Ancient History

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

By Matthew B. Roller

Rome's transition from a republican method 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 able 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 ebook, 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 proof for this "thinking out" of the recent 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 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. through revealing this ideological task to be now not in simple terms reactive but in addition constitutive of the hot order, curler contributes to ongoing debates in regards to the personality of the Roman imperial process and in regards to the "politics" of literature.

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