The politics of the late Roman Republic.
I am re-examining the high politics of the late Roman Republic during the fifteen years before the outbreak of civil war in 49 BC.
The Republic of the period 63-49 is usually characterised as failing – dominated by ‘dynasts’ like Pompey and Caesar, beset by corruption, enervated by luxury, and abandoned to its fate. However, a detailed re-examination of the contemporary sources yields a far messier – yet more edifying – view of how the Republic really worked on a day-to-day basis, which may lead us to reject the crude notion of a sclerotic and moribund state. With detailed, evidence-based revision, familiar ‘signposts’ may be removed and new themes explored. The cabal which moderns anachronistically term the ‘First Triumvirate’ may be rejected as a myth, and broad thematic enquiries into the nature of political agency, the role of the Roman jeunesse dorée, and the public engagement of the elite suggest a more nuanced, realistic, and positive model of a Republic at work.
Research will be published as a monograph and as articles.
'A Storm in a Teacup: Senatorial Opposition to Pompey's Eastern Settlement' (Newcastle Classics Seminar Series, Feb. 2010)
'Barbatuli Iuvenes: Cicero and the Gilded Youth of Rome' (Newcastle Classics Seminar Series, Oct. 2011)