There are two main types of question which arise from Aristotle's treatment of democracy, as from all other major topics which we find in that part of the Politics which is related to empirical data about political behaviour . One type is primarily philosophical: ‘Is Aristotle's analysis logically coherent, is it consistent with his data, is it convincing?’ The other is more historical, though it has philosophical importance too: ‘From where does he derive his data, from where his views ? (...) Has he done justice to the historical events that he adduces and to the opinions of men that he cites as evidence for political and ethical norms?’ Although in this paper I have a special interest in questions of the second type regarding the nature of the data, they cannot be tackled satisfactorily without considering the nature and validity of the analysis of democracy. (shrink)
An interesting phrase in a letter of Caelius to Cicero in 51 BC, especially relevant to the standing of injured socii or their non-Roman representatives in the quaestio de repetundis at this time, has been frequently misinterpreted by commentators on Cicero. Caelius is telling Cicero of the outcome of the condemnation of C. Claudius Pulcher after his governorship of Asia and the effect this had on an associate of Claudius, M. Servilius.
Cicero's writings contain a first-hand view of the age of Caesar and Pompey; however, readers need to learn how to interpret and assess the accuracy of what he says. This book is a guide to reading Cicero as historian, and leads readers through his writings, showing how they can be exploited and enjoyed.