Political Thought and Practice in the Late Roman Republic
Corruption was seen as a major factor in the collapse of Republican Rome, as Valentina Arena’s subsequent essay “Fighting Corruption: Political Thought and Practice in the Late Roman Republic” argues. It was in reaction to this perception of the Republic’s political fortunes that an array of legislative and institutional measures were established and continually reformed to become more effective. What this chapter shows is that, as in Greece, the public sphere was distinct from the private sphere and, importantly, it was within this distinction that the foundations of anticorruption measures lay. Moreover, it is difficult to defend the existence of a major disjuncture between moralistic discourses and legal-political institutions designed to patrol the public/private divide: both were part of the same discourse and strategy to curb corruption and improve government.
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