Emperors and Moral Life of Rome

Sources and points on the moral life of Rome and the emperors

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  • Created on: 31-05-15 09:31
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Moral Life
Moral code ­ increased emphasis on the importance of religion to help make Rome
Horace- Talks about gods
-No Surrender ­ "we believe thunderous Jupiter rules the sky: Augustus is considered
a god on earth"
- "eternal vesta, though Jove's shrines and the city of Rome remain unharmed"
-Moral Decadence ­ "restored the temples and the tumbling shrines of all the gods"
- "neglected gods have made many woes for sad Italy"
"fertile in it's wickedness... defiled the marriage bed"
"sinful affairs"
"illicit pleasures"
"worse than our grandparents generation... and soon to bear still more sinful
children" PROPAGANDA
Public punishment for not being moral
Julia exiled (own daughter) ­ everyone is punished
Exiling Julia emphasized the seriousness of being moral ­ no exceptions
Julia was deterrence
Humiliation for people not married by a certain age
Moral Rome is about unity- stability
Augustus put emphasis on the fact that the Gods would punish people for not being
Had a public house
Lived very simply ­ not luxurious - at one with the people
Important for him to be moral too, ate simple food etc.
Being moral allies Rome and Augustus with the Gods ­ makes Rome superior
Augustus made himself pontifex maximus and Livia head of the vestal virgins
emphasises the importance of religion and morality
links with Gods ­ secures deification which is why it was important to the
Brought back lots of moral practices of the ancestors "neglected gods" ­Horace
Suet- "corrected many ill practices"
"sumptuary law, that relating to adultery and the violation of chastity, the law against
bribery in elections, and likewise that for the encouragement of marriage."
"allowing an interval of three years after a wife's death, and increasing the premiums
on marriage"
Created Augustales (cult of Augustus)

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Treason trials (Suet, Tac, Dio) ­ operated by Sejanus and very unpopular
Tacitus calls treason trials a "blood bath" ­ highlights unpopularity
Thysallus even lies about how long Tiberius has left to live in order to spare
some victims of the trials
Banned Astronomers from Rome and kept laws on sexual relations
Hypocritical ­ On Capri he had many personal astrologers and `magicians'
Stories about his affairs with young boys and his "little fish" ­ incredibly immoral
Tiberius was absent from Rome making it harder…read more

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Forbade people to worship him ­ moral and modest
Said no one who had relatives of their own should name him heir (suet)
­generous and kind
Suet- he later refused all honors
Maintained what Augustus started
Didn't recall anyone from exile
Executed Messalina for Adultery (similar to Julia scandal but death rather than
just exile)
Tacitus said he used punishment rather than trial to send a message
Deified Claudius
Suet ­ Sexual Perversions
Sporus ­ dressed up and had him castrated- would parade him…read more

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Essay Structures
Paragraph 1: Religion
Paragraph 2: The law / Senate
Paragraph 3: Image of the Emperor
Paragraph 1: Not good- Caligula/ Nero
Paragraph 2:Both- Tiberius/ Claudius
Paragraph 3:Successful- Augustus/ Vespasian…read more


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