The Man of authority: images of power in Virgil’s Aeneid 1.50–156
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Original versionIn: Anders Jönsson och Anders Pilt (eds.), Språkets speglingar: festskrift till Birger Bergh (2000): 187-194
In Aen. 1.50-156, Aeolus, king of winds, enforces his will by /imperium/, /vincla/ ('fetters') and /carcer/ ('imprisonment'), but his vanquisher, Neptune, lord of the sea, by /dictis/ ('words'), hence relying on natural authority (auctoritas). This is the central theme of Augustan propaganda, which portrayed Augustus as a statesman in the old Roman tradition in contrast to the oriental despotism of Mark Antony. Augustus is also portrayed as Neptune trampling an enemy, probably Antony, on a contemporary cameo relief.
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