The spectacles of Imperial Rome, the religious festivals, public games, circus, animal hunts, processions and dramas, were used by emperors and politicians to convey ideologies and political policies and to test public opinion. Just as Octavian sought to gain and sway public opinion after the assassination of Caesar, so Nero held many banquets and dramatic events to ensure and maintain his popularity. Richard Beacham draws on the early Imperial accounts of Dio, Tacitus and Suetonius, as well as archaeological evidence, to trace the changes in these entertainments throughout the period; he discusses the information they contain for a better understanding of a range of policies and activities in Early Imperial ROme.
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