Violence in Republican Rome

Violence in Republican Rome

Violence in Republican Rome

Violence in Republican Rome

Excerpt

I have not treated the second edition as an opportunity to rewrite this book as I would have written it now: it is best left as the product of a younger author and a historical context that is already beginning to seem somewhat remote. In the text I have confined myself to correcting typographical errors and some detailed mistakes of greater substance and to expanding some references to ancient sources. Nevertheless, the reader is entitled to know whether I still believe in what I wrote. The short answer is 'yes'. However, there are objections made by other scholars that should be aired and criticisms in my own mind, that lead now now to modify, my perspective over the thesis argued. I also take the chance to update the bibliography on this topic. This is necessarily only a selection of the vast number of contributions to the study of politics and society in the Roman Republic that have appeared in the last thirty years. I have confined myself to citing those works which, I believe, would have appeared in the bibliography, if I was writing Violence, in Republican Rome now for the first time. However, since 1968 political and private violence, the plebs, and the behaviour of crowds have become popular topics among those who study the Roman Republic and a bibliography in this field has far greater coherence than when this book was first written.

The issues raised in this book may be best summarized in an English text of a contribution which I made to a colloquium at Toulouse which discussed 'Violences et Pouvoirs Politiques':

On 18 January 52 BC two Roman politicians, who were bitter antagonists, happened to be travelling in opposite directions on the Appian Way at Bovillae (near modern Castelgandolfo), at the point where the road begins to climb over the shoulder of the Alban hills on its way south-east. Titus Annius Milo had some 300 armed men with him, including professional gladiators, Publius Clodius had about thirty slaves with swords. As the two cort`ges passed one another, a brawl broke out in which Clodius himself was wounded. He was carried to a tavern off the road, but his enemies broke in and finished him off. His body was carried to Rome, where amid hysterical grief among the plebs it was cremated in the senate-

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