Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The History of Make-BelieveTacitus on Imperial Rome$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Holly Haynes

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520236509

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520236509.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021



The Emperor Who Succeeded

(p.112) 4 Vespasian
The History of Make-Believe

Holly Haynes

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the accession of Vespasian and also looks at how Roman ideology enters a new phase—that of superstitio—in which Roman society legitimates the princeps as a military dictator by believing he has literal, godlike powers. Tacitus allows that of all the previous emperors, Vespasian was the only one who changed for the better, and speaks well of his soldierly abilities while simultaneously mentioning his stinginess. However, the latter trait, reminiscent of Galba, does not bode well. Tacitus also remarks upon the fact that to pay for munitions, Vespasian imposes a heavy financial burden, sustained by delationes, upon the wealthy; it is a practice that does not cease with the war.

Keywords:   Roman ideology, princeps, military dictator, Tacitus

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.