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Manilius and his Intellectual Background$
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Katharina Volk

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199265220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199265220.001.0001

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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: 07 December 2021

Horoscopes and Emperors

Horoscopes and Emperors

(p.127) Chapter 4 Horoscopes and Emperors
Manilius and his Intellectual Background

Katharina Volk (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the historical and political background of Manilius and offers a solution to the vexed question of the poet's date. It opens with a survey of the processes through which astrology rose to a prominent position in Roman life in the Late Republic and Early Empire, drawing special attention to the nexus between astrology and power in the reign of Augustus. While it has often been believed that all or part of the Astronomica was written already under Tiberius, a detailed examination of all the relevant passages in the poem shows that it makes more sense to assume an all-Augustan date. Manilius' treatment of both the cosmos and the emperor is in perfect agreement with Augustan ideology. There are not enough indications in the text, however, to enable the reconstruction of a more individual political stance on the part of the poet.

Keywords:   astrology, Augustus, Early Empire, Late Republic, Manilius, Tiberius

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