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Introduction: Taylor FitzGerald

New research assistant in the Northern Emporium project.

Taylor FitzGerald has just completed a stint as a research assistant focussing on linguistic revisions for Classical Archaeology at Nobelparken. Before moving to Denmark in September 2018, she worked in student support services at the University of Exeter and as a university librarian at the University of Edinburgh. She has M.Litt and MA degrees in Ancient History and Latin from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, UK. Her main research interests are imperial politics and coinage in late antiquity.

Her PhD thesis, Dynasty and Collegiality: Representations of imperial legitimacy, AD 284-337, explored continuity and change in expressions of dynastic legitimacy by, for, and about the emperors of this period, which were presented in coinage, panegyrics, and other literary and material evidence. Familial relationships were used throughout this period to make legitimation claims or to counter claims made by rivals. The thesis argued against the dichotomy between ‘dynasty’ and ‘collegiality’, shifting the focus to the similarities and continuities between the representations of imperial families and imperial colleges. The Tetrarchy’s creation of familial links through adoption and marriage led to a web of inter-familial relationships that they and later emperors used in promoting their own claims to imperial legitimacy. At the same time, the presentation of these imperial colleges as harmonious co-rulership relied heavily on the adaptation of pre-existing strategies, which in turn would be adapted by the emperors of the early fourth century.