Lexis Poetica, retorica e comunicazione nella tradizione classica

Journal | Lexis
Journal issue | Num. 39 (n.s.) – Dicembre 2021 – Fasc. 2
Research Article | Drawing Imperial Lines: Sovereignty and Tacitus’ Germanicus

Drawing Imperial Lines: Sovereignty and Tacitus’ Germanicus


This essay focuses on Germanicus’ performance of sovereign power in Tacitus’ Annales 1-2. That power is seen in the differentiation of citizen from non-citizen and Roman territory from non-Roman territory. Roman violence in Germany contrasts with Germanicus in the East. There he recognised a shared history and community. Sovereign power required a recognition of the sovereign by the citizen and of the citizen by the sovereign. An individual’s membership and a territory’s place within the Roman Empire depended not on innate characteristics but political negotiation. Ancient political geographies gave primacy to the political rather than the territorial in determining citizenship.

Open access | Peer reviewed

Submitted: Feb. 24, 2021 | Accepted: Sept. 25, 2021 | Published Dec. 20, 2021 | Language: en

Keywords TacitusGermanicusViolenceCitizenshipSovereigntyGermaniaAnnalesMutinies

Read this article