Augustus, the Res Gestae and the End of Civil War: Unpleasant Events?

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    Abstract

    The period of the Late Republic fostered new historiographical trends. These trends were, naturally, informed by the defining conditions of the period from roughly 133 BCE onwards: how to write about violence, civil strife, and civil war became a crucial consideration. This would initially challenge profoundly the conventions of Roman historiography, which had traditionally focused on the deeds of the Romans domi militiaeque but excluded civil war—a concept known from Greek historiography (stasis), but as yet without its Roman name of bellum civile. One aspect of this new trend was that of justification: how did societies end civil war and come back together as one? Shared notions of identity necessarily had to be re-established. Taking his cue from Caesar, Young Caesar/Augustus (63 BCE-14 CE) produced different layers of justification for his part in the internecine period from the death of his adoptive father to the process of ending the civil war between 29-27 BCE (29 BCE, triumph; 28-27 BCE, political settlement and return to normality). These levels of justification are of course clearly visible in Res Gestae. Accordingly, the main approach of this article is to try to interpret these levels of civil war justification as indicators of the ideology of the new regime.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Historiography of Late Republican Civil War
    EditorsCarsten Hjort Lange, Frederik Julian Vervaet
    Number of pages24
    Place of PublicationBoston & Leiden
    PublisherBrill
    Publication date15 Aug 2019
    Pages185-209
    Chapter9
    ISBN (Print)978-90-04-37359-4
    ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-40952-1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019
    SeriesHistoriography of Rome and Its Empire Series
    ISSN2468-2314

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