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

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Overview

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

Abbreviations

Introduction

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

Epilogue

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