Section Overview This section describes the events that led to the end of the Roman Republic.
Reading Strategy Rome survived political unrest to become the Roman Empire Supporting Idea Supporting Details
Trouble in the Republic The gap between the rich patricians and the poor plebeians grew, and farmers especially suffered. Latifundia were large farming estates created when wealthy Romans bought small farms. Farmers whose land had been bought traveled to cities to try to find jobs.
Trouble in the Republic Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were two wealthy brothers who tried to reform government. They were killed. Marius, a former military leader, was appointed counsel and promised land to poor men if they became soldiers. Sulla drove Marius out of Rome, declared himself dictator, and spent three years reforming government before resigning from office.
What happened after Sulla stepped down from office? Men who saw Sulla gain power by using an army decided to follow the same path, and civil wars broke out. The Fall of the Republic
Julius Caesar A triumvirate is a political alliance of three people. Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey formed a triumvirate after Sulla left office.
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar marched on Rome and defeated Pompey’s forces after Crassus died in battle. Caesar declared himself dictator of Rome for life and made many changes to Rome. The Julian calendar was created during Caesar’s rule.
Julius Caesar This calendar was changed slightly in A.D. 1582, but is basically still in use today. Caesar had many enemies as well as supporters. His enemies plotted to kill him and succeeded on March 15, called the “Ides of March.”
What is the origin of the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” and what does it mean? The phrase refers to Caesar’s return to Italy. By crossing the Rubicon, Caesar knew he would begin a civil war and that he would either be victorious or be destroyed. Today it means passing a point of no return. The Fall of the Republic
Rome Becomes an Empire Octavian was Caesar’s grandnephew, who had inherited Caesar’s wealth. Antony and Lepidus were two of Caesar’s top generals. Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate, although the triumvirate began to quarrel immediately. Antony fell in love with Cleopatra VII and formed an alliance with her.
Rome Becomes an Empire Octavian declared war on Antony to keep him from taking over the republic. Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra’s forces at the Battle of Actium.
Rome Becomes an Empire Cicero was a political leader, writer, and public speaker who favored representative government and supported Octavian. Octavian restored the republic with some reforms and took the title Augustus, meaning “revered one.” This began the Roman Empire.
Meeting People Julius Caesar – part of the First Triumvirate of Rome; became a hero to Rome’s lower classes; declared himself dictator of Rome in 44 B.C.; stabbed to death by his enemies on March 15. Octavian – Caesar’s grandnephew who inherited Caesar’s wealth; part of the Second Triumvirate in 43 B.C.
Meeting People Antony – one of Caesar’s top generals and part of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus; ruled over the eastern part of the Roman Empire and fell in love with Cleopatra VII, an Egyptian queen and planned to make himself sole ruler of the republic. Cicero – a political leader, writer, and Rome’s greatest public speaker; argued against dictators and called for a representative government. Augustus – “the revered or majestic one”; title that Octavian took and was known from that point as Augustus.
Building Vocabulary Latifundia – wealthy Romans bought up small farms to create these large farming estates Triumvirate – a political alliance of three people.
Locating Places Rubicon – a small river at the southern boundary of Caesar’s command area (Gaul, which is modern day France); this is where he marched into Italy and forced Pompey’s forces from Italy. Actium – off the west coast of Greece; where Octavian crushed the army and navy of Antony and Cleopatra in 31 B.C.
Read to Discover Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus – prominent officials who worked for reforms; thought most of Rome’s problems were caused by the loss of small farms and wanted the Senate to take back public land from the rich and divide it among landless Romans. Marius – a military leader who became consul in 107 B.C.; recruited soldiers and paid them wages in return for their service and promised them land.
Read to Discover Sulla – a military leader who drove Marius and his other enemies out of Rome and made himself dictator. He weakened the Council of Plebs and strengthened the Senate and then stepped down from office. Crassus – military leader and one of the richest men in Rome; part of the First Triumvirate of Rome, along with Julius Caesar and Pompey; killed in battle in 53 B.C.
Read to Discover Pompey – military leader who ruled Spain as part of the Second Triumvirate; Caesar forced him out of Italy and destroyed Pompey’s army in Greece in 48 B.C. Brutus – Senator who led a group who plotted to kill Caesar because they were afraid he wanted to be king. Cassius - Senator who led a group who plotted to kill Caesar because they were afraid he wanted to be king.
How was Octavian like Caesar? How was he different? Like Caesar, Octavian declared himself ruler for life. However, he also knew that many people favored a republic. Octavian reformed government so that a Senate with limited power existed while he remained in charge. The Fall of the Republic
What is a triumvirate? a political alliance of three people
The Fall of the Republic Who was Cicero, and how did he influence the writers of the United States Constitution? Cicero was apolitical leader whose ideas on a representative government with limited powers influenced the U.S. Constitution.
Summarize What reforms did the Gracchus brothers suggest? The Gracchus brothers wanted the government to take back public land and give it to landless farmers. Landholding senators opposed their proposals. The Fall of the Republic
Analyze What was the “bread and circuses” policy, and how did Roman politicians benefit from it? The “bread and circuses’ policy was the use of cheap food and free entertainment to win support from the poor. The Fall of the Republic
Analyze What reforms did Julius Caesar put in place that increased his popularity with poor and working-class Romans? Caesar provided land for the poor and created new jobs. He also ordered landholders to hire more free workers. The Fall of the Republic