n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The geographic definition of from Julius Caesar to Domitian

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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From the time of Julius Caesar until the end of the first century AD, the adjective took on a very political meaning, particularly when used by the poets of the age. It defines the extent of the Roman empire, being used for many of the boundaries of the empire. Applied to Britain by Catullus, the word soon fell out of use with the island, especially after the invasion of Claudius. The appearance of this adjective should cause the reader to consider the extent of the empire at the time the work was written, since many passages seem linked to expansionist imperial policy. This is particularly true of the Augustan poets, who promoted the plans of the new emperor. By the time of Domitian, writers employed in a variety of ways to delineate the empire.

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