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Evil LordsTheories and Representations of Tyranny from Antiquity to the Renaissance$
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Nikos Panou and Hester Schadee

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199394852.001.0001

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Discourse of Kingship in Late Republican Invective

Discourse of Kingship in Late Republican Invective

(p.43) 3 Discourse of Kingship in Late Republican Invective
Evil Lords

Yelena Baraz

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the anti-monarchical discourse that was indigenous to Rome since the expulsion of the kings. Through a study of the lexicographic range of the words rex (king) and regnum (kingship), it parses the accusations of ‘regal aspirations’ abounding in political writings of the late Republic. Although associated with the last Roman king, the ‘tyrannical’ Tarquin, these terms were not indicative of constitutional positions. Rather, in the rhetoric of faction politics, they suggest the traits of arrogance and rampant ambition. Thus refining our understanding of political discourse in the final years of the Republic, the chapter also paves the way for a new understanding of Julius Caesar’s dictatorship and its critical assessment before and after his assassination.

Keywords:   Rome, late republic, king, tyrant, Julius Caesar, Cicero

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