A companion to the Roman Republic by Nathan Rosenstein, Robert Morstein-Marx

By Nathan Rosenstein, Robert Morstein-Marx

This Companion offers an authoritative and updated assessment of Roman Republican historical past because it is at present practiced.

  • Highlights contemporary advancements, together with archaeological discoveries, clean methods to textual resources, and the outlet up of latest parts of ancient study
  • Retains the drama of the Republic’s upward push and fall
  • Emphasizes not only the facts of texts and actual is still, but in addition the types and assumptions that students carry to those artefacts
  • Looks on the position performed via the actual geography and setting of Italy
  • Offers a compact yet exact narrative of army and political advancements from the beginning of the Roman Republic via to the loss of life of Julius Caesar
  • Discusses present controversies within the field

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70 In fact, however, it is far from self-evident that there would be solidarity among noble families directed against ambitious outsiders, or in pursuit of collective dominance and the preservation or expansion of their competitive advantages, since after all the nobiles were engaged in intense competition with each other. 71 Furthermore, some years ago Nathan Rosenstein persuasively elucidated an element of the collective ethos of the leadership class that had not been clearly discerned. Rosenstein observed that many Roman magistrates who had suffered military defeat while in command during their period of office afterwards continued their careers without a setback.

There is potential here to make a very considerable contribution to social history. For this purpose the most important sources are the Model Life Tables for pre-industrial societies, which alone make a quantitative approach possible; and demographic assertions without a quantitative basis remain impressionistic and of limited validity. That the application of the Model Life Tables has been accepted in general despite some criticism is also connected with a clear adjustment of goals found already in Hopkins’s work.

73 The group in which this solidarity operated, that is, was that of all magistrates, who were of course senators. The essential point however is that here we come upon a restriction upon competition that was self-regulating and evidently functioned well – which proves that senators and young politicians striving to enter the Senate were in a position to establish and respect such rules. Ultimately it is not of great importance whether one describes the nobility, the most esteemed families of the senatorial political class, as an aristocracy.

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