The Roman Empire: The Fall of the Roman Republic | Tiberius
B.C. - Caesar, Crassus and Pompey and The First Triumvirate another pair allied themselves only tenuously through marriage. Rome split among followers of Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus. .. who was his friend and relation, to proceed, exciting him to persist, as though he was now. In 60 BCE Crassus, Pompey & Caesar combined their resources, set aside their personal . Caesar wrote back that he trusted Cicero would not interfere.
Thus political murder and political martyrdom were introduced into Roman politics. The land commission, however, was allowed to continue because it could not easily be stopped. Some evidence of its activities survives. Byperhaps running out of available land held by citizens, it began to apply the Gracchan law to public land held by Italian individuals or communities.
This had probably not been envisaged by Tiberius, just as he did not include noncitizens among the beneficiaries of distributions. Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, chairman of the commission and consul intried to solve the problem by offering the Italians the citizenship or alternatively the right to appeal against Roman executive acts to the Roman people in return for bringing their holdings of public land under the Gracchan law.
This aroused fears of uncontrollable political repercussions. Flaccus was ordered by the Senate to fight a war in southern France where he gained a triumph and had to abandon his proposal. There is no sign of widespread Italian interest in it at this time, though the revolt of the Latin colony Fregellae destroyed may be connected with its failure.
Among many reforms—including provision for a stable and cheap wheat price and for the foundation of colonies one on the site of Carthageto which Italians were admitted—two major ideas stand out: This was expected both to reduce senatorial corruption and to improve efficiency. Gaius also put eminent nonsenators probably defined by wealth, but perhaps limited to the equites, or equestrian class in charge of the quaestio repetundarum, whose senatorial members had shown too much leniency to their colleagues, and he imposed severe penalties on senators convicted by that court.
Finally, in a second tribunate, he hoped to give citizenship to Latins and Latin rights to other Italians, with the help of Flaccus who, though a distinguished former consul, took the unique step of becoming tribune. But a consul and a tribune of together persuaded the citizen voters that it was against their interests to share the privileges of citizenship: Inpreparing as private citizens to use force to oppose the cancellation of some of their laws, Gaius and Flaccus were killed in a riot, and many of their followers were executed.
During the next decade the measures benefiting the people were largely abolished, though the Gracchan land distributions, converted into private property, did temporarily strengthen the Roman citizen peasantry. The court seems to have worked better than before, and, during the next generation, several other standing criminal courts were instituted, as were occasional ad hoc tribunals, always with the same class of jurors.
In a law adding senators to the juries was passed, but it remained in force for only a short time. It would be mere paradox to deny the importance in republican Rome, as in better known aristocratic republics, of family feuds, alliances, and policies, and parts of the picture are known—e.
In foreign affairs the client kingdom of Numidia —loyal ever since its institution by Scipio Africanus—assumed quite unwarranted importance when a succession crisis developed there soon after However, two of them soon died, and power fell to the eldest, Micipsa, who himself had two sons.
Micipsa also adopted Jugurthathe natural son of his brother Mastanabal. The war was waged reluctantly and ineffectively, with the result that charges of bribery were freely bandied about by demagogic tribunes taking advantage of suspicion of aristocratic political behaviour that had smoldered ever since the Gracchan crisis.
Significantly, some eminent men, hated from those days, were now convicted of corruption. The Metelli, however, emerged unscathed, and Quintus Metellus, consul inwas entrusted with the war in Africa. He waged it with obvious competence but failed to finish it and thus gave Gaius Mariusa senior officer, his chance.
The career of Gaius Marius Marius, born of an equestrian family at Arpinum, had attracted the attention of Scipio Aemilianus as a young soldier and, by shrewd political opportunism, had risen to the praetorship and married into the patrician family of the Julii Caesares. Though Marius had deeply offended the Metelli, once his patrons, his considerable military talents had induced Quintus Metellus to take him to Africa as a legatus. Marius intrigued against his commander in order to gain a consulship; he was elected chiefly with the help of the equites and antiaristocratic tribunes for and was given charge of the war by special vote of the people.
He did little better than Metellus had, but in his quaestor Lucius Sulla, in delicate and dangerous negotiations, brought about the capture of Jugurtha, opportunely winning the war for Marius and Rome. During the preceding decade a serious threat to Italy had developed in the north. Starting inseveral Roman commanders Marcus Flaccus has been noted had fought against Ligurian and Gallic tribes in southern France and had finally established a Roman sphere of influence there: But, unwilling to extend administrative responsibilities, the Senate had refused to establish a regular provincia.
Then some migrating German tribes, chief of them the Cimbriafter defeating a Roman consul, invaded southern France, attracting native sympathy and finding little effective Roman opposition. Two more consular armies suffered defeat, and in October a consul and proconsul with their forces were destroyed at Orange. There was panic in Rome, allayed only by the firm action of the other consul, Publius Rutilius Rufus.
After a brilliant triumph that restored Roman morale, he took over the army prepared and trained by Rutilius. He was reelected consul year after year, while the German tribes delayed attacking Italy. Another triumph and a sixth consulship in were his reward. In his first consulship, Marius had taken a step of great and probably unrecognized importance: This radical solution was thenceforth generally imitated, and conscription became confined to emergencies such as the Social and Civil wars.
At the same time, Rutilius introduced arms drill and reformed the selection of senior officers. Various tactical reforms in due course led to the increasing prominence of the cohort one-tenth of a legion as a tactical unit and the total reliance on non-Roman auxiliaries for light-armed and cavalry service. The precise development of these reforms cannot be traced, but they culminated in the much more effective armies of Pompey and Caesar.
But neither he nor the Senate seemed aware of any responsibilities to the veterans. Marius agreed, and the large lots distributed to his veterans both Roman and Italian turned out to be the beginning of the Romanization of Africa. But this time Saturninus exacted a high price. He planned to seek reelection for 99, with Glaucia illegally gaining the consulship. Violence and even murder were freely used to accomplish these aims.
Marius now had to make a choice. Saturninus and Glaucia might secure him the continuing favour of the plebs and perhaps the equites, though they might also steal it for themselves. But as the saviour of his country and six times consul, he now hoped to become an elder statesman princepsaccepted and honoured by those who had once looked down on him as an upstart. To this end he had long laboured, dealing out favours to aristocrats who might make useful allies. This was the reward Marius desired for his achievement; he never thought of revolution or tyranny.
Hence, when called on to save the state from his revolutionary allies, he could not refuse. He imprisoned them and their armed adherents and did not prevent their being lynched. Yet, having saved the oligarchy from revolution, he received little reward; he lost the favour of the plebs, while the oligarchsin view of both his birth and his earlier unscrupulous ambition, refused to accept him as their equal.
Before long a face-saving compromise was found, and Marius returned; but in the 90s he played no major part.
The oligarchy could not forgive Marius. Wars and dictatorship c. Mithradates VIking of Pontushad built a large empire around the Black Sea and was probing and intriguing in the Roman sphere of influence. Marius had met him and had given him a firm warning, temporarily effective: Mithradates had proper respect for Roman power.
It was on this occasion that Sulla received a Parthian embassy—the first contact between the two powers.
But dissatisfaction in the Roman province of Asia gave new hope to Mithradates. When the Senate realized the danger, it sent its most distinguished jurist, Quintus Mucius Scaevola consul in 95 and pontifex maximuson an unprecedented mission to reorganize Asia Various leading senators were at once vexatiously prosecuted, and political chaos threatened.
Developments in Italy The 90s also saw dangerous developments in Italy. In the 2nd century bc, Italians as a whole had shown little desire for Roman citizenship and had been remarkably submissive under exploitation and ill-treatment. The most active of their governing class flourished in overseas business, and the more traditionally minded were content to have their oligarchic rule supported by Rome.
Their admission to citizenship had been proposed as a by-product of the Gracchan reforms.Mickey B. - AA Speaker - "His Funniest talk EVER!"
By it had become clear that the Roman people agreed with the oligarchy in rejecting it. The sacrifices demanded of Italy in the Numidian and German wars probably increased dissatisfaction among Italians with their patently inferior status. Marius gave citizenship to some as a reward for military distinction—illegally, but his standing auctoritas sufficed to defend his actions. Saturninus admitted Italians to veteran settlements and tried to gain citizenship for some by full admission to Roman colonies.
The censors of 97—96, aristocrats connected with Marius, shared his ideas and freely placed eminent Italians on the citizen registers.
Ancient Rome - The Late Republic (–31 bc) | pdl-inc.info
This might have allayed dissatisfaction, but the consuls of 95 passed a law purging the rolls and providing penalties for those guilty of fraudulent arrogation. The result was insecurity and danger for many leading Italians. By 92 there was talk of violence and conspiracy among desperate men. It was in these circumstances that the eminent young noble, Marcus Livius Drususbecame tribune for 91 and hoped to solve the menacing accumulation of problems by means of a major scheme of reforms.
He attracted the support of the poor by agrarian and colonial legislation and tried to have all Italians admitted to citizenship and to solve the jury problem by a compromise: To cope with the increase in business it would need this expansion in size. Some leading senators, frightened at the dangerous situation that had developed, gave weighty support.
Had Drusus succeeded, the poor and the Italians might have been satisfied; the equites, deprived of their most ambitious element by promotion, might have acquiesced; and the Senate, always governed by the prestige of the noble principes rather than by votes and divisions, could have returned, little changed by the infusion of new blood, to its leading position in the process of government.
Some members of each class affected were more conscious of the loss than of the gain; and an active consul, Lucius Philippus, provided leadership for their disparate opposition. Finally he himself was assassinated. The first year of the Social War 90 was dangerous: Fortunately all but one of the Latin cities—related to Rome by blood and tradition and specially favoured by Roman law—remained loyal: Moreover, Rome now showed its old ability to act quickly and wisely in emergencies: The measure came in time to head off major revolts in Umbria and Etruria, which accepted at once.
A Roman embassy restored them, and he withdrew. However, when the envoys incited Bithynian incursions into his territory, Mithradates launched a major offensive; he overran the two kingdoms and invaded Roman territory, where he attracted the sympathy of the natives by executing thousands of Italians and defeating and capturing the Roman commanders in the area.
In Rome, various men, including Marius, had hoped for the Eastern command. The political power of Pompey—who spent half of his career up to 63 BC fighting outside Rome—lay outside the conservative aristocratic circles of the optimates. It was based on his popularity as a military commander, political patronage, purchase of votes for his supporters or himself, and the support of his war veterans: The optimates were also weary of the personal political clout of Pompey.
They saw him as a potential challenge to the supremacy of the senate, which they largely controlled and which had been criticized for the summary executions during the Catilinarian conspiracy.
They saw a politically strong man as a potential tyrant who might overthrow the republic. Pompey remained aloof with regard to the controversies between optimates and populares that raged in Rome at the time when he returned from the Third Mithridatic War in 62 BC. Whilst he did not endorse the populares, he refused to side with the senate, making vague speeches that recognised the authority of the senate, but not acknowledging the principle of senatorial supremacy advocated by Cicero and the optimates.
Nor was the law exclusively about allotting land for the settlement of Pompey's veterans, who expected as much ever since Sulla had done likewise in 80 BC. However, the law was framed in a way that the land would be distributed to the landless urban poor as well.
This would help to relieve the problem of the mass of the landless unemployed or underemployed poor in Rome, which relied on the provision of a grain dole by the state to survive, and would also make Pompey popular among the plebeians.
Populares politicians had been proposing this kind land of reform since the introduction of the agrarian law of Tiberius Gracchus in BC, which had led to his murder. Attempts to introduce such agrarian laws since then were defeated by the optimates. Thus, the opposition to the bill sponsored by Pompey came within this wider historical context of optimate resistance to reform as well as the optimates being suspicious of Pompey.
A crucial element in the defeat of the bill sponsored by Pompey was the fact what the optimates had a strong consul in Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer who vehemently and successfully resisted its enactment, while the consul sponsored by Pompey, Lucius Afraniuswas ineffective. The lack of effective consular assistance had been a weakness for Pompey. As already mentioned above, Plutarch wrote that the defeat of the bill forced Pompey to seek the support of the plebeian tribunes, and thus of the populares.
Crassus and Pompey shared a consulship in 70 BC. Plutarch regarded this as having been dull and uneventful because it was marred by continuous disagreement between the two men. He wrote that they "differed on almost every measure, and by their contentiousness rendered their consulship barren politically and without achievement, except that Crassus made a great sacrifice in honour of Hercules and gave the people a great feast and an allowance of grain for three months. He also forbade those who had held this tribunate from running for public office.
Sulla had done this because these tribunes had challenged the supremacy of the patrician-controlled senate and he wanted to strengthen the power of the latter. Since these tribunes were the representatives of the majority of the citizens, the people were unhappy with this. Plutarch attributed this repeal to Pompey alone. However, it is very likely that the optimates would have opposed this in the senate, making it unlikely that this measure could have been passed if the two consuls had opposed each other on this issue.
Therefore, on this issue there must have been unity of purpose among these three men. This was an issue of great importance to the populares. There are indications that Caesar and Crassus may have had significant political links prior to the triumvirate. Suetonius wrote that according to some sources Caesar was suspected with having conspired with Crassus, Publius Sulla, and Lucius Autronius to attack the senate house and kill many senators.
Crassus was then to assume the office of dictator and have Caesar named Magister Equitumreform the state and then restore the consulship to Sulla and Autronius. According to one of the sources from which Suetonius drew this information, Crassus pulled out at the last minute and Caesar did not go ahead with the plan.
Suetonius wrote that in 65 BC Caesar tried to get command in Egypt assigned to him by the plebeian council when Ptolemy XIIa Roman ally, was deposed by a rebellion in Alexandriabut the optimates blocked the assignment.
He was opposed by his colleague and both voluntarily laid down their offices. Plutarch wrote that when Caesar was allocated the governorship of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior for 60 BC he was in debt and his creditors prevented him from going to his province.
Crassus paid off the most intransigent creditors and gave a surety of talents, thereby permitting Caesar to leave. Suetonius noted this episode as well, but did not mention who made the payments and gave the surety. In a speech Cicero made against an agrarian bill proposed by the plebeian tribune Publius Servilius Rullus in 63 BC, he claimed that Rullus was an insignificant figure and a front for unsavoury 'machinators' whom he described as the real architects of the bill and as the men who had the real power and who were to be feared.
He did not name these men, but he dropped hints that made them identifiable by saying, "Some of them to whom nothing appears sufficient to possess, some to whom nothing seems sufficient to squander. Moreover, Caesar had supported the Manilian law of 66 BC, which gave Pompey the command of the final phase of the Third Mithridatic War and, in 63 BC, as noted above, he proposed a motion to recall Pompey to Rome to restore order in the wake of the Catalinarian Conspiracy.
Therefore, Caesar was willing to support Pompey because, although the latter was not a popularis, he was not an optimate either, making him a potential ally. Moreover, at the time of the creation of the first triumvirate, Pompey was at odds with the optimates.
The suspension of his praetorship in 62 BC by the senate when he advocated the recall of Pompey had probably shown Caesar that his enemies had the means to marginalise him politically. To attain the consulship Caesar needed the support of Pompey and Crassus who, besides being the two most influential men in Rome, did not belong to the optimates and were thus likely to be politically marginalised as well.
Plutarch maintained that Caesar sought an alliance with both men because allying with only one of them could have turned the other against him and he thought that he could play them off against each other. Crassus may also have had another reason—having to do with the equites —for joining an alliance against the optimates. Cicero noted that in 60 BC Crassus advocated for the equites and induced them to demand that the senate annul some contracts they had taken up in the Roman province of Asia in today's western Turkey at an excessive price.
The equites equestrians were a wealthy class of entrepreneurs who constituted the second social order in Rome, just below the patricians. Many equites were publicanicontractors who acted as suppliers for the army and construction projects which they also oversaw and as tax collectors.
The state auctioned off the contracts for both suppliers and tax collectors to private firms, which had to pay for them in advance. The publicani had overextended themselves and fell into debt. Cicero thought that these contracts had been taken up in the rush for competition and that the demand was disgraceful and a confession of rash speculation.
Nevertheless, he supported the annulment to avoid the equites becoming alienated with the senate and to maintain harmony between patricians and equites. However, his goals were frustrated when the proposal was opposed by the consul Quintus Caecilius Celer and Cato the Younger and subsequently rejected, leading Cicero to conclude that the equites were now at loggerheads with the senate.
The most controversial measure Caesar introduced was an agrarian bill to allot plots of land to the landless poor for farming, which encountered the traditional conservative opposition. In Cassius Dio's opinion, Caesar tried to appear to promote the interests of the optimates as well as those of the people, and said that he would not introduce his land reform if they did not agree with it. He read the draft of the bill to the senate, asked for the opinion of each senator and promised to amend or scrap any clause that had raised objections.
The optimates were annoyed because the bill, to their embarrassment, could not be criticised. Moreover, it would give Caesar popularity and power. Even though no optimate spoke against it, no one expressed approval. The law would distribute public and private land to all citizens instead of just Pompey's veterans and would do so without any expense for the city or any loss for the optimates. It would be financed with the proceeds from Pompey's war booty and the new tributes and taxes in the east Pompey established with his victories in the Third Mithridatic War.
Private land was to be bought at the price assessed in the tax-lists to ensure fairness. The land commission in charge of the allocations would have twenty members so that it would not be dominated by a clique and so that many men could share the honour. Caesar added that it would be run by the most suitable men, an invitation to the optimates to apply for these posts. He ruled himself out of the commission to avoid suggestions that he proposed the measure out of self-interest and said that he was happy with being just the proposer of the law.
The senators kept delaying the vote. Cato advocated the status quo. Caesar came to the point of having him dragged out of the senate house and arrested. Cato said that he was up for this and many senators followed suit and left. Caesar adjourned the session and decided that since the senate was not willing to pass a preliminary decree he would get the plebeian council to vote.
He did not convene the senate for the rest of his consulship and proposed motions directly to the plebeian council. Cassius Dio thought Caesar proposed the bill as a favour to Pompey and Crassus.
When many senators opposed the bill, Caesar pretended to be indignant and rushed out of the senate. Appian noted that Caesar did not convene it again for the rest of the year. Instead, he harangued the people and proposed his bills to the plebeian council. He also wrote that the allocations concerned land in the plain of Stella a relatively remote area on the eastern Campanian border that had been made public in by-gone days, and other public lands in Campania that had not been allotted but were under lease.
Land distribution, which was anathema to conservative aristocrats, was usually proposed by the plebeian tribunes who were often described by Roman writers who were usually aristocrats as base and vile. It was only the most arrogant plebeian tribunes who courted the favour of the multitude and now Caesar did this to support his consular power 'in a disgraceful and humiliating manner'.
Calpurnius Bibulus just said that he would not tolerate any innovations during his year of office. Caesar did not ask any questions to other officials. Instead he brought forward the two most influential men in Rome, Pompey and Crassus, now private citizens, who both declared their support for the law.
Caesar asked Pompey if he would help him against the opponents of the law. Pompey said that he would and Crassus seconded him. Bibulus, supported by three plebeian tribunes, obstructed the vote.
When he ran out of excuses for delaying he declared a sacred period for all the remaining days of the year. This meant that the people could not legally even meet in their assembly. Caesar ignored him and set a date for the vote. The senate met at the house of Calpurnius Bibulus because it had not been convened, and decided that Bibulus was to oppose the law so that it would look that the senate was overcome by force, rather than its own inaction. On the day of the vote Bibulus forced his way through the crowd with his followers to the temple of Castor where Caesar was making his speech.
When he tried to make a speech he and his followers were pushed down the steps. During the ensuing scuffle, some of the tribunes were wounded. Bibulus defied some men who had daggers, but he was dragged away by his friends. Cato pushed through the crowd and tried to make a speech, but was lifted up and carried away by Caesar's supporters. He made a second attempt, but nobody listened to him. The next day Calpurnius Bibulus tried unsuccessfully to get the senate, now afraid of the strong popular support for the law, to annul it.
Bibulus retired to his home and did not appear in public for the rest of his consulship, instead sending notices declaring that it was a sacred period and that this made votes invalid each time Caesar passed a law. The plebeian tribunes who sided with the optimates also stopped performing any public duty.
The people took the customary oath of obedience to the law. However, on the day when they were to incur the established penalties they took the oath. In Appian's account it is at this point that the Vettius affair occurred. He was arrested and questioned at the senate house.
He said that he had been sent by Calpurnius Bibulus, Cicero, and Cato, and that the dagger was given to him by one of the bodyguards of Calpurnius Bibulus. Caesar took advantage of this to arouse the crowd and postponed further interrogation to the next day.
However, Vettius was killed in prison during the night. Caesar claimed that he was killed by the optimates who did not want to be exposed. The crowd gave Caesar a bodyguard. According to Appian, it is at this point that Bibulus withdrew from public business and did not go out of his house for the rest of his term of office.
Caesar, who ran public affairs on his own, did not make any further investigations into this affair. He did not say when this happened and did not give any details about the actual event. He wrote that Vettius accused these two men and Calpurnius Bibulus. However, Bibulus had revealed the plan to Pompey, which undermined Vettius' credibility. There were suspicions that he was lying about Cicero and Lucullus as well and that this was a ploy by Caesar and Pompey to discredit the optimates.
There were various theories, but nothing was proven. After naming the mentioned men in public, Vettius was sent to prison and was murdered a little later. Caesar and Pompey suspected Cicero and their suspicions were confirmed by his defence of Gaius Antonius Hybrida in a trial.
Plutarch did not indicate when the incident happened either. In his version it was a ploy by the supporters of Pompey, who claimed that Vettius was plotting to kill Pompey. When questioned in the senate he accused several people, but when he spoke in front of the people, he said that Licinius Lucullus was the one who arranged the plot.
No one believed him and it was clear that the supporters of Pompey got him to make false accusations. The deceit became even more obvious when he was battered to death a few days later. The opinion was that he was killed by those who had hired him.
Vettius, an informer, claimed that he had told Curio Junior that he had decided to use his slaves to assassinate Pompey. Curio told his father Gaius Scribonius Curiowho in turn told Pompey.
When questioned in the senate he said that there was a group of conspiratorial young men led by Curio. The secretary of Calpurnius Bibulus gave him a dagger from Bibulus. He was to attack Pompey at the forum at some gladiatorial games and the ringleader for this was Aemilius Paullus. However, Aemilius Paullus was in Greece at the time. He also said that he had warned Pompey about the danger of plots.
Vettius was arrested for confessing to possession of a dagger. The next day Caesar brought him to the rosta a platform for public speecheswhere Vettius did not mention Curio, implicating other men instead. A series of public attacks on Antony, written by Cicero in what was called the Phillipics, loses Antony his popularity over time.
Plutarch's Life of Crassus
Antony is seen now as an enemy of Rome, and he decides to flee out of the state to go rule in Cicalpine Gaul. There is a problem with this, however; D. Cicero saw this as an opportunity to pitch C. Octavius against Antony, and made Octavius consul in 43 BC to wage war against Antony and his attempts to take over Gaul. Althouth Octavius wanted to be rewarded a triumph as consul, the senate did not grant his wish, as this triumph was originally intended for Demicus Brutus.
Octavius, just like Caesar before him, was frustrated enough to take matters into his own hands and used violence to get his way. Octavius is now seen as a head ruler of Rome. The Phillipics was not the first time Cicero proved his power and influence to the Roman people. His speech against Cataline was also extremely influential.
Beside Cato, Cicero was one of the best speakers who supported the senate of Rome. Octavius saw great advantages in friending Antony, because Antony had the support of Lepidus, another important political figure in Rome at the time.
Their ruling was much more cruel than the first, and each of them assigned theirselves five-year consular power. Unlike most, Cicero did not flee. He deemed it important and right to stay, and if necessary, die with his mother country. Cicero got what he wished, and was murdered on the 7th of December, 43 BC.
Cicero was seen as one of the most influential speakers since Cato, and now that he is dead, not much political power stands in the way between the Second Triumvirate and Rome. With their political enemies dead in the Roman state, the men of the triumvirate wanted to exterminate their foes in the east: The death of the liberators is commonly seen as the official closing and end of the Roman Republic.
Now, the Triumvirate is in power and the republic is overthrown.