The most biggest lie about roman emperors

Oct 2018
1,840
Sydney
You've been repeating this over and over again. Why? Nobody disagrees with you there. There were many causes to Augustus' power. We all agree. There's no need to keep rephrasing and resaying it. You can drop this strawman and save your fingers some typing.
I suppose it is relevant in the sense of whether or not Romans understood there to be a position of 'emperor.' But as I pointed out many pages back, Augustus is only tangentially relevant to that question. How Augustus established the foundations for Roman emperorship through the building up of his own de-facto power is one question. Whether or not the Romans understood there to be an imperial position that transcended any one individual is another. Augustus is mostly relevant to that second question insofar as we consider his dynastic plans and the nature of the power of his successors, which fairly quickly evolved into the transferral of Augustus' powers and authority as a single package (and with legal support - thus the Lex de imperio Vespasiani).
 
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caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,330
He however refuses to use the word "dictatorial" in the same way as everybody else, I'm guessing because of a positive emotional attachment to Augustus and a negative one to dictatorial. At this point it's purely semantics and not history.
No. Not really. But I do differentiate behaviours of powerful men. The control of others can be expressed in various ways. Augustus chose to pursue a 'senior statesman' career in order to avoid the difficulties of one person rule and the inevitable accusations of monarchy and tyranny. It served him well.

Emotional attachment? Hardly. But I have no choice to recognise his achievements nonetheless. I also dispute your comment about history. Facts and figures? Well yes, that can be historical, but a then a statistical approach can be distorted and fails to address cultural aspects. History is as much about interpretation of events as their time and effect. Mine happens to be different to yours - that's why this argument has gone on. Purely semantics? I seriously don't think so.
 
Mar 2018
890
UK
No. Not really. But I do differentiate behaviours of powerful men. The control of others can be expressed in various ways. Augustus chose to pursue a 'senior statesman' career in order to avoid the difficulties of one person rule and the inevitable accusations of monarchy and tyranny.
Someone's behaviour has no bearing on whether they are a dictator/autocrat or not. That is the definition of those words that everyone uses. Apart from you. Hence, it is purely semantics now.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,650
Australia
Someone's behaviour has no bearing on whether they are a dictator/autocrat or not. That is the definition of those words that everyone uses. Apart from you. Hence, it is purely semantics now.
This. I mean, there's a reason we use the term "benevolent dictator". It's because it is a type of dictator (when you google it Augustus name and image will be there staring at you). You don't cease to be a dictator because of your feelings. It's totally irrelevant.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,330
But missing the point. We use the term 'dictator' as a generic description, hence your qualifying prefix describing behaviour. The Romans did not. To them, Dictator was a specific political title in use during the Republican Era. If they wanted to describe something of overbearing personal control they used tyrannus meaning 'tyrant', something they were particular averse top especially in higher circles. The very idea that a man could be awarded the right to command an army with a higher status than others so qualified was met with violent opposition in the Senate. Equality meant a great deal to them - they were well aware that tyranny was a potent risk to society and had been since the reign of Tarquin Superbus. The entire idea of monarch meant that Rex, the word we translate as 'king', was bound to tyranny in a greater or lesser form. generous or benevolent tyrants? To the Romans, that would have been an odd concept, although Julius Caesar certainly fits the descriptuion but then he was fairly unique and reigned toward the end of the Republican Era. The emergence of the Principate actually changes little since it amounted to the Republic (which remained the official description of the Roman Empire until the fall of the west) with single person leadership. Now as I said, monarchy evolves during the period leading to the Dominate. Artificial of not, that era represents for scholars the reduction of senatorial power to effectively nil. From Diocletian onward one might realistically term the Caesars as 'Emperors, but it is interesting that the word Imperator "Victorious General" was the most popularly sought title by the succession of Caesars and this was translated via Norman french as 'Emperor' in the medieval world, hence a translational error and conceptual simplification that creates a distorted idea in modern society.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,650
Australia
Nobody is, or has ever been, arguing that Augustus was a dictator in the sense that he held the specific Roman office of dictator. You know that, don't pretend that's what the argument has been about.. It's about whether he was a dictator, in the common usage of that word.
 
Mar 2018
890
UK
But missing the point.
How does the irony of saying this, while ignoring every aspect of the posts before yours, not hit you?

1) Augustus wasn't a Dictator, in the sense of the constitutional Roman office.
2) Augustus was a dictator/autocrat/despot/tyrant, in the modern sense of being a single person from whom all political power descends from.
3) All but the most innocent contemporaries of Augustus must have realised that he was the things described in point 2.
4) Augustus didn't generally behave in an egotistical, self-centred, self-aggrandising way; although there a few exceptions. That does not negate point 2.

Do you agree with those points?

The emergence of the Principate actually changes little since it amounted to the Republic (which remained the official description of the Roman Empire until the fall of the west) with single person leadership.
I genuinely don't understand how you can say this with a straight face. It's like saying North Korea is a democratic republic because that's what it's official name is, and the leader is a president.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,650
Australia
A single person leadership changes everything about Rome's government. It's the very reason the Republic was created; to stop single person leadership, irrespective of titles. We're discussing actual powers. You're being ridiculous here, as Olleus says RE: North Korea.