The Moral Implications of Legislative Reform and Civil Strife

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Gibian, Nathan A
Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study is to illuminate the nature of legislative reform and its intertwiningrelationship with civil unrest in the second century of the Roman Republic. Focusing on the historical narratives written by authors born in the ancient Roman world, this study examines the nature of morality in political rhetoric. In the exploration of political rhetoric the argument reveals that the foundations of the republic, based in ancestral customs, were largely vulnerable to the wills of the privileged. The significance of the study touches on 3 main aspects. The first is the development of a standardized morality. The second main aspect examines that the survival of the standardized morality, despite the devastation of the Senate in the Second Punic War, demonstrated that morality was passed down in the institution of the Senate, rather then in individual Senators. The third aspect examines how the standardization of morality in the Senate was, despite its intent to prevent immorality, the very source of immorality that inspired the reforms and forced the civil unrest.