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To what extent does the evidence support the view that Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of the city of Rome between 31 BC-AD 96?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent does the evidence support the view that Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of the city of Rome between 31 BC-AD 96? (50)- Although there is evidence supporting the view that some of the Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of the city of Rome between 31 BC to AD 96, it is not substantial; nor does it suggest that all of the Roman emperors were equal in their actions to maintaining proper administration of the city of Rome. Indeed, the sources provide many clear distinctions between the diverse ways of ruling each emperor used. Every Roman emperor organised the City in different ways, with structures, boundaries and districts. Emperor Claudius extended the pomerium (sacred boundary) of Rome when he was in power, Augustus being the first to do so during his reign. This followed ?the ancient tradition whereby those who have expanded the empire are awarded the privilege of also extending the boundary of Rome? (Tact. Annals. 12.23). Claudius was the first emperor since Augustus to exercise this right, thus showing the people of Rome that he had a great respect for tradition and the rule of the defied Augustus. ...read more.

Middle

Tiberius. 48) but Tacitus accuses Nero of actually starting the Great Fire of AD 64 as an excuse to build himself a new palace. Although Tacitus does not outright say Nero did start the fire, he very much implies this with his phrasing of sentences such as ?whether it was accidental or caused by a criminal act on the part of the Emperor? and ?Nero profited by his country?s ruin to build a new palace?. It is difficult to dispute the accusation due to Nero?s history with criminal activity; however, it must be borne in mind that Tacitus was also the one to accuse Nero of such criminal activity and that Tacitus is renowned for taking out his anger towards Domitian (whose reign he lived under) on other Emperors throughout his writing and so is likely to have used this as a way of shunning Nero?s reign. On the other hand, it is known that Nero did indeed build himself a new palace in light of the fire as parts of it still stand today. Either way, Nero?s reaction to the fire was poor as he put his needs before his people?s; the building of the Domus Aurea (?Golden House?) ...read more.

Conclusion

Tacitus states that Nero dismissed any forms of ?bribery and favouritism? showing that he treated everyone as an equal. The evidence gives the impression that the emperors were very attentive towards the act of justice, again opposing the view that the Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of Rome. In conclusion, the weight of the evidence tends to primarily disagree with the view that the Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of the city of Rome, although it varies with each aspect of administration and each emperor. The general organisation of the city predominantly falls down to the work of Augustus and Claudius, whereas the corn supply was something that every single emperor focused on. Likewise, the act of justice bore just as great an importance to each emperor as the corn supply did. In contrast, the fires in Rome were dealt with very differently, with most emperors dealing with them very well and taking an active part in the rebuilding but some, for example, Nero, showing exceedingly selfish behaviour and a worrying lack of attention to the administration of the City. Out of all the emperors, Augustus and Claudius were the most consistent with their concern for the administration of the city, demonstrating attentive and focused behaviour and actions in every aspect of the City. ...read more.

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