Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

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The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Numerous myths exist about the creation of Rome, from Romulus and Remus to Prince Aeneas and his Trojan warriors. Regardless of the reason, it was believed to be founded around 753 BC along the Tiber River, a crossroads for traffic and trade. The Etruscans gained political control of the small settlements that had popped up in the area and created the Roman Kingdom. It wasn’t until the Latin and Sabine tribes rose up against the Etruscans did a government form that limited the power of its rulers. Livy, an author wrote that the Republic was created in 509 BC by Lucius Junius Brutus after overthrowing the last King of Rome, Tarquin the Proud.

The Republic prospered through the creation of the constitution, and the Senate, and through military conquest subdued the Italian peninsula and beyond. The founding of colonies maintained the control of many strategic areas also. After numerous Punic Wars, the Republic expanded to include Sicily, Hispania, and parts of Africa and signified the rise of Rome as a true power. By the 2nd century BC Rome was the dominant figure in the Mediterranean, was considered a consolidated empire, and had no major enemies. Numerous issues began to arise that would lead to massive unrest and the creation of the Empire.

The rise of Gaius Marius and his military reform that allowed non-land owners to enter the military created a new breed of soldier, one that was interested in profit and not honor and courage in defense of their land. Through other means, a rivalry was born between Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, one that eventually led to Sulla marching his legions to Rome, slaughtering any supporter of Marius and impaling their heads in the roman forum. Sulla eventually went campaigning in Greece and Marius returned to Rome where he returned the favor to the supporters of Sulla and achieved his seventh consulship. Months later, Marius died in 86 BC, and this opened Rome up for the return of...
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