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

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Remembering the Roman People consists of ten linked studies of the political culture of the late Roman republic, all based on the premise that most recent scholarship has been over-influenced by the ideology of the self-styled optimates, as transmitted above all in the letters and speeches of Cicero, and has largely ignored the interests and ideological standpoint of the Roman People as a whole. Rejecting the assumption that the republic was always and necessarily an oligarchy, and keeping open the possibility that the People had a strong egalitarian ethos of its own, normally in conflict with that of the optimates, T.P. Wiseman investigates a series of political episodes which have not been satisfactorily explained, and brings out, as a counterweight to Cicero, the hitherto unexploited political character of his near-contemporary Marcus Varro. Among the other themes explored are the attitudes of two lost Roman historians, Licinius Macer and Asinius Pollio; the dramatic nature of Roman satire, consistently ignored by scholars of Latin literature; the inextricable interdependence of performance space and political space in Rome; the extraordinary justification of political murder in Cicero's philosophical dialogues; and the verdicts passed on Cicero and Caesar by a great nineteenth-century historian who was also an orator and an experienced politician.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199239764
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Exeter.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1 Roman History and the Ideological Vacuum

2 The Fall and Rise of Gaius Geta

3 Licinius Macer, Juno Moneta and Veiovis

4 Romulus' Rome of Equals

5 Macaulay on Cicero

6 Cicero and Varro

7 Marcopolis

8 The Political Stage

9 The Ethics of Murder

10 After the Ides of March


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