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Dispersion of Emperors

Submitted by rmmcdonald on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 12:35

The dispersion of Emperors to the frontiers must have resulted in a significant shift in societal and cultural expectations. As revealed in Symmachus letter, Rome is in desperate need of financial assistance claiming "for some time now the provinces appointed for the purpose have contributed nothing of their usual revenues". Symmachus described how the people of Rome expect a certain lifestyle: "It is not greed that inspires the desires which the humanity of the age has aroused; rather, the precedents you have set are the source of our confident expectations". Symmachus flatters the emperors in this letter by making likely exaggerated claims that every Roman holds emperors in their hearts. He was likely trying to establish a connection between the emperors who prefer the frontiers to the people of Rome. If Symmachus was successfully able to establish this connection then he may have hoped the Emperors would send more aid. Symmachus seems to claim that the Romans were entitled to such riches because they were previously accustomed to it.