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The employment of epithets in the struggle for power. A case study

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Chapter Summary

Many references to the visibility of the Roman emperor are made in papyri, suggesting that the inhabitants of Egypt were often confronted with their Roman rulers. Furthermore, in Egypt Roman emperors are frequently attested in written documents, since these were dated according to the current emperor's regnal year, which was done by referring to his name(s) and/or titles. This chapter demonstrates that the imperial titulature employed in these documents is informative on the Roman imperial presentation in Egypt. This is endeavoured through a case study of the epithet άήττητος (Lat. invictus, 'invincible'). The chapter first makes some general observations to imperial titulature. Next, it discusses the employment of the epithet άήττητος in Greek papyrus documents. Finally, the chapter places the outcome of the analysis within the framework of the representation and perception of Roman imperial power in third-century Egypt.

Keywords: Egypt Roman emperors; epithet; Greek papyrus documents; imperial titulature; Roman imperial power; Roman imperial presentation; Roman rulers; third-century Egypt



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