Next to the Bible, Shakespeare, the French revolution and Napoleon, ancient Rome is one of the most plowed-through fields of historical experience. One of the truly great periods of history, Rome, over the centuries, deservedly has attracted the passionate attention of historians, philologists and, more recently, archeologists. Since Roman of the legal life of most of Western Europe, the legal law constituted the source profession had a legitimate interest. Veritable libraries have been built around the history of Rome. In the past confined mostly to Italian, German, and French scholars the fascination with things Roman by now has spread to other civilized nations in cluding the Anglo-Saxon. Among the contributors to our knowledge of ancient Rome are some of the great minds in history and law. Our bibliography - selective, as neces sarily it has to be - records outstanding generalists as well as some of the numerous specialists that were helpful for our undertaking. Why, then, another study of the Roman political civilization and one that, at least measured by volume and effort, is not altogether insubstantial? And why, has to be added, one presented by an author who, whatever his reputation in other fields, ostensibly is an outsider of the classical discipline? These are legitimate questions that should be honestly answered. By training and avocation the author is a constitutional lawyer or, rather, a political scientist primarily interested in the operation of governmental institutions.
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