Response to critics of the Ironic Interpretation of the Comm. Pet.

Several scholars have reacted in print to the Ironic Interpretation of the Commentariolum Petitionis, which I advanced in article that appeared in Athenaeum 2009. These scholars present a number of objections to my way of reading the work. I attempt to respond to their objections in the following article: “The Ironic Interpretation of the Commentariolum Petitionis.  A Response to Prost, Tatum, and Sillett,” Athenaeum 109 (2021) pp. 64-113. The importance of this debate to Roman Amoralism Reconsidered is that if the Comm. Pet. is not ironic, then it constitutes important evidence for Roman amoralism. I am very grateful to Athenaeum for allowing me to present my counter-arguments. Michael Alexander

Indigo (digital repository) somewhat improved

This post relates to obtaining access to the digital version of the book.

The official digital site for this book is  Indigo is the digital repository maintained by the Library of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  When the book was released almost three months ago, this site was working only very sporadically.  Indigo has now been upgraded, and functions much better, but is apparently still not totally reliable and available.  For example, right now (May 25, 2018, 1:00  p.m. EDT), the book is not appearing.  The backup site, , works all the time, in my experience.

For more information on accessing the digital version or obtaining a print copy, please click on the “Get the book” tab.

Michael Alexander

Welcome to Roman Amoralism Reconsidered

Thank you very much for your interest in this blog. The purpose of this moderated blog is to provide a forum for discussion of my book, published in 2018, Roman Amoralism Reconsidered: the Political Culture of the Roman Republic and Historians in an Era of Disillusionment. Please see the Get the book tab for information on downloading a free digital version of the book or purchasing a print copy.

This blog is open to comments from anyone, ranging from a professional scholar in the field to an interested layperson. Nevertheless, whatever the status or qualifications of the contributor, the purpose of this blog is serious scholarly discussion of the book, Roman Amoralism Reconsidered. The blog will be moderated by me, and I have the sole right to decide whether to include or exclude a contribution. Please see the Guidelines for blog tab for more information.

If you have any comments or questions about this blog, please direct them to me via email (, the form in the Contact tab, or a comment below a blog post.

Michael C. Alexander
Professor Emeritus
Department of History
University of Illinois at Chicago