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The Alternative Augustan Age$
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Josiah Osgood, Kit Morrell, and Kathryn Welch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901400.001.0001

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marcus Agrippa?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marcus Agrippa?

(p.182) 12 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marcus Agrippa?
The Alternative Augustan Age

James Tan

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a reconsideration of Agrippa, usually seen as the “right-hand man” of Augustus. Traditional republican culture demanded that a victor of Agrippa’s accomplishments had to earn the highest stature, but only the most extraordinary honors could reflect Agrippa’s achievements. Much like Cn. Pompeius Magnus before him, he embraced this path, advertising his exceptionalism by declining conventional honors and pursuing extraordinary ones, yet also ostentatiously avoiding the sort of solipsistic ambition that had led to civil war in the past. The promotion of Agrippa to someone of unprecedented excellence also worked well for Augustus. By elevating the independent status of his partner, he increased the value of Agrippa’s endorsement of the status quo.

Keywords:   Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Augustus, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, recusatio, Rome

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