Gift Guide

The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium: The Rhetoric of Empire

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 86%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $11.99   
  • New (5) from $51.48   
  • Used (6) from $11.99   


In The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium, Sarolta Takacs examines the role of the Roman emperor, who was the single most important law-giving authority in Roman society. Emperors had to embody the qualities or virtues espoused by Rome's ruling classes. Political rhetoric shaped the ancients' reality and played a part in the upkeep of their political structures. Takacs isolates a reoccurring cultural pattern, a conscious appropriation of symbols and signs (verbal and visual) belonging to the Roman Empire. She suggests that contemporary concepts of "empire" may have Roman precedents, which are reactivations or reuses of well-established ancient patterns. Showing the dialectical interactivity between the constructed past and present, Takacs also focuses on the issue of classical legacy through these virtues, which are not simply repeated or adapted cultural patterns but are tools for the legitimization of political power, authority, and even domination of one nation over another.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521878654
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/22/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarolta A. Tak√°cs is associate professor of history and founding dean of the Honors Program at Rutgers University. A recipient of fellowships from the Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard University) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as well as grants from The Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Fondation Hardt, she is the author of Isis and Sarapis in the Roman World and Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons: Women in Roman Religion.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



Ch. 1 Republican Rome's Rhetorical Pattern of Political Authority

Virtual Reality: To Win Fame and Practice Virtue

Creation of a Public Image: Rome's Virtuous Man

Virtue and Remembrance: The Tomb of the Scipiones

Variations on the Theme: Cicero's Virtuous Roman

Pater Patriae: Symbol of Authority and Embodiment of Tradition

The Virtuous Father: Gaius Julius Caesar

Ch. 2 Empire of Words and Men

Augustus's Achievements: A Memory Shaped

Horace's Poem 3.2: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

Nero: What an Artist Dies with Me!

Vespasian: The Upstart from Reate

Trajan: Jupiter on Earth

Maximus: Hollywood's Ideal Roman

Ch. 3 Appropriation of a Pattern Mending the Known World Order

A New World Order

Constantine, Very Wisely, Seldom Said "No"

A Pagan's Last Stand

Augustine: The Christian Cicero

Claudian's On the Fourth Consulate of Honorius

Ch. 4 The Power of Rhetoric

The Last Roman Emperor: Justinian

The First Byzantine Emperor: Heraclius

A View to the West: Charlemagne

Back to the East: A Theocratic State?



Ancient Authors

Modern Authors


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)