Public Order in Ancient Rome

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Overview

The absence of a professional police force in the city of Rome in classical times is often identified as a major cause of the collapse of the Republic. But this alleged 'structural weakness' was not removed by the Emperor Augustus and his successors, and was in fact shared with other pre-modern states: a specialized police force is a modern invention. In this critical new study of the system of law and order in ancient Rome in both Republican and Imperial periods, Wilfried Nippel identifies the mechanisms of self-regulation which operated as a stabilizing force within Roman society. This case-study of ancient Rome has a comparative dimension and will interest legal historians of other pre-modern societies as well as ancient historians, anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Nippel's attention to the ritualized structures of political life and the precedents for political action creates a multi-faceted commentary on politics....dense in historical detail and rich in the historical perspectives that form the basis of the argument." New England Classical Journal

"...a lucidly argued thesis bolstered by selective use of comparative urban evidence..." Choice

"Professor MacCormack had done a superb job of exhausting the sources and establishing his case for his thesis that aspects of Confucianism he emphasizes has a profound influence on the codes....His book is a great step forward for the field....this is an illuminating book." The American Journal of Legal History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521387491
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: Key Themes in Ancient History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Republican principles of policing 4
The display of magisterial authority 4
Everyday police functions 16
Conspiracies and illegal associations 27
Citizen initiatives 30
2 Late Republican political violence 47
Riots and riot control 47
Crushing insurrections 57
Legitimizing the state of emergency 60
3 The collapse of the Republican order 70
New dimensions of popular protest 70
Calling in the troops 78
4 Features of the new Imperial order 85
The city of Rome 85
Outside the capital 100
Epilogue : Law and order in comparative perspective 113
Bibliographical essay 120
Bibliography 126
Index 158
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