The importance of patricians as symbolic carriers of tradition in late-Antonine and Severan society
2001 (English)In: Opuscula Romana, Vol. 25-26, 31-44 p.Article in journal (Other scientific) Published
Patrician have long been regareded as unimportant. Through a study of the reception of emperors and usurpers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries Ad with reference to their birth, I argue in this article that patricians still constituted a tangible threat to the emperors. An usurper had a considerable advantage in a noble birth and patricians were - willing or not - perceived as potential candidates for the throne. Even if the demand for competence had grown, it did not quite outweigh birth. The reson for this, in my opinion, lies in the patricians' role as links with the past and upholders of tradition. The exempla of previous generations were supposed to constitute a guarantee of decent behaviour. In the later western empire, the image of the patrician remained that of the true Roman, and the Roman aristocracy created false genealogies to connect them with a patrican past. That the title of patrician passed from the heritable aristocracy to the powerful generals of the west accentuates the powerful image that the patrician had throughout the empire.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 25-26, 31-44 p.
Patricier, traditionsbärare, Rom, Severer, Antoniner, härskarideologi, imperium
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-71971OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-71971DiVA: diva2:99882