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The Roman Republican Cycle (350-30 BCE) By Megan Nickel.

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Presentation on theme: "The Roman Republican Cycle (350-30 BCE) By Megan Nickel."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Roman Republican Cycle (350-30 BCE) By Megan Nickel

2 Population Dynamics

3  First Phase (225-200 BCE)  Population decline because of Hannibalic War  22% population decline from 3 to 2.35 million people

4 Population Dynamics  Second Phase (200-100 BCE)  Population increase by 44% from 2.35 to 3.39 million people

5 Population Dynamics  Last Phase (100 -0 BCE)  Population declined as a result of constant civil wars, high urbanization, and, during later stages, massive state-sponsored population transfers  Population is back down to levels that it was in 225 BCE at the beginning of the cycle

6 Population Dynamics

7 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  The Highest Stratum of Society  Senators were the governing class during this period  They provided officers for the military, served as government officials and had large religious roles  They were also wealthy land owners

8 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  Next highest social stratum  Equestrians- lesser aristocrats who served as cavalry in the army  Businessmen and merchants  Jury service reserved for equestrians

9 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  Lower stratum  Common population- small landowners  Served as infantry  Voted in public elections  The wealthiest of this class and the equestrians dominated the vote and also paid most of the property tax

10 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  Next lowest stratum  Citizens with property who Turchin supposes were far above the subsistence level of wealth  Lowest stratum  Slaves, foreigners, landless citizens and freedmen

11 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  Around 300 BCE the bulk of the population were the small landowners

12 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  300-200BCE  Based on the number of Roman cavalry and infantry, Turchin estimates that the ratio of elites (senators and equestrians) to non-elite landowners was 1:10.  Non-elite landowners make up majority of population

13 Social Structure and Elite Dynamics  Elites followed the same pattern as the rest of the population  Increase moderately until 250 BCE  Decrease until 200 BCE  Rapid increase from 200-100 BCE

14  From the fourth century to the first, Rome increased its territory 600-fold  This solved the problem of landless citizens  Rather than relying mainly on taxes, the Roman government and elites were able to live off of the spoils of conquest  State revenues increased during the 3 rd century because of wars, but stagnated during the 2 nd because there were no more territories to conquer State Finances

15 Sociopolitical Instability  From 342-132, Rome experienced no civil war  The century following this period was almost constant civil war

16 Sociopolitical Instability

17 Long Expansion (350-180 BCE)  Population doubled and territory quintupled, thus population density declined taking care of the problems of landless citizens and also decreasing struggles for internal resources  Everyone was focused on external wars  During 2 nd half of 3 rd century, population declined because of war

18 Long Expansion (350-180 BCE)  After 200 BCE, all Roman wars were fought externally and thus fewer casualties  Roman territory remained the same size, so population density increased by up to 50%

19 Stagflation (133-29 BCE)  This period was preceded by Popular immiseration Popular immiseration Intense intra-elite competition Intense intra-elite competition Stagnation of state revenues Stagnation of state revenues

20 Stagflation (133-29 BCE)  This period is an example of a classical demographic-structural crisis  It involved state collapse and chronic civil warfare  The Republic underwent a deep transformation  The population of small landowners dwindled while the population of landless citizens and slaves skyrocketed

21 Stagflation (133-29 BCE)  The wars during this period took a huge toll on the small landowners  The elites, who profited the most from the wars, bought out most of the land, causing the small landowners to become part of the growing urban poor  This process is called latifundia  This theory is under debate

22 Stagflation (133-29 BCE)  Because Rome’s territory stayed the same while the population doubled in size, the land was divided up into too many small pieces which could not support families  Much of that land was sold to the wealthy elites  Also, because of the higher population density, epidemics became more severe

23 Stagflation (133-29 BCE)  There was much inflation between 150 and 50 BCE  There was an increase in industry, trade and urbanization  People were coming from rural areas to cities for economic opportunity

24 Elite Dynamics (During Stagflation)  The number of elites during the 2 nd century BCE increased along with their consumption levels  The entire senatorial class increased its cost of living  The amount of wealth they had increased tremendously  The gap between rich and poor grew larger

25 Intra-elite Competion (During Stagflation)  21 families dominated 80% of the Senate during these years  Sometimes the position of Senator was continued on from grandfather to father and even down to son  As the number of possible senators increased, intra-elite competition for Senatorial positions also increased  The position was passed from father to son less frequently

26 State Finances (During Stagflation)  From 146-91BCE, the state finances were fairly healthy  After that the denarius was debased to 95% silver  By 89 the treasury was empty and the money shortage continued through the rest of the century

27 Increasing Social Pressure (During Stagflation)  Both upper and lower classes were growing discontent  As intra-elite competition grew, state finances stagnated  There were no more profitable places to conquer  Eventually this all culminated in a full state collapse

28 Late Republican Crisis  The first evidence of decentralization was slave revolts which began in 138 BCE  The slave revolts were met and stopped by a unified elite class  In 133 BCE Tiberius Gracchus tried to alleviate some of the problems by distributing land among landless citizens, but he was murdered along with 300 of his supporters

29 Late Republican Crisis  Tiberius Gracchus’s death split the elite class and eventually led to civil war  His brother was killed a short while later after he tried to promote his brother’s plans  After their deaths, there was a short period of stability  The stability did not last long because of the intense intra-elite competition

30 Late Republican Crisis  During the 60’s and 50’s there was relatively no civil war  The territory expanded with the conquests of Gaul and Asia Minor  The state’s finances were still fragile  The last period of civil war lasted from 49- 31 BCE  The Republican Cycle ends in 27 BCE with the establishment of the principate

31 End of Disintegrative Trend  The period after Tiberius Gracchus’s death was the decentralization of Rome  This was due to elite overproduction

32 End of Disintegrative Trend  Civil wars had three affects on society Up to one half of elites were killed, thereby solving the elite overproduction problem Up to one half of elites were killed, thereby solving the elite overproduction problem Reproductive rates were lowered because of abortions and infanticide Reproductive rates were lowered because of abortions and infanticide There was an inflation of honors There was an inflation of honors

33 End of Disintegrative Trend  Many elites chose to be content with their status and did not strive for senatorial positions  By the end of the civil war period, Romans had a strong desire for peace

34 Conclusion  The Roman Republican Cycle is different from other secular cycles because of its huge territorial expansion


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