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Ceremony and Power

Performing Politics in Rome between Republic and Empire

Subjects: Classical Studies, Roman
Ebook : 9780472025923, 378 pages, 4 maps, February 2010
Paperback : 9780472036660, 378 pages, 4 maps, 6 x 9, November 2015
Hardcover : 9780472115174, 378 pages, 4 maps, 6 x 9, September 2005
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Analyzes the relationship between political power and public ceremonial in the period between Julius Caesar and the first emperor Augustus

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Copyright © 2005, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Description

In Ceremony and Power, Geoffrey Sumi is concerned with the relationship between political power and public ceremonial in the Roman Republic, with particular focus on the critical months following Caesar's assassination and later as Augustus became the first emperor of Rome. The book traces the use of a variety of public ceremonies, including assemblies of the people, triumphs, funerals, and games, as a means for politicians in this period of instability and transition to shape their public images and consolidate their power and prestige. Ultimately, Sumi shows that the will of the people, whether they were the electorate assembled at the comitia, the citizen body at the contio, the spectators at the theater, the crowd at the triumph, or mourners at a funeral, strongly influenced the decisions and actions of Roman aristocrats.

Geoffrey Sumi is Professor of Classics at Mount Holyoke College.

“Geoffrey Sumi has written a book that should be on every Roman historian’s shelves.”
New England Classical Journal

“This is a well-written, informative and useful book . . . an excellent example and an important one, with which those who teach this period in schools should become familiar.”
The Journal of Classics Teaching

"Geoffrey Sumi has written a book that should be on every Roman historian's shelves."
—Allen M. Ward, New England Classical Journal

- Allen M. Ward

"This is a well-written, informative and useful book . . . an excellent example and an important one, with which those who teach this period in schools should become familiar."
—John Murrell, The Journal of Classics Teaching

- John Murrell, Lisbon

"Ultimately, the value of Sumi’s book is threefold: first, as an introduction and analysis of Roman public ceremony; second as a clear and elegantly written historical account of a troubled historical period (both in events and in our sources); and third as a contribution to the debate over the role of the populus in the Roman political imagination. A more affordable paperback reissue is particularly welcome as it allows Sumi’s work to reach a wider audience, something this work deserves. ​"
--Bryn Mawr Classical Review

- Mark Wright

"Compellingly written...For historians, teachers and more advanced students it provides a stimulating perspective on how important events played out in a key period of Rome’s transition."
--Classics for All

- David Stuttard