Next to the Bible, Shakespeare, the French revolution and Napoleon, ancient Rome is one of the most plowed-through fields of historical experience. One of the truly great periods of history, Rome, over the centuries, deservedly has attracted the passionate attention of historians, philologists and, more recently, archeologists. Since Roman law constituted the source of the legal life of most of Western Europe, the legal profession had a legitimate interest. Veritable libraries have been built around the history of Rome. In the past confmed mostly to Italian, German, and French scholars the fascination with things Roman by now has spread to other civilized nations in- cluding the Anglo-Saxon. Among the contributors to our knowledge of ancient Rome are some of the great minds in history and law. Our bibliography - selective, as neces- sarily it has to be - records outstanding generalists as well as some of the numerous specialists that were helpful for our undertaking. Why, then, another study of the Roman political civilization and one that, at least measured by volume and effort, is not altogether insubstantial?
And why, has to be added, one presented by an author who, whatever his reputation in other fields, ostensibly is an outsider of the classical discipline? These are legitimate questions that should be honestly answered. By training and avocation the author is a constitutional lawyer or, rather, a political scientist primarily interested in the operation of governmental institutions.
Abridged Table of Contents.- One: The Republic.- I: The Origins: The Period of the Mythological Kings.- II: The Class Struggle and the Merger between the Patricians and the Plebeians.- III: The Political Institutions of the Republic I: The Magistrates.- IV The Political Institutions of the Republic II: The Popular Assemblies.- V: The Political Institutions of the Republic III: The Senate.- VI. The Administration of Justice.- VII: The Collapse of the Republican Order.- A Postscript: Why the Roman Republic Never Became a Democracy.- Two: The Empire.- Section One: Augustus and the Foundation of the Principate.- Introduction: Principate and Dominate.- I The Establishment of the Principate.- II The Institutions of the Augustan Principate I.- III: The Institutions of the Augustan Principate II.- IV: The Administration of justice.- V: The Augustan Reform Legislation.- VI: The Creator and His Work.- Section Two: The Principate in Operation.- VII: The Period in Retrospect.- VIII: The Emperor.- IX: the face of the republican institutions.- X: The Social Classes.- XI: The Administration of the Empire.- XII: Decline and Fall of the Principate.- Section Three: The Dominate.- XIII The Period in Retrospect.- XIV: The Rise of Christianity as the State Religion.- XV: The Emperor.- XVI: The Organization of the Imperial Government.- XVII: The Administration of Justice and the Law.- XVIII: The Coercive State.- Epilogue: Rome's Impact on the Civilization of the Western World.