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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Deconstruction of a Roman Citizen

Florence Dupont argued that the Roman Republic represented the citizen body made manifest, an entity that remained unscathed and intact until the rise of Julius Caesar. Dupont maintained that the Roman Republic, as a society, represented freedom and political equity, while Imperial Rome represented obligation and subjugation beneath Caesar. Dupontís methodology assumes that the Republican-Roman was a freeman, in strict contrast to his later contemporary. In reality the Roman Republic was a society permeated with obligation, deference, and the harsh realities of political hegemony. The rise of Julius Caesar did not reform the Roman state, nor did it irrevocably damage the status of the Roman citizen. Indeed, Caesarís rise is consistent with the identity of the true Roman citizens, the hegemons of the Republic, men like Cato. The average Roman citizen always served, the only distinction lay in whether he showed fealty to the Senate or to Caesar.

Presenter: Kenneth Lane (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 3:20 pm (Session IV)