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p. 193. The Romans: The Real Meaning of Patriotismlocked

  • Kenneth Minogue


‘The Romans’ considers the structure of Roman politics, outlining the power and roles of consuls and the Senate. The Romans' moral strength, virtue, freedom, and love of country (patriotism) all contributed to the empire's success. The most distinctive contribution of the Romans to politics was the auctoritas, a term that represented the junction of politics with the Roman religion, which involved the worship of families and ancestors. The reservoir of auctoritas lay in the Senate as the body closest to the ancestors. It has been characterized as more than advice but less than command, and the Romans' respect for it was the real source of their political skill.

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