restricted access Chapter 1. Piety in Caesar's House
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13 1 PIETY IN CAESAR’S HOUSE A fter the Roman emperor Augustus’ death on September 2/3, 14 c.e., and in accordance with his will, his Res gestae divi Augusti (Accomplishments of the Divine Augustus) were memorialized across the Roman Empire. Within the capital they were read before the Senate, engraved upon two bronze tablets, and inscribed upon pillars that may have marked an entrance gate into the mausoleum located at the Campus Martius adjacent to the Tiber River. Across Rome’s conquered provinces the Res gestae were copied in both Latin and Greek upon the walls of provincial sebasteia (temples dedicated to the imperial cult) and other monuments honoring Augustus and the imperial family. The most complete extant copies come from cites located in the province of Galatia in Asia Minor, including Apollonia, Antioch near Pisidia, and Ancyra.1 The following portion of Augustus’ Res gestae evidences how the virtue of pietas was closely identified with Augustus’ reign. In my sixth and seventh consulships [28, 27 b.c.e.], after I had extinguished the civil wars, although I was in control of all affairs in accordance with the prayers of my fellow citizens, I transferred the rights of ownership from my power to that of the senate and the people of Rome. From this cause by senatorial decree I was called 1 See Alison E. Cooley’s introduction in Res Gestae Divi Augusti: Text, Translation , and Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 1–­ 18; John Scheid, Res Gestae Divi Augusti: Hauts Faits du Divin Auguste (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2007), ix–­ xiii. 14 Civilized Piety Augustus (Σεβαστὸς), and my entranceway was publicly crowned with laurels, and the oak wreath, which is given for saving fellow citizens, was set up above the gateway of my house, and a golden shield, set up in the council chamber [the Curia Julia] by the senate and people of Rome, bore witness through its inscription to my valor (ἀρετὴν/virtutis), clemency (ἐπιείκειαν/clementiae), justice (δικαιοσύνη/iustitiae), and piety (εὐσέβειαν/pietatis). I excelled all in rank, but I had no more power than those who shared office with me. (Res gestae 34)2 And so, engraved upon columns and walls belonging to edifices venerating Augustus and his imperial household within Asia Minor where the Pastoral Epistles were likely composed and received,3 these inscriptions were neither the first nor would they be the last promotion of the Roman emperor’s pietas.4 2 Translation taken from Cooley, Res Gestae Divi Augusti, 99, with my own modification. See also the critical edition of Scheid, Res Gestae Divi Augusti. 3 The earliest attestation of the Pastoral Epistles seems to be the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians (Phil. 4.1), which was composed in Smyrna in western Asia Minor. And since the city of Ephesus, the capital of the province of Asia, stages the rhetorical setting of the inscribed audience of 1 and 2 Timothy, it is reasonable to emphasize material evidence associated with western Asia Minor in a study on the cultural contexts that informed the composition and early reception of the Pastorals. Helmut Koester suggested that the Pastoral Epistles originated from somewhere around the Aegean Sea since the geographical locations referenced in these epistles include cities all around this area; see Introduction to the New Testament, vol. 2: History and Literature of Early Christianity, 2nd ed. (New York: de Gruyter, 2000), 307. While it is difficult to assign any location to these epistles with much certainty, I am persuaded by the suggestions of Korinna Zamfir and Paul R. Trebilco that these letters were likely composed somewhere in western Asia Minor, possibly even in Ephesus. See Zamfir, Men and Women in the Household of God: A Contextual Approach to Roles and Ministries in the Pastoral Epistles (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 8; and Trebilco, The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (Tübingen : Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 205. 4 Cf. Andrew Wallace-­ Hadrill, “The Emperor and His Virtues,” Historia 30 (1981): 298–­ 323, who cautions against imagining that Romans would have called to mind this catalogue of virtues with the symbolism of the Augustan victory shield as it appeared on coins. “Telling against this hypothesis is the fact that the accompanying legend of CL(upeus) V(irtutis) [upon the coins] is replaced under Nero by VICT(oria) AUG(usti). What was remembered was the victory not the virtues” (307n45). Nevertheless, the catalog of virtues that included pietas was recorded and remembered as often as Augustus’ Res gestae were...