Damon, Cynthia

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Caesar and the Bellum Alexandrinum: An Analysis of Style, Narrative Technique, and the Reception of Greek Historiography
    (2014-09-23) Damon, Cynthia
    Review of Caesar and the Bellum Alexandrinum: An Analysis of Style, Narrative Technique, and the Reception of Greek Historiography by Jan Felix Gaertner, Bianca Hausburg.
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    Tacitus (Ancients in Action)
    (2007-02-13) Damon, Cynthia
  • Publication
    On the Prosecution of C. Antonius in 76 B.C.
    (1995) Damon, Cynthia
  • Publication
    Potior utroque Vespasianus: Vespasian and His Predecessors in Tacitus's Histories
    (2006-01-01) Damon, Cynthia
    The Histories are threaded through with incidents that allow a comparison between two or more principes. Readers need to be alert to such passages, for Vespasian was preceded by three emperors who got as far as he did but failed to keep their footing there. In essence, Tacitus tells the stories of fall (Galba, Otho, Vitellius) and rise (Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian) three times each, and uses the failures of Vespasian's predecessors to help explain Vespasian's success. Given what remains of the Histories (the last two weeks of Galba, the three months of Otho's principate, Vitellius's uprising against Galba, his defeat of Otho, and his eight-month principate, the Flavian uprising against and defeat of Vitellius, and Vespasian's first eight or so months as princeps in absentia), we can see only how Vespasian succeeded in establishing himself. As to how far, according to Tacitus, success carried into the rest of his decade in power, we are in the dark. In saying that Tacitus creates a portrait of success for Vespasian, I do not mean to imply that his account of that emperor's principate is wholly positive. Indeed, some of the parallel episodes considered below suggest that the civil war context in which Vespasian came to power is characterized by a certain number of constant negatives, such as the excessive influence of imperial freedmen and the fickleness of the Roman populace, and even by deterioration over time, as is illustrated by the decline in military discipline and the increase in senatorial servility. My point is that the presence of parallel incidents in two or more principates enables, and indeed encourages, the reader to measure one princeps against the others and that Vespasian emerges from such an assessment with more to his credit than any of his predecessors. The first such comparative assessment is present in the text: public opinion in Rome in 69, says Tacitus, considered Vespasian better than either Otho or Vitellius (1.50.4: potior utroque Vespasianus). Better, but not necessarily good.
  • Publication
    Frontinus and the Curae of the Curator Aquarum
    (2006-01-15) Damon, Cynthia
    Review of Michael Peachin, Frontinus and the curae of the curator aquarum. Heidelberger althistorische Beiträge und epigraphische Studien, Bd. 39. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004. Pp. ix, 197. ISBN 3-515-08638-6. At the time of publication, author Cynthia Damon was affiliated with Amherst College. Currently, she is a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania.
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  • Publication
    The Historian's Presence, or, There and Back Again
    (2010-01-01) Damon, Cynthia
    This chapter is an investigation of a Tacitean metaphor for historiography and its implications for the historian's role in history. The metaphor of the historian's physical proximity to his subject matter, which is found in the Annals 4 digression contrasting Tacitus's work with that of historians of earlier periods, is an offshoot of the enargeia that often enlivens a narrative. It is also one of the many connections between this digression and both Tacitus's account of the trial of the historian Cremutius Cordus (4.34-35) and what he suggests about his own work as historian.
  • Publication
    Intestinum Scelus: Preemptive Execution in Tacitus' Annals
    (2010-01-01) Damon, Cynthia
    This chapter examines Tacitus' representation of the legacy of civil war in his history of the Julio‐Claudian period, the Annals, arguing that civil war persists during the pax Augusta as a kind of banalization of state violence against citizens, a political system that consumes its own. It studies Tacitus' multi‐episode account of Nero's paranoid, possibly cynical, and ultimately self‐defeating appropriation of civil war exempla to motivate the suppression of potential dissent.
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