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This is a comprehensive analysis of the idea of libertas and its conflicting uses in the political struggles of the late Roman Republic. By reconstructing Roman political thinking about liberty against the background of Classical and Hellenistic thought, it excavates two distinct intellectual traditions on the means allowing for the preservation and the loss of libertas. Considering the interplay of these traditions in the political debates of the first century BC, Dr Arena offers a significant reinterpretation of the political struggles of the time as well as a radical reappraisal of the role played by the idea of liberty in the practice of politics. She argues that, as a result of its uses in rhetorical debates, libertas underwent a form of conceptual change at the end of the Republic and came to legitimise a new course of politics, which led progressively to the transformation of the whole political system.Read more
- Shows how the role of ideas such as liberty matters in the study of Roman politics
- Provides a detailed historical account of the idea of Roman libertas, which is often regarded in modern political thought as the foundation of Republicanism
- Contains in-depth analysis of Roman political thinking against the background of Classical and Hellenistic Greek thought
Reviews & endorsements
"[This] book makes an important contribution to the elucidation of a concept central to Roman political culture; it, and its political role in the period in question, are analysed comprehensively, learnedly and with a good theoretical underpinning (ancient and modern). This study is an impressive accomplishment and will from now on be an important point of reference in all discussions on Roman libertas."
Alexander Yakobson, The Journal of Roman Studies
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- Date Published: February 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107028173
- length: 336 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Roman libertas
2. The citizens' political liberty
3. The liberty of the commonwealth
4. The political struggle in the first century BC
5. Political response and the need for legitimacy
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