Beyond Populares and Optimates

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Juli 2010



Modern interpretations of the late Roman Republic have been dominated by the twin concepts of 'populares' and 'optimates', commonly assumed to refer to two antithetical political categories. However, the definition of these groups is much debated: some historians see them as ideological movements or traditions, others as differences of political style and method. This book asks whether this debate may in fact be chasing a mirage. Through a detailed analysis of the usage of the two terms in Cicero and his close contemporaries, it is argued that they carried no clear political meaning. What emerges instead is a political language focused on the elite's fundamental concerns about internal divisions and the maintenance of aristocratic consensus.


M. Robb is a visiting research fellow in the Department of Classics, King's College, London. Field of research: Roman Republican history.


"The highlights of the book come in the lexicographical sections, in which Robb offers a series of readings tackling some of the more important instances for both populares and optimates. Especially welcome is her attention to the semantic range of the word optimas and optimates, labels which have been relatively unproblematized so far. [...] [The book] stands to make small but important changes to our understanding of Roman politics. As a lexicographical survey, it provides a useful guide, and the collection of all occurrences of populares and optimates in Appendix A will be a valuable reference."
EAN: 9783515096430
ISBN: 3515096434
Untertitel: Political Language in the Late Republic. 'Historia - Einzelschriften'. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Steiner Franz Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2010
Seitenanzahl: 225 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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