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Old January 20th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #1

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Books/resources on the Roman political system


hi all,

have spent a while satisfying my aquisition of knowledge about all things roman, however I don't understand the roman political system, ie: assemblies, senate formation, power of the senate, how things worked within the system during the republican age and during empirical age, who yielded power, etc etc, all a mystery to me, maybe due to the fact that I've always yawned when politics was mentioned during my formative yrs, feel ready to have my interest tweaked,

....any books will be greatly appreciated,

paul




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Old January 20th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #2

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Millions, there be, well I reckon at least! I'd say Roman politics had many different faces through out it's history. Monarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, Monarchy again, Tetrarchy etc. Are you chiefly interested in the Republican politics? There's a guy named Adrian Goldsworthy who specializes in Roman history, anytime he publishes a new book I buy it. And each book might focus on a different era, thus giving you insight on the ever morphing Roman political volcano. Be careful what you wish for, sometimes I'm even more confused after reading about something like the Cataline Conspiracy. I'm not projecting my dim wittedness on to you, I'm just saying I find Roman politics "complicated" at times.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
Millions, there be, well I reckon at least! I'd say Roman politics had many different faces through out it's history. Monarchy, Republic, Dictatorship, Monarchy again, Tetrarchy etc. Are you chiefly interested in the Republican politics? There's a guy named Adrian Goldsworthy who specializes in Roman history, anytime he publishes a new book I buy it. And each book might focus on a different era, thus giving you insight on the ever morphing Roman political volcano. Be careful what you wish for, sometimes I'm even more confused after reading about something like the Cataline Conspiracy. I'm not projecting my dim wittedness on to you, I'm just saying I find Roman politics "complicated" at times.
Exactly! So if someone wants to learn about the political life of ancient Rome, it is very important ti isolated its different ages and to examine it one by one.
The political life of Rome is quite interesting, since it covers almost all political systems of ancient world.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 02:11 AM   #4

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is there a good book that breaks you in gently, like an introduction book, agrred, have found it confusing too,
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Old January 21st, 2013, 05:49 AM   #5

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Hi, I have just had a very quick glance through my home library and two sprang to mind:

1) Political life in the city of Rome - John R. Patterson
2) Plebs and Politics in the late Roman Republic - Henrik Mouritsen

Happy hunting.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:03 AM   #6

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All above mentioned recommendations are great for learning about roman political system, from era to era. You might want also to read Polybius which gives accurate description of roman political system in II century B.C. It's very easy for reading, even for beginners.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 08:38 AM   #8

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is there a good book that breaks you in gently, like an introduction book, agrred, have found it confusing too,
OK Hannibal, you want me to recommend one just one book huh? You're really puttin' me on the spot here buddy! In The Name Of Rome; by Adrian Goldsworthy. It begins with a chapter on Fabius Maximus the Cunctator and ends with one on Belisarius. It primarily is a book on on the military aspect of the Roman war machine, but, you'll find that at least in Republican Rome, war and politics were inseparable. Before you bite my head off for recommending a military book, allow me to say that politics is definitely covered in this book. Carthago Delenda Est!
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