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Key Questions and Discussion Points

  • Why did the Republic break down in violence?
  • Was Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra a break with Roman values?
  • Why did Octavian restore elements of the Republican system in 28 and 27 BC and how might people have understood his actions?
  • Was there a crisis in 23 – 20 BC and how was it resolved?
  • What role did the plebs play in the Augustan regime?
  • How and why did Augustus and Agrippa invest so much in the infra-structure of the city of Rome?
  • What is the relationship between the poetry of the time and the politics of the Augustan regime?
  • Can we read Augustan values in the architectural monuments of the period?
  • How important was military success in the representation of the regime?
  • How can we reconcile Augustan claims to have brought peace to Rome with his programme of conquests?
  • Why did Augustus legislate on moral issues?
  • Why did the women of the imperial family assume prominence in the Augustan period?
  • How important was ‘the Augustan circle’ in the workings of the regime?
  • What role did Agrippa play in the regime?
  • What role did Maecenas play in the regime?
  • Why did an imperial cult develop under Augustus?
  • Was there significant opposition to Augustus?
  • What do the troubles in the imperial family in the last decades of Augustan rule tell us about the nature of the Augustan regime?
  • To what did Tiberius succeed?
  • How might the different perspectives of the key sources (Cassius Dio/Suetonius) distort our understanding of the reign of Augustus?
  • How should we approach the Res Gestae Divi Augusti?
  • Was Augustus a monarch?
  • To what extent is the loss of liberty a price worth paying for social order?
  • Was the Augustan regime a totalitarian state?
  • Is it possible to have a monarchic regime which is also popular?
  • To what extent is resistance possible to a regime as powerful and long-lasting as the Augustan regime?


Augustus                                                                                                              Tiberius

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