The Augustan Aristocracy

Paperback | December 1, 1991

byRonald Syme

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While the monarchy established by Caesar Augustus attracts assiduous study, not enough has been said about the old nobility renascent after years of civil war. One clear reason is the nature of the evidence, most of it sporadic or recondite. To be made intelligible, the theme demands constantrecourse to better documented periods. The exposition has to range backward to the closing age of the Republic and forward to Nero's death. In fact, the best testimony to the Augustan aristocracy derives from the Annals of Tacitus. After splendour and success, evident notably in the second decade ofthe reign (on which this book is centred), the ancient houses went down in the embrace of the dynasty, itself from the outset an aristocratic nexus. Covering something like a century and a half in the history of Roman families, this book may be taken as a supplement no less than sequel to The RomanRevolution (OUP 1939) and to Tacitus (OUP 1958).

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While the monarchy established by Caesar Augustus attracts assiduous study, not enough has been said about the old nobility renascent after years of civil war. One clear reason is the nature of the evidence, most of it sporadic or recondite. To be made intelligible, the theme demands constantrecourse to better documented periods. The e...

Ronald Syme is at Wolfson College, Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:December 1, 1991Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198147317

ISBN - 13:9780198147312

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'Between the seemingly abrupt sentences runs a current of feeling generated by Syme's profound understanding of the ironies of political history.' Thomas D'Evelyn The Christian Science Monitor