Macquarie University
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Tacitus' more negative sceptical representations of Augustus' political career contrasted to portrayals in the Res Gestae, Velleius, Suetonius and Cassius Dio

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posted on 2022-03-28, 00:47 authored by Graham William Fitzpatrick
This thesis will focus on comparing and contrasting the different representations by Tacitus, Augustus' Res Gestae, Velleius Paterculus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio about Augustus' political career. Building on extensive scholarly examination of Augustus' political attitudes and behaviours in recent centuries, this work will provide a unique comprehensive analytical discussion of Tacitus' more sceptical explicit and implicit portrayals of the characteristics of Augustus' political career, compared to and contrasted with the more positive, but sometimes ambiguous, depictions found in Augustus' Res Gestae, Velleius, Suetonius and Cassius Dio. Throughout the entire study, Tacitus' portrayals of Augustus' political career will be the main focus. This will be especially evident in Chapter 2 when an extensive analysis of a number of different perspectives on Augustus' political career, found in Tacitus' Annals, will be provided. Chapters 2 to 5 will identify key components of Tacitus' own views about Augustus' political career, as distinguished from those of the Res Gestae, Velleius, Suetonius and Cassius Dio. These new comparisons and contrasts between these five different Roman authors will be achieved mostly within the context of thorough examinations of previous scholarly debates about major aspects of Augustus' political career and his associated evolving political system. Also, this study will fill in numerous gaps in previous scholarly discussion and evaluation of these same issues.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to methodology, representations of Augustus, the façade theory and Augustus' ambiguity -- Chapter 2: Different portrayals of Augustus in Tacitus' Annals -- Chapter 3: Legal and non-legal representations of Augustus' political career -- Chapter 4: Despotism, slavery, liberty, "good" principes and Tacitus' disclaimers -- Chapter 5: Portrayals of the relationships between Roman res publica and Augustus' principate -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 205-265 MPhil thesis". "March 2011

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


MPhil, Macquarie University, Department of Humanities, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Alanna Nobbs

Additional Supervisor 1

Paul McKechnie

Additional Supervisor 2

Jeff Cayzer


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Graham Fitzpatrick 2013.






1 online resource (265 pages)

Former Identifiers

mq:37450 2128309