The decline and fall of the roman republic

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  • 1. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Republic 82b.c.- 27 b.c. FROM SULLA TO AUGUSTUS
  • 2. Historical Background
    • ~1100 B.C Aeneas Founds what would become Rome. Descended from the goddess Venus.
    • 753b.c. Rome founded by Romulus – begins “Etruscan line of Kings”.
    • Romans despise Monarchy – depose last of Etruscan kings “Tarquinius Superbus” by force.
    • In place of of Monarchy – establish a Republican form of gov’t 509b.c. – that is - 2 consuls and a senate. System of “checks and balances”. No one person could have too much power.
  • 3. Rome as World Leader
    • Punic Wars (264-202b.c.) Rome Established a “World” superpower.
    • Occupied Hispania, Gallia, Britannia, Italia, Africa, Graecia, and Asia(minor)
  • 4. Political Turmoil
    • Even though the Republic had a system of “checks and balances” – there was always constant struggle over how much control or power a leader could gain – without being too powerful or “Kingly”.
  • 5. Rise of Sulla
    • 83-82b.c. L. Cornelius Sulla wages a civil war on Rome.
    • 81b.c. Sulla appointed dictator and reforms the constitution .
    • Remember Cinicinnatus!
    • 79b.c. Sulla resigns the dictatorship – over amount of turmoil it created – yet the precedent was set.
  • 6. Pirates and Spartacus
    • 75 b.c. Caesar captured by pirates .
    • 73-71b.c. Slave war of Spartacus .
    • Forms a bond with Pompey the Great – one of the generals who helped defeat Spartacus – important political union.
    • The 6,000 survivors are crucified down the length of the Via Appia.
  • 7. Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great
    • 67b.c. The tribune A. Gabinius passes a law. This gives a command to Gn. Pompeius Magnus , who is given unlimited imperium on water to fight against the growing pirate menace .
  • 8. Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great
    • 62b.c .Pompey settles matters in the east, returns to Italy and disbands his army.
    • 59b.c. Caesar elected Consul and the First Triumvirate is formed by M. Licinius Crassus , Gn. Pompeius Magnus and G. Julius Caesar.
    • Pompey marries daughter of Caesar. (Julia) 59b.c.
  • 9. Caesar and The Gallic Wars 58-51b.c.
    • Caesar elected Consul in 59b.c.
    • He has risen to unparalleled authority in Rome.
    • Must serve a as a Pro-consular governor in Gaul for 1 year before he can return to Rome.
    • He decides to invade Gaul – so that he is not forgotten.
    • “ Gallic Commentaries” are reports sent back to Rome as “Propaganda”.
    • Caesar’s legend and popularity grows back in Rome.
  • 10. Caesar “Crosses the Rubicon”
    • 52b.c. Caesar builds two sets of fortifications 42 miles and lays Siege to Alesia . With approximately 42,000 men, Caesar besieges 100,000 Gauls within the fort and holds out 250,000 men in a relief force on the outside. This ends war.
    • Caesar still must serve his one year of Pro-consular governorship before going back to Rome.
    • Faces a big decision (Sulla) whether or not to declare civil war on Rome.
  • 11. Caesar “Crosses the Rubicon”
    • 49b.c Caesar crosses the Rubicon . Declares Civil War.
    • 49-45b.c Civil War between Populares “outlaw” Caesar and Optimates forces of Pompey.
    • Pompey defeated at Battle of Pharsalus in 48b.c. Pompey escaped but was captured and decapitated by King Ptolemy XII of Egypt.(Cleopatra)
    • 45b.c. Civil War ends at Battle of Munda – Caesar back in control of Rome.
  • 12. End of the Republic – Beginning of the Empire
    • 44b.c Caesar appoints himself “Dictator Perpetuum” – Dictator for Life.
    • 44b.c. Ides of March . March 15, Caesar murdered by Brutus, Cassius, and their co-conspirators acting for the Optimates. Octavian returns from Greece.
    • 27b.c. Octavian named Augustus and is officially the first Emperor of Rome.