The Constitution of the Roman Republic

The Constitution of the Roman Republic


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There is no other published book in English studying the constitution of the Roman Republic as a whole. Yet the Greek historian Polybius believed that the constitution was a fundamental cause of the exponential growth of Rome's empire. He regarded the Republic as unusual in two respects: first, because it functioned so well despite being a mix of monarchy, oligarchy and democracy; secondly, because the constitution was the product of natural evolution rather than the ideals of a lawgiver. Even if historians now seek more widely for the causes of Rome's rise to power, the importance and influence of her political institutions remains. The reasons for Rome's power are both complex, on account of the mix of elements, and flexible, inasmuch as they were not founded on written statutes but on unwritten traditions reinterpreted by successive generations. Knowledge of Rome's political institutions is essential both for ancient historians and for those who study the contribution of Rome to the republican tradition of political thought from the Middle Ages to the revolutions inspired by the Enlightenment.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 310 pages
  • 143.5 x 224.5 x 22.6mm | 497.65g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198150687
  • 9780198150688

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Review quote

... immensely valuable for its compact synthesis of constitutional matters. Mnemosyne No one in the English-speaking world will try to improve on Lintott's splendid overall achievement for many generations. Phoenix An important contribution to the debate on the nature of the Roman Republic ... It will surely be consulted by students and scholars for its wealth of information on constitutional aspects of Roman public life. Journal of Roman Studies Useful discussions on an impressive range of topics. Journal of Roman Studies Now at last we have an accessible modern account in English, from a very distinguished political historian with an expert knowledge of Roman law and a sophisticated understanding of the pseudo-historical tradition on early Rome. It is an essential book. History of Political Thought Lintott is an acute and erudite historian. His book will serve the needs of pupils and teachers for a long time to come, and its appearance is most welcome. The Historian

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