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Amicus Caesaris: Vibius Crispus In The Works Of Juvenal And Tacitus

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Chapter Summary

References to Crispus in the writings of Juvenal and Tacitus, however, paint a decidedly more threatening picture. In Juvenal, Crispus appears specifically in his capacity as an amicus Caesaris, a sycophantic adviser in Domitian's council; Tacitus emphasizes his role as an informer, a delator. In his satire, Juvenal condemns Crispus for the safe speech he employs to maintain complicity with his emperor. Tacitus condemns Crispus for the destructive speech against others he has employed in order to achieve and maintain complicity with his emperor. Scholars have duly noted cross-references to Crispus in Tacitus and Juvenal, but they have not discussed Crispus' exemplary status in the two authors. The relationship between emperor and nobility leads naturally for Tacitus and Juvenal into the broader issue of speech.

Keywords: amicus Caesaris; Crispus; Domitian; Juvenal; Tacitus



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