Writing Politics in Imperial Rome by W.J. Dominik, J. Garthwaite, P.A. Roche

By W.J. Dominik, J. Garthwaite, P.A. Roche

Roman literature is inherently political within the assorted contexts of its creation and the abiding matters of its material. This assortment examines the thoughts and methods of political writing at Rome in a large diversity of literature spanning nearly centuries, differing political platforms, climates, and contexts. It applies a definition of politics that's extra according to glossy serious ways than has usually been the case in reviews of the political literature of classical antiquity. by means of utilizing a large choice of significantly proficient viewpoints, this quantity deals the reader not just an extended view of the abiding suggestions, options, and matters of political expression at Rome but in addition many new views on person authors of the early empire and their republican precursors.

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130–1. 22 Dio’s presentation may in fact be based on similarly vague, unspecified remarks by Seneca (Ben. 26–7), who asserted that even drunken conversations under Tiberius were denounced. 24 Equally vague is Cassius Dio’s presentation of Neronian repression following Piso’s conspiracy, and it is contradicted by Tacitus, who asserts that a check was put on prosecutions (Ann. 25 Suetonius’ presentation can prove equally problematic. Consider Tiberius’ letter to Augustus lamenting a verbal attack against Augustus and the princeps’ own response: aetati tuae, mi Tiberi, noli in hac re indulgere et nimium indignari quemquam esse, qui de me male loquatur; satis est enim, si hoc habemus ne quis nobis male facere possit (“do not indulge your age in this affair, my Tiberius, and be too indignant that there is anyone who speaks ill about me; indeed, it suffices that we have no one who is able to harm us,” Aug.

27) Now mark this, the friends of a certain man begging and beseeching that he not recite the rest. So great was the shame of hearing the things he did in the doing of which there was none, things that they blush to hear. And that man indeed did what was asked of him (good will permitted it): the book nevertheless remains as it was written and will remain and be read always, so much the more because it was not read at once. The letter gives us a glimpse into the social pressure that could be used to censor an author in the context of a public reading, where not legal but communal constraint was a factor in self-censorship.

She had lent him her husband’s diaries and the senate ordered them destroyed. She managed though to save a copy despite her exile, the confiscation of her goods—and a presumably high profile case. 17 The case was the same for Cremutius Cordus 17 See Murray (1965) 41–61. the social and political background 29 (Tac. Ann. 35) whose works survived despite sanctioned attempts to destroy them, provoking a sneer from Tacitus concerning the futility of such actions. Similarly the emperor Gaius, despite his predecessors’ legal injunctions to destroy works by Cremutius, Cassius Severus, and Titus Labienus, allowed their writings esse in manibus lectitarique (“to be in hand and read repeatedly”), a tell-tale sign of the inefficiency, perhaps even impossibility, of wholesale suppression (Suet.

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