Imperial ideology in Latin panegyric, 289-298
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Four Latin panegyrics survive from the period 289 to 298. They originate from Gaul. The empire was governed by collegiate rule, with Diocletian and Maximian joint Augusti (the Dyarchy) until 293, when the imperial college was expanded to four (the Tetrarchy) with the promotion to the subordinate rank of Caesar of Constantius and Galerius. To meet the threats of usurpers and external enemies, the emperors exercised their authority in different parts of the Empire and were rarely together. The creation of collegiate government posed a novel challenge for panegyrists; they had to balance the impulse to praise the individual addressee with the need to integrate him into the wider government. These potentially competing demands were intensified by the circumstances of the delivery of the speeches, since loyalty had to be expressed to both present and absent emperors. A tension existed between the ideologies of governmental unity and individualism. A texture of tension and resolution is generated in the four speeches. The dynamics of vocative address are used to articulate loyalty. Figurations of the unity of government are employed to signal the relationships between the emperors and their resulting cosmic significance. Individual profiles are cut for the emperors primarily through the use of mythological and historical exempla. The signa Jovius and Herculius, which the emperors assumed, are exploited to characterize and differentiate them. In their detail and overall ideologies, differences between the four speeches are distinct. Each orator adapted the conventions of the genre to an evolving political landscape; furthermore, varying and sometimes competing loyalties are revealed. Panegyric is seen to be capable of great versatility and nuance.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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