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The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic (Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures) Paperback – April 30, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0472088782 ISBN-10: 0472088785 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Thomas Spencer Jerome Lectures (Book 22)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; Reprint edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472088785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472088782
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
33%
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See all 6 customer reviews
Millar has done an outstanding job.
p.f. rogers
The changing political dynamics gave populists and demagogues such as Clodius and Caesar much greater flexibility in projecting mass popular will on given agendas.
Octavius
I lack the erudition to do this book justice.
Andrew M. Klein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a positive and deeply researched book. It politely refutes the anti-Roman revisionism that was common in the late twentieth century. Mr. Millar lucidly describes how the Roman Republic was a "varied democracy." Focusing mainly on the period 80-50bc. He sites public speeches to the existing records, elucidating that Rome during the Republic was a far more participatory form of government than was previously believed. Ex: "Decision making was not found in the Curia, but the Forum where the everyday citizens gathered." All eight chapters are insightful and technical terms are explained. This volume will interest general readers, and students of both Roman and political history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Klein on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I lack the erudition to do this book justice. This slender volume explains, in a way I've found nowhere else despite years of reading about the Republic and the early Principate, how Rome worked -- how the laws were enacted, elections were conducted, military commands were assigned, prosecutions took place and why, and how verdicts were reached. Most significantly, it demonstrates that the source of and acitive agent in all of these powers was the people -- the crowd acting collectively in, for the most part, the Roman forum. It shows how the crowd was led and how affirmative crowd action was obtained by those who had acquired, in one way or another, some degree of auctoritas. In the course of this, the book reveals, as no other source I have read does, just what the Senate, the Consuls, Tribunes, and local Governors could and could not do, and the manner in which imperium (ultimate military and judical authority)was granted, exercised and abused, and, in the end, how that power was restrained through prosecutions before the people after those to whom it had been granted finished their terms of office. (Recall how unwilling Julus Caesar was to lay down his authority when, under the law, he had to do so to enter Rome to stand for election as Consul.) It is not an easy book for the beginner, but essential and fascinating to anyone interested in the Republic and the foundation of Roman power. Superb! You'll read it more than once. Were it up to me, this book would be required reading for every American.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Octavius on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Roman Republic was strangely a very dynamic as well as rigid institution in which the causes of its demise have baffled scholars until the present day. Fergus Millar's scholarly work is one of the most concise studies on the politics and society of the Late Roman Republic. His published lectures provide a unique insight into the mechanics of popular politics in the Late Republic. Millar demonstrates how Roman suffrage was restricted to the physical location of the Forum and, how this affected the dynamics of Rome's political and legal institutions from the time of the Social Wars until the Civil War.

Having no written charter or constitution to guide it, the Roman Republic relied on tradition and ad hoc enactments as precedent. Unlike the democracies of today, Roman suffrage was collectively manifested by two voting assemblies representing either 35 geographical classes (tribes) or individual votes valued upon wealth (i.e. the less money you had, the less your vote counted.) Each assembly voted on certain ranges of legislation and were further segregated between commoners and the elite patrician nobility whose family clans originated from the earliest days of the Republic. When the time to vote did come, suffrage was limited to the physical confines of Rome in the Forum or the Campus Martius: if you were poor and lived over 50 miles away from Rome, you probably voted little.

This system worked well in Rome for so long because, until about 90 B.C., the Roman citizenry was limited to those who lived in Rome and its colonies in Italy and overseas: other cities in Italy were treated merely as allies (socii) who had limited privileges in Roman society and no voting rights.
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