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December 3, 2019
9781421432892
English
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95953
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v2.1 Reference
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December 3, 2019
9781421432908
9781421432892
English
248
95953
9
9
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$54.95 USD, £40.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Ruler's House

Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome

The Julio-Claudian dynasty, beginning with the rise of Augustus in the late first century BCE and ending with the death of Nero in 68 CE, was the first ruling family of the Roman Empire. Elite Romans had always used domestic space to assert and promote their authority, but what was different about the emperor's house? In The Ruler's House, Harriet Fertik considers how the emperor's household and the space he called home shaped Roman conceptions of power and one-man rule.

While previous studies of power and privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome have emphasized the emperor's intrusions into the private lives of his fellow elites, this book focuses on Roman ideas of the ruler's lack of privacy. Fertik argues that houses were spaces that Romans used to contest power and to confront the contingency of their own and others' claims to rule. Describing how the Julio-Claudian period provoked anxieties not only about the ruler's power but also about his vulnerability, she reveals that the ruler's house offered a point of entry for reflecting on the interdependence and intimacy of ruler and ruled.

Fertik explores the world of the Roman house, from family bonds and elite self-display to bodily functions and relations between masters and slaves. She draws on a wide range of sources, including epic and tragedy, historiography and philosophy, and art and architecture, and she investigates shared conceptions of power in elite literature and everyday life in Roman Pompeii. Examining political culture and thought in early imperial Rome, The Ruler's House confronts the fragility of one-man rule.

About the Author

Harriet Fertik is an assistant professor of classics at the University of New Hampshire.

Endorsements

"In The Ruler's House, Harriet Fertik addresses a puzzle central to Roman political thought—how the Romans navigated the profound transformations produced by one-man rule—in an original way with a focus on the household as a site of conflict and anxiety over power, privacy, and status. Fertik's study is a valuable contribution to cross-disciplinary studies of Roman political and social thought."

- Daniel J. Kapust, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of Republicanism, Rhetoric, and Roman Political Thought: Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus

"From the imperial family's lofty struggles for dominance to the lowly maintenance of bodily functions within domestic space, Fertik surveys multiple and surprising ways the house—its members, its functions, its architecture—channeled power in the early Roman Empire. Compelling and accessible, The Ruler's House examines competing drives to display and privacy that continue to resonate today."

- Michele Lowrie, University of Chicago, author of Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome

"The Ruler's House engagingly combines two areas of scholarly study that have, individually, received considerable attention in recent decades: the Roman domus/familia and Augustan/Julio-Claudian ideology. Fertik expands our understanding of the emperors' use of traditionally private aspects of Roman culture to further their public political ambitions in this formative period of the Empire. Analyzing archaeological material from Rome and Pompeii, literary sources, and contemporary scholarly commentary, this ambitious book casts a broad net in order to offer new insights into both subject areas and achieves a satisfying depth. The end result is a new, singular perspective on the Roman political philosophy of visibility in the public/private spheres of the early imperial period."

- Christopher A. Gregg, George Mason University
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421432892 : the-rulers-house-fertik
Hardback
December 3, 2019
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Electronic book text
December 3, 2019
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