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Political Violence in the Republic of Rome: Nothing New under the Sun


  • Brenda J. Lutz,

  • James M. Lutz


At various times the Roman Republic faced outbreaks of domestic political violence, including riots and intimidation, assassinations and conspiracies to overthrow the government. Violence was particularly noticeable in the Early Republic and the Late Republic. These activities were quite similar to the terrorism and violence used by mobs and groups during the French Revolution and the tactics of fascists and leftists in Europe in the 1920s or 1930s. More accurately, the actions of mobs and others during the French Revolution and leftists and fascists in Europe were very similar to the techniques used in the Roman political system in the last five centuries BCE.