For general instructions on and explanation of these weekly papers, click HERE.
This topic is a little premature, but I thought the readings presented an opportunity. Specifically:
If you read the Roman chapters in Patterson attentively, you will see that he cites, and owes a good deal to, Wirszubski's Libertas as a Political Idea at Rome (Cambridge 1950), the text in which you've now read a couple of chapters (and eventually you'll have read most of it). Yet while acknowledging his debt to Wirszubski, Patterson takes issue with his belief that Roman notions of freedom should not be identified with 'modern notions' (p. 220). As Patterson goes on to say about this view: 'Surprising, because in [Wirszubki's] subsequent discussion of Roman usage [he makes] it abundantly clear that the Romans indeed held a view of freedom remarkably like that of the Greeks before them, and like that which we hold today.' (emphasis mine)
Based on the readings you've done thus far (you may include anything from last week and this week), especially in the Livy, Cicero, and Appian, which of these two general views strikes you as correct? that the Roman view of freedom (to the extent we've studied it thus far) does have parallels with 'modern notions'? or, with Wirszubski, does not? To put this more concretely: do any 'modern' examples come to mind that you can compare with what you've read thus far and that support your view?
Remember that these papers don't have to be 'researched' or elaborate...simply write (1 hr. or 2 pages, whichever comes first) and describe such thoughts as the readings have prompted in you with respect to this particular issue.
NB: Wirszubski is not quite as insistent about the fundamental irrelevance of Roman libertas to 'modern notions' of freedom as Patterson makes him out to be, but you will indeed find assertions in Wirszubski that align with Patterson's read of him (e.g., Wirszubki, p. 16 with n. 2 or p. 18 with n. 1).