The Roman Republic: An Empire in Disguise

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If one were to make his way through the history of the world, he or she would learn about the many forms of government, and how they came to be. In the case of Rome, many historians would note it as having a period where it was a republic, and a period where it was an empire. When examined in detail, though, the Roman Republic fails to mirror a true republic. While it had republican qualities, it was ultimately set up to give the common people a false sense of security and power in the Roman government. The ancient city of Rome was never a true republic because its traits do not emulate the definition of a republic or the republics of other ancient societies, and because of its biased political system.
According to Scipio’s definition of a republic, Rome was never a true republic not because of how it conducted its affairs, but rather because of how it ran their people. Scipio’s definition of a republic can be found in The City of God, where St. Augustus explains, “. . . if we are to accept the definition laid down by Scipio in Cicero's De Republica, there never was a Roman Republic; for he briefly defines a republic as the weal of the people. And if this definition be true, there never was a Roman Republic for the people's weal was never attained among the Romans. For the people, according to his definition, is an assemblage associated by a common acknowledgment of right and by a community of interests. And what he means by a common acknowledgment of right he explains at large, showing that a republic cannot be administered without justice. Where, therefore, there is no true justice there can be no right. . . justice is that virtue which gives everyone his due” (Augustus XIX). This quote refers to Rome’s disregard for th...

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...nment of the United States of America today. Lobbyists hand checks around to political leaders to have what they want happen. And as much as American citizens would not like to notice it, their freedom and power in the country is decreasing every day. Rome’s tragic and titanic fall should be a warning to the educated citizens of America to try to change what the government is doing and what this country is headed towards, but it is a warning that is not widely heeded. In the words of Joseph Anthony Wittreich, “History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme...” If America continues in its hushed ways, it could be headed towards a fate similar to Rome’s and its short lived flame could be put out as quickly as it was lit.

Works Cited

Augustine. The City of God. N.p.: n.p., 426 AD. Print.
Wittreich, Joseph Anthony. Feminist Milton. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1987. Print.

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