Natural is better than planned: Two models of a mixed constitution from Polybius’s Histories

Review article

Marko Simendić ; Fakultet političkih nauka, Univerzitet u Beogradu

Fulltext: english, pdf (297 KB) pages 87-101 cite
Fulltext: serbian, pdf (297 KB) pages 87-101 cite

The article explores Polybius’s view from Book Six of Histories in which he argues that the Roman constitution was superior to other mixed systems of government because it evolved naturally. The novelty of Polybius’s approach within the wider classical tradition is examined by contrasting his account with Plato’s and Aristotle’s. The architecture of the two kinds of mixed constitutions is then compared: the Spartan government is taken as a model of a good planned constitution and the Roman constitution as the best naturally evolving system of government. The main be nefit of the natural constitution over all other constitutions, simple and mixed, is its stability, and the final part of the paper addresses a plausible way in which Polybius thought such a constitution was reached in Rome and situates this historical account within his theory of anacyclosis.

Polybius: Anacyclosis; Mixed Constitution; Rome; Nature

Hrčak ID: 169144