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Constitution of the Roman Republic and the Italian Confederation Formal Structures and Extra- Constitutional Realities.

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Presentation on theme: "Constitution of the Roman Republic and the Italian Confederation Formal Structures and Extra- Constitutional Realities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constitution of the Roman Republic and the Italian Confederation Formal Structures and Extra- Constitutional Realities

2 “The Roman constitution was a screen and a sham.” Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (15)

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6 Roman Republican Magistrates

7 Roman Expansion and Roman Political Structures Conclusion of First Punic War (provinciae) Conclusion of First Punic War (provinciae) 241 BCE: Additional praetor for foreigners (2) 241 BCE: Additional praetor for foreigners (2) Addition of Sicily and Sardinia-Corsica Addition of Sicily and Sardinia-Corsica 227 BCE: Two additional praetors (4) 227 BCE: Two additional praetors (4) Addition of Spain Addition of Spain 198 BCE: Two additional praetors (6) 198 BCE: Two additional praetors (6) Prorogation (proconsul, propraetor) Prorogation (proconsul, propraetor) Senatorial legati Senatorial legati

8 Polybius on the Roman Constitution A Greek Looks at Rome

9 Key Dates in Polybius’ Lifetime Ca. 200 BCE: Birth in Megalopolis Ca. 200 BCE: Birth in Megalopolis 198 BCE: Achaean understanding with Rome and abandonment of Macedonia 198 BCE: Achaean understanding with Rome and abandonment of Macedonia Lycortas, Polybius’ father, serves as strategos of the Achaean Confederation several times in the 180s BCE Lycortas, Polybius’ father, serves as strategos of the Achaean Confederation several times in the 180s BCE Polybius’ in funeral entourage of the great Achaean statesman Philopoemen (182 BCE) Polybius’ in funeral entourage of the great Achaean statesman Philopoemen (182 BCE) Polybius selected as Achaean envoy in 181/180 BCE to Alexandria in Egypt Polybius selected as Achaean envoy in 181/180 BCE to Alexandria in Egypt Polybius elected hipparchos, or cavalry commander, of the Achaean Confederation for 170/169 BCE Polybius elected hipparchos, or cavalry commander, of the Achaean Confederation for 170/169 BCE Romans defeat Macedonia in 168 BCE; round up suspected pro- Macedonians and incarcerate them in Italy (Polybius among them) Romans defeat Macedonia in 168 BCE; round up suspected pro- Macedonians and incarcerate them in Italy (Polybius among them) Polybius as political hostage at Rome from 168-ca. 150 BCE; friendship with P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus; composition of Histories Polybius as political hostage at Rome from 168-ca. 150 BCE; friendship with P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus; composition of Histories Achaean War: Romans destroy Corinth and dissolve Achaean Confederation (146 BCE) Achaean War: Romans destroy Corinth and dissolve Achaean Confederation (146 BCE) After 146 BCE: Polybius in Greece on Romans’ behalf; helps to institute the new dispensation in Greece After 146 BCE: Polybius in Greece on Romans’ behalf; helps to institute the new dispensation in Greece

10 Plaster cast of relief sculpture found in Cleitor thought to represent the Greek historian Polybius “Greece would not have fallen had it obeyed Polybius in everything, and when Greece did meet disaster, its only help came from him” ~ Inscription on the Temple of Despoina near Arakesion reported by Pausanias,

11 Book Six: Political Analysis of the Roman State “How and under what type of constitution were the Romans able to subjugate most of the inhabited world in half a century?” ~ Histories “How and under what type of constitution were the Romans able to subjugate most of the inhabited world in half a century?” ~ Histories Anacyclosis Theory--Biological Model of States (genesis, acme, decline) Anacyclosis Theory--Biological Model of States (genesis, acme, decline) “Mixed” Constitution at Rome “Mixed” Constitution at Rome blend of monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements blend of monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements harmony through “checks and balances” harmony through “checks and balances” Inconsistency? Roman Vulnerability or Durability? Inconsistency? Roman Vulnerability or Durability? Reader-Response Theory (Greek and Roman audiences)--a politics of indeterminacy? Reader-Response Theory (Greek and Roman audiences)--a politics of indeterminacy? Logismos, the quintessential Greek virtue, as the key element in the Roman constitution Logismos, the quintessential Greek virtue, as the key element in the Roman constitution

12 Polybius’ Roman Republican Constitution (Book 6) Rome as Greek Polis Rome as Greek Polis Greek Political Theory Applied to Rome Greek Political Theory Applied to Rome Hostility to Democratic Element Hostility to Democratic Element Polybius’ Offense: Demagogic Politics the Charge of his Political Opposition within the Achaean Confederation? Polybius’ Offense: Demagogic Politics the Charge of his Political Opposition within the Achaean Confederation?

13 Polybius’ Omissions Roman Expansion and Roman Political Structures Roman Expansion and Roman Political Structures Nature of Roman Political Assemblies Nature of Roman Political Assemblies Extra-Constitutional Force of Patronage Extra-Constitutional Force of Patronage Economic and Social Forces in Roman Elections Economic and Social Forces in Roman Elections The Italian Allies The Italian Allies

14 Polybius’ Omissions Roman Elections and Political Assemblies

15 A Screen and a Sham? Aristocratic Auctoritas and Dignitas Aristocratic Auctoritas and Dignitas Patronage Patronage Contiones Contiones Electoral Bribery (ambitus) Electoral Bribery (ambitus) Open Balloting (until 139 BCE ) Open Balloting (until 139 BCE )

16 Polybian Omissions The Italian Allies

17 External Relations Italy and the Provinces Italian Confederation and the Military Italian Confederation and the Military Warfare necessary for the stability of the Confederation (Momigliano)? Warfare necessary for the stability of the Confederation (Momigliano)? Western Provinces Western Provinces Spain Spain Gaul Gaul Africa Africa Greece and the East Greece and the East

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