The loyalty of these marauding heroes, and of the Roman population as a whole, to their leaders was assured by a share in the rewards of victory, rewards which became steadily less accessible as the empire expanded – promoting a decline in loyalty of cataclysmic proportions. Wars, rural impoverishments, civil discord and slavery are a few of the subjects covered in this study.
as well as the biographies written by:
* the Augustan History
* the autobiographies of Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus.
Ronald Mellor demonstrates that Roman historical writing was regarded by its authors as a literary not a scholarly exercise, and how it must be evaluated in that context. He shows that history writing reflected the political structures of ancient Rome under the different regimes.
Weaving together a wide range of evidence, Flower sets forth a new interpretation of the much-disputed nature of the lares. She makes the case that they are not spirits of the dead, as many have argued, but rather benevolent protectors—gods of place, especially the household and the neighborhood, and of travel. She examines the rituals honoring the lares, their cult sites, and their iconography, as well as the meaning of the snakes often depicted alongside lares in paintings of gardens. She also looks at Compitalia, a popular midwinter neighborhood festival in honor of the lares, and describes how its politics played a key role in Rome’s increasing violence in the 60s and 50s BC, as well as in the efforts of Augustus to reach out to ordinary people living in the city’s local neighborhoods.
A reconsideration of seemingly humble gods that were central to the religious world of the Romans, this is also the first major account of the full range of lares worship in the homes, neighborhoods, and temples of ancient Rome.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.