In Ceremony and Power, Geoffrey Sumi is concerned with the relationship between political power and public ceremonial in the Roman Republic, with particular focus on the critical months following Ceasar's assassination and later as Augustus became the first emperor of Rome. The book traces the use of a variety of public ceremonies, including assemblies of the people, triumphs, funerals, and games, as a means for politicians in this period of instability and transition to shape their public images and consolidate their power and prestige. Ultimately, Sumi shows that the will of the people, whether they were the electorate assembled at the comitia, the citizen body at the contio, the spectators at the theater, the crowd at the triumph, or mourners at a funeral, strongly influenced the decisions and actions of Roman aristocrats.
“Geoffrey Sumi has written a book that should be on every Roman historian’s shelves.”
—Allen M. Ward, New England Classical Journal
“This is a well-written, informative and useful book . . . an excellent example and an important one, with which those who teach this period in schools should become familiar.”
—John Murrell, The Journal of Classics Teaching