Finally, Tacitus, who wrote under the Principate
in its fully consolidated form, shows expressions of virtus calibrated for life under an autocrat.
But, unlike Sallust this time, he does not idealize the past while overlooking the present, and is able to find good things in his own times under the Principate
. One illustration of this is the example of parsimonia [sobriety, austerity] that Tacitus alludes to in Book 3 of the Annals.
This is, of course, not correct, laws had been issued by emperors all through the principate
and dominate periods, but Isidore points to Constantine as the reviver of written Roman law because, most likely, he was the first Christian emperor, and certainly he wrote a great deal of them, somewhere north of three hundred.
Those enthusiastically engaged in the project of empire presented their monuments within a cosmology that allowed for the triumph of mankind over natura, while Lucretius preemptively provided a template for problematizing conceptions of Roma aeterna under the principate
. From a material standpoint, then, Vitruvius's ambivalent handling of Lucretius and inconsistent approach to monumental permanence are understandable; the architect is at once a thoughtful student of natural philosophy and an enthusiastic client of the emperor.
(42) Then for all its emphasis on free will and freedom of speech, (43) which may itself have been a vexing issue when the Principate
was established, the Epicurean school became quite dogmatic, with Athens taking the lead in policing Epicurean orthodoxy, and sometime in the first century the Athenian school accepted the rule that its president had to have Roman citizenship, even if a Greek by birth.
Kaldellis admits that Christian teaching supported the Byzantines' republican commitment to the common good, and he judges Christian Byzantium more republican than the two previous phases of the republic--the Principate
and the Dominate.
In the Histories he called Venice "a republic that, through its institutions and its power, must be celebrated above every other principate
in Italy" (1.28).
In addition, Talbert believes that a conceptual awareness of Roman roads as a network was mostly absent for much of the Principate
The community of office-holders had transformed themselves into courtiers and Baker succinctly demonstrates that the creation of the Medici principate
was completed with the support of the office-holders of Florence.
(1990), Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and His Principate