De princeps optimus a occultum pectus: a construção do perfil de Tibério, nas palavras de Veleio Patérculo e Tácito

Translated title of the contribution: From princeps optimus to occultum pectus: the construction of Tiberius’ profile in the words of Velleius Paterculus and Tacitu

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Abstract

Roman imperial historiography proves to be a source simultaneously scarce and controversial. The case of Tiberius Caesar is exemplary: the tragic representation of Tiberius in the most systematic work on his reign, the Annals of Tacitus, as
a resentful and concealing misanthrope overlapped the obvious merits of the prudent and scrupulous ruler. However, the sometimes incensed defence of the emperor, begun by the Enlightenment, appears as a utilitarianism that devalues the real impact of the ruler’s personality on the society of his time. Velleius is an apologist of Tiberius, but has been revalued for presenting, in his peculiar
work Historiae Romanae, the particular vision of the new class of provincial homines noui that formed the basis of the imperial administration, a perspective influenced, in his case, by a relationship of patronage and public service. The terminus ad quem of the work implies that Velleius witnessed the return of the maiestas law suits, but he undertakes, on behalf of peace and stability, an absolute and solidary defence of the emperor’s behaviour. From these seemingly conflicting pictures stands out, oddly enough, a somewhat converging profile: a complex and contradictory man, marked by personal tragedy and specially by the exercise of absolute power, incompatible with his emotivity.
Translated title of the contributionFrom princeps optimus to occultum pectus: the construction of Tiberius’ profile in the words of Velleius Paterculus and Tacitu
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationHistória antiga
Subtitle of host publicationrelações interdisciplinares. Fontes, artes, filosofia, política, religião e receção
EditorsCarmen Soares, José Luís Brandão, Pedro C. Carvalho
Place of PublicationCoimbra
PublisherImprensa da Universidade de Coimbra
Pages113-145
Edition1
ISBN (Print)9789892615646
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Tiberius Caesar
  • Velleius Paterculus
  • Tacitus
  • Roman historiography
  • Perception of power

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