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

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9780199609963: Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature
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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 know from 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 the assumption 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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T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Exeter.

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"Review from previous edition: The importance of his work lies not only in what he argues but in how - and in the vision of the Roman past he invites us, with such enthusiasm and elegance, to share."

--Mary Beard, The Times Literary Supplement

"Wiseman's very selective use of secondary material stands out. This is one of the most learned of classical scholars, who knows the fields, both ancient and modern, inside out, and who argues meticulously against individual positions."

--Christina Kraus, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"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

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9780199239764: Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature

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Book Description Condition: New. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011. IX,271p. Paperback. 'This book, a set of elegant, complex, and complexly interrelated case studies in the political and social life of the last century of the Roman Republic, is an exercise in returning to first principles - in particular, to the root meaning of 'republic' (res publica), whose original sense, 'the People's property' or 'the People's business', Wiseman takes as his starting point. He argues that the People - very much with a capital 'P' - were central to Roman political life and development, and that the existence of political parties (long out of scholarly fashion) must be taken seriously. In short (and like Fergus Millar, among others) Wiseman wants to 'put the ideology back' (p.33) into the study of the late Republic.Wiseman's very selective use of secondary material stands out. (.) This is one of the most learned of classical scholars, who knows the fields, both ancient and modern, inside out, and who argues meticulously against individual positions (in this volume, especially those of Gruen, Mouritsen, and Goldberg). A sparing use of secondary literature has often been his practice elsewhere, of course, and is part of his insistence on returning to the sources rather than accepting the scholarly communis opinio, itself too often an accretion of unexamined assumptions that are products of very specific cultural influences, to which Wiseman is acutely sensitive.' (CHRISTINA KRAUS in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.07.32). Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 26405

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