Power is very rarely limited to the pure exercise of brute force…. [T]he Roman state bolstered its authority and legitimacy with the trappings of ceremonial –cloaking the actualities of power beneath a display of wealth, the sanction of tradition, and the spectacle of insuperable resources….Power is a far more complex and mysterious quality than any apparently simple manifestation of it would appear. It is as much a matter of impression, of theatre, of persuading those over whom authority is wielded to collude in their subjugation. Insofar as power is a matter of presentation, its cultural currency in antiquity (and still today) was the creation, manipulation, and display of images.
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