Episodes

Episode 2 – Liberty or License

Rome was the most powerful empire in antiquity. But were the Romans free to speak truth to power? Did history’s first successful Women’s March take place in Rome? And who came out on top when the words of Cicero clashed with the ambition of Caesar and armies of Octavian? Why did historians and astrologers become endangered species when the Republic became an empire? Find out in episode 2 of “Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech”.

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Literature: Episode 2

General Roman history

Roman society, Roman law and the political system

  • The Laws of the Twelve Tables. Accessible at: https://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/12tables.html.
  • Beard, M. (2015): Chapter 4: ”Rome’s Great Leap Forward” in: SPQR – A History of Ancient Rome. London, UK: Profile Books.
  • Davies, N. (1997): ”III. Roma: Ancient Rome, 753 BC-AD 337” in: Europe: A history. London, UK: Pimlico.
  • Larsen, J.A.O. (1955): Representative Government in Greek and Roman History. Oakland, CA: Berkeley University of California Press.
  • Livy: History of Rome. III, book 25. Accessible at http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/livy-the-history-of-rome-by-titus-livius-in-6-vols.
  • Mouritsen, H. (2017): Chapter 1: ”Senatus Populusque Romanus” in: Politics in the Roman Republic. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 6-53.
  • O’Donnel, J. (2016): Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity. New York, US: HarperCollins
  • Polybius: Rome at the End of the Punic Wars. Book 6. Accessible at: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/ANCIENT/polybius6.asp.

Libertas and Licentia

  • Braund, S.M. (2004): ”Libertas or Licentia? Freedom and Criticism in Roman Satire” in: Sluiter, I. and Rosen, R. (eds.): Free Speech in Classical Antiquity. Boston, MA:
  • Chrissanthos, S. (2004): ”Freedom of Speech and the Roman Republican Army” in: Sluiter, I. and Rosen, R. (eds.): Free Speech in Classical Antiquity. Boston, MA:
  • Mallam, C. (ed.) (2016): Parrhesia in Dio’s Roman History.
  • Wirszubski, C.H. (2009): Libertas as a Political Idea at Rome during the Late Republic and Early Principate. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Arena, V. (2012): Libertas and the Practice of Politics in the Late Roman Republic, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

The Late Republic and the Decline of the Republic: The Gracchi, Cicero, Cato and Caesar

The Principate and the early Roman Empire: From Augustus to Caligula

  • Beard, M. (2015): SPQR – A History of Ancient Rome. London, UK: Profile Books. Chapters 7-12.
  • Cramer, F.H. (1945): ”Bookburning and Censorship in Ancient Rome: A Chapter from the History of Freedom of Speech” in: Journal of the History of Ideas 6(2), pp. 157-196.
  • Konstantinos SP Staikos (2007): The History of the Library in Western Civilization Vol II.

New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press.

Veiled speech: Fables and the Golden age of Latin Literature

  • Beard, M. (2015): SPQR – A History of Ancient Rome. London, UK: Profile Books. Pp. 414.
  • Pagán, V. (2004): ”Speaking before superios: Orpheus in Vergil and Ovid” in: Sluiter, I. and Rosen, R. (eds.): Free Speech in Classical Antiquity. Boston, MA:

Great podcasts on Roman history