37. Study Questions Copy

The Senate passed a vote to declare war on Egypt, declaring her an enemy of Rome. Octavian had already been preparing for conflict.

Dio was writing two centuries after the events. This may give him distance to put the events in context but is chronologically distant from them. Also, although we have material relating to the time of Augustus, much of it is missing.

It is not so much that the sources differ factually, but they vary as to the extent to which they are biased towards Octavian. Velleius is writing during the reign of Tiberius, so is very biased towards Octavian. Plutarch is writing later, and Dio later still. The inclusion of long speeches attributed to Octavian should make you wary.

She is portrayed as the embodiment of a cultural threat to Roman values, embodying antithetical cultural and religious values. Both poets were supported by their patron Maecenas, one of Octavian’s closest advisors. These poems may have been part of a concentrated pro-Augustus propaganda campaign.


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