Psychological Battle Between Self Expression – Dissertation Sample

Stereotypes of Feminine Identity as Controlled by The Media

The modern media gives women an identity based on stereotypes (e.g. housewife, mother, lover, career woman, film star femme fatal), yet simultaneously tells her that she is not good enough to fulfill this identity in her natural state.

Not to worry, though, says the media — just the right commodity to transform them is available for their consumption. Women, in essence, are asked to buy themselves. The media have stolen, and continue to steal, women’s identities, and offer them back to her for the price of a product. But the satisfaction is always partial, and each part of herself she buys may be soon contradicted by another form of representation. Just as she buys the product that promises domestic perfection, she may subsequently receive a message that she can or must now be a femme fatal.

How do women react to this closeted controlling of their identity?  They often manifest a post-modern form of ‘hysteria’ – not the dismissive, sexist term of yore, but a new concept — an oscillation between women’s impossible-to-obtain self-expectations and neurotic, nervous anger at finding themselves a never-quite full, or empty vessel – not quite a person, but rather a malleable cultural object.  

This study will seek to illuminate and explore both the media’s role in the psychological battle between self-expression and cultural ideals, and how women react to this battle for their own souls.


The formation and proliferation of feminist conscious-raising groups in the 70’s led to a radical transformation of the female role in society. Within the format of these enlightened and supportive settings, women were able to explore issues related to self-perception, as well as gain an insight into how they were perceived by men.  By exploring these issues, women acknowledged the psychological oppression of being “stereotyped, culturally dominated and sexually objectified” and were able to assert that beauty practices were oppressive and a waste of time. (Jeffreys, p. 7)

These explorations continued throughout the 21st century, as women attempted to re-invent themselves as individuals in a society that remained largely patriarchal. However, instead of embracing new roles, positive images and healthy self-perceptions, the consciousness-raising efforts of the previous decades came under challenge by the post- modern feminist, who asserted that women had the choice to ‘play’ with beauty practices, so that instead of being seen as oppressive the practices were promoted as being fun.

This view was endorsed by the media, where women were constantly bombarded with ubiquitous images of beauty, which were “reinterpreted as fascinating resources from which girls and women can be inspired and creative rather than playing a role in dominant ideology” (Jeffreys, p. 16)
The approval of the beauty ideal by post-modern feminists and the media had an alarming affect on how women perceived themselves and the resulting actions they took, thus defining the ‘hysteria’ engineered by the female inability to please both feminine self and patriarchal society at the same time.  The brutality of beauty practices that women performed on their bodies became much more severe, to include the breaking of skin, spilling of blood, purging of bodily nutrients and the rearrangement or amputation of body parts. 

In the heyday of feminism, the exhortation for women was to make something of themselves and change the world.  In the post-feminist era, they were pressured by a society which was imbued the concept that women’s bodies were inherently constructed as ugly, and in constant need of improvement. Engulfed with feelings of self-hate, worthlessness, and inadequacy, many women strived to achieve the beauty ideal and in doing so, risked physical, mental and emotional well-being. 

The ambivalence of the two messages that women have received from feminine critiques, society and the media – “You’re equal…  no, wait, you’re subordinate” (Douglas, p. 161) — brings to light the constant struggle and mental torment that women have to address in their daily lives, often leading to both outwardly and inwardly manifested neuroses – the ‘hysteria’ — which has ominous implications for women’s futures.  It is this ongoing struggle that I hope to address in my Project Proposal.


•    In our culture, not one part of a woman’s body is left untouched, unaltered. No feature or extremity is spared the art, or pain, of improvement.  (Dworkin, pg. 112)

•    “To her belongs all that is beautiful, even the very word beauty itself – ‘she is a doll’. I’m sick of the masquerade.”  (Germaine Greer, in Wolf, 1991, p. 12)


“The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us.”
(Wolf,  1993, p.10)

Being a woman in society today, one is constantly aware of the conflicting messages that we are fed by feminist teachings and the media. Both spread the word of feminism throughout the world, but also manage to inhibit and/or co-opt the cultural movements with the most liberating potential, by advocating the beauty ideal.

In the past decade, through feminist enlightenment, women were successful in usurping the patriarchal power structure.  Women had more money, scope and recognition than ever before.  Simultaneously, however, cosmetic surgeries became the fastest growing medical procedures performed; eating disorders reached epidemic proportions; pornography (hardcore and softcore) became a mass media mainstay, and woman often claimed that they would much rather lose weight than achieve any other personal goal.  Indeed, research has shown that inside the mind of the successful, attractive woman “lies a secret ‘underlife’ poisoning our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging and dread of lost control.” (Wolf, 1991, pg. 10)
So many potentially powerful women are led to feel this way, as they are caught in the midst of a violent backlash against equality from the media, who use images of beauty as a weapon against female advancement. The advent of the post-modern feminists and their view that beauty products were a way in which women could express their “creative expressions” also aided in undermining women’s emancipation from patriarchal control.

This conflict is a matter of utmost significance for all women to consider.  Accordingly, it is this conflict, between mixed messages from the media and feminist critiques, and the psychological impact they have on women, that I hope to address in my Project Proposal.


The customer that I am targeting is a female within the age bracket of 25-40. She is a well-traveled individual with a comprehensive knowledge of the arts and culture. 

She has a positive image of women, one that is based on morality and belief in a value system.  Her philosophy emphasizes individual liberty and personal independence. She fights for causes, not fame, and is strong and free-spirited.  Although interested in fashion, she is an individual who will take a garment and use it to interpret her own style, therefore rejecting trend in favour of determined modernity. She will be drawn towards garments that are a complex and inspirational marriage between creativity and exploration, and that are innovative, functional and individual. She is also a customer who appreciates that a garment can be regarded as a sculptural aesthetic, or wearable art. 


Primary sources for this research have been books and articles that explore the myths of femininity and how women react to their plight, from a variety of perspectives (full bibliographic details available in the Bibliography section of this proposal), as follows:

•    Naomi Wolf’s groundbreaking book The Beauty Myth offers an in-depth analysis of the “beauty backlash” that has served to ˜hypnotize women into political paralysis.” (p.7) 
•    Susan Douglas' book Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media offers an enlightening discussion of the media representation of feminism as a 'false dichotomy' that helps “to reaffirm, more than ever, the importance of female attractiveness to female success.” (p. 191).
•    Mary Pipher's books, Hunger Pains: The Modern Women's Tragic Quest for Thinness and Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, offers an insight into the effects of the media on the young female psyche. Phiper suggests that despite the advances of feminism, media-impressionable young women continue to be victims of abuse and self-mutilation. 
•    Harold Koda’s book Extreme Beauty addresses the ideals of beauty that have persisted or shifted through the ages. The book explains how the mechanism of costume has transformed the zones of the body that dictate shape and proportion, in order to alter its physical structure. 
•    In Cindy Sherman, edited by Zdenek Felix and Martin Schwander, the famous photographer’s works are depicted as brilliant, yet painful parodies of the dictate imposed by media images on every girl, that she should “perfect her clothes, her make-up and her posture so as to imitate an apparently desirable but simultaneously unattainable model of immaculate feminine beauty.” (p. 14)
•    Catherine Redfern’s article “Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery” explains that in our society “adult female bodies are treated like mistakes that continually need correcting.” From makeup to plastic surgery, these beauty rituals are “almost seen as an essential part of the female experience.”
•    Barbara Homeier’s article “Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia” explains why women, particularly teens, may fear any weight gain and go to extreme measures to prevent it: “We’re overloaded by images of thin celebrities, people who often weigh far less than their healthy weight.” 
•    An article on the BBC news website, “More Young Women Seek Cosmetic Surgery,” gives an insight into the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery, citing a 1999 survey which shows that one in three British women have considered such surgery.
•    Alfred Hitchock’s films Vertigo, Psycho, and Rebecca, all of which depict women in stereotypes and harrowing duress, highlighting society’s expectations of them.


Research will explore how artists and their subjects manifest and depict the conflict between feminism and media expectations, and the resulting hysteria, from both a physical and mental perspective.  This type of exploration will give the widest variety of perspectives on the conflict and how it is both perceived and experienced by women and the creators of their media expectations:

Physical aspects

•    Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo seems to regard the conventions of fashion as a necessary evil. While contemporary fashion is usually tailored to follow the body’s silhouette, Kawakubo challenges this principle by wrapping the body in sheathes of fabric, therefore blurring the margins between body and dress.

•    For British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, the old maxim that “fashion is a cruel mistress” is apropos. He redefines the experience of the fashioned body by negotiating his designs in terms of brutality and aggression. Models are either imprisoned in painful corsets, metal skirts or dresses constructed from sharp material, or put into garments that extend their presence beyond the borders of the human body. In this way, each model has the ability to wound or attack.  McQueen also uses his designs to investigate the theme of probing and exploring the body’s interior. He recognises that while traditionally focused on the body’s surface, fashion also unconsciously reveals the anxieties of the flesh beneath it. By imprisoning his models in garments made from rough, sharp and dangerous materials, they are unable to control their inner feelings of fear and turmoil due to wearing the garment, and at the same time are only able to react in a defined, slow manner, to prevent the dress from causing more pain.

•    “Unladylike” Exhibition / East West Gallery

Artists : Marcelle Hanselaar, Sadie Lee and Laurie Lipton

The term ‘ladylike’ is considered the benchmark of femininity, and often regarded as a constraint paradigm conceived by men to force woman into subjection. It should stand to reason that a woman is a woman without trying, but not every woman can become a lady in the sense of being “ladylike”.  This often involves a performance in some way, determined by actions, gestures and  demeanour.  Artists, Marcelle Hanselaar, Sadie Lee and Laurie Lipton strive to challenge this concept, with the introduction of their “Unladylike” women who are coarse, outspoken, and ‘unsuitably’ dressed. Based on feminist teachings of the desire to be free, rather than compliant and conventional, they expose  “ladylike” behaviour for what it is: merely another performance expected by a patriarchal society. 

Mental Aspect

•    The female characters in Alfred Hitchcock films reflect the stereotypical blonde. They are cool, remote and sensual — and imprisoned in costumes that subtly combine fashion with fetishism. They are frequently placed in psychologically harrowing situations, where their true identity is put under challenge when they are forcibly moulded into something they are not. By subjecting his leading ladies through a mental ordeal, often indistinguishable from the films’ plots, Hitchcock was able to give the viewer an intense combination of feelings, oscillating between desire and horror; fascination and discomfort. Vertigo, Psycho, and Rebecca all had this unrelenting, provocative impact. 

•    Photographer Cindy Sherman uses photographs to expose the stereotypes of women found in the mass media today.  She draws attention to their function and deeper significance, by revealing the suppressed psychological material that is not always evident on the surface: the subject’s imagination. Photographs portray the housewife, student, lover or film star in their conditioned and socially prescribed roles, who then through the medium of role reversal and illusion convey a disturbing mental image of humanity, exposing inner fear and anxieties: “the female body petrified into a mask, a prosthesis, or a doll.” Sherman’s photographs, Disaster Pictures, Fairy Tales, and Fashion all use this method, to reveal what lies beneath the cosmetic surface. (Bronfen, p. 16)

•    Orla is an artist who takes part in self-mutilation in order to dramatize the rules of male dominance, that a woman’s body must be controlled and punished. A self- confessed feminist, she objects to the “dictates of a dominant ideology that impresses itself more and more on feminine flesh.” (Jeffreys, p. 164) While undergoing extreme forms of mutilation to alter her body, Orla’s performance requires disassociation, that of splitting her emotions from the body, a necessity required by women today to survive the pain of extreme beauty practices, in order to transform themselves into something they are not.  


Summer Holiday
•    Visit museums/galleries/exhibitions for inspiration
•    Collect visuals
•    Research and develop ideas
•    Analyse and abstract research
•    Decide what form your Independent Study will take

Autumn Term

Start sewing and Photoshop classes on Friday – second week of term
•    Continue to research, explore and develop ideas
•    Collect visuals to support concept
•    Plan Budget
•    Source Photographer, Models, Theatre Make-up Artist
•    Start looking for location for shoot
•    Start developing and sketching ideas
•    Define concept
•    Start manipulating fabric on stand
•    Continue to sketch ideas
•    Start design developments
•    Start looking at fabrics
•    Start thinking about samples
•    Research for theatre make-up/masks
•    Consider background possibilities
•    Continue with design developments, explore possibilities of placement
•    Research and experiment with fabrics
•    Start making samples
•    Continue with design developments
•    Continue with samples
•    Think about presentation methods
•    Continue with developments
•    Continue with samples
•    Continue with research on theatre makeup/masks
•    Continue looking at location/background/lighting
•    Finalise developments
•    Finalise fabrics and buy for toiles and final garments
•    Call photographer, models, theatre make-up artist and arrange date for mock shoot
•    Continue with research
•    Kept free for anything that has been omitted in timetable

Spring Term

Sewing and Photoshop classes to be carried out on Friday of each week
•    Continue with samples
•    Work on technical development to ensure that project shows appropriate level of 2D & 3D abstraction
•    Continue with research on make-up/masks
•    Continue looking at location/background/lighting
•    Explore presentation possibilities
•    Select location/background/lighting
•    Finalise make-up/masks
•    Take photos of make-up
•    Take photos of location
•    Start writing up research for make/-up selected and location
•    Select garments for final presentation
•    Finalise presentation method in relation to media and materials explored
•    Finish putting together make-up book and location book
•    Call photographer/model/make-up artist – ensure they are prepared for mock shoot
•    Start on toiles
•    Start story board for shoot
•    Ensure you have all accessories for mock shoot
•    Continue with toiles
•    Work on presentation of technical file
•    Continue with storyboard
•    Continue with toiles
•    Finalise any amendments to be made on toiles
•    Finalise storyboard
•    Mock shoot
•    Amend any details on garments/make-up/location/background
•    Select poses for final shoot
•    Kept free for anything that has been omitted in timetable

Summer Term

•    Start to make garments in selected fabrics
•    Continue to make garments
•    Make a list of everything required for final shoot
•    Continue to work on garments
•    Confirm final shoot date with photographer/models/theatre make-up artist
•    Confirm location
•    Model fit session
•    Make any amendments required to garments
•    Organise everything for final shoot
•    Model fit session
•    Final shoot
•    Select photos from shot
•    Work on presentation of photo shoot
•    Keep free for anything that has been omitted in timetable
•    Keep free for anything that has been omitted in timetable


Ideally, the research will yield a variety of fascinating examples of how the ‘hysteria’ manifests itself in women, both internally and externally; both personally and artistically.  From that point, it may be possible to extrapolate and suggest methods for women to understand and then combat the patriarchal oppression, and women’s own complicity in it, by a variety of personal, social, political, and artistic means.  Some of the questions which may be answered in the research itself, or in the work that it may inspire along the way, include the following:

•    Why do women oscillate between dissatisfaction and criticism of the roles prescribed to them by the mass media and their own selves, on one hand, and an ongoing collusion with the mass media by imitating precisely the repertoire of identities offered to them?

•    What are some of the passive-aggressive, vs. active and overt ways in which women manifest their dissatisfaction and criticisms?

•    How do women currently answer the questions “Who am I?  Do I exist as myself or as a function of what society expects of me?  Am I a human, doll, model, plaything?” and how should they answer these questions in the future?

•    How can women who work in the mass media, e.g. film, television, the fashion industry, modeling, etc., work to curb the hysteria created by the messages created by the industries within which they earn a living, and presumably some of their power and self-worth?

As all good research should, this research will seek to not only justify itself, but have practical implications:  perhaps it can suggest ways in which women can not only come to understand their plight, but take an active role in deciding it. Search other essay topics here



  • Jeffreys, S. (2005) Beauty And Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices In The West.  London: Routledge
  • Bronfen, E., Zdenek, F. Schwander, M. (1995) Cindy Sherman.  Munich: Schirmer/Mosel.
  • Douglas, S. (1994) Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media 
  • Koda, H (2001) Extreme Beauty.  New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pipher, M. (1995) Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman’s Tragic Quest for Thinness.  New York: Random House
  • Quinn, B (2002) Techno Fashion. New York: Berg
  • Wolf, N. (1991) The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women.
  • Wolf, N. (1993) Fire with Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change the 21st Century. New York: Random House

Internet Sites

  • BBC News “More Young Women Seek Cosmetic Surgery”
  • Homeier, B. P. MD. “Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia”
  • Redfern, C. (2001) “Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery.”
  • Davis, K. “Cosmetic Surgery in a Different Voice”

Intimate Relationship With Textiles – Dissertation Sample

When considering the role of women in the history of textiles we must examine the role of women in society in general. It has long been accepted that the gender of a person in any given community dictates the broad nature of his or her activities – we might think that, in hunter-gatherer tribes, the men hunt and the women maintain the tipi and campfire; in industrial society this distinction becomes progressively blurred according to a number of factors including class, age and the level of domination of one sex over the other: just as females are not admitted into many male functions within a male-dominated community, so too are males refused participation in certain functions within a matriarchal system.

Traditionally there exists the belief that women physically are more suited to deft handiwork than men, and that men are more capable of performing heavy, difficult work unsuited to women, such as hunting, fighting and building. This was not so clearly defined in some native American tribes, where a man could be insulted as Chief Kintpuash was by his own braves: ‘You’re a woman, a fish-hearted woman…We disown you!’ , yet a woman could often be forced to take on a male role by circumstance – many native American tribeswomen took part in battles when necessary. Even so, these women were often expected to stay behind and care for the children and the older folk. In the quieter times, while men went to hunt, the women would weave.

The application of these skills from religious ritual clothing and protective garments to what could be considered ‘vain fashion’ involves the acceptance that body adornment would, in many cases, have been conducted in order to attract a mate. In monogamous cultures – from the hunter-gatherers to our own mechanised civilisation – infidelity is frowned upon, but still a reality, and it is easy to see the progression of fashion from mate-attraction to mate-retention. Since women were the mistresses of cloth, one can see how feminine interest grew in body adornment and self-decoration – activities frowned upon in men beyond what the community considered reasonable, but praised and admired in women.

Indigo dyes for tapestry are known to have been used as far back as 2500BC.  It must be assumed that this same spirit of women-dominated weaving and cloth-making percolated through the aeons from the hunter-gatherer stages of developing societies to the ‘civilised’ ages, where woman maintained her place as seamstress and weaver. The Greeks used tapestries in their homes, and their society involved a clear male-female division of labour. Men would work, philosophise, rule, or fight, and women would wait, breed or slave, according to class or circumstance. In his Politics Aristotle famously refers to women and slaves in one breath: 

For the slave has no deliberative faculty at all; the woman has, but it is without authority.   

The domestic power of women in Greece is not dissimilar to that of our own contradictory and confused modern industrial times, as demonstrated in Aristophanes’ comedy, Lysistrata, in which the wives of two warring cities succeed in attaining political power by withholding sexual congress from their husbands until the men have called a halt to the pointless conflict: the frustrated woman is both powerless and powerful, ignored and respected, yet still a prisoner of society. 

However, as society grew further away from the need for men to leave the group and hunt or fight, their skills developed in areas traditionally associated with women. This male insurgency is seen to its greatest extent in the great cloth-making industries and guilds of medieval Europe. In Britain the guilds existed to control trade in any given town and it was only through a guild that one could operate as a worker in any of the skilled trades. By the sixteenth century woollen textile manufacture in Britain was the envy of the world and its manufacture and distribution was carefully controlled – by men.

The guilds would never admit married women, only widows, and usually widows of guild members. In 1514 the London Company of Innholders admitted ‘sisters’ as well as ‘brothers’, but this was possibly a concession to guild-members’ widows. These widows would be permitted to continue their husband’s business, (especially if there were outstanding debts to be repaid to the guild). The Oxford Tailors’ Guild was described as being ‘the master, wardens, commonalty and widows.’  While a single woman was allowed to buy and sell property, and incur debts, she was not permitted entry to perform a free trade within a guild unless, in exceptional circumstances, her father proposed her – she would then be put under a guild Mistress, but would have to relinquish all guild rights upon marriage. The woman’s role as clothier and family weaver was usurped by males once it became a business – business, it seems, was man’s work. 

In the mid-eighteenth century there came a great shift in the role of women in textile production. Agricultural work was the province of both sexes in any farming family, but in the north of England, particularly in west Yorkshire, where land was suitable only for grazing, intensive woollen manufacturing became a reliable source of wages for both sexes. Work was ‘put-out’ to small workshops or households. The skills required to spin wool or dye yarns to produce broadcloth were not arduous and needed little training or expensive equipment, which was often owned by the workers themselves.

Many of the processes in wool manufacture, therefore, were well-suited to the households of landless families, where the wife or mother could also look after the children while the men were out earning a different wage, possibly in another industry such as mining. It is difficult to estimate how many women and children were involved in this proto-industrialisation because statistics were only ever compiled of working men, although women were consistent wage-earners and kept time just as assiduously.

The putting-out system was most involved with textile manufacture, especially hosiery, leather and small metal goods. It has been argued that putting-out was, effectively, the springboard to the Industrial Revolution, in which women played a vital part, often overlooked. From the mid-1700s merchants and clothiers wanted more control over their workforces and demanded an increased output, possible only with the concentrated facilities of a factory. With the building of the factories, the putting-out system became redundant and women, still needing the work, emerged as new commuters to the local mills and machine-houses.

The women and men involved in these great changes at the grass-roots level were members of the working classes. Although needlework and embroidery were seen as women’s work they were, at a different level, also seen as the pastimes of a lady. In the Middle Ages embroidery took on a narrative flavour, the most famous being the Bayeux Tapestry, but little evidence remains of these professional medieval embroiderers. Domestic embroidery and needlework was the privilege of the wealthier classes – a lady had no need of retail benefit from her needlework whereas a working woman did. In the nineteenth century these distinctions grew more complex as the Middle Classes emerged with their three-tiered system of distinction: upper, middle and lower. A woman of the lower middle-class could certainly take in sewing work, but a member of the upper middle-class would never dream of so demeaning herself. A socially ambitious lower middle-class woman, likewise, would behave according to the manners of that class to which she aspired.

The blurring of the sexual roles in the early 1800s, when men were being employed in traditionally feminine realms such as milliners’ shops and haberdashers, caused comment from popular periodicals, as in this story of a father who returns home to discover: 

a very smart young man with his hands about the neck of my younger daughter who is just fourteen. Her mother laughed: ‘The man is only fitting Euphrasia with a proper bosom; the girl cannot appear in fashionable company with her present horrid flat chest.’   

With the increased wealth and social aspiration of the late nineteenth century, more women than ever began to purchase domestic fabrics and textiles. The lady of the house, usually at leisure, if the children were attended by a governess or nanny, could order fashionable clothes and home furnishings through catalogues. It is through these catalogues that we have such a breadth of knowledge of the works of such designers as Chippendale and Sheraton.

This was part of the matriarchal control of the household, seen in more traditional societies – the Victorian and Edwardian lady hired and disciplined servants, ordered the decoration of the home, decided on furniture and fittings, organised dining and entertaining, and was entirely responsible for the smooth-running and, more important, display of the home to outsiders. The career-driven male, though technically enjoying a dominant position, was to take pride in the home provided for him by his wife and, doubtless depending on their relationship, not interfere: it was a woman’s world.

There were few activities available to the Edwardian hostess apart from charity and church work; retail trade – such as dressmaking – was utterly unacceptable. However, many upper-class ladies opened dressmaking facilities partly out of interest and partly out of a desire to help their fellow women who suffered terrible privations in the clothing trade. Lady Auckland, Lady Rachel Byng, Lady Duff-Gordon, all established milliner’s shops and underwear shops to support a growing number of dressmakers. Lady Brooke’s sewing workroom at Eaton Lodge eventually provided clean and safe working conditions for impoverished seamstresses who would normally be found in London’s East End, either in sweatshops or in the direst of slums, working fourteen hours a day in fifth-hand clothes, usually housebound because footwear was often pawned to pay for their meagre food.

For a young working-class woman of the time the choice of career was limited to domestic service, prostitution, shop-work, the stage (synonymous with prostitution) or dressmaking. Dressmaking was honest work and, theoretically, one could go anywhere with good skills. As a dressmaker one could aspire to work either in the court dressmaker’s or the retail workshops of Harrods or Peter Robinson’s, or become a free-lance ‘corner dressmaker’ and discreetly run up copies of the latest Parisian designs from the glossy magazines for the ladies of Mayfair or Belgravia.

The peculiarly limited form of power enjoyed by the upper-class hostesses in homes across the country was not bestowed upon the lower classes and not translated into other arenas of life, not professional, legal or political. A woman was still considered the responsibility of her husband, father, brother, or nearest male relation. With the advent of the First World War, this all changed. The need for men to fill the ranks of the armed forces created an industrial vacuum that was quickly filled by working women who manned the factories and utilities and traditionally male occupations, albeit on a temporary basis. This four-year taste of individual freedom had a lasting effect. Women were loath to return to the inevitable pursuit of marriage and children, or the drudgery of domestic service. With the end of the war and the provision of partial voting rights, women sensed a new freedom.  

With a higher demand for ready-to-wear fashion and a new consumerism, fashion outlets boomed in the inter-war years, fuelled by the images of Hollywood and the great designers in Paris. Many of these designers, ironically, had been men: Paul Poiret, Mariano Fortuny, Erté, Raoul Dufy and Leon Bakst. In the twenties and thirties there came new competition from women such as Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Nina Ricci. At the other end of the scale, the Sears catalogue brought ready-to-wear fashion to the homes of ordinary American women. Now that office work and reception work among the professions was available to women, fashion became more functional and business-like, bowing to the dictates of the women who wore it.

The Second World War wrought many of the violent changes in society that we still feel today, and even then full emancipation of women and the liberalisation of sexual attitudes did not fully take hold until the latter decades of the twentieth century. Today it is not only acceptable for men and women to enjoy the same domestic interests in fashion and textiles, it is also acceptable for men and women equally not to be interested. Social activities cross back and forth over the gender border, and our society in general is freer now then ever before.   

The woman’s role in our society has changed – in some societies it has not. The inevitable restrictions of class have played and still play a part in these roles as well, further separating and categorising the activities of all people. Historically, woman’s place was in the home, and thus she developed a closer link to those matters of ‘home’, such as clothing, furnishings and fabrics. Later industrialisation forced her to adapt this traditional association into wages, and many women were mistreated by the very industries that served their more affluent sisters. The first well-known industrial textile designers were men. Sanderson, Liberty and Morris, all captivated the female world with their art, yet the financial power created by their business was kept just out of woman’s grasp until today. The story of textiles and their social development is a story of sexual politics, of women’s work made profitable by men, controlled by men and eventually freed by women.  Usefull paper? Oder your own dissertation st

Market Pressures – Dissertation Sample

Market pressures as well as business expediency has seen attempts by media organizations

Market pressures as well as business expediency has seen attempts by media organizations to combine their resources and expertise in an effort to reach a larger audience through diverse media channels. The evolution of the digital media, including the internet, cable, satellite and digital television as well as wireless devices has challenged the traditional media. The variety that is available to the mass audience has meant that there is a tendency to access a number of media sources. Ratings and the advertising revenues are becoming increasingly important and the investments associated with acquisition of new media technologies are high. In such an environment, media organizations have attempted to pool their resources and expertise in order to operate synergistically and attempt to reach a greater number of audiences through a variety of channels.

The media organizations today are increasingly more interested in making money, becoming a commercial success and selling content or advertisements. Pressures for commercial success have resulted in vertical as well as horizontal integration, and the evolution of the mega- media groups. The leading media groups of the 1980s have shrunk to ten mega -conglomerates as a result of mergers and fears have been expressed about the concentration of media ownership in a few elitist hands. Concerns about the power of the media to present an imposed reality to suite capitalist government and the media owners have been presented but the governments are more inclined to let free market forces operate. Hence, there are commercial pressures associated with news reporting and the journalists are also expected to have more commercial sense. This paper discusses the commercial influences acting on media organizations and the implications for news making. The AOL and Time – Warner merger is also discussed as an example of the creation of a mega-media group.

1.1 Introduction

The reporting of news can be a complicated business with the media existing in a complex environment which is characterised by interactions between the media, the audience, government and those who are the stakeholders or the owners of the media organizations as well as other businesses. The institutional relationships that exist between various actors have the capacity to influence the truth that is being reported in the news.

On the other hand, global opportunities and the constantly evolving technologies for news gathering and reporting as well as the unique strengths and capabilities that have been developed by various media groups lend themselves to cooperation and synergy in the gathering as well as the reporting of news to the mass audience. The financial requirements associated with the capacity to own technology and the apparatus for the gathering as well as reporting of news and the presentation of entertainment as well as advertising content to the mass audience means that there is a tendency towards the concentration of media ownership in the hands of the elite sections of the society from different parts of the world.

Concerns have been expressed that such concentration of media ownership may result in a dominant world view and a media imposed reality which the mass audience will have to accept because they have few alternative versions of the truth available and limited means of judging what is being presented. The journalists operating in a highly commercialised world are not only expected to present news but they are also expected to generate content that will sell and enhance ratings. Journalists and editors are employed by media owners who also have other commercial interests that are expected to be protected.   

The production of news, current affairs and content has not evolved into a precise art and it is still a creative effort that is undertaken by humans. The human element in the production of news and content lends itself to a host of influences in the selection as well as presentation of news or content. Not all news is ‘newsworthy’ and the criteria for selection of material that will be presented to the mass audience often includes timeliness, interest and clarity as well as consequence, proximity, human interest, novelty and prominence. The selection as well as presentation of news can be further influenced by commercial interests and public relations practitioners through direct approaches, mailing of press releases and purchase of advertising.

Cash for comment and approaches through the internet have also been known to influence news. Hence, the process of making news can be influenced by newsworthiness, ratings, ownership interference, syndication, advertisers, political relationships, competitive influences, career aspirations of news producers as well as ethics. Commercial interests and concentrated ownership can result in abuse of power, lack of diversity, denial of journalistic freedom and conflict of interest in news making. Bias, intrusiveness, sensationalism and inaccurate reporting are amongst the other evils that can corrupt news making. 

Commercial pressures in the free market have assumed an increasing importance and have an impact on media groups, journalists and the process of news making. It is these commercial forces, operating in the free markets which have assisted in the formation of giant media groups that are in existence today. The merger of AOL and Time-Warner media groups in 2000 produced an even bigger media entity worth about $350 billion. In this paper, the increasing importance of commercial influences on media organizations is considered and the merger of AOL and Time-Warner studied in an attempt to understand how commercial forces influence the media.

2.1 Commercial Influences on the Media

Along with concerns about concentration of media ownership falling into few elitist hands, there are also considerations associated with economic impact of the rapid evolution and proliferation of new media related communication technologies. The traditional print, radio and television media is being increasingly challenged by next generation wireless, second generation internet, digital television as well as the streaming and rich media. Commercial interest in the web and the internet as well as the electronic media have forced the so called traditional media to compete for advertising revenue as well as the attention of the mass audience.

Cable and satellite television has been instrumental in enabling the consumer to access a variety of media sources which were not previously available. Thus the media organisations in general are faced with shifts in channels of delivery, rapid changes in consumer attitudes as well as sudden changes in the marketplace that can result in rapid changes to the advertising content. Such changes can make an impact on the revenue of the media organizations which have already spent considerable financial resources and effort in developing the expertise and the capability to present their message on the media channel of their choosing. The digital media is in a constant state of flux and there is a greater convergence between promotion, marketing and commerce.

Wireless and wireless related gadgets for presenting the media message have been slowly evolving into a new market force. With the media technology and the environment in such a rapid state of flux, there is a tendency amongst the media organizations to unite in an effort to use their unique expertise related to presentation on a medium in a synergetic manner and access additional audience through a variety of media technologies.  Although such mergers of media organizations certainly lend themselves to a sharing of resources and expertise to compete successfully on the commercial front, fears have been expressed that the giant media organizations which will be created as a result will have a monopoly on the ‘truth’ that is being presented to the mass audience.  The giant media organizations that can be created as a result of the mergers will have the capability of producing a partial and selective reality which can serve the interests of those with power in the society and the media owners.

Commentators have also stated that with such a control over the reality that is presented to the mass audience, the bourgeois, or those with the power to control, will be in a position to maintain their hold on power and control the resources while justifying their wealth and privilege. Profits are important in the media because of the ideological sense of capitalism and an economic sense of achieving surplus revenue. Thus, on the one hand there are the requirement for profit maximisation and synergy involving optimising the returns associated with investments in technology and expertise and on the other hand, there is a requirement of the public and the mass audience to see a fair and diversified media capable of presenting a number of views without a monopoly on news.

The American scholar and linguist Chomsky, amongst others, has expressed a view that the commercial organisations in the media can develop a relationship with capitalist government to present politically biased versions of the truth to the mass audience. Market pressures on the left wing political press, aided by legislation and industrialisation has meant that this media segment has been considerably weakened. The requirement for massive investment has meant that media ownership is increasingly limited with cross ownership becoming more permissive as a result of changes in government regulation. The requirements for media licensing may mean that media organizations can be under pressure to forge ties with government officials and ratings as well as advertising revenue are crucial for funding. 

The high costs and efforts associated with news gathering result in the journalists being increasingly dependant on the powers that exist, such as the government, to source news. The realities of a complex world have meant that there is a sense of mutual dependency in the media, government and the large corporations. Spin doctoring and bias against threatening ideologies is possible, with the media attacking communists or others who are opposed to capitalist government policy. However, despite the possibilities, the western media has seen the governments support free market policies in the grant of licences with consideration being given to the highest bidders. Hence, there is a tendency towards a free market for media in which commercial pressures have become more important then ever before and the government as a protector of the public interest has tended to permit the operation of free market forces.

Public debates do continue, however, on various issues related to the media including media ownership and this keeps the pressure on the media organisations to maintain an unbiased posture. However, the fact remains that in 1997, the biggest media corporations had shrunk to ten, from fifty in 1983.  The AOL and Times-Warner merger that took place in 2000 produced a $350 billion media corporation and this merger was 1000 times the largest merger deal of 1980s.  There is also a trend towards vertical integration with media corporations owning entertainment companies, distribution and manufacturing in addition to the media organisation. The directors of the media organization may also be the directors of other industrial corporations and can control an increasing number of communication resources as well as employing many journalists.

The opportunities that open up to cross-sell and promote media brands and content to companies in a conglomerate also provide an incentive to build up the giant media empires that are to be seen today. Rupert Murdoch’s news empire consists of News Corp, British Sky Broadcasting, Star TV and DirecTV which is owned by Hughes Electronics whose assets are also managed by Mr. Murdoch. Because of the shared management, News Corp has an increasing influence over programming in Latin America due to the fact that DirecTV is dominant in Central and South America.  After the mergers, the top ten media companies in the world today consist of AOL Time Warner, Disney, General Electric, News Corporation, Viacom, Vivendi, Sony, Bertelsmann, AT&T and Liberty Media.

CNN international is viewed in 212 countries with a daily audience numbering about a billion. Despite the public concerns about bias, it must be said that the giant media multinationals have done a lot of good when they expended their operations into many nations served by corrupt and crony media. The global mass audience is now not only better informed and capable of appreciating or gauging diverse points of view, but there is a move towards a global culture and outlook. Hence, despite the fears of power becoming concentrated in a few hands, the existence of a muted marketplace, journalistic and content control as well as the influence of the media bosses, there appears to be a need for the kind of media giants which are to be seen in existence today because of their ability to link the world like it has never been linked before. Without the large media organizations, the choices that are available to the mass audience in regard to the variety of content may not have been possible.       

Media interests argue that any attempt to restrict media ownership is tantamount to denying freedom of speech to the media organizations. It is further argued that the giant media organisations are better equipped to serve the local communities then a large number of small media organisations. It has also been suggested that through corporate control, media groups are better able to provide diversity and better quality local journalism that is backed up by inputs from other regions and the distributed resources of a mega-media organization. Perhaps, the evolution of the large media groups occurred as a result of the process of natural selection and was inevitable.

In 2001, the United States Federal Communications Commission FCC moved to eliminate rules which restricted cable and newspaper / broadcasting cross – ownership. It seems that the United States government had decided in favour of the right to freedom of commerce and the right of the mass audience to decide whose messages they wanted to listen to along with the right of the advertisers to present their advertising budgets to whosoever they wanted to. Thus, the United States FCC let the decision about the success of media organizations rest with the market and the audience, without unduly hindering well managed organizations or their owners.        

The next section presents a discussion related to the AOL and Time – Warner merger as a study in the shaping of a media organization by commercial considerations.

3.1 The AOL and Times – Warner Media Merger

The AOL and Time – Warner merger was a blending of the traditional and the new media which created a company with unique capabilities involving online services, media as well as cable television. It was thought that the merger would stifle competition in entertainment, interactive television and the internet, but the United States FCC sought and obtained assurances that the merged company will protect “consumer choice” at all times, prior to approving the merger.  The merger deal was approved on January 11, 2001 and the new media company with a market value of $350 billion was born. 

The internet expertise belonged to AOL which had achieved prominence as a result of the internet boom of the 1990’s. The internet offered many possibilities for information and knowledge management as well as quick retrieval of information, yet AOL had not achieved sophistication in news gathering, information sourcing or content creation. The advantages of the internet had dawned but segments of the mass audience still preferred the written text, newspapers and books. However, this was slowly going to change and it was not sufficient to have massive internet presence, but this presence had to be used to present content which was still the king. Time –Warner group had been presenting news and entertainment to generations of Americans but was concerned about the future possibilities that had opened up as a result of the evolution of the electronic media.

There had to be a better way of presenting the content which Time – Warner excelled at producing and had been presenting on the traditional media. Both AOL and Time –Warner had realised that they could not easily develop the strengths that belonged to the other without massive financial outlay and acquisition of expertise. Hence, the AOL and Time – Warner merger was a result of the desire of both companies to ensure their future in a changing world and benefit from each other. Time – Warner was itself created as a result of the merger of Time Inc which had excelled in news gathering and publishing while Warner Communications had been entertaining the world by producing movies and high technology content such as cartoons and computer animations.

Time – Warner later merged with Turner Broadcasting or CNN to create a company that led the world in many facets of the media, but which lacked expertise in the internet and this shortcoming was fixed by the AOL and Time – Warner merger. AOL also needed funds to enhance its internet operations. Its customers were irate because of the need to introduce a monthly access fee and there was a shortage of capacity resulting in a denial of connections. AT&T had also tried to take over AOL, but there was not much merit in the attempt as AOL had been using the internet for advertising in association with companies such as GM and Compaq. AOL also had future plans to succeed in the handheld wireless device market and the merger with Time – Warner guaranteed the company access to the Time – Warner broadband network, which had future possibilities. 

Both AOL and Time – Warner were generating profits at the time of the merger, with AOL bringing in $6.8 billion from online sales as well as subscriptions and Time – Warner had $27.3 billion in revenue from film, TV and news services. Time – Warner had established a decade long record of failures in penetrating the ISP market and the digital realm. With the AOL and Time – Warner merger, the possibility of promoting the traditional Time – Warner media forms consisting of magazines, music, news and movies to the 28 million AOL users had opened up. Time – Warner had leapfrogged the competition in developing a capability to present its content through different forms of media.

AOL’s lead in developing the instant messenger service had contributed to its commercial success with subscribers preferring AOL because of the availability of this service. The FCC had attempted to protect public interest by seeking guarantees that the AOL and Time – Warner instant messenger service would also be made available to other users and no monopoly was to be created. The FCC also ensured that other ISP’s such as EarthLink which had been using the Time – Warner broadband network would continue to be carried by the new company in order to ensure the ‘open and competitive nature of the internet’. 

AOL and Time – Warner expected that the advertising on broad media forms would bring in as much as 23% of its revenues and there were pressures after the merger to produce some benefits from the merger. However, the problems with dot com companies further demonstrated the synergetic nature of the merger when AOL was able to rely on Time – Warner during the slowdown. Hence the AOL and Time – Warner merger produced a company in which the two parties to the merger complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses. 

In the next section, some fears that had been expressed about the AOL and Times – Warner merger related to commercial influences operating on the media company are discussed.

4.1 Commercial Influences on AOL and Time – Warner

In the statement presented to the FCC regarding public interest policy, AOL and Times – Warner had stated that “driving vision [is] to make [its] content and services available to consumers through any and all means of access, including cable, DSL, satellite, and wireless”. It was feared that the giant company produced as a result of the merger could deter new entrants in the content production arena and a monopoly may result. Commentators lamented that the company could loose its editorial independence when dealing objectively with stories associated with its many divisions.

It was thought that CNN, a division of AOL and Times – Warner would never cover any stories related to internet, films and broadband without bias. The culture-clash between AOL and Time – Warner was expected to generate losses for the company, similar to the problems that were experienced by Sony when it diversified into entertainment. A generation gap existed between the young AOL executives and the seasoned Times – Warner veterans. The Chief Operating Officer of the company, however, placed the emphasis on revenue generation and provided broad leeway to division heads to operate their parts of the business and generate profits.

The company did post enhanced first quarter profits and the workforce had to be reduced to eliminate a duplication of job functions. No great scandals have been reported about the new company and it can, therefore, be concluded that the merger has worked, benefiting all apart from those employees who had put in the hard work and had to look for new jobs. Hence, it was synergy that was responsible for the creation of a media giant. 

5.1 Conclusion

It may be concluded that commercial influences operating on media organizations have the potential to negatively influence the news making process. However, commercial realities and the quest for profits as well as success are natural tendencies that will make the media organizations act in their best interest, pursuing the course which best serves them. Public as well as journalistic debate and ethical traditions will maintain pressure to keep the media straight and it can be hoped that a culture can be nurtured within the giant media organizations that will satisfy all concerned so that all can benefit from the functioning of these media giants.

Useful paper? Buy your dissertation st

Development of Print – Dissertation Sample

How far and in what ways is it reasonable to see the development of print as a motor of revolutionary social change? 

Print and the ways of presenting the written word have had a long history in which the ideas that were possible to be communicated through these written words profoundly influenced human history. The first movable type of print consisting of baked clay was developed in China in AD 1050. This was followed by the wooden movable type of print that was also invented in China in AD 1300.

However, it was the invention of Gutenberg which brought together a number of technologies to bring about the first printing press which had a capability for conveniently and inexpensively bringing print to the masses. The Mid – 15th Century invention has since then assisted in bringing about profound and revolutionary changes in human societies and culture around the world. The development of print, which was by itself a revolution, made it possible for knowledge and ideas which had previously been the preserve of the privileged nobility to be brought to the masses.

The media was born as a result of the invention of the print and this media not only brings culture and information into the private domain of individuals, but also sets societal standards, trends and a whole way of life through print advertising. Print made it possible for ideas to be discussed and a societal consensus to evolve as a result of these ideas being able to be communicated cheaply and effectively. Political revolutions, the evolution of science and technology, culture, religion and the interactions of humanity have all been profoundly influenced by print, which is still evolving from its earlier beginnings and has the capacity for inducing profound as well as revolutionary social change. This brief essay takes a look at how print can act as an agent for bringing about social change and also just how far print can go towards influencing such a change.


Ever since the Mid-15th Century when Gutenberg had discovered the idea of the first movable type printing press, the print media has profoundly shaped the world in which we live. Printing brought together the technologies of paper, oil – based ink and the engraved lettering to quickly as well as cheaply make many copies of the content which was required to be printed. Although the written word had been discovered much earlier then the time of Gutenberg’s invention, its power and value had been limited because of the difficulties associated with its quick and inexpensive reproduction. Written manuscripts containing ideas, human knowledge and information had been very expensive and cumbersome to reproduce, limiting their access to the privileged and the noble classes with mostly oral traditions of communications being relied on. As a result of inventions such as the movable type and later the electronics communications technologies, humanity now lives in the information age when ideas abound and are communicated to millions instantly.

The advent of electronics communications technologies has invariably propelled the print into a new light, making it easier to store, process and exchange information. Obviously, such capabilities expanded the breadth as well as the depth of thinking of an average individual and thus transformed the society in which they lived. Because the technologies associated with printing are constantly evolving, therefore, it is very likely that the evolution of these technologies will continue to have a revolutionary impact on the society at large. The invention of printing by itself was revolutionary and since its inception, the technology has continued to shape the world and humanity (Jones, 2000, Chapters 1 – 6), (White, 1979, Chapters 1 – 5) and (The University of Vermont, 2005, Complete). 

Literature related to history has indicated that printing profoundly influenced change in the Europe during the Middle Ages, assisting in bringing about the Reformation, Renaissance and the Scientific or Technological Revolutions.  The Protestant Revolution and humanity’s change in the concept of the earth – centred to the sun – centred universe were also influenced by the print making it possible for the ideas to propagate. Print made it possible for the many millions to examine ideas, debate their usefulness and present their own views, resulting in a consensus being developed much more rapidly then would have been otherwise possible.

A greater level of homogeneity was brought about then would have been otherwise possible. The print is something which could be understood and interpreted by humanity and its processing, reproduction, transmission or storage only assisted in making it more appealing or conveniently presentable to the mass audience. It is the convenient and ready availability of sound ideas in print with a capacity for appealing to the mass logic which has the capacity for bringing about radical social change, if the ideas that are being presented in print are logically sound and appealing to the mass audience.

It was the availability of information, ideas and the desire of the masses to be informed of these, along with their desire to have access to knowledge that was the birth of democracy. No longer was knowledge and wisdom in the sole custody of the privileged few and it was the collective will of all who could access as well as understand the print which determined the future of societies, cultures and nations. Nearly all political revolutions in the world after the Middle Age in Europe were made possible because there was the support of the masses which was pitted behind such changes and such support was only made possible because it was convenient to communicate through the print. Oral traditions had required a vastly superior effort and because of a limited capability for the oral message to be communicated to a large audience, societal decisions were made by a few.

Even established religion benefited enormously from the capabilities of the print. Although the wine or olive oil screw type press had been in use in Europe much earlier then the invention of Gutenberg and block – print technology had been known of since the time of Marco Polo’s return to Europe from his travels to China at the end of the 13th century along with mass paper making techniques which produced paper that was considered to be too flimsy for use in books, it was Gutenberg’s invention that brought together many technologies to make print seriously feasible, opening up the way for a capacity to influence social change like it had never been possible before. The private experience that was made possible as a result of the print invariable led to the public expression of an individual’s personality, character and beliefs which had been shaped by their private experiences (Eisenstein, 1979, Parts 1 and 2), (Eisenstein, 1993, Chapters 1 – 5) and (Briggs, 2001, Chapters 1 – 5).  

It was the development of the print which gave birth to the media which used print to bring culture and information into private spaces of individuals. In addition to bringing culture and information into the private spaces, the media also shaped society by presenting advertisements which prompted individuals to purchase, prefer a way of living, develop societal standards and highlight issues as well as setting trends. Having advertisements presented in print led to more print as more newspapers, magazines and journals were sold and print itself blended into the fabric of the society, transforming culture, thinking, values and expectations for the future. This domino effect also provided a vocation for many who are associated with the print industry and a new set of professions was introduced. It was print that assisted in the evolution of technology in general and the design of the new electronic communications media which is in the process of further changing societies (Dewar, 2000, Complete), (Eisenstein, 1979, Parts 1 and 2) and (Eco, 1995, Pp 71 – 74).  

The history of the print had to be discussed in order to be able to make some sort of predictions about the future. The potential for bringing about revolutionary social changes in the future is still very much a possibility and it is worth investigating how print can influence and bring about social change. Technology and lifestyles are constantly changing and the way in which print technology influenced society is also evolving. Without the development of the print, humanity will be living in an oral society with its enforced illiteracy of the masses and the manipulation of the oral tradition or knowledge to suit the purposes of individuals or the state, as was the case in China prior to the development of the print.

In such a society, the creation as well as the possession of knowledge is only restricted to the few creators of knowledge and there is a capacity for the masses to be fed what versions of oral truths that suited the political powers of the day. Development of exact sciences, technology, logic and reason was, therefore, very much hindered in the oral society which emphasised more on rote memorising rather then an understanding of its knowledge (Dewar, 2000, Complete), (Eisenstein, 1979, Parts 1 and 2) and (Eco, 1995, Pp 71 – 74).  

In this brief essay, an attempt has been made to take a look at the development of print and its potential for as well as the manner of bringing about revolutionary social change in societies.  

The Capacity of the Print to Influence Revolutionary Social Change in the Future

It is necessary to understand the historical influences of the print in bringing about revolutionary social change so that the future implications for social change can be considered. The history which has been discussed in the introduction to this essay was presented with this concept in mind. The modern educational systems around the world, the production of books, the growth of the literati culture and the popular culture are all made possible because printing and the economic reproduction of the written word is possible. Books on a subject have to accumulate in order to make a difference and these books must be logically correct and present the truth in order to be of lasting value.

The ideas that are presented in print are still subject to criticism, debate, investigation and understanding prior to acceptance. Advances in technologies which continue to make the production of print easier, faster and more economical also attempt to present the print in more innovative ways. These technologies also free up humans to try and produce better quality of print and to try to understand the message instead of devoting more time to the production of the message. In developed societies, it is not just the print which counts but the quality of the ideas in print that are of the greatest importance.

The qualities of ideas that are presented and recorded in print determine the state of intellectual development of the society and its capacity for improvement as well as gaining an edge over other societies. Some print is very highly regarded because it represents the essence of human knowledge, understanding or universal truths. Encyclopaedias, handbooks, the Scriptures and standard texts represent the print which the society has accepted as being of timeless importance after much debate, criticism and consternation. Often, the knowledge stored in print in these important books will represent the culmination of great struggles, triumphs of understanding, conflict and even bloodshed. However, print represents ideas and the truths which have to be utilised in order to be of benefit.

The print must be of importance and it should be given importance for the benefits of the print to become available. Respecting print means that the ideas, knowledge and truths that are contained in the print are being respected, considered, given importance to and are held as being profoundly important for the individual, humanity and the society. Giving respect to the Holy book does not mean that there is respect for the paper, ink or the quality of craftsmanship but that there is respect for ideas. Hence, unless the print is capable of producing ideas which are accepted as being profound, important and of significance for the future, the capacity of the print to bring about revolutionary change is restricted. Therefore, a progressive society which has the capacity for benefiting from revolutionary change must also have a system for producing the ideas which are of profound importance.

These ideas must then be held as being important and acted upon or implemented into practical realities. Unless the message which is considered to be of importance is transformed into practical reality by a society, the society cannot benefit from the message or the ideas and hence the print itself is not able to induce change. In the context of social change, there has to be a requirement for change which is embodied in a vision of something better and this vision must be sufficiently appealing to the many, or to those who are important in the society, for the vision to be attempted to be transformed into practical reality by committing resources, effort, taking the risks involved in change, going against the established order, getting organised or the pitting of an organised movement against tyranny to produce change

. A developed society has to have a system for using print to disseminate or generate ideas, conduct discussions and a scrutiny of these ideas. There has to be a constant desire to have something better and to transform ideas into practical realities. Print can act as a vehicle for conveying ideas and their wider scrutiny but print by itself is important because it can do this in an economical, effective and appealing manner in order to effectively make the ideas available to the many (Jones, 2000, Chapters 1 – 6), (McGINN, 1991, Chapters 1 – 4) and ( Dewar, 2000, Complete). 

Although the basic reason behind the importance of print and its capacity for influencing change are the ideas that are contained in the print, the manner in which the print can be presented, communicated, stored, manipulated and the knowledge which is considered to be of importance retrieved from the print is also constantly being influenced by the force of ideas and changing. The capability of presenting the printed word as a sequence of signals in a computer and its rapid manipulation has made it possible for the society to consider and develop ideas much more rapidly then it was previously possible. This capacity has been of great benefit to the society but it has also had an impact on the printing of ideas on paper.

Print on paper must now coexist with print as an electrical signal and the society has progressed sufficiently for the rapid and cheap transformation of the print on paper to the electronic print to be made possible. Hence, centralised printing presses are now still useful but they are being challenged by the distributed printing presses which are capable of quickly transforming the electronically stored print into print on paper when required.  A cheap printer connected to a computer which is linked to the World Wide Web has the capacity for tapping into a huge reservoir of ideas and the human repository of knowledge. These ideas can be selectively printed as required on paper for the convenience of the human users.

The larger press is used for printing material for which there is a confirmed demand and it is very likely that in the future all kinds of books will be downloaded from websites when and if required to be viewed on small or computerised portable reading equipment. The price of such computer equipment which need not be as sophisticated as a laptop computer, but which can also integrate a lot of other functions into it such as the communication function and the entertainment function is progressively declining. This does not mean that the printing press is likely to become idle, because humanity has a requirement for all kinds of packing, wrapping and informative material which is in constant demand. However, it is very likely that the high value added print material will be preferred in the electronic format and stored on web servers or the CD – ROM to be downloaded when required for payment by electronic means.

The benefits of purchasing a book in the electronic format are much superior to having a published book on paper. New editions can be rapidly produced and information in the electronic book readily manipulated. This is already happening and the only reason why individuals still prefer to read paper books is because the display technologies which provide the written word in human readable form need to be improved and made more affordable. That this is happening is the beginning of another social revolution which is likely to gain momentum with time. Hence, humanity is moving towards an age in which there will be far fewer books in the paper print form and very many web repositories from which electronic books, newspapers and magazines can be downloaded.

There is likely to be an emphasis on having small portable devices which will have the telecommunications capabilities and pleasant displays that are affordable. Such devices can usher in a new social revolution. Such a social revolution is not likely to be bad because the dwindling global forests require new attempts to conserve energy and reduce waste. A burgeoning repository of human knowledge means that permitting rapid access and manipulation of the electronic print is required. This, however, does not mean that there is not going to be a demand for the editors, the creative writers, researchers, scientists, technologists and philosophers etc who generate the content which could previously have been printed on paper only. There is in fact likely to be a greater demand for such creative individuals, especially those who are capable of producing quality.

The creative content industry will continue to boom and there will be a greater demand for good content because content will still be king. It is very likely that even schooling will be more distributed with pupils being able to download their lessons from a server rather then physically carrying backpacks of books to school. Universities will become more of a place for conducting research and generating new content then a place for disseminating this content through print on paper. The transmission of knowledge through the vastness of the globe and even into space and under the ocean will become an instantaneous affair rather then requiring the transportation of huge piles of bulky paper across the vastness of oceans, on ships, for the force of ideas and enlightenment to be unleashed in a dark region of the world. Language and the printed word, or rather the represented word is still important because this is what humans understand. However, the need to print this word on paper will be diminished.

It is all a question of economics and developing newer and more capable computerised devices is gradually changing the way humans live. Sufficiently reduce the cost of portable computing equipment, software as well as the cost of telecommunications and the revolution will be very much accelerated. It is surprising that many publishers have not taken up the challenge and produced important books which can be downloaded from web stores. This most certainly has something to do with the price an individual has to pay for the right viewing hardware for electronic text. Widespread adoption of such hardware is also limited by its fragility and complexity. Young children and many elderly individuals can find it difficult to operate viewers of electronic text and hence prefer the printed word.

Perhaps there is a need for the invention of a cheap device with the human / computer interface vastly simplified for the purpose of reading and interacting with the electronic text. A new revolution is certainly possible and it is very likely already happening, in which humanity will live in a world without the printed book (Dewar, 2000, Complete) and (Smith, 1994, Chapters 1 – 4).

Revolutionary social changes have always depended on the force of ideas which used to be conveyed through the print after an age of the oral tradition. However, the printed word on paper is now becoming rather inconvenient as a medium for transmitting and disseminating these ideas and humanity has found more convenient ways for doing this. However, for revolutionary social change to be possible there has to be a need for change, merit in the ideas and a capacity to topple the existing order or norms of the society. History has indicated that despite the force and the might of tyranny, it is the soundness of ideas and their appeal to the masses which are the engines for change. Hence, ideas presented through the written language must be widely available and considered to be important by the masses for revolutionary social change to take place. 

Because of the high cost of the computing equipment and the complexities involved in its operation as well as the fragility of the equipment, such equipment is still in the process of gaining a wider acceptance. Costs associated with communications and a decent bandwidth for telecommunications is also another deterrent. It will still take some time for the full effects of the information age to become apparent and there will be many unintended consequences of change in this age. However it is very likely that in the future, the print media will give way to the electronic text viewers / communicators as the most widely means for distributing these ideas and conducting social debates on them. Humanity has indeed come a long way since the invention of the printing press (Briggs, 2001, Chapters 1 – 5) and (Cooper, 2004, Complete).  


The print media has contributed very significantly to bringing about social change since the invention of the Gutenberg printing press. The renaissance, the scientific revolution and many other political revolutions benefited from the capability of the print to cheaply and conveniently disseminate ideas. It was, however, the force of these ideas which was behind the revolutions and the print acted by accelerating the dissemination, debate and acceptance of ideas, something which was not possible to be done in the oral tradition. In the present age, the electronic word is gradually going to replace the printed word as a more convenient and faster means for disseminating ideas as the technology and its present limitations are gradually overcome.

Usefull dissertation paper? Buy dissertations online at

VPN for Company Wide Communication – Dissertation Sample

The advantages and disadvantages of using VPN for company wide communication

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a maturing technology that offers a cheaper alternative when compared dedicated network links such as Wide Area Networks (WAN). In addition, VPN also offers users the chance to communicate information through mobile secure technologies when on the move (i.e. in the train or hotel). This report will look into the advantages and disadvantages of using VPN when communicating from one office to another, albeit across the world from each other. In addition, the report will primarily focus on security issues when using such a technology. The report will be split into two main sections with the first aiming to provide the non technical user with the necessary information to decide whether the company would benefit from using such a technology when communicating internationally between one office and another.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

This section will firstly introduce the network technology VPN. It will then look at other alternatives and compare and contrast with the advantages and disadvantages of using VPN. One of the most important issues will then be discussed, the security implications of VPN. Other facets of using VPN technology will be discussed before finally summarising the technology in a conclusion.

Background Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

With global communication requirements ever increasing in today’s business world a lot of companies use leased lines to provide Wide Area Networks (WANs) between one office and another (Tyson [1], 2004). This WAN is built up from different networking technologies ‘ranging from Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) providing speeds of 128 Kbps and Optical Carrier-3 (OC3) providing much greater speeds of up to 155 Mbps (Tyson [1], 2004).’ These network technologies ensure a company can build its private network way beyond its original foundations which answers the question to global expansion. A WAN is obviously more advantageous to a company when considering security, reliability and performance of a dedicated leased network is far greater than a shared public network. Using a dedicated line however can astronomically increase in price as the distance increases from one location to another.

Companies also would increase their networks by using Intranets which is a network provided by the company and accessed in-house by company users. This kind of network was designed for connecting company wide users and not remote users in the field. With the ever increasing size of the Internet and the growing demands of business users the Virtual Private Network (VPN) emerged. The VPN would use existing Internet technology to send data to and from one source to another albeit in a secure fashion. In addition, wireless protocols are also supported by VPN and this ensures the on the move user can access sensitive information.

A VPN is any network that can provide a secure network through an already existing untrusted or unsecured network (Black, 1999). The VPN technology uses different strategies to transport data such as tunnelling where a logical structure is used to encapsulate the data contents inside the payload or data field of another network protocol. This method of tunnelling ensures data can travel through networks it would otherwise be unable to transport through (Black, 1999). This technology has also been implemented into wireless systems (Synder, 2005) which ensures the mobile user on the move can use a secure network to assist his /her everyday working tasks which could mean remotely referencing a sales database for an interested customer or, could be one of the emergency services requiring intelligence regarding a situation such as a persons details.

Advantages and Disadvantages using VPN

VPN is considered as a maturing technology and is answering a lot of business communication problems that were once considered as unavoidable monopolistic overheads. With VPN technology there are certainly some disadvantages such a limited security for wireless users although more enhanced technologies are continually emerging on a frequent basis. The advantages of the technology are that the data can be sent from one location to another within the world using an existing and continually growing infrastructure, the Internet.

By using encapsulation, encryption and data tracking the data is sent both securely and accurately to the next user. The main advantage of using VPN over a dedicated WAN or even an Intranet is mainly based on the cost. In using an existing network (Internet) the operational costs are much lower than that used with the WAN alternative. Obviously with a huge organisation a dedicated line between one site and another has many advantages however when that site is overseas the alternative of mixing with VPN technologies becomes a much more attractive approach. VPN provides a secure link by using point-to-point protocols and encryption techniques such as Symmetric-key encryption or Public-key encryption (Tyson [2], 2004) which will be discussed at length within the next section.

So in summary VPN extends geographic connectivity, provides well established security methods, reduced operational costs when compared with that of the WAN technology. In addition VPN also provides reduced set-up times, fast network links for remote users, the network topology is simplified, productivity improved due to less constraints when compared with other networking methods, provides Voice over IP protocol (teleconferencing facilities), provides broadband networking compatibility and when compared with infrastructure set up constraints such as that seen with WAN technologies and VPN ensures a faster return on investment.

VPN security

For a well designed VPN there are five key features it must incorporate; Security, Reliability, Scalability, Network and Policy Management. This can be quite an arduous task to keep up with when there are three different types of VPN available. The different types are Site-to-Site VPN where the link across the Internet is either connected on an Intranet basis to main company Local Area Network (LAN) or, it is connected to a partner company LAN on an Extranet basis (partner company could be a supplier or long term customer). The other type of VPN network is a Remote-Access VPN where dial-up facilities are used to link users in remote areas with no physical link but a mobile phone airway link can be established.

Security is more secure with the Intranet and Extranet network methods than compared with Remote-Access VPN. This is to do with the medium used in terms of allowable bandwidth and error correction at any one time. Security is perhaps one of the main facets of a VPN network and has to be totally impregnable from criminal activity such as fraud, terrorism or company espionage for example. All of the different types of VPN offer encryption facilities which permit secure connections between a company’s private networks.

As mentioned before there are two types of computer encryption used;

• Public-Key Encryption

• Symmetric-Key Encryption

Symmetric-Key Encryption (Singh, 2000) is where each computer has a secret code (i.e. both parties who wish to communicate with each other). This secret code works very similar to idea behind the German Enigma machine where the secret code encodes the encrypted message as a shifted sequence along the everyday alphabet.

The secret code is a key by where the encrypted key and actual key are sent separately at certain times of the day. This key enables the user or system to decode the sequence of letters, to the correct sequence of letters, see below for example;

S A R A H – shift by 3 letters or numbers

V D U D K – is the new encrypted message

Figure 2.1 above displays the process of using symmetric-key encryption

The other encryption method is Public-Key Encryption where this is considered asymmetric when compared to symmetric key inscription. Basically, the two user’s wish to communicate with each other. Each user has a private key (secret code) and a public key which everyone can access (similar to gaining a phone number from a telephone directory). Using the analogy of padlocks the concept of public-key encryption can be extended to the reader. If user one has their private key secure from everyone else, they can distribute their public key to anyone they like, when user 2 wishes to send an encrypted message they use users 1’s public key which is analogous to user 1 distributing many padlocks securing boxes of information.

Once this padlock is closed or the message is encrypted it can only be seen by user 1 and no one else. In the analogy of padlocks, user 1 is the only person to have a unique key (private key) to open the distributed padlocks. Not even user 2 can open the padlock with his/her key as it is different private key or in the analogy, padlock key. This form of encryption is more modern and much harder to decipher than symmetric key encryption hence the Enigma code was cracked from the Allies obtaining coded items and intercepted signals.

The security used in VPN networks are as follows; encryption, IPsec, SSL and QoS (which will all be discussed in greater depth within the technical appendix), firewalls and AAA server.

VPN Conclusion

VPN is certainly an emerging technology which provides companies a good alternative to the more expensive WAN technology. VPN utilises the well established Internet to securely send its data from one location to another location albeit on the other side of the planet. To that end, there is no major infrastructure setup cost in implementing or leasing a dedicated network as with the WAN system. The VPN connections between users are secure in that tried and tested encryption methods have been integrated within the system.

Other areas of security will be discussed in greater depth within the Technical Appendix following this conclusion. In addition, VPN caters for mobile users on the move this by wireless VPN technology and can transfer data such a text, Voice over IP (VoIP) and image frames. The wireless security issues however provide some security albeit more research is required into providing trusted secure systems such as that seen on the VPN Internet, Intranet or Extranet technologies.

Technical Appendix

The Technical Appendix of the report is aimed at further informing the technical user with the information given in Section 2. It will firstly look at the technical aspects of VPN technology such as the different networks and, case examples. Lastly it will look at the technical security issues faced with VPN technology which is key to the migration of using the technology for commercial purposes.

VPN Technical Background

As discussed in Section 2.0, VPN utilises an already well established medium for communication, the Internet. This section will describe the techniques in how VPN transports information from one location to another location. The three types of VPN networks are displayed below (Tyson [3], 2004) in Figure 3.1.

Image courtesy Cisco Systems, Inc.

Figure 3.1 displays the 3 different networks used in VPN

All three network architectures use a method of tunnelling (Tyson [4], 2004) to ensure secure connections are made between users. Tunnelling is fundamental to VPN technologies. Tunnelling is where a data packet is wrapped around another packet that is Internet Protocol (IP) readable and transferred from one point to another within the Internet. Thus the IP packet is readable at both points albeit the packet that has been encapsulated within the IP packet may use some other network protocol such as private protocol or NetBeui that is unreadable across the Internet. This type of network allows different protocol formats to pass through the Internet onto private networks where they can be read and transferred further into a company network hub for example. To that end, a private network can be extended across the Internet infrastructure.

Tunnelling requires three different protocols for it to work correctly. The first is the Carrier protocol, this is the protocol of network the information is being transported over such as IP when using the Internet infrastructure. Encapsulating protocol is the protocol that ensures the original data is encapsulated around the transported protocol and is hidden from the transportation protocol. Such encapsulating protocols are L2F, PPTP, L2TP, GRE, IPSec (Tyson [4], 2004). Lastly is the Passenger protocol, this is the network protocol relating to the encapsulated data such as IPX, NetBeui, IP protocols. Passenger protocol can ensure the original data works on a private network once it has been transferred from one point to another point on the Internet.

Tunnelling is achieved from using either IPSec or Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) which ensures the passenger protocol can be read at the different ends of passenger protocol interfaces. Basically before being transported in the tunnel over the Internet the encapsulated data is wrapped up and information describing what the data is (kind of meta data similar to that used in eXtensible Markup Language (XML)) is then stored and read for interface communication at the other end.

VPN Security Technical Background

The most crucial element of a VPN is the security it uses for point-to-point communication. As already discussed encryption algorithms are used to convert the original data into a secret message and undistinguishable to an unintended user.

VPN uses the following technologies to ensure secure point-to-point networks; Firewalls, Encryption, IPSec, GRE, AAA Server. There are more technologies used however the above are key to most VPN systems and will be discussed further here. The firewalls act as a filter and will only allow desired packets of information to pass from the Internet to private network interfaces. If undesired packets arrive they are simply stored in quarantine with an alert sent to the user or, they are deleted.

The firewall prevents such unwanted technologies such as outside sabotage or espionage in the form of computer Virus’s (virus’s can cause unlimited harm to software and hardware components) or Trojan horses (again can cause unlimited harm to software and hardware but is disguised as a program that is trusted by the computer – say a software update or video file). Encryption as already discussed can be in the form of symmetric-key or public-key encryption and provides varying levels of secrecy when transporting data from one private network to another private network via the Internet. The most reliable and secure method of encryption is that of public-key encryption (not including quantum cryptography however this is still under research) which is discussed at length by Singh (Singh, 2000).

Internet Protocol Security Protocol (IPsec) and GRE are different encapsulating protocols which ensure the original message is wrapped up inside the transport protocol and understood at the point-to-point interfaces across the Internet. IPsec uses more advanced encryption algorithms in that there are two encryption methods; tunnel and transport. The tunnel method encrypts both the header and payload of each packet and the transport just encrypts the payload of each packet. For IPSec to work correctly the firewalls, routers and interfaces have to be able to read IPsec protocol otherwise it will not work. The encryption method of IPSec uses Public-key Encryption technology.

Wright (Wright, 2000) discusses ‘IPsec is built around a number of standardised cryptographic technologies, and uses’:

• Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA), for authenticating packets. Digital certificates for validating public keys or Keyed hash algorithms, such as Hashbased Message Authentication Code (HMAC) with Message Digest version 5 (MD5).

• Deliver secret keys between peers on a public network using Diffie-Hellman key exchanges

• In order to guarantee the identities of the two parties Public key cryptography for signing Diffie-Hellman key exchanges are used.

• The Data Encryption Standard (DES) and other algorithms for encrypting data.

Above Wright (Wright, 2000) provides some useful technical information which shows that IPsec is becoming a much more advanced encapsulation protocol than when it was first introduced back in 1995. The current version of IPsec is IPv6 and has overcome a lot of security problems otherwise thought as incurable problems.

Authentication Authorisation and Accounting (AAA) server is primarily used for more secure connections such as that required for remote dialup access. When a user dials up the AAA server it checks who the person is, then, what the persons rights and privileges are and the accounting is a log of what tasks place during the online session of the user.

There are other technologies used to provide security to VPN technologies such as SSL and QoS. Quality of Service (QoS) is a system where users are monitored to see if they have permission to use certain networks (i.e. other VPNs) if not, they are denied access. This bird’s eye view can see if a network is under attack from cyber terrorism and can shut down sections if necessary and divert traffic. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN is specifically designed for remote access in that it provides all the encapsulation protocol for remote users such as wireless or dialup users out in the field. SSL VPN (Nortel SSLVPN, 2005) offers many advantages in that it is a secure method through use of advanced encryption technologies and, it is also supported across multiple applications and platforms. SSL VPN also has a built in AAA server facility which is key to any remote access required by the user on the move.


Looking at both sections it is possible to see that the executive recruitment company Smythe and Smythe would be best advised to implement a VPN network for secure communications between its head office in one country to an office(s) in another country(s). There network set-up time and costs are much cheaper than that of using a dedicated or leased line between company offices. This is because VPN uses an already tried and well established medium, the Internet. The security from one to another private network across the Internet is very good. This is because the security technology is based around the use of public-key encryption methods. In addition, encapsulation protocols such as IPSec and SSL VPN allow both secure networks or remote dialup sessions respectively. As a further step towards security, VPN QoS can be used to monitor unwanted access and shut down networks that are under attack and divert traffic using other VPN networks. Buy dissertations online at

References and Bibliography

  • Black, Ulysses. PPP and L2TP: Remote Access Communications. Prentice Hall: New York, 1999. Chapter 18
  • Marie Wright. Network Security – Virtual Private Network Security, Volume 2000, Issue 7, 1 July 2000, Pages 11-14
  • Nortel SSLVPN., 2005
  • Singh, Simon. The Code Book – The Secret History of Codes & Code-breaking, Fourth Estate London, 2000, page 243 – 293
  • Synder, Joel., Check Point's VPN-1 Edge W security device picks up wireless support, Network World, May 2005.
  • Tyson [1], Jeff., Howstuffworks – Introduction to How Virtual Private Networks Work, 2004
  • Tyson [2], Jeff., Howstuffworks – VPN Security: Encryption, 2004
  • Tyson [3], Jeff., Howstuffworks – Remote-Access VPN, 2004
  • Tyson [4], Jeff., Howstuffworks – Tunneling, 2004

Roman Slavery – Dissertation Sample

Source criticism on a piece of evidence relevant to Roman Slavery

For legal purposes Romans divided slaves into two categories, those who belonged to the city household (familia urbana) and those who belonged to the rural household (familia rustica). Within both of these general categories the number of roles available to, or filled by, slaves was virtually limitless. 

The particular piece of chosen evidence is a section from the Digest (33.7) that illustrates the range of positions available to slaves who typically worked on rural estates. This particular section discusses what was included in the legacy of a rural estate and its associated equipment. The equipment in question being not only the tools and machinery that would be typically used on the farm, but also the humans that would be employed using the various pieces of equipment. The human work force “provided for the producing, gathering and preserving of the fruits”. 

This human work force could comprise both the slaves who actually worked the land and those who were responsible for catering to their, and their owners, material needs. From time to time it became necessary to specify exactly which slaves were part of a given legacy, and it is from such legal documents that this section of the digest is produced.  Given that the source for this piece of evidence are legal documents, it can be regarded as extremely reliable; although its purpose is to list the jobs held be specific slaves on a specific estate and not be a comprehensive list of possible jobs on any given estate.

The list provided in the Digest is highly instructive on a number of counts: firstly the combination of agricultural and domestic jobs. It should be noted at this point that the list in question refers to the roles undertaken by rural slaves, however, the combination of roles suggests that this particular estate, and thus we can reasonably assume, many rural estates, were largely self sufficient. 

There are roles such as hunter, shepherd, muleteer and herdsman which would obviously fit within the context of a rural farmstead, but there are also roles such as potter, kitchen maid, trainee waiter and furniture supervisor which seem strangely out of place and can only point to the estate being self sufficient. The inclusion of jobs that we can reasonable assume would be held by women (all of which are in the domestic sphere) is also of interest and confirms categorically that throughout the central period of Roman history it was entirely normal for female slaves to be found on farms and rural estates.

 The list is of far more importance than this however, it is also an excellent introduction to the vast range and variety of Roman slave occupations and indeed to the curious way that slaves tended to be given very precise positions rather than simply being assigned roles based upon what needs to be done at a given time and place. For example, the positions of  ostiarius and the scopariusi may be thought of as being too small to have been occupied by two people, that perhaps both roles could have been filled by the same slave; but this is not the implication of the highly specialised job titles. 

This may also be an indication that the estate was particularly wealthy, a less wealthy land owner may indeed seek to combine small and limited roles in the interests of efficiency and frugality. The slave who occupied the role of bubulcus may have been “one who ploughed with oxen” or perhaps “one who fed the plough-oxen”, both of which assume a very specialised (albeit simple in the case of the latter) role with no implication that the role overlapped with any other function on the estate. This lack of role over or duality of occupation could again be taken as a sign of wealth and position, if a landowner could demonstrate to his friends, neighbours and visitors that for every minute role he employed a specialist, an expert if you will, then the implication of wealth was obvious and did not need stressing further.

Bradley  has used this section of the digest to argue for many of the ideas that I have set forth here, theories pertaining to rural slavery and the wide array of jobs open to slaves, but this is not necessarily the case. There is really very little to assume that the roles were in fact occupied by slaves at all. It is assumed that they were given the largely menial level of many of them and the assumption that the estate where they worked was a wealthy one and thus could afford slaves but this evidence is circumstantial and not directly supported. The roles could just as easily be occupied by plebeians or freedmen, people that were once slaves but had won or bought their freedom. The workers, therefore, could be legitimately employed rather than being owned, the only evidence arguing against this is the source of the list being thought to be a legal document, or series thereof, which would usually detail slaves, but could equally be simply a list of the assets of the estate, and employees could easily fall within that category.

One of the limitations of the list is that is does not tell us directly anything about the size of the estate, we can assume it was large and wealthy given the minor yet specified jobs held by some (presumably slaves), but we know nothing more specific than this assumption.  Buy dissertations at


  • K. Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge 1994)
  • K. Hopkins, Conquerors and Slaves (Cambridge 1978)
  • N. Lewis & M. Reinhold, Roman Civilisation: Selected Readings, 2 vols (Chichester 1990)

Investigating and Configuring QoS – Dissertation Sample

The innovation in technology and the use of information in every form of business has made information technology a critical element of almost any business organization either for internal use or for facing the external world (customers and general public). The growth of electronic commerce and the use of sophisticated systems like Virtual Private Networks, 128-bit encryption, etc., has created the requirement for not only security and safety of the information being processed but above the quality in service through efficiency and quick response.

Hence it is no longer imperative to install a sophisticated information technology system but mainly to configure the installed system (either software or hardware) to provide optimum results continuously in order to achieve quality of service. This dissertation presents and investigation in this area and presents a few generic principles in configuring and achieving quality of service in the IT systems.

The research aims to throw light on the critical nature of Quality of service in information technology systems and the basic methods to improve the quality of service. Furthermore, the investigation in this dissertation will provide valuable input to decision makers in organizations to identify those essential elements required in an IT implementation within an organization for a given business purpose.

1.2: Aim and Objectives

The aim of this report is to investigate and configure quality of service in an IT-based environment. This is accomplished by conducting the research in the light of the following objectives

1. To conduct a generic overview on Quality of Service and identify its critical nature in information technology service environment with academic resources. 
2. To investigate into the quality of service in an IT environment through a case-study analysis using secondary resources like journals and company Profiles. The investigation throws light on the various aspects of quality of service with respect to IT environments through citing relevant examples and critically analysing them with secondary resources. 
3. To conduct a primary research through implementing a windows 2000 server installation in a local area network and configuring MS SQL Server 2000 RDBMS system in the network.

1.2 Research Definition

The primary research for a topic of this nature will be productive and quantifiable only through a practical implementation as opposed to the trivial methods of conducting questionnaire or opinion poll, which will give accurate with respect to a business study and not in terms of the technical implementation. Hence the research is conducted through a real-time implementation of the Windows 2000 server installation in a Local area network of ten desktop computers. A detailed overview of the methodology and the results are discussed in Chapter 4 on configuration.

1.3: Chapter Overview

Chapter 1: Introduction

This is the current chapter that introduces the reader with the aim and objectives of the research. This chapter provides an overview of what the research is about to the reader.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

The literature review commences with a generic overview on the concept of Quality service with critical analysis from academic resources. This is then followed by a detailed overview of quality of service in an IT based environment and the critical success factors that are defined by academic authors for achieving higher quality of service in information technology systems.

Chapter 3: Investigation

This chapter presents a case study analysis with secondary resources on the quality of service in the information technology systems. The case study provides a profound qualitative analysis on the topic with examples from various business cases where quality of service is achieved in an IT implementation both internal and external to an organization. The research is concluded with a critical analysis on communication using computers in VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) networks with secondary resources.

Chapter 4: Configuration

In this chapter a primary research implementation is conducted by installing Microsoft Windows 2000 server in a local area network and configuring MS SQL server 2000 RDBMS in the network The participating organization whose identity is withheld already have Windows NT in their Local Area Network and were intending to install a new operating system across their network. The details and the results of the implementation are discussed in this chapter.

Chapter 5: conclusion and Recommendation

In this chapter a critical analysis of the objectives against the research accomplished in the report is presented to the reader. The analysis will reveal the coherence of the research with the aim and objectives stated initially. This is then followed by a summary of the entire research and the conclusion to the dissertation. A few constructive recommendations for further research on the topic are provided at the end of this chapter.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1: Quality of Service – A generic overview

2.1.1: Quality of Service – Definition

Quality of Service is defined as the extent to which an organization can accomplish the task of serving its customers effectively and increase its productivity as argued by John Ward and Joe Peppard (2002) . It is interesting to note that the increase in globalisation and the extensive use of information technology in business process in every industry has increased the competition tremendously and hence in order to distinguish themselves from competing organizations, competitors are increasingly depending upon the service concept of business and have also realised that retaining the existing customer will leverage continuous business rather than identify new customers in the target market.

Furthermore, Quality of Service is considered as a way of increasing the performance of the organization through the use of innovative methods and technologies. For example, the use of information technology (computers and electronic processing) is one of methods adopted by many organizations to increase their quality of service through accurate processing of information using computers and providing timely services. Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes (2001) argues that the Quality of Service is the backbone of not only service-based organizations but to any company irrespective of the nature of business because it is clear that the business is always targeted to customers either the general public or another business organization itself. In both the cases quality of service is imperative as argued by the authors.

Alongside, the forum for International Association for electrical and electronic engineers (IEEE)  defines quality of service in terms of technology as the process of harnessing the most out of a technology implementation in an organization in order to increase productivity and overall performance of the client organization deploying the technology. Alongside, it is also justified by IEEE that the Quality of Service is imperative in any technology implementation within a company irrespective of whether it is IT-based or not mainly because of the fact that technology and innovations in technology are primarily to support business. John Ward (2002)  further argues that business should drive technology in order to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in the target market and achieve market share.

Since this report is focused on the technical aspects of quality of service, further analysis on Quality of Service in the light of business is out of the scope of this report.

2.1.2: Achieving Quality of Service

In a technical environment, David Kossmann (2003)  argues that the Quality of Service is accomplished mainly by achieving accurate results that were agreed by the parties involved within the time schedule. This apparently creates room for two major aspects of Quality of Service in terms of technology

a. Accuracy and 
b. Punctuality


David Kossmann (2003) argues that accuracy is achieved not only through achieving the expected results time and again but mainly accuracy in the overall process of developing the technology and implementation of the project so developed is the essential to achieve Quality of Service. John Ward (2002) further argues that in a technical implementation accuracy plays a critical role for not only achieving success in the project or quality of service but mainly to achieve reliability upon the system developed by the end users since it is obvious that a technology is developed targeting upon a group or groups of end users.

Apart from the above statements by eminent authors, another important aspect of accuracy with respect to technical project implementation is that the output agreed must not only provide accuracy in terms of value (quantitative result) but also in terms of the content of the output (qualitative result) as argued by R. C. Hibbler (2001) . The fact that quality of the output is normally measured in by analysing the entire process of the project itself rather than the final output makes it critical for maintaining accuracy at all levels of the project. A further overview on this area with respect to information technology and computers is presented in section 2.2.


Time is a critical factor in any project implementation since R. C. Hibbler (2001) argues that a project’s success is not only in its quality or accuracy of the output but essentially on the time deadlines and the ability to meet the agreed time deadlines. The increase in competition and the continuous innovation in technology has apparently in increased the need for rapid development and implementation of the projects both computer based and non IT projects because of the reason that a company can leverage competitive advantage and increase its revenue through the implementation only when it is a first starter in the business.

The success of – the leading e-mail service provider and Internet portal across the globe justifies this statement. Alongside, the growth of the motor company General Motors is through continuous innovation in manufacturing combined with timely entry into the market for purchase by the customers thus eliminating competition. Even though, the report is focused on Quality of Service in technology aspects, the fact that business embraces technology as stated before is the reason for the aforementioned statements on General Motors and Yahoo.

It is further intriguing to note that A Kemper (2002) has argued that punctuality in delivery of products to the market is one part of the entire project but essentially punctuality in a technical project reflects upon the ability of the project implementation to provide accurate results time and again within the stipulated time frame that was initially designed for. The example cited by A. Kemper (2002) on Ferrari range of cars on providing high performance to the owners every time justifies the above statement.  Hence it is imperative that the Quality of Service is not only in delivering the end product within the agreed time frame but mainly to provide output on the agreed time targets of the system every time it is put into operation.

2.1.3: Quality of Service between technologies

The increase in the competition in business and the continuous innovation in technology has apparently increased the use of combination technologies in every segment of business and technology including information technology. In a generic perspective this combined use of technologies apparently increases the need for a new project or product delivered by a third party to work efficiently not only on its own but mainly when utilised as part of the entire technology as whole within the company. R. C. Hibbler (2001) has stated that the Quality of Service of the technological innovations and new projects conducted by leading research companies specialising in various areas of technology will be successful only when the end product is capable of providing the desired performance when deployed in combination with other technologies or in other words when the project is implemented as part of a bigger project itself. 

The implementation of a 128-bit encryption method in the electronic commerce transactions over the Internet was a successful implementation only when the technique performed efficiently in line with the software being used by the Internet service providers and the company to conduct the transaction itself. This justifies that Quality of Service is not only assessed upon the individual performance of an end product but mainly when it functions efficiently on deploying in combination with other technologies.

From the above arguments, it is clear that the Quality of Service is a critical element for achieving success in the business as well as gaining competitive advantage in the market both for the business as well for the vendors of the technology. In the next section a profound overview on the Quality of Service within information technology and computer science is presented to the reader.

2.2: Quality of Service in Information Technology

The increase in the innovation and competition in the business has apparently forced the competitors both at national and international levels to utilise information technology products to increase the quality of service in the business and achieve competitive advantage. In this section a detailed overview on the Quality of Service in IT-based products and projects is presented in the light of technology.

2.2.1: Quality of Service in terms of Information Technology

Along with the elements of accuracy and punctuality mentioned in section 2.1.2, a critical factor that signifies especially for IT-based projects and IT related products is flexibility as stated by Efraim Turban et al (2004) . John Ward and Joe Peppard (2002) argue that flexibility in an IT-based product is mainly the case of incorporating new changes within the system without hindering the primary system or the business process itself. This further explains that the flexibility of an IT-project is essential not only to operate as part of a bigger software system but also essentially to provide enough room for further development and integration of the project with respect to changes in business. 
Flexibility in an IT based implementation is mainly concerned with the interoperability and the ease with which it can be configured with another foreign system. The evolution of J2EE (JAVA 2 Enterprise Edition) from Sun Microsystems and the .NET framework from Microsoft Inc are classical examples for incorporating flexibility and interoperability within the system.

It is further argued that not only interoperability is a criterion for flexibility in the IT-projects mainly because of the volatile nature of the information technology products itself due to continuous innovation and increased deployment of the policy of updating and providing patches. Joanne O. Cooper (2003)  comments that information technology has grown into a form of service from its initial conception of just a supporting tool for business organizations mainly because of the increasing dependency of the competing organizations on information and above all the increasing defects in a project which when otherwise replaced completely will increase the operating costs and the investment of the organization eventually reducing the return on investment (ROI). The above statement clearly justifies that the flexibility in an information technology project is not just in the form of interoperability but mainly to include any relevant updates without having the hustle of longer system outage and recovery.

2.2.2: Just in time (JIT) delivery

The initial years of the boom in information technology during the 1990s perceived Just in Time delivery mainly as the idea of delivering the end product of the developed software on time conforming to the agreed standards. Joanne O. Cooper (2003) in her research on the Quality of Service in information technology systems further argues that the twenty-first century has not only increased the rate at which a technology is being replaced but also increased the demands from an IF project from just timely delivery and accuracy of the software to the integral operation of the entire project for the given business case and enable the client organization that commissioned or invested in the project to achieve the Just in Time delivery of their company’s core product through the deployment of the software or hardware project so produced.

This clearly justifies that the Quality of Service with respect to an information technology project either software or hardware in today’s business environment can be achieved only through the efficient development of the project embracing the core requirements of the business itself rather than the individual organization. 

Furthermore, the concept of just in time delivery is extended to address the issues of system outage and backup recovery. System outage mainly concerns with the time involved in the suspension of the services provided by the IT system installed where the parties involved in the usage of the system both high-level users and basic users need to be notified and a time frame should be agreed for the delivery of the system which is after service/maintenance or after upgrading with necessary patches in case of software system outage. From the above statement it is intriguing to note that the demand from IT systems in today’s business environment is increasing not only because of the costs involved in purchasing or developing a system but mainly in the maintenance of the system so developed and installed.

The increasing expenditure on information technology and related products by organizations to develop and maintain are the primary reasons for the demand from the clients or the end users to provide higher Quality of Service through accomplishing any genuine updating or servicing of an installed IT-product either hardware (where the outage primarily concerns with the changes in the physical systems itself) or software (where the outage is concerned with software product installed in the company).

2.2.3: Stability and Quality of Service in information technology products

Stability is a critical issue in any technical implementation. This is mainly because of the fact that only a stable system can be assessed against a set of criteria for deriving upon the Quality of Service from the system so implemented irrespective of the industry or the technology involved. In the case of information technology this is more critical as argued by Joanne O. Cooper (2003) since the stability of the IT system is not only essential for assessing the Quality of Service but mainly to maintain the accuracy of information and check the ability of the system to respond to any serious situation like a virus attack or hacking by external entities.

Stewart Robinson, (1995)  has criticised that IT-projects implemented in the real-time business situation invariably lack stability right from a basic desktop application to a network wide distributed software installation unless they are debugged and tested against various test cases comprising of different situations faced by the business on a day-to-day basis and by handling any exception that arises like division by zero. The increase in the complexity of a software language like J2EE where the software developer has to write hundreds even thousands of lines of codes to implement a project must be able to handle the exceptions in order to prevent any bugs within the system. 

This justifies that Quality of Service in an IT environment is not just the quality of the end product in performance on its own but mainly in tandem with the business requirements of the client to deliver high level of performance and efficiency in the business process itself.

2.3: Conclusion

From the above overview on the Quality of Service it is clear that the Quality of Service in a the implementation or development of a technology primarily concerns with accuracy and the time deadlines involved whilst in case of an IT-product where the end-product is actually the supporting element for another business, the Quality of Service is complex with the increasing complexity of the system itself. In the next chapter a secondary research analysis in the form of a critical investigation in the Quality of Service of IT systems with examples from various software vendors and real-time software implementations are presented to the reader.

Chapter 3: Investigation

Right from the early years of using a personal computer for word processing up to the electronic commerce era of the twenty-first century, the companies competing in the IT product development as well as those organizations utilizing IT-products (like a customised software implemented local to a given network of a company) have increasingly invested in IT for achieving higher performance and speedy processing of information. The market report by Keynote on the Computers and computer-related products for the year 2004 has revealed that the companies involved in IT business are facing stiff competition from India which has become the hub for information technology outsourcing across the globe. 

Since the IT business itself has various segments like desktop programming, distributed computing, networking, communications, Internet and telephony, electronic commerce to name a few the investigation is carried out primarily on relational database products (RDBMS) including Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 Universal Database and telephony through VOIP which is an emerging technology in IT and networking. As mentioned before the investigation is primarily based upon journals, research reports and company profiles.

3.1: Quality of Service and RDBMS

It is clear that the entire information technology irrespective of its complexity or the level of application is dependant on ‘Data’ as argued by Efraim Turban et al (2004). 
This has apparently made the need for securing the information and maintaining consistency of the data across the whole company itself.

The word database as identified by David Flanagan (2003) is typically a file that holds or stores data in and presents it to the users in the form of information (processed data). Relational databases in general are those databases, which maintain the relationship between various elements of the information held in different tables, and maintain the consistency of the information through the efficient manipulation of the relationships established within the database.

The demand from relational databases is not just the data consistency in the day-to-day business. The two critical areas that are expected to be addressed by the Relational databases are

1. Storage Management and 
2. Backup recovery

Storage Management: Storage management is mainly concerned with the efficient use of storage area by the databases. The use of Content Manager and Tivoli Storage Management by IBM DB2 Universal Database to configure and store information in a three tier architecture format in order to protect the information consistency as well as to prevent unauthorised access is a classical example for the deployment of Quality of Service through the use of relational database systems in the IT-implementations within a company or in the client organizations. Julian Curtti et al (2004) state that the content manager deploys the  IBM content deploys the three-tier architecture through the use of three essential elements in the storage management system for capturing and storing the information processed by DB2

Universal Database. They are 

a. Browser: This serves as the front-end to the entire systems, which is seen and manipulated by the users. The users send their request to retrieve information through the content manager browser services. Alongside, the browser services not only serve as a user-friendly system with interactive screens, it actually performs the initial process of validating and authenticating the users to gain access to the Library server itself. 

b. Library Server: The Library server is the storage system that holds the information on the location of where the data/information is exactly stored in the storage media. This is because of the intriguing fact that the among of information handled by IBM DB2 Universal Database version 8.0 and higher is limitless and can grow up to infinity through the combined use of the IBM content Manager with the Tivoli Storage Management. The actions of the library server is first to authorise the users who were initially authenticated by the browser services to access the information requested based upon role their user-profile is configured for. The configuration testing in the next chapter will throw light on this area. The Library server accomplishes the authorisation of the users to access the data through the Role-Base Access Control (RBAC) technique, which was initially deployed by the Department of Defence (DOD), United States of America since 1980s. 

c. Resource Manager: This is the final tier where the actual information is stored mapped exactly in line with the address held in the Library server. The resource manager does not have an authorisation of its own but the two-stage authentication and authorisation up to the end of the library server accomplishes the task of preventing unauthorised access to the data. The fascinating fact about the Content Manager is that a single Content Manager installation with IBM DB2 Universal Database can map as many resource managers as required in order to facilitate the data warehousing services demanded by the users and business analysts for the purpose of forecasting and statistical analysis. 

The above arguments on the Content Manager for IBM DB2 relational database system proves that the Quality of Service in the field of data warehousing is accomplished by the use of a three tier architecture system to manage any amount of information held by a client organization. the fact that a three tire architecture implementation is essentially a programming methodology adopted for creating client server applications with the database as a tire is used within the relational database system alone proves that the competitors are keen in achieving high Quality of Service through the combined use of methods and techniques.

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 on the other hand is another relational database system that is investigated here in this section. The success of .NET framework from Microsoft since its release in the year 2001 has actually revolutionised the entire method of processing information and data transfer between two points. 

Jeffery Shapiro (2000)  says that the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 which was aimed to server the relational database requirements of the windows system actually serves as a comprehensive data warehousing as well as a robust RDBMS that can not only operate within the network but can be deployed easily over the Internet without any interruptions and issues of hacking. Furthermore R. Berumandin et al (2003) have justified that the SQL Server 2000 when implemented in a .NET framework provides versatile capabilities to the developer to integrate the information stored in a database at a remote location. The integration facilities through interoperability and remote database access within the .NET architecture itself has increased its popularity in the Internet business and is impeccably versatile as argued by R.

Berumandin et al (2003). A classical example for the successful implementation of the .NET architecture with the SQL Server 200 relational database system is that of the electronic commerce venture of Marks and Spencer Plc the retail giant in UK (Microsoft, 2003) . The implementation of the .NET framework in the company as early as 2002when the product was at its initial stages of propaganda in the market has increased the electronic business sales of Marks and Spencer by 15% (Annual Report, 2004)  in the year ending April 2004 itself. Furthermore, the use of the MS SQL Server 2000 relational database system for the purpose of storage and manipulation has reduced the use of middleware in the electronic commerce establishment of Marks and Spencer.

Alongside, not only the increase in sales in the year 2003 at the electronic front but the use of the information stored into the databases through remote access by the store managers and other corporate level decision makers to analyse the information and effectively forecast the demand has increased the efficiency of the supply chain of the company extremely well when compared to the year 2002 when the company suffered huge losses due to communication gaps in the supply chain leading to shortage of essential summer range of clothing released by Marks and Spencer Plc for the year 2002 (Annual Report, 2001). The increase in sales for the financial year 2003 seen in the annual report 2004 for the year ending April 2004 justifies the above statement. The Chairman’s message in the annual report of the company for the year ending April 2005 that the company’s performance in the e-business is appreciably well since the establishment of the Microsoft .NET architecture in the year 2003 further justifies the Quality of Service achieved by Microsoft in their products.

3.2: Application development and Quality of Service

The above arguments have provided comprehensive research information on the ways of achieving Quality of Service in relational database systems. But it is also essential to analyse the application development methodologies and how the organizations have achieved Quality of Service in this area of IT systems development.

 The changes in the information era especially with the technologies being deployed for developing a certain application is very high which has forced the need for a Rapid Systems Development  strategy to be adopted in developing IT projects in order to deliver optimum Quality of Service for the investment on a specific product as well as meeting the competition in the market. Apart from the need for addressing the increasing level of changes in the IT systems environment by the vendors who supply the product, the need for the clients to meet the competition as quickly as possible by becoming the best starter in the target market and gain accelerating rate of business development is essential in the highly competitive global environment of the twenty-first century.

Hargrave D (1996) further argues that a structured approach to the application development is a successful strategy for smaller applications (i.e.) those applications that can be developed quickly even using the trivial methods but for those applications that are mission critical and are enterprise wide, the development must be rapid as well as objective in order to reach the market quickly. If the need to reach the market quickly by the client organization is to achieve competitive edge in the market by harnessing the initial demand, the need for IT vendors in the light of rapid systems development is mainly to increase the Quality of Service. Hargrave D (1996) argues that by providing a rapid solution for a given business situation, the IT vendor not only gains the satisfaction of the existing client but actually gains a positive performance rating in the external audit which is being constantly monitored by organizations in pursuit of a competitive IT service provider to cater their business requirements.

Also, the rapid change in the technology and the continuous release of patches by the software vendors like Microsoft, IBM an other leading conglomerates,

In What Ways did Augustus use Visual Depiction – Dissertation Sample

In what ways did Augustus use visual depiction of mythical storys

“I built the following structures: the senate house and the Chalcidicum adjoining it; the temple of Apollo on the Palatine with its porticoes; the temple of the deified Julius; the Lupercal; the portico at the Circus Flaminius, which I allowed to be called Octavia after the name of the man who had built an earlier portico on the same site; the state box at the Circus Maximus; the temples of Jupiter the Smiter and Jupiter the Thunderer on the Capitoline; the temple of Quirinius; the temples of Minerva and Queen Juno and of Jupiter Freedom on the Aventine; the temple of the Lares at the head of the Sacred Way; the temple of the Penates on the Velia; the temple of Youth and the temple of the Great Mother on the Palatine.”


The reign of the emperor Augustus marks a watershed in Roman history. Before Augustus, the Roman Republic had an ideal adverse to the idea of kingship, with a political system combining monarchy, oligarchy and democracy. The Roman Republic perpetuated an image of itself as austere, and as upholding traditional “family values”. However, Republican Rome certainly had a grand scheme of building-works, and increasingly celebrated its meteoric ascent to power with statues and buildings in honour both of real-life senators, and of the mythological founders of Rome and those connected with the Roman ideal.

However, Augustus’ position as the first emperor of Rome was completely unprecedented. For that reason, he sought to legitimise his illegitimate power by recourse to divine sanction. This was a way to cause people to think of Augustus as having been particularly blessed by the gods, and thus, to have some kind of special connection with them. Indeed, the greatness of Augustus’ power made him a semi-divine figure, and we notice that to this purpose, Augustus used idealised images of himself which were placed all over Italy, not only in Rome alone. The spirit of the emperor was thought to inhabit the statue itself, rather as the spirit of a god was thought to inhabit the statue representation, such that the emperor’s statue had quasi-magical powers, just as the statue of a god was thought to be able to confer religious favours by the correct propitiation. Therefore, it is clear that it was not unknown for Rome to plan and build on a large-scale, Augustus’ position and the scale of his building project were without precedent.

As can be seen from the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, written by Augustus himself and inscribed on his mausoleum, not only were great buildings put into construction, but so were public works (such as aqueducts) great spectacles of gladiatorial shows and naval battles were put on and large sums of money from his private fortune were donated for the public good. These, along with the large amount of coinage minted during Augustus’ reign, all went towards showing the emperor as the saviour of Rome, and devoted to his people. Augustus achieved this grand scheme of propagating and legitimising his image by cleverly using mythological motifs in all of the huge projects mentioned above. I shall be focussing on three specific examples of Augustus’ visual use of mythological image in order to show how his aims were achieved.


It is easy to over look coinage when evaluating the visual imagery of a culture. Coins are small, and everyday; they are just as familiar to us today as they would have been to the Romans, unlike many of the grander buildings, such as temples and alters, with which Augustus beautified the city of Rome. However, by the fact that they are so commonplace, they become a powerful tool for image manipulation and propaganda. Augustus knew this fact well; he had to (somewhat ironically) strongly ally himself with the city of Rome (urbs Roma) in order to justify the fact that his predecessor had broken up the age-old Roman Republic.

The Battle of Actium, in 31 BC was crucial for Augustus’ image. As the victor over Antony (under the sway of Cleopatra and eastern kingship), Augustus had a golden opportunity after the battle to present himself as the saviour and preserver of Rome and her ideals. Coins dating from just after the battle show Augustus in full military regalia on one side, with the inscription CAESAR DIVI F meaning ‘the son of the divine Caesar’. On the obverse, the heads of Roman divinities or personifications, such as ‘Pax’ (Peace) and Venus, the goddess of love, are found.

This associates Augustus with the traditional Greco-Roman pantheon, and with the supremely legitimising foundation-myth of Rome, namely, that of Aeneas, the Trojan hero, whose divine mother was Venus herself. The association with ‘Peace’ makes it clear that Augustus is seen as the saviour and upholder of Rome (despite inaugurating a new style of governance which relied on one man, rather than the combined model favoured by the Roman Republic) against the eastern, and therefore effeminate and degenerate Antony, under the sway of the last of the Ptolemies, the licentious pharaoh Cleopatra.

Building Projects – the Forum Romanum and the Forum Augusti

Augustus made Rome a city worthy to be the head of a vast and powerful empire. Augustus laid claim to having refounded Rome, so extensive was his programme of building public works and monuments. The impact was immense, and gave the city a cohesiveness and beauty that Rome had lacked in the Republic, though some private citizens had attempted to aggrandize the city, though in a far less successful manner. However, Augustus had to go about this building project in a tactful way. He could not afford to treat the city in an entirely autocratic tradition (no matter how close to the reality this autocracy would have been) because this would have proved highly unpopular and would also have been very antipathetic to ideals of (Republican) Rome, which had never favoured kingship under any form. In which case, Augustus had to work with the fabric of Rome as he found it, rather than razing the entire city to the ground in order to leave a clean canvas for a megalomaniac building project.

Luckily, there were already certain spaces in the city of Rome that allowed for revitalisation and regeneration, rather than completely new and unprecedented building works. One of these was the Forum Romanum (or Roman Forum) located at the heart of the city, next to the Forum of Julius Caesar, started by that emperor and also completed by Augustus. Here, Augustus really adapted the old fabric of the city to suit the image of the new regime. This shows us that Augustus did not necessary need inscriptions (of the kind found on other public buildings, such as his mausoleum or the Ara Pacis, or even on coins as discussed above) in order to connect his deeds and achievements and the name of Augustus with the ancient past and tradition of Rome.

It was enough to build in the traditional political and commercial heart of the city, an area with great historic resonance, in order to achieve this desired effect. The Forum was revamped as a celebration of Augustus (and his family) by the clever manipulation of existing and new structures. For example, Augustus dedicated a new temple to Caesar in 29 BC, called the Temple of the Divine Julius (Augustus was of course keen to propagate the cult of the emperor, no less his predecessors than himself) in the existing Roman Forum. Augustus also bought land north of the Roman Forum, and completed a new Forum Augusti, in the manner of Julius Caesar. In the new Forum Augusti, Augustus built a temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the Avenger). He had vowed to build this temple at Philippi, a town in northern Greece.

This was where the murder of Caesar was avenged in the battles of 42 BC, by the defeat of all but the navy of the Republican forces, headed by Cassius and Brutus. This temple proclaimed the glorious past, with statues of triumphatores and elogia (short maxims or sayings). These recalled the careers and achievements of the eminent Romans who had secured victory in past battles. In this way, Augustus used the Roman pantheon (for example, Mars the God of War) in order to make ‘divine’ his defeat of the Republican forces at Philippi a few years previously. He also located a temple dedicated to Julius Caesar in the existing Forum, a place already strongly associated with the Roman Republic and its ideals. This was a clever marriage of existing Roman tradition with the new ultimate dictatorship of the divine Augustus, all the more powerful because backed up by the gods themselves.

Building Works – the Ara Pacis Augustae

The Ara Pacis Augustae (The Altar of the Augustan Peace) was one of the noblest works of the Augustan age, and differs from the temple to Mars Ultor in so far as it was not a glorification of military success, but a monument to the peace (the Pax Augusta) that Augustus had succeeded in bringing to the Roman empire. It was a sacrificial altar, constructed under the orders of the Roman Senate, on behalf of Augustus. It was dedicated in 9 BC, and was built on the Campus Martius (the field of Mars, located outside the city walls) and it commemorated the safe return of Augustus from Gaul and Spain in 13 BC. The actual sacrificial altar was found inside of a rectangular enclosure. It has many scenes, probably showing the procession and sacrifice that accompanied its dedication, which are depicted on its sides in a bas-relief, now heavily restored.

There is one scene, the most significant, which shows Augustus, Agrippa (Augustus’ right-hand man), Julius and Tiberius taking part in this religious tradition, accompanied by the lictores, religious officials and other heads of state. This gives us an idea of how Augustus wanted the Roman government to be seen as legitimising his reign, along with the gods themselves. On the shorter sides are four panels, showing reliefs of various things such as birds, small animals, garlands and sacrificial implements. On the west side there is a panel showing Aeneas sacrifices a sow to the Penates (Roman household gods, along with the Lares and Vesta). The altar in Augustus’ time stood outside, beside the Via Flaminia. On the east side, facing this street, there is a panel showing Terra Mater (or a personification of Mother Earth) holding two young babies.

A figure on the left hand side is riding a swan (possibly the birth of Venus, or else a personification of the air). On the right hand side another figure rides on the back of a sea-monster, and this possibly personifies sea-breezes. Below this in the middle are a sheep and a cow. There is a depiction of an urn and reeds, probably symbolic of a river to the left. On the right are some waves, representative of the sea as a whole. The entire allegory is both of the fertile lands of Italy (the implicit message is that this is due to the leadership of the divine Augustus, who is shown in the procession scenes as mentioned) and of Augustus’ recent victory. Augustus is thus associating himself with all the traditional symbols of peace and prosperity (heavily tied to the idea of the fecundity of the land in this agricultural-reliant society), though these are all cleverly constructed around emphasising the absolute primacy and triumph of Augustus, both military and political.


Augustus’ famous boast, that he had found Rome a city of bricks, and left it a city of marble, was something of a self-aggrandising exaggeration. Nevertheless, it is not without some truth; Augustus rebuilt Rome to an unprecedented extent, and he always had in mind the goal of legitimising (through various differing visual mythological representations) his rather hard-won and bloody dictatorship.  Buy dissertation on your topic at


  • Cary, D., and H.H.Scullard (eds.), A History of Rome Down to the Reign of Constantine Third Edition (London: Macmillan, 1975)
  • Huskinson, J. (ed.), Experiencing Rome: Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire (London: Routledge, 2000)
  • Janes, D., Romans and Christians (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing Ltd., 2002)
  • Zanker, P., The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus Trans.A.Shapiro (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988)

Emperor Gaius – Dissertation Sample

How extreme and how offensive was the emperor Gaius' self-deification?

As it has been conventionally documented, Gaius’s rule can be broadly divided into two eras: an initial golden age of democracy, humility and tax abolition giving way to a period of appalling paranoid delusion and wayward tyranny which affected most of the Empire seriously and adversely.  In his 59th book, the eyewitness historian Cassius Dio explains how Gaius “gained with the multitude a certain reputation for generosity,”  since he distributed to the soldiers the money that had been bequeathed them, “amounting to a thousand sesterces apiece” and even adding more. He earned favour with the people by paying in excess of the “forty-five millions bequeathed to them”, and adding the two hundred and forty sesterces, plus interest, each that they had been owed since his receiving the toga virilis. Dio goes on.

“He paid the bequests to the city troops, to the night-watch, to those of the regular army outside of Italy, and to any other army of citizens that was in the smaller forts, the city guard receiving five hundred sesterce per man, and all the others three hundred. And if he had only spent the rest of the money in a fitting manner, he would have been regarded as a generous and munificent ruler,”

While Dio asserts that it was fear of the people and soldiers that sometimes caused him to make these gifts, he notes that “in general they were made on principle; for he paid the bequests not only of Tiberius but also of his great-grandmother, as well those left to private citizens as the public ones.” Any apparent philanthropy was also quickly neutralised by his indiscriminate spending. Gaius lavished enormous amounts of wealth on people he admired: actors; horses; gladiators; women, thus exhausting extremely rapidly the wealth that had been accumulating in the treasury.

“At all events he had found in the treasury 2,300,000,000 or, according to others, 3,300,000,000 sesterces, and yet did not make any part of it last into the third year, but in his very second year found himself in need of vast sums in addition.” 

Gaius’s erratic and extraordinary approach to fiscal matters, along with his mortal assumption of the title Caesar, would certainly seem to represent an unusual lack of responsibility, at odds with our conventional understanding of a good leader; but this does not necessarily point to insanity. Indeed, to suggest insanity would be to automatically relieve Gaius of responsibility for many of his harsher crimes. In order to ascertain its extremity, this essay will look at how unusual Gaius’s self-deifying behaviour truly was, in the context of the Imperial tradition.

In order to assess the Emperor’s offensiveness, it will consider some of the ways in which his behaviour and attitudes have been received. Another thread will run alongside the core of this assessment, taking into account more modern and theoretical approaches to character determination. In order to see quite how offensive the Emperor’s behaviour was, it will be necessary to explore, if not reach consensus on, what the precise nature of Emperor-character is, and whether, indeed, the figure of Gaius drawn by history can ever be real enough to sustain the weight of responsibility for the atrocities laid at its door. This investigation will be described at the end of the essay.

Before speculation or exploration, however, a sort of project of literary archaeology must be undertaken, in order to retrieve information about Gaius’s reception. Finding out how his people reacted to him, and how unusual his behaviour truly was, will represent a sort of combined project. Imperial rituals, for example, were an established convention, that had long ensured the Roman Emperor’s integration into the religious framework of the city. From 30 B.C, for example, games were celebrated every five years by one of the priest colleges, in honour of Augustus’s health. On three occasions, special “votive” games were even held, in thanks for the Emperor’s safe return to Rome. Augustus appeared in a contemporary hymn, on coins, and in the shrines in peoples’ homes. As Religions of Rome explains,

“ The numen, or divine power, of Augustus also received public honour in Rome. Although, strictly speaking, there was no official cult in the city of the living Augustus as a god, Tiberius did dedicate an altar on the Palatine next to the house of Augustus, at which the four main priestly colleges sacrificed to his numen” 

While “numen” was supposed to draw attention to the difference between the Emperor and the gods, in practice, of course, it generally had the opposite effect, “There must have been all the difference (and yet none at all) between worshipping Augustus and worshipping his numen”. 

The cult of post-humus Caesar entitlement looks no less suspicious to our modern eyes. Augustus was promoted to Caesar after death, an act that followed on from his life of expressed anticipation of the event; there was nothing surprising or convincingly metaphysical about the attribution. After his funeral a senior senator declared an oath that he had seen a vision of Augustus ascending to heaven. Rumours abound that the “ascension” report had been handsomely funded by the deceased’s widow, and Augustus set a precedent as a new convention of Caesar-ships being justified by Imperial visions was established. The subtle self-deification of Emperors may have been the norm, but by no means was it blindly accepted by the public, and it would be a mistake to forget that every one of the historians passing all this information on to us have their own agendas,

“Roman historians regularly use accusations…that an Emperor was claiming the status of a god as a symbol of his utter transgression of all the rules of proper behaviour. So it was recounted that Gaius Caligula, after a popular start to his reign, began to make assertions of his own personal divinity: he is said to have sat between the statues of Castor and Pollox in the temple in the Forum, showing himself to be worshipped by those who entered; he wore the clothing or attributes of a wide range of deities, and established a temple to his own godhead.” 

It may indeed be the case that historians from the time, Cassius included, aimed to demonise Gaius in order to warn subsequent Emperors against subverting the Augustan numus convention. Gaius’s successor appears to have made a point of reverting to the customs of his Roman ancestors,

“he corrected various abuses, revived some old customs, or even established some new ones,”   while Religions of Rome identifies a repeat pattern of “paraded transgression and reassertion of the Augustan norm” , occurring throughout the first century, and this would seem to be born out by the evidence. Nero’s excessive ambition to equal gods was followed by modest, pragmatic rule of Vespasian. Vespasian’s son Domitian, however, demanded to be addressed as “dominus et dues noster”: “our master and god”.  Later, again according to Cassius Dio, Commodus became so fixated with Hercules that he had the Colossus statue converted into one of himself as Hercules.  The observation of such patterns says more about the observer than any historical fact, and, of course, all opinions on the good or bad character of the Emperors are self-perpetuating through historical literature, regardless of the truth. Even modern writers have speculated on the possibility that Gaius’s evil is so intrinsic that it has been described in Biblical references to the Apocalypse,

“The ten horns are the governors of the ten Provinces of the Roman Empire (the dragon).  The dragon gave power to this beast (the imperial power).  The beast reigns 42 months, which is exactly the period of the reign of Caligula who reigned from the 1st July, 37 AD till the 21st January 41 AD and who wanted to be worshipped as a God (Zeus Epiphanes neos Gaios), even in the temple of Jerusalem: the absolute horror for iconoclastic monotheists.” 

1: The Jewish Perspective

Gaius’s hatred of the Jews has been well documented and it does seem to have given him an excuse to expand his deification project in ways that enraged his people more than ever. Caesar and the Jews had a good relationship so the Emperor had accorded them certain privileges: they had been allowed religious freedom were able to keep the Sabbath; were exempt from military service- and in Judea Roman coins would not contain the Emperor's likeness, as a mark of respect for the Jewish ban on graven images. In the same vein, Jews were not required to participate in the imperial cult (deification). This is where Caligula fell down. The Greeks of Alexandria had long resented the exemptions that the Jews had been allowed, and railed for Caligula's statue to be erected in the Temple in Jerusalem. Riots broke out in support of this in Alexandria, and Caligula took over the notion, and ordered that his likeness be erected in the Temple.

Philo has described in length the story of Flaccus, the governor of Egypt, who he believed headed the riot at Alexandria in an attempt to win favour with Gaius and was won over by the anti-Semites. He gave the mob a free rein in their attacks upon the "alien Jews."  When Agrippa, the grandson of Herod was passing through, the Alexandrian mob were roused and, as Flaccus looked on, the people attacked the Jewish quarters, sacking the houses, and assaulting anyone who tried to resist them. The most distinguished Jews were not spared, with thirty members of the Council of Elders being dragged to the marketplace and slain. Philo's account gives a picture strikingly similar to that of a modern holocaust. Ultimately, and perhaps rather ironically, the brutal indifference of Flaccus did not effectively ingratiate him with the Emperor, who had him recalled to Italy, exiled, and finally executed.

Removing Flaccus did not end the troubles, however- the mob had got out of hand and anti-Semitic demagogues were elated. What happened next seemed specifically and spitefully contrived to offend and outrage the Jews,

“The mad Emperor, having exhausted ordinary human follies, went on to imagine himself first a god and then the Supreme God, and finally ordered his image to be set up in every temple throughout his dominion. The Jews could not obey the order, and the mob rushed into fresh excesses upon them, defiled the synagogues with images of the lunatic, and in the great synagogue itself set up a bronze statue of him, inscribed with the name of Jupiter.” 

The Jews, understandably, found it impossible to incorporate Emperor-worship into their religion, and appealed directly to Gaius against this attack on their liberties. An embassy was sent to lay their case before him, and Philo prepared a long philosophical "apologia" for the Jews and set out with five colleagues for Italy. The anti-semites turned out in force too, with Apion, an Alexandrian, heading a hostile deputation. In Benwich’s words,

“The emperor, Gaius, was in one of his most flippant moods and little inclined to listen to philosophical or literary disquisitions. At first he received the Jewish deputation in a friendly way, and led them to think that he was favorable; but when they came to plead their cause…he behaved like an insolent, overbearing tyrant,”

He goes on to explain how this uncomfortable audience “if it can be so called” occurred around the palace gardens, with Gaius dragging “the unfortunate deputation” from one place to another around the palace, appearing not to listen, and shouting orders to his gardeners and other servants. Any time the hapless, bewildered, Jews attempted to present their case, the Emperor would speed ahead, apparently enjoying the fear evident in the faces of his visitors. On occasion he would make what must have seemed like taunting and heartlessly racist remarks, "Why don't you eat pork, you fools?", which were nevertheless heartily enjoyed by the Egyptians and the humour of which is probably slightly lost to us now.  

Ultimately, the issue never arose because the statue never arrived: in 41 Caligula was assassinated by an officer the Emperor had offended, a member of the Praetorian Guard. In this way, then, it has been argued that Caligula’s deification was linked to his anti-Semitism, which was in turn connected to his assassination. Philo, perhaps typically of the Jewish population of the time, believed that Caligula’s anti-semitism derived from his self-deification: a kind of jealousy of the one race in his kingdom that insisted upon worshipping a single god and could make no room for him.  

Of course, nothing is ever this simple. It is in actual fact rather unlikely that the Greeks erected images of Gaius in Synagogues as a sort of specious display of loyalty, in an effort to protect themselves from Gaius’s reprisal for previous crimes. While this argument is certainly appealling, as it justifies the Greek’s behaviour where they would otherwise seem to be guilty of wanton violence, there is no mention of this in either of Philo’s accounts of the story, Legatio and In Flaccum. In the Legatio, Philo writes that,

“the synagogues which (the Greeks) could not destroy either by fire or by demolition, because large numbers of Jews lived crowded together close by, they outraged in a different way, which involved the overthrow of our laws and customs. They placed portraits of Gaius in all of them.” 

This passage, as Mary Smallwood argues in Philonis Alexandrini, suggests that Philo believed the Greeks’ principal intention was not to atone for former crimes or ingratiate themselves to the Emperor, but simply to disrupt the local Jewish community by removing their places of worship. In Smallwood’s terms, 

“Desecration was resorted to only as a second-best in cases where wholesale destruction proved impracticable. Erecting an effigy of Gaius could be done more quickly and unobtrusively than destroying a building or burning it down, and therefore this method of rendering the synagogues unfit for Jewish worship was adopted in areas (where) attempts at arson or demolition (could be) observed and resisted.” 

This argument would seem to work in Gaius’s favour. As Philo says in Legatio 137, installing portraits of Gaius in synagogues was likely to have been one stage of a scheme to damage the Jews, and not an end in itself, a distraction from an earlier crime. Similarly, if the Greeks intention had been to honour Gaius, destroying synagogues would have been an illogical method, as it would have destroyed the dedications to Emperors that already existed inside them. Smallwood’s conclusion throws a very different light on Gaius’s “self-deification”, 

“On the whole, therefore, it seems most probable that the Greek mob, excited by the success of the Carabas episode, simply lost control of itself and acted completely recklessly in disregard of possible consequences, and that the motive behind its behaviour was not self-protection but mere jealousy and hatred of the Jews.” 

Hence not only was Gaius not directly responsible for the historically recorded pogrom, but his name has been broadly used as an excuse by Greek apologists ever since, and their argument appears to have been seldom challenged. Caligula’s tyrannical acts of self-deification seem to have been accepted as fact to the extent that there is a great and persuasive wealth of evidential source materials that can now be used to retrospectively support the stories. 

The Jewish part of Gaius’s story is integral, rather than incidental. Mainly thanks to Philo, perhaps, a large part of what we understand as Gaius’s character derives from the representation of his relationship with the Jewish people. The personality of an Emperor or King is a unique thing: it must straddle subjectivity and spirituality, and barely has room for reality’s appraisal. Gaius found himself preoccupied with the artifice of his role, and was profoundly unnerved by the awareness he alone seemed to have that the power of an Emperor resides precisely in that artifice.

Precisely like a deity, there is enormous power in the Imperial name, and politics, like religion, relies on an equivalent value of faith, invested in the leader, in order to sustain itself. Gaius knew that he could be more effective than the Roman deities, since his position came already filled with an enormous presumption of public faith. By folding into himself those aspects of public life the deities had been entrusted with, Gaius demanded less, not more, faith from his public.
The gods no longer demanded religious belief: they were bureaucratic tools.

Certainly, they made oaths and deals turn around faster, ensured clear boundaries between allies and enemies, embodied traditions and cultural rituals that sustained security and familiarity, and put faces and personalities to a set of rules and recommendations for a good life. But the gods did not ask people to believe they had any metaphysical value at all. The gods were pragmatic, but there was nothing mystical about them. When Philo suggests that Gaius might have done better to have emulated the behaviour of the gods, rather than their dress, he is making one good point, but missing the main one. The gods are their dress: it was this fact which Gaius tried to demonstrate, colourfully, ostentatiously, notoriously.

It is quite clear from Philo that the Jews objected to Gaius’s encroachment on presumptions of faith even more than they objected to any basic anti-semitism. Gaius may have been cruel towards the Jews, but, as even the Jewish commentaries show, he was cruel towards everyone, so this doesn’t prove very much. The Emperor’s efforts to deny his role, even as he seemed to enjoy it, offended the Jews. He constantly strove to experiment with other roles and personalities, playing at fictional characters- fictional, like the gods.

The blatancy of Gaius’s awareness of his own power was what offended the Jewish people more than anything. He exercised and enjoyed power so capably that he was a constant reminder, and a genuine threat to those who still believed their faith in religion represented a shareholder stake in the governance of the Empire. Thus through his obvious power that demanded neither gods nor believers in his own deity, Gaius was a living contradiction to anyone asserting religious the need for faith. The Jews, as the only significantly outspoken race to uphold their religion at the time, were understandably concerned.

2: Madness and the Impersonation of gods

The Romans maintained a pragmatic approach to their gods, assigning each a particular office that was then worshipped in place of personalities in the stories. In this way, religion was connected to the fundamental economics of agriculture. Rome found itself personified as a principle deity; some Greek gods were admitted to their pantheon, and deities were adapted according to the needs of the Romans. 

Roman religion was controlled by the state, and each house-hold maintained shrines dedicated to fertility and plenty, with individuals being exempt from the religious rituals. These were generally carried out by priests and those allocated papal authority. This system continued until the “state cult” was overtaken by the Imperial one. Following Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE, he was declared god by the Roman Senate, setting up a tradition of deification of strong emperors continued and while most preferred to rule under the aegis of a greater deity than themselves, the most popular being Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun.

“(Gaius) changed his appearance and dress to those of Apollo. He wore a radiant crown, grasped a bow and arrows in his left hand…choirs…singing paeans to him- choirs which had shortly before been calling him Bacchus, Evaeus, and Lyaeus, and chanting hymns in his honour, when he assumed the costume of Dionysus.” 

The allocation of responsibility for this extraordinary phenomenon remains frustratingly unclear. The evidence seems to suggest that the people are often equally as responsible for the glorification of their leaders as the Emperors themselves. Gaius’s “bad press” has drawn on stories of his own deific affectations and magnified them to the point where they have eclipsed everything else. As such his self-deification may not have been that unusual or extreme, but has become so for the sake of retrospective scapegoating. Gaius, perhaps almost arbitrarily, but probably as a result of his convenient mental illness, has come to stand for everything despicable in Roman culture. Philo took pains to record his untrustworthiness, relating this to his fondness of actors,

“Gaius kept changing his masks as on a stage, and so misled his audience by his deceptive appearances” 

The stories about Gaius’s antics are equally compelling and ridiculous, describing his incestuous relationships with his sisters, the building of a pontoon bridge across the Bay at Baiae, ludicrous battle plans, and, perhaps most notoriously, his intentions to make his horse a consul.  Scholarship today seems to have reached an almost unanimous consensus that Gaius was insane.

The blanket hostility of the ancient commentators must generate suspicion about their claims, particularly as Gaius's actions fit uncannily into the model of the ancient tyrant , a specific type enshrined in Greco-Roman literary tradition long before his reign. In reality, it seems, he was nervous and strange, and inadvertently gave plenty of fodder to those looking for evidence of mental unsoundness. He was spoke poorly in public, becoming so excited that his words would pour out and he had to keep moving around. He didn’t sleep well, often only three hours a night, and was driven by frustration to wander through his quarters calling for dawn. When he did sleep, he was often disturbed by vivid nightmares. 

According to Suetonius, he was terrified of storms, which caused him to hide under the bed. Barrett treats such stories with suspicion, since “Such anecdotes were traditionally told about Emperors. Augustus, for instance, supposedly hid in an underground room during thunderstorms, and Tiberius was said to be so terrified by storms that he wore a laurel wreath.”  The wealth of anecdotes relating Gaius’s arrogance to storms in different ways is telling, effectively portraying him either as a pathetic upstart, brought to his knees by the elements, or as dangerously cock-sure, raging at the sky.

Suetonius reports how Caligula held conversations with a statue of Jupiter in the temple on the Capitoline Hill, apparently challenging the god with the words Ajax cried to Odysseus in the wrestling match of Homer’s Illiad, “Lift me, or I’ll lift you!” Cassius Dio’s version of the story maintains the image of the Emperor as self-inflated with a childish temper, and again the themes of impersonation and god-challenging arise. He describes Gaius’s thunder machine, a device which, apparently , echoed the thunder in the sky and issues flashes of light when lightening was in the air. In Dio’s account, whenever a bolt fell, Gaius threw a javelin at a rock and shouted Ajax’s challenge. Seneca records a different version again. Gaius had been eagerly planning a theatrical show, and aimed to produce it himself, when a violent thunderstorm struck which suddenly washed away the whole set. It seems feasible that he would have shouted Ajax’s words in anger, here, not in madness or as a blaspheming challenge to the gods.  

However, it seems to me that even Seneca’s relatively sympathetic version of the challenge is contrived against Gaius. The theme of suspicious and childish deception is still present in core premise of the anecdote: that Gaius is an actor; and the cautionary aspect, the moral, hinges on the assumption that Gaius’s acting is an insult to the gods and something to be wary of. It seems Gaius’s interest in acting and the theatre represents a ready-made analogy for moral commentators to use in support of their claim- but this does not make any of their claims true.

As the only eyewitness commentary, Philo's Embassy to Gaius, does not detail any clear and indisputable actions of an insane man. Philo conveys a sense of someone arrogant, highly-strung and capricious, certainly, and with a rapier wit, but not necessarily mad. As Fagan observes,

“The best explanation both for Gaius's behavior and the subsequent hostility of the sources is that he was an inexperienced young man thrust into a position of unlimited power, the true nature of which had been carefully disguised by its founder, Augustus. Gaius, however, saw through the disguise and began to act accordingly. This, coupled with his troubled upbringing and almost complete lack of tact led to behaviour that struck his contemporaries as extreme, even insane.” 

One plausible explanation for the impression of madness Gaius seemed to project can be attributed to what Barrett describes as, “his own ironical view of the world, not fully understood in his time, and much distorted in the tradition.”  Yet, while compelling, Barrett’s claims that Gaius was a skilled rhetorician ahead of his time seem almost too radical, leaving one wondering whether Barrett too has been seduced by a kind of trans-centurial Imperial charisma. This theory does give a novel spin to Philo’s accounts of the anti-Semitic insults, however. In Barrett’s terms, “The Jews were no more capable of understanding Caligula’s humour than were the Romans.”  When Gaius met them with the greeting “haters of the gods,” the dismayed Jews protested that they had offered sacrifices. Gaius’s witty remark that the sacrifices had been offered “for him, not to him”, apparently terrified the Jews, but it is indeed quite possible he was exercising his linguistic and rhetorical muscles through elaborate word play.

“When he asked ‘Why don’t you eat pork?’ everyone, apart from the Jews, burst into loud peals of laughter…the precise point of the joke, so well received, is lost to us…but the Wildean character of his follow-up is readily apparent. When the Jews pointed out that in avoiding pork they were not exceptional, since other communities had dietary prohibitions against ordinary foods, such as lamb, ‘Quite right too,’ was his reply, ‘It isn’t nice!’” 

Gaius’s treatment of the desperate, if humourless, Jews, is inconsiderate from any angle. But, while Barrett’s interpretation of it as a harmless exhibition of wit is probably a step to far, there is no indication of insanity here. When the Jews came to ask Gaius to consider their political rights, he drove them to despair, leading them from room to room while pitching orders to his servants and feigning inattention. This behaviour, witty or otherwise, surely stems from ingrained distaste with the people appealing to him, but it is some leap to assert that it was their Judaism with which he had a problem. Caligula ended the meeting with a remark about sparing the Jews, who he had decided to treat as misguided lunatics rather than criminals, in their inability to believe in his divinity. If it is present, then the irony is strong; the problem, as ever, is that we have no way of knowing whether it is.

Some portion of the outcry against Gaius’s deification is relatively easy to counter. When Balsdon writes that, “When Drusilla was born, he placed on the knees of the statue of Jupiter, ‘thereby hinting that she was Jupiter’s child’,” and “he asked Apelles the actor whether he thought Jupiter or Gaius the greater, and tortured him for hesitating over the answer,” we are presented, respectively, with biased speculation, and what sounds remarkably like anecdotal exaggeration. His fondness for acting and fancy dress was unfortunate, since it provided a perfect vehicle for endless speculative elaboration on his supposed divine intentions,

“he displayed himself at Rome in the traditional costume of gods and goddesses, as Jupiter, Neptune, Hercules, Bacchus, Apollo, and even as Juno, Diana and Venus,” 

and has subsequently made it much more difficult to determine his motivations, sanity, and the context of his remarks and behaviour. Suetonius and Cassius Dio perceive his habit of dressing as gods as an extension of his irresistible desire to dress himself in fanciful costume. The desire has proved both unfortunate and confusing. As Balsdon puts it,

“ It is suggested that Gaius, in the spirit of Antiochus Epiphanes, wished to represent himself as the embodiment of all the Olympian gods, just as Drusilla, after her consecration as Panthea, became the divine personification of all goddesses. We may well ask in that case why it was necessary for Gaius to trespass on what should have been Drusilla’s recognised territory, and to impersonate goddesses as well as gods. On the other hand, it has been urged that Gaius was merely introducing to Rome what had been the normal practices of the Hellenistic monarchs.” 

Gaius’s attitude to the gods, and the reaction of the public to him, may be convincingly contextualised by a good deal of contemporary literature that seems to support the notion that the gods were essentially anthropomorphic entities, and representative of neither ethics nor metaphysical alternate realities. To the Romans, gods were appreciated for their distinct identities, marked, in turn, by their distinct attributes. Emperor’s were, however, notoriously arreligious by this stage, and Gaius caused as much offence as any of them- but, it would seem, no more. While Gaius aimed to abolish what he perceived as antiquated traditions, he did not offer himself as an exact replacement of the ancient, polytheistic, religious cult.

Certainly, there are rumours that Gaius had a temple constructed in Asia, but it is unclear whether this was actually built. Also, he was following an established tradition in this- there already existed a temple of Augustus and Rome at Pergamon and one of Tiberius, Julia Augusta and the Senate at Smyrna.  The form of his dedication differed, however: the temple was erected to honour him alone, not Gaius and Rome or Gaius and the Senate. He had a temple erected on the Palatine, entirely at his own expense, and apparently in honour of his own divinity, “numini suo proprium.” In this temple he aimed to place a statue of Zeus, and according to Seutonius, decapitate it and replace it with an image of his own head. As Seutonius describes it he sounds like an interminable monster,

“ He also set up a special temple to his own godhead, with priests and with victims of the choicest kind. In this temple was a life-sized statue of the Emperor in gold, which was dressed each day in clothing such as he wore himself. The richest citizens used all their influence to secure the priesthoods of his cult and bid high for

Development of Roosevelt’s Policy – Dissertation Sample

Roosevelt;s policy;towards Britain between May 1940 and December 1941 experienced distinct discernible developments and changes.; These developments and changes of;Roosevelt;s policy;towards Britain were caused by the various domestic and foreign policy factors that will be outlined below.

The United States had adopted a largely isolationist foreign policy following its involvement in the First World War, isolation that many of its voters apparently wished to maintain. The Americans had not joined the League of Nations leaving Britain and France to ineffectively resist the aggressive foreign policies of Germany, Italy and Japan. Although few could doubt Roosevelt;s sympathy towards Britain there seemed little prospect of the United States joining the Second World War on Britain;s side even if Winston Churchill could persuade the Americans to provide material aide and military equipment.; However circumstances and the forging of a strong relationship between the United States and Britain ensured that the United;

States regarded Germany as the main enemy rather than Japan, even though the attack on Pearl Harbour provided the immediate context for American entry into the Second World War.

In domestic political terms Roosevelt regarded 1940 as a pivotal year for his presidency, for it was a year in which he sought to win an unprecedented third term in the White House.; Since his first presidential election victory in 1932 the Roosevelt administration had reduced the devastating economic consequences of the Great Depression via the New Deal programme.; Roosevelt had kept the United States strictly neutral at the start of the Second World War even though he was personally inclined to support Britain and France. However,; isolation seemed to be an almost sacrosanct feature of foreign policy amongst American voters and any moves towards joining the war had to carefully taken to maintain the administration;s popularity.

Roosevelt was concerned enough about Japanese intentions in the Pacific to start a rearmament programme yet hoped that diplomacy would avert war in that region (Stafford, 1999 p.3). The British government held the belief that if they stayed in the war long enough that the United States would eventually join the war on their side (Hobsbawm, 1994 p. 38). American industry meanwhile was happy to make and sell arms to Britain and France whose own rearmament programmes had not hit top gear prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. Roosevelt was aware that American exports would be vital for Britain;s ability to survive and eventually win the war. Most experts might have expected that the Second World War would turn out to be a long drawn out stalemate with the French army and Royal Navy keeping the Germans in check.

In such a situation the biggest factor would have been German attacks on American shipping carrying supplies to Britain. In the event the Nazis-Soviet Pact and the rapid German victories of 1939-40 changed the military and strategic balance dramatically. The disastrous Anglo-French campaign in Norway led to the replacement of Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill as Prime Minister on the very day, 10 May 1940 that the Germans launched their offensive against France and the Low Countries. As the defeat of France became inevitable,; the qualities of Winston Churchill in keeping Britain fighting alone came to the fore. Churchill perhaps more than any other person kept trying to persuade Roosevelt to change American policy towards Britain and to a great extent succeeded (Parker, 1989, pp.44-45).

With Churchill as Prime Minister the remote prospects of Britain making a deal with Germany diminished further. The Roosevelt administration were concerned that if Britain was defeated or forced into a peace deal that the most powerful ships of the Royal Navy could be used by Germany or Japan and pose a significant danger to American economic and military interests. For Roosevelt and the United States as a whole,; the consequences of Britain;s defeat could have been catastrophic. It was in Roosevelt;s best interests to keep Britain in the war and prevent outright German victory.

Britain;s lonely fight was portrayed as the stand of liberal democracy against Nazi tyranny (Townshend, 2005, p.142). American military and naval experts regarded Britain;s survival as strategically vital for the effective defence of the United States itself. Britain was also seen as a strategic stepping stone for liberating Western Europe from German occupation should the American government decide it wanted to intervene to do so (Hobsbawm, 1994 p. 39).

Britain;s determination to survive was shown even before the Battle of Britain by the Royal Navy action at Oran to prevent French ships being used by the German navy. Although Churchill had not found the decision to attack a former ally easy he had been prepared to make such a decision to ensure Britain;s survival. Roosevelt could therefore contemplate increasing support for Britain as it had a government that was ruthless and determined in fighting on when many governments in similar circumstances would have sued for peace (Kennedy, 1976, p.301).

Churchill had ordered that the French navy be neutralised at all cost (Churchill, 1948, II p 205)Oran persuaded Roosevelt that Britain was worth supporting as much as any of Churchill speeches or letters could have done. Churchill went out of his way to forge strong relations with Roosevelt, as gaining American support was the key not only to survival, yet eventual victory as well.; Churchill regarded an Anglo-American alliance as the only means of defeating the Axis powers,; whose aggressive policies would ensure that the United States would have to fight eventually. American isolation was as unrealistic as Anglo-French appeasement policies had been at averting war.; (Jenkins, 2001, p.624).

After the defeat of France the British Army was in a bad state and would have little prospect of defeating a German invasion force if it had landed. Without the successful evacuation from Dunkirk,; the situation would have been worse. All that stood between survival and defeat was the Royal Navy and the RAF. The Royal Navy had large numbers of ships that could be used to repel German invasion forces, yet had to take them off convoy escort duties and thus increasing the strain on Britain vital supplies (Deighton, 1980, pp. 85-86). Churchill;s speeches in the summer of 1940 were not only used to rouse the defence of Britain they were used to gain support from the American government and the American people.

Churchill appealed to the United States for help as together Britain and the United States could overcome the Axis powers and restore democracy and freedom to Europe. The White House and Roosevelt believed that the threat of Germany;s invasion of Britain in June 1940 was real enough to contemplate offering Britain assistance (Colvin, 2003, pp.262-3). From the start of his premier-ship Churchill decided that it was in Britain;s best interests to keep Roosevelt informed of Britain;s military and naval weaknesses to gain support whilst assuring Roosevelt that Britain would survive and not waste that support. Churchill used the fondness that Roosevelt had gained for Britain as an official in the United States Navy during the First World War to good affect (Stafford, 1999, pp.6-7).

Churchill had an astute understanding of how the American political system worked that allowed Roosevelt to increase the United States support for Britain between May 1940 and December 1941 without seeming to break American neutrality. That neutrality was believed by Roosevelt to be untenable in the long-term,; even if increased support and stronger naval and military links with Britain effectively ended isolation and meant that confrontation with the Germans in the North Atlantic would become increasingly likely. Churchill did not demand that Roosevelt should immediately bring the United States into the war on Britain;s side as that would never been approved by a Republican controlled Congress and would almost have certainly led to his defeat in the presidential election of 1940. The German failure to crush the RAF during the Battle of Britain lifted the immediate threat of invasion.

Although Britain could only survive if its trading links with the United States were maintained. The importance was clearly shown as it allowed Britain to produce aircraft to replace the losses incurred in France and during the Battle of Britain (Jenkins, 2001, pp.632-33). Roosevelt who was given constant reminders from Churchill about the dire state of Britain;s position decided to step up United States aid to Britain through the Lend-Lease Act. The Lend-Lease Act struggled through Congress and was not passed until March 1941 due to strong opposition from isolationist Republicans (Stafford, 1999, p.62). To assist the Royal Navy, Roosevelt gave them fifty moth balled First World War vintage destroyers for convoy escorting duties in return access to British naval and airbases.

These destroyers were more than just symbolic of Roosevelt;s commitment to aiding Britain;s survival. They replaced some of the Royal Navy;s losses from the Norwegian campaign and the evacuation of Dunkirk and to make up for the Royal Navy concentrating its ships in home waters to deter the threat of German invasion. Roosevelt further reduced the burden upon the Royal Navy by ordering the United States Navy to unofficially escort merchant shipping entering or leaving United States territorial waters. Roosevelt felt more confident in offering Britain increased support after securing his re-election. Churchill was not only thankful for that support,; he was certain he and Roosevelt had forged a strong friendship between Britain and the United States (Jenkins, 2001, p. 664)

Whilst these unofficial convoy duties antagonised the Germans neither Roosevelt nor Hitler at that point wished to go to war openly. Hitler made the mistake of assuming that Britain was no longer capable of defeating Germany. Churchill in his meetings with Roosevelt and letters to him stressed that Germany was a far greater threat to Britain and the United States than Italy or Japan. Churchill thought that is was sensible that Britain and the United States should recognise their common values and beliefs, the reasons why Britain was in the Second World War and the motivation for the United States in ensuring that Britain survived fighting alone. Churchill was very influential in the drafting of the Atlantic Charter that set out the Anglo-American vision for the post-war world. Churchill enjoyed the conferences with Roosevelt and used them to gain further assistance from the Roosevelt administration. Roosevelt afforded Churchill much respect and hospitality and as much assistance as it was possible to give Britain.

The Atlantic Charter gave the emerging Anglo-American alliance its strategic and ideological basis. Their first conference off Newfoundland aboard the battleship Prince of Wales during August 1941 meant that Roosevelt had committed the United States to a formal alliance with Britain. Such an alliance at some point would formally involve entering a war in which she actively supported Britain and since June 1941 the Soviet Union (Stafford, 1999, pp.68-70).; Although the alliance between Britain and the United States would turn out to the closest, it was the alliance with the Soviet Union that Washington considered the most important for winning the war (Jenkins, 2001 p. 662).

Despite the Atlantic Charter;s aims of promoting liberal democracy both Britain and the United States were content to ally themselves with the Soviet Union as they regarded defeating Germany as a priority, with the United States capable of sustaining the war waging capacities of its two new allies. The strategic situation in Europe meant that the United States government had to shift its outlook of the world, its isolation had only ever been from Europe as it had always asserted its rights to intervene in Latin America and Pacific.

Roosevelt and his administration despite any public announcements to the contrary regarded the United States as having to join the war as being almost inevitable. Once Roosevelt had reached that conclusion,; with a large amount of input from Churchill and British intelligence,; then supplying Britain with material aid whilst forming an increasingly close military and political alliance were the next logical steps to take. Churchill had written to Roosevelt in May 1940 that he hoped that the United States would carry on supplying ;stuff just the same; once Britain ran out of money (Parker, 1989 p.58).

Roosevelt did not want the United States to be as unprepared for war as Britain, France and the Soviet Union had been. Military and lack of resources had hampered Britain and France; with Britain being fortunate enough to be an island making it more difficult to invade. Roosevelt was comfortable with Lend -Lease equipment going to Britain and later the Soviet Union as they would not survive but win the war if the United States gave them the equipment and resources to do so. Roosevelt and the United States government believed it was gambling on helping and receiving payment after the war than only supplying the weapons and materials that Britain could afford (Hobsbawm, 1994, pp.39-41).

;Lend-Lease was recognition of the United States industrial and economic power that allowed it an unrivalled production capacity. Britain on the other hand had a declining economy; the cost of the First World War and the consequences of the Great Depression had reduced its wealth. British armaments production and shipbuilding capacity had declined markedly during the inter-war years. Lend-Lease provided Britain with the ships and aircraft to maintain the North Atlantic convoys and allow equipment and men from the United States to reach Europe and North Africa whilst keeping the Soviet Union supplied (Kennedy, 1976, p.303).

Lend-Lease had been vital in shoring up the British war front once Britain could no longer afford supplies from the United State. It allowed the relationship between Britain and the United States to be tightened whilst unofficially keeping the United States out the war. Lend-Lease amply demonstrated the generosity of the American government and the confidence that Roosevelt had in final victory to the tune of $30 billion between 1941 and 1945 (Gardiner ; Wenborn, 1995, p.465).

Roosevelt would change United States policy towards Britain between m1940 and 1941 due to the benefits that the United States could gain from a closer relationship. Roosevelt was not particularly comfortable in dealing with foreign policy, although he was astute when it came to dealing with domestic policy, Roosevelt did have a couple of attributes that can explain why he changed policy towards Britain. Firstly,; he had an admiration for Britain, specifically the Royal Navy and British intelligence. Secondly,; Roosevelt was a man that revelled in secrecy and intrigue,; something he held in common with Churchill (Stafford, 1999, p.6).

Roosevelt had been impressed by the way the outnumbered Royal Navy had seized the initiative from the Italians after the Taranto raid in November 1940. Similarly the way in which the British Army had defeated the numerically superior Italian Army in North Africa impressed him. Roosevelt was impressed by the British intelligence;s ability to predict the next steps of the Germans and Italians, an impression that Churchill was careful to foster (Parker, 1989, p.55). The high quality of British intelligence was due to the breaking of the German enigma codes that had forewarned Churchill of invasions of Greece, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, although it had not allowed the British to stop those invasions. Churchill was willing to share that information with the Americans and had tried to warn the Soviet Union of the German invasion without telling either the source of that information (Stafford, 1999, p.52).

Roosevelt was impressed by the information that Churchill had at his disposal during the Newfoundland Conference. The conference had the benefit of creating not friendship between both countries (Jenkins, 2001, pp.664).; Roosevelt committed the United States to defeating Germany first even if Japan entered the war. Churchill certainly warned that Japan could do so soon, although Roosevelt seems to have been reluctant to heed that warning and other warnings provided by United States Navy code-breakers. The subsequent attack on Pearl Harbour (inspired by Taranto) brought United States entry into the war (Hobsbawm, 1994, p.41).

Therefore, several factors influenced Roosevelt into changing policy towards Britain. Roosevelt had favoured supporting Britain and France from the start of the war yet not all in the government or the United States public had wanted to end American isolation from Europe. The defeat of France strengthened Roosevelt;s arguments for helping Britain and preventing total German victory in Europe. The possibility of the Germans gaining control of the Royal Navy and Britain;s weakness prompting Japanese expansion in the Pacific persuaded more people in the American government to actively support Britain.

The rapid exhaustion of Britain;s currency and capital reserves meant that Roosevelt was faced with the choice of allowing Britain;s vital supplies or no longer supporting its war effort with disastrous consequences. Churchill may have constantly requested help from the American;s yet he stressed the values and aims that both countries shared as much as only wanting a short-term alliance that only lasted the length of the war. Britain;s survival alone against the odds meant that Roosevelt could justify providing military support whilst the Lend-Lease scheme allowed the fa;ade of isolation to remain intact. Churchill and Roosevelt were able to form a strong friendship that assisted the formation of a close long-term alliance.;Buy dissertation on your topic at


  • Churchill W (1948); The Second World War Volume II, London
  • Colvin J (2003) Decisive Battles ; Over 20 key naval and military encounters from 480 BC to 1943, Headline Book Publishing, London
  • Deighton L (1980) Battle of Britain, Book Club Associates, London
  • Gardiner J ; Wenborn N (1995) The History Today Companion to British History, Collins ; Brown, London
  • Hobsbawm, E (1994) Age of Extremes, the Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, Michael Joseph, London
  • Jenkins R (2001) Churchill, Macmillan Press Ltd, Basingstoke;
  • Parker R A C (1989) Struggle for Survival ; A History of the Second World War, Oxford University Press, Oxford
  • Stafford D (1999) Roosevelt ; Churchill ; Men of Secrets, Little, Brown and Company, London;;
  • Townshend c (2005) The Oxford History of Modern War, Oxford University Press, Oxford;Legally Binding Undertaking