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Who killed the Republic?

Republic Killer  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's most responsible for the end of Republic?

    • Gracchi brothers
      1
    • Marius
      2
    • Sulla
      2
    • Pompey
      0
    • Caesar
      6
    • Cato
      3
    • Augustus
      4


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If you were to choose one person, who is the most to blame (or credit) for the end of 450-years old republic?

 

I pick Sulla not only for his march to Rome, which set precedence for army over state, but he imbodies other problems as well. Reintroduction of dictatorship, backward reform that further alienate Senate from populus, unprecedented violence of proscriptions among others.

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I wouldnt say that it is a person that should be blamed. It was just the result of historic process. Republic was doomed to die, so we cannot say that someone killed it but rather that has executed the sentence of history.

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Traditionally Marius was placed near the top for his reforms, but today that theory has come under heavy attack, their effect seem to not have been as permanent as we originally though( see War and Society in the Roman World, particularly 'Military Organization and Social Change in the Late Republic').

 

Even then the question is hard to really answer, but I would also have to go with Sulla. Him marching on Rome set the path for the later copy-cat move by Caesar.

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Even then the question is hard to really answer, but I would also have to go with Sulla. Him marching on Rome set the path for the later copy-cat move by Caesar.

 

Doesnt matter. If it wasnt Sulla the one who marched on Rome, it would have been someone else. Republic was getting into deep crisis and Romans not only didnt have the idea how to cure the situation but they didnt even realised how serious ciris and problems Republic has faced. It is much easier for us today, watching them from 2000 years long perspective.

Edited by Mosquito

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If it wasnt Sulla the one who marched on Rome, it would have been someone else.

 

I can onyl argue about what actually happened, not what could or would have. Perhaps if we did not have Sulla's drive and ambition the problems of the Republic would not have been as apparent.

Edited by Divi Filius

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This sort of thing has been hashed and rehashed enough times here that it's fairly clear where most of us stand. With that said, it was ultimately Caesar that crushed the process of Republicanism. Yes, there was a semblance of Republicanism that survived prior to the introduction of the principate, but for all intensive purposes it was Caesar that brought the institution to its knees. The Gracchi, Sulla, Marius, Cinna, etc. may have set precedents, but I don't believe that should dismiss the ultimate culpability of Caesar.

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I pick Sulla not only for his march to Rome, which set precedence for army over state, but he imbodies other problems as well. Reintroduction of dictatorship, backward reform that further alienate Senate from populus, unprecedented violence of proscriptions among others.

 

I am certainly no fan of Sulla, but I'd be happy to revisit the issue. See here for discussion.

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Everyone wants to point to Julius, or Sulla or whoever, but if we take it from the point where the Republic could no longer be restored in any shape or form, I would have to give the title to Augustus.

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The thing that bothers me about the question, "Who killed the Republic?", is that it assumes that the republic "fell" rather like the fall of the French Ancien Regime, or the Third Reich, or the Soviet Union. But these "falls" were objective, public facts that everyone at the time could and did observe: the beheading of a king, the suicide of a dictator, the resignation of a General Secretary.

 

In contrast, when (and in what) do we observe the "fall" of the republic?

  • In 59, with activation of the "Three Headed Monster"?
  • In 49, when Caesar marched on Rome?
  • In 48, after Pharsalus?
  • In 46, after Utica?
  • In 45, after Munda?
  • In 44, after Caesar's assassination?
  • In 43, when the lex Titia sanctioned a junta to create a new constitution?
  • In 42, after Philippi?
  • In 31, after Actium?
  • In 28, when public affairs were handed back to the Senate and People of Rome?
  • In 27, when public affairs were again handed back to the Senate and People of Rome?
  • In 23, when Augustus took the title of Princeps?
  • In 14, when Tiberius took the title of Princeps in monarchical fashion and effectively abolished popular election to the magistracies?

A good case could be made for any of these (my own vote would be for the lex Titia, when the people of Rome assented to their own disenfranchisement), but it's worthwhile to note who the dominant players were in all of these: Caesar and "Caesar".

Edited by M. Porcius Cato

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MPC, allow me to draw a parallel for you. Alleged communism fell in the Soviet Union, because of alleged communism.

The Senate fell because of the Senate.

 

Very simple, but not simplistic. No matter what you and your supporting hacks have to say.

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The Senate fell because of the Senate.

 

One could say the Republic (I assume the use of the word Senate was a veiled implication of oligarchy?) fell because of the action of some of the Senate's members... most notably Caesar and the false sense of security that his opponents had in Pompey... but it hardly fell because of the existence of the Senate itself. In fact, without the Senate, its inconceivable to me how Rome could've become the great power of the western world. Even if it had, it was the Senate and the notion of the Republic that is Rome's greatest legacy, imo.

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P.P., the Glory and Majesty of S.P.Q.R. shall NEVER be diminished. I only speak of the miserable, greedy, self serving oligarchic beings who Assassinated S.P.Q.R.

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Frankly they all had some culpability in the Republic's demise but weren't the underlying cause. Somewhere during the growth of the Republic its institutions began to fail in dealing with the internal political dynamics and stresses. If the Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, etc., even JC, were never born others would have taken their places in the list.

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I don't think the blame lays with Sulla, after he'd finished with his Dictatorship he gave the ruling of Rome back to the senate, albeit a senate that he had picked and new laws that he had instigated, but the senate still had control of Rome for another fifty(ish) years.

 

In my opinion the death of the senate was during Octavian/Augustus rise to power.

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