Problems facing Rome The Senate became Rome’s strongest governing body. – Senate made up of wealthy Romans. – Small farmers, who used to be the backbone of the Roman state, could no longer survive. This led to a large, landless number of poor people. – Violent conflict broke out between patricians and plebeians.
Change in the Roman Army In 107 BC, Marius became consul and began recruiting armies in a new way. – Marius promised land to those who joined the army. The soldiers swore allegiance to Marius, not the state, creating an army that the republic couldn’t control. – The Senate tried to give Sulla command of the army, but the council of the Plebs and supporters of Marius opposed this. This led to Civil War, which was won by Sulla, who restored the power of the Senate and killed many of his enemies.
Civil War in Rome Marius Supported by lower classes. Council of Plebs placed him in charge of army. Members of army support Marius rather than Roman state because he promised them land for fighting in his army. Sulla Supported by Patricians. Given military power by Roman Senate. Senate wants Sulla to use his army to support them.
Collapse of the Republic Civil War plagued Rome from 82-31 BC. – Three men, Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar claimed the power in Rome. They formed the first triumvirate, which is a government by 3 people with equal power. – Crassus was killed in battle, and Senators wanted Caesar to step down and let Pompey have control. – Caesar refused, and defeated Pompey’s army in a civil war. – Caesar was named dictator (absolute ruler) of Rome. Caesar gave land to the poor and increased the size of the Senate to 900, making it weaker. – Caesar planned more activities, but he was murdered by a group of Senators in 44 BC.
Collapse of the Republic, cont. A second triumvirate formed after Caesar’s death. – Octavian was Caesar's heir and grandnephew. – Mark Antony was Caesar’s ally and assistant. – Lepidus was the commander of Caesar’s cavalry. Within a few years, the empire was divided into 2 parts. – Octavian controlled the west, Antony the east. – Octavian and Antony came into conflict. Antony aligned himself with Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Octavian’s army defeated Antony’s army, causing Antony and Cleopatra to flee to Egypt, where they committed suicide.
The Age of Augustus At age 32, Octavian was the sole ruler of Rome. – Octavian became the first Roman Emperor. He gave some power back to the Senate. In 27 BC, the senate gave him the title Augustus. – Augustus was able to stabilize the frontiers of the Empire, conquering many new areas.new areas An attempt to conquer Germany failed as three Roman legions (15,000 soldiers) were massacred. – This deeply devastated Augustus and showed that Rome’s power wasn’t unlimited.
The Early Empire Augustus’ political system allowed Emperors to choose their successors. – The Emperors gradually took power away from the Senate. As Emperors became more powerful, they also became more corrupt. – At the beginning of the 2 nd century AD, a period of peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana developed. Under the “Five Good Emperors”, programs were created to help the people. The Roman Empire also expanded to include Mesopotamia, Romania, and the Sinai Peninsula.expanded
Nerva A.D. 96-98 Reformed land laws in favor of the poor, revised taxation. Trajan A.D. 98-117 Expanded the empire to its greatest extent. Implemented the construction of many public works. Hadrian A.D. 117-138 Constructed Hadrian’s Wall in Britain; erected many fine buildings, codified Roman law. Antoninus Pius A.D. 138-161 Promoted art and science, construction of public works, legal reform, and new provisions for orphans. Marcus Aurelius A.D. 161-180 Helped unify empire economically, made legal reforms. The “Five Good Emperors” of the Pax Romana
Early Empire, cont. The Early Empire was a period of economic prosperity. – Trade flourished beyond the Empire. The Silk Road expanded Roman trade to the Far East (China).Silk Road – There was an enormous gap between rich and poor. The rich lived a life of luxury and the poor struggled to survive. The poor typically worked in shops and markets. Many Romans depended on the Emperor’s handouts of grain to survive.