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

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

by Sarolta A. Takacs
     
 

In The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium, Sarolta Takács 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

Overview

In The Construction of Authority in Ancient Rome and Byzantium, Sarolta Takács 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. Takács isolates a reoccurring cultural pattern, a conscious appropriation of symbols and signs (verbal and visual) belonging to the Roman Empire. She shows that many contemporary concepts of “empire” have Roman precedents, which are reactivations or reuses of well-established ancient patterns. Showing the dialectical interactivity between the constructed past and present, Takács 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... splendid and streamlined volume ... attractive and useful book approachable and slim...'
Arctos

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107407930
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/04/2012
Pages:
191
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.43(d)

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Meet the Author

Sarolta A. Takács 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.

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