Divine brothers and fictive fathers
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.
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