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The Cambridge Ancient History
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  • Cited by 8
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Pandey, Nandini B. 2018. The Poetics of Power in Augustan Rome.

    Santangelo, Federico 2014. Roman Politics in the 70s b.c.: a Story of Realignments?. Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 104, Issue. , p. 1.

    Tan, Zoë M. 2014. Subversive Geography in Tacitus' Germania. Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 104, Issue. , p. 181.

    2012. A Companion to Augustine. p. 517.

    Eich, Peter 2012. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

    Mitchell, Elizabeth 2012. HORACE, ODES 3.27: A NEW WORLD FOR GALATEA. The Cambridge Classical Journal, Vol. 58, Issue. , p. 165.

    Capponi, Livia 2012. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

    Edwards, Ronald A 2009. FEDERALISM AND THE BALANCE OF POWER: CHINA'S HAN AND TANG DYNASTIES AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Pacific Economic Review, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 1.


Book description

The period described in Volume 10 of the second edition of The Cambridge Ancient History begins in the year after the death of Julius Caesar and ends in the year after the fall of Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors. Its main theme is the transformation of the political configuration of the state and the establishment of the Roman Empire. Chapters 1-6 supply a political narrative history of the period. In chapters 7-12 the institutions of government are described and analysed. Chapters 13–14 offer a survey of the Roman world in this period region by region, and chapters 15–21 deal with the most important social and cultural developments of the era (the city of Rome, the structure of society, art, literature, and law). Central to the period is the achievement of the first emperor, Augustus.


‘… authoritative … written with scholarship and care by leading figures working in the field … behind each paragraph stands a vast array of scholarship as displayed in the extensive bibliographies. The CAH offers certainties in a scholarly world that is increasingly obsessed with ambiguities’.

Source: The Classical Review

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Page 1 of 2

  • 1 - The triumviral period
    pp 1-69
  • View abstract
    The triumviral period was to be one of the great men feeling their way, unclear how far a legion's loyalty could simply be bought, whether the propertied classes or the discontented poor of Rome and Italy could be harnessed as a genuine source of strength, how influential the old families and their patronage remained. Philippi is a very long way east, and the battles there were fought very late in the year. Even before Philippi, eighteen Italian cities had been marked down to provide land for the triumvirs' veterans; and it fell to Octavian to organize the settlement. Octavian firmly held Tarentum and Brundisium, the two great harbours of southern Italy, and it would be no easy matter for Antony to transport large quantities of troops in several waves and land them on hostile beaches. Octavian himself entered Alexandria without resistance, and in a careful speech announced his forgiveness of the city.
  • 2 - Political history, 30 B.C. to A.D. 14
    pp 70-112
    • By J. A. Crook, Fellow of St John's College, and Emeritus Professor of Ancient History in the University of Cambridge
  • View abstract
    The two major literary sources, apart from the Histories of Dio, are Suetonius' lives of Augustus and Tiberius: the Lives are immensely important, but they are organized thematically rather than chronologically. In any case, the new formula for Agrippa was only the first stage in a bigger reformulation, the 'constitutional settlement' of 23 BC Augustus made many other political dispositions in the eastern provinces. In AD 13 the constitutional powers of Augustus and Tiberius were renewed again for ten years, and the imperium of Tiberius was at last declared equal to that of Augustus: he was collega imperil. Factual power would depend on whether the system had become sufficiently ingrained in Roman political life to survive, without seriously imaginable alternative, the rule of successors less skilful and less ruthless than Augustus; and in that respect his long reign had helped to make success somewhat more likely than not.
  • 3 - Augustus: power, authority, achievement
    pp 113-146
  • View abstract
    Those who urge the historian to look behind the 'facade' and confront the 'reality' of Augustus' power mostly imply that he should acknowledge that Augustus' ultimate possibility of coercion lay in control of the army. The triumviral age had been the culmination of changes: nevertheless, it was the achievement of Augustus to create a volunteer, professional army, its size determined by himself, 'depoliticize' it, and establish for it an ethos of loyalty to himself and the 'divine family'. One of the reasons why Augustus' formal authority cannot be detached from his actual power is that armies can only with difficulty and exceptionally be recruited and held without a legitimate claim. Tacitus offers an appraisal of Augustus, in contrasting paragraphs: what can be said in his favour and what against. For Tacitus, as for many historians after him, the bad outweighed the good. The shape of Roman Empire was Augustus' contribution.
  • 4 - The expansion of the empire under Augustus
    pp 147-197
  • View abstract
    A survey of territorial expansion under Augustus tempts conclusions about strategic designs, empire-wide policy, and imperialist intent. It has been claimed, for example, that Augustus adopted and refined a military system of hegemonic rule, resting on a combination of client states and an efficiently deployed armed force stationed in frontier sectors but mobile enough for transfer wherever needed. Many reckon the push to the north as a carefully conceived and sweeping plan that linked the Alpine, Balkan and German campaigns, and aimed to establish a secure boundary of the empire that ran along the line of the Danube and the Elbe. In Asia Minor and Judaea Augustus cultivated client princes, generally keeping in place those already established, regardless of prior allegiances. The imperial policy of Augustus varied from region to region, adjusted for circumstances and contingencies. Augustus reiterated the aspirations and professed to eclipse the accomplishments of republican heroes. The policy may have been flexible, but the image was consistent.