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Sallust as a Historian of Civil War

El pasado julio se publicó el libro The Historiography of Late Republican Civil War, cuyos editores C. H. Lange y F. J. Vervaet, invitaron a Pedro López Barja a escribir un capítulo titulado "Sallust as a Historian of Civil War".


Civil War is a permanent albeit hidden menace in the Greek as well as in the Roman City (Loraux-Agamben). According to Sallust, civil strife, is rooted in the human nature, prone to fight over libertas, gloria and dominatio (Hist. 1.8R = 1.7M – here he may be responding to the Thucydidean tricolon “fear, honour and interest” as the universal motives for war). Rome’s history is paradigmatic of this for she is divided from the very beginning into two opposing parts: senatus and populus/plebs. Even if in the olden times they worked together, the process of corruption, which started when fear together with Carthage disappeared, has ruined both. A minority now rules and profits from the material advantages of the provinces, while the rest is left struggling for survival. This domination has destroyed the ciuitas libera (Skinner), and has given way to an era of conflict and slavery in which private needs are more important than the public good. This is what Sallust tried to unravel, first in his Catiline (the corruption of the populares) and then in the Jugurthine (optimates).

Cómo citar esta publicación:

Pedro López Barja. 2019. Sallust as a Historian of Civil War. En C. H. Lange y F. J. Vervaet (eds.), The Historiography of Late Republican Civil War. Leiden: Brill, pp. 160-184. ISBN 978-90-04-37359-4

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