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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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At Magnus Caesar, and Yet!

At Magnus Caesar, and Yet!

Social Resistance against Augustan Legislation

(p.78) 6 At Magnus Caesar, and Yet!
The Alternative Augustan Age

Werner Eck

Oxford University Press

It is widely held that Augustus forcefully (and mostly successfully) exerted his power within the Roman sphere of influence, especially at Rome. There are grounds to support this; however, this fundamental view all too easily conceals a contrary perspective. Indeed, Augustus repeatedly met with considerable resistance which is mostly only hinted at in the sources but occasionally appears clearly. Resistance came partly from the Senate, but, in other cases, from the majority of Roman citizens, who opposed his plans. Thus Augustus was often forced to shelve these plans for years, or to change them. As this chapter shows, one striking example can be found in the so-called marriage laws; another is the lex Iulia de vicesima hereditatium. Especially important is a new document: a commentarius from the year AD 5 which formed the basis of the later lex Papia Poppaea reveals massive opposition that was successful for many years.

Keywords:   Augustus, Augustan marriage legislation, commentarius, marriage, law, inheritance, Troesmis

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