Presenter: Tim Hamlyn (Thesis review seminar)

The introduction of ruler-cult to Rome has been a topic of extensive research and debate. For a large part of the twentieth century, many of the leading historians believed that Julius Caesar had intended to establish a form of divine monarchy, often described as being along Hellenistic lines. More recently, the scholarly consensus has been that Caesar was not the driving force behind the honours he received during his dictatorship. Instead, the senators voted honours for their own purposes and Caesar was pressured into accepting them. It is also commonly thought that Cicero had a major role in the creation of Caesar’s honours, including his deification – both indirectly, by influencing the thinking that motivated their form, and directly, by proposing some of the honours in the Senate himself. In this seminar, it will be argued that Caesar was the main instigator and creator of his honours and that Cicero did not have nearly as great a role as has been supposed.