The Fall of the Roman Republic

Topics: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Ancient Rome Pages: 7 (1390 words) Published: January 12, 2013
The late Roman Republic, from Gracchi through Augustus

Rome: almost complete control of Mediterranean
* 300 members
* Nobiles: control power in Senate
* Novus homo: new member of Senate
Senator Ideologies:
1. Optimates: senators in favor of status quo (conservative-keep senate in power) 2. Populares: senators who wanted support of peoplepower is in Council of Plebs/Tribunes Reasons for the Land Problem

* The backbone of the Roman state and army was the small farmers 1. Punic Wars
* Their lands had been damaged by Hannibal invading Italy in Second Punic War 2. Long Terms
* After many years of service abroad, they found their farms deteriorated that they chose to sell their land 3. Latifundia:
* large estates owned by Senators showed extreme wealth
* Citizens coming back from Army too poor to keep up w/ farm payments * Citizens sell land; work on farm for Senator protection * # growing towards end of Republic
* # decreasing of small citizen farmers
Equestrian ("Knights") Order: "merchant class"; worked on GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS * Noticeably rich
* Will eventually want power
* Barred from Senate ==> can't be Senator AND do Gov. contracts 133 B.C.: King of Pergamum gives Rome his kingdom =>Romans now in ASIA Tiberius Gracchus (133 B.C.):
* Member of nobiles
* A tribune of plebs
* Saw decline in # of citizen farmers as underlying cause of Rome’s problems * Growing number of landless poor
* Army: requires ownership of land ==> Army in danger! * Plan: LAND REDISTRIBUTION!!
* It authorized the Gov. to reclaim public land held by large landowners and to distribute it to the landless Romans * Rich (senators): disliked plan
* Assassinated!
Gaius Gracchus:
* Brother of Tiberius
* Elected tribune
* Continues land-redistribution
* Gives EQUESTRIANS power
* Puts them on the jury
* Makes new provinces (ASIA); puts them as governors (tax collectors) * Assassinated also!
Marius: reformer of the Army
* An equestrian, became consul
* Consul 7 times
* Elected General (fought Jugurtha in North Africa and the Numidians) * Brought Jugurthine war to a conclusion
* Then fought Celtic tribes and won
Military Reforms:
1. Draft urban and rural proletariat as well as land-less men => payment: land (at end of war) a. Loyalty to generals for land
2. Soldier allied w/ GENERAL
3. Legion structure:
i) 6 Centuries: led by centuriates
ii) Cohort: 10 in Republic (contain 600 men)
The Italian or Social War
* Italian allies revolted because felt they had not shared in the lands and bonuses given to Roman veterans * Romans ended it by granting full rights of Roman citizenship to all free Italians Sulla:

* Member of nobiles
* Made consul
* Command of war against Mithradates
* King of Pontus in Asia Minor who rebelled against Roman power * Council of Plebs transfers command to Marius
* Sulla is angry!!
* He marched on Rome with an army and Marius fled
* Marius joined forces with consul Cinna and seized control * Outlawed Sulla and killed his supporters
* Marius died and Sulla returned to Rome after defeating Mithradates * He seized Rome and forced senate to make him Dictator * Sulla FORCED SENATE: new dictator; reforms
1. Proscription list: "Most Wanted" => land is payment a. In order to kill Marius supporters
2. Restore Power to Senate
b. Put senators back in jury courts
c. Enlarged senate by adding equestrians
3. Land for soldiers
4. Freed some slaves => if master is on list; FREE
5. Assemblies = POWERLESS
6. Tribune = REDUCED
7. Revised law
* Approx. 7 months: gave up power peacefully
* Ran private fire department; very rich
* Fought for Sulla and became rich
* Had command against slave...
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