This work deals with the mutual relationship between the principes, from Augustus to Nero, and the city plebs. In a pioneering work which seeks to move far beyond simple class and ethnic description, Professor Yavetz asks the tough question: why did key Roman emperors make so many efforts to endear themselves to the urban populace?The situation was not entirely unlike what one observes in present day advanced societies. Although a ruling elite held a monopoly of force and power in military and even legislative terms, Ceasar and Ceasarism well understood the advantages of largesse - from rent relief to public games - consolidating and legitimating power.In a work which is self-defined as a limited slice of history, the author is yet able to illumine vast chunks of political sociology: attitudes of the urban mass to one party rule, the trade-off between material goods and politial loyalty, the maintenance of elementary forms of legality, and a populist bent among those who would rule. Yavetz's classic work, which first appeared in 1969 and has been long unavailable, faithfully employs classical events to illumine modern life - not in a forced, but better, in quite natural ways.
Plebs and Princeps
av Zvi Yavetz
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