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how a Roman emperor crowned?
So, if the Romans didn't use "sir,' would a soldier/official addressing Constantius II in conversation show respect by punctuating all his answers, with 'Yes, Dominus," or "Yes, Imperator?'
That's actually raising a good point - the fact that the Emperors were beggining to be called "Dominus" would make a reasonable inference for the the introduction of the term "Magister (Master)"
Quote:Augustus tried his best not to become what populace feared
It's just as likely he tried his best not to appear to become what populace feared. Some of his actions make me wonder if he had any self-delusion that he was anything BUT an emperor, his statements to the public notwithstanding.

He had learned quite a lot from his late uncle Julius, and the Senate's actions. He wanted to emulate the former, and escape the latter.

I don't think we've really answered the original question, if I understand it correctly. What kind of ceremony was used to confirm the legality of an Emperor (besides killing off the previous Emperor and any of his family that was influential).
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
I had a nice long post prepared, with plenty of quotes and references and examples and explanations, but it wouldn't let me post it. I tried from Chrome and Internet Explorer and got the same thing with both. :x

Anywho, the gist was that I don't think there was a single crowning ceremony, at least early in the Principate. The Emperor was a man with a plethora of different powers and titles - tribune, Pontifex Maximus, censor, consular imperium, and all that. I think that the "crowning" of an Emperor consisted of his getting these individual powers conferred upon him separately. For some of them, like consul, we have pretty good sources that tell us how it was done. Most of the ceremonies were religious in nature, and finally they needed to be confirmed by the Senate to make it official.
David J. Cord
Romans had a near-visceral revulsion toward anything "oriental" and kingship and its trappings were among these. Wouldn't the Romans have regarded a physical "coronation" (actually, assuming a diadem) to have been hopelessly degenerate and oriental? I'm with Epictetus here. I think that the assumption of the numerous magistraces, commands and priesthoods that went with the Imperium of the Principate sufficed, without a ceremony that might make senators and citizens feel that they were groveling before a monarch.
Pecunia non olet
The Theodosian Code is available in English.
ISBN-13: 9781584771463

It costs $195.00 used.

Way out of my reach.
AKA Tom Chelmowski
(05-02-2013, 12:14 AM)Jordanicus Wrote: I'm most interested in the time of Hadrian and his successors to Commodus

As is my understanding, emperors of the Principate were not 'crowned' in the modern sense that we understand today. The symbol of ancient kingship was the diadem, which the Roman emperors did not wear, and any form of headwear in Rome was not associated with kingship or power; their wreaths symbolised military achievements and, in theory, could be awarded to anyone, not just the emperor.

Status in Roman society was usually displayed through one's clothing, for example, the use of purple stripes on tunics and togas. I'm pretty sure there are references to emperors, when they are proclaimed by their troops, being draped in a purple cloak or mantle, which is probably why becoming an emperor is sometimes referred to as "assuming the Purple" or "to take the Purple". I think under Roman law, only emperors were supposed to wear purple (though in practice this wasn't really adhered to), so if there was any form of ceremony, it would probably involve them putting on a purple toga maybe. However, I don't believe there would have been a ceremony in the same way we have a coronation; they would merely be confirmed in the role at a session of the Senate and that would be that.

Though, of course, I would be fascinated to hear if there was any evidence to suggest a ceremony of some sort.
David Hobday
The purple cloak was probably derived from the toga picta, the gold-embroidered purple cloak worn by the triumphator for a single day during his triumphal procession along the via sacra. One of the demands Julius Caesar made toward the end of his dictatorship was the right to wear the toga picta at all times. this was considered outrageous but it seems to have been assumed by the emperors in the form of "the purple." The royal crown as we know it was a custom of the Germanic peoples who replaced the Roman domination in Italy.
Pecunia non olet
Purple cloaks weren't exclusive to Emperors, Magistri Militum also wore Cloaks of Tyrian purple with roundels. I don't remember what the roundels were supposed to depict, possibly the imperial family? It's outlined in the Justinianic Code or some other text IIRC.
(04-29-2016, 12:28 AM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: Purple cloaks weren't exclusive to Emperors, Magistri Militum also wore Cloaks of Tyrian purple with roundels. I don't remember what the roundels were supposed to depict, possibly the imperial family? It's outlined in the Justinianic Code or some other text IIRC.

True, but the Justinianic Code covers a much later period. The original poster wanted to know about the era of the Five Good Emperors, which was a few hundred years earlier, when there were no Magistri Militum, and I believe, no roundels on clothing. As a result, I'd argue that the Code has limited validity, and certainly the sources that cover the Second Century make note of the use of purple for an emperor. In the Year of the Five Emperors, if I recall, Herodian mentions that Albinus discarded his purple cloak after losing the war against Severus (as just one example that I can think of off the top of my head now), and certainly there are references to Commodus being "born to the Purple", meaning he was born as the son of an emperor. Surely this reference to purple as an imperial symbol is notable. I'm not saying that the emperors exclusively wore purple, but I'd argue that a purple garment was certainly something that was closely associated with the emperors of the Principate.
David Hobday

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