Was Myth a Primarily or Public Political Tool

2372 Words10 Pages
TMA3

‘In Rome myth was primarily a public and political tool.’ Do you agree with this statement?

For this essay I wanted to first look into the political aspects of early Rome and explore whether myth was primarily a political tool for power and wealth, starting with the foundation myths of Augustus, I came across a quote “Emperors exploited myths and mythical characters to promote their images and values” (Block 2 pg. 153) and wanted to see weather myth had any involvement in how politician’s first ruled early Rome. I will also look in to Emperor Nero and see how he used myth as a tool to gain public support from his people, and explore how myth had an impact on both men to gain political power and respect. I will then look into
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(http://didanese.deviantart.com/journal/My-favorite-emperor-quot-NERO-quot-228740816). Nero was good at manipulating myths to gain popularity from the lower-class who supported his political ideas and actions; they believed that Nero was one of them as he would treat the elite different and even ignore and humiliate them (block 2 pg. 139).

For the second section of my essay I wanted to see if myth was primarily a public tool for different social groups and see weather which social groups shared the same perspectives on myth. Or if myth was not primarily a public tool, what other roles did it fulfil in the Roman Empire. “Roman culture, including Roman mythology, often borrows elements from other cultures such as the Etruscans and the Greeks”. “The Romans borrowed elements of religion, government, and lifestyle”. (http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/mythology/instructors_resources/harrispt1ch18.pdf).
The elite social group used myth as a ranking of status to show their knowledge of the past and to how well educated they were. Lavish house parties were a regular part of the elite’s life, and they use their wealth to demonstrate their knowledge of myth to entertain guests, bringing theatre into the home. In primary source 2.19 a dinner party hosted by Trimalchio was a lavish over the top event in which to show off his wealth and knowledge of ancient myth. He had many decorative items with illustrated
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