Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Rome Disarming Her Subjects

In the wake of the evil deeds in Auro­ra, Col­orado last week, I was try­ing to remem­ber whether the Romans had an ancient equiv­a­lent of 'gun con­trol' and I seem to recall some prof or anoth­er in my dis­tant past sug­gest­ing that Rome did, in fact, dis­arm their sub­jects. I also recall read­ing from time to time on the web that the Romans did this sort of thing and I have also won­dered if those folks have con­sid­ered the logis­tics of it. 

What­ev­er the case, the source for this view is like­lyRa­m­sey Mac­Mullen's Roman Social Rela­tions, where it is men­tioned sort of in pass­ing (p. 35, with a list of exem­pla in n. 26). With­out com­ing down on one side or the other of the 'gun con­trol debate', I do want to point out that Mac­Mullen's views need to be tem­pered with the exten­sive study by P. A . Brunt inPhoenix 29.3, 260-270, "Did Rome Dis­arm Her Sub­jects", where­in Brunt exam­ines Mac­Mullen's exem­pla and coun­ters with sev­er­al others