Res Publica and the Roman Republic: 'Without Body or Form'

ISBN : 9780198777380

Louise Hodgson
336 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Jan 2017
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Res Publica and the Roman Republic tells the story of an idea - res publica. - and shows us what it meant and was made to mean in the particular historical context of the late Roman Republic. Since the term was politically ubiquitous, often used emotively, and as a consequence is hard to define, the temptation to take res publica as a universally understood and relatively uncontroversial given is rarely resisted. A close look at howres publica was perceived and manipulated, however, brings into focus not just the political crises of the late Republic but also the various attempts to clean up these crises through dubiously legal (and often outright illegal) emergency measures. Although this book is at root a philological study of a political concept, it aims to make a historical point about a politically turbulent period by addressing three key questions: What did it mean for Republican politicians to appeal to theres publica? What did the increasing tendency to do so reveal about the dangerous fragmentation of political legitimacy? How did these pressures transform res publica as a concept? Through a detailed examination ofres publica as it appears in the ancient historians, orators, poets, commentaries and letters, inscriptions, and historical episodes of the late Republic and early Principate, this book demonstrates how the rhetoric surroundingres publica mirrored the changes in the Roman political landscape towards the end of the Republic.


1 Defining Terms
2 Rem Publicam Administrare
Honourable Trade
Lions and Lily Flowers
Those Lonely Streets
Outraged Majesty
3 Res Publica Salva
Fevered Eyes
Fleshless Dead
Stony Deserts
4 Res Publica Ipsa
Upon his Back
In the Night
Beyond the Sea
As Best he Can
5 Res Publica Reciperata
The Golden Journey
A Naked Giant
His Last Mirage
Men of Noble Stock
Heaven's Hollow Dome
6 Pro Re Publica
A Thousand Streams
Unwise and Curiously Planned
A Silver Man
Pass not Beneath
7 Res Publica Est Caesar

About the author: 

Louise Hodgson received her doctorate in Roman History from Durham University.

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