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HI363 Age of Augustus
LI213 TuTh 2.10-3.30pm


Prof. Michael Arnush Starbuck 201D x8113
marnush@skidmore.edu Hrs.: TuTh 1-2


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10% Essay

This essay focuses on the analysis of a specific problem related to historical evidence and includes an exercise in appropriate citations of primary sources. This 500-word essay is assigned on February 6th and due at 6pm via email on February 15th. The assignment:

How does Augustus establish and implement auctoritas between 31 BCE, when he defeats Antony and Cleopatra, and 23 BCE, when he completes the "second settlement" of the res publica? Utilize only the primary sources in your response. Your essay should begin with an assessment of Augustus' auctoritas at the point of the end of the civil war and should then highlight the critical steps in the establishment of Augustus' real - not transactional - power.

References to the primary sources should be consistent and should appear either as in-line citations (e.g., RG 3.1) or as footnotes. Please be careful how you use in-line citations: the citation should always appear before the final punctuation of a clause or sentence, as,

  • In his Res Gestae, Augustus articulated precisely the distinction between potestas and auctoritas, when he stated that "I excelled all in authority [auctoritas], but I had no more power [potestas] than others ..." (RG 34.3).
  • In his Res Gestae, Augustus intentionally conflated the distinction between potestas and auctoritas, when he stated that "I excelled all in authority [auctoritas], but I had no more power [potestas] than others ..." (RG 34.3), but the informed reader understands the subtle differences between the two.

Please also be careful how you use footnotes: the note number should always appear after the punctuation of a clause or sentence, as,

  • In his Res Gestae, Augustus articulated precisely the distinction between potestas and auctoritas, when he stated that "I excelled all in authority [auctoritas], but I had no more power [potestas] than others ...."1

1RG 34.3.

Of course, the footnote number should be superscripted above the line of the rest of the body of the text. In the footnote section at the bottom of the page, the number should also be superscripted. Please also make sure that every footnote ends with a period.

The discipline of Classics utilizes a consistent format for citations of primary sources, so please utilize the system here. When possible, abbreviate the names of authors and texts according to the generally accepted scheme: see this useful website maintained at the University of North Carolina for the abbreviations of authors and their works. What follows are a few examples tailored specifically to your readings. These are provided as the text for either in-line or footnote citations. When possible, include the Lactor reference in addition to the ancient source (unless it's superfluous), such as

  • Lactor references:
    • Pliny Natural History chapter 37 section 10, Lactor section H
      • Pliny NH 37.10 - Lactor H1
    • Tacitus Annals chapter 3 section 56, Lactor section H
      • Tac. Ann. 3.56 - Lactor H26
  • Res Gestae Divi Augusti chapter 34 section 3, Lactor section A
    • Aug. RG 34.3. Since this work is lengthy and fully included, not excerpted, in Lactor, you need not include the Lactor reference number.
  • Velleius Paterculus History of Rome chapter 89 section 1, Lactor section E:
    • Vell. Pat. 89.1. Since Velleius' history occupies an entire section of Lactor, again, you need not include the Lactor reference, and since this is Velleius' only extant work, you need not include the title of it since it is commonly understood to mean his Historia Romana.

Essay format:

  • 1" margins (not the width default of 1.25")
  • 12-point type
  • you should include as the header your name, the assignment title (e.g., "Essay on Augustus' auctoritas") and the date at the top of the first page
  • pagination (location of the page number doesn't matter)
  • MS-Word format. If you use another software product, please consult with the Helpdesk long before the first due date.

This assignment is due by 6.00pm on February 15th and must be submitted by email. If you do not know how to attach a document to an email, please consult the Helpdesk. Since our class meets from 2.10-3.30pm, the early evening deadline gives you the opportunity to utilize both my office hours and the classroom to test your ideas, receive feedback and revise your thinking before handing in an assignment.