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Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman WorldEssays in Honour of Miriam Griffin$
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Gillian Clark and Tessa Rajak

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299905.001.0001

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Arcanum Imperii: The Powers of Augustus

Arcanum Imperii: The Powers of Augustus

Chapter:
(p.193) Arcanum Imperii: The Powers of Augustus
Source:
Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World
Author(s):

Hannah M. Cotton

Alexander Yakobson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299905.003.0012

This chapter reassesses the very careful formulation of Augustus' imperial powers and his repeated formal refusals of power. What matters is political tradition and the acceptable representation of untraditional power. Modern debate has moved from ‘what exactly was the content of imperial power?’ to ‘what was imperial power meant to look like?’. Stalin is used to illuminate praise of the established emperor. Imperial power does not require debate on forms of government, or on whether the good man must accept political office for the good of the community, though both debates could be invoked to make a point.

Keywords:   Dio, Augustus, Tiberius, imperial power

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