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The thematic structure of Marcus Aurelius' biography in the Historia Augusta

Citation

Adams, Geoff W., The thematic structure of Marcus Aurelius' biography in the Historia Augusta, Anistoriton Journal, 13 pp. 1-19. ISSN 1108-4081 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2012 Anistoriton

Official URL: http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/essays.htm

Abstract

The intention of this paper is to analyse the overall thematic structure of the Vita Marci Antonini in relation to how the Emperor Marcus Aurelius was represented within the Historia Augusta. Overall, this ancient literary text has been shown to have been one of the most problematic sources within the extant evidence, with even the authorship and dating of the text being problematic. In addition to this, the Life of Marcus has been challenging primarily because of the questions that surround the legitimacy of the text itself. However, once these intricacies have been recognized it is possible to analyse this Vita in order to ascertain how the biographer of the HA sought to represent one of the most idyllic princeps of the Roman Empire. For the most part the Vita Marci was consistent in its thematic portrayal of Marcus Aurelius, epitomizing the overtly positive representation of the Emperor, but there are exceptions within the biography. The overall analysis of the Vita Marci illustrates not only how the most ‘ideal’ of Roman Emperors was represented, but it also provides some insight into the formation of biographical structures in the Historia Augusta.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical Studies
Research Field:Classical Greek and Roman History
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Author:Adams, Geoff W. (Dr Geoffrey Adams)
ID Code:82607
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2013-02-07
Last Modified:2013-08-26
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