De sobere stijl van Augustus | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 52, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



This article examines the rhetorical style of Augustus' . Ancient sources, including Suetonius ( 86), describe Augustus' style in terms of and . These qualities are indeed characteristic of the style of the emperor's private letters (of which some fragments survive) and the . Augustus' style was influenced by his great uncle Julius Caesar and his Greek teacher of rhetoric Apollodorus of Pergamon. There are striking parallels between the ancient descriptions of Augustus' style and the theories of style in Greek rhetorical treatises of Augustan Rome. In adopting a sober style, Augustus aimed at presenting himself with the authority of a moderate man, who was to be admired throughout the empire.


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