Cicero on the Mixed Regime

52 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Aug 2011

Date Written: 2011


The mixed regime or mixed constitution is widely regarded as one of the ancient world’s most important contributions to political thought. The deceptive simplicity of the concept and its familiarity as a key element in republican theory make it tempting to overlook its theoretical underpinnings. This paper argues that to do so would be a mistake, for the various accounts of the mixed regime in fact presuppose fundamental and not uncontroversial views about human nature, chance, and reason. When these latent concepts underlying treatments of the mixed regime are illuminated, it turns out that there is not, as is often assumed, a single theory of the mixed regime - not even if the search is limited to Greek and Roman political thought. The thinker who most effectively draws our attention to this is Cicero.

Keywords: Cicero, Mixed Constitution

Suggested Citation

Atkins, Jed William, Cicero on the Mixed Regime (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Jed William Atkins (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

Department of Classical Studies
233 Allen Building, Box 90103
Durham, NC 27708-0103
United States

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