Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature

Paperback | June 29, 2011

byWiseman, T. P.

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In the Roman republic, only the People could pass laws, only the People could elect politicians to office, and the very word republica meant 'the People's business'. So why is it always assumed that the republic was an oligarchy? The main reason is that most of what we know about it we knowfrom Cicero, a great man and a great writer, but also an active right-wing politician who took it for granted that what was good for a small minority of self-styled 'best people' (optimates) was good for the republic as a whole. T. P. Wiseman interprets the last century of the republic on theassumption that the People had a coherent political ideology of its own, and that the optimates, with their belief in justified murder, were responsible for the breakdown of the republic in civil war.

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In the Roman republic, only the People could pass laws, only the People could elect politicians to office, and the very word republica meant 'the People's business'. So why is it always assumed that the republic was an oligarchy? The main reason is that most of what we know about it we knowfrom Cicero, a great man and a great writer, b...

T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Exeter.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:June 29, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199609969

ISBN - 13:9780199609963

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Table of Contents

1. Roman History and the Ideological Vacuum2. The Fall and Rise of Gaius Geta3. Licinius Macer, Juno Moneta and Veiovis4. Romulus' Rome of Equals5. Macaulay on Cicero6. Cicero and Varro7. Marcopolis8. The Political Stage9. The Ethics of Murder10. After the Ides of MarchEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

"This book is ground-breaking for its simple suggestion that the ideology of Roman popular politics is not entirely lost to us, and for its virtuoso demonstration that, fragmentary, inadequate and intensively studied as our sources for the period are, they may still have more to tell us." --Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement