Apr 18

Candidate Talk: Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Thu, April 18, 2024 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm (1h) • LDC 104

Please join the Classics Department in LDC 104, from 5 to 6 pm, to listen to a candidate talk for the Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics Position, titled "The Emperor Nero and His Doubles in Tacitus's Histories and Annals".

Abstract: In his Histories, Tacitus tells the story of a False Nero, a pretender who made a bid for power after Nero’s death and was killed by a provincial governor. At first blush, this figure seems bizarre and nonsensical. Why would pretending to be Nero be an effective strategy for gaining power? I suggest that Tacitus answers this question in the Neronian books of his Annals, which he wrote after his Histories. The imposture in the Histories represents a variation on state-sanctioned structures of substitution in the Annals that allowed someone or something, for example, the imperial portrait and the government officials who wielded it, to stand in for the mortal princeps. In the Annals, Tacitus suggests that these Nero-substitutes have already begun to act independently of Nero, foreshadowing the latter’s replacement by an impostor in the Histories and revealing that under the principate, the image of the emperor is easily usurped by actors with their own agendas.

Event Contact: Christine Hamp

Event Summary

Candidate Talk: Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
  • Intended For: General Public, Students, Faculty, Staff, Emeriti, Alums, Prospective Students, Families
  • Categories: Lecture/Panel

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