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Alberto Barzan

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La politica dinastica di Caligola e la cosiddetta congiura del 39 d.C. digital
formato: Articolo | AEVUM - 2011 - 1
Anno: 2011
SUMMARY: According to modern scholars, Caligula’s dynastic policy underwent a sudden change as a result of a conspiracy planned against him (even if not carried out) by his former brotherin- law and heres designatus Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, his sisters Agrippina and Livilla, and the legatus of Upper Germany, Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Gaetulicus. No one has ever seriously questioned the authenticity of this alleged plot. Suetonius and Dio Cassius, giving information on the fact, rely on the same common primary source, a letter addressed to the Senate by Caligula himself to explain why he had decided to order Lepidus’ execution and his sisters’ relegation into exile. But indeed the reliability of Caligula’s accuses is to be questioned, and the affair to be examined anew. Thus Lepidus, Agrippina and Livilla are no longer to be considered plotters, but victims of a plot weaved by Caligula (most probably under the pressure of his fourth wife, Milonia Cesonia). Caligula probably aimed at strengthening the dynastic position of his newly born daughter Drusilla and of her mother, and at defending them from some of his closest relatives, whose ambitions could be a serious danger for their personal safety.
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La data di nascita dell’imperatore Tito. Note per l’interpretazione di Suet. Tit. 1 digital
formato: Articolo | AEVUM - 2010 - 1
Anno: 2010
In his biography of the Emperor Titus, Suetonius states that he was born III. Kal. Ian. insigni anno Gaiana nece. This wording is usually interpretated as referring to December 30th, 41 AD, year of Caligula’s assassination. Since all the extant literary and documentary sources unanimously state that the date of Titus’ birth was December 30th, 39 AD, Suetonius is accused of inaccuracy and of inconsistency with chapter 11 of the same biography, where the date is correctly referred to. However, the usual translation of Suetonius’ text is not the only possible one and Suetonius’ sentence becomes perfectly consistent with the other sources, if it is referred not to Caligula’s assassination in 41 AD, but to his slaughter of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Agrippina’s lover, in 39 AD. Vespasian, who was praetor designatus, had a rôle in the flattering initiatives taken by the Senate to please the tyrant and therefore, some years later, had to temporarily retire from public life, fearing Agrippina’s vengeance. The birth of Titus seems so to be connected with a blamable episode of his father’s life, which could cast a shadow on the whole life of the emperor amor ac deliciae generis humani.
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