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Grant number: FT-53461-05

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FT-53461-05

Michael Kulikowski
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37996-0001)

The Rhetoric of Being Roman: Fourth Century Politics and the Fall of the Western Empire

In the year AD 212, the emperor Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the Roman empire. This action gave Roman identity a territorial definition for the first time, establishing a hyperbolic distinction between Roman inside and barbarian outside. My study will examine how this new rhetoric of being Roman informs a uniquely late imperial political dynamic: a systemic balance between a military elite increasingly composed of barbarians and a civilian elite in control of political discourse. An analysis of the tensions within this dynamic helps explain many aspects of fourth-century culture and also opens the way to an entirely new understanding of the breakdown of imperial government in the fifth-century west.

Project fields:
Ancient History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 7/31/2005