Beyond Republicanism: Political Thought in Tacitus’ Minor Works

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2019

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

257
views
359
downloads

Abstract

This dissertation examines how the Roman historian Tacitus’ political thought in his minor works (the Dialogus, the Germania, and the Agricola) departs from the political thought of his Republic-era predecessors. Tacitus wrote during the Principate, when Rome was organized under the power of a single man. Nevertheless, the dominant approach to thinking about political life was still Republicanism, a constellation of concepts formed when Rome was a Republic. In his minor works, Tacitus argues that Republicanism lacks the complexity to understand different iterations of single-man rule as well as its relationship with surrounding institutions and culture. Each of the minor works explores a different shortcoming of Republicanism. The Dialogus investigates how oratory was weakened in the Principate. The Germania observes how, contrary to a tenet of Republicanism, monarchy does not ipso facto preclude libertas. And the Agricola examines how certain political regimes can alter the individual. Rather than adhering to the traditional approach of viewing these writings as independent works, this dissertation argues that they form a coherent project in which Tacitus moves beyond Republicanism and argues that a new framework is needed to understand a political system as dynamic as the Principate.

Description

Provenance

Citation

Citation

Cole, Thomas (2019). Beyond Republicanism: Political Thought in Tacitus’ Minor Works. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20108.

Collections


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.