Magazine article The Spectator

ANC I E N T A N D M O D E R N Romans and Republicans

Magazine article The Spectator

ANC I E N T A N D M O D E R N Romans and Republicans

Article excerpt

During the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, every Polly in the world chanted dispraise of Her Majesty, who is personally responsible (one claimed) for Trident, public schools, income difference, lack of job opportunities and tax havens. What they want is a Republic.

The Republic was invented in 509 bc (traditional date) by the Romans to replace a tyrant king, who 'ruled neither by decree of the people nor authority of the Senate, had no right to the throne bar force . . . instilled fear by executing, exiling, and confiscating the property of, many . . . and governed the state through a private circle of advisers'. The parallel with the power of Her Majesty is obvious.

'Republic' is formed from two Latin words, res meaning 'property, wealth, affair, interests, business, situation'; and publica meaning 'of or belonging to the people corporately, official, universal, public'. So to a Roman, res publica carried with it meanings associated with affairs of state, the body politic, the public good, a state in which all citizens participated.

Romans expressed it another way. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.