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This is the first monograph to examine in detail the Ludi Saeculares (Secular Games) of Septimius Severus and argues that the games represented a radical shift from Antonine imperial ideology. To garner popular support and to legitimise his power, Severus conducted an intensive propaganda campaign, but how did he use the ludi to strengthen his power, and what were the messages he conveyed through them? The central theme is ritual, and the idea of ritual as a process that builds collective identity. The games symbolised the new Severan political and social vision and they embodied the idea of Roman identity and the image of Roman society which the emperor wished to promote. The programme of the games was recorded in a stone inscription and this text is analysed in detail, translated into English and contextualised in the socio-political aims of Septimius Severus.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138290143
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Jussi Rantala is a researcher at the University of Tampere, Finland. His main research interests include questions of religion, ritual, representation, identity and historiography in the Roman Empire.
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