Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom HollandIn 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.
History Summarized: The Roman Republic
A number of important events took place at the end of the Roman Kingdom and beginning of the Roman Republic. The king of Clusium, Lars Porsenna, sieged Rome. The city signed a treaty of support with Carthage, the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was consecrated and a new office, called consul, was created.
The Fall of the Roman Republic
Imagine a world in which political norms have broken down. Senators use bad faith arguments to block the government from getting anything done. An autocrat rigs elections and gives himself complete control over the government. Welcome to Rome in the first century B. Political norms were heeded; and when the government ran into a new problem, it would amend itself to keep working. For over years, the republic operated this way. There was no political violence, land theft or capital punishment, because those went against the political norms Rome had established.
Roman Republic , —27 bce , the ancient state centred on the city of Rome that began in bce , when the Romans replaced their monarchy with elected magistrates, and lasted until 27 bce , when the Roman Empire was established. A brief treatment of the Roman Republic follows. For full treatment, see ancient Rome. The early Roman Republic — bce and the preceding regal period — bce are the most poorly documented periods of Roman history. Historical writing in Rome did not begin until the late 3rd century bce , when Rome had already completed its conquest of Italy , established itself as a major power of the ancient world, and become involved in a gigantic struggle with Carthage for control of the western Mediterranean. Consequently, over time, historical facts about early Rome suffered from patriotic reinterpretation involving exaggerations of the truth, the suppression of embarrassing facts, and invention. According to tradition, the first six kings had been benevolent rulers, but the last was a cruel tyrant who was overthrown by a popular uprising.
Explore Ancient Rome
History Summarized: Julius Caesar and the Fall of the Republic
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. 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.
Beginning in the eighth century B. Among the many legacies of Roman dominance are the widespread use of the Romance languages Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian derived from Latin, the modern Western alphabet and calendar and the emergence of Christianity as a major world religion. As legend has it, Rome was founded in B. After killing his brother, Romulus became the first king of Rome, which is named for him. A line of Sabine, Latin and Etruscan earlier Italian civilizations kings followed in a non-hereditary succession. The power of the monarch passed to two annually elected magistrates called consuls. They also served as commanders in chief of the army.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. In the space of a hundred years, Rome was transformed from a republic with democratic institutions into an empire under the control of one man - Augustus. How did it happen? In BC, Rome was a democracy. Little more than a hundred years later it was governed by an emperor. This imperial system has become, for us, a by-word for autocracy and the arbitrary exercise of power. At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign.