Roman emperors play a significant role in contemporary political discourse, with rulers such as Augustus, Caligula, Nero, and Marcus Aurelius regularly cited as positive or negative models in newspaper editorials, stump speeches, and Twitter. Our understanding of these emperors as paradigms of power has been shaped by centuries of intellectual debate from Tacitus and Seneca to Erasmus and Machiavelli.
The conference aims to answer the question: ‘How have literary and artistic representations of Roman emperors been manipulated for political purposes throughout history?’ This overall question is divided into two areas:
- Roman emperors within a specifically Roman political context, from Augustus to the fall of Constantinople in A.D. 1453;
- Roman emperors in the western medieval world and beyond.
The conference aims to connect these two aspects as part of a larger study of the process of reception, which occurred across temporal, spatial, and social boundaries in antiquity and continues to take place up to the present day.
Including registration information, schedule, keynote speakers, and more are available from the conference page: https://hapi.uq.edu.au/once-and-future-kings-conference.