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Family History in Augustan Rome

Josiah Osgood (Georgetown)
Josiah Osgood
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 3:30pm
295 Paccar Hall

In Republican Rome, lineage was a key distinction, reinforced by the ritual of the aristocratic funeral with its parade of ancestral masks.  What happened when Augustus and his Julian family came to tower over all others, and a flood of new families that lacked prestigious lineages gradually displaced the old nobility?  This lecture explores how family history developed, using a variety of literary and material evidence including works of Propertius and Velleius Paterculus. 

Josiah Osgood completed his PhD in Classics at Yale University in 2002 and is currently Professor and Chair in the Department of Classics at Georgetown University.  One of the most talented classicists and Roman historians of his generation, he has published a number of influential articles and books, including: Caesar's Legacy: Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire (Cambridge, 2006), which explores the civil war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar and the way it was treated in contemporary literature; Turia: A Roman Woman's Civil War (Oxford, 2014), which argues that Roman women had a distinctive experience of civil war; and a study of the emperor Claudius, Claudius Caesar: Image and Power in the Early Roman Empire (Cambridge 2011).   An historical survey, Rome from Republic to Empire (150 BC - AD 20), is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.  The recipient of a Loeb Classical Foundation Grant in 2016, Professor Osgood is also a founding member of the Dio Network, an international research network devoted to the study of the historian Cassius Dio and funded in part by the Danish Council for Independent Research.


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