A City Of Marble: The Rhetoric Of Augustan Rome, by Kathleen S. Lamp

A City Of Marble: The Rhetoric Of Augustan Rome, by Kathleen S. Lamp

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In A City of Marble, Kathleen Lamp argues that classical rhetorical theory shaped the Augustan cultural campaigns and that in turn the Augustan cultural campaigns functioned rhetorically to help Augustus gain and maintain power and to influence civic identity and participation in the Roman Principate (27 BC -14 AD).

Lamp begins by studying rhetorical treatises, those texts most familiar to scholars of rhetoric, and moves on to those most obviously using rhetorical techniques in visual form. She then arrives at those objects least recognizable as rhetorical artifacts, but perhaps most significant to the daily lives of the Roman people - coins, altars, wall painting. This progression also captures the development of the Augustan political myth that Augustus was destined to rule and lead Rome to greatness as a descendant of the hero Aeneas.

A City of Marble examines the establishment of this myth in state rhetoric, traces its circulation, and finally samples its popular receptions and adaptations. In doing so, Lamp inserts a long-excluded though significant audience - the common people of Rome - into contemporary understandings of rhetorical history and considers Augustan culture as significant in shaping civic identity, encouraging civic participation, and promoting social advancement.