Libertas and Res Publica in the Roman Republic

Ideas of Freedom and Roman Politics


Libertas and Res Publica in the Roman Republic offers some essential ideas for an understanding of Roman politics during the Republican period by analysing two key concepts: libertas (liberty) and res publica (public matter, republic). Exploring these concepts through a variety of different aspects – legal, religious, literary, political, and cultural – this book aims to explain the profound relationship between the two. Through the examination of a rich array of sources ranging from classical authors to coins, from legal texts to works of art, Balmaceda and her co-authors propose new readings that elucidate the complex meanings and inter-related functions of libertas and res publica, in a thought-provoking, deep, but very readable study of Roman political culture and identity.

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Catalina Balmaceda (D.Phil. Oxford, 2005) is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has published many articles on Roman historiography, and more recently Virtus Romana: Politics and Morality in the Roman Historians (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Contributors are: Carlos Amunátegui, Clifford Ando, Valentina Arena, Catalina Balmaceda, Henriette van der Blom, Harriet Flower, Frédéric Hurlet, Claudia Moatti, Francisco Pina Polo, Cristina Rosillo-López, Jeff Tatum
"This volume succeeds in prompting a desire for further study of what the relevant terms mean politically, which must involve Roman citizens of different statuses, as well as women, foreigners and the enslaved." Panayiotis Christoforou, BMCR 2022.07.07
Notes on Contributors
Catalina Balmaceda

1 Archaic Ideas on the Concept of Libertas
Carlos Amunátegui

2 Libertas in Early Latin Authors
Catalina Balmaceda

3 The God Liber and Republican Notions of Libertas in the Late Roman Republic
Valentina Arena

4 The Freedom of the Rhodians: Cato the Elder and Demosthenes
Harriet Flower

5 Ex Imperio Libertas: Freedom and Republican Empire
Clifford Ando

6 The Notion of Res Publica and Its Conflicting Meanings at the End of the Roman Republic
Claudia Moatti

7 The Consulship under the Triumvirs: a Phantom Office?
Francisco Pina Polo

8 Arbitration in the Res Publica: a Novel Way of Solving Internal Political Conflicts in the 40s and 30s BC
Cristina Rosillo-López

9 The Auctoritas and Libertas of Augustus: Metamorphosis of the Roman res publica
Frédéric Hurlet

10 A Great and Arduous Struggle: Marcus Antonius and the Rhetoric of Libertas in 44–43 BC
Jeff Tatum

11 Res Publica, Libertas and Free Speech in Retrosp
All interested in the history of the Roman Republic, scholars and students of ancient political thought, and modern political scientists. Anyone concerned with ancient Roman political and cultural identity.
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