Caesar: The Civil War in Latin + English (SPQR Study Guides Book 2)

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Thy brother by decree is banished; If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him, I spurn thee like a cur out of my way. In choosing this speech, he also provided readers with a good example of the hubris and vain pride of the Caesar that Shakespeare created, a warning of where monarchy leads. In the last book of the trilogy Sequel to the American Orator , Cooke highlighted Shakespeare even more, going so far as to include a portrait of the Bard on the frontispiece, but without including any more allusions to or selections from Caesar.

While Cooke had specified some context, Scott followed the more typical route of listing only the author and the name of the character speaking. In any case, his English Reader was a runaway best seller, selling three million copies in England alone, and was the most commonly used textbook in American schools. Moreover, he also failed to include the rapid changes in allegiance that negatively characterise the crowd. Upon the latter's death, Antony, by his funeral oration, incited the people and drove the conspirators from Rome.

Indeed, this ideological move reflects changes in American government, which over time had become more democratic and less in line with the patrician republicanism of ancient Rome. However, as evidenced by the most popular textbooks of the time, most American pupils prior to the Civil War would have been exposed to Shakespeare through the medium of extracts in readers or other elocutionary texts.

While I have focused on the more popular textbooks, in The Reading of Shakespeare in American Schools and Colleges, published in , Simon provides an exhaustive survey of those schoolbooks and their contents.

For my purposes, it is sufficient to observe both the popularity of Julius Caesar, which was almost invariably included in such texts and later cited as one of the most commonly taught full-length plays , as well as to note that the extracts chosen from this play were usually limited to the ones included in Enfield.

Therefore, for many, if not most, Americans Julius Caesar consisted of those extracts—the speeches of Brutus, Cassius and Antony. In exploring the political ideology that reverberates throughout this drama, it is difficult to come to any definitive conclusions because Shakespeare presents this material in a balanced way, sometimes overtly supportive of republicanism, sometimes profoundly negative toward this ideology, particularly in depicting mob violence.

Certainly, whatever his personal beliefs, the exigencies of early modern censorship would have made it dangerous for Shakespeare to overtly advocate republicanism, even through reference to ancient Rome. In contrast, the extracted versions of Julius Caesar used in American education construct the drama as rigorously and unambiguously republican.

Isolated and removed from their dramatic context, these extracted speeches are intensely libertarian, undiluted as they are by questions of characterisation and context. Furthermore, the anti-democratic elements of the play, such as the mutability of the easily-swayed crowd listening to the funeral speeches and the scene where Cinna the Poet is lynched because of his name, are completely absent from these textbooks. Indeed, American performances of the play prior to the twentieth century invariably skipped the lynch scene. The extracted Julius Caesar thus represents a version of the play that, far more than Shakespeare's First Folio text, is in keeping with American conceptions of republicanism in this period.

Roman Republic

However, a close look at the funeral speech reveals that it is not broadly anti-republican in its sentiments, merely specifically anti-Brutus. Was this ambition? However, upon closer examination it soon becomes apparent that republican ideals are a heavily weighted factor in this seemingly private dispute.

What villain touched his body, that did stab And not for justice? There is something very American about Brutus, something cowboy-like in the stoicism that allows him to accept the death of his beloved wife without the emotional outbursts favoured by Cassius although this part of the scene is not reproduced in Enfield. There is also something independent, Natty-Bumpo-like in the stubborn, immovable idealism with which he responds to Cassius. They articulated a belief that was central to the pervasive success ethos of the nineteenth century and that confirmed the developing American world view.

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In his immovable stoicism and unshakable commitment to republican principles, Shakespeare's Brutus embodies the ideals of ancient Rome—and also the political philosophy and culture of the young American republic—thus serving as an ideological ancestor. To many Americans who attended the schools in the nineteenth century and who may never have had the opportunity to witness this play on the stage, this collection of speeches would have comprised Julius Caesar as they knew it.

Jonathan Burton explains that, as I have noted above, Until the end of the nineteenth century, it was rare for students to read Shakespeare as anything other than excerpts. Even when adults formed reading groups, they typically made use of the more advanced readers rather than graduating to complete texts.

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Moreover, memorisation is not merely learning; it implies an internalisation, a becoming one with the text that is not accessible any other way. In remembering the Shakespearean speeches I have memorised, I feel them sunk into my bones in a manner deeper than remembrance would imply. Lines learned by heart become inescapable. This concept is consonant with the homogenising and democratising goals of American education.

The fascist sense of romanity could do without books, since it was mainly action and intuition. It was the Gaius Sempronius Gracchus. Speeches in Historical Narrative: Sallust and Caesar. The self-representation of speakers within The Romans created the Latin alphabet, derived from the Greek, which is still used in many languages today, including English.

One of the most important examples of ancient communication was the Code of Hammurabi.

Ancient Rome

Hammurabi, a. In the twelve years since this book was first published, the Emperor Nero has increased his allure for scholars while losing Levick, B. Moreover , his failure as. Princeps led to a series of bloody civil wars that recalled the death agonies of the. Athens is named after the goddess Athene. Demeter was the mother of Persephone.

The Dorians drove the Achaeans from the Peloponnese. Student Number 2.

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David P. Goldman: Flailing. The just person enjoys psychic health, which is advantageous no matter how he is treated fairly or unfairly by gods and men; correspondingly, the just society enjoys civic unity, which is advantageous in being the fundamental way to avoid the assumed supreme evil of civil war. In contrast, all other cities are characterized as riven by civil war between the rich and the poor; none of them counts as a single, unified city at all see Rep.

In particular, Book V of the Republic suggests that a sufficiently unified regime can be achieved only by depriving its guardian-rulers of private property and of private families, instead making them live in austere communal conditions in which they are financially supported by their money-making subjects and allowed to procreate only when and with whom will best serve the city. In Book II of his Politics , Aristotle would read this prescription as applying to all the citizens in the city envisaged in the Republic , and both he and, later on, Cicero would deplore what they construed as this abolition of private property.

Even those following and radicalizing Plato precisely by advocating the abolition of property for all the citizens, rather than only deprivation of it for the rulers, as would the sixteenth-century Sir Thomas More, were generally opposed to if not also scandalized by the suggestion of procreative communism.

The Republic initiates a further tradition in political philosophy by laying out a template for the integration of ethics and political philosophy into a comprehensive account of epistemology and metaphysics. In the Republic , the knowledge required for rule is not specialized, but comprehensive: the knowledge of the good and the Forms is somehow to translate into an ability to make laws as well as the everyday decisions of rule. The rulers are philosophers who take turns over their lifetime in exercising collective political authority.

To that extent the Republic presents a paradox: if it is widely considered the first major work of political philosophy, [ 8 ] it is nevertheless a work in which there is no special content to political knowledge nor any special vocation for politics. In the Statesman , Plato turns his attention to precisely the topics identified at the end of the last section above. The discussion is interrupted but ultimately enriched by a story or myth in which politics is shown to be a matter of humans ruling other humans in place of living under divine guidance.

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That human expertise of statecraft is ultimately distinguished by its knowledge of the correct timing kairos as to when its closest rivals should be exercised: these are three forms of expertise that in fact corresponded to key political roles, some of them formal offices, in Greek cities at the time, namely, rhetoric, generalship, and judging Lane , Lane c. The statesman is wholly defined by the possession of that knowledge of when it is best to exercise these and the other subordinate forms of expertise, and by the role of exercising that knowledge in binding or weaving the different groups of citizens together, a knowledge which depends on a broader philosophical grasp but which is peculiarly political El Murr Here, political philosophy operates not just to assimilate politics to a broader metaphysical horizon but also to identify its specificity.

The Statesman also raises an important question about the nature and value of rule by law, as opposed to rule by such expert knowledge as embodied in a rare and likely singular individual. By contrast, the Statesman analyzes law as in principle a stubborn and imperfect substitute for the flexible deployment of expertise e—c. However, the principal interlocutors of the latter dialogue go on to agree that if the choice is between an ignorant imitator of the true political expert who changes the laws on the basis of whim, and a law-bound polity, the latter would be preferable, so bringing law back into the picture as an alternative to the ideal after all.

For an alternative argument, that the second-best city is not meant to be Magnesia, see Bartels In this second-best city, the legislation for which is sketched out in speech by the three interlocutors of the dialogue, politics still aims at virtue, and at the virtue of all the citizens, but those citizens all play a part in holding civic offices; the ordinary activities of politics are shared, in what is described as a mixture of monarchy and democracy. Another influential aspect of the Laws is its positive evaluation of the nature of law itself as a topic proper to political philosophy.

Some scholars have found that to be a distinctively democratic and liberal account of law Bobonich ; see also the entry on Plato on utopia. That arguably goes too far in a proceduralist direction, given that the value of law remains its embodiment of reason or understanding nous , so that while adding persuasive preludes is a better way to exercise the coercive force of law, no agreement on the basis of persuasion could justify laws which departed from the standard of nous Laks Nevertheless, the emphasis on law as an embodiment of reason, and as articulating the political ideals of the city in a form that its citizens are to study and internalize Nightingale b, , is distinctive to this dialogue.

The Statesman however reserves a special extraordinary role a higher office, or perhaps not a formal office as such for the statesman whenever he is present in the city Lane b. Has Plato in the Laws given up on his earlier idealism which rested on the possibility of the philosopher-king, or on the idea of the perfectly knowledgeable statesman? If so, should that be interpreted as disillusionment or pessimism on his part, or as a more democratic or liberal turn? Or are there more fundamental continuities that connect and underlie even these seeming shifts?

These questions structure the broad debate about the meaning and trajectory of Platonic political philosophy for an overview, compare Klosko to Schofield Living much of his life as a resident alien in Athens, with close familial ties to the extra- polis Macedonian court which would, near the end of his life, bring Athens under its sway, Aristotle at once thematized the fundamental perspective of the Greek citizenship of equals and at the same time acknowledged the claim to rule of anyone of truly superior political knowledge.

Biological creatures work to fulfill the realization of their end or telos , a specific way of living a complete life characteristic of the plants or animals of their own kind, which is the distinctive purpose that defines their fundamental nature—just as human artifacts are designed and used for specific ends. While every human being, in acting, posits a particular telos as the purpose making that action intelligible, this should ideally reflect the overall natural telos of humans as such. Here, however, arises a problem unique to humans.

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Whereas other animals have a single telos defining their nature living the full life of a frog, including reproduction, being the sole telos of each frog, in the example used by Lear , humans both have a distinctive human nature—arising from the unique capacity to use language to deliberate about how to act — and also share in the divine nature in their ability to use reason to understand the eternal and intelligible order of the world.

Practical reason is the domain of ethics and politics, the uniquely human domain. Yet the political life is not necessarily the best life, compared with that devoted to the divinely shared human capacity for theoretical reason and philosophical thinking compare Nicomachean Ethics I with X. In fact he closes his Nicomachean Ethics by remarking that for most people, the practice of ethics can only be ensured by their being governed by law, which combines necessity compulsion with reason.

Because, for most people, the ethical life presupposes government by law, the student of ethics must become a student of political science, studying the science of legislation in light of the collection of constitutions assembled by Aristotle and his school in the Lyceum. At the beginning of Book IV b1—39 , Aristotle offers a fourfold account of what the expertise regarding constitutions must encompass.

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