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2.2 Personal contact

Remember that although the city was important to him the emperor did not have to pass all his time in Rome, and many emperors visited other parts of the empire. Such mobility was often associated with military campaigns. For instance, there were a significant number of campaigns undertaken during the reign of Augustus, and these were generally headed by the emperor or members of his family. Emperors such as Gaius, Claudius, Domitian, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius also campaigned on the edges of
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1 The emperor and his subjects

The image of Augustus as a good emperor persisted after his death. This was due at least in part to the success and thoroughness of his own image creation. But it also reflected the interests of his immediate successors. The Julio-Claudian emperors (so named because they were connected by blood with Julius Caesar or the Claudian family of Tiberius – see the family tree in Wells, pp. 64–5) claimed power by descent and thus it generally assisted and justified their own position to celebrate
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the central role played by the Roman emperor in the construction and development of culture, identity and power.


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Introduction

This unit considers the relationship of the emperor with the Roman provinces, and how this relationship was mediated and represented, as well as how the culture of empire was manifested in the identity of the emperor.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Culture, identity and power in the Roman empire (AA309) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this <
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying the arts and humanities. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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2.7.4 Houses

In the case of the houses it is more difficult to differentiate clearly between ‘Roman’ and ‘African’ if we accept that the atrium-peristyle house is not the only form of dwelling we can identify as typically Roman. Nevertheless, it seems that the houses in Africa do represent a fusion of elements – African, Roman and Hellenistic – suggesting that model 4 might be most appropriate in the case of the houses at Bulla Regia. They combine a Roman symmetry with a Hellenistic peristyle
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2.7.3 Mosaics

The question of the mosaics can be considered at various levels. As a flooring technique its origin lies in the Hellenistic east, but in the Punic world plaster floors inset with small squared stones, sometimes in geometric patterns, are also known, as you have seen in the video of the houses at Carthage. So it's not possible simply to see mosaic floors as a part of Roman culture which came to be dominant in Africa, because mosaics themselves are not a purely Roman tradition. Nevertheless, it
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2.7.2 African Red Slip ware

The African Red Slip ware provides a clear case of an Italian range of artefacts being first imported to Africa and used, but then being copied and produced in Africa. The African production then develops its own characteristics and identity as an African product. This fits model 4 best, where the Italian prototype is taken over to produce something new, original and Afro-Roman.


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2.7.1 The building of Thugga

In summary, most of the buildings we have dedications for in Thugga are of a Roman type. The exceptions are temples to gods or goddesses who were also worshipped in pre-Roman Africa or at least had strict equivalents, such as Baal and Saturn and Juno and Caelestis. This evidence would seem to suggest that this African city was very receptive of Roman models for building types, therefore fitting best into model 1. Nevertheless the adoption of Roman-style buildings seems to have been gradual, a
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2.7 Reconsideration of the models and their suitability

Now that we have studied a variety of sources of evidence from Africa, it is possible to reconsider how well our four models of cultural interaction fit the evidence.


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1 Thugga

The ancient city of Thugga is often known by its modern name, Dougga. In this course we will be using the ancient name, Thugga. We are going to start by watching a video sequence, taking occasional notes: it should form about an hour of study time. The next section follows on from the video and introduces further evidence from Thugga.

As you watch, think about how the city compares with other cities you have encountered. Look out for how the buildings and streets are arranged, for buil
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • practise identification of ‘indigenous’ identity and culture

  • practise identification of ‘Roman’ identity and culture

  • study the development of Romano-African culture.


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Acknowledgements

This course was written by Professor Martin Clayton

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

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References

Canetti, E. (1962 edn) Crowds and Power, Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Foner, P.S. (1977) History of the Labor Movement in the United States, vol. 3, New York, International Publications.
Koebner, R. and Schmidt, H.D. (1964) Imperialism: The Story and Significance of a Political Word, 1840–1950, Cambridge University Press.
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3 A comparison of attitudes

It is, indeed, instructive to compare the attitude of the people to imperialism in both these nation states during the final decade of the nineteenth century. Clearly, although there are surface similarities in the situation, the historical tradition of both countries respecting empire in fact determined to a great extent responses to imperialism. It was possible to speak of imperialism and the empire with pride in Britain. The United States denied its empire and its imperial ambitions. When
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2.7 Conclusion

Having asked you to think about these perspectives on religion and approaches to its study, I must again emphasize that this is a very crude way of characterizing a very complex area of research. These perspectives are not watertight compartments into which all study of religion fits – life is not that simple! Some religious standpoints are themselves reductionist: for example, Anglicans in the ‘Sea of Faith ’movement regard themselves as Christians, while considering belief in the supe
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2.6.1 The phenomenological perspective

The term ‘phenomenology’ is a good example of polysemy, as it has different meanings according to the academic context in which it is found. There are scientific phenomenology and philosophical phenomenology, for example, and the sociologists Ken Thompson and Kath Woodward describe phenomenology as, ‘The development in sociology of a philosophical approach which focuses on people’s consciousness of their experiences and how they interpret the world; the meaning it has for them’ (Tho
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2.4.1 The theological persepective

If we are thinking about individual perspectives on religion, there are three very common and useful terms we can employ: theism, atheism and agnosticism. In everyday parlance, ‘theism’ denotes a belief in God (or, more broadly, a belief in divine or spiritual realities); ‘atheism’ denotes a conviction that there is no God (or divine or spiritual realities); and ‘agnosticism’ indicates a lack of certainty or knowledge (gnosis) one way or the other. Very broadly speaking, these per
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1.3 Representation

Representation is a complex idea, or set of ideas, but it is extremely important in relation to studying religion. Representing religion might mean being an official delegate of a religion, or it might mean trying to explain a religion to someone unfamiliar with it. Representation in the religious context might mean the use of an image to portray a divine figure or religious ideas, or it could refer to how a religion is characterized by either insiders or outsiders. Therefore, the sorts of qu
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