Roman Republic

Topics: Roman Empire, Roman Republic, Ancient Rome Pages: 6 (2449 words) Published: February 13, 2002
Decline of Roman Republic / Rewrite

The Beginnings of the mighty Roman empire as we know it today was actually quite humble. "The Roman heritage can be traced back to an early civilization of settlers from the Indo-European immigrants who between 2000 B.C. and 1000 B.C. had began to settle around the Northern Italian peninsula"(World History: The Human Experience). Of all the settlers the Romans are said to have arose from a mysterious group called the Etruscans, which ruled northern Italy around 900 B.C. to 500 B.C. The Etruscan society was made up of upper class families who owned land, or were priests. "The other class in the society was the slave laborers" (World History: The Human Experience). During the Etruscan period of rule there soon came constant revolts from the lower classes and later freeing themselves from the rule of there wealthy overlords. Among the strongest of the Etruscans were the Latins, who settled in the city of Rome in the central plains of Latium of Italy. " Thus this is the beginning of Rome's founding at 753 B.C." (World History: The Human Experience). The Tarquins were the first ruling monarchy of the Romans. They quickly developed the Roman empire through constant developments. At 534 B.C. a king named Tarquin the Proud ruled. "This ruler was known to be a cruel ruler and therefore was driven out by the Etruscans." (World History: The Human Experience). Under Etruscan rule in 509 B.C. the patricians or Latin nobles declared that Rome would become a Republic ruled by the people. The republic consisted of an executive and legislative branch. During this period of history Rome began to write down laws and pass government assemblies. At this time Rome was still a small city-state that controlled only a tiny section of Italy. The size of Rome would be comparable to the size of New York City with a population of perhaps 260,000. As the republic form of government was in place Rome would also have constant battles with surrounding tribes such as the Sabines, Umbrians, Volsci and Aequi. In 396 B.C. the Romans had an all out assault on the rest of Etruria and captured the town of Veii. During this same period of time the Gaul, a semicivilized warlike people of central Europe had swept over Europe and into Italy.

"The Gauls would soon invade much of Etruria" (World history; Human Experience). On the arrival into Rome the two forces met on July 18, 390, near the Allia river. The Romans were confused, They panicked and broke away from ranks and were defeated. "The Gauls burned and ransacked much of Rome, until a general named Camillus reorganized the army and won back Rome through small victories and by paying the invaders to return to the Po Valley" (World History, Human Experience). Weaken by the Gauls, Rome rebuilt itself and continued to expand. Carthage, of North Africa had also become the strongest force around the Mediterranean. In 264 B.C. they desired to control the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Italy. The Romans soon set war on Carthage, setting off the First Punic war, the Carthaginians quickly defeated and weakened the Roman armies. War continued until 241 B.C. when Carthage became weaker and retreated home in defeat. The Second Punic war in 221 B.C. was led by a young soldier of 26 years old. "His name was Hannibal and he desired to bring the war into Italy" (Decline and Fall of Rome, Nardo). His goal was to invade and capture Rome with other rebels who would join him. He led 40,000 soldiers into Rome but half were lost during the trip. Outnumbered, Carthage still defeated Rome. By 216 B.C. the Romans had come close to being destroyed, but Rome stood strong and raised larger armies. " In 202 B.C. general Publis Scipio took the war bact to North Africa and defeated Carthage" (Destruction of Carthage, Appian) . Rome gained lands in Spain and won even more indemnities.

Fifty years later Carthage again gained back its power. Although Rome did...
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