The Fall of Rome and Republicanism

Topics: Roman Republic, Ancient Rome, Roman Empire / Pages: 8 (1840 words) / Published: Oct 3rd, 2005
The Fall of Republicanism and Rome

Why did Rome fall? Some say Rome fell because Roman Empire was just too big, making it collapse. Others say the empire spent too much of its resources on the poor, drawing away much needed funds from the empire. Another theory was that plagues reduced the population to the point it could not sustain itself, and another was that the citizens of Rome became too satisfied and lazy, allowing the empire to crumble due to neglect. The list goes on and on; did the empire bureaucracy become too top heavy, eventually causing the empire to collapse upon itself? Did God turn away from Rome due to its sinful nature? Did it fall as the result of barbarian invasions? Well, perhaps the answer lies in one of those theories, or perhaps there is no clear answer.

What is republicanism? Republicanism is in the first place a theory of freedom and, in the second, a theory of government. It equates freedom with the enjoyment of non-domination: of living without a master in one's life. For the central theme in republican concerns throughout the ages -- the theme that explains all their other commitments -- has been a desire to arrange things so that citizens are not exposed to domination of this kind. They do not live, as the Romans used to say, in potestate domini: in the power of a master. Republicanism is a political philosophy. For me personally, when I hear Ronald Reagan refer to his idealistic vision of what the US should be as a "shinning city on a hill" I cannot but help to think of Rome also. Its classic Republicism. The idea of the Republic is drawn from Rome. The Romans were convinced that their city was founded in the year 753 BC. Rome was started by Romulus and Remus. It was then, tradition had it, ruled by kings for many centuries. Livy's version of the establishment of the Republic states that the last of the Kings of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ("Tarquin the proud") had an unpleasant son, Sextus Tarquinius,

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