Project Information

About the Project

‘Popular Perceptions of Roman Emperors from Augustus to Theodosius I’

This project will examine how Roman emperors were perceived by the inhabitants of their empire, from soldiers, slaves and freedmen to senatorial aristocrats. It has two main aims: (i) to explain the different ways in which the emperors’ military, judicial, religious and moral authority was conceived, interpreted and transmitted in the Roman world; and (ii) to analyze the continuities and changes in these aspects between the first and fourth centuries A.D. The significance of this study lies in its demonstration that the popular reception of imperial rule is crucial to understanding how and why the institution of emperorship endured in the Roman world. This outcome will enhance scholarly and public understanding of the Roman empire.

The project is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC), through a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from 2015-2017 (Project Number: DE150101110).


About the Project Team

Dr. Caillan Davenport (Chief Investigator)

Dr. Caillan Davenport is a Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. His research interests include Roman imperial history and historiography from Augustus to Late Antiquity, the history of the senatorial and equestrian orders, and Roman epigraphy and numismatics. A list of his publications can be found here.

Ms. Charlotte Mann (Research Assistant)

Ms. Charlotte Mann has a BA (Hons) in Ancient History from the University of Queensland. She is working on the numismatic material for the project.

Ms. Nicola Linton (Research Assistant)

Ms. Nicola Linton has a BA (Hons) in Classical Languages from the University of Queensland. She is working on the papyrological material for the project.

Ms. Teah Hagberg (Summer Research Scholar 2015/2016)

Ms. Teah Hagberg is currently completing Honours in Ancient History at the University of Queensland. For her summer scholarship project, she is investigating perceptions of the emperor Commodus and Hercules.