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Some Thoughts on suffragium and the Practice of Voting in Archaic Rome

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In an article published in 1993, J. VAAHTERA argued that voting at Rome may have originally entailed the clashing of arms. This paper returns to this idea, to explore some of its possible implications. The discussion is necessarily conjectural, simply because, for so many of the important issues, there is just no evidence. For the same reason, the chronology of the various possible developments is inevitably vague. Certainty is impossible, as is always the case with the study of archaic Rome. But, for all that, VAAHTERA'S idea does have the potential to shed some light on the origins of some of the distinctive features of Roman voting practices.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Siegmar Döpp, Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp and Adolf Köhnken, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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