"The Making of a “Bad” Emperor: Tyrants & Hedonists"
Time & Location
About the Event
Previous participation and previous knowledge not required.
Five days after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, Jonathan Jones wrote “To understand Trump, we should look to the tyrants of ancient Rome.” Professors Roberta Mazza (University of Manchester) and Katherine Blouin (University of Toronto) were some of the earliest voices to problematize and rebuke Jones’ take for its lack of nuance, and perpetuation of elite White perspectives on the ancient world. While we will focus primarily on texts from Suetonius, Seneca, Tacitus, Herodian, and the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, these will be supplemented with key inscriptions that might help us account for more diverse perspectives on the “tyrants of ancient Rome” and their rules. This reading group will consider questions like: What exactly do the ancient sources say about the so-called “bad” emperors? What qualities made them “bad” and what does this reveal about contemporary social beliefs? (How) Can we make meaning of these texts in/for our communities? Join us, and share your thoughts on what descriptions of Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Commodus, and Elagabalus mean for your views on power and government.
Day/Time: Wednesdays @ 3pm EDT
Starting: June 30th
Ending: August 4th
SASA Reading Group Certificates are available upon request after completion of the 6-week Reading Group for those who participated in 4 or more sessions.
If you did not receive an email after RSVPing, please check your spam folder for a confirmation email with links and info.