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How did Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus exemplify the “beneficial ideology” during their reigns?How do the...

How did Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus exemplify the “beneficial ideology” during their reigns?How do the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Severan dynasty reflect Roman notions of ethnicity and self-identity?

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How did Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus exemplify the “beneficial ideology” during their reigns?How do the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Severan dynasty reflect Roman notions of ethnicity and self-identity?

Marcus Aurelius was a stoic philosopher, who had certain Meditations, which he wrote to and for himself, offers readers a unique opportunity to see how an ancient person (an emperor) might live in a Stoic life, according to which only virtue is good, only vice is bad The difficulty he faces in putting this into practice are philosophical as well as practical, and understanding his efforts increases appreciation for this discipline. His reign was in fact marked by attacks from Germany, rebellious in Northern Italy and Egypt, and an outburst of the plague; at least part of the work for which he is famous, the Meditation was written during the last years of his military campaigns. Beneficial ideology in fact had several features such as:

  • Peace was maintained by the threat of force and by a beneficial ideology
  • Imperial beneficence was expressed in the form of cheap food and lavish entertainments for the populace.
  • Emperors were generous with aide to communities struck by disaster
  • Ability and culture were the pre-requisites to success for senatorial and equestrian offices.

All of the above features are something that was met by the two given emperors during their reign. They led with these belief systems and made sure these were thumb rues that were followed across the nation. Severus who was the founder of the Severan dynasty had several us and downs as well, in terms of family dynamics and political turmoil at the time. The dynasty reflects notions of ethinicity and self-identity since they led in such a manner, which uplifted spirits of the citizens as well as contemporaries

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