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Res Publica and the Roman Republic'Without Body or Form'$
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Louise Hodgson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777380.001.0001

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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: 25 July 2021

Res Publica Est Caesar

Res Publica Est Caesar

(p.261) 7 Res Publica Est Caesar
Res Publica and the Roman Republic

Louise Hodgson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 concludes with some observations on res publica under Augustus and his successors. The term all but vanishes from Suetonius’s Lives after Augustus, which suggests that res publica lost much of its political charge with the fall of the Republic. While res publica did not automatically now take on the meaning of ‘the Roman Republic’, it could be made to mean this by historians like Velleius Paterculus and Tacitus, who use temporal tags such as prisca, antiqua, or vetus to indicate a historic state of the political sphere. This chapter argues that whereas Velleius Paterculus and Augustus in his Res Gestae are tactful about the latter’s power, Ovid is not; he echoes Cicero’s equation of Sulla with Jupiter by equating Jupiter with Augustus and provides the title for this chapter, which also serves as an unintentional response to Julius Caesar’s pedantry: res publica est Caesar.

Keywords:   res publica, Augustus, Roman Republic, Suetonius, Velleius Paterculus, Tacitus, Ovid, Caesar

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