The advice given to Cicero by his astute, campaign-conscious brother to prepare him for the consular elections of 64 B.C., has a curiously modern ring: "Avoid taking a definite stand on great public issues either in the Senate or before the people. Bend your energies towards making friends of key-men in all classes of voters."
Party Politics in the Age of Caesar is a shrewd commentary on this text, designed to clarify the true meaning in Roman political life of such terms as "party" and "faction." Taylor brilliantly explains the mechanics of Roman politics as she discusses the relations of nobles and their clients, the manipulation of the state religion for political expedience, and the practical means of delivering the vote.
The late Lily Ross Taylor was Professor Emerita of Latin and the former Dean of the graduate school at Bryn Mawr College.