Preface. Plutarch, Our Guide The Founding of Rome, 753 B. C. (a) Social and Political Organization

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The History of Rome, as Told in Plutarch's Lives.

Preface. Plutarch, Our Guide

1. The Founding of Rome, 753 B.C.

(a) Social and Political Organization

ROMULUS, 8th cen. B.C.

(1) Rome's origin as a martial nation.

(2) Honor, sometimes observed in the breach, for family.

(3) The establishment of a political order of patricians, with a senate, and the people.

(4) Rome incorporates the Sabines, the first such expansion of Roman influence in Italy.

(5) The Romans, even under their kings, are jealous of their freedom.

(b) Roman Religion

NUMA POMPILIUS, c.715-673 B.C.

(1) As Romulus established the social and political order, so Numa does the religious.

(2) A war-like people are turned to the arts of peace.

(3) Religion as transactional (do ut des), not transformational or ethical.

(4) Numa's just social order will be the idea that Romans will always look back to as a model.

2. The Republic Founded, 509 B.C.

(a) Founding Father

POPLICOLA, d. 503 B.C.

(1) Valerius has a zeal for freedom and self-government

(2) He is a model for the American founders

(3) Valerius enriches Rome by inviting in the best of the Sabines.

(4) The early republic balances rights of nobles and commons

(b) The threat from within

CORIOLANUS, fl. 493 B.C.

(1) Threat of return of monarch ended

(2) Class struggle

(i) The succession of the plebs, c. 495 B.C.

(ii) Creation of the office of tribune of the people.

(3) Ambitious intemperate men

(4) Twelve Tables of Laws, 451 B.C.

3. The Republican Empire, 5th through 2nd Century

(a) The Second Founder of Rome

CAMILLUS, fl. 396-367 B.C.

(1) Roman dominance of Italy

(2) Further efforts to defuse class struggle

(i) Of the two consuls, one is to be a plebeian.

(ii) Temple of Concord, 367 B.C.

(3) Sack of Rome by the Gauls, 390 B.C.

(b) First Punic War, 264-241 B.C.

(c) Second Punic War, 218-202 B.C.


MARCELLUS, d. 208 B.C.

FABIUS MAXIMUS, c. 275-203 B.C.

(d) First Macedonian War, 215-205 B.C.

(e) Third Punic War, 149-146 B.C.


(f) Second Macedonian War, 200-197 B.C.


(g) Third Macedonian War, 171-168 B.C.

AEMILIUS PAULUS, c. 230-160 B.C.

(h) The Republican Virtues

MARCUS CATO, 234-149 B.C.

(1) Justice

(2) Prudence

(3) Temperance

(4) Fortitude

4. The Beginning of the Fall, 133-121 B.C.

(a) The "Haves" and "Have nots"


(1) Concentration of wealth

(2) The increase in the servile population and the displacement of poor but free Romans.

(3) The struggles between the optimates and populares

(b) Themes of Reform


(1) Land reform

(2) Professional military

(3) Expansion of the franchise and other rights

(4) Bread and circuses

(5) Shifts of power from senate to people

5. Reversion to Earlier Martial State, 120-73 B.C.

(a) Military Dictatorship

MARIUS, 157-86 B.C.

(1) Tribune 120 B.C.

(2) Marius' Reign of Terror, 88-87 B.C.

SYLLA, 138-78 B.C.

(1) The senate's man also turns bloody dictator

(2) Sylla retires to private life and his new constitution stands

(b) The Military Unleashed from the Civil Authority

LUCULLUS, c. 114-57 B.C.

(1) Old models no longer work in far-flung empire

SERTORIUS, fl. 87-73 B.C.

(2) Now Roman fights Roman

6 .Appeals to Tradition and Reason, 64-43 B.C.

(a) Looking Back to the Good Old Days


(1) Unable to compromise

(b) A Reasonable Path Forward

CICERO, 106-43 B.C.

(1) The man with the plan that the March 15th conspirators lacked

7 .The Center Cannot Hold, 60 B.C.-March 15, 44 B.C.

(a) The Wealth of Crassus Creates Pompey and Caesar.

CRASSUS, c. 115-53 B.C.

(1) Orphaned when the populares murder his father, 87 B.C.

(2) Grew rich on the misfortunes of others.

(3) The rebellion of Spartacus, 73-71 B.C.

(4) Consul with Pompey, 70 B.C.

(5) The First Triumvirate, 60-54 B.C.

(b) The Rise and Fall of Pompey

POMPEY, 106-48 B.C.

(1) Rises as Sylla's lieutenant

(2) Clears the seas of pirates, 67 B.C.

(3) Third Mithridatic War, 75-63 B.C.

(4) Like Alexander, Pompey subdues Africa, Europe, and Asia; He celebrates his third triumph in 61 B.C.

(5) The First Triumvirate, 60-54 B.C.

(6) The Rise of Caesar

(7) Pharsalia, 48 B.C.

(c) The Rise and Fall of Caesar


(1) Youth, influences, and character

(i) Ambition

(ii) Use of Money

(iii) Use of Rhetoric

(2) The first triumvirate, 60-54 B.C.

(i) His Fellow Triumvirs

(ii) Wars in Gaul

(3) Dictator, 46-44 B.C.

(i) For the first time since 100 B.C. there is no blood-letting

(4) The assassination plot

(i) The conspirators

CASSIUS, d. 42 B.C.

(ii) Brutus

BRUTUS, 85-42 B.C.

(iii) Porcia.

(5) The Ides of March, 44 B.C.

8. Anarchy is Loosed, March 15, 44 B.C.-30 B.C.

(a) A conspiracy that is all Hands and no Head.

BRUTUS, 85-42 B.C.

(b) The Second Triumvirate (43-33 B.C.)


9. The New Order 30 B.C.-A.D.120

Julio-Claudian Dynasty (five emperors)

Octavian Caesar Augustus, b. 63 B.C.; ruled 31 B.C.-A.D. 14

Tiberius, 14-37

Caius (Caligula), 37-41

Claudius, 41-54

Nero, 54-68

The Year of the Four Emperors (A.D. 69)

GALBA, A.D. 69,

OTHO, A.D. 69.

Vitellus, A.D. 69

The Flavian Dynasty (three emperors)

Vespasian, 69-79

Titus, 79-81

Domitian, 81-96

Nervian-Antonian Dynasty (six emperors)

Nerva, 96-98

Trajan, 98-117

Hadrian, 117-138

Antonius Pius, 138-161

Marcus Aurelius, 161-180

Commodus, 180-192

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