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1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state ruled by a prince
2. (Historical Terms) a form of rule in the early Roman Empire in which some republican forms survived
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈprɪn səˌpeɪt)

1. supreme power or office.
2. the form of government of the early Roman Empire, under which some of the outward forms of the Republic were maintained.
[1300–50; Middle English < Latin prīncipātus=prīncip- (see prince) + -ātus -ate3]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Synopsis: "In the Flesh: Embodied Identities in Roman Elegy" by Erika Zimmermann Damer (Associate Professor of Classics and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Richmond) deeply engages postmodern and new materialist feminist thought in close readings of three significant poets (Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid) writing in the early years of Rome's Augustan Principate.
Their interactions focuses on the loosely narrative structure of the genre's cyclical love relationship of rejections, union, and dissolution across the nine books of elegies by Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid, published in the first decades of Augustus's Principate between about 28 BCE and 2 BCE.
Rome's transition from Republic to Principate was not merely a political transformation; Roman identity itself was renegotiated, and traditional values and concepts had to adapt as well.
Advancing in time towards the Principate, the competition in which imperial Romans are immersed according to Tacitus not only has the characteristic darker tone of this historian, but it is also an 'inverted competition,' one which reflected the changed state of the city: verso civitatis statu.
The written word was venerated by the Romans: beginning with the Twelve Tables (the earliest public Roman code of law) in 450 B.C.E, and later in the Principate (27-284 C.E.) and Dominate (284-476 C.E.) eras, the emperor's laws, the Constitutions principis in various forms: edicta, decreta, rescripta and mandata.
By the time the Principate was in full swing after Augustus, a discourse of image destruction and memory erasure for those who were rivals or former favorites of emperors, including women, became normal, rising to special and comprehensive treatment in the destruction, demolition, and recutting of portraits in the cases of disgraced former emperors.
(53) Decades before the emergence of the principate, Lucretius associated domestic power struggles and the project of empire with architectural monuments, linking "the desire to rule the world with imperium and to hold kingdoms" (regere imperio res velle et regna tenere, 5.1130) with a yearning "that fortune might stand fast upon a stable foundation" (ut fundamento stablili fortuna maneret, 5.1121).
Her research focuses on Roman imperial culture, including Petronius, and her first book will address the role of freed slaves in the development of social values under the Principate.
Such associations lingered, even after the Council meeting place was moved to the Stoa Basileios to the north west of the agora, and with arrival of the Principate the Areopagus was given more powers, with a status matching that of the Roman Senate, with extra powers added by Hadrian.
The republic lived on, albeit in a new phase, the Principate, in place of the earlier Consulate.
Augustus and the power of tradition: the Augustan principate as binding link between Republic and Empire.