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The Art of ForgettingDisgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture$
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Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877463_flower

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Punitive Memory Sanctions The Breakdown of the Republican Consensus

Punitive Memory Sanctions The Breakdown of the Republican Consensus

(p.67) Chapter IV Punitive Memory Sanctions The Breakdown of the Republican Consensus
The Art of Forgetting

Harriet I. Flower

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter offers a revealing perspective in the study of memory, habits of commemoration from which to view the increasing chaos and breakdown that characterized Roman political life in the period from 133 to 43 b.c. It notes that the so-called crisis of the Republic is described as starting with the tribunate and violent death of Tiberius Sempronius Grachus in 133 b.c. The chapter observes, however, that in a history of memory, the decisive break comes after the suicide of Tiberius's brother Gaius Gracchus in 121 b.c., when punitive memory sanctions were first deployed by the senate. It observes further that the sanctions, when combined with simultaneous summary executions and confiscations of property, represented an attack on the social, political, and economic status of the targeted individuals and their whole families, and effected a dramatic rupture with previous practices.

Keywords:   memory, chaos, Roman political life, Tiberius Sempronius Grachus, Gaius Gracchus, sanctions, summary executions

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