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Emperors and AncestorsRoman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition$
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Olivier Hekster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736820.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 July 2021

The Tetrarchs

The Tetrarchs

Divine brothers and fictive fathers

Chapter:
(p.276) (p.277) Seven The Tetrarchs
Source:
Emperors and Ancestors
Author(s):

Olivier Hekster

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736820.003.0007

This chapter deals with the role of lineage during the Tetrarchy, the period in which the Roman Empire was governed through collegiate rule in an explicitly non-dynastic system. The chapter shows how kin-terms continued to be used to describe relations between emperors, and how the vocabulary and imagery related to kinship that was used for these rulers differed from one medium to the next. It also discusses the continued importance of adoption, marriage, fictive kinship, and (near-) divine descent for imperial succession. This period saw the last minting of provincial coins, and focus in this chapter is less on local media. This is compensated by detailed analysis of the use of kin-terms in the so-called Latin Panegyrics, allowing insights into how members of local elites presented tetrarchic emperorship and the reign of Constantine. Preconceptions in these panegyrics illustrate the importance of tradition and anticipations when creating images of imperial ancestry.

Keywords:   Constantine, imperial succession, kinship, Latin Panegyrics, non-dynastic system, tetrarchy

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