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Chapter 4 - Gaius Duilius

Exemplarity and Innovation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2018

Matthew B. Roller
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University
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Summary

Chapter four examines Gaius Duilius, a consul and naval commander in 260 credited with winning Rome’s first naval victory, among other “firsts.” A discussion of the events and deeds associated with Duilius, and the associated rhetoric of “firstness,” raises the question of change over time: how, and whether, innovation can occur in an exemplary framework. Duilius also participates in a narrative of moral improvement, constructed by Octavian / Augustus as he sought to ratify his naval victory over Sextus Pompeius in 36 by reference to Duilius’ feat. A broader consideration of moral improvement and decline as models of change over time leads to the question of whether such change can be accommodated within exemplarity, or triggers the emergence of an historicizing perspective. Analysis of a morally contested monument associated with Duilius – his torch-and-flute escort – suggests that Roman observers do not embrace historicizing perspectives given the opportunity, but strive the harder to devise exemplary frameworks that can accommodate anomalous monuments.
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Models from the Past in Roman Culture
A World of Exempla
, pp. 134 - 162
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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  • Gaius Duilius
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.006
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  • Gaius Duilius
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Gaius Duilius
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.006
Available formats
×