Roman history and the ideological vacuum

T. P. Wiseman

in Classics in Progress

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263235
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734328 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Roman history and the ideological vacuum

Show Summary Details


For the twentieth century, the political history of Athens was essentially ideological, involving great issues of freedom and tyranny, while that of the Roman Republic was merely a struggle for power, with no significant ideological content. But why should that be? The Romans were perfectly familiar with the concepts and terminology of Greek political philosophy and used them to describe their own politics, as Cicero explains in writing in 56 bc. Not surprisingly. Greek authors who dealt with Roman politics used the concepts of democracy and oligarchy, the rule of the many or the rule of the best, without any sense that it was an inappropriate idiom.

Keywords: Athens; Greek politics; Cicero; Roman politics; democracy; oligarchy

Chapter.  11794 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.