In these days, when men's ideas of the functions of rulers and governments are being changed—sometimes overnight—and when new programs and new “ideologies” are proclaimed with bewildering suddenness, students are returning with renewed interest, and with new interests, to the investigation of ancient governments. The nature and significance of the official character of the Roman emperor, and of his heir, the Byzantine emperor, has proved a particularly fruitful field of research in recent years, and our ideas in this domain have been transformed and expanded in significant fashion. We have been shown, for example, how the emperor came to be surrounded by a whole galaxy of attributes and virtues — chief among them Bravery, Clemency, Justice, Sense of Duty, Foresight—which made up his official personality. Constantly illustrated on coins and commemorated in inscriptions, these attributes served to remind the people of the Roman Empire what they might expect from their rulers. The emperor came to be looked upon as the father of his people, the source of all good things, and the fount of all wisdom and law.