Age, agency and disability: Suetonius and the emperors of the first century CE

Mary Harlow, Ray Laurence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The emperors of the first century AD appear in our sources as far from perfect,
but some of them seem to have been less than perfect rulers, not due to any
physical disability, but due to the simple fact that they may have been too old or
too young to have performed the role effectively. This observation allows us to
consider how age may have been seen to prevent the effective agency of a Roman
emperor. This study of age and agency is played out with reference to the emperor
Claudius, whose disability affected how he was treated by other members of the
imperial family. We will argue that age caused emperors to become unable to act,
and if too old to be at risk of being deposed. This is a quite different conception
of disability than those previously published in the study of Antiquity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInfirmity in antiquity and the Middle Ages
Subtitle of host publicationsocial and cultural approaches to health, weakness and care
EditorsChristian Krötzl, Katariina Mustakallio, Jenni Kuuliala
Place of PublicationFarnham, UK
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Pages15-27
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315588469
ISBN (Print)9781472438348
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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