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Numa Pompilius

Would Rome have survived under a republic?

Would Rome have survived under a republic?  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. Would Rome have survived under a republic?

    • yes
      11
    • no
      15


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Does any one here think that if Rome never had an emperor it would have lasted longer?

 

Why not? If the institutions of the Republic had been strengthened and the Army's organization had been adjusted to bypass loyalty to individuals then sure.

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If we agree that in this hypotetical paths there was no emperor we must assume that a major army and province administration occured.

If so, I vote yes because the roman republic, unlike the empire, could count on her citizens to fight for her. The german migration would have been stopped in their tracks if the huge and populous republic behaved like Italy during the Second Punic War. But this also required a different moral and political attitude brcause in the last days of the republic plebs were not the foundation of the state but a greedy mob.

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Why not? If the institutions of the Republic had been strengthened and the Army's organization had been adjusted to bypass loyalty to individuals then sure.

 

Exactly my point. A Republican government would have spared Rome the depredations of Nero and Caligula. But As the constitution was set up, designed for the little city-state Rome once was, it was ill equiped to hear the concerns of citizens especially at a distance from Rome. eg Comitia meetings could be hijacked by only one faction and direct democracy of the comitia meant that Roman Colonists could not participate.

 

So the inability of Rome to "start from the drawing board" politically reflected their inability to change .

 

Doesnt the War of the Allies (The Social War) illustrate this?

 

Gaius Graccus tried to raise this issue and was killed over it

unfairness to fellow Italics

Marius tried to settle a few of the foederati like the roman soldiers But Rome wouldnt have it

Marius goes into exile and the Italics rebel

and Rome ultimately was forced to grant them all citizenship anyway

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Yes: A No emperor system for Rome would have been the result of fair statesmanship and a citizenship who sent good representation because of those fair statesmen. Caesar was the direct result of the capitalist having taken the republic to be a private enterprise.

regards,

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So the inability of Rome to "start from the drawing board" politically reflected their inability to change .

 

Doesnt the War of the Allies (The Social War) illustrate this?

 

Yes and no. On the one hand, you're right that the war was caused by the unwillingness of the Roman mob to share power with their Italian allies. On the other hand, many Romans had supported civil rights for Italians for many years prior to the outbreak of civil war. Indeed, the most proximate cause of the war was the murder of Cato's uncle Livius Drusus, who was a major sponsor of the Marsic faction that was behind the Social War (sometims also called the Marsic War). Most imporantly, the republic DID show itself able to change. The war was ended almost with the stroke of a pen, when the franchise was voted to be extended to the Italians. To my mind, this shows that the consittution was adaptable to the needs of the day.

 

I'd also point out that the democratic solution to the problem of provinical administration was sitting right under the Romans' noses. The Macedonians had already worked out a situation whereby local leaders were chosen in their home districts and traveled to have their votes counted. The Roman assemblies were already reforming in this direction after the Social War (thus, Caesar's political campaigning in Cisalpine Gaul during breaks in his little adventures northward), and it's reasonable to infer that peace and a little agitation could have made the system of provinicial voting still more practical.

 

And if the Romans of the republic were anything, it was practical.

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i don't know if any one has said this yet but the discipline of the roman army was better during the republic and the armour they had was better than the imperial legion; therefore the germanic tribes would probably not stand a chance to the republican legion.

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I dont know where you are getting this Numa.

Do you mean late imperial armies?

Do you mean pre Marian legions?

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Does any one here think that if Rome never had an emperor it would have lasted longer?

 

No, I don't. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the external pressures on Rome would remain the same. Also the internal economic drain would have remained the same. Rome grew in power on the back of military conquest, but it was only a matter of time before Rome ceased expanding. It was getting too large to control, a problem the late emperors were well aware of. As long as the loot from the conquered nations filled roman coffers everything was economically ok. However Rome was a heavy spender. Its entertainment industry consumed a huge amount of money, and trading in foreign luxuries (which would have occurred anyway) drained money abroad. Tens of millions of sestercii went to India for instance. Once the money began to run out, the increased costs of an expanding bureaucracy would bring the whole edifce to its knees exactly the same way as the empire.

 

The same thing happened to spain. On the back of its american expeditions it grew wealthy and powerful, only to slide back when the gold ran out.

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Also the internal economic drain would have remained the same.

 

The Roman senate probably would have been able to solve the problem of money if they had the chance. But since it was controlled by the Emporers the senate couldn't really controll where the money went. Also the Emperors spent a lot of money on personal pleasures.

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caldrail - The exodus of bullion was rduced when exports of pretious metals were prohibited.

 

I think that they hed no concept of political reform as we have. As in other societies they made reform look like a return to good old days. Their political thinking and reform options were seriously reduced by this traditionalist view of political procces.

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Kosmo,

 

I dont know too much on the end of the empire.

but I do know that laws can be and are ignored routinely.

Augustus passed many laws trying to curb spending to no avail.

and the US tried to outlaw booze to no avail! :P

 

And I also know that depriciation of Roman coins was a problem to the end of the western empire.

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Also the internal economic drain would have remained the same.

 

The Roman senate probably would have been able to solve the problem of money if they had the chance. But since it was controlled by the Emporers the senate couldn't really controll where the money went. Also the Emperors spent a lot of money on personal pleasures.

 

No I don't believe they could. The demand for public entertainment would have remained the same without emperors to hog all the glory, or possibly become even worse due to political manoevers. For instance the ever-increasing cost of importing ever-rarer animals for the arena was not going to get better. Prosperity under the imperial period was going to happen due to the earlier conquests etc, so the demand for luxury goods wasn't going to change. Now I agree that the emperors spent heavily on themselves. But then, wouldn't the senators do likewise? They may not have spent so much individually but given the occaisional increase in their numbers wouldn't the same problems emerge? When a group of peers struggle for dominance wealt and status go together. Spending huge sums is a surefire way of demonstrating how little money means to you when you have so much of it. After all, didn't one wealthy roman commit suicide after blowing his wad on huge banquets?

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well of course it would. the emporer was the cause of the falling of it all ;) :giljotiini: :rip:

 

That is truly in dispute.

 

the Wikipedia page for 'Decline of the Roman Empire' is a great resource though. :)

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Does any one here think that if Rome never had an emperor it would have lasted longer?

No. The Republican institutions were not made to rule an empire, which means that changes were needed. Notice also that when the empire started not to work well, Christianism was instituted as an official religion in order to create a more stable identity among Romans instead of the cult of the emperor. In this way, the successor of the Roman Empire - Byzantium - was able to hold for another 1000 years. Not bad, I would say.

 

Stable institutions are a chimera, since they are constantly changing according to circumstances. Actually, the "Republic" itself went through a number of changes.

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