By Richard G. Hovannisian

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The latter signaled wealth. Loyalty and reciprocal respect (fides and pietas respectively) did not guide Verres’s actions. 52 Sicily was Verres’s personal playground, his land of unlimited possibilities, his to terrorize and deplete. It so happened that the senate of the post-Sullan period was weak and lacking in leadership. Sulla’s political reforms were no longer in place and personal ambitions took precedence over the state’s needs. Circumstances eventually forced Rome’s senatorial order to share political power with the equestrian order.

A successful Roman man was competitive yet disciplined and was in the public sphere. The latter provided the mechanism for the behavioral controls. Whenever 8 9 Cic. Fin. 61. The translation is from C. A. Barton, Roman honor: The fire in the bones (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2001), p. 11. ” Barton’s The sorrows of the ancient Romans: The gladiator and the monster (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993) gives some additional insight into the Roman understanding of honor.

11. Virtue and Remembrance: The Tomb of the Scipiones / 21 displayed. At a noble’s funeral, these ancestors even came alive with actors wearing and parading ancestral masks. [T]he glorious memory of brave men is continually renewed; the fame of those who have performed any noble deed is never allowed to die; and the renown of those who have done good service to their country becomes a matter of common knowledge to the multitude, and part of the heritage of posterity. 42 In other words, rhetoric was at work.

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