Classical Dialogues: The Divinization of Caesar and Augustus by Michael Koortbojian

As part of its Classical Dialogues series, the Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University is pleased to welcome Professor Michael Koortbojian from Princeton University. On October 17, 2014, 11 am-1 pm, Professor Koortbojian will discuss his recent book on The Divinization of Caesar and Augustus: Precedents, Consequences, Implications (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Location: Schermerhorn Hall 832, Columbia University. Please see below Professor Koortbojian’s abstract.


Professor Koortbojian’s book examines the new institution of divinization that emerged as a political phenomenon at the end of the Roman Republic with the deification of Julius Caesar. It addresses the myriad problems related to Caesar’s, and subsequently Augustus’, divinization, in a sequence of studies devoted to the complex character of the new imperial system. These investigations focus on the broad spectrum of forms—monumental, epigraphic, numismatic, and those of social ritual—used to represent the most novel imperial institutions: divinization, a monarchical princeps, and a hereditary dynasty. Throughout, political and religious iconography is enlisted to serve in the study of these new Roman institutions, from their slow emergence to their gradual evolution and finally their eventual conventionalization.

In its Classical Dialogues series, the interdepartmental Classical Studies Graduate Progam CLST at Columbia University invites authors of recent work in ancient studies that is exemplary for the kind of study that CLST aims to foster. All faculty and students at Columbia and beyond are cordially invited. CLST students are required to read carefully at least one chapter or article in advance and prepare questions and comments for discussion.

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