Last of the Romans

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The term Last of the Romans (Ultimus Romanorum) has historically been used to describe a man thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization—values which, by implication, became extinct on his death. It has been used to describe a number of individuals. The first recorded instance was Julius Caesar's description of Marcus Junius Brutus the Elder as the one with whom the old Roman spirit would become extinct.

Many people have been called "Last of the Romans":

In the United States, "last of the Romans" was used on numerous occasions during the early 19th century as an epithet for the political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, or established the United States Constitution.[7]

In a more literal sense, "Last of the Romans" could also refer to:


  1. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham (1898). Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 
  2. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham (1898). Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 
  3. ^ Wickham, Chris (2009). The Inheritance of Rome. Penguin Books. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-670-02098-0. 
  4. ^ "Message for the 14th centenary of the death of Pope St Gregory the Great". The Vatican. 22 October 2003. 
  5. ^ Carlyle, Thomas (1840). On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History. 
  6. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham (1898). Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 
  7. ^ Elizabeth Fox-Genovese; Eugene D. Genovese (2005). The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. 
  8. ^ Ward-Perkins Bryan, “Why Did the Anglo-Saxons Not Become More British”, Trinity College, Oxford, 2000.
  9. ^ Seton-Watson, Hugh (1967). The Russian Empire, 1801–1917. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-19-822152-5.