Between History and Political Theory: The Roman Republic in Western Thought

History 103A.001

Fall 2018
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
M 10-12
Class Number: 

As a political system that endured for nearly five hundred years, the Roman Republic has been the object of intense study by historians and political theorists alike. The results of these various inquiries have shaped not only subsequent scholarly perspectives on the subject but also political events as diverse as the drafting of the American constitution and the unification of the German nation state. Consequently, these inquiries, like the sources from which they were produced, must be placed in their respective historical contexts. This seminar surveys the legacy of the Roman Republic in western thought from antiquity to the present. Readings include selections from a wide variety of well known authors from the ancient world, the early modern period, and the late modern period, as well as a number of lesser, but nevertheless significant, figures. All readings are in translation. Due to its chronological breadth and the variety of readings, this seminar will appeal to students of several periods.