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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32781

Title: Creative History, Political Reality: Imagining Monarchy in the Roman Republic
Authors: Neel, Jaclyn Ivy
Advisor: Bendlin, Andreas
Department: Classics
Keywords: ancient Rome
republican Rome
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Issue Date: 30-Aug-2012
Abstract: This dissertation discusses the interaction of mythology and power in the Roman Republic and early Principate. It identifies a mythological paradigm that has not been recognized in previous scholarship ("pairs") and traces the use of this paradigm by Roman writers of the second and first centuries BCE. It argues that pair stories problematize the relationship between Roman elite ambition and the Republic's political ideals of equality and cooperation among magistrates. It further argues that these stories evolve over the course of the two centuries under discussion, from tales that are relatively optimistic about the potential of reconciling the tension between individual ambition and elite collegiality to tales that are extremely pessimistic. This evolution is tied to the political turmoil visible at Rome in this period. Several stories are identified as pair stories. The first and most well-attested is the foundation myth of the city, which is discussed at length in chapters two through six. In chapters seven and eight, the pattern is established through the analysis of Amulius and Numitor, Brutus and Collatinus, and the men known as affectatores regni. The historical development of these tales is discussed as thoroughly as possible. The argument throughout is that narratives from second-century writers depict pairs as representatives of productive rivalry. This rivalry encourages the elite to achieve beneficial results for the city, and can be set aside for the public good. Such depictions become less prevalent by the later first century, when the pair narratives instead tend to illustrate destructive competition. This destruction must be understood in the context of its times; the third quarter of the first century BCE saw the establishment of Rome's first monarchy in centuries. It is under the Principate that the tales again become clearly different: competition disappears. Soon afterwards, so does the use of these stories as a tool to think with.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32781
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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