The Roman Republic in Memory:
From Reality to an Idea
SDIS MONTHLY MEETING
Saturday, May 19, 2018
1:30 –3:30 PM
Free Parking in the
Gilman Parking Structure
Click here for maps and
directions telling how
to park on campus
and walk to the meeting room
All monthly meetings of SDIS are free and open to the public.
A question/discussion period follows the talk.
(1) Business Meeting and Election of Officers
Before the meeting, SDIS members will be sent information about the business to be transacted and about the election. This is expected to be an important meeting.
(2) The Roman Republic in Memory:
From Reality to an Idea
Report from Prof. Michael Sage,
Recipient of a Grant fom the Helen Hawkins Memorial Research Fund
The Talk: The past is vital to individuals and groups. Memory is fundamental to our sense of self. Its loss through accident or disease is devastating. In the case of groups, common experiences and ways of doing things generate cohesiveness and solidarity. They often mark the boundary between insiders and those who stand outside the group. States, forming one of the largest of human groups, have a vital need to develop a sense of self. They often look back to the past whether it is real or mythical to find legitimacy. Rome was no different.
At the beginning of the fifth century BC Rome became an aristocratic republic that through war and conquest encompassed most of the Mediterranean and had expanded north of the Alps as well.
At the heart of the elite’s domination was a system of elected offices. The leading men competed for office and in the process created the norms and customs that governed Roman life.
Normally, we study the elite through written texts, but they also created a physical legacy. Their actions also created an ethical system in the absence of an alternative source of morality.
In the end the Republic fell of its own weight. It was replaced by a disguised monarchy, clothed in Republican forms. The memory of the Republic lived on, in part as a political program and in part as an exercise in nostalgia. The talk will focus on the creation in stone of a legacy in the period of the living Republic from its beginning until its death at the end of the first century BC.
The Speaker: Michael Sage received a BA and an MA from the University of Michigan. He then obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto. He taught at the University of Waterloo in Canada before taking a position at the University of Cincinnati in the classics department, where he taught for thirty- five years.
Escaping the Ice and snow, Sage moved to San Diego in 2010-- then taught at UCSD part-time in the history department. He has published in Greek and Roman history, authoring five books, the latest of which, on the army of the Roman Republic will be available in the U.S. in June.
Sage has also written a number of articles in journals and encyclopedias. He has been a member of SDIS for three years. Last year he was awarded a Helen Hawkins Grant to do research on his next book: The Roman Republic as Memory.