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Failure as a Criterion for the Assessment of Emperors and Emperorship

Thu, 2/22 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Rene Pfeilschifter, University of Wurzburg, Germany

Program in the Ancient World

All emperors must die. Preferably after a long and successful reign. But every rule has its setbacks. How often and how big can an emperor lose without being seen as a loser – and his reign as a failure? And if an individual emperor’s reign ends in (or is) a catastrophe what can we learn from this about the institution emperorship? I will analyze these questions in my talk, with examples from the first millennium AD and beyond.

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