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Lesson 2 From Republic to Empire

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1 Lesson 2 From Republic to Empire
Page 133 in your textbook

2 Decline of the Republic
2nd century BC: Senate was the real governing body of Rome Members of Senate were upper class patricians, aristocratic. The Senate directed the Punic wars and took control of foreign, domestic, and financial policy.


4 These aristocrats represented only a tiny minority of Roman people.
Small farmers were the majority, and they were losing their lands to the upper class. Small farmers drifted to the cities, forming a large class of landless poor.

5 Attempts at Reform Some upperclassmen tried to fix this problem.
Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, brothers, believed the cause of Rome’s problems was the decline of the small farmer. To help the poor, they had the council pass land reform bills that had the government give back public land (owned by the wealthy) back to the landless poor. 133 BC: Tiberius and Gaius were killed by a group of angry senators. This lead to more instability and violence.


7 End of the Republic From 82 BC to 31 BC, Roman history was characterized by competition and civil war. Three powerful men came to hold enormous military and political power: 1. Crassus 2. Pompey 3. Julius Caesar All three had significant military experience They joined in 60 BC to form the first triumvrate Triumvrate: a government by three people with equal power.

8 The First Triumvrate The wealth and power of these three men combined was huge, and allowed them to dominate Roman politics and achieve their aims. Pompey received military command in Spain Crassus was given command in Syria. Was killed in battle in 53 BC. Caesar was granted special military command in Gaul, modern day France.

9 Caesar in Gaul

10 Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC) During his time in Gaul, Caesar gained fame and military experience. Caesar was always willing to face great danger. Now had a powerful army of veterans loyal to him. Fearing Caesar’s popularity, leading senators decided that Pompey should rule alone. They voted that Caesar lay down his command and return to Rome as a private citizen.

11 This was unacceptable to Caesar, as it would have left him vulnerable to his enemies
Caesar chose to keep his army and moved into Italy by illegally crossing the Rubicon river (southern boundary of his province) Caesar marched on Rome, starting a civil war between his forces and those of Pompey. After defeating Pompey’s forces, Caesar was in complete control of the Roman government.

12 Caesar crossing the Rubicon

13 Dictatorship and Reform
Caesar was officially made dictator, or absolute ruler, in 47 BC. Realizing the need for change, Caesar gave land to the poor and increased the Senate to 900 members (filling it with his supporters) Caesar granted citizenship to people in provinces who had helped him Reformed the calendar by introducing the Egyptian solar year of 365 days Caesar planned many building projects and campaigns but wasn’t able to carry them out.

14 Assassination In 44 BC, a group of leading senators who resented Caesar’s power assassinated him. They hoped the old republican system would now return. All that it accomplished was setting the state for another civil war that would finally end the republic.


16 Bellringer Why do you think Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC? How did this affect the republic? Write a one paragraph response.

17 The Second Triumvirate
A new struggle for power emerged after Caesar’s death. Three men joined forces to form the Second Triumvirate Octavian – Caesar’s heir and grandnephew Antony – Caesar’s ally and assistant Lepidus – Commander of Caesar’s cavalry

18 The Second Triumvrate

19 Roman gold coins bearing the portraits of Mark Antony(left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC. Both sides bear the inscription "III VIR R P C", meaning "One of Three Men for the Regulation of the Republic".

20 Within a few years after Caesar’s death, only two men divided the Roman world between them.
Octavian took the west, Antony the East. These men soon came to conflict. Antony allied with Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII, with whom he fell in love with.

21 31 BC: Battle of Actium, Octavian’s forces attack Antony and Cleopatra’s forces.
Both fled to Egypt and committed suicide a year later. Egypt added to Roman Empire.

22 Octavian in power Octavian stood as Rome’s supreme ruler at age 32. The civil wars ended and so had the republic. The foundations had been set for the Roman Empire to grow.

23 Augustus Caesar 27 BC – Civil wars had ended, Octavian became first Roman Emperor Was given title of “Augustus” – the revered one Augustus Caesar was very popular. His reign was known as the “Pax Romana”, or the Roman Peace. offered restoration to a weakened senate Senate gave him title imperator, or commander in chief. The English word emperor comes from imperator.

24 Commander in Chief Augustus maintained a standing army of 28 legions (151,000 men) Legion – military unit of 5,000 troops Only Roman citizens could be legionnaires. Subject peoples (non citizens) could serve as auxiliary forces (130,000 under Augustus). Augustus also set up a praetorian guard of 9,000 men who guarded the emperor



27 Augustus was very concerned about the social wellbeing of the Roman state.
He believed the civil wars of the 1st century weakened public religion, which he felt was a pillar of a strong state. Augustus rebuilt many ruined temples and built new ones to honor the Roman gods. He also encouraged the development of a new religious cult dedicated to the emperor.

28 End of an Era Augustus died in 14 AD after ruling Rome for 45 years.
Upon his death, Augustus was declared a god by the senate. He created a new order while maintaining traditional values. By the time of his death, the Roman republic was only a memory Rome would now be ruled by emperors.

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