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Chapter 5 - Moral Hazards

Constructing Risk

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2023

Jerry Toner
Affiliation:
Churchill College, Cambridge
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Summary

Fears do not simply reflect the reality of the underlying dangers. Fear is itself created by society’s debates about what count as risks and how these should be managed. Beck has argued that modernity’s uncertainties have arisen from technological developments themselves, in that these have generated self-destructive threats that they are incapable of controlling. This chapter argues that Rome’s social structure generated its own specific set of anxieties. Just as technology has today created anxieties about the downside of that innovation, in Rome, empire generated a set of fears concerning its perceived negative side-effects. These were focused on moral issues, and their anxieties were expressed in areas where they had their own expertise, in particular the law and rhetoric. Their fears were also often constructed in a backward-looking way, seeking to reduce future risk by returning to the traditions of the past.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Moral Hazards
  • Jerry Toner, Churchill College, Cambridge
  • Book: Risk in the Roman World
  • Online publication: 16 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108592734.005
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  • Moral Hazards
  • Jerry Toner, Churchill College, Cambridge
  • Book: Risk in the Roman World
  • Online publication: 16 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108592734.005
Available formats
×

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.

  • Moral Hazards
  • Jerry Toner, Churchill College, Cambridge
  • Book: Risk in the Roman World
  • Online publication: 16 November 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108592734.005
Available formats
×