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Exemplary government in the early Roman Empire

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the exemplary government in the early Roman Empire. It draws attention to the ways in which exempla contributed, and did so roughly on a level with acts that we would comfortably categorize as statutory (e.g., decrees of popular assemblies, senatus consulta, or formal edicts issued by emperors), to what we would perceive as the constitutional foundation of the imperial government. In particular, it concentrates on the emperor and his powers. The chapter begins with Augustus and his Res Gestae. Chapters 1-8 of that document first describe how Augustus rose to power, then outline his military achievements, and finally provide the essential lineaments of his governmental role, or persona. It is in this portion of the text that we read of declined dictatorships, multiple consulates, his curatorship of the annona, tribunican power, and the like. The eighth chapter describes occupation with matters of the census.

Keywords: Augustus; early Roman Empire; exemplary government; Res Gestae; tribunican power

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