This paper investigates some phases of Augustus’afterlife in antiquity. After his deification he became at once the beginner of a peace era (Philo) and the model for every good emperor (Vespasian); then the senatorial historical tradition considered him as the lenient founder of the principate (Cassius Dio) and the new Christian thought identified his peaceful reign as the necessary condition of the Incarnation (Meliton); this double positive image survived the crisis of the IIIrd century: we find it anew in Orosius’ Augustustheologie. The dark side of Augustus’life – his role in the civil wars stressed by Ovid - reappeared soon under the Julio-Claudians (Seneca) and the Flavians (Pliny the Elder). From Trajan onward the revival of Julius Caesar as the first emperor could not be hindered any more, as stated by Suetonius, Florus and Fronto; apart from Orosius the remnant Christian tradition, drawing from Josephus, knows Caesar as the founder of the Empire; moreover Senators and Christians agreed that Augustus had been felix, but Trajan had been optimus: so in late antiquity Augustus withdrew in front of other more updated models of sovereignty.

Zecchini, G., Augusto dopo Augusto. Alcune riflessioni sulla fortuna di Augusto nell'antichità, <<MAIA>>, 2016; 68 (2): 254-263 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/87749]

Augusto dopo Augusto. Alcune riflessioni sulla fortuna di Augusto nell'antichità

Zecchini, Giuseppe
Primo
2016

Abstract

This paper investigates some phases of Augustus’afterlife in antiquity. After his deification he became at once the beginner of a peace era (Philo) and the model for every good emperor (Vespasian); then the senatorial historical tradition considered him as the lenient founder of the principate (Cassius Dio) and the new Christian thought identified his peaceful reign as the necessary condition of the Incarnation (Meliton); this double positive image survived the crisis of the IIIrd century: we find it anew in Orosius’ Augustustheologie. The dark side of Augustus’life – his role in the civil wars stressed by Ovid - reappeared soon under the Julio-Claudians (Seneca) and the Flavians (Pliny the Elder). From Trajan onward the revival of Julius Caesar as the first emperor could not be hindered any more, as stated by Suetonius, Florus and Fronto; apart from Orosius the remnant Christian tradition, drawing from Josephus, knows Caesar as the founder of the Empire; moreover Senators and Christians agreed that Augustus had been felix, but Trajan had been optimus: so in late antiquity Augustus withdrew in front of other more updated models of sovereignty.
Italiano
Zecchini, G., Augusto dopo Augusto. Alcune riflessioni sulla fortuna di Augusto nell'antichità, <<MAIA>>, 2016; 68 (2): 254-263 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/87749]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/87749
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