Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power by Carlos F. Norena (Professor, University of California, Berkeley)
This book examines the figure of the Roman emperor as a unifying symbol for the western empire. It documents an extensive correspondence between the ideals cited in honorific inscriptions for the emperor erected across the Western Empire and those advertised on imperial coins minted at Rome. This reveals that the dissemination of specific imperial ideals was more pervasive than previously thought, and indicates a high degree of ideological unification amongst the aristocracies of the western provinces. The widespread circulation of a particular set of imperial ideals, and the particular form of ideological unification that this brought about, not only reinforced the power of the Roman imperial state, but also increased the authority of local aristocrats, thereby facilitating a general convergence of social power that defined the high Roman empire.