for Constructing Autocracy: Aristocrats and Emperors in Julio-Claudian Rome
Val. Max. 1, a similar judgment on Lucretia). Another tension is exposed at Sen. Helv. 6, where Seneca contends that, for women, being unknown is itself of positive moral value. He ascribes this value to his maternal aunt, asserting that she was renowned for this reason throughout Egypt (of which her husband was prefect)—famous, that is, for her laudable anonymity. Moreover, through this laudatory account Seneca seeks to immortalize her as an exemplum virtutis and thus present her to posterity for emulation.
This formulation of virtus as an ars may owe something to the broader usage of virtus as a translation of ρετ , discussed below: for in certain Stoic formulations ρετ is said to be a τ χνη [SVF III 214, cf. 95]). , internally, as a form of knowledge) is insufficient, for its entire value lies in its public display, and the governance of the state is the most highly-valued form of this display. Thus, while virtus can lie latent as an ars, it cannot be recognized and praised unless it is manifested through community-oriented action in the public eye.
For a major consequence of Pompey’s “pious” action is that the war will continue and the fatherland will eventually lose its liberty, subjected to a king’s sway (libera regum, / Roma, fores iurisque tui . . [301–2], also 306–13). Here, then, the narrator reassesses the conflict of pietas-obligation inherent in Pompey’s assimilating perspective. He suggests that being pius in the short term, sparing the Caesarians to whom he regards himself obligated, is to be impius in the long term, ensuring further bloodshed in future battles and leading eventually to the destruction of the state itself (which Pompey, in his earlier speech, had presented as his primary pietas-obligation).