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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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Shields of Virtue(s)

Shields of Virtue(s)

Chapter:
(p.282) 18 Shields of Virtue(s)
Source:
The Alternative Augustan Age
Author(s):

Kathryn Welch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190901400.003.0018

In 27 BCE, the Senate and People of Rome awarded Augustus a golden shield (clupeus) celebrating his moral qualities. In his Res Gestae, Augustus associated the shield with the almost-contemporary award of the corona civica, even though a different entity (the SPQR) awarded it and it was designed for a different setting (the curia). A copy of the shield from Arles, dated to 26 BCE, indicates that he also adjusted the dedicatory inscription, smoothing over the exclusion of familial pietas from the list. In specifying duty toward the community instead, the senators wanted to convey their own message of what Augustus’ principatus should look like. Only later was the clupeus associated with the more monarchical princeps-as-savior message of the corona civica.

Keywords:   Augustus, clupeus, shield of virtue, corona civica, Senate, SPQR, pietas

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