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I Claudius

In our extant historical sources for the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, as well as the portrayal in I Claudius, the succession after Augustus appears to be in…

In our extant historical sources for the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, as well as the portrayal in I Claudius, the succession after Augustus appears to be in a downward spiral: he is followed by an absentee landlord (Tiberius), a mad-man (Caligula), an incapacitated and incompetent ruler (Claudius), followed by the arche-type evil ruler (Nero).  The succession process seems to be determined by sinister imperial women and the Praetorian Guard, rather than a planned administrative and legal succession dictated by the rulers.  Your final essay is to evaluate this generally accepted scenario.  The major questions that you should consider in your essay are the following:How much of the depiction is the process of the bias and prejudices of the ancient author?  Here you may want to comment on the image of each emperor.  Is it an accurate portrayal of their reign?  Are the accounts of intrigue and conspiracies credible in your opinion? How could the various scattered provinces in the extensive territory of the Roman Empire be maintained efficiently and effectively with such a chaotic and unpredictable administrative center? The basis of your essay are the various documents on Blackboard and the episodes of I Claudius.  There is no need to investigate these questions in the massive scholarly literature, but if you do, provide the sources in your text (author: date: page) and in your bibliography.  Far more important in the essay is your own opinion and impressions.  There are no right answers, but there are educated guesses.The Final Essay is to be submitted by November 30.

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