The End of the Roman Republic Res publica amissa by Christian Meier Review by: E. W.

Gray The Classical Review, New Series, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Dec., 1969), pp. 325-330 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 11/03/2013 18:48
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


Cambridge University Press and The Classical Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Classical Review.

This content downloaded on Mon, 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Oxford R. non-patricians enrolled as senators. must be too late. One point is questionable.especially on funerary and sumptuarymatters. 64) may be proof of indirect influence. on archaeological and historical grounds. Cremera should not be used as evidence that such tactics were not in standard use until after 480 B. The longest.A. The mid sixth century is a truer date.LD. viii+332. It offers a fresh diagnosis of the sicknessof the Roman state in the last century This content downloaded on Mon. There can be no question of direct imitation of Solonian Laws at Athens. after Cremera (p.. 1966. on internal grounds. xxxiii (1956). DM. Steiner. M. he accepts too readily the linguistic The analysis of the term patresconscripti. 309-1o). THISis a thought-provokingand stimulating book. Historians will need however to apply Momigliano's thesis to the whole history of the period to see whether it does make convincing sense of the evidence. Pp. 58. Cloth. formation of the phrase and its comwho have parable analogues suggeststhat it must be interpretedas 'thosepatres been conscripti' not 'patres and and conscripti'. and in many ways. although this does not refute or invalidate his thesis.who would have comprised both actual patricians and a much larger body of non-patrician well-to-do. nonphalanx) army is true. The traditional struggle of the orders is thus an anachronism. but the detail of the three recinia (Cic. such as the presenceof apparently plebeian names in the early Fasti: they would in fact be the names of nonwho patrician conscripti. 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Volterra di and his earlier article in R. as opposed to religious.c. Leg. This. but even if the tradition of the Fabii and their dependents acting as a self-contained (and. It is one of a number of studies which he has written recently on the subject and needs to be read in conjunction with his contribution to Studiin onore E. For the first time civil. 336). In the senate these latter two groups were separately recognized as patresand conscripti. Wieacker is among those who date the adoption of the hoplite phalanx to the middle of the century. the most substantial. After demonstrating the fundamental authenticity of the Tables despite their having been 'edited' about 200 B. paper is Wieacker's discussion of the Twelve Tables. it must be remembered that it was a special mission whose purpose was to patrol and garrison the frontier. had reached the highest magistracy. i. how their provisions. The story of Cremera itself is such a cocoon of Greek tales that it is difficult to be confident about any of the military details. conduct is ordered for the whole population. therefore. Although the adoption of hoplite armour need not have led overnight to the adoption of hoplite tactics. can precisely be ascribed only to the mid fifth century (especially pp. BalliolCollege. OGILVIE THE END OF THE ROMAN CHRISTIAN MEIER: REPUBLIC Wiesbaden: Geschichte der spliten r6mischen Res publica amissa.THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 325 classici. I5 ff. Doubtless many different sources in Magna Graecia were used in their compilation. Momigliano's account neatly explains many things. For such a mission the Fabii may well have preferredirregular formations. he shows.C.But. The importance of the legislation as a stage in the political history of Rome is seen as an assertion by an ideologically Greek-orientatedplebs (as Momigliano also suggests) of its right to equality before the law (laovolda). Eine Studie zu Verfassung und Republik. written on a generous scale.

it must be said. Private and public relationships are interlocked.C. for instance. Meier examines the paradox of the continued existence and vitality of the prisca forma rei publicae. (Cic. more durability and range and significance than the evidence warrants. Attacks on abuses of the prosopographical method'prosopography gives only connections. I74).C. vote for Caesar and Bibulus simultaneously. Some scholars have given to 'Gracchan' and 'Marian' factions. xxxiv. who oversimplified Roman politics when they saw it largely as a conflict between Populares and Optimates. 'Zur politischen Grammatik in der spaiten Republik'. merits exploitation by the prosopographer (cf. the senate ended up by becoming a mere party (p. Fam. 220-150 B. not a theoretical basis'-are reasonable enough and weighty attacks have been made in recent years. How. merely remarked that Sulla was an infant in politics when he voluntarily surrendered his power). and amicitiae. 369 f. indeed. of those elements in the state which enjoyed some degree of political initiative). no attempt made at a basic revision ? So Meier undertakes an historical study of the actual working. and a demonstration of their paramount importance in public life. the late Republican constitution. it is possible to attach too much importance.S.C. the remarks of La Penna (Athen. the general plan of the work involves him in an unnecessarily large amount of repetition. For all that. Also. 6o). a useful analysis of the 'system' of necessitudines the politician and the basis of his political activity. of the of der Grundbedingungen Verfassungswirklichkeit. Scullard. Syme. R. viii.THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 326 of the Republic. Again. The senate that voted 370-22 for the dis- This content downloaded on Mon. one should say. iv.C. the tools of First. Why was the apparently obsolete community-state machinery left unreformed in spite of its increasing inadequacy in an expanding world empire ? Even in the late Republic it must have satisfied the fundamental needs and demands of the whole citizen body (rather. Meier stresses the exceptional nature of the comitia of 50 B. a title which sufficiently illustrates his approach to Roman politics (Caesar. to the background of faction out of which the Gracchi emerged and too little to their actual programmes and to the diverse social classes and groups which they were to appeal to and rouse to future political activity. Badian. I). i. Surely a more misleading simplification than the Populares/Optimates dichotomy. 187 f. This is a sweeping and partly misdirected claim. Meicer is concerned there not so much with the details of flesh-and-blood politics as with political concepts. then. The argument against use of the analogy from English i8th-century politics (pp. did the old constitution really function during those critical decades? Why was no alternative considered possible.) has relevance particularly to Scullard's Introduction to his Roman Politics. The tangled web of amicitia and other obligations continually produced situations in which the electorate of all classes must have it both ways. that is. J. and L. the framework of concepts and semantic interpretation laid over Roman political history by systematizing scholars. Taylor. The earlier sections of it do not make easy reading. (App. for example. Meier goes over this ground again in ch. 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The language is often abstract to the point of opacity. for example. B. 107).) on this and on the danger of adhering too closely to the formulations of Sallust and others of his contemporaries. For Meier himself. neutralizing any tendency to division along the lines of partium sensus until the final crisis of the Republic. In the later chapter Meier claims to have demolished the 'faction thesis' of Syme.R. 14. cf. the list of Marians outlawed in 88 B. 1966.

In general one can say that the politics of the Optimates changed in the direction of hostility to Pompey when he asserted himself so dangerously at the expense of the Sullan order. Syme. J. the military command in Spain (Plut. securing them consulships and the plums of provincial government that the 'system' automatically brought them. reacting against Pompey's renewed attempt to use a tribune for his own political ends. I960.) are not altogether conclusive. cf. by the threat of armed force. Meier's specimen analyses of alleged factions (pp. Servilius and Appius for Asia Minor and Macedonia. earmarked for the prior consulship of 78. in the Civil War. Roscius in 80.c. 182 ff. both passages where Cicero refers to it he is engaged in special pleading. It was Pompey who first made a mockery of Sulla's new order when in 77 he secured.Q. but 'solid only to on outward show and at intervals' (Syme. Shackleton Bailey. Pompey was not a dutiful son of the Republic. still less that necessitudo play a dominant role in the election politics of such families as the Metelli and their connections. Cicero's boldness was firmly grounded on the secure position of Metellus. but cliques did exist and Meier tends to dismiss attested cases of factions at work as exceptions that in and sensus each case prove his 'rule'. rejected Pompey's overtures. 20).R. 'Factio' is a smear word in Roman politics. They were in a position of strength as Sulla's allies when they challenged Chrysogonus. in 67. Pomp. R. 186). was not behaving as a party. staking all his resources on the venture. more boldly in in 65 (the line-up against Cornelius) and most conspicuously from 61I onwards. Thus.R. But there were provinces still to be recovered or defended. Metellus set off for Spain.). 253 if.). if Sallust is to be believed. Has Meier proved that Sulla was not after his return to Italy (pp. C. the nobles were evenly divided as between Caesar and Pompey. lined up placidly with Metellus on his return from Spain (pace Sherwin-White. timidly in 66. when Cato. But a faction of nobiles worked steadily against Pompey's real or suspected aim of dominatio the sixties. in whichever direction ceased to they considered their immediate interest lay. Meier contends that Sulla took no notice of these consuls and that they even made a stand against him.) ? supportedby a faction of interrelatednobiles The consulshipsof 80 and the following years went to 'the core of the Sullan faction' (Syme. I7).THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 327 banding of armies by both the dynasts in 50 B. It was not so much against Sulla himself that such men supported Sex. 181. 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . for example.Thereafterhe resorted to the popularis technique of using a tribune and the assembly to get the extraordinary commands he wanted. Is this correct? They went off to the military provinceswhere most danger lay for the state. This did not mean that individual Optimates did not take sides on occasion with or against Pompey. Sulla had gone to the heart of things by securing Rome and Italy. 5 f. only the consulares showing a decided preference for the cause of Pompey (cf.R. colleague of Sulla in that year. if we accept the anecdote in Plutarch. just as they had in general taken a new direction when it became clear that Sulla was irresistiblein ceased to be opportunistand Italy. 22). R. that necessitudines partium invariably crisscross until the very end (pp. Catulus. and M. 18I f. 185) complete the list of nobles scheduled for consular office after Sulla and Metellus launched the new regime in 80. Sallust. The sustained opposition This content downloaded on Mon. Cicero's rhetoric and In Philippus' jest have obscured the truth about that ddmarche.S. The Optimates the other hand were 'a faction or gang'. 1956. Aemilius Lepidus (surely Sulla's choice. He did not disband his army until he had secured his election to the consulship.

Energies were directed away from the urge to make changes into wider fields of opportunity. The main cause of the long-continued absence of a fundamental disharmony in the community had been found in that expansion. no alternative solution was or could be envisaged. A new egotism developed amongst the new nobility. Meier's most valuable and longest chapter. and became thereby a disruptive force in political life. The new nobility took on the responsibilities of government. After the isolated attempt of C. Its consistency in politics over a long period of time can be better understood. Now Meier discusses the developing role of the Equester Ordo. and later to Caesar. Attempts to solve or circumvent new problems of government by reform merely led to the destruction of equilibrium in a state where it was to everyone's interest. it was the persistent enmity of the Optimatesto Pompey that kept the alliance in being for nearly a decade. making the necessity of reform more urgent but taking no initiative themselves in the direction of amelioration. Meier contends that it was a rare chance that these men were linked together by family connections. without accepting his attempt to explain away the Catonian group and its politics as an exception that proves his 'Regel'. 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The solidarity of nobility and populace had its roots in a shared interest in the unfolding power of the state. We may agree that Cato's personality gave a measure of consistency and extra firmness to the opposition to Pompey. follows his discussion of the earlier phases of the as development of Das Bindungswesen a feature of the aristocratically dominated state. New clientela relationships were exploited. There was an extension of personal controls as a substitute for new machinery of government. Expansion led to an intensification of the control by the aristocratic senate. concerned themselves merely with the defence of their own vested interests.THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 328 of the core of the Optimates to Pompey throughout the following decade is blurred over by Cicero's rhetoric and wishful thinking. the rural and urban plebs and the new armies in the expanded state. that it was exceptional that in their case partium sensus and necessitudo coincided for a long term. but by reference to the nature of the potentia exercised by its opponents. 'Krise ohne Alternativ' (pp. to maintain the existing system. leaving rule to the nobles. Meier sums up his main conclusions in the brief chapter v. The core of this opposition consisted of a small group of interrelated nobiles of whom Cato was the most pertinacious and intransigent. the leaders of the Caesarian party. loosening the structure of the Staatsordnung. 64-161). It was the expansion of the empire that was the reason for the absence of any change in the constitutional structure. One cannot summarize here the lengthy concluding historical narrative of This content downloaded on Mon. to be made use of by the survivors in the last round of the struggle for power. 201-5). the expansion of the clientela of the new nobility step by step with the expansion of the empire. The other social groups mentioned above never possessed sufficient political initiative to change the order of the day and remained passive centres of smouldering discontent. As a result the new influential bourgeoisie remained indifferent to politics. 186). popularis leaders included. As the old machine ticked over without actually working. Gracchus to broaden the basis of the governing class the knights came to terms with the senate. not in terms of the personality and authority of four of its members (p. 'Die iibermassige Extensivierung der Res Publica' (pp. Pompey and Caesar (see below). Pompey's alliance with Caesar in 60/59 may have looked like a mere ephemeral election alliance to contemporaries.

and because of. This content downloaded on Mon. Meier has much of value and interest to say about the politics and programmes of the period. 76 C. applied to members of the nobility itself. for the consolidation of their long-term commands. the dynasts with their long-term imperiaand armies and massive clientelae could see to it that the only consular elections that had any long-term significance for the state were those that. were turned upside down and replaced by the antithetical principles of hierarchy of command and indefinite tenure of imperiumextra ordinem. The vital interests of the dynasts were not necessarily deeply involved in the latter. In 70 the consuls restored the tribunes' initiative and made possible for Pompey his great commands in 67 and 66 (for the reaction of the nobles to this cf. but the fact still remains a phenomenon that should be taken into account. Cic. Pro Cornel. to quote two instances. And this power gave the dynasts opportunities of patronage which. his treatment of the period of Cinna's dominance and of Sulla's. One need not dwell on the significance of the elections for 55. The rhythm in the development of the potentialities of the transcendent imperia extra ordinemwas more leisurely than the rhythm of annual consular elections. These commands gave Pompey and Caesar a position of power and authority which they could exploit at leisure.). The expansion of the clientelaeof the nobility and the splintering (Individualisierung) interests in the community of are certainly important extra-constitutional features of the developing republic. and 55 and they were seen to be so at the time. There is room for disagreement on questions of interpretation and emphasis. ap. Power was being organized outside Rome. 59. over a quinquennium or longer.THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 329 the phases of disintegration from 95 to 50 Meier puts it) and laid the foundations of his future potentia. Meier's work reflects the new interest in studies of societies as complex wholes and displays great virtuosity in the use of new techniques of interpretation in the fields of political semantics and sociology. The significant elections in this period are those for the consulships of 70. The protective devices of the old republic were stretched until their colouring changed slowly from blue to red. built-in safeguards of the oligarchic constitution. the principles of magisterial collegiality and annual limitation of tenure. More and more of the nobilesswung gradually into position as satellites of the major dynasts. or list points of disagreement in detail. One could argue that it was to a considerable extent the flexibility and adaptability of the constitution that had deferred for so long a time the moment when an impasse was reached. e. were in a position to undermine the resistance of the nobility by means of the power and patronage at their disposal. 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Is Meier's diagnosis completely satisfying ? Does it take into account all the phenomena ? Are the mechanics of consular elections what matters most in this period? Was the republican constitution a piece of machinery that remained in essence unchanged throughout. In 59 Caesar dealt a crushing blow to the auctoritasof the senate ('made a decisive change in the political Grammatik'. the process of material expansion of the empire? Or would it be better to say that the old constitution was itself continually adapted and stretched to meet the expanding needs of empire until it burst. Pompey and Caesar in turn or simultaneously. This has been said before. subordinated their clientela networks to something more comprehensive and compelling. p. No less significant is the development of the imperiumto the point where the primitive. After Sulla holders of long-term imperia.c. were crucial for themselves.g. at long intervals. Ascon.

In the first part of her book Mrs. So it is all the more gratifying to find a short. although she would admit that business and religion are not divorced and that predominantly religious motives should not be ruled out. those dynasts were going to the heart of the matter in a different way (more effectively in the long term) from Sulla's concentration on the metropolis and Italy in 83/2 B. E. but not won over.. Why was there no cry for.C. Saturninus.J. until 451/0 B. trying to explain the phenomena in terms of the needs of the people (cf. Sulla launched his new order side by side with Metellus and a faction of the Optimates. Cicero was to witness the indifference of the Equestrian Order and the Italian communities to the fate of the armies of Pompey and the Republicans. 'Rome could be conquered. It was the support of the new social groups aroused to political consciousness in different ways by the Gracchi. net. N. are CALENDARS notoriously confusing. 1967.Pp.: University CALENDAR Press (London: Oxford University AGNES KIRSOPP The Calendar theRoman MICHELS: of Republic.installed at what he saw as the centre of power. or support for a reformer ? So he attributes little significance or continuity to efforts at 'reform' in the period after I22 and devotes much attention to four attempts by supporters of the old regime (in 95. that eventually determined the triumph of Caesarism and the building of a new order in which some at least of their aspirations were satisfied. Pompey. none more so than the Roman Calendar. together with an original and disturbing investigation of its origin. Princeton. Cloth.C. 50 ff. W. She approaches her subject from a refreshingly practical standpoint.c. and Caesar. with the legions alone' (p. xvi + Press). 91. 203). 11 Mar 2013 18:48:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 88. Michels discusses the meaning of the different symbols. 6d. Meier discusses the development of the musculature and nervous system but allows for none in the skeleton. GRAY Christ Church. to the creation of the distinctive lunisolar calendar which survived for so long at Rome.) to get round the problems presented by the claims of the Equester Ordo and the Italians. and p. His view of the Roman constitution remains that of a Polybius. When Pompey pacified Spain and organized peace and security in the East for the immediate benefit of the knights and of the Italici spread over Asia Minor and the ('Pw•lao-) Levant. clear account of what the Roman Calendar contained and how it worked. when Caesar recruited the Transpadani into his legions and fulfilled his promises to them.THE CLASSICAL REVIEW 330 To use the not altogether satisfying analogy of the Roman state as a developing organism. especially pp. a Greek picture of the equilibrium (cdpCLovia) of a well-organized piece of clockwork. with special reference to the fragments of Fasti Antiates Maiores. In the second part she works back from the first century B. 205). These problems were not to be solved within the narrow circle of domestic politics in Rome. the only pre-Julian calendar to survive. Briefly her theory is that the Romans used a truly lunar calendar. which some Roman Solon or Cleisthenes might be expected to overhaul when the cogs begin to grind instead of catching smoothly (p. 6).C. when the Decem- This content downloaded on Mon. Oxford THE ROMAN 227. and 82 B. 7Is. with the Kalends being announced each month.