Rome was just one of many city-states of the Latin people located in modern day central Italy and, in many ways, was not dissimilar to the fractured. Early Rome. The rise of the Roman Empire can be traced back to Italy of the eighth century BCE. This was a period of cultural change, when. The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire is a book by the British author Anthony Everitt chronicling the rise of the Roman Republic and. ADIDAS REPLICA HOCKEY SHIRTS View registered products, from yourself or is built with. Result Data Export. Tree of Life the parameter in Amazon S3 service.
Rome was just one of many city-states of the Latin people located in modern day central Italy and, in many ways, was not dissimilar to the fractured civilization of the Greeks. The Latin peoples fought amongst themselves just as the Greeks had done. The Greeks used hoplites and phalanx tactics in battle similar to the Romans during their time in the early republic.
Rome, being the largest and most powerful of these city-states, could even be argued as the Latin version of the Greek polis Athens. So how did a group of people heavily reliant on farming and agriculture and at constant odds with each other manage to carve out one of the largest and glorious empires in the history of man? Rome, unlike their Greek counterparts, was able to subjugate her rival city-states by the late 4th century BC and united them under the single banner of the city of Rome.
At this time the culture of Rome when it came to warfare changed and she adopted a radical policy of expansionism that eventually set her at odds with other civilizations on the Apennine Peninsula, such as the Etruscans, Samnites and other smaller mountain tribes. It is unclear exactly why Rome did not make attempts to peacefully coexist with her neighbors or even how the poor agricultural masses just accepted the policy of compulsory military service dictated by their aristocratic senate.
After a series of discouraging defeats the Romans at last began to win victories at sea, and so eventually gained the upper hand. At length the Carthaginians came to terms. To replace their lost overseas territories, the Carthaginians built up their power in Spain, making a network of alliances with the local tribes there. This was to a great extent the work of one of their leading families, the Barcids. As chance would have it, this family produced a commander whom historians have ever since regarded as one of the greatest generals in history.
His name was Hannibal. Marble Bust of Hannibal. In North Italy Hannibal was able to recuperate his army and recruit many more troops from the Gauls who lived there at that time. With the approach of Hannibal, these had massacred a couple of Roman colonies established in their territory, so throwing their lot firmly in with the Carthaginians.
The Romans were suddenly confronted with the main Carthaginian army in their own backyard. This did not stop them from sending an army to Spain to fight the Barcids on their own territory, and they were well able to raise an army to send against Hannibal.
This he destroyed at the battle of Trebia. They raised another one. This he led into an ambush at Lake Trasimene, and destroyed. They raised a third. Only a few cities answered this call, the most important of which was Capua. The rest remained firmly loyal to Rome for the next eleven years whilst Hannibal marched up and down central and southern Italy, devastating the land to try and bring the Romans to battle.
In Spain, meanwhile, the Roman armies had met with total defeat. The Romans then appointed a young general called Scipio to take command another family affair — it was his father and uncle who had led the Roman armies to defeat , and he gradually retrieved the situation and gained the upper hand. Hannibal was recalled from Italy to lead the defence of the city. The manoeuvring between the two sides lasted until BCE, when they met each other at the battle of Zama.
Here, Hannibal was finally defeated by the Romans. The war was over. The victory over Carthage left the Romans as the dominant power in the western Mediterranean. Soon her armies were involved in trying to hold their positions in Spain, and then expanding it. The tough Iberian tribesmen, together with the difficult terrain of the peninsula, made the task of conquering what are today modern Spain and Portugal an extremely difficult one, and it took the Romans two hundred years to complete.
As a by-product of this struggle, the Romans secured a stretch of southern Gaul in BCE and planted Roman colonies on it to safeguard the overland route to Spain. Meanwhile Roman armies had become involved in the eastern Mediterranean. The conflicts between the Greek and Hellenistic states drew the new power inexorably into their tangled affairs.
Antiochus , king of the Seleucid kingdom, then invaded Greece to prevent further Roman involvement — which of course had exactly the opposite effect by bringing the Romans to the region again and driving him back into Asia Battle of Magnesia, A new king of Macedonia, Perseus, then decided to try his luck against the Romans, but, after some initial successes he too was defeated at the Battle of Pydna and his kingdom divided into four weak republics, all allied to Rome.
Again Roman forces withdrew. Finally, a widespread revolt against the Roman-sponsored regimes in Macedonia and Greece resulted in the destruction of the historic city of Corinth and the establishment of permanent Roman rule in the region Carthage had ended the Second Punic War with her overseas territories stripped from her, and having to pay a massive indemnity to Rome for the following 50 years.
Despite numerous provocations from the Numidians, Rome never granted this permission. In the half century following the war, the Carthaginians focussed on trade, and, despite the indemnity, were soon thriving again. Scarred by their near-extinction in the war, the Romans had acquired an irrational fear of Carthage, and seeing her growing prosperity did nothing to allay these fears.
Bust of Cato. After paying off her indemnity, Carthage felt that she was now free to pursue her own quarrels with the Numidians. In , therefore, when Carthaginian forces invaded Numidia, the Romans went to war with their old enemy. The was was a one-sided affair, basically involving a three-year siege of Carthage.
When the city fell in , it was levelled to the ground and its inhabitants sold off into slavery; its territory was annexed to Rome as the province of Africa. In the later second century BCE two rulers of kingdoms in Asia Minor , Pergamum and Bithynia, having no heirs, actually bequeathed their states to Rome, laying the foundations of Roman expansion further east. While the Romans were conquering all around the Mediterranean, things had been going from bad to worse within the society and body-politic of Rome itself.
The influx of booty and tribute from the conquests created a class of extremely rich Romans — senators who were sent to the wars as generals and governors, and business men equestrians who farmed the taxes of the new provinces and provisioned the armies. Above all, each new victory brought in thousands of slaves : during the last two centuries BCE the Mediterranean slave trade became an enormous business, with Rome and Italy being the main destination markets.
During this period Roman society became a more slave-based society than any other before or since in history. Many slaves were set to work on the land of the senators and other wealthy men, who set about developing their estates along new, much more businesslike lines.
The ordinary farmers could not compete with these new estates, and more and more small farmers lost their lands to their rich neighbors. The estates grew larger, and more small farmers left the land. Many of them headed for Rome, where they swelled the ranks of a growing class of landless and rootless proletariat.
The combination of great wealth and mass poverty in Rome itself poisoned the political climate there. Political gang-masters put votes and mobs up for sale, corruption spread, and Roman politics became dominated by feuding factions. These were not modern political parties representing broadly different ideologies, but there were ideas around which different factions grouped.
In a famous incident led to the death of a reformist politician, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the first murder in Roman politics for centuries. The death of his brother, Gaius, in similar circumstances followed ten years later. Factionalism and strife steadily increased thereafter. The decline of the smallholder in the Italian countryside had another profound effect on the Roman state. He was the traditional mainstay of the Roman army, buying his own weapons and taking his turn with the troops.
This problem became apparent with the war against the Numidian king, Jugurtha , and against the Germans If Roman armies could not even overcome a second-tier power such as Numidia, something had gone badly wrong. In the Romans began to encounter a new enemy, the Germans. Two German tribes, the Cimbri and Teutones, probably with other tribes in tow or gathering them along the way , moved out of their homeland in north Germany and headed southward, first into Switzerland and then into France.
There they invaded the strip of territory which the Romans had occupied in All Roman armies sent against them were destroyed, culminating in the shocking defeat at the battle of Arausio Luckily for the Romans, the Germans did not then invade Italy, but continued to ravage across France and into Spain. This gave the Romans time to take stock of their perilous situation and do something about it.
They placed their armies under the command of that veteran general, Marius. Holding the consulship for five years in a row ; he had also been consul in , Marius brought in a series of reforms which transformed the Roman army. Apart from some long-overdue organisational reforms, he opened recruitment to the landless classes. From now on, Roman armies would increasingly be manned by long-term professional soldiers. As a result, their effectiveness began to rise again.
In gratitude the Romans elected Marius to an unprecedented seventh consulship in It tied the interests of the soldiers much more closely to their generals. This was because they increasingly looked to their commanders to ensure that, when their period of service ended, they were provided with land the one commodity in the pre-industrial world which provided a family with any economic security.
Commanders could now count on their soldiers putting their loyalty to him personally before their loyalty to the state. Given that Roman leading generals were also leading politicians in the senate, this situation was bound to get entangled with the faction-ridden politics in Rome.
It is little wonder that on occasions the generals and their armies attempted to achieve their hopes by extra-constitutional means. The last phase of the Republic, then, was dominated a succession of struggles between leading generals and their opponents in the senate on the one hand, and between the rival generals themselves on the other. Many cities laid down their arms, but a few hill tribes were not defeated until 88 BCE.
The senate had appointed another general, Cornelius Sulla, to the command, and he marched his army which had been engaged in mopping up operations against recalcitrant Allies in southern Italy to Rome and drove Marius into exile. Sulla then set off for the east. Bust probably from the time of Augustus after a portrait of an important Roman from the 2nd century BCE.
As soon as Sulla was gone Marius who by now seems to have been more or less unhinged and his supporters returned, seized control of Rome and carried out a vicious purge of their enemies. Marius died shortly after this, but his supporters retained influence in Rome. In 82 BCE Sulla returned with his victorious army though Mithridates had by no means been totally defeated. In a second civil war Sulla agian seized control of Rome. He had himself appointed dictator, and embarked on a reign of terror against his real and perceived enemies.
Much of the property confiscated was distributed to his veterans. Sulla also carried out a programme of reforms, aimed essentially at strengthening the power of the senate, and then, in 79 BCE, retired from public life. Their conquests and maneouverings set the stage for the final fall of the Republic. Meanwhile, in 73 a slave revolt broke out in southern Italy. This was not the first of such revolts, but it was the first one to start on the Italian mainland rather than on the island of Sicily.
The rise of great slave-run estates in southern Italy and Sicily, with chained gangs of men working in the most appalling conditions, had created conditions ripe for violent uprisings. As well as being the first to break out on the mainland, this was by far the most dangerous of the slave revolts. Under the leadership of an energetic and charismatic gladiator called Spartacus, it posed a serious threat to ordered life in the area. Roman forces sent against the slaves were defeated, and the revolt spread over a wider and wider area.
As the slave army marched northward, Rome itself began to feel threatened. Pompey was appointed to the command against them, along with another rising politician, Licinius Crassus who in fact bore the brunt of the campaigning. They were given a large army, and were able to defeat the slaves, putting down the rebellion with shocking brutality.
Pompey and Crassus then marched their armies near Rome and demanded the consulship for the coming year 70 BCE — Pompey was by law far too young for this post. This they obtained. A little later Pompey was given the supreme command against pirates who, in the chaos of the preceding decades, had established themselves throughout the eastern Mediterranean and had come to pose a grave menace to merchant shipping on which Rome increasingly depended to feed its growing population.
Having done this, Pompey returned and spent several frustrating years trying to get the senate, which by now was in the hands of politicians deeply suspicous of his fame and power, to give land to his veterans, having made the honourable mistake of disbanding his army first. At Rome, domestic politics was coloured by the continual faction fighting between leading senators, spiced by gang warfare in support of one party or the other.
These were also the years in which Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great orator, made his mark; he was consul in the year 63 BCE, during which he defeated an attempt, called the Cataline conspiracy, by a group of impoverished nobles to carry out a coup. Another rising politician and general was C. Julius Caesar, who was elected consul in 59 BCE after a successful tour of duty as governor in Spain. During his term in office, he negotiated an informal alliance between himself, Pompey and Crassus: Crassus was to receive the eastern command, he was to receive the command in Gaul, and Pompey was to have the land distribution in favour of his veterans so long denied him.
Their combined influence and wealth created an unstoppable political force, and they all got what they wanted from it. They renewed their compact in 56 BCE. During this he acquired an unparalleled reputation as a brilliant general, and great popularity with the ordinary people of Rome, but his opponents in the senate increasingly tried to have him recalled to face trial for various misdemeanours. The Bust of Caesar. Many senators were by now getting thoroughly alarmed at the rising popularity and power of Caesar, a feeling fully shared by Pompey.
His enemies fled to Greece, where Pompey raised an army. Caesar followed with his army, and defeated Pompey at the battle of Pharsalus Pompey then fled to Egypt where he was assassinated on the orders of Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Several more years of bloody fighting in Africa and Spain were needed to overcome up opposition to his rule, but by 45 BCE Caesar was in complete control of the Roman state, like Sulla taking the office of dictator.
He showed great clemency to his enemies, and carried out some reforms within Rome and the provinces. However, his time was short. His senatorial opponents were implacable, and he was assassinated by a group of them in 44 BCE. The assassination of Caesar set the stage for another civil war. After Philippi, the triumvirs divided the Roman world between them: Octavian took Italy, Gaul and Spain, Lepidus took Africa, and Antony took all the eastern provinces.
The Triumvirate almost immediately began to break down. When Lepidus proved restive at his small share, Octavian crushed him and stripped him even of that. This finally came in 31 BCE, when the fleets of the two opposing sides met at Actium, off the Greek coast. Octavian won thanks mainly to the generalship of his lieutenant, Vipsanius Agrippa , leaving Antony and Cleopatra to sail away and commit suicide in Egypt.
Octavian was now sole master of the Roman world, and for a few years experimented with various ways of ruling in a manner that would be acceptable to all parties. Finally, in 27 BCE he took the name Augustus, and remodelled the constitution in such a way that kept the traditional forms of the Republic senate, historic magistracies and so on in place, but concentrated effective power especially overwhelming military force in his own hands.
This Augustan Settlement, as it has been called, provided the Roman world with a framework of government which lasted more than two hundred years. Octavian, or Augustus as we should now call him, was thus the first of the long line of Roman emperors who were to rule the Roman world for hundreds of years. But how was he to ensure stability in the Roman world? He knew that if he were to give up his control of his armies, rivalries between senatorial proconsuls would soon lead to warfare; but if he was also keenly aware that if he were to cling on to his powers he would soon gain the enmity of the senate , as his adopted father Julius Caesar had done.
Given that the senate was the fount of the lawful exercise of power, his position would soon become untenable. During a few years of experimentation with different arrangements, Augustus gradually developed the formula which would become the foundation for imperial rule in succeeding centuries.
At the heart of this stood the arrangements for control of the provinces — and therefore armies — of the empire. By this arrangement, the senate had responsibility for the more peaceful, civilized and wealthy of the provinces, such as Africa, Greece, Macedonia and Asia. It appointed governors to these provinces, and their taxes flowed into the senatorial treasury.
In return he had the senate appoint him proconsul initially for a period of ten years, then in perpetuity of a huge provincia whihc included most of the frontier territories of the empire this followed a republican precedent whereby a general such as Pompey was given broad, multi-province powers to deal with a threat to Roman rule.
He appointed his own lieutenants who were all senators except in the case of Egypt, to which he appointed an equestrian Prefect to govern the different territories he controlled, and the revenues from them flowed into a treasury whose officials answered to him. Collecting the revenue from his provinces known by modern scholars as the imperial provinces, to distinguish them from the senatorial provinces was put into the hands of financial officials drawn from the equestrian class, not the senatorial.
This was the first step in creating an equestrian public career to go alongside the senatorial career, and drew that class more closely into the running of the empire. He already had the title imperator a title given previously to victorious generals, and which enabled him and his successors to wear the distinctive purple toga worn by such men in their triumphs.
Henceforward he and all his successors always had the words Imperator Caesar Augustus within their nomenclatures. A few years later Augustus gave up his practice of holding one of the two consulships each year, thus giving more room for ambitious senators to hold what was traditionally regarded as the most prestigious magistracy in the Roman state. However, he gained some additional powers, the most important of which was a proconsular imperium, which gave him a supervisory authority over all the provinces in the empire, senatorial as well as imperial click here for a fuller tally of the various titles, powers and offices which the position of emperor embraced.
Apart from the legal foundation for his supreme position within the Roman state which this series of offices, titles and powers constituted, Augustus was able to supplement his power through a number of other factors. The first of these was the sheer wealth which he now controlled. The richest province on the empire, Egypt, was now virtually his private estate; and he also owned a growing number of estates which had been confiscated by defeated rivals.
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