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Cicero, Philippic 2, 44–50, 78–92, 100–119

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Ingo Gildenhard

Commentary

§ 102: Antony Colonized a Colony!

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In republican Rome, founding a new colony was a complex political act that followed a detailed political and religious script.61 In Rome itself, this included a senatorial decree, the passing of a law by a legislative assembly, the election of colonial commissioners, the enlistment of the colonists, and the official departure to the settlement location (deductio). On site, the officials would take the auspices, demarcate the urban core of the new settlement with a special plow with a bronze plowshare by plowing the so-called sulcus primigenius (‘primeval furrow’) around the site of the new city, and purify the colonists in a ritual called lustrum, thereby also constituting them as a new civic community grounded in the new urban settlement.

Respect for ritual protocols and political procedures was deeply engrained in Rome’s cultural imaginary, and every magistrate was well advised to abide as far as possible and/or convenient by the system of rules that governed public affairs, simply...

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