O adfectatores regni i manipulowaniu historią
On adfectatores regni and on Tampering with History
The issue of adfectatores regni probably did not come into view before the later Republic. An accusation of aiming at regal power became a tool of political struggle in the dispute between the optimates and the populares. Roman historians who dealt with the early Republican period might have used contemporary or not very distant events as a basis on which to create a history of the past, but above all to provide justifi cation for radical measures applied against Ti. Gracchus, Saturninus or Catiline. On many occasions in the late Republican period, historians would try to explain that what had happened in their time had been nothing unheard of, but had already happened in the past. Among such exempla inspired by the political debate, there are stories of three adfectatores regni of the archaic period: Spurius Cassius Vicellinus, Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, Spurius Maelius. Th e problem is that we do not know how much we can trust archaic history (e. g. Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus).
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