What is Ancient History #4

Hello loves!

I know I have taken a small sabbatical from this series but we are back again with something that has been inspired by my recent reading in SPQR, by Mary Beard. The part that I am reading is all about the late Republic which is my favourite period in Roman history, meaning that I had to share it with you.

Let’s get into this…

133 B.C. Tiberius Gracchus tribune: Tiberius Gracchus was a populist politician best known for his agrarian reform law entailing the transfer of land from the Roman state and wealthy landowners to poorer citizens. Murdered by his opponents after trying to be elected into another term as tribune.
123 – 122 B.C. Gaius Gracchus tribune: Tiberius’ younger brother who was Tribune for two terms and succesfuly introduced a wide series of reforms before being also killed by the consul Opimius who had been granted emergency powers.
111 – 105 B.C. Jugurthine War: a war between the Roman Republic and King Jugurtha of Numidia (a kingdom roughly equivalent to the modern country of Algeria). the commanders sent out against him included Marius, Metellus and Sulla.
107, 104 – 100 and 86 B.C. Marius consul: a Roman general and statesman, victor in the Jugurthine Wars. He held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times as well as reforming the armies by recruiting the proletariat and promising to pay them with booty from the war.
91 – 87 B.C. Social War: a war between the Roman Republic and the other cities and tribes in Italy. The Italian allies wanted Roman citizenship, and the power, influence and the right to vote in Rome itself. It ended with Rome providing full citizenship to almost all of Italy.
88 B.C. Sulla and the First Mithridatic War: Sulla was also a Roman general and a statesman who won the first large-scale civil war and became the first man in Roman history to first man of the Republic to seize power through force. The war was against Mithridates, the king of Pontus.
88 B.C. Sulla’s march on Rome with his army: as already stated, Sulla became the first man in the history of the Republic to seize power using force.
82 B.C. Sulla becomes dictator: whilst dictator Sulla introduced a very widespread set of reforms that drastically changed the political system, and then he surprised everyone by retiring.
71 B.C. Crassus crushes Spartacus: Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator who instigated a revolt against Rome. After Crassus ended the revolution the slaves were crucified along the Appian Way
71 B.C. Pompey defeats Sertorius’ rebellion in Spain: Sertorius was a supporter of Sulla. He was actually killed by Marcus Perperna who was then defeated by Pompey.
70 B.C. Consulship of Crassus and Pompey
63 B.C. Pompey defeats Mithridates: Pompey finally defeated Mithridates in the Third Mithridatic War
60 B.C. First Triumvirate Pompey, Crassus, & Julius Caesar: this was a political alliance of three very important and influential men to help each other out. Pompey was a powerful general and statesman as was Julius Caesar. Crassus was a very rich businessman and they needed his money to finance their political campaigns as running for office was expensive.
58 – 50 B.C. Caesar conquers Gaul: Julius Caesar was sent to Gaul to conquer the tribes in Gaul, which were always seen as a very real threat to Rome. This victory in Gaul really set his political career into motion as he remained in Gaul for a prolonged period afterwards before crossing the Rubicon with his army.
53 B.C. Crassus killed in (battle) of Carrhae: fought in a campaign that Crassus against the Parthians which was unsuccessful and ended with Crassus’ death.
49 B.C. Caesar crosses the Rubicon: the Rubicon is a river in northeastern Italy and roman generals were required to disband their armies before crossing. This sparked a civil conflict between Caesar and Pompey.
48 B.C. Pharsalus (battle); Pompey killed in Egypt: after the Battle of Pharsalus where Pompey and his forces were defeated he Feld to Egypt were he was killed on the beach after arriving.
46 – 44 B.C. Caesar’s dictatorship: Caesar became a dictator after he defeated Pompey and his allies in the Civil War. However, he wasn’t made a permanent and hereditary dictator until 44 BC when he was assassinated. Whilst he was dictator he also instigated legislative and political reform.
44 B.C. End of Civil War: the first Civil War ended with the assassination of Julius Caesar at the Theatre of Pompey by senators including his friend Brutus.
43 B.C. Second Triumvirate: Marc Antony, Lepidus, & Octavian: like the first triumvirate the second one was formed to help these three men succeed in Roman politics. Octavian was a young and very successful politician/general, Marc Antony was also a politician who later turned against Octavian. Lepidus was also a Roman statesman and general.
42 B.C. Philippi (battle): the final battle in the War of the Second Triumvirate. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and Marc Antony and the forces of the leaders of Julius Caesar’s assassination Brutus and Cassius.
36 B.C. Naulochus (battle): fought on the 3rd September between the forces of Sextus Pompeius and Marcus Agrippa just off Naulochus, Sicily. This marked the end of the fighting between the followers of Pompey and The Second Triumvirate.
31 B.C. Actium (battle): fought between the forces of Marc Antony and Octavian just off the coast of Actium and was the last battle of the Roman Republic. It was fought off the coast of Actium in Greece and enabled Octavian to consolidate his power over the Roman world and eventually become the first emperor.
27 B.C. Octavian emperor: the senate bestowed all sorts of powers to Octavian during the first settlement that eventually made Octavian all powerful and starting the imperial period. Octavian also became known as Augustus.

So, I hope that you guys enjoyed this brief rundown of the end of the Roman Republic and if you have any other questions please drop me a comment and ask away.

As I have already said, this is my favourite period of Roman history so I am always happy to talk about it!

And, as always,

stay safe, stay healthy and keep learning!


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