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Velleius Paterculus and the Roman Senate at the Beginning of the Principate
Published September 1, 2020

The “Roman history” by Velleius Paterculus is the sole historiographical work written by a contemporary of Augustus and Tiberius. The paper deals with representation of the Roman Senate of Velleius’ time in his work. I argue that in his compendium the historian reflected the ambivalent position of the Senate under the first two Roman Empe...rors. He depicts the institution as more passive in comparison with its description in the previous period and as depending on the Princeps. At the same time this Roman author characterizes the Senate as having maiestas, the notion which was not connected with this authority under the Republic. Assigning of maiestas to the Senate by Velleius reflects a deep change in the position of the curia due to decline of the popular assemblies’ significance at the beginning of the Principate.

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Continuity through change: Augustus and a change without a break
Published July 12, 2020

“Everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same”: this sentence, overstepping the borders of its novel (the famous G. T. di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard”) and the context of the reaction of local nobles to Garibaldi’s Sicilian expedition, has entered in a sort of timeless dimension, becoming appropriate for several ages and... events. It effectively depicts the case of the “Augustan Revolution” – recalling Ronald Syme – when the birth of the new regime brought with it a pivotal change and the need to hide it under the cloak of continuity. Augustus’ absolute preeminence was by itself the proof of a completely new situation; the will and the need to show continuity was instead evident in his flaunted adherence to republican laws, according to which he assumed only the powers prescribed by the Roman “constitution”, but exceeding them in virtue of his superior “auctoritas”. In this continuous dualism between persistence and rupture, I shall attempt to consider what in actual fact changed and what did not. I think that behind the idea of a complete transformation it is possible to see a politics that was still working in accordance with the same guide-lines and in the same ways.

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Tutela mulierum: The Institution of Guardianship over full Aged Women in the Late Roman Republic and Early Principate
Published August 9, 2020

The purpose of this study is to examine the social and legal opportunities of the Roman women through the tutela mulierum in the late Republic and early Principate. The base of the disquisition is a remark in Gaius’ Institutes, which says that full aged women, in spite of being legally under guardianship, administer their own propert...y. The examined sources show relevant social changes, which resulted in the guardians’ sanction becoming merely formal, yet indispensable condition for concluding certain transactions. Therefore the reason for retaining guardianship may be associated with the nature of these transactions. Women, who did often run enterprises on their own, did not have the authority to conclude the transactions of archaic law, based on the so-called „words of creation”, until the legislative reforms of the 4th century AD.

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