Aurum atque ambitio: Fenomeni di ambitus a Roma in età mediorepubblicana


  • Federico Russo


Aurum atque ambitio. Ambitus in mid-Republican Rome.
The crime of ambitus has been commonly studied with respect to theseveral juridical interventions against the ambitus that were enacted inthe fi rst half of the 1st century BC. This paper, instead, stresses that casesof bribery also occurred throughout the 3rd and the 2nd centuries BC,although traces of these cases are not as rich as the extant evidence forthe 1st century BC. Evidence from Cato the Elder, which has been neverstudied in connection with the crime of ambitus, and especially fromPolybius shows that the ambitus was a phenomenon at the center of theRoman political and historiographical refl ection already in the fi rst half of the 2nd century BC. It is probably in this period that the concept ofambitus, in its multifaceted acceptations, was fi rst associated with theidea of demagogy and subsequently seen as a danger for the state.