P.Herc. 817 and the Augustan Ideology


P.Herc. 817 provides us with the remnants of an anonymous and anepigraphic poem about the capture of Egypt by Octavian in 30 B.C. In the last years, the surviving fragments have been interpreted as containing a critical text against Augustus. However, a correct reading of the text and, especially, a contextualization of the poem in relation to the motives related with the Augustan ideology, allows to truly understand the author's point of view and his positioning towards the princeps. The author depicts the virtues of Octavian and of his soldiers, characterized positively in terms of fides, potentia, etc. Octavian restrains his soldiers from plundering the city of Pelousios, so that his clementia connects him to Julius Caesar directly.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i99788883051760p477

Keywords: P.Herc. 817; Varius; Rabirius; Augustan ideology; Octavian; Marc Antony; Cleopatra

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