Virtus Romana

Virtus Romana : Politics and Morality in the Roman Historians

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Description

The political transformation that took place at the end of the Roman Republic was a particularly rich area for analysis by the era's historians. Major narrators chronicled the crisis that saw the end of the Roman Republic and the changes which gave birth to a new political system. These writers drew significantly on the Roman idea of virtus as a way of interpreting and understanding their past.

Tracing how virtus informed Roman thought over time, Catalina Balmaceda explores the concept and its manifestations in the narratives of four successive Latin historians who span the late Republic and early Principate: Sallust, Livy, Velleius, and Tacitus. Balmaceda demonstrates that virtus in these historical narratives served as a form of self-definition which fostered and propagated a new model of the ideal Roman more fitting to imperial times. As a crucial moral and political concept, virtus worked as a key idea in the complex system of Roman sociocultural values and norms which underpinned Roman attitudes about both present and past. This book offers a reappraisal of the historians as promoters of change and continuity in the political culture of both the Republic and the Empire.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 24.89mm | 594.21g
  • Chapel Hill, United States
  • English
  • 1469635127
  • 9781469635125
  • 1,131,405

Review quote

Balmaceda's method shows the many insights into Roman society that can be gained from following its cultural values through time.--Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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About Catalina Balmaceda

Catalina Balmaceda is associate professor of ancient history at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.
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