A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions

A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions

A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions

A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions

Excerpt

This book is intended to serve as an introduction to the study of Roman political institutions for those who may wish to carry on more extended investigations in that field, and to give a reasonable acquaintance with the subject to the student of Roman life and literature. It may be said with truth that the art and literature of Rome never had a distinctively national character. Both are hybrid products. Her political institutions, however, are essentially her own, and are, one might almost say, the only characteristic product of the Roman genius. We have tacitly recognized how large a place they fill in Roman history, and how valuable an inheritance they have been to modern civilization, but strangely enough we have almost entirely neglected the study of them in this country. This neglect seems the more surprising since, from the disciplinary point of view, perhaps no subject furnishes a better training in practical logic or gives us a clearer insight into the workings of the average human mind. These facts have been mentioned, not for the purpose of offering a plea for the study of Roman political institutions, but rather in explanation of the reasons which led to the writing of this book.

My aim has been to give a connected view of the development of the constitution from the earliest times down through the accession of Diocletian. Each one of the three . . .

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