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CALL. 01.09.2015: Politics and Power in the Early Roman Republic (509 – 264 BC) - Auckland (New Zeal



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Auckland, (Auckland, New Zealand)


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Rome’s republican system of government represents one of the most important models in both ancient history and western political thought. Various interpretations of the city’s early political apparatus have been used as the cornerstone of political and philosophical discourse from the 2nd century BC to the present day, with many modern scholars and political theorists still debating the claim of Polybius that the Roman Republic represented the ideal form of government as it supposedly combined equal parts of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. And yet, despite its importance and the amount of ancient literary evidence related to it, the origins of this influential form of government remain largely unexplained – in large part because of their prehistoric character. Indeed, modern scholars working on early Rome have arguably seen any semblance of consensus on the topic dissolve in recent years, as increasingly critical interpretations of the extant sources, coupled with developments in the field of archaeology, have served to undercut some of the basic principles which hitherto supported our understanding.

Given the uncertainty which surrounds this vitally important period, there has been a renewal of interest in recent years and, with the assistance of an ever increasing archaeological record and new literary and historiographical methodologies (not to mention sociological and anthropological parallels), a number of new and engaging interpretations have been advanced. This conference will explore the range of current interpretations for the nature of the early Roman Republic and the development of power and politics within the system during its formative era.

This ‘Call for Papers’ therefore invites the submission of abstracts (max. 250 words) on any aspect of power and politics in the early Roman Republic (c. 509 – c. 264 BC). In particular, the conference organizers would like to encourage papers on aspects of Roman state formation, the development of political institutions (magistracies, comitia, etc.), the development of power and ‘zones of control’ (imperium, ager Romanus, etc.), legal developments, the archaeology of the early Roman politics and power, along with discussions of competing power dynamics (gentes vs state, leagues vs communities, etc.).

Deadline for abstracts is 1 September 2015.

Confirmed speakers include Prof. Christopher Smith (British School at Rome), Dr. Guy Bradley (Cardiff University), Prof. Ron Ridley (Melbourne), Dr. Sean McConnell (Otago), and Dr. James Richardson (Massey).

Abstracts, along with any questions or queries, should be sent to Dr. Jeremy Armstrong (

This conference has been generously supported by both the University of Auckland and by Massey University.

NB: For any speakers considering coming to New Zealand from further afield than Australasia (and so perhaps interested in attending more than one conference in a short time span) the organizers would also like to draw attention to the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS) conference, which will be held in Melbourne the following week (Tuesday 2 February to Friday 5 February 2016). The conference details and Call for Papers are available at It should be noted that the deadline for submissions for the ASCS conference is 31 July 2015. For any additional information about this conference please contact Dr K.O. Chong-Gossard (

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