This study in the language of Roman imperialism provides a provocative new perspective on the Roman imperial project. It highlights the prominence of the language of mastery and slavery in Roman descriptions of the conquest and subjection of the provinces. More broadly, it explores how Roman writers turn to paradigmatic modes of dependency familiar from everyday life - not just slavery but also clientage and childhood - in order to describe their authority over, and responsibilities to, the subject population of the provinces. It traces the relative importance of these different models for the imperial project across almost three centuries of Latin literature, from the middle of the first century BCE to the beginning of the third century CE.
About the Author
Myles Lavan is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of St Andrews.