ahorbinski: an imperial stormtrooper with the word "justic3" (imperial justice)
Bibliographic Data: Noreña, Carlos F. Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Main Argument: This book argues that, in the period 69-235 CE, "the dissemination of specific imperial ideals was more pervasive than previously thought, and indicates a high degree of ideological unification amongst the aristocracies of the western provinces. The widespread circulation of a particular set of imperial ideals, and the particular form of ideological unification that this brought about, not only reinforced the power of the Roman imperial state, but also increased the authority of local aristocrats, thereby facilitating a general convergence of social power that defined the high Roman empire" (frontispiece).

Ideals in circulation )

Critical assessment: It's useless to pretend that I am any kind of objective about this book, as Noreña is a professor of mine, and in my opinion one of the best in our department. So, both by training and inclination, I think he's largely right here, and I think it's interesting to see in particular, in the epigraphy/coinage divergence beginning with Commodus, some of the ancestry of the transformation of the emperorship after the 3rdC crisis.

Further reading: Syme, The Roman Revolution; Grey, Constructing Community in the Late Roman Countryside

Meta notes: "…systematic exploitation on the grand scale is consistent with the logic and normative claims of ideals and values to which many of us still subscribe" (324).


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

May 2016

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