Pater Patriae

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(‘Father of the Fatherland’), the title conferred on Cicero for his action against the Catilinarian conspirators (see sergius catilina), on Caesar after the battle of Munda, and on Augustus in 2 bc (when he had reached the age of 60; see Valerius Messalla Corvinus, Marcus), in a gesture of unanimity by the Roman community, coinciding with the dedication of the forum Augustum. Tiberius never accepted the title, but after a show of refusal the later emperors took it if they lived long enough. The title suggested the protecting but coercive authority of the paterfamilias.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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