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The Foundation of Rome$
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Ausgusto Fraschetti

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621200

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621200.001.0001

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Romulus’ government and his wars

Romulus’ government and his wars

(p.64) (p.65) Chapter 3 Romulus’ government and his wars
The Foundation of Rome

Augusto Fraschetti

Edinburgh University Press

In specifically comparing Romulus's actions to those of famous Greek lawgivers, Dionysius of Halicarnassus starts by claiming that straight after the foundation, Romulus had called an assembly of the Romans and given them the choice of a ‘system of government’. Immediately he dangled before them the fear of ‘civil commotions’, which were much more dangerous for the community than foreign wars. Cassius Dio, likewise attributed a discussion on the choice of government – monarchy, oligarchy, or democracy – and on the merits and drawbacks of these forms of government, to Caesar Augustus and his friends Caius Cilnius Maecenas and Vipsanius Agrippa after the end of the civil wars. After Romulus had stressed the necessity for ‘unanimity among the citizens’ in the event of ‘civil commotions’, the Romans, faced with the alternatives of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy, chose the ‘constitution’ of the city of Alba, and bestowed the kingdom on Romulus himself.

Keywords:   Romulus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, government, wars, Cassius Dio, monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, constitution, Alba

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