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THE GEOGRAPHIC DEFINITION OF "ULTIMUS" FROM JULIUS CAESAR TO DOMITIAN

James J. Stewart
Acta Classica
Vol. 43 (2000), pp. 129-137
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24595087
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE GEOGRAPHIC DEFINITION OF "ULTIMUS" FROM JULIUS CAESAR TO DOMITIAN
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Abstract

From the time of Julius Caesar until the end of the first century AD, the adjective ultimus took on a very political meaning, particularly when used by the poets of the age. It defines the extent of the Roman empire, being used for many of the boundaries of empire. Applied to Britain by Catullus, the word soon fell out of use with the island, especially after the invasion of Claudius. The appearance of this adjective should cause the reader to consider the extent of the empire at the time the work was written, since many passages seem linked to expansionist imperial policy. This is particularly true of the Augustan poets, who promoted the plans of the new emperor. By the time of Domitian, writers employed ultimus in a variety of ways to delineate the empire.

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