Young Caesar and the Termination of Civil War (31-27 BCE)

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The most likely legacy of civil war is renewed civil war; the Roman civil war(s) of the first century BCE furnish us with the best proof of this supposition. The task of breaking that cycle fell, finally, to Young Caesar – but how, in practical terms, did he bring this about? What ‘phase IV’ operations, activities conducted after combat in order to stabilise and reconstruct the area of operations, did Augustus facilitate? The ‘unconditional surrender’ effected by the suicide of Cleopatra and Antonius in 30 BCE was the obvious starting point to this phase; with Actium had come the decisive battle, followed by the triumph in 29 BCE, symbolising the end of war. This article examines different potential approaches to Roman history from Actium to the Settlement of 28–27 BCE, defining the period from 31 to 27 BCE as a process of normalisation in the wake of civil war. Its focus will be on ideological dimensions as well as practical political solutions: mainly the Settlement of 28–27 BCE and veteran colonisation. In so doing, this enquiry proposes to use modern theoretical approaches as well as historical studies in order to rethink the nature of civil war, and thereby enable us to ask more fundamental questions on the character of civil war in the ancient world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAfter the Crisis : Remembrance, Re-anchoring and Recovery in Ancient Greece and Rome
EditorsJacqueline Klooster , Inger Kuin
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date6 Feb 2020
Pages135-149, 222-224
ISBN (Print)9781350128552
ISBN (Electronic)9781350128569
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020
EventAfter the Crisis: Remembrance, Re-anchoring, and Recovery in the Ancient World - Groningen University, Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 15 Dec 201617 Dec 2016


ConferenceAfter the Crisis: Remembrance, Re-anchoring, and Recovery in the Ancient World
LocationGroningen University
Internet address


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