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Available for the first time in paperback, with a new introduction that reviews related scholarship of the past twenty years, Erich Gruen's classic study of the late Republic examines institutions as well as personalities, social tensions as well as politics, the plebs and the army as well as the aristocracy.
|Introduction to the Paperback Edition|
|I||The Aftermath of Sulla||6|
|II||Political Alliances and Alignments||47|
|III||The "First Triumvirate" and the Reaction||83|
|IV||The Consuls and Consular Elections||121|
|VI||Legislative Activity: Criminal and Administrative Law||211|
|VII||Criminal Trials (I): The Implications||260|
|VIII||Criminal Trials (II): The Continuities||311|
|IX||The Plebs and the Army||358|
|X||Discontents and Violence||405|
|XI||The Coming of Civil War||449|
|Appendix I: Composition of the Senate||508|
|Appendix II: Additional Criminal Trials||524|
|Appendix III: Imperia Extra Ordinem||534|
Posted March 12, 2010
Easily my favorite book on the time period. Thoroughly researched and well-written, it refutes many- in fact most- of the conventionally held beliefs about the fall of the Republic. It provides a suitable counterpoint to Syme's Roman Revolution, arguing that many of the institutions blamed for causing Rome's downfall were in fact its last hope for stability. He examines the lists of the magistrates during this time, as well as different court battles. He stresses the factionality of Roman politics without becoming confusing with the different factions. That being said, this book is not for readers who have a casual interest in the subject. Gruen assumes the reader has a thorough understanding of the general political atmosphere and important characters. A must-read for those of you who have more than a passing interest in the Late Roman Republic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2004
Erich S. Gruen's scholarly work is one of the most concise studies on the politics and society of the late Roman Republic. Throughout the book, Gruen exhaustively reviews the socio-political spectrum of Rome from Marius to Caesar. This book is indispensable to the serious and novice scholars alike. By accurately and concisely reviewing the composition of magistracies, senatorial rolls, and tribunes, from the time of Sulla to the Civil War, Gruen offers a compelling insight as to how the optimate and patrician oligarchy was continuing to do business as usual until the republic's final years. Gruen covers every aspect of Roman politics involving each class composing Roman society from patricians to plebeans, foreigners, and slaves. He studies all conceivable social institutions, how they were used by such classes and what their implications were in the broad context. As with any study of this period, Gruen covers much detail on the development of the First Triumvirate and its principal actors: Crassus, Pompey, and Caesar. He shows how each continued their political aims as usual. It seems that Gruen's argument focuses on how the consequences of enfranchising virtually all of Italy into Roman citizenry after the Social Wars overextended the traditional stability of the nobilitas' oligarchy. Family alliances became fragmented and unstable and splintered the traditional system of rival clientelae to such a degree that it made the effective administration of the republic by the oligarchy impossible. Gruen also doesn't ignore the adverse effects of Rome failing to address the dangers of its professional legions whose allegiances were only to their commanders and not its political institutions. Altogether a brilliant scholarly work that is indispensible to the study of this most important period of not only Roman History, but of our present history as well. In addition Gruen's work, 'Marcus Crassus and the Late Roman Republic' by Allen Mason Ward parallels the dilligent research and analyis on this subject with a stronger emphasis on the First Triumvirate and Marcus Licinius Crassus in particular. I would strongly recommend both books to anyone who has more than a fleeting interest on this subject.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2010
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