AWARDS: AHRC Award For Postgraduate Research
SUPERVISED BY: Dr. Ingo Gildenhard
TITLE: The facilitators of "Caesar Octavianus"
My thesis aims to investigate the changing nature of the political discourse of the Roman Republic between the death of Tiberius Gracchus and the Augustan principate, and its role in the legitimisation of Augustus' regime. My study of privatum consilium will consider the intersection between private action, private actors and the breakdown of elite consensus in the wake of Tiberius Gracchus' death. I shall examine how the theme of the non-private privatus wasdevelopedby Ciceronian rhetoric and political thought, culminating in the attempted legitimisation of the illegal actions of Decimus Brutus and Octavianus Caesar in the Philippics. The theme of tota Italia will enable me to investigate the development of an idiom of a unified Italy, despite the relatively recent and traumatic nature of Italian unification; the rethinking of the politics of space in Ciceronian rhetoric; and how the Ciceronian claim to support from tota Italia set a precedent for another Augustan claim to legitimacy, especially at Actium. Finally, I shall investigate the concept of the res publica: when it became available to the Romans as an abstract entity above and beyond such concepts as the urbs Roma or the civitas; changes in the conceptualisation of the res publica during the last stages of the Republic, considering in particular the effects of Sulla's attempts to reengineer Roman constitutional reality; and its place in Augustan ideology.