Essay on The Times Of The Roman Republic

1277 Words Mar 31st, 2015 null Page
In looking at the late Roman Republic, one can find many different opinions to how politics worked in Rome. One of these accounts by Polybius gives us a sense of way politics worked in Rome. Polybius believed, “in all politics, we observe two sources of decay existing from natural causes, the one external, the other internal and self produced” (Polybius 506). The second account by Cicero gives us a framework of how Roman politics play out, stating “The canvass for office resolved itself into an activity of two kinds, of which one is concerned with the loyalty of friends, the other with the feelings of the people” (Cicero 37). By examining these two different views of Roman politics: Polybius’ The Histories of Polybius and Quintus Cicero’s Handbook on Canvassing for the Consulship as well as examining Plutarch’s Fall of the Roman Republic account on the collapse of the Republic in the lives of Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar it will be clear how friendship was the internal decaying factor that destroyed the Roman Republic. According to Polybius, the Roman Constitution was “the best of any existing in my time” (Polybius 467). Rome’s constitution contained a mixture of three forms of government: kingship, aristocracy, and democracy. Polybius’s idea of government relies on the basis that friendship is deemed a common good, not that it resorts to tyranny. Polybius suggests that the nature of the Roman political system is one where the “proper equilibrium is maintained by…

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