A roman revolution: Classical republicanism in the creation of the American Republic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The generation of American revolutionaries found the classics so appealing because they perceived the ancient republics as the origin and embodiment of some of the most powerful ideals they cherished, namely the ideological bundle modern scholarship understood under the common framework of 'the republican synthesis'. Indeed, throughout their revolution Americans incessantly compared their compatriots to revered Romans, their enemies to malicious Romans, and saw their new nation as a reincarnation of Republican Rome. In the emerging American political imagination only an autonomous, who would bear arms to protect his republic, was deemed truly free. The Bostonian reverend explained to Samuel Cooper adherents: 'Rome rose to empire because she early thought herself destined for it,' and Romans 'did great things because they believed themselves capable, and born to do them'. America has found a worthy candidate to re-enact the Catonian role in the face of a British Caesar: 'For a CATO' she has armed 'a WASHINGTON.'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781119673675
ISBN (Print)9781444339659
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • American revolutionaries
  • Catonian role
  • Malicious Romans
  • Republican Rome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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