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Matthew Bowser - The Golden Age of Rome: Augustus’ program to better the Roman Empire (2013 undergrad thesis) | History of the Ancient World - October 2014
Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh, 2013 -- posted to History of the Ancient World website - Argument continues among historians to this day whether Augustus should be considered the benefactor that Vergil portrays, who restored virtue and order, or as the tyrant Tacitus describes. Using evidence from a variety of contemporary sources, I intend to show that Augustus did in fact work to bring about the Age of Gold that Vergil promises. Whether through warfare, legislation, political maneuvering, or propaganda, I believe that his actions from the start reflect a clear program to make the Roman Empire the most powerful and most secure state that it could be, and that he was not just working for personal ambition. I have narrowed down the concept of the Golden Age, as portrayed by the poets, to three primary qualities: peace and security, the flourishing of the old Republican virtues, and prosperity under a glorious, divine leader. I will address each of these aspects in turn, consulting evidence from the period to show how Augustus’ regime worked to satisfy them. This evidence will include contemporary literature, historical facts and records, art, architecture, religion, and symbolism. I will also address the major criticisms of each facet by eyewitnesses such as Ovid and Propertius, by Roman historians such as Tacitus and Suetonius, and by various modern scholars of Roman history. Studying the success of Augustus’ methods can reap numerous benefits, including a deeper understanding of later dictators and their programs. -- downloaded pdf to Note
thesis  ancient_history  empires  Roman_Republic  Roman_Empire  Augustan_Rome  political_history  political_culture  civic_virtue  civil_religion  literary_history  Latin_lit  Virgil  Tacitus  historians-and-politics  state-building  Ovid  Suetonius  historiography  historiography-antiquity  downloaded  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader

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