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Roman Republic
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{{short description|Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)}}{{Other uses}}







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after c. 100 BC:{{native nameSenatus Populusque Romanus}} (SPQR)(The Senate and People of Rome)|conventional_long_name = Roman Republic|common_name = Rome|image_coat = Q._Servilius_Caepio_(M._Junius)_Brutus,_denarius,_54_BC,_RRC_433-1_reverse.jpg|coa_size = 170px|symbol_type = Denarius of Brutus, 54 BC, showing the first Roman consul, Lucius Junius Brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, pp. 455, 456.|image_map = Roman Republic-44BC.png|image_map_caption = Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC|era = Classical antiquityConstitution of the Roman Republic>Constitutional republic|event_start = Overthrow of Tarquinius Superbus|year_start = 509 BC|event1 = Dissolution of the Latin League|date_event1 = 338 BC"Latin League". Encyclopaedia Britannica.Julius Caesar>Caesar proclaimed dictator|date_event2 = 47 BC|event3 = Battle of Actium|date_event3 = 2 September 31 BCAugustus>Octavian proclaimed Augustus|year_end = 27 BC|date_end = 16 January|p1 = Roman Kingdom25px|link=Roman Kingdom)|s1 = Roman Empire25px|link=Roman Empire)|capital = RomeLatin language>Latin (official)Etruscan language, Ancient Greek>Greek, Osco-Umbrian languages, Venetic language>Venetic, Ancient Ligurian language, Rhaetian language>Rhaetian, Nuragic language, Sicel language>Sicel, Hebrew language, Aramaic language>Aramaic, Syriac language, Punic language>Punic, Berber languages, Illyrian language>Illyrian, Iberian language, Lusitanian language>Lusitanian, Celtiberian language, Gaulish language>Gaulish, Gallaecian language, Aquitanian language>Aquitanian (unofficial, but commonly spoken)Religion in ancient Rome>Roman polytheismLegislative AssembliesRoman Senate}}Roman consul>ConsulsLucius Junius Brutus,Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (first) > year_leader1 = 509–508 BCAugustus>Gaius Octavianus,Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (last) | year_leader2 = 27 BC FIRST=REIN VOLUME=3 YEAR=1979 JSTOR=1170959 PAGES=115–138 [125], |stat_area1 = 10000|stat_year2 = 50 BC|stat_area2 = 1950000|currency =|today =area_km2=GDP_PPP=HDI=|HDI_year=}}{{Politics of Ancient Rome}}The Roman Republic (, {{IPA-la|ˈreːs ˈpuːb.lɪ.ka roːˈmaː.na|classical}}; ) was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin, Etruscan, and Greek elements, which is especially visible in the Roman Pantheon. Its political organisation was strongly influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, legislative, judicial, military, and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families (called gentes) monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who even sacked the city in 387 BC. The Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean. The Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against which it waged three wars. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world. It then embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.At home, the Republic similarly experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who finally achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC. Later, the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery also caused three Servile Wars; the last of them was led by Spartacus, a skilful gladiator who ravaged Italy and left Rome powerless until his defeat in 71 BC. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system. Marius (between 105–86 BC), then Sulla (between 82–78 BC) dominated in turn the Republic; both used extraordinary powers to purge their opponents. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars; the first between the two generals Julius Caesar and Pompey. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but then turned against each other. The final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which effectively made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic.{{TOC limit|3}}

History

Foundation (509 BC)

Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate. The last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ("Tarquin the Proud"). In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, and Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, and forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.Cornell, The beginnings of Rome, pp. 215–218: Cornell offers a summary of "Livy's prose narrative" and derived literary works relating to the expulsion of the kings.Dionysius, iv. 64–85.weblinkLivy, i. 57–60The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year. Each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted when his term expired. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, and was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome. He was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 226–228.Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution. They fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, which was common among Greek cities and even theorised by Aristotle.Aristotle, Politics, 5.1311a.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 215–218, 377–378.Drummond, Cambridge Ancient History, VII, part 2, p. 178.

Rome in Latium (509–387 BC)

Early campaigns

According to Rome's traditional histories, Tarquin made several attempts to retake the throne, including the Tarquinian conspiracy, which involved Brutus' own sons, the war with Veii and Tarquinii and finally the war between Rome and Clusium; but none succeeded.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 215–217.File:Capitoline Brutus Musei Capitolini MC1183.jpg|upright=1.15|thumb|The "Capitoline Brutus", a bust possibly depicting alt=|leftThe first Roman republican wars were wars of both expansion and defence, aimed at protecting Rome itself from neighbouring cities and nations and establishing its territory in the region.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 33 Initially, Rome's immediate neighbours were either Latin towns and villages, or else tribal Sabines from the Apennine hills beyond. One by one Rome defeated both the persistent Sabines and the local cities, both those under Etruscan control and those that had cast off their Etruscan rulers. Rome defeated the Latin cities in the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496, the Battle of Mount Algidus in 458, the Battle of Corbio in 446, the Battle of Aricia, however it suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of the Cremera in 477 wherein it fought against the most important Etruscan city of Veii.Florus, Epitome, i. 11–12.Grant, The History of Rome, pp. 37–41. {{Campaignbox Rome's Early Italian Campaigns}}By the end of this period, Rome had effectively completed the conquest of their immediate Etruscan and Latin neighbours, and also secured their position against the immediate threat posed by the nearby Apennine hill tribes.Pennell, Ancient Rome, Ch. II

Plebeians and patricians

Beginning with their revolt against Tarquin, and continuing through the early years of the Republic, Rome's patrician aristocrats were the dominant force in politics and society. They initially formed a closed group of about 50 large families, called gentes, who monopolised Rome's magistracies, state priesthoods and senior military posts. The most prominent of these families were the Cornelii,{{efn-lr|Throughout the Republic, the Cornelii held 75 consulships and 27 consular tribuneships, almost 10% of all the consulships of the period.}} followed by the Aemilii, Claudii, Fabii, and Valerii. The power, privilege and influence of leading families derived from their wealth, in particular from their landholdings, their position as patrons, and their numerous clients.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 289–291.The vast majority of Roman citizens were commoners of various social degrees. They formed the backbone of Rome's economy, as smallholding farmers, managers, artisans, traders, and tenants. In times of war, they could be summoned for military service. Most had little direct political influence over the Senate's decisions or the laws it passed, including the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the consular system. During the early Republic, the plebs (or plebeians) emerged as a self-organised, culturally distinct group of commoners, with their own internal hierarchy, laws, customs, and interests.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 256–259: Plebs ("the mass") was originally a disparaging term, but was adopted as a badge of pride by those whom it was meant to insult. It might not have referred to wealthier commoners.Plebeians had no access to high religious and civil office,{{efn-lr|Several historians, notably Tim Cornell, have challenged this view, saying that in the early Republic the Fasti Consulares bear names that are distinctively plebeian. Therefore, they claim that the plebeians were only excluded from higher offices by the Decemvirate in 451 BC. More recently, Corey Brennan has dismissed this theory, arguing that the consular plebeians would not have let the Decemvirs take their power away that easily (cf. The Praetorship, pp. 24, 25). He explains the "plebeian" names in the Fasti by some patrician gentes who later died out, or lost their status. Consequently, this article follows the traditional narrative that the plebeians were excluded from the start.}} and could be punished for offences against laws of which they had no knowledge.Orlin, A Companion to Roman Religion, pp. 59–60. For the poorest, one of the few effective political tools was their withdrawal of labour and services, in a "secessio plebis"; they would leave the city en masse, and allow their social superiors to fend for themselves. The first such secession occurred in 494, in protest at the abusive treatment of plebeian debtors by the wealthy during a famine.The traditional date for the first secession is given by Livy as 494; many other dates have been suggested, and several such events probably took place: see Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 215–218, 256–261, 266. The Senate was compelled to give them direct access to the written civil and religious laws, and to the electoral and political process. To represent their interests, the plebs elected tribunes, who were personally sacrosanct, immune to arbitrary arrest by any magistrate, and had veto power over the passage of legislation.For a discussion of the duties and legal status of plebeian tribunes and aediles, see Andrew Lintott, Violence in Republican Rome, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 92–101.

Celtic invasion of Italy (390–387 BC)

{{Campaignbox Roman-Gallic Wars}}By 390, several Gallic tribes were invading Italy from the north as their culture expanded throughout Europe. The Romans were alerted to this when a particularly warlike tribe, the Senones,Florus, Epitome, i. 13. invaded two Etruscan towns close to Rome's sphere of influence. These towns, overwhelmed by the enemy's numbers and ferocity, called on Rome for help. The Romans met the Gauls in pitched battle at the Battle of Allia River around 390–387 BC. The Gauls, led by the chieftain Brennus, defeated the Roman army of approximately 15,000 troops, pursued the fleeing Romans back to Rome, and sacked the city before being either driven off or bought off.

Roman expansion in Italy (387–272 BC)

Wars against Italian neighbours

File:Roman conquest of Italy.PNG|thumb|upright=1.35|left|Map showing Roman expansion in ItalyItaly{{Campaignbox Ancient Unification of Italy}}{{Campaignbox Samnite Wars}}From 343 to 341, Rome won two battles against their Samnite neighbours, but were unable to consolidate their gains, due to the outbreak of war with former Latin allies.In the Latin War (340–338), Rome defeated a coalition of Latins at the battles of Vesuvius and the Trifanum. The Latins submitted to Roman rule.Grant, The History of Rome, pp. 48–49.A Second Samnite War began in 327.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 52. The fortunes of the two sides fluctuated, but from 314, Rome was dominant, and offered progressively unfavourable terms for peace. The war ended with Samnite defeat at the Battle of Bovianum (305). By the following year, Rome had annexed most Samnite territory, and began to establish colonies there; but in 298 the Samnites rebelled, and defeated a Roman army, in a Third Samnite War. Following this success they built a coalition of several previous enemies of Rome.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 53.At the Battle of Populonia in 282 Rome finished off the last vestiges of Etruscan power in the region.

Rise of the plebeian nobility

In the 4th century, plebeians gradually obtained political equality with patricians. The starting point was in 400, when the first plebeian consular tribunes were elected; likewise, several subsequent consular colleges counted plebeians (in 399, 396, 388, 383, and 379). The reason behind this sudden gain is unknown,It has nevertheless been speculated that Lucius Atilius Luscus in 444, and Quintus Antonius Meranda in 422 were also plebeian. cf. Brennan, The Praetorship, p. 50. but it was limited as patrician tribunes retained preeminence over their plebeian colleagues.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, p. 338. In 385, the former consul and saviour of the besieged Capitol Marcus Manlius Capitolinus is said to have sided with the plebeians, ruined by the Sack and largely indebted to patricians. The issue of debt relief for the plebs remained indeed pressing throughout the century. Livy tells that Capitolinus sold his estate to repay the debt of many of them, and even went over to the plebs, the first patrician to do so. Nevertheless, the growing unrest he had caused led to his trial for seeking kingly power; he was sentenced to death and thrown from the Tarpeian Rock.Livy, vi. 11, 13–30.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, pp. 331, 332.Between 376 and 367, the tribunes of the plebs Gaius Licinius Stolo and Lucius Sextius Lateranus continued the plebeian agitation and pushed for an ambitious legislation, known as the Leges Liciniae Sextiae. Two of their bills attacked patricians' economic supremacy, by creating legal protection against indebtedness and forbidding excessive use of public land, as the Ager publicus was monopolised by large landowners. The most important bill opened the consulship to plebeians.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, p. 337. Cornell explains that Livy confused the contents of the Lex Licinia Sextia of 366 the Lex Genucia of 342. Other tribunes controlled by the patricians vetoed the bills, but Stolo and Lateranus retaliated by vetoing the elections for five years while being continuously re-elected by the plebs, resulting in a stalemate.Livy mentions at least two patricians favourable to the tribunes: Marcus Fabius Ambustus, Stolo's father-in-law, and the dictator for 368 Publius Manlius Capitolinus, who appointed the first plebeian magister equitum, Gaius Licinius Calvus. In 367, they carried a bill creating the Decemviri sacris faciundis, a college of ten priests, of whom five had to be plebeians, therefore breaking patricians' monopoly on priesthoods. Finally, the resolution of the crisis came from the dictator Camillus, who made a compromise with the tribunes; he agreed to their bills, while they in return consented to the creation of the offices of praetor and curule aediles, both reserved to patricians. Lateranus also became the first plebeian consul in 366; Stolo followed in 361.Livy, vi. 36–42.Broughton, vol. I, pp. 108–114.Brennan, The Praetorship, pp. 59–61.Soon after, plebeians were able to hold both the dictatorship and the censorship, since former consuls normally filled these senior magistracies. The four time consul Gaius Marcius Rutilus became the first plebeian dictator in 356 and censor in 351. In 342, the tribune of the plebs Lucius Genucius passed his Leges Genuciae, which abolished interest on loans, in a renewed effort to tackle indebtedness, required the election of at least one plebeian consul each year, and prohibited a magistrate from holding the same magistracy for the next ten years or two magistracies in the same year.Livy, vii. 42.Brennan, The Praetorship, pp. 65–67, where he shows that the ten year rule was only temporary at this time. In 339, the plebeian consul and dictator Quintus Publilius Philo passed three laws extending the powers of the plebeians. His first law followed the Lex Genucia by reserving one censorship to plebeians, the second made plebiscites binding on all citizens (including patricians), and the third stated that the Senate had to give its prior approval to plebiscites before becoming binding on all citizens (the Lex Valeria-Horatia of 449 had placed this approval after the vote).Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, pp. 342, 343. Two years later, Publilius ran for the praetorship, probably in a bid to take the last senior magistracy closed to plebeians, which he won.Brennan, The Praetorship, pp. 68, 69. File:RomaTempioRotondoForoBoarioJPG.JPG|thumb|The Temple of Hercules Victor, Rome, built in the mid 2nd century BC, most likely by Lucius Mummius Achaicus, who won the 208x208pxDuring the early republic, senators were chosen by the consuls among their supporters. Shortly before 312, the Lex Ovinia transferred this power to the censors, who could only remove senators for misconduct, thus appointing them for life. This law strongly increased the power of the Senate, which was by now protected from the influence of the consuls and became the central organ of government.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, pp. 393, 394. Cornell gives an earlier date, before 318.Humm, Appius Claudius Caecus, pp. 185–226. In 312, following this law, the patrician censor Appius Claudius Caecus appointed many more senators to fill the new limit of 300, including descendants of freedmen, which was deemed scandalous. He also incorporated these freedmen in the rural tribes.{{efn-lr|The urban poor were registered in the four urban tribes, whilst the 31 other tribes were composed of landowners, who therefore had the majority in the Tribal Assembly. Humm thinks that Caecus actually did not appointed "freedmen" in the Senate, but chose new Roman citizens from the recently conquered cities in Italy.}}{{efn-lr|Appius Caecus is a complex character whose reforms are difficult to interpret. For example, Mommsen considered he was a revolutionary, but was puzzled by his opposition to the Lex Ogulnia, which contradicts his previous "democratic" policies. Taylor on the contrary thought he defended patricians' interests, as freedmen remained in the clientele of their patrons. More recently, Humm described his activity as the continuation of the reforms undertaken since Stolo and Lateranus.}} His tribal reforms were nonetheless cancelled by the next censors, Quintus Fabius Maximus and Publius Decius Mus, his political enemies.Taylor, Voting Districts, pp. 132–138. Caecus also launched a vast construction program, building the first aqueduct (Aqua Appia), and the first Roman road (Via Appia).Bruce MacBain, "Appius Claudius Caecus and the Via Appia", in The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 30, No. 2 (1980), pp. 356–372.In 300, the two tribunes of the plebs Gnaeus and Quintus Ogulnius passed the Lex Ogulnia, which created four plebeian pontiffs, therefore equalling the number of patrician pontiffs, and five plebeian augurs, outnumbering the four patricians in the college.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, p. 343. Eventually the Conflict of the Orders ended with the last secession of the plebs in about 287. The details are not known precisely as Livy's books on the period are lost. Debt is once again mentioned by ancient authors, but it seems that the plebs revolted over the distribution of the land conquered on the Samnites.Graham Maddox, "The Economic Causes of the Lex Hortensia", in Latomus, T. 42, Fasc. 2 (Apr.–Jun. 1983), pp. 277–286. A dictator named Quintus Hortensius was appointed to negotiate with the plebeians, who had retreated to the Janiculum hill, perhaps to dodge the draft in the war against the Lucanians. Hortensius passed the Lex Hortensia which re-enacted the law of 339, making plebiscites binding on all citizens, but also removed the Senate's prior approval to plebiscites. Popular assemblies were by now sovereign; this put an end to the crisis, and to plebeian agitation for 150 years.R. Develin, "'Provocatio" and Plebiscites'. Early Roman Legislation and the Historical Tradition", in Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, Vol. 31, Fasc. 1 (1978), pp. 45–60.These events were a political victory of the wealthy plebeian elite who exploited the economic difficulties of the plebs for their own gain, hence why Stolo, Lateranus, and Genucius bound their bills attacking patricians' political supremacy with debt-relief measures. They had indeed little in common with the mass of plebeians; Stolo was noteworthy fined for having exceeded the limit on land occupation he had fixed in his own law.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7-2, pp. 340, 341. As a result of the end of the patrician monopoly on senior magistracies, many small patrician gentes faded into history during the 4th and 3rd centuries due to the lack of available positions; the Verginii, Horatii, Menenii, Cloelii all disappear, even the Julii entered a long eclipse. They were replaced by plebeian aristocrats, of whom the most emblematic were the Caecilii Metelli, who received 18 consulships until the end of the Republic; the Domitii, Fulvii, Licinii, Marcii, or Sempronii were as successful. About a dozen remaining patrician gentes and twenty plebeian ones thus formed a new elite, called the nobiles, or Nobilitas.Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome, p. 342

Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC)

(File:Pyrrhus_route.jpg|thumb|Route of Pyrrhus in Italy and Sicily.)File:Pyrrhus MAN Napoli Inv6150 n03.jpg|thumb|left|Bust of Pyrrhus, found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, now in the Naples Archaeological Museum. Pyrrhus was a brave and chivalrous general who fascinated the Romans, hence his presence in a Roman house.Franke, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, p. 484.]]By the beginning of the 3rd century, Rome had established itself as the major power in Italy, but had not yet come into conflict with the dominant military powers of Mediterranean: Carthage and the Greek kingdoms.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 78. In 282, several Roman warships entered the harbour of Tarentum, thus breaking a treaty between the Republic and the Greek city, which forbade the Gulf to Roman navy. It triggered a violent reaction from the Tarentine democrats, who sank some of the ships; they were in fact worried that Rome could favour the oligarchs in the city, as it had done with the other Greek cities under its control. The Roman embassy sent to investigate the affair was insulted and war was promptly declared.Dionysius of Halicarnassus, xix. 5, 6. Facing a hopeless situation, the Tarentines (together with the Lucanians and Samnites) appealed for military aid to Pyrrhus, the very ambitious king of Epirus. A cousin of Alexander the Great, he was eager to build an empire for himself in the western Mediterranean, and saw Tarentum's plea as a perfect opportunity towards this goal.Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 14.Franke, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 456, 457.{{Campaignbox Pyrrhic War}}Pyrrhus and his army of 25,500 men (and 20 war elephants) landed in Italy in 280; he was immediately named Strategos Autokrator by the Tarentines. Publius Valerius Laevinus, the consul sent to face him, rejected the king's negotiation offer, as he had more troops and hoped to cut the invasion short. The Romans were nevertheless defeated at Heraclea, as their cavalry were afraid of the elephants of Pyrrhus, who lost a large chunk of his army. Pyrrhus then marched on Rome, but could not take any Roman city on his way; facing the prospect of being flanked by the two consular armies, he moved back to Tarentum. His adviser, the orator Cineas, made a peace offer before the Roman Senate, asking Rome to return the land it took from the Samnites and Lucanians, and liberate the Greek cities under its control. The offer was rejected after Appius Caecus (the old censor of 312) spoke against it in a celebrated speech, which was the earliest recorded by the time of Cicero.Cicero, Cato Maior de Senectute, 6.Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 18, 19.Franke, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 466–471. In 279, Pyrrhus met the consuls Publius Decius Mus and Publius Sulpicius Saverrio at the Battle of Asculum, which remained undecided for two days, as the Romans had prepared some special chariots to counter his elephants. Finally, Pyrrhus personally charged into the melee and won the battle, but at the cost of an important part of his troops; he allegedly said "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined."Dionysius of Halicarnassus, xx. 3.Plutarch, Pyrrhus, 21 § 9.Cassius Dio, x. 5.{{efn-lr|There are significant differences between the accounts of Cassius Dio, Dionysius, and Plutarch, but the latter's is traditionally followed in the academic literature.}}He escaped the Italian deadlock by answering a call for help from Syracuse, which tyrant Thoenon was desperately fighting an invasion from Carthage. Pyrrhus could not let them take the whole island as it would have compromised his ambitions in the western Mediterranean and so declared war on them. At first, his Sicilian campaign was an easy triumph; he was welcomed as a liberator in every Greek city on his way, even receiving the title of king (basileus) of Sicily. The Carthaginians lifted the siege of Syracuse before his arrival, but he could not entirely oust them from the island as he failed to take their fortress of Lilybaeum.Franke, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 473–480. His harsh rule, especially the murder of Thoenon, whom he did not trust, soon led to a widespread antipathy among the Sicilians; some cities even defected to Carthage. In 275, Pyrrhus left the island before he had to face a full-scale rebellion.Dionysius of Halicarnassus, xx. 8. He returned to Italy, where his Samnite allies were on the verge of losing the war, despite their earlier victory at the Cranita hills. Pyrrhus again met the Romans at the Battle of Beneventum; this time the consul Manius Dentatus was victorious, and even captured eight elephants. Pyrrhus then withdrew from Italy, but left a garrison in Tarentum, and waged a new campaign in Greece against Antigonos Gonatas. His death in battle at Argos in 272 forced Tarentum to surrender to Rome. Since it was the last independent city of Italy, Rome now dominated the entire Italian peninsula, and won an international military reputation.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 80

Punic Wars and expansion in the Mediterranean (264–146 BC)

First Punic War (264–241 BC)

{{Campaignbox First Punic War}}File:Dinastie della grecia occidentale, hieron II, 32 litri di siracusa, 274-216 ac ca.JPG|thumb|Coin of Hiero II of SyracuseHiero II of SyracuseRome and Carthage were initially on friendly terms; Polybius details three treaties between them, the first dating from the first year of the Republic, the second from 348. The last one was an alliance against Pyrrhus.Polybius, iii. 22–26.Livy, vii. 27.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 517–537. However, tensions rapidly built on after the departure of the Epirote king. Between 288 and 283, Messena in Sicily was taken by the Mamertines, a band of mercenaries formerly employed by Agathocles. They plundered the surroundings until Hiero II, the new tyrant of Syracuse, defeated them (in either 269 or 265). Carthage could not let him take Messena, as he would have controlled its Strait, and garrisoned the city. In effect under a Carthaginian protectorate, the remaining Mamertines appealed to Rome to regain their independence. Senators were divided on whether to help them or not, as it would have meant war with Carthage, since Sicily was in its sphere of influence (the treaties furthermore forbade the island to Rome), and also Syracuse. A supporter of the war, the consul Appius Claudius Caudex (Caecus' brother) turned to the Tribal Assembly to get a favourable vote, by notably promising booty to voters.Which assembly was consulted has led to many discussions in the academic literature. Goldsworthy favours the Centuriate Assembly, cf. The Punic Wars, p. 69.Caudex first secured control of the city with ease. However, Syracuse and Carthage, at war for centuries, made an alliance to counter the invasion and blockaded Messena, but Caudex defeated Hiero and Carthage separately.Polybius, i. 11, 12.H. H. Scullard thinks that Caudex was not successful, since he did not receive a triumph and was succeeded in command by Messalla, his political enemy. Cf. Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, p. 545. His successor Manius Valerius Corvinus Messalla landed with a strong 40,000 men army that conquered eastern Sicily, which prompted Hiero to shift his allegiance and forge a long lasting alliance with Rome. In 262, the Romans moved to the southern coast and besieged Akragas. In order to raise the siege, Carthage sent reinforcements, including 60 elephants – the first time they used them, but still lost the battle.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, p. 547. Nevertheless, as Pyrrhus before, Rome could not take all of Sicily because Carthage's naval superiority prevented them from effectively besieging coastal cities, which could receive supplies from the sea. Using a captured Carthaginian ship as blueprint, Rome therefore launched a massive construction program and built 100 quinqueremes in only two months, perhaps through an assembly line organisation. They also invented a new device, the corvus, a grappling engine which enabled a crew to board on an enemy ship.Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, p. 113 The consul for 260 Scipio Asina lost the first naval skirmish of the war against Hannibal Gisco at Lipara, but his colleague Gaius Dullius won a great victory at Mylae. He destroyed or captured 44 ships, and was the first Roman to receive a naval triumph, which also included captive Carthaginians for the first time.Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, p. 84. Although Carthage was victorious on land at Thermae in Sicily, the corvus made Rome invincible on the waters. The consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio (Asina's brother) captured Corsica in 259; his successors won the naval battles of Sulci in 258, Tyndaris in 257, and Cape Ecnomus in 256.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 548–554.(File:Corvus.svg|alt=|left|thumb|Diagram of a corvus.)In order to hasten the end of the war, the consuls for 256 decided to carry the operations to Africa, on Carthage's homeland. The consul Marcus Atilius Regulus landed on the Cap Bon peninsula with about 18,000 soldiers. He captured the city of Aspis, then repulsed Carthage's counter-attack at Adys, and took Tunis. The Carthaginians supposedly sued him for peace, but his conditions were so harsh that they continued the war instead. They hired Spartan mercenaries, led by Xanthippus, to command their troops.Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, p. 88. In 255, the Spartan general marched on Regulus, still encamped at Tunis, who accepted the battle to avoid sharing the glory with his successor. However, the flat land near Tunis favoured the Punic elephants, which crushed the Roman infantry on the Bagradas plain; only 2,000 soldiers escaped, and Regulus was captured. The consuls for 255 nonetheless won a new sounding naval victory at Cape Hermaeum, where they captured 114 warships. This success was spoilt by a storm that annihilated the victorious navy: 184 ships of 264 sank, 25,000 soldiers and 75,000 rowers drowned. The corvus considerably hindered ships' navigation, and made them vulnerable during tempest. It was abandoned after another similar catastrophe took place in 253 (150 ships sank with their crew). These disasters prevented any significant campaign between 254 and 252.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 554–557.File:C._Caecilius_Metellus_Caprarius,_denarius,_125_BC,_RRC_269-1.jpg|thumb|Denarius of C. Caecilius Metellus Caprarius, 125 BC. The reverse depicts the triumph of his great-grandfather Lucius, with the elephants he had captured at Panormos. The elephant had thence become the emblem of the powerful Caecilii Metelli.Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, pp. 292, 293.]]Hostilities in Sicily resumed in 252, with the taking of Thermae by Rome. Carthage countered the following year, by besieging Lucius Caecilius Metellus, who held Panormos (now Palermo). The consul had dug trenches to counter the elephants, which once hurt by missiles turned back on their own army, resulting in a great victory for Metellus, who exhibited some captured beasts in the Circus. Rome then besieged the last Carthaginian strongholds in Sicily, Lilybaeum and Drepana, but these cities were impregnable by land. Publius Claudius Pulcher, the consul of 249, recklessly tried to take the latter from the sea, but he suffered a terrible defeat; his colleague Lucius Junius Pullus likewise lost his fleet off Lilybaeum. Without the corvus, Roman warships had lost their advantage. By now, both sides were drained and could not undertake large scale operations; the number of Roman citizens who were being called up for war had been reduced by 17% in two decades, a result of the massive bloodshed. The only military activity during this period was the landing in Sicily of Hamilcar Barca in 247, who harassed the Romans with a mercenary army from a citadel he built on Mt. Eryx.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 559–564.Finally, unable to take the Punic fortresses in Sicily, Rome tried to win the decision at sea and built a new navy, thanks to a forced borrowing on the rich. In 242, the 200 quinqueremes of the consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus blockaded Drepana. The rescue fleet from Carthage arrived the next year, but was largely undermanned and soundly defeated by Catulus. Exhausted and unable to bring supplies to Sicily, Carthage sued for peace. Catulus and Hamilcar negotiated a treaty, which was somewhat lenient to Carthage, but the Roman people rejected it and imposed harsher terms: Carthage had to pay 1000 talents immediately and 2200 over ten years, and evacuate Sicily. The fine was so high that Carthage could not pay Hamilcar's mercenaries, who had been shipped back to Africa. They revolted during the Mercenary War, which Carthage had enormous difficulties to suppress. Meanwhile, Rome took advantage of a similar revolt in Sardinia to seize the island from Carthage, in violation of the peace treaty. This stab-in-the-back led to permanent bitterness in Carthage, and revanchism.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 565–569.

Second Punic War (218–201 BC)

{{Campaignbox Second Punic War}}After its victory, the Republic shifted its attention to its northern border as the Insubres and Boii were threatening Italy.Hoyos, Companion to the Punic Wars, p. 217. Meanwhile, Carthage compensated the loss of Sicily and Sardinia with the conquest of Southern Hispania (up to Salamanca), and its rich silver mines.Hoyos, Companion to the Punic Wars, p. 215. This enterprise was the work of the Barcid family, headed by Hamilcar, the former commander in Sicily. Hamilcar nonetheless died against the Oretani in 228; his son-in-law Hasdrubal the Fair – the founder of Carthago Nova – and his three sons Hannibal, Hasdrubal, and Mago, succeeded him.Carthage was an oligarchy at the time, dominated by the Barcids. The Roman historian Fabius Pictor thought that the Barcids conquered Spain without approval from the Carthaginian government; a view rejected by Polybius. cf. Hoyos, Companion to the Punic Wars, pp. 212–213. This rapid expansion worried Rome, which concluded a treaty with Hasdrubal in 226, stating that Carthage could not cross the Ebro river.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, pp. 28–31.Hoyos, Companion to the Punic Wars, pp. 216–219. However, the city of Saguntum, located in the south of the Ebro, appealed to Rome in 220 to act as arbitrator during a stasis. Hannibal dismissed Roman rights on the city, and took it in 219.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, pp. 33–36. At Rome, the Cornelii and the Aemilii considered the capture of Saguntum a casus belli,Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 37. These gentes had interests in Massalia and other Greek cities of the western Mediterranean. Massalia was concerned by the Carthaginian growing influence in Spain. and won the debate against Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, who wanted to negotiate. An embassy carrying an ultimatum was sent to Carthage, asking its senate to condemn Hannibal's deeds. The Carthaginian refusal started the Second Punic War.Scullard, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 39.(File:Second Punic War full-en.svg|alt=|left|thumb|422x422px|Principal offensives of the war: Rome (red), Hannibal (green), Hasdrubal (purple).)Initially, the plan of the Republic was to carry war outside Italy, by sending the consuls Publius Cornelius Scipio to Hispania, and Sempronius Longus to Africa, while their naval superiority prevented Carthage from attacking from the sea.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 46. This plan was thwarted by Hannibal's bold move to Italy. In May 218, he indeed crossed the Ebro with a large army of about 100,000 soldiers and 37 elephants.Fronda, Companion to the Punic Wars, pp. 251, 252. He passed in Gaul, crossed the Rhone, then the Alps, possibly through the Col de Clapier (2,491 meters high).Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 47. This famous exploit cost him half of his troops,Livy, xxi. 38, quoting Cincius Alimentus who reported a personal discussion with Hannibal, in which he said he lost 38,000 men by crossing the Alps. but he could now rely on the Boii and Insubres, still at war with Rome.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 48. Publius Scipio, who had failed to block Hannibal on the Rhone, sent his elder brother Gnaeus with the main part of his army in Hispania according to the initial plan, and went back to Italy with the rest to resist Hannibal in Italy, but he was defeated and wounded near Pavia.Hannibal then marched south and won three outstanding victories. The first one was on the banks of the Trebia in December 218, where he defeated the other consul Sempronius Longus thanks to his brother Mago, who had concealed some elite troops behind the legions and attacked them from the rear once fighting Hannibal. More than half of the Roman army was lost. Hannibal then ravaged the country around Arretium to lure the new consul Gaius Flaminius into a trap, at the Lake Trasimene. He had hidden his troops in the hills surrounding the lake and attacked Flaminius when he was cornered on the shore. This clever ambush resulted in the death of the consul and the complete destruction his army of 30,000 men. In 216, the new consuls Aemilius Paullus and Terentius Varro mustered the biggest army possible, with eight legions (more than 80,000 soldiers) – twice as many as the Punic army – and confronted Hannibal, who was encamped at Cannae, in Apulia. Despite his numerical disadvantage, Hannibal used his heavier cavalry to rout the Roman wings and envelop their infantry, whom he annihilated. In terms of casualties, the Battle of Cannae was the worst defeat in the history of Rome: only 14,500 soldiers escaped; Paullus was killed as well as well as 80 senators.Polybius (iii. 117) gives 70,000 dead. Livy (xxii. 49) gives 47,700 dead and 19,300 prisoners. Soon after, the Boii ambushed the army of the consul-elect for 215, Postumius Albinus, who died with all his army of 25,000 men in the Forest of Litana.File:Carthage, quarter shekel, 237-209 BC, SNG BM Spain 102.jpg|alt=|left|thumb|A quarter shekel of Carthage, perhaps minted in Spain. The obverse may depict Hannibal under the traits of young (Melqart]]. The reverse features one of his famous war elephants.Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume IX, British Museum, Part 2: Spain, London, 2002, n° 102.|221x221px)These disasters triggered a wave of defection among Roman allies, with the rebellions of the Samnites, Oscans, Lucanians, and Greek cities of Southern Italy.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, pp. 52, 53. In Macedonia, Philip V also made an alliance with Hannibal in order to take Illyria and the area around Epidamnus, occupied by Rome. His attack on Apollonia started the First Macedonian War. In 215, Hiero II of Syracuse died of old age, and his young grandson Hieronymus broke the long alliance with Rome to side with Carthage. At this desperate point, the aggressive strategy against Hannibal advocated by the Scipiones was abandoned in favour of delaying tactics that avoided direct confrontation with him. Its main proponents were the consuls Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, nicknamed Cunctator ("the delayer"), Claudius Marcellus, and Fulvius Flaccus. The "Fabian Strategy" favoured a slow reconquest of the lost territories, since Hannibal could not be everywhere to defend them.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, pp. 49, 50. Although he remained invincible on the battlefield, defeating all the Roman armies on his way, he could not prevent Claudius Marcellus from taking Syracuse in 212 after a long siege, nor the fall of his bases of Capua and Tarentum in 211 and 209. However, in 208 the consuls Claudius Marcellus and Quinctius Crispinus were ambushed and killed near Venusia.In Hispania, the situation was overall much better for Rome. This theatre was mostly commanded by the brothers Publius and Gnaeus Scipio, who won the battles of Cissa in 218, soon after Hannibal's departure, and Dertosa against his brother Hasdrubal in 215, which enabled them to conquer the eastern coast of Hispania. In 211 however, Hasdrubal and Mago Barca successfully returned the Celtiberian tribes that supported the Scipiones, and attacked them simultaneously at the Battle of the Upper Baetis, in which the Scipiones brothers died.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 57. Publius' son, the future Scipio Africanus, was then elected with a special proconsulship to lead the Hispanic campaign. He soon showed outstanding skills as commander, by winning a series of battles with ingenious tactics. In 209, he took Carthago Nova, the main Punic base in Hispania, then defeated Hasdrubal at the Battle of Baecula (208).Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 59. After his defeat, Hasdrubal was ordered by Carthage to move to Italy. Since he could not use ships, he followed the same route as his brother through the Alps, but this time the surprise effect was gone. The consuls Livius Salinator and Claudius Nero were awaiting him and won the Battle of the Metaurus, where Hasdrubal died.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 55. It was the turning point of the war. The attrition campaign had indeed worked well: Hannibal's troops were now depleted; he only had one elephant left (Surus) and retreated to Bruttium, on the defensive. In Greece, Rome contained Philip V without devoting too much forces, by setting an alliance with the Aetolian League, Sparta, and Pergamon, which also prevented Philip from aiding Hannibal. The war resulted in a stalemate, with the Treaty of Phoenice signed in 205.{{Campaignbox First Macedonian War}}In Hispania, Scipio continued his triumphal campaign at the battles of Carmona in 207, and Ilipa (now Seville) in 206, which ended the Punic threat on the peninsula.Briscoe, Cambridge Ancient History, p. 60. Elected consul in 205, he convinced the senate to cancel the Fabian Strategy, and instead to invade Africa by using the support of the Numidian king Massinissa, who had defected to Rome. Scipio landed in Africa in 204. He took Utica, then won the Battle of the Great Plains, which prompted Carthage to recall Hannibal from Italy and open peace negotiations with Rome. The talks nevertheless failed because Scipio wanted to impose harsher terms on Carthage, in order to avoid it from rising again as a threat to Rome. Hannibal was therefore sent to face Scipio at Zama. Scipio could now use the heavy Numidian cavalry of Massinissa – which had hitherto been so successful against Rome – to rout the Punic wings, then flank the infantry, as Hannibal had done at Cannae. Defeated for the first time, Hannibal convinced the Carthaginian senate to pay the war indemnity, which was even harsher than that of 241: 10,000 talents in 50 instalments. Carthage furthermore had to give up all its elephants, all its fleet but ten triremes, all its possessions outside its core territory in Africa (what is now Tunisia), and could not declare war without the authorisation of Rome. In effect, Carthage was condemned to be a minor power, while Rome recovered from a desperate situation to dominate the Western Mediterranean.

Roman supremacy in the Greek East (200–188 BC){|class"toccolours" style"float:right; margin:0 0 1em 1em;"

Macedonian Warscenter300px|Macedonia, Greece and Asia at the outbreak of the Second Macedonian War, 200 BC.)|{{Campaignbox Macedonian Wars}}{{Campaignbox Second Macedonian War}}{{Campaignbox Roman–Seleucid War}}{{Campaignbox Third Macedonian War}}{{Campaignbox Fourth Macedonian War}}{{further|Rise of Rome}}Rome's preoccupation with its war with Carthage provided an opportunity for Philip V of the kingdom of Macedonia, located in the north of the Greek peninsula, to attempt to extend his power westward. Philip sent ambassadors to Hannibal's camp in Italy, to negotiate an alliance as common enemies of Rome.Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 47Grant, The History of Rome, p. 115 However, Rome discovered the agreement when Philip's emissaries were captured by a Roman fleet. The First Macedonian War saw the Romans involved directly in only limited land operations, but they ultimately achieved their objective of pre-occupying Philip and preventing him from aiding Hannibal.The past century had seen the Greek world dominated by the three primary successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great's empire: Ptolemaic Egypt, Macedonia and the Seleucid Empire. In 202, internal problems led to a weakening of Egypt's position, thereby disrupting the power balance among the successor states. Macedonia and the Seleucid Empire agreed to an alliance to conquer and divide Egypt.Eckstein, Rome Enters the Greek East, p. 42. Fearing this increasingly unstable situation, several small Greek kingdoms sent delegations to Rome to seek an alliance.Eckstein, Arthur. "Rome Enters the Greek East". p. 43 The delegation succeeded, even though prior Greek attempts to involve Rome in Greek affairs had been met with Roman apathy. Our primary source about these events, the surviving works of Polybius, do not state Rome's reason for getting involved. Rome gave Philip an ultimatum to cease his campaigns against Rome's new Greek allies. Doubting Rome's strength (a reasonable doubt, given Rome's performance in the First Macedonian War) Philip ignored the request, and Rome sent an army of Romans and Greek allies, beginning the Second Macedonian War.Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 49 Despite his recent successes against the Greeks and earlier successes against Rome, Philip's army buckled under the pressure from the Roman-Greek army. In 197, the Romans decisively defeated Philip at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, and Philip was forced to give up his recent Greek conquests.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 117 The Romans declared the "Peace of the Greeks", believing that Philip's defeat now meant that Greece would be stable. They pulled out of Greece entirely, maintaining minimal contacts with their Greek allies.Eckstein, Arthur. "Rome Enters the Greek East". p. 48With Egypt and Macedonia weakened, the Seleucid Empire made increasingly aggressive and successful attempts to conquer the entire Greek world.Eckstein, Arthur. "Rome Enters the Greek East". p51 Now not only Rome's allies against Philip, but even Philip himself, sought a Roman alliance against the Seleucids.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 119 The situation was made worse by the fact that Hannibal was now a chief military advisor to the Seleucid emperor, and the two were believed to be planning an outright conquest not just of Greece, but of Rome itself.Eckstein, Arthur. "Rome Enters the Greek East". p. 52 The Seleucids were much stronger than the Macedonians had ever been, because they controlled much of the former Persian Empire, and by now had almost entirely reassembled Alexander the Great's former empire.File:Escipión africano.JPG|thumb|left|upright=0.9|Roman bronze bust of Scipio Africanus, dated mid 1st century BC, and found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum.Naples National Archaeological MuseumNaples National Archaeological MuseumFearing the worst, the Romans began a major mobilization, all but pulling out of recently pacified Spain and Gaul. They even established a major garrison in Sicily in case the Seleucids ever got to Italy. This fear was shared by Rome's Greek allies, who had largely ignored Rome in the years after the Second Macedonian War, but now followed Rome again for the first time since that war. A major Roman-Greek force was mobilized under the command of the great hero of the Second Punic War, Scipio Africanus, and set out for Greece, beginning the Roman-Syrian War. After initial fighting that revealed serious Seleucid weaknesses, the Seleucids tried to turn the Roman strength against them at the Battle of Thermopylae (as they believed the 300 Spartans had done centuries earlier). Like the Spartans, the Seleucids lost the battle, and were forced to evacuate Greece. The Romans pursued the Seleucids by crossing the Hellespont, which marked the first time a Roman army had ever entered Asia. The decisive engagement was fought at the Battle of Magnesia, resulting in a complete Roman victory.Lane Fox, The Classical World, p. 326 The Seleucids sued for peace, and Rome forced them to give up their recent Greek conquests. Although they still controlled a great deal of territory, this defeat marked the decline of their empire, as they were to begin facing increasingly aggressive subjects in the east (the Parthians) and the west (the Greeks). Their empire disintegrated into a rump over the course of the next century, when it was eclipsed by Pontus. Following Magnesia, Rome again withdrew from Greece, assuming (or hoping) that the lack of a major Greek power would ensure a stable peace. In fact, it did the opposite.Eckstein, Arthur. "Rome Enters the Greek East". p. 55

Conquest of Greece (172–146 BC)

In 179 Philip died.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 120 His talented and ambitious son, Perseus, took the throne and showed a renewed interest in conquering Greece.Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 75 With her Greek allies facing a major new threat, Rome declared war on Macedonia again, starting the Third Macedonian War. Perseus initially had some success against the Romans. However, Rome responded by sending a stronger army. This second consular army decisively defeated the Macedonians at the Battle of Pydna in 168Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 92 and the Macedonians duly capitulated, ending the war.Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 53Convinced now that the Greeks (and therefore the rest of the region) would not have peace if left alone, Rome decided to establish its first permanent foothold in the Greek world, and divided the Kingdom of Macedonia into four client republics. Yet, Macedonian agitation continued. The Fourth Macedonian War, 150 to 148 BC, was fought against a Macedonian pretender to the throne who was again destabilizing Greece by trying to re-establish the old kingdom. The Romans swiftly defeated the Macedonians at the Second battle of Pydna.The Achaean League chose this moment to fight Rome but was swiftly defeated. In 146 (the same year as the destruction of Carthage), Corinth was besieged and destroyed, which led to the league's surrender.History of Rome – The republic, Isaac Asimov. After nearly a century of constant crisis management in Greece, which always led back to internal instability and war when she withdrew, Rome decided to divide Macedonia into two new Roman provinces, Achaea and Macedonia.

Third Punic War (149–146 BC)

{{Campaignbox Third Punic War}}Carthage never recovered militarily after the Second Punic War,Pennell, Ancient Rome, Ch. XV, para. 24 but quickly did so economically and the Third Punic War that followed was in reality a simple punitive mission after the neighbouring Numidians allied to Rome robbed/attacked Carthaginian merchants. Treaties had forbidden any war with Roman allies, and defence against robbing/pirates was considered as "war action": Rome decided to annihilate the city of Carthage.Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, p. 338 Carthage was almost defenceless, and submitted when besieged.Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, p. 339 However, the Romans demanded complete surrender and removal of the city into the (desert) inland far off any coastal or harbour region, and the Carthaginians refused. The city was besieged, stormed, and completely destroyed.Ultimately, all of Carthage's North African and Iberian territories were acquired by Rome. Note that "Carthage" was not an 'empire', but a league of Punic colonies (port cities in the western Mediterranean) like the 1st and 2nd Athenian ("Attic") leagues, under leadership of Carthage. Punic Carthage was gone, but the other Punic cities in the western Mediterranean flourished under Roman rule.

Social troubles and first civil war (146–60 BC)

Rome's rapid expansion destabilized its social organization and triggered unrest in the heart of the Republic, which ultimately led to political violence, unrest in the provinces, and ultimately a breakdown in the traditional social relations of Rome that created the Augustan Empire. The period is marked by the rise of strong men (Gaius Marius, Cornelius Sulla, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Julius Caesar), who turned military success into political power.

The Gracchi (133–121 BC)

{{Campaignbox Servile Wars}}In 135, the first slave uprising, known as the First Servile War, broke out in Sicily. After initial successes, the slaves led by Eunus and Cleon were annihilated by the consul Publius Rupilius in 132 BC.In this context, Tiberius Gracchus was elected tribune in 133 BC. He attempted to enact a law which would have limited the amount of land that any individual could own. The aristocrats, who stood to lose an enormous amount of money, were bitterly opposed to this proposal. Tiberius submitted this law to the Plebeian Council, but the law was vetoed by a tribune named Marcus Octavius. Tiberius then used the Plebeian Council to impeach Octavius. The theory, that a representative of the people ceases to be one when he acts against the wishes of the people, was counter to Roman constitutional theory. If carried to its logical end, this theory would remove all constitutional restraints on the popular will, and put the state under the absolute control of a temporary popular majority.Abbott, 96 His law was enacted, but Tiberius was murdered with 300 of his associatesWEB, Bishop, Paul, Rome: Transition from Republic to Empire,weblink Hillsborough Community College, 19 February 2014, when he stood for reelection to the tribunate.Tiberius' brother Gaius was elected tribune in 123. Gaius Gracchus' ultimate goal was to weaken the senate and to strengthen the democratic forces.Abbott, 97 In the past, for example, the senate would eliminate political rivals either by establishing special judicial commissions or by passing asenatus consultum ultimum ("ultimate decree of the senate"). Both devices would allow the Senate to bypass the ordinary due process rights that all citizens had. Gaius outlawed the judicial commissions, and declared the senatus consultum ultimum to be unconstitutional. Gaius then proposed a law which would grant citizenship rights to Rome's Italian allies. This last proposal was not popular with the plebeians and he lost much of his support.Stobart, J.C. (1978). "III". In Maguinness, W.S; Scullard, H.H. The Grandeur That was Rome (4th ed.). Book Club Associates. pp. 75–82. He stood for election to a third term in 121, but was defeated and then murdered by representatives of the senate with 3,000 of his supporters on Capitoline Hill in Rome.In 121, the province of Gallia Narbonensis was established after the victory of Quintus Fabius Maximus over a coalition of Arverni and Allobroges in southern Gaul in 123. The city of Narbo was founded there in 118 by Lucius Licinius Crassus.

Rise of Marius

{{Campaignbox Jugurthine War}}File:Marius Glyptothek Munich 319.jpg|thumb|upright|Bust of Gaius Marius, instigator of the Marian reformsMarian reforms{{further|Rise of Rome}}The Jugurthine War of 111–104 was fought between Rome and Jugurtha of the North African kingdom of Numidia. It constituted the final Roman pacification of Northern Africa,Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 29 after which Rome largely ceased expansion on the continent after reaching natural barriers of desert and mountain. Following Jugurtha's usurpation of the throne of Numidia,Sallust, The Jugurthine War, XII a loyal ally of Rome since the Punic Wars,Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 64 Rome felt compelled to intervene. Jugurtha impudently bribed the Romans into accepting his usurpation. Jugurtha was finally captured not in battle but by treachery.File:Sulla Coin2.jpg|thumb|Denarius of Faustus Cornelius Sulla, 56 BC. It shows Diana on the obverse, while the reverse depicts Sulla being offered an olive branch by his ally Bocchus I. JugurthaJugurthaIn 118, King Micipsa of Numidia (current-day Algeria and Tunisia) died. He was succeeded by two legitimate sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and an illegitimate son, Jugurtha. Micipsa divided his kingdom between these three sons. Jugurtha, however, turned on his brothers, killing Hiempsal and driving Adherbal out of Numidia. Adherbal fled to Rome for assistance, and initially Rome mediated a division of the country between the two brothers. Eventually, Jugurtha renewed his offensive, leading to a long and inconclusive war with Rome. He also bribed several Roman commanders, and at least two tribunes, before and during the war. His nemesis, Gaius Marius, a legate from a virtually unknown provincial family, returned from the war in Numidia and was elected consul in 107 over the objections of the aristocratic senators. Marius invaded Numidia and brought the war to a quick end, capturing Jugurtha in the process. The apparent incompetence of the Senate, and the brilliance of Marius, had been put on full display.Abbott, 100 The populares party took full advantage of this opportunity by allying itself with Marius.{{Campaignbox Cimbrian War}}The Cimbrian War (113–101) was a far more serious affair than the earlier clashes of 121. The Germanic tribes of the Cimbri and the TeutonsAppian, History of Rome, §6 migrated from northern Europe into Rome's northern territories,Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 75 and clashed with Rome and her allies.Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 6 At the Battle of Aquae Sextiae and the Battle of Vercellae both tribes were virtually annihilated, which ended the threat.

Sulla's Civil Wars

{{Campaignbox Ancient Unification of Italy}}{{Campaignbox First Mithridatic War}}{{Campaignbox Sulla's Second Civil War}}In 91 the Social War broke out between Rome and its former allies in Italy when the allies complained that they shared the risk of Rome's military campaigns, but not its rewards. Although they lost militarily, the allies achieved their objectives with legal proclamations which granted citizenship to more than 500,000 Italians.The internal unrest reached its most serious state, however, in the two civil wars that were caused by the clash between generals Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla starting from 88. In the Battle of the Colline GateGrant, The History of Rome, p. 161 at the very door of the city of Rome, a Roman army under Sulla bested an army of the Marius supporters and entered the city. Sulla's actions marked a watershed in the willingness of Roman troops to wage war against one another that was to pave the way for the wars which ultimately overthrew the Republic, and caused the founding of the Roman Empire.Several years later, in 88, a Roman army was sent to put down an emerging Asian power, king Mithridates of Pontus. The army, however, was not defeated and won. One of Marius' old quaestors, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, had been elected consul for the year, and was ordered by the senate to assume command of the war against Mithridates. Marius, a member of the "populares" party, had a tribune revoke Sulla's command of the war against Mithridates. Sulla, a member of the aristocratic ("optimates") party, brought his army back to Italy and marched on Rome. Sulla was so angry at Marius' tribune that he passed a law intended to permanently weaken the tribunate.Abbott, 103 He then returned to his war against Mithridates. With Sulla gone, the populares under Marius and Lucius Cornelius Cinna soon took control of the city.During the period in which the populares party controlled the city, they flouted convention by re-electing Marius consul several times without observing the customary ten-year interval between offices.Abbott, 106 They also transgressed the established oligarchy by advancing unelected individuals to magisterial office, and by substituting magisterial edicts for popular legislation. Sulla soon made peace with Mithridates. In 83, he returned to Rome, overcame all resistance, and recaptured the city. Sulla and his supporters then slaughtered most of Marius' supporters. Sulla, having observed the violent results of radical popular reforms, was naturally conservative. As such, he sought to strengthen the aristocracy, and by extension the senate.Abbott, 104 Sulla made himself dictator, passed a series of constitutional reforms, resigned the dictatorship, and served one last term as consul. He died in 78.{{Campaignbox Second Mithridatic War}}{{Campaignbox Roman–Parthian Wars}}

Pompey's dominance

{{see also|Second Catilinarian conspiracy}}The third and final uprising was the most serious,Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 77 involving ultimately between 120,000Appian, Civil Wars, 1, 117 and 150,000Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 43 slaves under the command of the gladiator Spartacus.{{Campaignbox Third Mithridatic War}}Mithridates the Great was the ruler of Pontus,Florus, The Epitome of Roman history, Book 3, ch. 5 a large kingdom in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), from 120 to 63. Mithridates antagonised Rome by seeking to expand his kingdom, and Rome for its part seemed equally eager for war and the spoils and prestige that it might bring.Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 76 In 88, Mithridates ordered the killing of a majority of the 80,000 Romans living in his kingdom.Grant, The History of Rome, p. 158 The massacre was the official reason given for the commencement of hostilities in the First Mithridatic War. The Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla forced Mithridates out of Greece proper, but then had to return to Italy to answer the internal threat posed by his rival, Gaius Marius. A peace was made between Rome and Pontus, but this proved only a temporary lull.The Second Mithridatic War began when Rome tried to annex a province that Mithridates claimed as his own. In the Third Mithridatic War, first Lucius Licinius Lucullus and then Pompey the Great were sent against Mithridates and his Armenian ally Tigranes the Great.Lane Fox, The Classical World, p. 363 Mithridates was finally defeated by Pompey in the night-time Battle of the Lycus.Plutarch, Lives, Pompey{{Campaignbox Rome against the Cilician Pirates}}The Mediterranean had at this time fallen into the hands of pirates, largely from Cilicia.Florus, The Epitome of Roman history, Book 3, ch. 6 The pirates not only strangled shipping lanes but also plundered many cities on the coasts of Greece and Asia. Pompey was nominated as commander of a special naval task force to campaign against the pirates. It took Pompey just forty days to clear the western portion of the sea of pirates and restore communication between Iberia (Spain), Africa, and Italy.In 77, the senate sent one of Sulla's former lieutenants, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great"), to put down an uprising in Hispania. By 71, Pompey returned to Rome after having completed his mission. Around the same time, another of Sulla's former lieutenants, Marcus Licinius Crassus, had just put down the Spartacus-led gladiator/slave revolt in Italy. Upon their return, Pompey and Crassus found the populares party fiercely attacking Sulla's constitution.Abbott, 108 They attempted to forge an agreement with the populares party. If both Pompey and Crassus were elected consul in 70, they would dismantle the more obnoxious components of Sulla's constitution. The two were soon elected, and quickly dismantled most of Sulla's constitution.Abbott, 109File:Cicero - Musei Capitolini.JPG|thumb|A Roman marble bust of Marcus Tullius CiceroMarcus Tullius CiceroAround 66, a movement to use constitutional, or at least peaceful, means to address the plight of various classes began.Abbott, 109–110 After several failures, the movement's leaders decided to use any means that were necessary to accomplish their goals. The movement coalesced under an aristocrat named Lucius Sergius Catilina. The movement was based in the town of Faesulae, which was not a natural hotbed of agrarian agitation.Abbott, 110 The rural malcontents were to advance on Rome, and be aided by an uprising within the city. After assassinating the consuls and most of the senators, Catiline would be free to enact his reforms. The conspiracy was set in motion in 63. The consul for the year, Marcus Tullius Cicero, intercepted messages that Catiline had sent in an attempt to recruit more members. As a result, the top conspirators in Rome (including at least one former consul) were executed by authorisation (of dubious constitutionality) of the senate, and the planned uprising was disrupted. Cicero then sent an army, which cut Catiline's forces to pieces.The most important result of the Catilinarian conspiracy was that the populares party became discredited. The prior 70 years had witnessed a gradual erosion in senatorial powers. The violent nature of the conspiracy, in conjunction with the senate's skill in disrupting it, did a great deal to repair the senate's image.Abbott, 111

Triumvirates and end of the Republic (60–27 BC)

First Triumvirate (60–50 BC)

{{Ancient Rome and the fall of the Republic}}File:Pompeius.JPG|thumb|upright|left|A Roman marble head of Pompey (now in the Ny Carlsberg GlyptotekNy Carlsberg GlyptotekIn 62, Pompey returned victorious from Asia. The Senate, elated by its successes against Catiline, refused to ratify the arrangements that Pompey had made. Pompey, in effect, became powerless. Thus, when Julius Caesar returned from a governorship in Spain in 61, he found it easy to make an arrangement with Pompey. Caesar and Pompey, along with Crassus, established a private agreement, now known as the First Triumvirate. Under the agreement, Pompey's arrangements would be ratified. Caesar would be elected consul in 59, and would then serve as governor of Gaul for five years. Crassus was promised a future consulship.By 59 an unofficial political alliance known as the First Triumvirate was formed between Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") to share power and influence.Cantor, Antiquity, p. 168Caesar became consul in 59. His colleague, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, was an extreme aristocrat. Caesar submitted the laws that he had promised Pompey to the assemblies. Bibulus attempted to obstruct the enactment of these laws, and so Caesar used violent means to ensure their passage.Abbott, 112 Caesar was then made governor of three provinces. He facilitated the election of the former patrician Publius Clodius Pulcher to the tribunate for 58. Clodius set about depriving Caesar's senatorial enemies of two of their more obstinate leaders in Cato and Cicero. Clodius was a bitter opponent of Cicero because Cicero had testified against him in a sacrilege case. Clodius attempted to try Cicero for executing citizens without a trial during the Catiline conspiracy, resulting in Cicero going into self-imposed exile and his house in Rome being burnt down. Clodius also passed a bill that forced Cato to lead the invasion of Cyprus which would keep him away from Rome for some years. Clodius also passed a law to expand the previous partial grain subsidy to a fully free grain dole for citizens.Abbott, 113(File:Caesar campaigns gaul-en.svg|left|thumb|upright=1.35|Map of the Gallic Wars){{Campaignbox Gallic Wars}}During his term as praetor in the Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain), Pompey's contemporary Julius Caesar defeated two local tribes in battle.Plutarch, Lives, Caesar After his term as consul in 59, he was appointed to a five-year term as the proconsular Governor of Cisalpine Gaul (part of current northern Italy), Transalpine Gaul (current southern France) and Illyria (part of the modern Balkans).Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 58 Not content with an idle governorship, Caesar strove to find reason to invade Gaul (modern France and Belgium), which would give him the dramatic military success he sought. When two local tribes began to migrate on a route that would take them near (not into) the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul, Caesar had the barely sufficient excuse he needed for his Gallic Wars, fought between 58 and 49.Caesar defeated large armies at major battles 58 and 57. In 55 and 54 he made two expeditions into Britain, the first Roman to do so. Caesar then defeated a union of Gauls at the Battle of Alesia,Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 62 See also: Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 212 completing the Roman conquest of Transalpine Gaul. By 50, all of Gaul lay in Roman hands.Clodius formed armed gangs that terrorised the city and eventually began to attack Pompey's followers, who in response funded counter-gangs formed by Titus Annius Milo. The political alliance of the triumvirate was crumbling. Domitius Ahenobarbus ran for the consulship in 55 promising to take Caesar's command from him. Eventually, the triumvirate was renewed at Lucca. Pompey and Crassus were promised the consulship in 55, and Caesar's term as governor was extended for five years.Beginning in the summer of 54, a wave of political corruption and violence swept Rome.Abbott, 114 This chaos reached a climax in January of 52 BC, when Clodius was murdered in a gang war by Milo.In 53, Crassus launched a Roman invasion of the Parthian Empire (modern Iraq and Iran). After initial successes,Matyszak, The Enemies of Rome, p. 133 he marched his army deep into the desert;Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, p. 266 but here his army was cut off deep in enemy territory, surrounded and slaughtered at the Battle of Carrhae in which Crassus himself perished. The death of Crassus removed some of the balance in the Triumvirate and, consequently, Caesar and Pompey began to move apart. While Caesar was fighting in Gaul, Pompey proceeded with a legislative agenda for Rome that revealed that he was at best ambivalent towards CaesarGoldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 214 and perhaps now covertly allied with Caesar's political enemies. Pompey's wife, Julia, who was Caesar's daughter, died in childbirth. This event severed the last remaining bond between Pompey and Caesar. In 51, some Roman senators demanded that Caesar not be permitted to stand for consul unless he turned over control of his armies to the state, which would have left Caesar defenceless before his enemies. Caesar chose civil war over laying down his command and facing trial.

Caesar's Civil War and dictatorship (49–44 BC)

{{Campaignbox Caesar's Civil War}}File:04305 - Roma - Fori - Curia Iulia - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto - 18-Mar-2008.jpg|thumb|The Curia Julia, the Roman Senate house established by Julius Caesar in 44 BC and completed by Octavian in 29 BC, replacing the Curia CorneliaCuria CorneliaOn 1 January 49, an agent of Caesar presented an ultimatum to the senate. The ultimatum was rejected, and the senate then passed a resolution which declared that if Caesar did not lay down his arms by July of that year, he would be considered an enemy of the Republic.Abbott, 115 Meanwhile, the senators adopted Pompey as their new champion against Caesar. On 7 January of 49, the senate passed a senatus consultum ultimum, which vested Pompey with dictatorial powers. Pompey's army, however, was composed largely of untested conscripts.On 10 January, Caesar with his veteran army crossed the river Rubicon, the legal boundary of Roman Italy beyond which no commander might bring his army, in violation of Roman laws, and by the spring of 49 swept down the Italian peninsula towards Rome. Caesar's rapid advance forced Pompey, the consuls and the senate to abandon Rome for Greece. Caesar entered the city unopposed. Afterwards Caesar turned his attention to the Pompeian stronghold of Hispania (modern Spain)Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 217 but decided to tackle Pompey himself in Greece.Julius Caesar, The Civil War, 81–92 See also: Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 218 Pompey initially defeated Caesar, but failed to follow up on the victory, and was decisively defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48,Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 227 See also: Lane Fox, The Classical World, p. 403 despite outnumbering Caesar's forces two to one, albeit with inferior quality troops.Holland, Rubicon, p. 312 Pompey fled again, this time to Egypt, where he was murdered.Pompey's death did not end the civil war, as Caesar's many enemies fought on. In 46 Caesar lost perhaps as much as a third of his army, but ultimately came back to defeat the Pompeian army of Metellus Scipio in the Battle of Thapsus, after which the Pompeians retreated yet again to Hispania. Caesar then defeated the combined Pompeian forces at the Battle of Munda.File:Retrato de Julio César (26724093101).jpg|thumb|left|upright|The Tusculum portrait, a Roman sculpture of Julius Caesar, Archaeological Museum of TurinTurinWith Pompey defeated and order restored, Caesar wanted to achieve undisputed control over the government. The powers which he gave himself were later assumed by his imperial successors. His assumption of these powers decreased the authority of Rome's other political institutions.Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, and alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship.Abbott, 134 In 48, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers. This made his person sacrosanct, gave him the power to veto the senate, and allowed him to dominate the Plebeian Council. In 46, Caesar was given censorial powers,Abbott, 135 which he used to fill the senate with his own partisans. Caesar then raised the membership of the Senate to 900. This robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made it increasingly subservient to him. While the assemblies continued to meet, he submitted all candidates to the assemblies for election, and all bills to the assemblies for enactment. Thus, the assemblies became powerless and were unable to oppose him.{{huh|date=January 2019}}Abbott, 138Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome would limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law before his death which allowed him to appoint all magistrates, and later all consuls and tribunes. This transformed the magistrates from representatives of the people to representatives of the dictator.Abbott, 137Caesar was now the primary figure of the Roman state, enforcing and entrenching his powers. His enemies feared that he had ambitions to become an autocratic ruler. Arguing that the Roman Republic was in danger, a group of senators hatched a conspiracy and assassinated Caesar at a meeting of the Senate in March 44.Cantor, Antiquity, p. 170Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44. The assassination was led by Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus. Most of the conspirators were senators, who had a variety of economic, political, or personal motivations for carrying out the assassination. Many were afraid that Caesar would soon resurrect the monarchy and declare himself king. Others feared loss of property or prestige as Caesar carried out his land reforms in favor of the landless classes. Virtually all the conspirators fled the city after Caesar's death in fear of retaliation. The civil war that followed destroyed what was left of the Republic.Abbott, 133

Second Triumvirate

Mark Antony, Caesar's lieutenant, condemned Caesar's assassination, and war broke out between the two factions. Antony was denounced as a public enemy, and Caesar's adopted son and chosen heir, Gaius Octavianus, was entrusted with the command of the war against him. At the Battle of Mutina Mark Antony was defeated by the consuls Hirtius and Pansa, who were both killed.{{multiple image|total_width=550|image1=Venus and Cupid from the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at Pompeii, most likely a depiction of Cleopatra VII (2).jpg|image2=Venus and Cupid from the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at Pompeii, most likely a depiction of Cleopatra VII (5).jpgPompeian Styles>Roman wall painting in Pompeii is probably a depiction of Cleopatra VII as Venus Genetrix, with her son Caesarion as Cupid. Its owner Marcus Fabius Rufus most likely ordered its concealment behind a wall in reaction to the execution of Caesarion on orders of Octavian in 30 BC.Roller, Duane W. (2010). Cleopatra: a biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. {{ISBN|978-0195365535}}, p. 175.Walker, Susan. "Cleopatra in Pompeii?" in Papers of the British School at Rome, 76 (2008): 35–46 and 345–348 (pp. 35, 42–44).}}Octavian came to terms with Caesarians Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 43 when the Second Triumvirate was formed. In 42 Mark Antony and Octavian fought the Battle of Philippi against Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius. Although Brutus defeated Octavian, Antony defeated Cassius, who committed suicide. Brutus did likewise soon afterwards.After the assassination, Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) formed an alliance with Caesar's adopted son and great-nephew, Gaius Octavianus (Octavian), along with Marcus Lepidus. Known as the Second Triumvirate,Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 237 they held powers that were nearly identical to the powers that Caesar had held under his constitution. As such, the Senate and assemblies remained powerless, even after Caesar had been assassinated. The conspirators were then defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42.However, civil war flared again when the alliance failed. The ambitious Octavian built a power base of patronage and then launched a campaign against Mark Antony. At the naval Battle of Actium in 31 off the coast of Greece, Octavian decisively defeated Antony and Cleopatra of Ptolemaic Egypt. Octavian was granted a series of special powers including sole "imperium" within the city of Rome, permanent consular powers and credit for every Roman military victory, since all future generals were assumed to be acting under his command. In 27 Octavian was granted the use of the names "Augustus", indicating his primary status above all other Romans, "Princeps", which he used to refer to himself as in public, and he adopted the title "Imperator Caesar" making him the first Roman Emperor.Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 7

Constitutional system

{{Roman government}}{{further|Elections in the Roman Republic}}The constitutional history of the Roman Republic began with the revolution which overthrew the monarchy in 509, and ended with constitutional reforms that transformed the Republic into what would effectively be the Roman Empire, in 27. The Constitution of the Roman Republic was a constantly-evolving, unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent, by which the government and its politics operated.Byrd, 161 Throughout the history of the Republic, changes in the constitution were driven by conflicts of interest between the aristocracy and ordinary citizens.

Senate

The senate's ultimate authority derived from the esteem and prestige of the senators.Byrd, 96 This esteem and prestige was based on both precedent and custom, as well as the caliber and reputation of the senators. The senate passed decrees, which were called senatus consulta. These were officially "advice" from the senate to a magistrate. In practice, however, they were usually followed by the magistrates.Byrd, 44 The focus of the Roman senate was usually directed towards foreign policy. Though it technically had no official role in the management of military conflict, the senate ultimately was the force that oversaw such affairs. This was due to the senat´s explicit power over the state´s budget and in military affairs.BOOK, Bleiken, Jochen, Die Verfassung der römischen Republik, 1995, UTB, Schöningh, 6th, The power of the senate expanded over time as the power of the legislative assemblies declined, and the senate took a greater role in ordinary law-making. Its members were usually appointed by Roman Censors, who ordinarily selected newly elected magistrates for membership in the senate, making the senate a partially elected body. During times of military emergency, such as the civil wars of the 1st century, this practice became less prevalent, as the Roman Dictator, Triumvir or the senate itself would select its members. Towards the end of the Republic, the senate could enact a senatus consultus ultimum in times of emergency, instead of appointing a dictator.{{Citation needed|date=November 2018|reason=Your explanation here}}

Legislative assemblies

File:Forum Romanum through Arch of Septimius Severus Forum Romanum Rome.jpg|thumb|The Roman ForumRoman ForumThe legal status of Roman citizenship was limited and was a vital prerequisite to possessing many important legal rights such as the right to trial and appeal, to marry, to vote, to hold office, to enter binding contracts, and to special tax exemptions. An adult male citizen with the full complement of legal and political rights was called "optimo jure." The optimo jure elected their assemblies, whereupon the assemblies elected magistrates, enacted legislation, presided over trials in capital cases, declared war and peace, and forged or dissolved treaties. There were two types of legislative assemblies. The first was the comitia ("committees"),Lintott, 42 which were assemblies of all optimo jure. The second was the concilia ("councils"), which were assemblies of specific groups of optimo jure.Abbott, 251Citizens were organized on the basis of centuries and tribes, which would each gather into their own assemblies. The Comitia Centuriata ("Centuriate Assembly") was the assembly of the centuries (i.e., soldiers). The president of the Comitia Centuriata was usually a consul. The centuries would vote, one at a time, until a measure received support from a majority of the centuries. The Comitia Centuriata would elect magistrates who had the imperium powers (consuls and praetors). It also elected censors. Only the Comitia Centuriata could declare war, and ratify the results of a census.Abbott, 257 It also served as the highest court of appeal in certain judicial cases.The assembly of the tribes (i.e., the citizens of Rome), the Comitia Tributa, was presided over by a consul, and was composed of 35 tribes. The tribes were not ethnic or kinship groups, but rather geographical subdivisions.Lintott, 51 The order that the thirty-five tribes would vote in was selected randomly by lot.Taylor, 77 Once a measure received support from a majority of the tribes, the voting would end. While it did not pass many laws, the Comitia Tributa did elect quaestors, curule aediles, and military tribunes.Taylor, 7 The Plebeian CouncilAbbott, 196 was identical to the assembly of the tribes, but excluded the patricians. They elected their own officers, plebeian tribunes and plebeian aediles. Usually a plebeian tribune would preside over the assembly. This assembly passed most laws, and could also act as a court of appeal.

Magistrates

Each republican magistrate held certain constitutional powers. Each was assigned a provincia by the Senate. This was the scope of that particular office holder's authority. It could apply to a geographic area or to a particular responsibility or task.Lintott, Constitution of the Roman Republic, p. 101. The powers of a magistrate came from the people of Rome (both plebeians and patricians).Lintott, Constitution of the Roman Republic, p. 95. The imperium was held by both consuls and praetors. Strictly speaking, it was the authority to command a military force. In reality, however, it carried broad authority in the other public spheres such as diplomacy, and the justice system. In extreme cases, those with the imperium power were able to sentence Roman Citizens to death. All magistrates also had the power of coercitio (coercion). This was used by magistrates to maintain public order by imposing punishment for crimes.Lintott, Constitution of the Roman Republic, p. 97. Magistrates also had both the power and the duty to look for omens. This power could also be used to obstruct political opponents.One check on a magistrate's power was called Collega (collegiality). Each magisterial office would be held concurrently by at least two people. Another such check was provocatio. While in Rome, all citizens were protected from coercion, by provocatio, which was an early form of due process. It was a precursor to habeas corpus. If any magistrate tried to use the powers of the state against a citizen, that citizen could appeal the decision of the magistrate to a tribune. In addition, once a magistrate's one-year term of office expired, he would have to wait ten years before serving in that office again. This created problems for some consuls and praetors, and these magistrates would occasionally have their imperium extended. In effect, they would retain the powers of the office (as a promagistrate), without officially holding that office.Lintott, 113The consuls of the Roman Republic were the highest ranking ordinary magistrates. Each served for one year.Byrd, 20 They retained several elements of the former kingly regalia, such as the toga praetexta, and the fasces, which represented the power to inflict physical punishment. Consular powers included the kings' former "power to command" (imperium) and appointment of new senators. Consuls had supreme power in both civil and military matters. While in the city of Rome, the consuls were the head of the Roman government. They would preside over the senate and the assemblies. While abroad, each consul would command an army.Byrd, 179 His authority abroad would be nearly absolute. Praetors administered civil lawByrd, 32 and commanded provincial armies. Every five years, two censors were elected for an 18-month term, during which they would conduct a census. During the census, they could enroll citizens in the senate, or purge them from the senate.Byrd, 26 Aediles were officers elected to conduct domestic affairs in Rome, such as managing public games and shows. The quaestors would usually assist the consuls in Rome, and the governors in the provinces. Their duties were often financial.Since the tribunes were considered to be the embodiment of the plebeians, they were sacrosanct. Their sacrosanctity was enforced by a pledge, taken by the plebeians, to kill any person who harmed or interfered with a tribune during his term of office. It was a capital offense to harm a tribune, to disregard his veto, or to otherwise interfere with him.Byrd, 23 In times of military emergency, a dictator would be appointed for a term of six months.Byrd, 24 Constitutional government would be dissolved, and the dictator would be the absolute master of the state. When the dictator's term ended, constitutional government would be restored.

Military

{{RomanMilitary}}Rome's military secured Rome's territory and borders, and helped to impose tribute on conquered peoples. Rome's armies had a formidable reputation; but Rome also "produced [its] share of incompetents"Goldsworthy, In the Name of Rome, p. 15 and catastrophic defeats. Nevertheless, it was generally the fate of Rome's greatest enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal,Lane Fox, The Classical World, p. 312 to win early battles but lose the war.

Hoplite armies (509–c. 315 BC)

During this period, Roman soldiers seem to have been modelled after those of the Etruscans to the north,Nicholas V Sekunda, Early Roman Armies, p. 17. who themselves are believed to have copied their style of warfare from the Greeks. Traditionally, the introduction of the phalanx formation into the Roman army is ascribed to the city's penultimate king, Servius Tullius (ruled 578–534).Nicholas V Sekunda, Early Roman Armies, p. 18. According to LivyLivy, i. 43. and Dionysius of Halicarnassus,Roman Antiquities, 4.16–18 the front rank was composed of the wealthiest citizens, who were able to purchase the best equipment. Each subsequent rank consisted of those with less wealth and poorer equipment than the one before it. The phalanx was effective in large, open spaces, but not on the hilly terrain of the central Italian peninsula. In the 4th century, the Romans replaced it with the more flexible manipular formation. This change is sometimes attributed to Marcus Furius Camillus and placed shortly after the Gallic invasion of 390; more likely, it was copied from Rome's Samnite enemies to the south,Early Roman Armies, pp. 37–38. following the Second Samnite War (326–304).WEB,weblink Rome, The Samnite Wars, History-world.org, 2010-10-03,

Manipular legion (c. 315–107 BC)

File:Altar Domitius Ahenobarbus Louvre n3.jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.8|Detail from the Ahenobarbus relief showing (centre-right) two Roman foot-soldiers c. 122 BC. Note the Montefortino-style helmets with horsehair plume, chain mail cuirasses with shoulder reinforcement, oval shields with calfskin covers, gladius and pilumpilumDuring this period, an army formation of around 5,000 men (of both heavy and light infantry) was known as a legion. The manipular army was based upon social class, age and military experience.Boak, A History of Rome to 565 A.D., p. 87 Maniples were units of 120 men each drawn from a single infantry class. They were typically deployed into three discrete lines based on the three heavy infantry types:
  • 1. The first line maniple were the hastati, leather-armoured infantry soldiers who wore a bronze breastplate and a bronze helmet adorned with 3 feathers approximately {{convert|30|cm|0|abbr=on}} in height and carried an iron-clad wooden shield. They were armed with a sword and two throwing spears.
  • 2. The second line were the principes. They were armed and armoured in the same manner as the hastati, but wore a lighter coat of mail rather than a solid brass breastplate.
  • 3. The triarii formed the third line. They were the last remnant of the hoplite-style troops in the Roman army. They were armed and armoured like the principes, with the exception that they carried a lighter spear.PolybiusB6
The three infantry classesSantosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 18 may have retained some slight parallel to social divisions within Roman society, but at least officially the three lines were based upon age and experience rather than social class. Young, unproven men would serve in the first line, older men with some military experience would serve in the second line, and veteran troops of advanced age and experience would serve in the third line.The heavy infantry of the maniples were supported by a number of light infantry and cavalry troops, typically 300 horsemen per manipular legion. The cavalry was drawn primarily from the richest class of equestrians. There was an additional class of troops who followed the army without specific martial roles and were deployed to the rear of the third line. Their role in accompanying the army was primarily to supply any vacancies that might occur in the maniples. The light infantry consisted of 1,200 unarmoured skirmishing troops drawn from the youngest and lower social classes. They were armed with a sword and a small shield, as well as several light javelins.Rome's military confederation with the other peoples of the Italian peninsula meant that half of Rome's army was provided by the Socii, such as the Etruscans, Umbrians, Apulians, Campanians, Samnites, Lucani, Bruttii, and the various southern Greek cities. Polybius states that Rome could draw on 770,000 men at the beginning of the Second Punic War, of which 700,000 were infantry and 70,000 met the requirements for cavalry. Rome's Italian allies would be organized in alae, or wings, roughly equal in manpower to the Roman legions, though with 900 cavalry instead of 300.File:Togatus Barberini 2392.PNG|thumb|upright|The "Togatus Barberini", depicting a Roman senator holding the imagines ((effigies]]) of deceased ancestors in his hands; marble, late 1st century BC; head (not belonging): mid 1st century BC.)A small navy had operated at a fairly low level after about 300, but it was massively upgraded about forty years later, during the First Punic War. After a period of frenetic construction, the navy mushroomed to a size of more than 400 ships on the Carthaginian ("Punic") pattern. Once completed, it could accommodate up to 100,000 sailors and embarked troops for battle. The navy thereafter declined in size.Webster, The Roman Imperial Army, p. 156The extraordinary demands of the Punic Wars, in addition to a shortage of manpower, exposed the tactical weaknesses of the manipular legion, at least in the short term.Smith, Service in the Post-Marian Roman Army, p. 2 In 217, near the beginning of the Second Punic War, Rome was forced to effectively ignore its long-standing principle that its soldiers must be both citizens and property owners. During the 2nd century, Roman territory saw an overall decline in population,Gabba, Republican Rome, The Army and The Allies, p. 9 partially due to the huge losses incurred during various wars. This was accompanied by severe social stresses and the greater collapse of the middle classes. As a result, the Roman state was forced to arm its soldiers at the expense of the state, which it did not have to do in the past.The distinction between the heavy infantry types began to blur, perhaps because the state was now assuming the responsibility of providing standard-issue equipment. In addition, the shortage of available manpower led to a greater burden being placed upon Rome's allies for the provision of allied troops.Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 11 Eventually, the Romans were forced to begin hiring mercenaries to fight alongside the legions.Webster, The Roman Imperial Army, p. 143

Legion after the reforms of Gaius Marius (107–27 BC)

In a process known as the Marian reforms, Roman consul Gaius Marius carried out a programme of reform of the Roman military.Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens, p. 10 In 107, all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for entry into the Roman army. This move formalised and concluded a gradual process that had been growing for centuries, of removing property requirements for military service.Gabba, Republican Rome, The Army And the Allies, p. 1 The distinction among the three heavy infantry classes, which had already become blurred, had collapsed into a single class of heavy legionary infantry. The heavy infantry legionaries were drawn from citizen stock, while non-citizens came to dominate the ranks of the light infantry. The army's higher-level officers and commanders were still drawn exclusively from the Roman aristocracy.Santosuosso, p. 29Unlike earlier in the Republic, legionaries were no longer fighting on a seasonal basis to protect their land. Instead, they received standard pay, and were employed by the state on a fixed-term basis. As a consequence, military duty began to appeal most to the poorest sections of society, to whom a salaried pay was attractive. A destabilising consequence of this development was that the proletariat "acquired a stronger and more elevated position"Gabba, Republican Rome, The Army and The Allies, p. 25 within the state.The legions of the late Republic were almost entirely heavy infantry. The main legionary sub-unit was a cohort of approximately 480 infantrymen, further divided into six centuries of 80 men each.Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 14 Each century comprised 10 "tent groups" of 8 men. Cavalry were used as scouts and dispatch riders, rather than as battlefield forces.Webster, The Roman Imperial Army, p. 116 Legions also contained a dedicated group of artillery crew of perhaps 60 men. Each legion was normally partnered with an approximately equal number of allied (non-Roman) troops.Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 15The army's most obvious deficiency lay in its shortage of cavalry, especially heavy cavalry.Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, p. 43 Particularly in the East, Rome's slow-moving infantry legions were often confronted by fast-moving cavalry-troops, and found themselves at a tactical disadvantage.File:D473-birème romaine-Liv2-ch10.png|thumb|A Roman naval bireme depicted in a relief from the Temple of Fortuna Primigenia in Praeneste,D.B. Saddington (2011) [2007]. "the Evolution of the Roman Imperial Fleets," in Paul Erdkamp (ed), A Companion to the Roman Army, 201–217. Malden, Oxford, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. {{ISBN|978-1-4051-2153-8}}. Plate 12.2 on p. 204. c. 120 BC;Coarelli, Filippo (1987), I Santuari del Lazio in età repubblicana. NIS, Rome, pp 35–84. now in the Museo Pio-Clementino in the Vatican MuseumsVatican MuseumsFile:San Nicola Giano.JPG|thumb|right|Temple of Janus as seen in the present church of San Nicola in Carcere, in the Forum Holitorium of Rome, Italy, dedicated by Gaius Duilius after his naval victory at the Battle of Mylae in 260 BC.Tacitus. Annales. II.49.]]Following Rome's subjugation of the Mediterranean, its navy declined in size although it would undergo short-term upgrading and revitalisation in the late Republic to meet several new demands. Julius Caesar assembled a fleet to cross the English Channel and invade Britannia. Pompey raised a fleet to deal with the Cilician pirates who threatened Rome's Mediterranean trading routes. During the civil war that followed, as many as a thousand ships were either constructed or pressed into service from Greek cities.

Social structure

Citizen families were headed by the family's oldest male, the pater familias, who was lawfully entitled to exercise complete authority (patria potestas) over family property and all family members. Brutus, co-founder of the Republic, is supposed to have exercised the extreme form of this right when he executed his own sons for treachery.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 215–216. Citizenship offered legal protection and rights, but citizens who offended Rome's traditional moral code could be declared infamous, and lose certain legal and social privileges.Thomas A.J. McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 65ff. Citizenship was also taxable, and undischarged debt was potentially a capital offence. A form of limited, theoretically voluntary slavery (debt bondage, or nexum) allowed wealthy creditors to negotiate payment of debt through bonded service. Poor, landless citizens of the lowest class (proletarii) might contract their sons to a creditor, patron or third party employer to obtain an income, or to pay off family debts. Nexum was only abolished when slave labour became more readily available, most notably during the Punic wars.Drummond, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, p. 126.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 238, 379–380, citing Livy, 9. 46. 13–14 for the poorest citizens as forensis facto... humillimi (the "lowest of the low").Alföldy, Geza, The Social History of Rome, p. 17.File:BM GR 1867.5-8.55 - 01.JPG|thumb|An inscribed funerary relief of Aurelius Hermia and his wife Aurelia Philematum, former slaves who married after their manumission, 80 BC, from a tomb along the Via NomentanaVia NomentanaSlaves were simultaneously family members and family property. They could be bought, sold, acquired through warfare, or born and raised within their master's household,. They could also buy their freedom with money saved or the offer of future services as a freedman or woman, and their sons could be eligible for citizenship; this degree of social mobility was unusual in the ancient world. Freed slaves and the master who freed them retained certain legal and moral mutual obligations. This was the bottom rung of one of Rome's fundamental social and economic institutions, the client-patron relationship. At the top rung were the senatorial families of the landowning nobility, both patrician and plebeian, bound by shifting allegiances and mutual competition. A plebiscite of 218 forbade senators and their sons to engage in substantial trade or money-lending.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 288–291.Flower, Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, pp. 173–175; Flower is describing the restrictions placed on Senatorial business activity by the plebiscitum Claudianum of 218 BC, and related legislation: it may have been intended to reduce opportunity for bribery and corruption, or to help Senators focus exclusively on their tasks in government. A wealthy equestrian class emerged, not subject to the same trading constraints as the senate.D'Arms, J. B., "Senators' Involvement in Commerce in the Late Republic: Some Ciceronian Evidence", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. 36, The Seaborne Commerce of Ancient Rome: Studies in Archaeology and History (1980), pp. 77–89, University of Michigan Press for the American Academy in Rome.Citizen men and citizen women were expected to marry, produce as many children as possible, and improve – or at worst, conserve – their family's wealth, fortune, and public profile. Marriage offered opportunities for political alliance and social advancement. Patricians usually married in a form known as confarreatio, which transferred the bride from her father's absolute control or "hand" (manus) to that of her husband.David Johnston, Roman Law in Context (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 33–34. Patrician status could only be inherited through birth; an early law, introduced by the reactionary Decemviri but rescinded in 445, sought to prevent marriages between patricians and plebeians; any resulting offspring may not have been legally recognised.The plebeian involved in a such a marriage would likely have been wealthy: see Cornell, The beginnings of Rome, p. 255. Among ordinary plebeians, different marriage forms offered married women considerable more freedom than their patrician counterparts, until manus marriage was replaced by free marriage, in which the wife remained under the legal authority of her absent father, not her husband.Bruce W. Frier and Thomas A.J. McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 20, 53, 54. Plebeian marriage forms include coemptio (marriage "by purchase" – a form of dowry), and usus (marriage recognised through the couple's "habitual cohabitation") Infant mortality was high. Towards the end of the Republic, the birthrate began to fall among the elite. Some wealthy, childless citizens resorted to adoption to provide male heirs for their estates, and to forge political alliances. Adoption was subject to the senate's approval; the notoriously unconventional patrician politician Publius Clodius Pulcher had himself and his family adopted into a plebeian clan, so that he could hold a plebeian tribunate.

Trade and economy

Farming

The Republic was created during a time of warfare, economic recession, food shortages, and plebeian debt. In wartime, plebeian farmers were liable to conscription. In peacetime, most depended on whatever cereal crops they could produce on small farming plots, allotted to them by the state, or by patrons. Soil fertility varied from place to place, and natural water sources were unevenly distributed throughout the landscape. In good years, a pleb small-holder might trade a small surplus, to meet his family's needs, or to buy the armatures required for his military service. In other years, crop failure through soil exhaustion, adverse weather, disease or military incursions could lead to poverty, unsupported borrowing, and debt. Nobles invested much of their wealth in ever-larger, more efficient farming units, exploiting a range of soil conditions though mixed farming techniques. As farming was labour-intensive, and military conscription reduced the pool of available manpower, the wealthy increasingly resorted to slave-labour.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 265–268, 283.Bannon, Gardens and Neighbors, pp. 5−10.Drummond, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 118–122, 135, 136. Well managed agricultural estates helped provide for clients and dependents, support an urban family home, and fund the owner's public and military career. Large estates yielded cash for bribes, and security for borrowing. Later Roman moralists idealised farming as an intrinsically noble occupation: Cincinnatus left off his ploughing reluctantly, to serve as dictator, and returned once his state duties were done.Livy, iii. 26–29.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 412–413: Cato the Elder dwelt upon the probably mythical poverty of leading Romans such as Manius Dentatus, and the incorruptible Gaius Fabricius Luscinus.Rosenstein, Nathan, "Aristocrats and Agriculture in the Middle and Late Republic", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 98 (2008), pp. 1–3.In law, land taken by conquest was ager publicus (public land). In practise, much of it was exploited by the nobility, using slaves rather than free labour. Rome's expansionist wars and colonisations were at least partly driven by the land-hunger of displaced peasants, who must otherwise join the swelling, dependent population of urban plebs.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 265–268. At the end of the second Punic War, Rome added the fertile ager Campanus, suitable for intense cultivation of vines, olives and cereals. Like the grain-fields of Sicily – seized after the same conflict – it was likely farmed extra-legally by leading landowners, using slave-gangs. A portion of Sicily's grain harvest was sent to Rome as tribute, for redistribution by the aediles.Gabba, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 8, pp. 197–198.Lintott, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 9, p. 55: A later consular investigation into similar land-encroachments is dated to 175. The urban plebs increasingly relied on firstly subsidised, then free grain.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, pp. 328–329.File:Esquilino - acquedotto Anio Vetus 1000968.JPG|thumb|Ruins of the Aqua Anio Vetus, a Roman aqueductRoman aqueductWith the introduction of aqueducts (from 312), suburban market-farms could be supplied with run-off or waste aqueduct water. Perishable commodities such as flowers (for perfumes, and festival garlands), fresh grapes, vegetables and orchard fruits, and small livestock such as pigs and chickens, could be farmed close to municipal and urban markets. In the early 2nd century Cato the Elder tried to block the illicit tapping of rural aqueducts by the elite, who thus exploited the increased productivity of cheaply bought, formerly "dry" farmland; a law was duly passed, but fines for abuses, and taxes on profits, proved more realistic solutions than an outright ban. Food surpluses, no matter how obtained, kept prices low.Bannon, Gardens and Neighbors, pp. 5–10; citing Hodge, Roman Aqueducts, p. 219 for Cato's diatribe against the misuse of aqueduct water by L. Furius Purpureus, consul in 196.Nicolet, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 9, p. 619. Faced with increasing competition from provincial and allied grain suppliers, many Roman farmers turned to more profitable crops, especially grapes for wine production. By the late Republican era, Roman wine had been transformed from an indifferent local product for local consumption, to a major domestic and export commodity.Rosenstein, Nathan, "Aristocrats and Agriculture in the Middle Republic", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 98 (2008), pp. 2–16.Nicolet, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 9, pp. 612–615: up to this time, the Roman elite had favoured Greek imported wine over any of Rome's homegrown versions.Roman writers have little to say about large-scale stock-breeding, but make passing references to its profitability. Drummond speculates that this might reflect elite preoccupations with historical grain famines, or long-standing competition between agriculturalists and pastoralists. While agriculture was a seasonal practise, pasturage was a year-round requirement. Some of Republican Rome's early agricultural legislation sought to balance the competing public grazing rights of small farmers, the farming elite, and transhumant pastoralists, who maintained an ancient right to herd, graze and water their animals between low-lying winter pastures and upland summer pastures. From the early second century, transhumance was practised on a vast scale, as an investment opportunity.Drummond, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 118–122.Gabba, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 8, pp. 237–239. Though meat and hides were valuable by products of stock-raising, cattle were primarily reared to pull carts and ploughs, and sheep were bred for their wool, the mainstay of the Roman clothing industry. Horses, mules and donkeys were bred as civil and military transport. Pigs bred prolifically, and could be raised at little cost by any small farmer with rights to pannage. Their central dietary role is reflected by their use as sacrificial victims in domestic cults, funerals, and cults to agricultural deities.Drummond, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, pp. 118–122.

Religion

{{further|List of ancient Roman deities|List of Roman agricultural deities}}File:Temple of portunus front.jpg|thumb|The Temple of PortunusTemple of PortunusFile:Tomb of the Flavii, Pompeii.jpg|thumb|The tomb of the Flavii, a necropolis outside the Nucerian gate (Porta Nocera) of PompeiiPompeiiRepublican Rome's religious practises harked back to Rome's quasi-mythical history.Rüpke, Companion to Roman Religion, p. 4.Beard, North, Price, Religions of Rome, Vol. I, pp. 30–35. Romulus, a son of Mars, founded Rome after Jupiter granted him favourable bird-signs regarding the site.Robert Schilling, "The Decline and Survival of Roman Religion", Roman and European Mythologies University of Chicago Press, 1992, p. 115 Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, had established Rome's basic religious and political institutions after direct instructions from the gods, given through augury, dreams and oracle. Each king thereafter was credited with some form of divinely approved innovation, adaptation or reform.King Numa Pompilius was also said to have consorted with the nymph Egeria. The myths surrounding king Servius Tullius include his divine fathering by a Lar of the royal household, or by Vulcan, god of fire; and his love-affair with the goddess Fortuna. An Imperial-era source claims that the Republic's first consul, Brutus, effectively abolished human sacrifice to the goddess Mania, instituted by the last king, Tarquinius.Macrobius describes the woolen figurines (maniae) hung at crossroad shrines during the popular Compitalia festival as substitutions for ancient human sacrifice once held at the same festival and suppressed by Rome's first consul, L. Junius Brutus. Whatever the truth regarding this sacrifice and its abolition, the Junii celebrated their ancestor cult during Larentalia rather than the usual Parentalia even in the 1st century BC; see Taylor, Lilly Ross, "The Mother of the Lares", in American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 29, 3, (July–Sept. 1925), pp. 302 ff.Romans acknowledged the existence of innumerable deities who controlled the natural world and human affairs. Every individual, occupation and location had a protective tutelary deity, or sometimes several. Each was associated with a particular, highly prescriptive form of prayer and sacrifice. Piety (pietas) was the correct, dutiful and timely performance of such actions. The well-being of each Roman household was thought to depend on daily cult to its Lares and Penates (guardian deities, or spirits), ancestors, and the divine generative essence embodied within its pater familias. A family which neglected its religious responsibilities could not expect to prosper.Orr, D. G., Roman domestic religion: the evidence of the household shrines, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, II, 16, 2, Berlin, 1978, 1557–1591.The well-being of the Roman state depended on its state deities, whose opinions and will could be discerned by priests and magistrates, trained in augury, haruspicy, oracles and the interpretation of omens. Impieties in state religion could produce expressions of divine wrath such as social unrest, wars, famines and epidemics, vitiate the political process, render elections null and void, and lead to the abandonment of planned treaties, wars and any government business. Accidental errors could be remedied by repeating the rite correctly, or by an additional sacrifice; outright sacrilege threatened the bonds between the human and divine, and carried the death penalty. As divine retribution was invoked in the lawful swearing of oaths and vows, oath-breakers forfeited their right to divine protection, and might be killed with impunity.Halm, Companion to Roman Religion, pp. 241, 242.Roman religious authorities were unconcerned with personal beliefs or privately funded cults, unless they offended natural or divine laws, or undermined the mos maiorum (roughly, "the way of the ancestors"); the relationship between gods and mortals should be sober, contractual, and of mutual benefit. Undignified grovelling, excessive enthusiasm (superstitio) and secretive practises were "weak minded" and morally suspect.Rüpke, Companion to Roman Religion, p. 5. Magical practises were officially banned, as attempts to subvert the will of the gods for personal gain, but were probably common among all classes. Private cult organisations that seemed to threaten Rome's political and priestly hierarchy were investigated by the Senate, with advice from the priestly colleges. The Republic's most notable religious suppression was that of the Bacchanalia, a widespread, unofficial, enthusiastic cult to the Greek wine-god Bacchus. The cult organisation was ferociously suppressed, and its deity was absorbed within the official cult to Rome's own wine-god, Liber.Erich S. Gruen, Erich S., "The Bacchanalia affair", in Studies in Greek Culture and Roman Policy, University of California Press, 1996, pp. 34 ff. The official recognition, adoption and supervision of foreign deities and practices, whether Etruscan, Sabine, Latin or colonial Greek, had been an important unitary feature in Rome's territorial expansion and dominance since the days of the kings. For example, king Servius Tullius had established an Aventine temple to Diana as a Roman focus for the Latin League.The gods were thought to communicate their wrath (ira deorum) through prodigies (unnatural or aberrant phenomena). During the crisis of the Second Punic War an unprecedented number of reported prodigies were expiated, in more than twenty days of public ritual and sacrifices. In the same period, Rome recruited the "Trojan" Magna Mater (Great Mother of the Gods) to the Roman cause, "Hellenised" the native Roman cult to Ceres; and took control of the Bacchanalia festival in Rome and its allied territories. Following Rome's disastrous defeat at Cannae, the State's most prominent written oracle recommended the living burial of human victims in the Forum Boarium to placate the gods.Rosenberger, Companion to Roman Religion, pp. 295–298; the discovery of a hermaphroditic four-year-old child was expiated by the state haruspex, who set the child to drown in the sea. Its survival for four years after its birth would have been regarded as extreme dereliction of religious duty.Livy, xxvii. 37, cited by Halm, Companion to Roman Religion, p. 244; see also Rosenberger, p. 297. Livy describes this "bloodless" human sacrifice as an abhorrent but pious necessity; Rome's eventual victory confirmed the gods' approval.For Livy's use of prodigies and portents as markers of Roman impiety and military failure, see Feeney, Companion to Roman Religion, pp. 138, 139. For prodigies in the context of political decision-making, see Rosenberger, pp. 295–298.Starting in the mid-Republican era, some leading Romans publicly displayed special, sometimes even intimate relationships with particular deities. For instance, Scipio Africanus claimed Jupiter as a personal mentor. Some gentes claimed a divine descent, often thanks to a false etymology of their name; the Caecilii Metelli pretended to descend from Vulcan through his son Caeculus, the Mamilii from Circe through her granddaughter Mamilia, the Julii Caesares and the Aemilii from Venus through her grandsons Iulus and Aemylos. In the 1st century, Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar made competing claims for Venus' favour.Festus, "Caeculus", "Aemilia" and others.T. P. Wiseman, "Legendary Genealogies in Late-Republican Rome", Greece & Rome, Second Series, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Oct., 1974), pp. 153–164.Orlin, Companion to Roman Religion, pp. 67–69.

Priesthoods

With the abolition of monarchy, some of its sacral duties were shared by the consuls, while others passed to a Republican rex sacrorum (king of the sacred rites"), a patrician "king", elected for life, with great prestige but no executive or kingly powers.Jörg Rüpke, Religion of the Romans (Polity Press, 2007, originally published in German 2001), p. 223. Rome had no specifically priestly class or caste. As every family's pater familias was responsible for his family's cult activities, he was effectively the senior priest of his own household. Likewise, most priests of public cult were expected to marry, produce children, and support their families.The Vestal Virgins were the major exception. The Galli, mendicant eunuch priets of the Magna Mater, were forbidden Roman citizenship. In the early Republic the patricians, as "fathers" to the Roman people, claimed the right of seniority to lead and control the state's relationship with the divine. Patrician families, in particular the Cornelii, Postumii and Valerii, monopolised the leading state priesthoods: the flamines of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus, as well as the pontifices. The patrician Flamen Dialis employed the "greater auspices" (auspicia maiora) to consult with Jupiter on significant matters of State.Twelve "lesser flaminates" (Flamines minores), were open to plebeians, or reserved to them. They included a Flamen Cerealis in service of Ceres, goddess of grain and growth, and protector of plebeian laws and tribunes.Cornell, The beginnings of Rome, p. 264. The plebs had their own forms of augury, which they credited to Marsyas, a satyr or silen in the entourage of Liber, plebeian god of grapes, wine, freedom and male fertility.Barbette Stanley Spaeth, "The Goddess Ceres and the Death of Tiberius Gracchus", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 39, No. 2 (1990), pp. 185–186. The priesthoods of local urban and rustic Compitalia street-festivals, dedicated to the Lares of local communities, were open to freedmen and slaves, to whom "even the heavy-handed Cato recommended liberality during the festival"; so that the slaves, "being softened by this instance of humanity, which has something great and solemn about it, may make themselves more agreeable to their masters and be less sensible of the severity of their condition".Lott, John. B., The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, {{ISBN|0-521-82827-9}}, pp. 31, 35, citing Cato, On agriculture, 5.3., and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 4.14.2–4 (excerpt), Trans. Cary, Loeb, Cambridge, 1939.File:Lucius_Caesius,_denarius,_112_BC,_RRC_298-1.jpg|thumb|Denarius of Lucius Caesius, 112–111 BC. On the obverse is Apollo, as written on the monogram behind his head, who also wears the attributes of Vejovis, an obscure deity. The obverse depicts a group of statues representing the Lares Praestites, which was described by Ovid.Ovid, Fasti, v, 129–145Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, p. 312.]]The Lex Ogulnia (300) gave patricians and plebeians more-or-less equal representation in the augural and pontifical colleges;Cornell, The beginnings of Rome, p. 342 other important priesthoods, such as the Quindecimviri ("The Fifteen"), and the epulonesEstablished in 196 to take over the running of a growing number of ludi and festivals from the pontifices were opened to any member of the senatorial class.Lipka, M., Roman Gods: a conceptual approach, Versnel, H., S., Frankfurter, D., Hahn, J., (Editors), Religions in the Graeco-Roman world, Brill, 2009, pp. 171–172 To restrain the accumulation and potential abuse of priestly powers, each gens was permitted one priesthood at any given time, and the religious activities of senators were monitored by the censors. Magistrates who held an augurate could claim divine authority for their position and policies.Rosenberger, Companion to Roman Religion, p. 299.Auctoritas (authority) is etymologically linked to augur: See Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome, p. 341 In the late Republic, augury came under the control of the pontifices, whose powers were increasingly woven into the civil and military cursus honorum. Eventually, the office of pontifex maximus became a de facto consular prerogative.Brent, A. The imperial cult and the development of church order: Concepts and images of authority in paganism and early Christianity before the Age of Cyprian, Brill, 1999, pp. 19–20, 21–25: citing Cicero, De Natura Deorum, 2.4.Some cults may have been exclusively female; for example, the rites of the Good Goddess (Bona Dea). Towards the end of the second Punic War, Rome rewarded priestesses of Demeter from Graeca Magna with Roman citizenship for training respectable, leading matrons assacerdotes of "Greek rites" to Ceres.Spaeth, Barbette Stanley, The Roman goddess Ceres, University of Texas Press, 1996, pp. 4, 6–13. {{ISBN|0-292-77693-4}} Every matron of a family (the wife of its pater familias had a religious duty to maintain the household fire, which was considered an extension of Vesta's sacred fire, tended in perpetuity by the chaste Vestal Virgins. The Vestals also made the sacrificial mola salsa employed in many State rituals, and represent an essential link between domestic and state religion. Rome's survival was thought to depend on their sacred status and ritual purity. Vestals found guilty of inchastity were "willingly" buried alive, to expiate their offence and avoid the imposition of blood-guilt on those who inflicted the punishment.Cunham, Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, p. 155.Beard, Mary, "The Sexual Status of Vestal Virgins," The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 70, (1980), pp. 12–27; and Parker, Holt N. "Why Were the Vestals Virgins? Or the Chastity of Women and the Safety of the Roman State", American Journal of Philology, Vol. 125, No. 4. (2004), pp. 563–601.

Temples and festivals

{{further|Roman temple|Roman festival|Roman calendar|Fasti}}File:Temple of echo Baiae.JPG|thumb|Inside the "Temple of Mercury" or Temple of Echo at Baiae, containing one of the largest domes in the world before the building of the Pantheon, RomePantheon, RomeRome's major public temples were contained within the city's sacred, augural boundary (pomerium), which had supposedly been marked out by Romulus, with Jupiter's approval. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus ("Jupiter, Best and Greatest") stood on the Capitoline Hill. Among the settled areas outside the pomerium was the nearby Aventine Hill. It was traditionally associated with Romulus' unfortunate twin, Remus, and in later history with the Latins, and the Roman plebs. The Aventine seems to have functioned as a place for the introduction of "foreign" deities.Cornell, Beginnings of Rome, p. 264. In 392, Camillus established a temple there to Juno Regina, Etruscan Veii's protective goddess. Later introductions include Summanus, c. 278, Vortumnus c. 264, and at some time before the end of the 3rd century, Minerva.Orlin, Eric M., Foreign Cults in Republican Rome: Rethinking the Pomerial Rule, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Vol. 47 (2002), pp. 4–5. For Camillus and Juno, see Stephen Benko, The virgin goddess: studies in the pagan and Christian roots of mariology, Brill, 2004, p. 27. While Ceres' Aventine temple was most likely built at patrician expense, to mollify the plebs, the patricians brought the Magna Mater ("Great mother of the Gods") to Rome as their own "Trojan" ancestral goddess, and installed her on the Palatine, along with her distinctively "un-Roman" Galli priesthood.Roller, Lynn Emrich (1999). In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, pp. 282–285. {{ISBN|0-520-21024-7}}Romulus was said to have pitched his augural tent atop the Palatine. Beneath its southern slopes ran the sacred way, next to the former palace of the kings (Regia), the House of the Vestals and Temple of Vesta. Close by were the Lupercal shrine and the cave where Romulus and Remus were said to have been suckled by the she-wolf. On the flat area between the Aventine and Palatine was the Circus Maximus, which hosted chariot races and religious games. Its several shrines and temples included those to Rome's indigenous sun-god, Sol, the moon-goddess Luna, the grain-storage god, Consus, and the obscure goddess Murcia. A temple to Hercules stood in the Forum Boarium, near the Circus starting gate. Every district (Vicus) of the city had a crossroads shrine to its own protective Lares.Whereas Republican (and thereafter, Imperial) Romans marked the passage of years with the names of their ruling consuls, their calendars marked the anniversaries of religious foundations to particular deities, the days when official business was permitted (fas), and those when it was not (nefas). The Romans observed an eight-day week; markets were held on the ninth day. Each month was presided over by a particular, usually major deity. The oldest calendars were lunar, structured around the most significant periods in the agricultural cycle, and the religious duties required to yield a good harvest.

In the military

File:Gaius Julius Caesar, denarius, 44 BC, RRC 480-3.jpg|thumb|Denarius of Caesar, minted just before his murder, in 44 BC. It was the first Roman coin bearing the portrait of a living person. The lituuslituusBefore any campaign or battle, Roman commanders took auspices, or haruspices, to seek the gods' opinion regarding the likely outcome. Military success was achieved through a combination of personal and collective virtus (roughly, "manly virtue") and divine will. Triumphal generals dressed as Jupiter Capitolinus, and laid their victor's laurels at his feet. Religious negligence, or lack of virtus, provoked divine wrath and led to military disaster.Orlin, Companion to Roman Religion, p. 58.Beard, North, Price, Religions of Rome, Vol. I, pp. 44, 59, 60, 143. Military oaths dedicated the oath-takers life to Rome's gods and people; defeated soldiers were expected to take their own lives, rather than survive as captives. Examples of devotio, as performed by the Decii Mures, in which soldiers offered and gave their lives to the Di inferi (gods of the underworld) in exchange for Roman victory were celebrated as the highest good.Some of Republican Rome's leading deities were acquired through military actions. In the earliest years of the Republic, Camillus promised Veii's goddess Juno a temple in Rome as incentive for her desertion (evocatio). He conquered the city in her name, brought her cult statue to Rome "with miraculous ease" and dedicated a temple to her on the Aventine Hill.Cornell, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 7, part 2, p. 299, citing Livy xxi. 8–9 and xxii. 3–6. Livy describes this as (wiktionary:evocatio|evocatio) (a "calling forth") initiated by Roman soldiers who snatched the goddess's sacrificial portion during her Veiian rites; the Veiian priest had announced that whoever possessed the sacred entrails would win the coming battle. The first known temple to Venus was built to fulfil a vow made by Q. Fabius Gurges during battle against the Samnites.Eden, P. T., "Venus and the Cabbage" Hermes, 91, (1963) p. 456.Schilling, R. La Religion romaine de Venus, BEFAR, Paris, 1954, p. 87, suggests that Venus began as an abstraction of personal qualities, later assuming Aphrodite's attributes. Following Rome's disastrous defeat by Carthage in the Battle of Lake Trasimene (217), Rome laid siege to Eryx, a Sicillian ally of Carthage. The city's patron deity, whom the Romans recognised as a warlike version of Venus, was "persuaded" to change her allegiance and was rewarded with a magnificent temple on the Capitoline Hill, as one of Rome's twelve Dii consentes. Venus Victrix was thought to grant her favourites a relatively easy victory, worthy of an ovation and myrtle crown.See Mary Beard, The Roman Triumph, The Belknap Press, 2007, pp. 62–63.Brouwer, Henrik H. J., Bona Dea, The Sources and a Description of the Cult, Études préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l'Empire romain, 110, Brill, 1989: citing Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book 23, 152–158, and Book 15, 125.

Cities, towns and villas

City of Rome

File:Servian Wall.JPG|thumb|upright=1.15|The ruins of the Servian Wall, built during the 4th century BC, one of the earliest ancient Roman defensive wallsancient Roman defensive wallsLife in the Roman Republic revolved around the city of Rome, and its seven hills. The most important governing, administrative and religious institutions were concentrated at its heart, on and around the Capitoline and Palatine Hills. The city rapidly outgrew its original sacred boundary (pomerium), and its first city walls. Further growth was constrained by an inadequate fresh-water supply. Rome's first aqueduct (312) built during the Punic wars crisis, provided a plentiful, clean supply. The building of further aqueducts led to the city's expansion and the establishment of public baths (thermae) as a central feature of Roman culture.Gargarin, M. and Fantham, E. (editors). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Volume 1. p. 145.For the earliest likely development of Roman public bathing, see Fagan, Garrett T., Bathing in Public in the Roman World, University of Michigan Press, 1999, pp. 42–44. The city also had several theatres,Jones, Mark Wilson Principles of Roman Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. gymnasiums, and many taverns and brothels. Living space was at a premium. Some ordinary citizens and freedmen of middling income might live in modest houses but most of the population lived in apartment blocks (insulae, literally "islands"), where the better-off might rent an entire ground floor, and the poorest a single, possibly windowless room at the top, with few or no amenities. Nobles and rich patrons lived in spacious, well-appointed town houses; they were expected to keep "open house" for their peers and clients. A semi-public atrium typically functioned as a meeting-space, and a vehicle for display of wealth, artistic taste, and religious piety. Noble atria were also display areas for ancestor-masks (imagines)."The architecture of the ancient Romans was, from first to last, an art of shaping space around ritual:" Lott, John. B., The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 1, citing Frank E. Brown, Roman Architecture, (New York, 1961, p. 9. Some Roman ritual includes activities which might be called, in modern terms, religious; some is what might be understood in modern terms as secular – the proper and habitual way of doing things. For Romans, both activities were matters of lawful custom (mos maiorum) rather than religious as opposed to secular.Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts brought water to urban centres.Kevin Greene, "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered", The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 53, No. 1. (February, 2000), pp. 29–59 (39) Landlords generally resided in cities and left their estates in the care of farm managers.

Culture

Clothing

File:L'Arringatore.jpg|thumb|250px|The Orator, c. 100 BC, an Etrusco-Roman statue of a Republican senator, wearing toga praetexta and senatorial shoes; compared to the voluminous, costly, impractical togas of the Imperial era, the Republican-era type is frugal and "skimpy" (exigua).Ceccarelli, L., in Bell, S., and Carpino, A., A, (Editors) A Companion to the Etruscans (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World), Blackwell Publishing, 2016, p. 33]]The basic Roman garment was the Greek-style tunic, worn knee-length and short-sleeved (or sleeveless) for men and boys, and ankle-length and long-sleeved for women and girls. The toga was distinctively Roman. It was thought to have begun during the early Roman kingdom, as a plain woolen "shepherd's wrap", worn by both sexes, all classes, and all occupations, including the military.According to Roman tradition, soldiers had once worn togas to war, hitching them up with what was known as a "Gabine cinch". See Stone, The World of Roman Costume, p. 13. By the middle to late Republic, citizen women had abandoned it for the less bulky, Greek-style stola, and the military used it only for off-duty ceremonies.An equestrian statue, described during the Imperial era by Pliny the Elder as "ancient", showed the early, legendary Republican heroine Cloelia on horseback, wearing a toga: see Olson, Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, p. 151 (note 18). The toga became a mark of male citizenship, a statement of social degree.Vout, Caroline, "", Greece & Rome, 43, No. 2 (Oct., 1996), p. 215: Vout cites Servius, In Aenidem, 1.281 and Nonius, 14.867L for the former wearing of togas by women other than prostitutes and adulteresses. Convention also dictated the type, colour and style of calcei (ankle-boots) appropriate to each level of male citizenship; red for senators, brown with crescent-shaped buckles for equites, and plain tanned for plebs.The whitest, most voluminous togas were worn by the senatorial class. High ranking magistrates, priests and citizen's children were entitled to a purple-bordered toga praetexta. Triumphal generals wore an all-purple, gold-embroidered toga picta, associated with the image of Jupiter and Rome's former kings – but only for a single day; Republican mores simultaneously fostered competitive display and attempted its containment, to preserve at least a notional equality between peers, and reduce the potential threats of class envy.Flower, Harriet F., Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture, Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 118: "The best model for understanding Roman sumptuary legislation is that of aristocratic self-preservation within a highly competitive society which valued overt display of prestige above all else." Togas, however, were impractical for physical activities other than sitting in the theatre, public oratory, and attending the salutiones ("greeting sessions") of rich patrons. Most Roman citizens, particularly the lower class of plebs, seem to have opted for more comfortable and practical garments, such as tunics and cloaks.Luxurious and highly coloured clothing had always been available to those who could afford it, particularly women of the leisured classes. There is material evidence for cloth-of-gold (lamé) as early as the 7th century.Sebesta, The World of Roman Costume, pp. 62–68. By the 3rd century, significant quantities of raw silk was being imported from China.BOOK, Dictionaries of Civilization: Rome, Gabucci, Ada, University of California Press, 2005, 168, The Lex Oppia (215), which restricted personal expenditure on such luxuries as purple clothing, was repealed in 195, after a mass public protest by wealthy Roman matrons.Astin, Rawson, Morel, Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 9, pp. 181–185, 439, 453, 495. Tyrian purple, as a quasi-sacred colour, was officially reserved for the border of the toga praetexta and for the solid purple toga picta;Bradley, Mark, Colour and Meaning in Ancient Rome, Cambridge Classical Studies, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 189, 194–195Edmondson, Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, pp. 28–30; Keith, p. 200. but towards the end of the Republic, the notorious Verres was wearing a purple pallium at all-night parties, not long before his trial, disgrace and exile for corruption.Sebesta, The World of Roman Costume, pp. 54–56.For most Romans, even the simplest, cheapest linen or woolen clothing represented a major expense. Worn clothing was passed down the social scale until it fell to rags, and these in turn were used for patchwork.Vout, Caroline, "The Myth of the Toga: Understanding the History of Roman Dress", Greece & Rome, 43, No. 2 (Oct., 1996), pp. 211, 212. Wool and linen were the mainstays of Roman clothing, idealised by Roman moralists as simple and frugal.Edmondson, Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, p. 33. Landowners were advised that female slaves not otherwise occupied should be producing homespun woolen cloth, good enough for clothing the better class of slave or supervisor. Cato the Elder recommended that slaves be given a new cloak and tunic every two years; coarse rustic homespun would likely be "too good" for the lowest class of slave, but not good enough for their masters.Sebesta, The World of Roman Costume, p. 70, citing Columella, 12, praef. 9–10, 12.3.6. For most women, the carding, combing, spinning and weaving of wool were part of daily housekeeping, either for family use or for sale. In traditionalist, wealthy households, the family's wool-baskets, spindles and looms were positioned in the semi-public reception area (atrium), where the mater familias and her familia could thus demonstrate their industry and frugality; a largely symbolic and moral activity for those of their class, rather than practical necessity.In reality, she was the female equivalent of the romanticised citizen-farmer: see Flower, Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, pp. 153, 195–197.As the Republic wore on, its trade, territories and wealth increased. Roman conservatives deplored the apparent erosion of traditional, class-based dress distinctions, and an increasing Roman appetite for luxurious fabrics and exotic "foreign" styles among all classes, including their own. Towards the end of the Republic, the ultra-traditionalist Cato the younger publicly protested the self-indulgent greed and ambition of his peers, and the loss of Republican "manly virtues", by wearing a "skimpy" dark woolen toga, without tunic or footwear.Appian's history of Rome finds its strife-torn Late Republic tottering at the edge of chaos; most seem to dress as they like, not as they ought: "For now the Roman people are much mixed with foreigners, there is equal citizenship for freedmen, and slaves dress like their masters. With the exception of the Senators, free citizens and slaves wear the same costume." See Rothfus, MA, "The Gens Togata: Changing Styles and Changing Identities", American Journal of Philology, 2010, p. 1, citing Appian, 2.17.120

Food and dining

File:Scène de banquet, fresque, Herculanum.jpg|thumb|Banquet scene, fresco, HerculaneumHerculaneumModern study of the dietary habits during the Republic are hampered by various factors. Few writings have survived, and because different components of their diet are more or less likely to be preserved, the archaeological record cannot be relied on.Witcher, R.E. (2016) Agricultural production in Roman Italy (see page 8) from A companion to Roman Italy. (Wiley-Blackwell). Blackwell companions to the ancient world. pp. 459–482. Cato the elder's De Agri Cultura includes several recipes and his suggested "Rations for the hands". The list of ingredients includes cheese, honey, poppy seeds, coriander, fennel, cumin, egg, olives, bay leaves, laurel twig, and anise. He gives instructions for kneading bread, making porridge, Placenta cake, brine, various wines, preserving lentils, planting asparagus, curing ham, and fattening geese and squab.Cato, De Agri Cultura ch. 74–90, 104–125, 156–157, 158–162. The Roman poet Horace mentions another Roman favorite, the olive, in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "As for me, olives, endives, and smooth mallows provide sustenance.""Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea levesque malvae." Horace, Odes 1.31.15, c. 30 BC Meat, fish and produce were a part of the Roman diet at all levels of society.Kron, Geoffrey (2012), Scheidel, W. (ed.), Food Production (see p. 8, fn 72) from The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Economy Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 156–174Romans valued fresh fruit, and had a diverse variety available to them.Kron, Food Production (see p. 16) Wine was considered the basic drink,Phillips pp. 46–56 consumed at all meals and occasions by all classes and was quite inexpensive. Cato once advised cutting his rations in half to conserve wine for the workforce.Phillips pp. 35–45 Many types of drinks involving grapes and honey were consumed as well. Drinking on an empty stomach was regarded as boorish and a sure sign for alcoholism, the debilitating physical and psychological effects of which were known to the Romans. Accusations of alcoholism were used to discredit political rivals. Prominent Roman alcoholics included Marcus Antonius,Phillipa pp. 57–63 and Cicero's own son Marcus (Cicero Minor). Even Cato the Younger was known to be a heavy drinker."Af first, he would drink once after supper and then leave the table; but as time went on he would allow himself to drink very generously, so that he often tarried at his wine till early morning." Plutarch, Cato the Younger, 6.

Education and language

Rome's original native language was early Latin, the language of the Italic Latins. Most surviving Latin literature is written in Classical Latin, a highly stylised and polished literary language which developed from early and vernacular spoken Latin, from the 1st century. Most Latin speakers used Vulgar Latin, which significantly differed from Classical Latin in grammar, vocabulary, and eventually pronunciation.{{citation needed|date=June 2018}}Following various military conquests in the Greek East, Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own fledgling system.Nanette R. Pacal, "The Legacy of Roman Education (in the Forum)", in The Classical Journal, Vol. 79, No. 4. (April–May 1984) Strenuous, disciplined physical training helped prepare boys of citizen class for their eventual citizenship and a military career. Girls generally received instructionOxford Classical Dictionary, Edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, Third Edition. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996 from their mothers in the art of spinning, weaving, and sewing.Schooling in a more formal sense was begun around 200. Education began at the age of around six, and in the next six to seven years, boys and girls were expected to learn the basics of reading, writing and counting. By the age of twelve, they would be learning Latin, Greek, grammar and literature, followed by training for public speaking. Effective oratory and good Latin were highly valued among the elite, and were essential to a career in law or politics.Joseph Farrell, Latin Language and Latin Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 74–75; Richard A. Bauman, Women and Politics in Ancient Rome (Routledge, 1992, 1994), pp. 51–52.

Arts

In the 3rd century, Greek art taken as the spoils of war became popular, and many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists.JOURNAL, Toynbee, J.M.C., December 1971, Roman Art, The Classical Review, 21, 3, 439–442, 10.1017/S0009840X00221331, 708631, Over time, Roman architecture was modified as their urban requirements changed, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The architectural style of the capital city was emulated by other urban centers under Roman control and influence. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}

Literature

Early Roman literature was influenced heavily by Greek authors. From the mid-Republic, Roman authors followed Greek models, to produce free-verse and verse-form plays and other in Latin; for example, Livius Andronicus wrote tragedies and comedies. The earliest Latin works to have survived intact are the comedies of Plautus, written during the mid-Republic. Works of well-known, popular playwrights were sometimes commissioned for performance at religious festivals; many of these were Satyr plays, based on Greek models and Greek myths. Lucretius, in his On the Nature of Things explicated the tenets of Epicurean philosophy. Towards the end of the Republic, Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid, built on Homer's ancient Greek epic, the Iliad, to make the Trojan prince Aeneas an ancestor of the Roman people.{{citation needed|date=June 2018}}

Sports and entertainment

File:Amphitheatre 1 Pompeii.jpg|thumb|The Amphitheatre of Pompeii, built around 70 BC and buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 79 AD, once hosted spectacles with gladiatorgladiatorThe city of Rome had a place called the Campus Martius ("Field of Mars"), which was a sort of drill ground for Roman soldiers. Later, the Campus became Rome's track and field playground. In the campus, the youth assembled to play and exercise, which included jumping, wrestling, boxing and racing. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} Equestrian sports, throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} In the countryside, pastimes included fishing and hunting. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}} Board games played in Rome included dice (Tesserae or Tali), Roman Chess (Latrunculi), Roman Checkers (Calculi), Tic-tac-toe (Terni Lapilli), and Ludus duodecim scriptorum and Tabula, predecessors of backgammon.Austin, Roland G. "Roman Board Games. I", Greece & Rome 4:10, October 1934. pp. 24–34. Other activities included chariot races, and musical and theatrical performances. {{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}

See also

  • {{annotated link|History of the Roman Empire}}
  • {{annotated link|Roman commerce}}
  • {{annotated link|Roman economy}}
  • {{annotated link|History of citizenshipRoman conceptions|Roman conceptions of citizenship}}

Footnotes

{{reflist|30em|group=lower-roman}}

References

{{Reflist}}

Ancient sources

Works cited

General history of the Roman Republic (ordered chronologically)

Specific subjects

{{div col|colwidth=40em}}
  • BOOK, Byrd, Robert, 1995, The Senate of the Roman Republic, U.S. Government Printing Office Senate Document 103-23,
  • BOOK, Eck, Werner, 2003, The Age of Augustus, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 0-631-22957-4,
  • BOOK, Flower, Harriet I., 2009, Roman Republics, Princeton,
  • BOOK, Goldsworthy, Adrian, 2003, The Complete Roman Army, Thames & Hudson, 0-500-05124-0,
  • BOOK, Holland, Tom, 2005, Rubicon : the last years of the Roman Republic, Doubleday, 0-385-50313-X,
  • BOOK, Lintott, Andrew, 1999, The Constitution of the Roman Republic, Oxford University Press, 0-19-926108-3,
  • BOOK, MacDonald, W. L., 1982, The Architecture of the Roman Empire, Yale University Press, New Haven,
  • BOOK, Matyszak, Philip, 2004, The Enemies of Rome, Thames & Hudson, 0-500-25124-X,
  • BOOK, Owen, Francis, 1993, The Germanic people; their Origin Expansion & Culture, Barnes & Noble Books, 0-19-926108-3,
  • BOOK, Palmer, L. R., 1954, The Latin Language, Univ. Oklahoma, 0-8061-2136-X,
  • BOOK, Taylor, Lily Ross, 1966, Roman Voting Assemblies: From the Hannibalic War to the Dictatorship of Caesar, The University of Michigan Press, 0-472-08125-X,
  • Alföldy, Geza, The Social History of Rome, Routledge Revivals, 2014, (English translation of German original, 1975).
  • Badian, E. 1968. Roman imperialism in the late Republic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.
  • Bannon, Cynthia, Gardens and Neighbors: Private Water Rights in Roman Italy, University of Michigan Press, 2009.
  • Beard, Mary, John North, & Simon Price, Religions of Rome, Volume I, illustrated, reprint, Cambridge University Press, 1998
  • Broughton, T. Robert S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, American Philological Association (1952–1986).
  • Brunt, Peter A. 1988. The fall of the Roman Republic and related essays. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Crawford, Michael 1974, Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Develin, Robert. 1985. The practice of politics at Rome, 366–167 BC. Brussels: Latomus.
  • Edmondson, J. C., and Keith, A., (Editors), Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, University of Toronto Press, 2008.
  • Flower, Harriet I (editor), The Cambridge companion to the Roman Republic, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Gruen, Erich S. 1992. Culture and national identity in Republican Rome. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.
  • — —. 1995. The last generation of the Roman Republic. 2d ed. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
  • Harris, William V. 1979. War and imperialism in Republican Rome, 327–70 B.C. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Dexter Hoyos (editor), A Companion to the Punic Wars, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
  • Michel Humm, Appius Claudius Caecus, La République accomplie, Rome, Publications de l'École française de Rome (2005).
  • Raaflaub, Kurt A., ed. 2004. Social struggles in Archaic Rome: New perspectives on the conflict of the orders. 2d ed. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Rawson, Elizabeth. 1985. Intellectual life in the late Roman Republic. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.
  • Rich, John. 1993. "Fear, greed, and glory: The causes of Roman war-making in the middle Republic." In War and society in the Roman world. Edited by John Rich and Graham Shipley, 38–68. London: Routledge.
  • Rüpke, Jörg (Editor), A Companion to Roman Religion, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. {{ISBN|978-1-4051-2943-5}}
  • Salmon, Edward Togo. 1969. Roman colonization under the Republic. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Sebesta, Judith Lynn, & Larissa Bonfante (editors), The World of Roman Costume: Wisconsin Studies in Classics, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.
  • Walbank, F. W., Polybius, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1972.
  • Walsh, P. G., Livy: His historical aims and methods. Cambridge University Press, 1963.
  • Vishnia, Rachel Feig, State, society, and popular leaders in mid-Republican Rome, 241–167 BC, London, Routledge, 1996.
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