Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type

Departmental Honors Paper/Project


Department of History

First Advisor

Allannah Karas


When Rome formally established the province of Asia in 129 B.C., solidifying its recognition as the new political authority was a complex issue. Three Roman civil wars raged, republicanism was destroyed, and Emperor Augustus ushered in the newly-minted Roman Empire. Choosing the right side during these volatile times was a dangerous affair. Following the firm establishment of the Roman Empire under the victorious Augustus, however, Imperial authority could rightfully promise stability for the provincials of Asia under Roman governance. The gears of political change began to wheel about in Asia as Imperial officials superseded provincial Greek magistrates. From the Roman perspective, the provinces should have had no issue proclaiming their loyalty to the Roman emperor, given the lack of comparably powerful political figures. In the provincial perspective, however, while the cement had been poured and the foundation for loyalty was laid, it was far from concrete. This paper claims that though the Lydia earthquake of 17 A.D. provided Emperor Tiberius an opportunity to establish his legacy through a successful disaster relief program, the ancient sources of the earthquake illustrate his clear failure to claim the strong and sustained support of the province of Asia as well as the Roman Empire as a whole.