Competition of Roman politics

Before they were ruled by emperors, Romans conducted annual elections at which they picked an elite group of the privileged social class to govern their city and command their armies.

Professor Jeff Tatum in the Classics museum at Victoria

Professor Jeff Tatum, from the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, has received a Marsden Fund grant of $275,000 to provide the first comprehensive investigation of the ideologies underlying campaigning in republican Rome (509–48 BCE). This society remains a model for contemporary constitutional theorists and political philosophers and was central to the thinking of the American founding fathers when they drafted the United States Constitution.

Jeff’s study will look at the practices, techniques, sentiments and prejudices that shaped the results of Roman elections, as well as the role money played in winning elections.