Cicero: De Re Publica: Selections
Cicero's De re publica contains the fullest ancient account of the theory of the mixed constitution and the oldest extant narrative of early Roman history; it concludes with the Dream of Scipio, one of the most influential ancient visions of the afterlife. As a Platonic dialogue set in a Roman context, De re publica is in part an examination of Roman attitudes to Greek culture, in part a nostalgic evocation of an earlier and better Rome. The argument of the dialogue concerns the relationship between political theory and practice, and between social institutions and the individual citizen. This edition of most of the surviving portions of De re publica is the most detailed commentary ever to appear in English. It carefully explains Cicero's philosophical argument and its relationship to his account of early Rome, and thoroughly elucidates the language and style of the treatise.