To speak of Roman politics in the late Republic without touching on violence would hardly be possible. But my real theme is concerned with methods of interpreting Roman history. We have seen in the last hundred years some three general attitudes or schools of thought about the study of the later Republic. It all begins with Mommsen, of course. First there were those who, following Mommsen, tended to explain Roman history in terms of the nineteenth century. The conflict of Optimates and Populares tended to be assimilated to the forms of conflict in parliamentary countries; parties, programmes, even democrats and conservatives were brought in. Then came a swing away. The stress was laid more and more on the generals and their ambitions. The terminology of parliamentary democracy was discarded as unsuitable, and the history of the late Republic was seen as an inevitable procession of great Imperatores, each foreshadowing the next. Even the Scipios were involved, then Marius, Sulla and so forth. Much less stress was laid on the popular movement. Apart from the Gracchi the tribunes were treated as tools of the Imperators and nothing more. The politics of the generation before the Social War were explained in terms of the Ciceronian age. One might cite the great chapters of the Cambridge Ancient History, and Meyer's Caesars Monarchie as characteristic.