Party Politics in the Age of Caesar

Party Politics in the Age of Caesar

By (author) Lily Ross Taylor

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The advice given to Cicero by his astute, campaign-conscious brother to prepare him for the consular elections of 64 B.C., has a curiously modern ring: "Avoid taking a definite stand on great public issues either in the Senate or before the people. Bend your energies towards making friends of key-men in all classes of voters." Party Politics in the Age of Caesar is a shrewd commentary on this text, designed to clarify the true meaning in Roman political life of such terms as "party" and "faction." Taylor brilliantly explains the mechanics of Roman politics as she discusses the relations of nobles and their clients, the manipulation of the state religion for political expedience, and the practical means of delivering the vote.

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  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 20.32mm | 204.12g
  • 01 Aug 1995
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0520012577
  • 9780520012578
  • 1,069,621

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Author Information

The late Lily Ross Taylor was Professor Emerita of Latin and the former Dean of the graduate school at Bryn Mawr College.

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Back cover copy

The advice given to Cicero by his astute, campaign-conscious brother to prepare him for the consular elections of 64 B.C., has a curiously modern ring: "Avoid taking a definite stand on great public issues either in the Senate or before the people. Bend your energies towards making friends of key-men in all classes of voters". On this text Professor Taylor's book is a shrewd commentary, designed to clarify the true meaning in Roman political life of such terms as "party" and "faction", so like our own to the eye but actually so different. Political parties with programs in our sense were unknown at Rome, the nearest approach being aggregations of "friends" for personal advancement in politics or finance. The mechanics of Roman politics are explained in detail - the relations of nobles and their clients, the manipulation of the state religion (always regarded in the best Roman theory as a political agency), and the practical issue of delivering the vote as and when wanted.

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