Remembering the Roman People. Essays on Late-Republican Politics and Literature.
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011. IX,271p. Paperback. 'This book, a set of elegant, complex, and complexly interrelated case studies in the political and social life of the last century of the Roman Republic, is an exercise in returning to first principles - in particular, to the root meaning of 'republic' (res publica), whose original sense, 'the People's property' or 'the People's business', Wiseman takes as his starting point. He argues that the People - very much with a capital 'P' - were central to Roman political life and development, and that the existence of political parties (long out of scholarly fashion) must be taken seriously. In short (and like Fergus Millar, among others) Wiseman wants to 'put the ideology back' (p.33) into the study of the late Republic.Wiseman's very selective use of secondary material stands out. (...) This is one of the most learned of classical scholars, who knows the fields, both ancient and modern, inside out, and who argues meticulously against individual positions (in this volume, especially those of Gruen, Mouritsen, and Goldberg). A sparing use of secondary literature has often been his practice elsewhere, of course, and is part of his insistence on returning to the sources rather than accepting the scholarly communis opinio, itself too often an accretion of unexamined assumptions that are products of very specific cultural influences, to which Wiseman is acutely sensitive.' (CHRISTINA KRAUS in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.07.32).