The Republic and The Laws

The Republic and The Laws

The Republic and The Laws

The Republic and The Laws


Cicero's The Republic is an impassioned plea for responsible government written just before the civil war that ended the Roman Republic in a dialogue following Plato. This is the first complete English translation of both works for over sixty years and features a lucid introduction, a table of dates, notes on the Roman constitution, and an index of names.


Although parts of the Republic have been translated fairly recently, and a full version has been published by Bréguet in the Budé series, this is the first English translation of the whole work since that of Sabine andSmith (1929). It is also the first English translation of the Laws sinceKeyes Loeb edition (1928). Students of Latin have Zetzel's commentary on selections from the Republic (1995) and the elementary edition of Laws 1 byRudd andWiedemann (1987). But most of the scholarship on these two works has come from the Continent, especially Germany, as may be seen from the bibliographies of Schmidt (1973) and Suerbaum (1978). A particularly relevant example is Büchner's edition of the Republic.

This translation is based on an eclectic text, but special mention should be made of Ziegler's text of the Republic (5th edn. 1960) and Ziegler and Görler's text of the Laws (1979). Where other readings have been adopted their sources can usually be found in the apparatus criticus supplied by those editors. In addition, several of Professor Watt's conjectures have been gratefully accepted. Many of the decisions taken will be reflected in the Oxford Classical Text which Jonathan Powell is preparing. In the present work the division of labour has been roughly as follows: J.P. wrote the introduction to the Republic, the section on the text of both works, and the notes on the Republic. He also helped with the revision of the volume as a whole, including the translation. The rest of the work is by N.R.

As we are dealing with incomplete texts, the sequence of ideas is not always clear. Headings have therefore been supplied to the main sections, and where possible some indication has been given of the contents of the lost passages.

J.P.; N.R.

January 1997 . . .

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