VID'S portrayal of Julius Caesar in the Fasti will be dealt with against the background of controversy recently raised about the posthumous role assigned Caesar in the reign of his heir. Critics have long noted the low profile accorded Julius by Augustan poets, and have long suspected that the initiative for this proceeded directly from Augustus himself.1 The critic lending greatest currency to this view is Sir Ronald Syme, who repeatedly stated that, after Actium, Caesar's heir, having become undisputed master of Rome, began to dissociate himself from his father as he sought to establish the appearance of continuity with a legitimate government, avowing Republican rather than absolutist ideals. In consequence, Julius' claims gradually began to recede and lose ground. It is for this reason that Caesar attracted so little attention in the poetry of the age, the principal record of Augustus' manipulation of opinion on the subject.2
In 1988, Peter White sought to challenge Syme's view (as being the most authoritative representative of standard opinion), and to offer a different assessment of Caesar's publicity during the Principate. In order to prove that the memory of Caesar was not under siege in the reign of Augustus, he provides a survey of Roman architecture of the period in the Roman Forum designed to reflect the link between Augustus and Julius, of coinage advertising Julius' apotheosis, and of Julius' military accomplishments celebrated in the calendars. Against this background he then examines how Caesar fared by comparison with Pompey and Cato as Augustan 'Republican' heroes, and with all notable living members of Augustus' family, by constructing a comparative____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Ovid and the Fasti:An Historical Study. Contributors: Geraldine Herbert-Brown - Author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 109.
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