The roman republic and empire roman vs. Greek values, beliefs



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Julius Caesar: “Czar,” and “Kaiser” corruptions of his name, “July” named after him. Married at age 19 to Cornelia, daughter of Cinnas, Populares leader. Refused to divorce at Sulla’s order.

Gets money from Crassus—puts on big games to entertain masses, gets their support. Example of stunt of Roman republican political maneuvering: raises (false) red flag on Janiculum Hill in order to have the Assemby of Centuries dissolved to stop Rabirus from getting off from killing an associate of Marius 37 years earlier since the Optimates controlled it.

First Triumvirate: Pompey, Crassus, Caesar. Caesar gets elected consul for 59 b.c., in return gives Pompey, Crassus what they want. Cicero shoots down apparent land reform bill that would aid Crassus especially. Caesar gets own army later. Gaul, Alesia, 51 b.c., wins! Had son by Cleopatra.

As dictator, decreasted dole from 320,000 to 150,000, planned public works, overseas colonies for poor, calendar change. The fear of his become king, led to assassination in 44 b.c., Ides of March. 23 stab wounds, about 60 assassins.

Crassus and Pompey: Caesar’s rivals/associates. Crassus: money made from loans, fighting fires scam in Rome, buying up property at literal fire sale prices.

Pompey: Did divorce, remarry at Sulla’s command, raised three legions, fought populares successfully in Sicily and Africa.

Spartacus (73-71 b.c.): Crassus trained six legions, beat his rebel slave army (70,000 strong). Sp. had won six times before, Rome had wars in Spain, Aegean/Asian area also going on. Pompey and Crassus had 6,000 slaves executed, hung on crosses along Apian Way (analogous to I-94 in Detroit). Pompey, Crassus, initially denied consulship by Senate (constitutional reasons for doing so also), so made alliance with Populares, forced Senate to put them in office. They overturned the Sullan constitution by restoring the power of the tribunes and censors, juries now just 1/3 senators. Crassus killed at Carrhae by horse-mounted Parthians (53 b.c.).

Pompey: Gets rid of Mithrades’ pirates in a mere 40 days after being given 120,000 infantry, 5,000 horsemen. Voluntarily took apart army in 62 b.c., doesn’t march on Rome as Ceasar did in 49 b.c. Pompey loses in 48 b.c. to Caesar at Pharsalus in Greece.


Augustus (“revered one”) (Octavian): Grand nephew of Caesar, only 18 when Caesar died, but acted as veteran politician. Formed 2nd triumvirate with Mark Anthony, who had Cicero killed, and Lepidus. Octavian not an esp. good general, but good at politics. 42 b.c., Jan. 1: 300 Senators, 2000 knights executed by proscription. Then Octavian defeated Brutus, Cassius, Caesar’s assassins, at Phillippi in 42. b.c.

Augustus beats Anthony at Actium (31 b.c.): Cleopatra’s machinations fail. She was subtle, tried to preserve Egypt’s independence and her throne, allied with Anthony, blunt, objective, good soldier but bad politician, both lost, killed selves separately.

Sets up “Principate”: “Princeps,” first citizen, origin of the word “prince.” Republican façade maintained, since didn’t want to be accused of being a king. Civil service based on merit, created pensions for veterans using own money as endowment, added a sales tax, rebuilt Rome (from brick to marble), had army build public works across empire; set up police and fire services in Rome itself. Moral reforms: penalized bachelors, encouraged large families, punished adultery.
Text reading: pp. 268, Ovid’s “Art of Love.”



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