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Why did the aristocracy of the Roman Republic destroy the system of government which was its basis? The answers given by ancient authorities are moral corruption and personal ambition. The modern student finds only too inevitable the causal nexus of political conflict, violence, military insurrection and authoritarian government. Yet before the era of intense violence Rome had an apparently stable constitution with a long history. In this edition, Andrew Lintott examines the roots of violence in Republican law and society and the growth of violence in city war and the power of armies. He suggests in conclusion that this disaster was more the outcome of folly in the choice of political means than depravity in the choice of ends.;This book is intended for scholars and students of ancient history, Roman history or political theory.