The bimillennium of Augustus' death on 19 August 2014 commemorated not only the end of his life but also the beginning of a two-thousand-year reception history. This volume addresses the range and breadth of that history. Beginning with the Emperor's death and continuing through Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and early modernity to the present day, chapters address political positioning, religious mythologisation, philosophy, rhetoric, narratives, memory, and material embodiment. As they collectively reveal, Augustus has meant radically different things from one time and place to another, and even to some individual commentators as the circumstances around them changed. The weight of established narratives has often also shaped those of subsequent generations, with or without their conscious awareness. The book outlines and analyses the major themes in Augustus' reception history, clarifying the cultural and historiographical issues at stake and providing a platform for further scholarship.
Penelope J. Goodman is a Lecturer in Roman History at the University of Leeds.
1. Best of emperors or subtle tyrant? Augustus the ambivalent Penelope J. Goodman; 2. The last days of Augustus Alison E. Cooley; 3. Seneca's Augustus: (re)calibrating the imperial model for a young prince Steven J. Green; 4. Embodying the Augustan in Suetonius and beyond Patrick Cook; 5. The first emperor? Augustus and Julius Caesar as rival founders of the principate Joseph Geiger; 6. Julian Augustus on Augustus: Octavian in the Caesars Shaun Tougher; 7. Augustus: the harbinger of peace. Orosius' reception of Augustus in Historiae Adversus Paganos Michael C. Sloan; 8. The Byzantine Augustus: the reception of the first Roman emperor in the Byzantine tradition Kosta Simic; 9. Augustus and the Carolingians Jurgen Strothmann; 10. Augustus as visionary: the legend of the Augustan altar in S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome Kerry Boeye and Nandini B. Pandey; 11. From peacemaker to tyrant: the changing image of Augustus in Italian Renaissance political thought Robert Black; 12. Augustus in Morisot's 'Book 8' of the Fasti Bobby Xinyue; 13. The proconsul and the emperor: John Buchan's Augustus James T. Chlup; 14. In search of a new princeps: Gunther Birkenfeld and his Augustus novels, 1934-1984 Martin Lindner; 15. Augustus in the rhetorical tradition Kathleen S. Lamp; 16. The Parthian arch of Augustus and its legacy: memory manipulation in imperial Rome and modern scholarship Maggie L. Popkin; 17. Life through a lens: Augustus and the politics of the past in television documentaries today Fiona Hobden; 18. Augusto reframed: exhibiting Augustus in bimillennial Rome Anna Clareborn; 19. Small bandwidth: Augustus' (non)reception in America and its context Karl Galinsky.