When a Violent Mob Stormed Rome’s Capitol

Over 2,000 Years Ago, a Losing Politician Incited His Followers to Riot. It Ended in Death, Destruction, and Civil War

A politician-incited, post-election riot at a Capitol, seeking to block the result of a peculiar voting system, is not news. Ancient Romans witnessed something very similar.

On December 9, 100 B.C., Romans assembled to vote for the two consuls who would serve as the Republic’s top magistrates for the coming year. The election promised to be momentous. Gaius Marius, the dominant political figure in the Roman Republic for the previous decade, was finishing his fifth consecutive consulship. Once an extraordinarily popular figure, Marius had only won his most recent consular term …

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today?

Before the Rise of Caesar, the Roman Statesman Predicted How the Spread of Lawlessness Could Destroy a Republic

At some point in the early summer of 54 BC, the Roman statesman Cicero set to work on his most consequential work of political philosophy: De Re publica (On the …

Your Complaints About Globalization Are Old News

The Ancient World Also Wrestled with Trade, Aggrandizing Elites, Destabilizing Religious Conflict, and Even Syrian Migrants

Syrian migrants were being rebuffed by their richer neighbors. Walls were being raised to keep out barbarian hordes. Old empires, having closed themselves off to trade, were in decline. Revolutionary …

An Engine of Serendipity in the Eternal City

Who Needs Gelato When You Can Visit the British School at Rome?

Some scholars make straight for the Capitol, to sit on the steps where Edward Gibbon first conceived the idea of writing The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Others …