From the Renaissance to today, the idea that the Roman Republic
lasted more than 450 years--persisting unbroken from the late sixth
century to the mid-first century BC--has profoundly shaped how
Roman history is understood, how the ultimate failure of Roman
republicanism is explained, and how republicanism itself is
defined. In "Roman Republics," Harriet Flower argues for a
completely new interpretation of republican chronology. Radically
challenging the traditional picture of a single monolithic
republic, she argues that there were multiple republics, each with
its own clearly distinguishable strengths and weaknesses. While
classicists have long recognized that the Roman Republic changed
and evolved over time, Flower is the first to mount a serious
argument against the idea of republican continuity that has been
fundamental to modern historical study. By showing that the Romans
created a series of republics, she reveals that there was much more
change--and much less continuity--over the republican period than
has previously been assumed. In clear and elegant prose, "Roman
Republics" provides not only a reevaluation of one of the most
important periods in western history but also a brief yet nuanced
survey of Roman political life from archaic times to the end of the
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