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Ilse Rollé Ditzler

The Senate and its Emperors in Late Antique Rome. A cultural-historical approach

Publisher: Reichert

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Circulation: 1.

Release year: 2020

Scope: 524 pages

Format: 244mm x 180mm x 37mm

Language/s: German

  • ISBN-13: 9783954903443
  • short text

  • In traditional archeology, the Senate of Rome plays a major role in the establishment and expansion of the Roman Republic; since Octavian/Augustus, the emperors have shaped politics with their genius or madness and set the standards for buildings, art, ceremonial and representation for 250 years, while the senate functions more or less as an echo chamber for the development of their power; in the so-called Dominate from AD 300 it is regarded as an antiquarian relic in decapitalized Rome. In fact, starting with the Augustan res publica restituta, the richest, most educated, most ambitious exponents of the Roman upper class, the senators, met regularly for around 600 years in the Curia Iulia/Diocletiana, thus continuously occupying a central place in Roman myth history and over generations invested enormous resources and prestige in this activity.
  • The work postulates a change of perspective by a) putting the Roman Senate of a "long imperial period" at the center of the considerations, in its self-image and in its varying relationships to the rulers; b) works out those mental and material factors that characterize the rules of the game for the coexistence of the two actors on the basis of pictorial-archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic and literary findings; c) follows the by no means linear evolution of the relationship between the SPQR (Senatus populusque Romanus) and the Caesares Augusti Imperatores until after the end of the Western Roman Empire.
  • Multiple interactions and entanglements of competencies and role-playing games are shown, both for the senate and for the emperor, with recourse, spoliation or reinterpretation of accumulated historical models being decisive. As a bipolar authority structure, the Senate of Rome and its emperors form the conditio sine qua non for the persistence of the Roman state and must therefore be regarded as related, mutually dependent parts of a state construct sui generis.
  • Tags: Senate, Emperor, Roman Republic, Rome, Coins, Epigraphy, Cultural History, Reign, SPQR, Empire.
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