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 Republic). This exploration of what the Roman Republic had become, and what it was supposed to be, looked backward and forward in Roman history—and continues to have important implications for anyone living in a republic today.

Cicero set De Re publica in the year 129 BC, a dramatic moment when Romans, for the first time in centuries, had begun to confront …

Complacency—Not Hubris—Is What Killed the Roman Republic

Over the Years, Democratic Norms Quietly Eroded, Not Unlike in Today's America

Representative democracies have wildly different life expectancies, but they tend not to live long.

Democratic governments have existed for more than 2,500 years, but most democracies have historically failed to survive …

How Will California Survive the End of America’s Empire?

A Trip to Rome Offers Old Lessons, Young City Officials, and Inspiration for How to Rebuild Democracy on Imperial Ruins

How will California survive the end of the American empire?

The question might seem hypothetical, but I found it inescapable last week in Rome, where I was running a global forum …

Why I’m Staying in Rome, Even While It Crumbles 

A British Novelist Will Remain in the Eternal City Because of What Its Past Can Teach About Surviving the Present

When I tell Romans I have been a resident of their city for the last 16 years and have no desire to live anywhere else, they’re often a little baffled. …

Why Are There so Many Statues of Men on Horseback?

Since the Time of Marcus Aurelius, It's Been Viewed as the Perfect Combination of Power and Virtue

Statues are created to project meaning. Contemporary public artworks, for example, use purposely veiled messages aimed to generate thoughtful exchange with the viewer and to prompt reflection. By contrast, historic …

In Rome, a New Kind of Sanctuary Is Growing

Rooted in the Humane Treatment of Migrants, the Baobab Experience Provides Shelter Despite Significant Hurdles

The Baobab Experience, inspired by the strong African tree whose long roots can stretch far away and, for us, even across continents and cultures, is the name chosen for a …