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Contested Recycling: Conflicting Heritage Values in Dio Chysostom’s Rhodian Oration

By Cynthia Susalla

Recent studies, such as Atwill 2014 and Ng 2015, have fruitfully analyzed Dio Chrysostom’s Rhodian Oration (Or. 31) through the modern lenses of “provenance theory” and “memory culture” to explore the relevance of modern heritage notions to the study of the ancient world. While these works have focused on Dio’s purpose(s) in chastising the Rhodians for their reuse of honorific portrait statues, they do not adequately examine the thinking of the Rhodians, as represented by Dio.

Bureaucratic Consistency and Dynastic Continuity: The Case of Titus

By Zachary Herz

This talk addresses the emperor Titus’ mass confirmation of prior imperial bequests, arguing that this practice was critical not only to the development of emperor-subject interactions in the later Principate, but also to adapting the fluid ideology of Roman rule to newer theories of legitimacy and dynasticism.

The Funerary Monument of Lucius Munatius Plancus and Aristocratic Self-Representation

By Carolyn Tobin

The historiographical tradition has not been kind to Lucius Munatius Plancus. His career has become emblematic of the chaos at the end of the Republic and the treachery required to survive it, as he served under Julius Caesar, Antony, and Octavian from the 50s through the 20s BCE. This paper examines the life of Plancus through the words of the man himself by interrogating both the text of his epitaph and his still extant funerary monument, erected after 22 BCE in ancient Gaeta.

Aemulatio Traiani? Constantine’s Restored Dacia and the Tervingi

By Timothy Campbell Hart

An important element of Constantine’s political presentation, celebrated in histories (Theophanes 51) and panegyric (Julian, Or. 1.9D, Caes. 329B-C; Optatianus Porphyrius 18.5-10), was his claim to have restored Trajan’s lost Dacian provinces beyond the Danube River. In light of clear, contradictory archaeological evidence, was Constantine’s Dacian rhetoric nothing but hot air? This paper examines a range of literary and legal texts to reconstruct the emperor’s goals and actions beyond the Danube.

Proletarian Tobacco and Augustan Wine

By John Alexander Lobur

This paper explores an unnoticed strategy Augustus used to enhance his image by publicizing certain food preferences while keeping refined tastes private. This can be most clearly seen in his wine preferences, which are similar in nature to Joseph Stalin’s choice of tobacco. The paper also explores similarities between modern political invective involving gluttony and untidy eating, and the reported dietary practices of emperors such as Claudius and Vitellius.

A Community of "Second Selves": the alter ego dynamic and the nature of aristocratic influence in the late Republic

By Adam Littlestone-Luria

No matter how elevated a Roman’s dignitas and auctoritas, he could not be everywhere at once. Thus, an aristocrat would use personal webs of connection to extend his influence where he could not be physically present, relying on amici and kin to represent him in various contexts—to stand in as his alter ego. In fact, as I hope to show in this paper, the aristocratic community in the late Republic can be seen a network of “second selves.”