n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - : Sallust and the anthropology of corruption

Supplement 4
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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There was a time, very long ago, when Sallust had pride of place in discussions of late-Republican corruption at Rome. The reasons for his demotion since then are clear enough, namely, that he is tendentious, sensational, given to floating salacious rumours - in short, that Sallust is one of those 'rhetorical' historians who are always hampering the searchers after truth. Looked at from another standpoint, though, he may still have much to offer the cultural historian, because just those elements of his historiographical style that render Sallust so untrustworthy as a source of facts make his work an extraordinary document for a study of the ways in which Roman intellectuals conceived of the corruption that they were sure was all around them in the last years of the republic.

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