Optimates

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Optimates

 

a political group in the Roman republic during the late second century and the first century B.C.. The optimates reflected the interests of the nobilitas and were opposed to the populares.

References in periodicals archive ?
In the eyes of the ottimati, the ancient Roman republic contained features that made it simultaneously both too monarchic and too popular to serve their ends.
In the second dialogue, Albizzi refers to a rumor, known through Pope Eugenius IV, that he and other ottimati were seeking to betray the republic to the Visconti (fols.
44) The first fifty lines portray him as a citizen loved by the people of Florence yet also as the object of rumors among the populace that he personally suffers under the burdens of his financial obligations, implicitly casting doubt on his tenacity as a political leader of the ottimati.
110) Filelfo also repeats the gentle chastisement of the ottimati for allowing lenient punishment of the Mediceans in September of 1433, just as he had complained about this clemency to Palla Strozzi in Satire 4.
The fictional dialogues of the Commentationes are set in Florence at a time subsequent to Cosimo's return from exile and to the passing of sentences of exile upon the ottimati, and they serve to console both the vanquished patricians and the city of Florence itself, which had lived in a "golden age" under the rule of the patrician oligarchs.
Defending his recent political maneuvering, in which he and Ridolfo Peruzzi approached Eugenius as a "patron" of the cause of the aristocrats, Rinaldo explains that his attempt to consolidate a league "against" Florence that would include both Eugenius and Filippo Maria Visconti was not a betrayal of the Florentine Republic, but rather an attempt to secure the safety of the citizens and the ottimati against the "criminal" Mediceans.
Given Filelfo's ottimati audience and the dedicatee of the work, he finds it necessary to open this dialogue with a long apology for discussing the ways in which poverty can be seen as a virtue in company that now enjoys, or has enjoyed in the past, a wealthy lifestyle.
The peroration of the Commentationes is given by Bruni, who returns to the concerns of his immediate audience, the exiled ottimati and the profoundly immoral sentence passed upon them: "But there is nothing that I worry about less, Palla, than being an exile along with you, the illustrious and excellent ottimati, and this not just because where the wise man is, he is both free and has a homeland, but because for a long time in Florence, seeing everything oppressed there by the dreadful yoke of subjection, I have not been allowed to take up more freely the weapons of my oratory against these wicked parricides, so to speak, of their homeland, a topic that, because I understand you will speak about it tomorrow, I will hand over to you in the early morning.
In Filelfo's work, Palla Strozzi becomes the chief exponent of these cosmopolitan moral positions, all of which are construed as being especially relevant to the Florentine crisis of the 1430s, though other figures in the Satyrae and many of the members of the exiled group of ottimati are portrayed as if they could also be stewards of these ethical principles.
211-15, also discusses a poem in terza rima attributed to Uzzano that uses a poetics of stilnovisti devices--Florence is a donna that is being mistreated but who does have worthy followers; the ottimati are contrasted with those who feign love for Florence's "blue shield and golden lilies" but actually play false to her--to lament the rise of the nuova gente and to urge Florentine aristocrats to strengthen their support of the parte Guelfa.