Senate to Blame for 49bc Civil War

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o “The Senate was regarded as the central institution of the Roman state” (Beard and Crawford). o However during this period they did not live up to this duty to direct the Roman state. o Rather corrupt and after supremacy of the whole empire, using and manipulating certain power individuals in the form of PO, by breaking the constitution to achieve these means o It rejected and punished Caesar continually when he simply wanted equality to reach the same heights as PO. o This created monumental holes in the system and thus the true instigator of the civil war was not PO or JC, but the Senate.

o During period Senate adopted a policy of building up powerful individuals (PO) who were used to lead and direct the assembly only when it suited them o 1) Allowing him to command an army at only 23, which led him to gaining his first triumph something not earned till the end of ones career or not at all o 2) Lex Gabinia- describe it & Lex Manilia

o “His extraordinary career embodied everything the oligarchy opposed, yet they were largely responsible for granting many of his exceptional commands” Bradley

o The fault in this policy was made clear when these individuals became too powerful and together with their armies were able to lay siege on Rome and control all political aspects. o One such example of this was his first consulship in 70BC. “He delayed disbanding his army despite orders to do so, therefore the senate had no choice but to grant him yet another illegal command” Bradley in the form of a special decree passed for him to gain consulship. In the previous year the Senate passed a degree exempting PO from the usual age limit and experience of sub consular experience. o As such he was able to “vigorously help undo Sulla’s legislation by restroing the tribunes to their ancient powers” Suetonius o What the Senate allowed him to do as consul proved disastrous to the state as he set dangerous precedents and made it harder for the Senate to control...
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