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Emperors and AncestorsRoman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition$
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Olivier Hekster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736820.001.0001

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Your Mother’s Son

Your Mother’s Son

(p.110) (p.111) Three Your Mother’s Son
Emperors and Ancestors

Olivier Hekster

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes central coin types as its starting point, and compares the trajectory of representations of imperial (grand) mothers on central coin types with those on other types of evidence in selected cases, focusing expecially on the Julio-Claudian and Severan dynasties. It questions assumptions about the level of interaction between the different media, which differs from one reign to the next. Developments in the representation of (imperial) women in various sources, in certain regions of the Empire, and in the Empire as a whole form the wider discourses within which imperial image formation is placed. The chapter also traces the parallels between increasing visibility of imperial mothers and grandmothers in centralized media—especially in the Eastern parts of the Empire—and a similar process in local civic representations. Where central notions cohered with these local expectations, a ‘shared field of experience’ made reciprocal interaction possible.

Keywords:   civic representations, imperial image formation, Julio-Claudian dynasty, Roman imperial grandmothers, Roman imperial mothers, Severan dynasty

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