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DOMITIAN: THE MAKING OF A TYRANT

by MCNEARNEY, ELIZABETH HOPE

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis explores how Suetonius, Pliny, and Tacitus make use of the stock figure of the tyrant to support their depiction of Domitian as a tyrant. These sources portray the emperor as a tyrant by means of rumor, omission of fact, and exaggeration in order to convince posterity that they had survived the 'reign of terror.' The first chapter concerns the development and influence of the topos of tyranny and political invective. The second chapter deals with Suetonius and a standard definition of a tyrant established by Aristotle in order to show how closely related the Roman concept of tyranny was to the Greek definition of a tyrant. In the third chapter, the Epistles of Pliny are anaylzed especially concerning the author's omissions. Finally, in the Agricola, Tacitus' use of rumor attributes Domitian with the typical characteristics of the stock tyrant by contrasting the emperor with his father-in-law.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:domitian tyranny tyrant suetonius pliny the younger tacitus

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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