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Tara S. Welch
University of Kansas, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS 66045-7505)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Tarpeia: History of a Roman Myth

This project examines the emperor Augustus' use of Tarpeia's myth in the decorative program of the Basilica Aemelia, a monument in the Roman Forum he restored circa 14 BC. I argue that Augustus used this legend to establish a new relationship between the individual and the state in which personal desires and liberties were subordinated to public needs and authority, and to encourage gender roles and behaviors sanctioned by the new state. This project is part of a larger study of the history and development of Tarpeia’s myth over several centuries. Changes in Tarpeia’s representation in art, literature, and ritual offer a useful window into Rome's evolving ideology.