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Title: Living in an age of gold : being a subject of the Roman Emperor
Author: Christoforou, Panayiotis
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 5568
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the perception of the emperor in the mentalités of his subjects, exploring the different ways he was understood. Drawing upon written material from Augustus to Alexander Severus, this thesis explores the roles he was cast in, alluding to a discourse concerning who the emperor was and what he should be, exploring similarities across the period. It is argued the participants in this conversation are not restricted to an elite, but also involved scrutiny from a wider population. Accordingly, this thesis is an alternative history about how the Emperor seemed. It is split into three parts according to episodes of an emperor's life: Part 1 and Chapter 1 explore the nature of the succession, including a discussion of the scholarship concerning the nature of the emperor's power and its transmission. It explores the nature of the succession, the imperial family, and perception of this issue from the perspective of his subjects. Part 2 explores the discourse about the emperor's conduct during his reign. Chapter 2 discusses the issues with the evidence, and how to glean a wider perspective. Chapter 3 is a thematic treatment of the 'topics of conversation' within the discourse, and each help to describe the 'thought-world' concerning the emperor, involving the fears and expectations of his roles in government, culture, and society; from the banal to the fantastic. Part 3 and Chapter 4 concern the emperor's legacy. It discusses the impression of the emperor's timelessness, and the comparability of the emperorship. This is reflected in the afterlife of an emperor, showing the relevancy of dead emperors to subsequent generations, and is manifested in diverse ways, from historical discourse to the appearance of false emperors. Finally, comparability is stressed, opening possibilities for further study on the nature of the emperorship as an example of autocracy.
Supervisor: Purcell, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rome--Kings and rulers ; Rome--History--Sources