Ad concilianda vulgi studia II. La gestione del ricordo di Germanico sotto Claudio


  • Cristiano D'Orsi

Parole chiave:

Claudius, Germanicus, memory, legitimacy, self-promotion


Ascended to power after the violent end of his predecessor, Claudius, as a Claudian without any ties of family nor adoption with the imperial Julian gens, was confronted by several problems, foremost among them the need to face the aftermath of his nephew Caligula's assassination by both repudiating the act per se and its perpetrators and minimising its consequences through a general amnesty and the decision to simply but efficaciously skirt the issue of officially condemning and disavowing Caligula’s policy. Once that was accomplished, the new princeps felt the compelling need to promote his own image as the legitimate succes- sor of the imperial family, and in order to achieve such a goal Claudius had to resort to using any relative he could find. Germanicus was the most obvious choice for his brother to use for self-promotion, but the hero had been only too compromised by Caligula’s use of him for his own ends: Claudius then felt the necessity to reinvent his brother's role as a part, however important, of his own trope of legitimising relatives and ancestors. The role of Germanicus and his family was even more highlighted and stressed at the time of Claudius’ marriage to Agrippina the Younger, his niece and daughter of the self-same Germanicus, and was crucial to promote the early career of her youthful son and later adoptive son of Claudius, Nero.