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The History of Make-BelieveTacitus on Imperial Rome$
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Holly Haynes

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520236509

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520236509.001.0001

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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

Vespasian

Vespasian

The Emperor Who Succeeded

Chapter:
(p.112) 4 Vespasian
Source:
The History of Make-Believe
Author(s):

Holly Haynes

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520236509.003.0005

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

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