A New Kind of Model: Cicero’s Roman Constitution in De republica

Autore: Asmis, Elizabeth
Titolo: A New Kind of Model: Cicero’s Roman Constitution in De republica
Rivista/Miscellanea: "American Journal of Philology", 126, 3 (Whole Number 503)
Anno edizione: 2005
Pagine: 377-416
Parole chiave: Politique - Politica - Politics
Descrizione: This article attempts to answer the question: What makes the Roman constitution by far the best, as Cicero claims in De republica? Following Polybius, Cicero analyses the Roman constitution as a mixed constitution, which both regard as the best type of constitution. Cicero, however, does not merely impute the best type of constitution to the Romans. He elevates the Roman constitution above all other mixed constitutions as the single best constitution. In rivalry with Plato, he constructs a model of the Roman constitution as an exemplum that can unite the Romans in a common purpose.The constitution is distinguished by two main features: a fair system of cooperation among the whole citizen body and wise guidance by individual leaders. The moral unity of this constitution sets it apart from all other mixed constitutions. This article takes tis start from a claim made by Scipio Aemilianus in Cicero’s De republica (traditionally translated as On the Republic but more accurately called On the State). Scipio maintains that the ancestral constitution of Rome is by far the best constitution (optimum longe statum civitatis, 1.34).1 My question is: What makes it by far the best? Following Polybius, Cicero analyses the Roman...
Sigla autore: Asmis 2005