Domenico Lovascio

Julius Caesar, Translatio Imperii and Tyranny in Jasper Fisher's Fuimus Troes

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Keywords: Caesar; Fuimus Troes; Empire.

This article discusses Jasper Fisher's "Fuimus Troes" (1633), a play that has received scant critical attention despite raising a number of issues relevant to Stuart foreign and domestic policy. First, the article demonstrates how deeply the play's treatment of Julius Caesar is influenced by previous dramatic portrayals of him. Secondly, it shows that the uneasiness in accepting Caesar's "Commentarii" as the most authoritative historical source for the events depicted is mirrored stylistically in the Britons' attempt to avoid pronouncing Caesar's name as a way to exorcise his power. Then, the article examines the negative depiction of the Roman Empire in order to shed light on the play's scepticism about the notion of "translatio imperii" that was so crucial to Stuart propaganda. Finally, it considers how the play ends up being oddly prophetic through its focus on the issues of tyranny and internal dissension, which would mark Charles I's reign till its tragic epilogue.

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