Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic: Reflections on the Roman example in a fraught election year
Robert Morstein-Marx, Professor of Classics, UC Santa Barbara
For centuries, Julius Caesar has usefully served modern democracies and republics as a focus for fears of authoritarian takeover from within. This simplistic view of Caesar as aspiring tyrant is mistaken. A more historically accurate assessment of Caesar’s role in the final crisis of the Roman Republic should instead caution us against rash partisan overreaction and its potential for a ‘death spiral’ of norm-breaking that risks destroying a republic in the name of saving it.
Axinn Center 229Open to the Public