Popular Perceptions of Roman Emperors from Augustus to Theodosius I

January 2015December 2017
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

This project aims to examine how Roman emperors were perceived by the inhabitants of their empire, from soldiers, slaves and freedmen to senatorial aristocrats. It has two main aims: to explain the different ways in which the emperors' military, judicial, religious and moral authority was conceived, interpreted and transmitted in the Roman world; and to analyse the continuities and changes in these aspects between the first and fourth centuries A.D. The significance of this study lies in its demonstration that the popular reception of imperial rule is crucial to understanding how and why the institution of emperorship endured in the Roman world. This outcome will enhance scholarly and public understanding of the Roman empire. 

Project members