The most biggest lie about roman emperors

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,572
Australia
Okay, let's bring this to a head. frankly neither Olleus nor Caesarmagnus have offered any real historical evidence or insight to their argument
This is an astounding assertion. We've provided tonnes of facts. In contrast, can you cite a single modern historian who supports your view? I've asked this before, and you have never been able to do so. What do you think all the historical events we're citing are? Are you disputing the veracity of any of them? You were telling us only pages ago that the veto had to be renewed every year (which you were wrong about, and never conceded or apologized for), and then Joe confused the consular veto for a tribunican one a page later, and you're telling us we don't have the facts on our side?!

which devolves basically into their preferred opinion. Augustus worked with the Senate, not in charge of it, though we agree his influence was such that he held a guiding hand. He was a transitional form of leader, one using republican forms, leading to a situation from the Dominate onwards when one might more realistically describe the Roman Caesar's as 'Emperors'. The idea that merely avoiding calling oneself by a name or such was enough is not convincing. The Romans attached huge importance to titles and usually underpinned them with privilege - for them, social status was everything and Augustus had adopted a role in society as Princeps, "First Citizen", which meant far more to them than either of you. Ideas of Auctoritas are more nebulous and complex than the simplistic modern concepts you offer. In Rome, the one single absolute authority that had any social acceptance was that of the head of family. By social primacy, Augustus was functioning as the City's 'father', and it was this that gave him the apparent power whatever political rights he had accumulated. The Client/Patron system was part of Roman society. It was what made the Senate powerful, it was what made Augustus more so.

I do expect dismissalsand more adverse opinion, but to be honest, you're wasting your time, unless of course either of you actually bother reading the sources and learning something about Roman politics, sociology, and mindset. I'm not an expert - I never claimed to be - but at least I don't believe my opinion is worth more than anyone else.
This is simply assertions that ignore reality. I imagine every pretty much dictator would make the same claims about themselves. The question is whether their claims match the reality. For a tonne of reasons they didn't, but since you won't read our arguments (and said as much) it's kind of hard to communicate that to you. I'll make it easier and just ask for one modern historian of note who supports your view. Just one.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2018
776
UK
The assertion that Augustus didn't want dictatorial powers, side-by-side with your previous acceptance that there was no legal way for him to removed from office is laughable. Are you saying that he accidently became dictator, or that he did so against his will? :lol:
 
Oct 2018
1,490
Sydney
The assertion that Augustus didn't want dictatorial powers, side-by-side with your previous acceptance that there was no legal way for him to removed from office is laughable. Are you saying that he accidently became dictator, or that he did so against his will? :lol:
As per my earlier post (99), he clearly wanted to be the ruler and also wanted to begin a dynasty.
 
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caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,306
The assertion that Augustus didn't want dictatorial powers, side-by-side with your previous acceptance that there was no legal way for him to removed from office is laughable. Are you saying that he accidently became dictator, or that he did so against his will? :lol:
He did not become Dictator. He refused the title, despite accusations from the Senate that he already was and some riots from the public who wanted him to become Dictator like his adoptive father. Augustus did not actually rule the empire as a whole. He held power over parts of it, the Senate remaining responsible for the remainder and greater part of it - and the tribal states of Italy remained technically independent despite being socii of the empire and swearing allegiance to Augustus.. However, Augustus used his status and special position to advise government with considerable influence, thus governed from the sides. It is noted in the sources that he always chose to present himself modestly, though Eutropius is quite clear about his control freak character and Dio regarded him as a king in all but name. Augustus had after all been quite ruthless with proscriptions during the Second Triumvirate and knew full well that would count against him in sole position. Suetonius in fact records that he twice thought of giving up power entirely. Since he was not occupying a single office, it was impossible to remove him from it. It was possible for him to have his powers legally removed though doing so in one hit would have been difficult. Bear in mind his 'permanent' tribunician powers were subject to annual renewal. His imperator-ship was renewed ever two or three years. The permanence was not the entitlement of power, but the right to have it undergo renewal as required, since under republican tradition (which had not been removed) no-one could have power permanently. Julius Caesar was the only person who was given full emergency power in perpetua.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2018
776
UK
He did not become Dictator.
Sure, he didn't become The Dictator. But he absolutely was a dictator. Note the difference in article and capitalisation. The former is clearly what I was talking about. In terms of the power and authority he has that is clearly the most important meaning too. The other definition only matters if you care about the niceties of Roman constitutional law, and not the de facto situation.
 
May 2018
856
Michigan
For that matter, I wonder if historians, 1,000 years from now, will call the period after either Roosevelt's or Andrew Jackson's expansion of Presidential Powers the time of the "American Empire" vs the "American Republic." Presidential powers have expanded greatly since the Washington administration, to the point where the President can, in effect, declare war without Congressional approval (at least, for 60? days, conduct military operations).

In effect, the President is the princeps of the American Republic. Although Presidents have far less power than Roman emperors/princeps, we have seen in the past two presidencies (Obama and Trump) an increased willingness to implement policy (ie: rule) by Executive Order. Like Rome after the time of Augustus, we continue to blather about our republican ideals of freedom even as chief executives have taken more and more power from Congress.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,572
Australia
Sure, he didn't become The Dictator. But he absolutely was a dictator. Note the difference in article and capitalisation. The former is clearly what I was talking about. In terms of the power and authority he has that is clearly the most important meaning too. The other definition only matters if you care about the niceties of Roman constitutional law, and not the de facto situation.
Which I should emphasise not one person arguing with Cal has claimed. This isn't about the technical office he held, it's about the de facto power he had in reality. It's no different to hundreds of dictators through history wanting to be called something more benign. Like the joke in Yes Minister goes; "actually it's full name is the People's Democratic Republic of East Yemen... so of course it's a Marxist dictatorship".
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,516
Las Vegas, NV USA
Which I should emphasise not one person arguing with Cal has claimed. This isn't about the technical office he held, it's about the de facto power he had in reality. It's no different to hundreds of dictators through history wanting to be called something more benign. Like the joke in Yes Minister goes; "actually it's full name is the People's Democratic Republic of East Yemen... so of course it's a Marxist dictatorship".
This example was set by Stalin in the 1930's. His only position in the Soviet Government was as an unranked member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. This was the rubber stamp legislature that ratified the the "proposals" of the Communist Party.