The Roman Emperor The development of the Empire The principate The Emperor as imperator How did the Emperor rule? The Imperial family The Imperial succession The Emperor and the city of Rome The Emperor and the Roman cities The Imperial cult Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Terminology Caesar Imperator Augustus There was no single term, the word Emperor is a modern construction.
From Republic to Empire Military campaigns and social stress Maintenance of conquered lands Burden of military service Crumbling farms Unequal wealth distribution The Roman army turning into a professional one
The Marian reforms 107 B.C. All male citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for entry into the Roman army. The army was no longer fighting on a seasonal basis to protect their land. Soldiers received standard pay. Military duty began to appeal to whom a salaried pay was attractive.
A political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus with no official status. The alliance combined: o Caesar's enormous popularity and reputation o Crassus' spectacular wealth and influence within the Equestrian order o Pompey's equally spectacular wealth and military reputation. Pompey married Caesar’s daughter Julia When Crassus died at Cannae and Pompey was murdered in Egypt, Caesar was the sole master of the Roman world.
Julius Caesar The Gallic wars 58-51 B.C. granted Caesar: Unmatched military power Wealth Loyal soldiers
Caesar assassinated March 15 44 BC Dictator perpetuo King? Kai su, teknon – Et tu, Brute!
The republican institutions could not cope with the struggles for power between over- mighty generals, nor could they meet the demands of the growing empire. Caesar had layed bare the weakness of Rome, Augustus tried to solve the problem which ultimately led to the establishment of the permanent Roman Empire.
The Second Triumvirate 43 BC – 33 BC M. Aemilius Lepidus – consul, pontifex maximus (high priest) and among Caeasar’s greatest supporters. Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) – popular general and close to Caesar. C. Iulius Octavianus – Caesar’s adopted son and sole hair. He was only 19 by the time of his grand uncle’s dead, but Octavian had the loyal support of Caesar’s soldiers.
Unlike the earlier First Triumvirate, the Second Triumvirate was official and legally established. It’s power outranked that of all other magistrates, including the consuls. The only limit of the Triumvirate was the five-year term set by law.
By proscriptions they could eliminate political enemies, replenish the treasury and gain wealt. The proscribed were always stripped of their property, and often killed. In 42 BC, Octavian and Antony set out to war and defeated Brutus and Cassius in a battle fought at Philippi northern Greece.
War between Antony and Octavian The Second Triumvirate could not withstand internal jealousies and ambitions. Antony lived in Alexandria with Cleopatra VII of Egypt, and had children with her. Octavian stayed in Rome. He (illegally) obtained Antony's will in Rome, in July 32 BC. Octavian used his propaganda to turn the public opinion and the senate against his former colleague Antony. In 32 B.C the Senate declared war, and the next year Antony and Cleopatra were defeted at Actium.
The principate Princeps primum caput (lat.) - the first head Octavian restored the Roman Republic, with the traditional governmental power of the Senate, but in practice he retained his autocratic power. It took Octavian several years to work out the frame work.
Octavian held, by law, a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including those of tribune of the plebs and censor. He was consul until 23 BC. Later emperors could pick and choose whether they wished to be consul, or allow their supporters that honour instead. The Emperor had no specific office, except of the republican ones. The model for all later imperial government.
Augustus The revered one A honorific name given by the Senate in 27 B.C.
Octavian’s power stemmed from: o financial resources gained in conquest o the building of patronage relationships o the loyalty of many military soldiers and veterans o the authority of the many honors granted by the Senate o the respect of (some of) the people.
The Emperor as Imperator The Emperor had to handle the administration of the Empire, but was also expected to be a military man. The Emperor needed the loyalty of the Roman army. In moments of crisis, and when the succession was unclear, was the underlying power of the military laid bare. The praetorian guard.
How did a did an Emperor rule? Senate Magistrates Clientela Imperial slaves and freedmen.
The Roman patron-client system A relationship between the and his client. The relationship was hierarchical, but the obligations were mutual. The patronus was the protector, sponsor, and benefactor of the client. Benefits a patron might confer include legal representation in court, loans of money, influencing business deals or marriages, and supporting a client's candidacy for political office or priesthood. In return, the client was expected to offer his services to his patron as needed. A freedman became the client of his former master. The Emperor could be a patron for a legion, a city etc.
The Imperial Family Livia Drusilla Femina Princeps – a paradox The faithful wife and mother, keeping old decorum Livia had her own circle of clients She ruled her own finances After the death of Augustus, she became Augusta and high priestess of his cult.
The Imperial succession Augustus died in year 14 AD, 76 years old. He had been emperor for over 40 years. He was succeeded by Tiberius. The Julio-Claudian emperors (Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Nero) were all related, but none was succeeded by his own son. The ability of specific individuals might be challenged, but not the figure of the Emperor as the holder of political authority.
Augustus and the city of Rome He found it in bricks and left it in marble… The Emperor as patronus Administration: vici Dynastic monuments, such as his mausoleum. Public buildings The involvement of his family
Ara Pacis The altar of (Augustan) peace. Consecrated on 30 January 9 BC by the Senate to celebrate the return of Augustus from the Western provinces and that peace was established in the Empire after his victories. Ara Pacis portray the peace and fertile prosperity enjoyed as a result of the Pax Augusta. The peace was brought about by the military power of Rome. Ara Pacis also acted as a visual reminder of Augustus and his dynasty.
Solarium Augusti The largest sundial in the ancient world, erected by Augustus. The gnomon was a 30-metre Egyptian obelisk, acting as a triumphant demonstration of Egypt's subordination to Roman power. The shadow of the gnomon fell across the center of the marble altar on 23 September, the birthday of Augustus himself. Augustus was natus ad pacem, born to bring peace. Once again, peace was linked with military authority and imperial expansion.
The Emperor and the Roman cities Some towns enjoyed a privileged relationship. The importans of visual representation. The Emperor as magistrate, as priest, as a commander, as a heric nude. The portraits of empresses incorporates both elements of matronly virtue and divinity.
Imperial cult The unequal relationship between the Emperor and his subject must seem to be natural and unchallengeable. The Emperor and his family was both political leaders and gods. They could be approached through leters and embassies, or prayers and sacrifices. A deceased Emperor held worthy of the honour could be voted a state divinity by the Senate. Cult of a living person was never a part of the Roman state cult, but common in the provinces. A patron-client relationship.
To sum up… The people thanks the Emperor for what he did to them (victories, building projects, games) by different honours. Important occurrences in the imperial family (accessions to the throne, marriages, births of new femily members, deaths) provided occasions for the bestowal of honours.
This is it not propaganda in the modern sense, as there never was any central propaganda agency or institution. Anyone who wanted to express his gratitude and loyalty to the Imperial family could either use the visual formulae that had been developed in Rome or create his own images, as long as they fit the catalogue of traditional themes.
A competition between members of the elite. To praise the imperial family, and to have access to it, became the most important medium for self-representation.
An example from Forum Clodii: Under the third consulship of Tiberius Caesar and the second of Germanicus Caesar and under the duumvirate of Gnaeus Acceius Rufus Lutatius, son of Gnaeus, of the tribus Arnensis, and Titus Petillius, son of Publius, of the tribus Qurina, this decree (have been issued): This temple and these statues, a sacrificial animal for the dedication (thereof). The two victims, who has always used to be sacrificed, shall be sacrificed on Augustus’ birthday, 24 September, on the altar dedicated to the numen of Augustus, on 23 and 24 September.
Furthermore, on the birthday of Tiberius Caesar, the decuriones, under the obligation to always do so, and the people shall banquet. Quintus Cascellus promise to cover the cost forever so that he should be thanked for his munificence, and that on this birthday shall annually a bull- calf be scarified, and that on the birthdays of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius, before the decuriones go to dine, shall their genii be invited, with incense and wine, to dine at the altar of the Augustan numen.
The altar to the Augustan numen is erected at our own expense. We have organized games for six days, at our own expense. On birthday of Augusta, we have, at our own expense, passed out mulsum and crustlum at the statue of Bona Dea to the women living in the village. Furthermore, at the dedication of the statues to the Caesars and Augusta, we have passed out mulsum and crustlum to the decuriones and the people, at our own expense, and we have sworn to do this on the day of this dedication, in eternity, so that this day may annually be more frequent celebrated on 10 Match, the date on which Tiberius Caesar, most auspiciously, was elected pontifex maximus.
Res Gestae Divi Augusti The queen of inscriptions In his will, Augustus requested that RGDA should be displayed in bronze in front of his Mausoleum. Copies from Asia Minor (Turkey)
What is the message of the text? What does the text have to say about the role of the Emperor? What should he do? On what was his power based? What does he not say? Why do you think copies of the text were put up around the empire?