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1 September 2017 Start
2 September 2017 End
USA University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

e-mail.: [email protected]

Domitian’s Rome and the Augustan Legacy

September 1-2, 2017

Conference exploring the Augustan legacy in the age of Domitian in the hope of better understanding the extent and nature of that legacy, the mechanisms of its appropriation, and how it shapes Domitianic culture more broadly.

In the wake of Nero’s fall and the civil wars of 68-69 CE, the Flavian emperors (Vespasian, Titus, Domitian) took various measures to bring stability to Rome and to legitimize their new dynasty. One such measure was to affiliate themselves with the legacy of the emperor Augustus and to suggest thereby that the new Flavian Rome marked a return to her Augustan past. The emperor Domitian (81-96 CE) was especially eager to cultivate this connection. Among his efforts to promote moral restoration, itself an “Augustan” preoccupation, he renewed Augustus’ lex Iulia and celebrated the ludi saeculares. His building program included the so-called Forum Transitorium, adjacent to the Forum Augusti, and a temple to the Gens Flavia on the Quirinal, which was to house a family mausoleum, presumably on the model of Augustus’ in the Campus Martius. Further illustrations of his “Augustanism” may be found in other media (e.g, portraiture, coinage) and in other gestures (e.g., his Egyptophilia). Domitian’s interest in the Augustan age does not stand alone, but is matched by that of the Latin literature of the period, especially its poetry. In epic, Statius’ Thebaid and Silius’ Punica owe a profound debt to Virgil’s Aeneid – the former famously acknowledges this in his epilogue, in fact – and the influence of Ovid’s Metamorphoses is not inconsiderable as well; one might think here of Statius’ Achilleid, in particular. Works such as Statius’ Silvae and Martial’s epigrams draw extensively on Horace and the elegiac poets of the Augustan age and thus bear witness to a renewed interest in “smaller genres” of that period. One might also look just beyond Domitian’s reign to authors such as Martial (in his post-Domitianic epigrams), Pliny the Younger, and Juvenal, whose assessments of the emperor testify to his emulation (failed in their view) of Augustus.



4:00 – 4:15 pm

Introductory Remarks

Raymond Marks & Marcello Mogetta (University of Missouri)

4:15 – 5:15 pm

Domitian’s “Augustan Topography”

Quotations from Augustan Monuments in Domitian’s Temple of Peace

Pier Luigi Tucci (Johns Hopkins University)

Domitian and the Augustan Altars

Megan Goldman-Petri (Princeton University/Vassar College)

5:30 – 6:30 pm

Keynote Speech

Assemblages, Appropriation, and Intertextuality in Flavian Rome

Diane Atnally Conlin (University of Colorado, Boulder)


9:00 – 10:00 am

Restoration of Morals I

Arachne and Lucretia: A Domitianic Perspective?

Emma Buckley (St. Andrews University)

Augustus in Domitian’s Forum

Margaret M. Andrews (Brown University)

10:15 – 11:15 am

Restoration of Morals II

An Ambiguous Attitude: Augustus’ and Domitian’s Policy towards Senators and Freedmen

Egidio Incelli (Sapienza University of Rome)

Parce, Pater: Martial’s “Augustan” Commentary on Domitianic Rome in Ep. 5.7

Virginia Closs (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Portraits & Models I

How to be Augustan after Nero: Domitian’s Affiliation with the Augustan Legacy in Light of the Posthumous Critique of Nero

Lisa Cordes (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Digni Triumphi: Victory through Merit in Domitianic Imagery

Joel Allen (Queens College, City University of New York)

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:00 pm

Portraits & Models II

Domitian and the Augustan Apollo: The Imitation of “Divine Power”

Aura Piccioni (Universität Regensburg)

Identifying Demi-Gods: Augustus, Domitian, and Hercules

Claire Stocks (Newcastle University)

3:15 – 4:15 pm


Revisiting Ovid’s Cave of Somnus in Statius’ Thebaid

Emma Scioli (University of Kansas)

Augustan to the End: Poetry, Politics and Memory in Statius Silvae book 4

Jean-Michel Hulls (Dulwich College)

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Silius Italicus

The Reintroduction of a Virgilian Theology in Silius’ Punica

Ludovico Pontiggia (Cambridge University)

Quid restat profugis: Silius’ Punica and Exile in Roman Epic

Clayton Schroer (University of Illinois)

7:00 pm

Conference Dinner