Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors
In order to understand the exact differences in political discourse between the first and third century, as well as the causes behind those differences, I will examine each in turn. A succinct example of the themes deemed important in early imperial discourse comes from Augustus' Res Gestae. This work was distributed in 14 C.E., ·at that most crucial and fragile moment in the creation of an institution: the death of the charismatic founder. Tiberius, Augustus' heir-and an heir procured and established at great length and with great effort after the untimely deaths of multiple previous intended heirs-had to convince the inhabitants of the empire that he should occupy the position that Augustus had gained only gradually and only after a fierce civil war. Tiberius' only true claim to power was the fact that he was Augustus' adopted son. Thus, the Res Gestae is a lengthy exposition of all of Augustus' unparalleled deeds and service to Rome; as such, it is also an expression of the essential argument for Tiberius legitimacy. And this was no isolated or obscure document-it was widely distributed at the beginning of Tiberius' reign. Thus, the themes contained in the Res Gestae can reasonably be assumed to be the themes perceived by its author to be essential in the Augustan imperial system.
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Fellin, Daniel Glenn, "Gods, Emperors, and the Crisis: The Panegyrici Latini and the Novel Ideology of Diocletian and Constantine" (2007). University Honors Theses. Paper 996.