Rome's First Civil War and the Fragility of Republican Political Culture

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Abstract

This chapter asks what civil war does to a republic, arguing that civil war destroys not only people and property but the whole social contract that gives a republic coherence. It identifies the first real civil war at Rome as that of Sulla, and maintains that it destroyed the Republic as traditionally defined. The various constitutions that replaced one another with ever greater frequency between Sulla and Augustus were different republics, destroyed by their own civil wars, until the "restored republic" of Augustus was created from the ruins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCitizens of Discord
Subtitle of host publicationRome and Its Civil Wars
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199866496
ISBN (Print)9780195389579
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

Keywords

  • Civil war
  • Constitution
  • Republic
  • Sulla

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