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Gender, Domesticity, and the Age of AugustusInventing Private Life$
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Kristina Milnor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235728.001.0001

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A Domestic Disturbance: Talking About the Triumvirs in the Early Empire

A Domestic Disturbance: Talking About the Triumvirs in the Early Empire

Chapter:
(p.186) 4 A Domestic Disturbance: Talking About the Triumvirs in the Early Empire
Source:
Gender, Domesticity, and the Age of Augustus
Author(s):

KRISTINA MILNOR

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235728.003.0005

The age of the triumvirs refers to the period following the assassination of Julius Caesar which marked the beginning of Octavian's rise to the pinnacle of political power. This chapter considers the representation in imperial prose of domestic life during the civil wars which immediately preceded the age of Augustus in the early Roman empire. Using both traditional historical sources, such as Appian and Cassius Dio, and the rhetorical handbooks of Valerius Maximus and Seneca the Elder, this book argues that stories of domestic virtue and vice during the civil wars appear as ‘real’ history rather than as a means to characterise the late republic as a time when private life was tragically invaded by politics. In this way, the social conflict in the Roman state which immediately preceded the transition to empire is seen as fundamentally concerned with the relationship between private and public life, a crisis in domesticity which supposedly necessitated the political concern with domestic values under the early Roman empire.

Keywords:   triumvirs, domestic life, civil wars, private life, politics, public life, domesticity, history

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