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The Birth of Critical Thinking in Republican Rome

$120.00 (C)

Malcolm Schofield
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  • Date Published: September 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521895781

$ 120.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this classic work, now appearing in English for the first time, Claudia Moatti analyses the intellectual transformation that occurred at the end of the Roman Republic in response both to the political crisis and to the city's expansion across the Mediterranean. This was a period of great cultural dynamism and creativity when Roman intellectuals, most notably Cicero and Varro, began to explore all areas of life and knowledge and to apply critical thinking to the reassessment of tradition and the development of a systematic new understanding of the Roman past and present. This movement, linked to the development of writing, challenged old forms of authority and adhesion, belief and behaviour, without destroying tradition; and for this reason this rational trend can be described not as a cultural but as an epistemological revolution whose greatest achievement, Professor Moatti argues, was the development of the system of Roman law.

    • Classic work now available for the first time in English, with a new introduction by the author and a foreword by Malcolm Schofield
    • Proposes a new and dynamic analysis of the intellectual changes that occurred at the end of the Republic which emphasises the common features of the application of reason, the development of writing, the critique of traditions and authority, and the construction of a Roman identity
    • Provides a good example of an epistemological revolution and an analysis of the distinction between different forms of thinking (logical, topical, and deductive)
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521895781
    • length: 410 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 162 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Malcolm Schofield
    Introduction to the English edition
    Roman culture in movement
    1. Crises and questionings
    2. Opening up the world: the birth of curiosity
    3. From disarray to erudition
    4. The experience of thought
    5. A discourse on the method, or the spirit of forms
    6. The construction of Roman universality
    7. Conclusion: the territories of reason.

  • Author

    Claudia Moatti, University of Southern California
    Claudia Moatti is Professor of Ancient History at Université de Paris VIII and of Classics at the University of Southern California, with a courtesy joint appointment in Law. Recent projects include an international program on 'The Control of Human Mobility in the Mediterranean from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period', which culminated in three edited volumes: Le contrôle de la mobilité des personnes en Méditerranée, de l'antiquité à l'époque moderne (2004), Gens de passage en Méditerranée (2007), and Le monde de l'itinérance en Méditerranée (2009). She is currently studying the concept of res publica and the 'cosmopolitanisation' of the Roman Empire (a two-book project under the title Politics and Cosmopolitics).


    Janet Lloyd


    Malcolm Schofield, University of Cambridge


    Malcolm Schofield

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