This book concerns the relationship between ideas and power in the genesis of the Roman empire. The self-justification of the first emperor through the consensus of the citizen body constrained him to adhere to ‘legitimate’ and ‘traditional’ forms of self-presentation. Lobur explores how these notions become explicated and reconfigured by the upper and mostly non-political classes of Italy and Rome. The chronic turmoil experienced in the late republic shaped the values and program of the imperial system; it molded the comprehensive and authoritative accounts of Roman tradition and history in a way that allowed the system to appear both traditional and historical. This book also examines how shifts in rhetorical and historiographical practices facilitated the spreading and assimilation of shared ideas that allowed the empire to cohere.
Table of Contents
Note on Translation
List of Abbreviations
Introduction. Consensus and Voice in the Formation of the Principate
Chapter I. Roman Consensus and the Founding of the Principate
Chapter II. Order from Chaos: The Narrative of Discord as the Early Imperial Political-Cultural Template
Chapter III. Proscription, the Autonomous Creation of Imperial Ideology, and Auctoritas
Chapter IV. Velleius Paterculus and the Unified Political Culture of the Early Principate
Chapter V. Declamation, Ideology and Consensus
Chapter VI: "Presenting" the Past: Valerius Maximus and Imperial Consensus
Dr. John Alexander Lobur is an assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi. His interests include Early Imperial History, Literature and Rhetoric, Roman Political and Social Ideology and Roman Historiography.