This study was undertaken to explore how the concept of the definition of Roman identity changed over the course of the late Roman Republic and into the early Empire culminating with the death of Augustus in 14 AD. Since the 1970's the historiography surrounding the late Roman Republic and early Empire has had to contend with what exactly the populus Romanus and its power basis was. From these questions concepts of power, gender, group formation, and even nationalism have emerged. However, few academics have targeted the nucleus that all of these questions revolve around, how did the identity of the people of Rome, the populus Romanus, change over the shift from Republic to Empire. To highlight this shift in identity I first studied the public orations of Cicero and how he identifies his populus Romanus. After I progressed to studying this expanded populus Romanus within the written Latin works of Ovid, Horace, Virgil, and Livy to demonstrate that the identity of the populus Romanus is not static but rather continues to evolve along with the transition from Republic to Empire. This study is important to the historiography of the late Roman Republic and early Empire because it demonstrates that during the late Roman Republic Roman identity was shifting to incorporate several outside groups of people, effectively leading to the creation of an empire before Empire.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Bobertz, Nicklaus, "The Concept of the Populus Romanus in the Late Republic and Augustan Period" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 978.