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.