Augustus the Pop-Star: The Imperial Topos and its Aftermath - Encounters
That the Augustan model has survived is not due to the image of the Princeps so much as to the clever system of political and cultural synthesis in which it played a leading role. Stability as a guarantee of prosperity, natural law as a premise for divine favour, and civic religion as a moral binding agent for the community are some of the stereotypes that have survived down the centuries, offering themselves as anthropological tools useful for resolving centrifugal thrusts in a community in a context sharing the same conception of society and of power. Thus Augustus the pop-star refers to the way in which these concepts surface in popular culture, especially in those political systems that explicitly take their cue from the Augustan imperial model. This is the guile and the rhetoric of power in Star Wars, or the image of military consistency in battle found in cartoons. It is also the stereotype of public communication, such as the Pax Americana or the Napoleonic cult of the state. All of these are elements which go to make up the cultural humus of our subsconcious as Westerners, and on which it is certainly worth endeavouring to shed light.
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