A Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic

culture of the roman republic

An insightful and original exploration of Roman Republic politics

In A Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic, editors Valentina Arena and Jonathan Prag deliver an incisive and original collection of forty contributions from leading academics representing various intellectual and academic traditions. The collected works represent some of the best scholarship in recent decades and adopt a variety of approaches, each of which confronts major problems in the field and contributes to ongoing research.

The book represents a new, updated, and comprehensive view of the political world of Republican Rome and some of the included essays are available in English for the first time. 

Divided into six parts, the discussions consider the institutionalized loci, political actors, and values, rituals, and discourse that characterized Republican Rome. The Companion also offers several case studies and sections on the history of the interpretation of political life in the Roman Republic. Key features include:

  • A thorough introduction to the Roman political world as seen through the wider lenses of Roman political culture
  • Comprehensive explorations of the fundamental components of Roman political culture, including ideas and values, civic and religious rituals, myths, and communicative strategies 
  • Practical discussions of Roman Republic institutions, both with reference to their formal rules and prescriptions, and as patterns of social organization
  • In depth examinations of the ‘afterlife’ of the Roman Republic, both in ancient authors and in early modern and modern times  

Perfect for students of all levels of the ancient world, A Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic will also earn a place in the libraries of scholars and students of politics, political history, and the history of ideas.

Valentina Arena is Professor of Ancient History at University College London. Her work focuses on the history of Roman politics, ancient political thought, and the wider intellectual landscape of the Roman Republic. She is the author of Libertas and the Practice of Politics in the late Roman Republic (2012), and, the editor of Liberty: an Ancient Concept for the Contemporary World (2018). She has co-edited volumes on Varro and the antiquarian tradition (2017 and 2018) and is currently directing the ERC funded project Ordering, Constructing, Empowering: Fragments of the Roman Republican Antiquarians.