The career of Licinius Mucianus
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2015 Thomas Caldwell
This thesis constitutes a close examination of the political career of an ancient Roman historical figure from the first century AD – the general, statesman and writer Gaius Licinius Mucianus. The study utilizes a chronological structure to elucidate the origins and cursus honorum of Mucianus before 69 AD, his role in the planning and execution of the Flavian uprising in 69 AD as well as his subsequent political career in the Roman Senate – as both de facto temporary head of state in early 70 AD and as suffect consul in 70 and 72 AD. In addition to establishing a chronology of Mucianus’ life and career, this thesis also examines several specific facets of Mucianus’ career, including his relationship with Titus and Vespasian, both prior to, during and following the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, the nature of Mucianus’ own political ambitions and the extent to which Mucianus’ ambitions were ultimately fulfilled by the Emperor Vespasian. The primary methodology which will be used in the course of this thesis will be a close examination of primary source material. The sources which will be utilised in this thesis can broadly be divided into two categories – literary and archaeological. Belonging to the former category are five central historical works from antiquity – the Historia Romana of Cassius Dio, the Historiae and Annales of the senator and historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus, the Bellum Judaicum, composed by the 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, and Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia. These works will, in turn, be supplemented by further accounts derived from later commentators as well as other contemporaries – including Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus’ De Vita Caesarum, the Epitome Historiarum of Ioannes Zonaras, the Epistulae of the Younger Pliny and the Stratagemata of Sextus Julius Frontinus. The latter category – archaeological sources, includes a substantial corpus of material evidence derived from military and civil structures as well as Roman coinage, papyri and inscriptions – preserved in expansive collections such as the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum and Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, compilations such as Mattingly and Sydenham’s ‘Roman Imperial Coinage’ as well as more explicitly pertinent works such as Homer Newton’s 1901 dissertation ‘The Epigraphical Evidence for the Reigns of Vespasian and Titus’ and McCrum and Woodhead’s ‘Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian emperors including the year of revolution AD 68-69’.
KeywordsRoman History; Imperial Roman; Roman Empire
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