Abstract

This article examines Tacitus’ exploration of the motives of Near-Eastern dynasts in Histories 2 and Annals 2. In these books, Tacitus presents Near-Eastern “enslavement” to the Roman empire as an act of will. Near-Eastern dynasts desired to “seduce” Romans into becoming masters and assuming the same despotic and morally enslaved dispositions that they as dynasts exerted. Their slaving helped frame, forge, and actuate a Roman imperial system that subjected Romans to despotic figures amid the unceasing threat of civil discord. In this sense, Near-Eastern seduction and its products symbolized Rome’s enslavement to autocracy and its circumvention of Republican governance.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3168
Print ISSN
0002-9475
Pages
pp. 441-475
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-26
Open Access
No
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