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The bellum ciuile Pompeianum: the war of words

La prestigiosa revista The Classical Quarterly acaba de sacar su número 69.2, en el que Pedro López Barja ha publicado su artículo "The bellum ciuile Pompeianum: the war of words".


The irrelevance of ideology is perhaps one of the most strongly held views shared by the historians of the Late Republic. As indicated by Matthias Gelzer in 1912, in those final years of the Roman Republic, ‘political struggles were fought out by thenobilesat the head of their dependents’. In his opinion, this was nothing more than a power struggle, in which slogans or ideas were merely propaganda, without any real value. In 1931, analysing the political proposals of Cicero, Gelzer's disciple Hermann Strasburger rejected the existence of political parties, as, in his opinion, terms such asoptimatesorpopulareswere merely propagandistic mottos and pure wordplay. As a result, it became widely believed that the civil war between Caesar and Pompey was nothing more than a struggle betweendignitates, that is, a confrontation for leadership between ambitious politicians who were not prepared to compromise. More recently, in 1994, Luigi Loreto considered the conflict between Caesar and Pompey to be aimed at seizing power, unlike ‘ideological’ wars, where the aim was to maintain or instate a specific type of social or political order.

Cómo citar:

López Barja, P. 2020. "The bellum ciuile Pompeianum: the war of words". The Classical Quarterly , 69.2: 700–714. ISSN 0009-8388. DOI: 10.1017/S0009838820000014

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