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    Sulla and the Practices of Anchoring in Political Discourse:Cultural Memory and the Use of Symbols in Roman Athens

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    This paper discusses strategies of negotiating Roman control over Athens in a contested political sphere during the first century BCE. It explores the language in Athenian political discourse, political reactions to Roman power, and the ideological grounds for decision-making in the pre- and post-Sulla periods, tracing continuity in practices and focusing on the iconographical choices of the New Style coinage of Mentor and Moschion. To that end, it examines the different articulations of power as manifested at a symbolic level; it traces reforms in Athenian civic narratives in a period of increasing Roman activity in the East; it highlights links between Athenian cultural memory and decision-making during this period; finally, it explains the ways the embedded, new narratives were disseminated. The evidence shows significant political fluidity in first-century Athens and mirrors the political elites’ understanding of the role of the past and the need for constructing new political narratives depending on circumstances
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