The Alternative Augustan Age


By Josiah Osgood

cover image of The Alternative Augustan Age

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The princeps Augustus (63 BCE - 14 CE), recognized as the first of the Roman emperors, looms large in the teaching and writing of Roman history. Major political, literary, and artistic developments alike are attributed to him. This book deliberately and provocatively shifts the focus off Augustus while still looking at events of his time. Contributors uncover the perspectives and contributions of a range of individuals other than the princeps. Not all thought they were living in the "Augustan Age." Not all took their cues from Augustus. In their self-display or ideas for reform, some anticipated Augustus. Others found ways to oppose him that also helped to shape the future of their community. The volume challenges the very idea of an "Augustan Age" by breaking down traditional turning points and showing the continuous experimentation and development of these years to be in continuity with earlier Roman culture. In showcasing absences of Augustus and giving other figures their due, the papers here make a seemingly familiar period startlingly new.

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The Alternative Augustan Age