University of St Andrews
The School of Classics at the University of St Andrews will host a
conference from the 18th - 20th June 2008, which concerns the nature of the
principate during the early years of the first century.
There have been important developments in research on individual emperors
and the historiography of the first century offering different approaches to
examination of the individual principates. However, there have been
relatively few attempts to draw out the continuities and disjunctions
between different members of the imperial family, both in their political
practice and (more importantly for this project) their representation. There
have of course been studies of individuals over the past century - from
biographies containing intimate portraits to more wide-ranging political
examinations, and detailed literary studies. Nevertheless, there have been
few opportunities to debate the range of issues in a post-Augustan world.
This conference is an opportunity to explore the links between different
patterns of representation of the emperors in the sources across a wide
variety of different contexts - ranging from textual and visual images
sponsored by the emperors themselves through to the equally subjective
rendering left to us in literature. What is the relationship, if any,
between the distortions coming from opposite sides of an imperial portrait?
The conference is to allow key researchers in the field to promote new
approaches to the study of the Julio-Claudian emperors and to come together
to present papers on a range of issues around the representation or
self-representation of individual emperors from the accession of Tiberius to
the fall of Nero. While the conference is based around Julio-Claudian
representations in order to maintain focus, it is not committed to seeing
that category as a self-evident one. In fact the conference organisers
would welcome papers which explore and challenge the boundaries of
Julio-Claudian identity as a concept.
There are a number of themes that can be examined by historiographers, art
historians, archaeologists, prosopographers and numismatists. While these
are not necessarily all new questions, it is hoped that the speakers will
bring fresh ideas and new interpretations of the evidence. Scholars will
deliver papers which either take an overarching view of individual emperors
within the context of the Julio-Claudian imperial family or will focus on
particular elements of a specific principate using literary or material
evidence. Possible questions for discussion might include:
• How do ancient sources envisage, or characterise, the relation between
outwards representation and inner self-perception of a princeps?
• Are there traces of imperially-sponsored literary portraits of the princeps?
• How is myth exploited and represented by the four emperors and by those
who wrote about them?
• What differences do we see in the way the legions behaved toward different
emperors and in the way different emperors presented themselves in military
contexts? How is that reflected in imperial representation?
• Was the relationship of the emperor with the population of Rome a dynastic
or an individual affair?
• What, if anything, characterises the relationship between the princeps and
the east and how is this reported in the sources?
Please send a provisional title and a 300 word abstract in Word format to
Alisdair Gibson at aggg AT st-andrews.ac.uk by the 7th December 2007. Papers
will be 30 minutes in duration. Abstracts sent by mail to the postal address
below should arrive by the deadline.
Additional information and details about the conference will be posted on
the School website
Dr Alisdair Gibson
School of Classics
University St Andrews
KY16 9AL, Scotland
Email: aggg AT st-andrews.ac.uk