The Seven Kings

753 BC - 509 BC

The Seven Kings of Rome
- Romulus
○ Rape of the sabine women
- Numa Pompilius
○ Gave rome its relgious institutions
- Tulus Hotilius
○ wars
- Ancus Marcius
○ peace
- Tarquinius Priscus
○ etruscan
- Servius Tullius
○ etruscan
- Tarquinius Superbus

Founding of Rome

753 BCE

Etruscan History

750 BC - 280 BC

Ca. 900-700 BC: Villanovan Culture
Ca. 700: Etruscans
6th Century BC: Age of maximum wealth and expansion
5th century BC: various Etruscan states defeated by the Romans
396 BC: Fall of Veii
282 BC: Etruscan states ally against Rome
280BC: Fall of Vulci and end of Etruscan independence

Age of Etruscan growth and expansion

Approx. 599 BC - Approx. 500 BC

The Struggle of the Orders

509 BC - 287 BC

The period of constituional development between the founding of the Republic and the Lex Hortensia in which the major internal political issues were addressed, paving the way for the successful political system that was the foundation of Rome's power. The internal divides between among the elites, and between the patritians and the plebians, threatened to undo Rome. The book describes the solution of these problems as the development of a hybrid polis, which happened in two phases. Phase 1 was attaching the elite to Rome. Phase 2 was establishing a plebian state.

The Republic

509 BC - 27 BC

Wars with the Oscans

500 BC - 400 BC

The Oscans, who practiced the "sacred spring" in which animals and humans born within a certain spring were dedicated sacred. The animals were sacrificed, but the humans were forced to leave society in adulthood. Those "sacred" members, would ban together upon excile, effectivley producing warbands for each sacred spring that woud move south towards the romans and greek and take cities. Both latins and romans dealt with this problem. The area within which this was happening was quite small, about a radius of 12-25 miles from Rome. The response to the Osacans was to build fortresses, which drove them back.

The Crisis of the Fifth Century

499 BC - 400 BC

Highlander invasions left rome in a state of constant warfare for the time and both patritians and plebians began to lose land, but plebians lost more. Patritans were therefore able to strengthen their hold on the state while plebians lost power. The overall result of the fifth century crisis was that it created an unstable mix of riich, powerful patritians and unhappy, frustrated, but well of plaebians excluded from high office and poorer pleabeans in debt to the patritians. The power of the state and its military effectivenss declined. This perpetuated the struggle of the orders. Additionally, as more people lost their land, fewer could serve in the phalanx, and the political crises resulted in a military crisis

Romans conquer various Etruscan states

Approx. 499 BC - Approx. 400 BC

First plebeian secession

494 BC

Carthaginian Expansion

480 BC - 278 BC

Council of Plebs established

471 BC

A parallel and alternative meeting to the Centuriate Assembly. The council of plebs consisted of various tribes, which grew in number to its limit of 35 in 241.

Second Plebeian secession

450 BC

Gets the twelve tables published

Appeal: Provocatio introduced

449 BC

A way to alieve Plebian frustration. Roman citizens were granted the right to appeal to the people, to demand a trial before an assembly of the people, if they were threatened by fligging or execution by a magistrate.

Publication of the Twelve Tables

449 BC

Plebs pressured Pats to codify they ancient traditions by which rome was governed. It was used for generations and was the source of all law, public and private. similar to the bill of rights in the US constitution.

Roman military institutes pay before siege of Veii

406 BC

The point as to expand the man power pool by making more men eligbile for hoplite. it fundamentally changed the character of the roman military by shifting it from a restricted citizen milita serving at its own expense to a larger army sustained by the whole community.

Latin colony system

396 BC - 340 BC

The latin colony was a sort of new community latin citizens (including rome) could move to in order to start a new life, at the expense of the citizenship of their old home. It provided this opporutinity to escape a life of poverty, helped spread latin culture, and the fortresses that these communities built created an important defensive network for the latin league. The colony was a way to conquer new territory with setting up administrative systems for that colony. It was a soverign state, an autonomous, self governing entity but with loyalties to the larger latin community. the communities drew its membership from the latin league. The colony was an important part of Romes expansion. The colony system and the land it added and distrubted to romans also greatly help ease plebian debt, easing tensions between Plebs and Pats and granting access to more plebs to be in the military

Capture of Veii from the Etruscans

396 BC

Veii was located 10 miles away from Rome
posed an immeidate threat
After a ten year siege, Veii fell and Rome appropriated its gods, people, and territory
Romans used the ritual of evocatio to migrate the veian gods to rome to be continued to be worshiped and to appease them and eliminate claims of ilegitmate control of veii based off its right to divine protection.
The conquest of veii expanded Romes economic and military resources dramatically
increased Romes territory by about 60%
the land was distributed among the plebians, making them land owners who could then serve in the military
this land distrubution reduced poverty, increase the states manpower reserves, political participation, and economic strength

Sack of Rome by the Celts

390 BC

rome was the furthest north and most exposed of the latin league. The roman army suffered an overwhelming defeat at the battle of Allia and the capture of rome that followed was a shock to the romans. Fear of the northerners became embedded in there physche and contributed to much of the defensive paranoia that fueled their expansion. They passed laws to help ensure it wouldnt happen again. This also represented a failure of the Latin alliance and lead to a reevaluation on the roamsn part as to the leagues usefulness. The romans would recover afterwards, build the Servian Walls, establish colonies to the north and south. New types of colonies were established as well

Municipium- a city that sharred the burders of the roman state, mainly military service

Hospitium- a kind of honorary citizenship

The Military Revolution of the 4th Century BC

Approx. 380 BC - Approx. 300 BC

One of the biggest explanatory factor of Romes rise to power were its brilliant military reforms of the 4th century.

Key reforms and sources of power
- Romes unconventional method of incorporating common peoples into its common wealth increased manpower as they expanded, eliminating the problem of manpower associated with the phalanx
- Abandoned phalanx in favor of maniple, allowing for better maneuverabilty, reinforcement, and relief of fighting units on the battlefield. Separated by age groups. consisted of two centures each containing 60-80 men commanded by centurions, making up a maniple of 120-160 men. The small size made it easier to know everyone, and that was useful for motivating success. Centurions kept the maniple in line.
- Rome had a great ability to borrow and perfect foreign innovations
- Their equipment was reimagined- throwing javelins replaced the thrusting spears. Breast plates and greaves were discarded. Spears were replaced by the gladius. Harder to master, but more efficient in combat. The gladius was lethal and saved energy. it also shifted the combat style to open order fighting, which was harder.

Licinian-Sextian Laws passed

367 BC

Two tribunes- Licinius Stolo and Sextius Lateranus- proposed the consulship be restored in place of military tribunes with one plebian among the two consuls. They also put land restrictions on individuals, and plebian access to public land was guaranteed. The laws also addressed the problem of debt. The admission of plebians to the consulship broke up an informal but long custom of having only patritians in the consulship. A new elite known as the patritian-plebian nobility emerged. Plebians also got access to other magistracies. They gained access to most important political offices but not religious offices until 300 BC with the passage of the Lex Ogulina and the lex Valeria. Entry of plebians into offficee coincided with the emergence of the senate. The Licinian Sextian laws drastically eased the Plebian-Patritian tensions.

First Samnite War

343 BC - 341 BC

The Romans had made an alliance with the Samnites in 354 BC, but went back on that alliance and aid campania, which was closer and more strategically valuable. This alliance led to war with the Samnites, and victory ove the samnites had the effect of projcting roman power deep into souther italy. They both recognized new boundaries of sovereignty, giving rome territory in southern italy that would sandich the latins and lead to their revolt

Latin Revolt

340 BC - 338 BC

The latins also reevaluted their relaionship with Rome. Some events created a divide between them.
1. the conquest of veii by the romans and its settlement by Roman homesteaders
2. An alliance with the Samnite federation in 354
3. An alliance with carthage in 348
4. MAIN TRIGGER- Romes decision to abandon its recent alliance with the Samnite federation and aid the Campanians, putting Rome on the southern side of Latium. Sandwiched inbetween two roman terrirtories, the latins recognized their autonomy was at stake and rose in revolt. The war was hort and the details are unknown, but th Romans had help from their recent enemies the Samnites. Rome defeated the Latins decisively by 338

Settlement of 338 with Latin Colonies

338 BC

The settlement of 338 was a major milestone. The old natural limitations to size that normally accomanied the polis form of government was bypassed, allowing for growth while maintaining the polic and the republican constitution. The romans had much in common with the rest of the latin league, and settled on various conditions
1. Some land was taken, but most was left to the latins. They were not enslaved, bbut given new legal, social, and political relationships with Rome.
2. Latin League was abolished. some latins were incorporated in to the Roman state and given citizenship while still being allowed to continue their internal affairs. Only a few gained full roman citizenship, but a precedent that allowed for dual citizenship was set.
3. A few larger latin states had individual treaties with rome, and were too large to be absorbed. however they did not act independently in foreign relations.
4. Seven old latin colonies remained colonies but lost their right to mingle, their relationship was exclusively with rome now
5. For those people different in language and culture, such as Volsci and Campania, they were incorporated into the roman state as second class citizens- they could not vote but bore the same responsibilities. it was unpopular, but it became a preparatory phase for full citizenship.
6. Some roman colonies were set up on the coast to defend against pirates, as an alternative to building a navy.
7. The religious components of the old latin league were maintained and remained an ethnic connection. although rome was not very strict about people they conquer being like them in culture or religion.

Rome avoided
- a permanent class of serfs or slaves
- no oppressive bureaucracies were imposed
- conquered states paid no tribute
- no roman judges, tax collectors, or police intruded the latin lives
- the conquered ran their own internal affairs

What rome gained
- 37% increase in territory
-42% increase in population
-soldiers in times of war

The settlement exapnded the borders, exposing Rome to the Samnites that put them in direct confrontation and lead to the second samnite war

Second Samnite War

326 BC - 304 BC

As the romans expnded their hegemony, so were the samnites. Incorporating the Campanians into Rome in 338 put the roman border against the samnite border. The confrontation between the two powers came in the Liris Valley. The romans had established multipe colonies in the valley, and one colony on the samnite side of the valley, which was provocative. The samnites were also inflitrating Apulia. The conflict was a struggle between the urbanized, agricultural populations of the planes (rome), and the pastoral highland peoples. The wars dragged on for a generation in two phases (second samnite war (326-304) and the third samnite war (298-290)

The Second Samnite War
- The samnites had a major geographical advantage
- The italian topography made it easy for the Samnites to attack Rome but difficult for Rome to attack teh Samnites
- The romans had limited options, but attempted a frontal assault at the battle of Caudine Forks and lost badly. The Romans lost the entire army and was forced to establish a five year truce.

After the 5 year truce, the fighting resumed, and Rome had a new strategy. The new strategy involved taking advantage of its central place location in order to prevent the Samnites from uniting with the Etruscans, Celts, and Oscans. (ABC diagram in book) With this strategy, rome would be able to take advantage of internal lines of communication that allowed for better coordination while obstructing that from the opponent. Between isolating the potential northern allies from the samnites and establishing treaties with many of them, the northern threat was largely neutralized until the third samnite war. The internal lines of communication, such as roads, were difficult to build in war time.
Ultimately the strategy worked. It was initially successful, however there were still an alternation of fortunes during the war, and at what point the Samnites marched within 25 miles of Rome. However, in 314 that progress by the Samnites was counter when Rome destroyed a Samnite army and regained the colonies it lost after the battle of Caudine Forks. The war came to an end in 304

Battle of Caudine Forks

321 B.C.

Rome had limited options in the first samnite war, but decided for a frontal assault that failed and resulted in the surrender of an entire Roman army. The worst defeat in history in the opinion of the Romans. Lost its recently established fortresses of Fragellae and Cales, and its links with Campania, the Via Latina, and the Via Appia. A five year truce followed and rome was forced to rethink its strategy, ultimately opting to islolate the north and south from each other.

Third Samnite War

298 BC - 290 BC

In between the second and third Samnite wars- rome established more colonies to better solidify its central position and internal lines of communication. The fear of unification between the Samnites, Umbrians, Celts, and Etruscan that the strategy was meant to prevent became a reality in the third war, meaning the Romans were fighting a two front war. The Samnite general marched north to unite with its allies at Sentinum, but did not receive support from local settlements as they were mostly Roman. The Romans concentrated their forces and crushed the alliance. Rome won a battle on the Samnite homeland two years later, and following that put down the ast of the revolting populations who had joined the Samnites. After the war Rome consolidated by building more colonies in central italy. After the second samnite war Roman citizens are armies were frequently far from home. This widespread dispersion of its citizens put a strain on the constitution and would require reform, bringing the "struggle of the Orders" to a forefront. The Lex Hortensia would follow three years later following the end of the war.

Battle of Sentinum

295 BC

One of the most crucial battles in Roman history in which the Romans concentrated their forces at Sentinum and crush the Samnites and their allies, the Celts, Umbrians, and Etruscans.

Third Plebeian Secession

287 BC

Helpd bring Lex Hortensia

The Lex Hortensia

287 BC

One of the most important and final steps in the creation of a patritian-plebian state thatmade the decrees of the Plebeian assembly acquired the force of law and became binding on the whole state. It gave them the same wait as the Centuriate assembly (the Patritian assembly)

War with Pyrrhus

280 BC - 275 BC

Fall of Tarentum

272 BC

This completed Rome's conquest of the Italian Peninsula, besides the Celtic north. Rome did not necessarily govern all of Italy at this point, but was an unrivaled superpower in the region. While not having competing superpowers in Italy, it put Rome next to a superpower who would compete with it, Carthage.

First Punic War

264 BC - 241 BC

The First Punic War was mostly a naval war after a defeat at Agrigentum the Carthaginians resolved not to take on the powerful Roman Legions on the land and focused on winning on the water.  Carthage was initially successful against the amateur Roman Navy.  Rome responded by expanding its navy, possibly copying Carthaginian ship design as well.  Within two months, Rome had built a fleet of 100 warships.  In order to force the war on the sea to be fought on the Roman's terms, they added a "corvus" to their ships which acted as a bridge between vessels allowing the legions to become a factor in the navy.  After this innovation Rome won almost every battle, but the losses in human lives were enormous for both sides.

Rome creates Navy

260 BC

Ambitious expedition and storms destroy Roman navy

256 BC - 249 BC

Rome sent expedition against carthage in 256 hoping to end the war quickly. It ultimately failed, and with the addition of storms decimating roman naval power, by 249 the Romans had lost the naval fleet they had built and were back where they started.

The Truceless War

Approx. 240 BC - Approx. 219 BC

Romans defeat Celts at Telamon

225 BC

The Celts began a major advance towards Rome. They reached Telamon and are defeated by Rome. Rome then launches conquest North to exterminate the Celts in Po valley, but before they can finish their ambitions in the North, the second punic war breaks out.

Fall of Saguntum

220 BC

Hannibal decides to oppose the agreement Rome had made with Carthage not to advance north towards the river Ebro. No one opposes Hannibal except Saguntum. Saguntum falls after 8 month siege and everyone is killed. Rome then demands Hannibal be turned over. The demand is refued, and Hannbial begins his march from spain to italy to begin his attack on the italian peninsula by land.

Second Punic War

218 BC - 202 BC

Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene

217 BC

The romans responded with a vow for a sacred spring five years later if "the Republic has been preserved". Rome did survive and the Romans sacrificed all of the animals of the ehrds born that spring. Later, in 194, the ritual was accused of not being done right and had to be repeated at an enormous cost.

The Battle of Cannae

215 BC

One of the biggest losses in Roman history that lead to the destruction of the roman army and a major depletion of manpower.

First Macedonian War

Approx. 214 Bc - Approx. 206 Bc

Macedonias king philip V wanted to side with hannibal. Did so. Senate as pissed but couldnt strike at philip on the other side of the Adriatic, so supported the Aetolian League with a little bit of naval support. Aetolians made peace in 206, and the romans did in 205, ending the first Macedonian war.

Ludi Megalenses instituted

204 BC

Another festival, this one dedicated to the god Cybele, the Great Mother Goddess, to celebrate Romes victory over Hannibal.

Expanding the empire

202 BC - 146 BC

from the end of the second punic war with Hannibal in 202 to the destruction of Carthage and Corinth in 146 BC

Cisalpine Gaul fortified

200 Bc - 170 BC
  • Cisalpine gaul remained hostile after Hannibal
  • there were multiple occasions of successful gaulic raids on roman settlements even towards those on which hannibal failed.
  • in 186 bc, 1200 gauls suddenly appeard frin across the alps in an attempt to settle northeastern cisalpine gaul romans established Aquileia in order to stop the sprea spread quelched by 170 the characteristics of a far reaching empire and the movement of people associated with the new settlements of this period became started to stress the existing constitution and help lead to the crises that would follow.

Second Macedonian War

200 BC - 196 BC

Power struggles in the east came to worry rome, and the kingdom of peramum and the naval state of Rhodes, (along with athens), were at war with Philip and wanted rome to intervene on their side. Rome challenged Philip to stop attack the greek states and when he refused went to war with him. The roman geneal Titus Flaminius defeated Philip at Cynoscephalae in 197 forced him to sue for peace. They kept a weakened Macedonia in tact in order to maintain a balance of power in the east. Greece was to be ungarrisoned and tribute free. however, there were ambiguities in the relaionship between Rome and Greece that would lead to trouble down the road.

Sporadic Wars in the Iberian Peninsula

197 BC - 133 BC

In order to secure spain after understanding its stategic importance, the romans divided it up into nearer and further spain, and the slow process of bringing Iberia under roman control was launched. Between 197 and 133, Rome conducted a series of campaigns resulting in the sbjection of much of the peninsula. The romans resorted to extreme brutality in the face of guerilla warfare. romes hold was secured with the faull of the celt-iberian town of Numantia. iberia was the graveyard of the reputations of many generals and of just wars.

Battle of Cynoscephalae

197 BC

Battle in which the Romans, lead by Titus Quinctius Flaminius, defeated King philip and ended the second macedonian war

War with Antiochus

192 BC - 188 BC

The Aetolians were mad that Rome would not let them fill the power vacuum left by the defeat of Macedonia during the second Macedonian War. They got the Seleuci King of Syria, Antiochus III, to take greece for them. He arrived to "liberate the greeks" but was quickly forced back to asia minor by the Romans, followed, and defeated. An enormous indeminty and arms reduction was imposed that lead to the fall of Seleucid power in the east. Rhodes and Peramum were rewarded.

Battle of Magnesia

190 BC

the battle in which a roman army lead by Lucius Cornelius Scipio, Scipio Africanus brother, defeated Antiochus.

Third Macedonian War

172 BC - 167 BC

A marriage alliance between Perseus, son of king Philip, and Seleucids, the growth of macedonias economic and military power, and allegations against Macedonia by one of its allies, led to a final macedonian war. The Macedonians were defeated and the kingdom of Macedonia fell at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC. Afterwards, Macedonia was divided into 4 autonoumous but weak states, and tribute was imposed. Rhodes and Pergamum were punished for attempting to mediate between Rome and Macedonia.

Battle of Pydna

168 BC

The battle in which Macedonia was defeated once and for all. (besides the fourth macedonian war i guess)

Abolishment of the tributum, or tax on Roman citizens

167 BC

Athens sacks Boeotian town of Oropus

157 BC

Athens sacked Oropus for unkown reasons. Oropus sent delegation to rome. Senate order issue to tcity of Sicyon for aribtration. the resulting verdict made Athens pay a huge fine. Athens appealed and the fine was reduced. Athens still garrisoned Oropus and expelled some citizens. Oropus again appealed to rome, but getting nowhere, decided to turn to the Achaean league for help. They bribed members of the Achaean league, who then threatened action. Athens backed off. However, the bribed league officials began to quarrel among themselves and the issue ended back up in Rome. However, Rome was distracted by a revolt in macedonia (faker) and took its time resolving the Oropus affair, and a small civil war broke out between Sparta and the League. The senate then decreed that Sparta should leave the league. The league responded by declaring war on sparta, and Rome intervened militarily. The city of Corinth, where a roman delegation was ridiculed a year earlier, was destoryed to send a message to the rest of Greece. Greece and Macedonia ended up iunder the control of the Roman macedonia governor.

Fourth Macedonian War (pretender revolt)

150 BC - 148 BC

A revolt broke out in Macedonia in which a pretender named Andriscus claimed to be the son of Perseus, the last macedonian king. This distracted rome from settling the dispute between Sparta and the Achaean league sooner. Following this revolt, the 4 republics set up after the third macedonian war was dissolved and all of Macedonia was established as a province with a governor.

Third Punic War (sack of Carthage)

149 BC - 146 BC

growing economic strength of cathage, roman paranoia, and a stream of complaints from the Numidian King brought rome to the decision to destory the city. The case for its destruction was argued by Cato. It was put under siege and utterly destroyed. Africa then became a governed province.

New problems of empire and attempts at reform

146 BC - 111 BC

from the destruction of Carthage and Corinth to the Jugurthine War

Achaean War: Sack of Corinth

146 BC

The culimination of the events that began with the Athens sack of Oropus. Utterly destrroyed to make ap oint ot he rest of Greece.

Consequences of Empire (chapter 8)

145 BC

The acquisition of Cisalpine Gaul, Iberia, Africa, and Macedonia, as provinces with governors put new strains on Rome that lead to major transformations. Dominating the entrie mediterranean transformed all aspects of society. Shift from city state to world state put serious strain on the roman constitution.
- The roman economy shifted from one based on small property owners to a muh more complex, monetintized, mostly cash crop economy.
- the elite fragmented and new classes developed.
- fewer small property owners
- city of Rome grew in size and became home to a diverse economy, dominated in numbers by poor, freborn citizens, freedmen, and slaves.
- the culture hellenization was accelerated after centuries
- the military gradually ceased to be a citizen militia made up of property owning draftees and became a standing army of professional soldiers
-the relationship with allies in Italy deterioediated to a breaking point

Gracchan Revolution (chapter 9)

Approx. 133 BC - Approx. 122 BC

The brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi attemped in 133 (Tiberius) and 122 (Gaius) to address the new serious strains on Rome and its constitution. Some of their legislation was passed, but they both were ultimately murdered for their attempts at creating solutions. They made obvious the paralysis of the old senatorial elite and its ineffective ruling techniques. The coalition of equestrians, the well off, and the urban crowds enabled him Gaius to control the popular assembly but his reliance on the office of tribune was not a long term solution. Even though the coalition disintegrated and the old, broken system reasserted itself, new people would quickly begin to shake things up again. The politicians and generals following this period would increasingly turn to the rural voters, equestrian class, urban crowds, and dissatisfied allies to which the Gracchi brothers appealed to. They invented the political tehnique of popularis ratio, or using the people to your advantage.

Deterioration of the Gracchan reforms

119 BC - 111 BC

Some reforms stayed in effect, like grain subsidies, but most fell apart. Key components of the land reform act established by Tiberius were stripped away piece by piece until it was completely haulted in 111 bc, eliminating the possibility of peaceful solutions to the problems facing Rome. The termination of land reforms prepared the way for private armies of the dynasts of the next century.

Jugurthine War: Marius in Africa

111 BC - 105 BC

Jugurtha (an adopted son of the Numidian King) refused to share pwoer with the legitimate heir, had someone assassinated in Rome, and bribed consuls. After a difficult time in Africa with several failing consuls, Marius was elected consul in 107 BC to end the war quickly. In order to overcome the problem of Guerrilla Warfare, he needed to outnumber his opponents 7:1, but there was another war against the Germans in the North that made it difficult to get that sort of manpower. In order to solve that problem, he decided to enroll the propertyless (the proletarii) for the first time. In 105 BC he brought the war to a successful conclusion, in time to return to Italy for another war.

Age of Marius and Sulla

111 BC - 79 BC

From beginning of Jugurthine war to the retirement of Sulla

War with the Cimbri and Teutons

105 Bc - 101 BC

The Cimbri, a large german tribe, were driven from denmark by coastal flooding and began to march south. It was joined by the Teutons and Ambrones. Like the celts, their plan was to pillage their way to thepromised lands of the mediterranean shore. They first encountered the Romans in 113 BC, and they defeated the Romans. They fortunately marched west, picking up otheer tibes as they went. Roman armies sent to protect the new province in southern gaul were destoyed in 109 and 107 BC. In 105 a "new man" (novus homo) Mallius was sent to deal with it, but the provincial, aristocratic leader Carbo refused to cooperate, and the Romans suffered their worst defeat since Cannae at the battle of Arausio in 105. Fortunatley after this battle the germans decided to head west to plunder gaul and spain, giving Rome a chance to prepare for invasion just as Marius was finishing up in Africa. Marius would be elected to Consul for five consecutive eyars, dspite laws forbidding so, and would reform the military in order to better deal with the massed infintry style of barbaric armies. Soldiers carried their own equipment "Marius' Mules".
In 102, the Cimbri and Teutones returned from Gaul and Spain and headed for Italy. They split up in ordeer to divide Roman forces. Marius destroyed the Teutones in the south and then return to northern Italy in time to join the other consul and destory the Cimbri and their allies.

Marius allies with Saturnius to secure land for veterans

103 BC

Marius and veterans force passage of land allotments

100 BC

Social War

90 BC - 88 BC

The matter of citizenship for italian allies, which was pressing at the time of Gaius Gracchus, disappeared until 91 BC when it resurfaced violently. The issue was raised by the tribune Livius Drasus, who, upo being assassinated shortly after by an unknown person, the Italians rose in revolt. The war was bitterly fought, with most issues being resolved by 90BC but the war not coming to a full end until 80 BC. In the north, the consul Publius Rutilius Lupus was advised by Gaius Marius and Pompeius Strabo; in the south the consul Lucius Julius Caesar had Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Titus Didius. Grants of citizenship were made to cities and communities that had not revolted and to those who surrendered. The numbers listed in the census rose from 394,000 to 963,000.

Sulla elected Consul

89 BC

Sulla had served as a junior officer under Marius in the Jugurthine war. He served under Catulus in the German war and distinguished himself in the Social War. He was elected console for 88 BC. The war with Mithridates would provide him another opportunity to further his career.

Sulla and Marius fight for Rome

88 BC

As consol for 88 BC, Sulla inherited the war against Mithridates but his command of it was challened by Marius, who in collusion with the tribune Sulpicius Rufus had himself designated commander. In response, Sulla asked his army to "liberate" Rome from its oppressors. Only one officer followed, but Sulla was able t convince the men that their interests lied with him. The soldiers knew that the East would be lucrative, so they wanted Sulla to lead it so they could go.
Sullas legions followed him to Rome and Marius was driven out, the offending trubie Sulpicius, though still in office, was killed and his laws invalidated. After disposing of more enemies and enacting some laws, Sulla and his army left for the east. Marius soon returned to Rome and allied with the anti-sullan console Cornelius Cinna. They raised armies, marched on Rome, captured it and took vengeance on their enemies. Sulla was outlawed and exiled, his property confiscated, and his house torn down. Sulla's war against mithridates was theirfore being conducted illegally. Sulla continued to claim he was the true Republic. The new rulers did distribute the italians throughout the 35 tribes.

Revolt of Mirthridates VI

88 BC

After routing the Romans in Asia, Mithridates forces made for Greece. Athens foolishly allowed itself to be persuaded to join Mithridates, and as soon as Sulla arrived he put it under siege. His soliders pillaged and murdered Athens after. Sulla then won two decisive victories againt Mithridates forces and forced them to evacuate Greece. Meanwhile, Sulla's enemies in Rome had sent out yet another army of two legions under the command of Valerius Flaccus to fight agaisnt Mithridates, but also to challenge Sulla. A mutiny in Flaccus army led to the death of Flaccus , and his subordinate Fimbria took over. By 85, Mithridates was surrendering, agreeing to vacate the province of asia and pay an indemnity. When the two Roman armies made contact, Fimbrias troopsdefected to Sulla and Fimbria committed suicide. His army was incorporated in Sullas.

Death of Marius

86 BC

Sulla returns to Italy

83 BC

Sulla returned to italy to reesetablish his political power. With his veteran army and the assistance of a number of young nobles who rallied to him, including Crassus and Pompey, Sulla routed his opponents and most of Italy submitted to him. The Samnites and Lucanians held out and Sulla slaughtered them.

Dictatorship of Sulla

82 BC - 79 BC

In 82 BC Sulla had himself appointed dictator with special powers for reestablishing the state. The ancient office of dictator had been used in the past in cases of emergency of outside threats, but he used it to solvet he political provess and reinstate the traditional rule of the Senate.
He implemented proscriptions in order to both raise money and eliminate his political opponents. Lists were posted publicly of his enemies with a price for each one. He was able to pay his troops with the money he made from the estates of the proscriptions victims. About 200 senators and 1600 equestrians perished.
Sulla then attempted to implement reforms that would help solve Romes political woes. He meant to restore power to the senate by limiting the power of the tribunate. Increased the numbers of quaestors and praetors, and created a schedule for magistracies. He also limited the power of governors, saying they could not start wars. He restored the courts to the senate. He did not address the issue of private armies.
His biggest reform was of the senate, which he added 450 to a senate of 150, mostly from the equestrian order. The senate became larger and pretty incoherent. The moral authority of the senate was weakened. These issues of the Senate sets the backdrop of the poitical instability between Sulla and Caesar.

Sulla retires from political life

79 BC

Age of the First Triumvirate

78 BC - 44 BC

From Pompey first entering on the scene with the rebellion of Lepidus, putting out the insurection of Sertorius in Spain, and putting down the slave revolt of spartacus, to the assination of Julius Caesar.

Sulla dies

78 BC

Consulship of Aemilius Lepidus

78 BC

Lepidus initiated an armed revolt when frustrated with efforts to undo the Sullan constitution. He sent his legate, Junius Brutus, father of the assassin of Caesar, to occupy Gallia Cisalpina and raise troops. From this power base Lepidus intended to launch a new march on Rome. In doing this, he set the precedent for Caesar. The senate responded by turning to Pompey, a young Sullan supporter and opportunist to defend Rome. He was given special command, the power to act as a praetor, and was given two mandates. The first mandate was to put down Lepidus, which he did successfully. The scond was to attend to a revolt in Spain. Spain was harder. A talented general named Sertorius was still championing the cause of Marius. This conflict continued until 71 BC. On the way back, Pompey mopped up the remnants of the Spartacus revolt

Slave revolt of Spartacus

73 BC - 71 BC

Broke out in the gladiatorial schools in Campania. Spartacus, a former Roman auxiliary soldier from Thrace, led the uprising ad was joined, in addition to agricultural slaves, by some of the victims of the civil war who had lost their lands in the expropriations of Sulla ten years earlier. Two of his generals, Crixus and Oenomaus, were celts. For two yearss he triumphed over Roman armies and led his troops to Cisalpine Gaul where he hoped his followers would disperse to their homes. They did not do this, however. Spartacus turned south again. The Senate created another special command for another supporter of Sulla, Crassus. Crassus created a large army and cornered the slaves in southern Italy. Spartacus was killed in action, and 6000 slaves were crucified along the via Appia.

Consulship of Pompey and Crassus

70 BC

They saw to the restoration of the Tribunate and removed what was left of Sulla's reforms.

Pompeys campaign against the pirates

67 BC

In 67 BC a law was proposed to give Pompey special command with unlimited power against the pirates, who had become stronger since Rome had curtailed the maritime power of Rhodes. Rome's dependence on grain made the situation very serious. The unlimited command given to pompey to deal with the problem was controversial, and only Julius Caesar spoke on its behalf in the Senate. The point was to given the commander enough resources to dominate the opponent. However, the position provoked internal jealousy and attempts o undermine the power. The bill giving Pompey command finally passed in scenes of great disorder by the popular assembly, and Pompey entered his command.He cleared the pirate menace in a matter of months and was settling the remnants of their forces in vacant land. However, pirates remained a problem, although to a lesser extent.

Pompey's conquest of the east

66 BC - 62 BC

The war with Mithridates had started up again, and after initial success under Lucullus, it was not going well. It was proposed that Pompey finish it off. Under the Manilian law, supported by Caesar and by the "new man" Cicero, Pompey was given command of the eastern provinces of Ciicia, Bithynia, and Pontus and of th war against Mithridates. Pompey swept through the east, first defeating Mithridates and driving him to flight, then continuing into Armenia and from there back to Syria and into Palestine, where he settled a dispute over the throne of Judaea. Single handedly, he redrew the map of the eastern mediterranean, founding cities, making provinces and treatie with client kings and increasing Romes annual income by 70 percent.

Conspiracy of Catiline

63 BC

Competed with Cicero to win the consulship. Cicero won because he was seen as an alternative to Catiline. Catiline turned to two revolutionary policies: A program of land distribution and the cancellation of debts. To put these in place he planned the violent overthrow of the government, but his plans were betrayed and Cicero had Catilines conspirators arrested. Catiline escaped and joined a private army which one of his associates had assembled in Etruria. He was declared a public enemy and died fighting the forces sent by the Senate to suppress him. Cicero had the other conspirators executed without trial, which haunted him down the road.

Pompey returns from the east

62 BC

Pompeys return with his army from the east raised fear ampong the optimates tht he might use his veterancs to sustain his unusually high position in the state. However, he told the Senate he would work with them to ratify his reoganization of the east and gt his men land grants. The senate jumped on it and saw it as a sign of weakness, further reinforced when he demobilized his army. However, when it came time to do so, the ratification of his eastern treaties and of his land for veterans was denied.

"First Triumvirate"

60 BC

Rebuffed by the senate, Pompey turned to a tribune for help and after fialing there turned to Caesar, who was candidate for Consul for 59. Caesar reconciled Pompey and Crassus who had been at odds with each other, and with their support, was elected Consul. This was a personal, informal arrangement between the three men to not work against each other and when possible push the others plans. Unlike Pompey, Caesar did not care much if his actions were legal. Caesar was incredibly ambiitous, but he also had the ability to follow through on those ambitions.

Caesars consulship

59 BC

Immediately passed measures desired by his allies. After attempting to work with the Senate, he forced his legislation by viollence. Pompeyys veterans got their land and the easteen treaties were approved. Crassus got eastern tax collection contracts revised. Caesar got what he wanted, Cisalpine Gaul with three legions for five years. Later Transalpine Gaul with another leegion was added to his command. The possession of Cisalpine Gaul proided one of the three cooperating Dynasts with a source of military power within a few days march of Rome. Also with the ability to conquer Gaul if the opportunity arose. Caesar married his daughter Julia to Pompey.

Conquest of Gaul by Caesar

58 BC - 52 BC

Once in Gaul, Caesar attempted to create a narrative to support the full scale conquest of Gaul. His reports were an artful means of promoting his own achievements as well as justifying his savage wars of conquest. He was a master propagandist. He was successful, which eased the suspicion of the oligarchs. Caesar was really motivated by glory, honor, and resources. He was attempting to set up a smiar client network in the west. He also learned from Pompeys mistake upon his return in dealing with the oligarchs.
Caesars motives were understood by the oligarches and they feared a successful campaign by Caesar in Gaul. An army's loyalty was to its victorious general and only vaguely to Rome. Security and cash were the ultimate motivations of the soldiers.
Between 58 and 50 BC, Caesar conducted a gigantic plundering expedition. Celts were sold as slvaes, temples and towns ransaked. He raided towns for loot less than for justice. When one german tribe crossed the Rhine into Gaul, he invited their leaders to negotiate then ambushed their armies. He raided into Germany and Britain in order to display military might and discourage aggression.
By 50 BC, Caesar had annexed a gigantic stretch of territory. The resources of and manpoweer could have been an independent kingdom. Caesar, followed by his successors, decapitated Celtic society.

Collapse of the "First Triumvirate"

55 BC - 54 BC

at the end of 55 BC, Crassus went to Syria to refurbish his military reputation, but was killed by the Parthians at the batte of Carrhae. In addition, Julia died in 54 BC, and the alliance disintegrated. Caesar had much more power than Pompey by this time, because he was in the midst of his conquest, where as Pompeys had decayed. Communication broke down between the two. The oligarch demanded Caesar abandon his campaign when he was done in 49. Pompey was gradually won over to the Oligarchs. The tribune Curio, having been bribed by Caesar, suggested both Caesar and Pompey step down at the same time. when a rumor spread that he was marching on rome, senators begged Pompey to defend rome.

Second Consulship of Pompey and Crassus

55 BC

"The die is cast"

49 BC

Caesar tried to avert war by offering to give up transalpine Gaul if he could keep cisalpine gaul with two legions until his promised consulship in 48. This and other compromises were proposed ,but die-hard ptimates wanted a confrontation and persuaded the senate to pass the "ultimate decree" of the defense of the state. Caesars supporters, among them the tribunes Curio, Cassius, and Antony left the city to join Caesar. Compromise was now impossible, and Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army. Unliek Sulla, all of Caesars officers but one stayed with him.

Battle of Pharsalus (civil war)

48 BC

Where pompeys forces are defeated in Greece

Civil Wars

48 BC - 31 BC

The crossing of the Rubicon launched Rome into civil war. Pompey was defeated at Pharsalus in Greece in 48 BC, and was murder shortly after by king Ptolemy while seeking refuge in Egypt. Thapsus in Africa and Munda in Spain were two other major engagements. in 45 BC, Caesar returned triumphantly to Rome. No proscriptions, Caesar extended clemency to his foes.

Caesar's political and economic reforms

47 BC - 44 BC

Caesar expaanded the Senate from 600 to 900. He made it clear that the traditions of the Republic were at an end and had himself declared perpetual dictator. He also initiated a number of programs. The civil wars turned the debt problems into a crisis. He offered something to both creditors and debtors, but did not eliminate problem. He attempted to resettle Carthage and Corrinth with soldiers who needed land and poor people. He also attempted to reduce violence in Rome by lowering grain recipients and banning neighborhood colleges. He also limited terms for governor and proconsuls. Increased number of quesators and praetors. Reformed the calendar. He tried to attract Greek elites to improve culture of Rome. He wanted to build a library. Roman law was to be codified and a huge building program was launched. He did not have pans for consitutional reforms ecept to graft his divine and hereditary rule to the existing system. A visible chasm appeared between him and aristocrats. He attempted to escape the poisoned atmosphere by going on campaign against the Parthians, but before he could, he was assassinated.

Octavians rise to power

44 BC - 31 BC

Assassination of Julius Caesar

44 BC

Caesars assassination launched Rome into a whole new round of civil wars

The Second Triumvirate

43 BC - 33 BC

Octavian reacted decisivley to the death of Caesar ub 44 and quickly consolidated his position as one of the leaders of Caesars faction. He wooed Caesars veterans, worked out his differences with Mark Antonty, and the two, along with Aemilius Lepidus, established themselves as the ruling Triumvirate. They purged their many enmies in a bloddy proscription, in which Cicero was among the killed. They divided Rome between them and set out to settle accounts with the murderers of Caesar: Brutus and Cassius. Both were eliminated at the battle of Philippi in 42 BC. Antony married Octavia to strengthen the alliance in 40 BC. They ruled in an uneasy alliance. Lepidus was dropped in 36 BC. Octavian and Antony drifted apart after that.

Battle of Philippi

42 BC

The battle in which Brutus and Cassius were killed, and Caesar avenged by Octavian.

Octavian receives oath from Italy

32 BC

this symbolically conferred legitimacy on his rule

Octavian declares war on Cleopatra

31 BC

Octavian had consolidated his hold in Italy and the West. Antony had failed in a campaign against the parthians, and ffound himself depended on Cleopatra. His relationship with Cleopatra and divorce from Octavia enabled Octavian to launch a successful propaganda campaign against Antony. It didnt help that Antony wanted to move the capital to Alexandria. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated at the battle of Actium after Octavian had declared war on them. A year later both comitted suicide, and the civil wars were finally over. Octavian was now left alone on the stage, and with the wealth of egypt was in an unassailable position.

Battle of Actium

31 BC

Octavians victory over Antony and Cleopatra

The Augustan Settlement (Chapter 12)

30 BC - 1 BC

Impleneted taxes- highly unpopular, but the alternative- land grants and confisscations-were worse. One man rule helped maintained control the military. He reorganized and administered the grain supply for a much higher population than the days of Gracchus.He built Aqueducts to secure the water supply. He built baths to deal with sanitation issues. Estalished police (urban cohorts), urban administration, fire brigades, the praetorian gaurd to defend the emperor. The building program was important for augustsus and for making arome a livable city after a long periopd of population growth. Augustus also attempted to restore moral, cultural, and religious traditions. He created penalties for adultery, penalized unmarried indiviuals and childless couples, while creating benefits for those with children. THe princepts placed special emphasis on the traditional religion and morality of Rome. He thought that the religious deteroiation of rome was in part what lead to the civil wars, and attempted to restore roman religion by building temples and becoming a member of the ollege of Pontiffs and Augurs. Augustus was chief priest in 12 BC. He also set up games, and was proud of his gladitorial games. One of which was a naval battle. the secular games in 17 BC was the high point of his religious renewal program. It was a catrefully orchestrated event proclaiming the beginning of a new age. HE established a privy council, council of the princeps, or consilium principis, in order to help administer his empire.

Octavian becomes Augustus

27 BC

Gives up special powers (a move that actually makes him more powerful), is named Augustus: Princep and Imperator
accepts various provines and forfeits some to the senate

Julio-Claudian Emperors

27 BC - 68 AD

Augustus to Nero
- Augustus
- Tiberius
- Gaius
- Claudius
- Nero

Augustus becomes Trubine of the plebs for life

23 BC

Veto; can bring issues directly to the popular assembly
gives up consulship

Death of Augustus

14 AD


14 AD - 37 AD

Last choice pick of Augustus for Emperor. Much more cynical, not very socible, resented by the people for not hosting games, and without very many people he could trust. He had been forced to divorce the wife he loved to marry Augustus's daughter. He was isolated initially, but found an adviser in the Prefect of the Praetorian Gaurd, Aelius Sejanus. He made Sejanus sole commander of the gaurd, and when Tiberius opted to leave Rome and live in a vacation home on the isolated island of Capri in the Bay of Naples. Sejanus would play Tiberius false, handling much of the administration of emperor while Tiberius was on Capri. Sejanus had pans to become emperor, and tried eliminating heirs of Tiberius. When Tiberius found out, he secured the loyalty of the Praetorian Gaurd and tried Sejanus before the senate. Sejanus and his family were sentenced to execution. Tiberius died later at age 77, to be succeeded by Gaius (Caligula) in 37 AD.

- Lower taxes
- No big building programs or expensive spectacles, but built a surplus
- Built roads, bridges, and canals
- Appointed able administrators and punished corruption
- Unsuccessfully tried to work with the senate
- IN SUM: cruel, but a decent administrator

Gaius (Caligula)

37 AD - 41 AD

Gaius was made a joint heir with Gemellus in 36 AD. In 37 AD, with the help of Praetorian Prefect Macro, was proclaimed emperor, despite Tiberius's will appointing both Gaius and Gemellus. He got the name "Caligula" when he was young, meaning "little boots" and referring to his small military uniform he wore on the military camps as a child. Gaius was raised to believe Tiberius was responsible for his fathers death, and his mother and brothers had died in prison after being imprisoned by Sejanus. Despite the hard childhood, Baius reign began well and his unstable character did not manifest itself immediately. His accension was welcomed by both the Senate and people. He was intelligent and a great orator. He enjoyed the fancy titles that Tiberius did not. He would soon prove to be crazy. He enjoyed performing in theater and chariot races, once calling three consular rank senators in the middle of the night to perform a song and dance for them. After the death of his grandmother, who acted as a restraining influence on him, and followed by serious illness, Caligula became more erratic. He had the Prefect who helped make him emperor, Macro, and Tiberius other Grandson, Gemellus, executed to defend his hereditary line. A hostile tradition portrayed him as mad. There were rumors that he wanted to make his horse consul, and that after training maneuvers for an invasion of Britain, he had marched the legions to the English Channel only to order them to pick up seashells. While a little crazy, his short rule did no permanent damage to the Empire.

- Games and theater (of which he sometimes partook)
- road maintenance
launched two new aqueducts
- harbor improvements
- a circus


41 AD - 54 AD

Claudius had been isolated from Rome before becoming emperor. As Caligula's uncle, Caligula earlier had to be persuaded not to kill him on the grounds that Claudius was an inoffensive nobody. Claudius had grown up with a congenital weakness that caused him to limp and when agitated to slobber. He stammered and his head shook. His grandparents Livia and Augustus despisedh im as a disgrace, and he was effectively isolated to a place where he studied history and drank. After Caligula was assassinated, Claudius was hustled off to the Praetorian camp. With the help of Herod Agrippa, support by the senate was won. Claudius effectively bought the loyalty of the praetorian guard. With each man receiving 15 times the salary of an ordinary legionary solider. An additional large sum was given each year on the anniversary of Claudius's coming to power.
In 47 AD Claudius celebrated the Secular Games with the aim of reassuring the people of the continuity and success of the regime. To gain military prestige and consolidate support with the army, he decided to annex Britain. He increased the number of provinces in Thrace and Asia Minor. He also turned out to be a great administrator, creating new administrative departments to handle different issue areas. He often put freeedmen in charge of these ventures, and that earned him resentment. He built a new port, treated the senate with respect and consulted it regularly, despite a prickly relationship. The isolation Claudius had grown up in left him alone and in the company of his wives and freemen as advisers. His freemen advisors, mainly Narcissus and Pallas (the future emperor Vespasian served in a high position in the military thanks to Narcissus), excluded many of the senators and were despised by them. His last two and most influential wives were Messalina and Agrippina. Messalina was executed for attempting to overthrow Claudius, and Agrippina, mother of Nero and descendent of Augustus and the popular Germanicus. Agrippina got Claudius to adopt Nero in 50 AD, and in 54 AD, Claudius was alledgedly poisoined by Agrippina, making Nero emperor.

  • criticized for his use of freedmen in government
  • he built roads
  • two new aquedcuts
  • large new harbor at Ostia
  • Reduced taxes for shipping grain
  • Built canals and recovered swamp land
  • Added the provinces of Thrace and Mauritania, and conquered southern Britain
  • Granted citizenship and built colonies- Romanization of the Empire
  • Bought Roman Empire to it'z peak size


54 AD - 68 AD

Nero's reign began promisingly. His first speech was written by Seneca and promised to rule as Augustus. For at least the first five years he ruled well, leaving most of the work to his mother, Seneca, and Praetorian Prefect Burrus, who as a team effectively managed imperial affairs, court intrigue, public relations, and patronage. Nero had plans of his own, but was willing to accept the guidance of Seneca and Burrus because they helped him restrain the domineering Agrippina. Agrippina tended to overplay her hand, and her intense ambition came to an end when in 59 AD Nero decided he could no longer tolerate it. In 62 AD, prefect Burrus died, and with his death Seneca's influence also came to an end. Nero emerged as an irresponable and amoral emperor. He was intereded in theater, music, literature, and athletics but not at all in military affairs. In 64 AD, a disasterous fire that lasted 9 days destroyed all but four of the 14 regions of Rome. In part of the burnt area he constructed his own enormous palace. He blamed the fire on the christains and had many executed, but the public did not buy it and felt sympathy for the scapegoats. A failed conspiracy to assinate Nero led to the death of many of the elite, including Seneca. While Nero himself had no interest in war, he appointed excellent governors and had the best generals. Most of Nero's irresponsibilities had little effect on the armies, but in 67 AD he suspected his generals of treason and ordered Corbulo and the commanders of the Rhine legions to commit suicide. In Gaul, Julius Vindex rose in revolt. Nero did not seem to pay to much attention to the situation, and others, including the governor of Spain, Galba, ultimately joined Vindex. Vindex's revolt did not last long but it was enough to begin the downfall of Nero. The praetorians and the senate voted Galba the new emperor when Nero panicked and fled, later committing suicide.

Suicide of Seneca

65 AD
  • Originally from Corboda in Hispania
  • Stoic philosopher, stateman, dramatist
  • Nero's tutor and adviser
  • Forced to commit suicide in 65

Major literary works
- Philosophical essays
- Letters on moral issues
- Claudius Pumpkinification
- Tradgedies

Flavian Emperors

69 AD - 96 AD

Vespasian to Domitian (3)
- Vespasian
- Titus
- Domitian

The Flavian emperors solidified the hereditary succession that had occured under the Julio-Claudian emperors.

Many senators had perished in trials of Nero and the recent civil wars, shrinking from 600 to 200. This gave Vespasian and Titus an opportunity to fill the gap with their own supporters, creating a new party and aristocracy. A meritocracy of sorts was created that allowed people with experience in civilian life to ascend to the rank of senator, as would be the case with some future emperors.

Considerable repair needed to be done in the provinces. Despite the capture of Jersulem in 70 AD, the war continued for another 5 years. The fall of Jerusalem allowed Vespasian to celebrate a 30 day triumph and build the Temple of Peace on land from Neros palace. the colosseums construction began with the booty collected from Jerusalem and was built using jewish slaves. A revolt broke out in northeastern Gaul after the Rhine legions had departed to support Vitellius. Order needed to be restored in that area, and a reform was initiated to prevent auxiliary legions from being stationed in their homeland. They also broke up regional legion concentration to prevent similar marches like that of Vitellius. The flavian emperors gave extra attention to the military. They increased the number of legions in Syria and invested in infrastructure along the frontier provinces. This period saw the beginning of the barbarian pressures on the northern frontiers, which would continue for centuries.

The flavian dynasty was based on rural bourgeoisie of Italy, in contrast to the aristocratic and eccentric Julio-Claudians.

To some degree, Vespasian oversaw an era of peace similar to that of Augustus following a civil war. Titus was a very shortlived emperor, and Domitian was not as benign as his brothers and fathers had been. He had an authoritarian understanding of his role as Princeps and did little to conceal it. He preferred to be addressed "lord and god". While Domitians relationship with the elite was not so great, he understood the importance of the army and the people. He hosted banquets and spectacles, and put the Colosseum to good use. He knew the army had to be kept busy, successful, and well paid. He raised the pay of the legionaires by a third and proved himself a successful leader in campaigns. When his legate in upper Germany, Antonius Saturnius, attempted to lead a rebellion he found little support among the troops. It was put down by the governor of lower germany and future emperor Trajan. Thereafter, however, Domitian became increasingly suspicious, verging on paranoia, and a reign of terror descended on Rome. Real and imagine traitors were put to death. The purge of a praetorian prefect panicked others into a real plot. The following year Domitian was killed in the palace by conspirators, ending the Flavian emperors.

Year of the 4 Emperors

69 AD

4 men competing for emperor: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian
After Galba got to Rome following Vindex's rebellion and his acceptance as emperor by the Senate, the eight Rhine legions proclaimed their general Vitellius emperor. Galba got to Rome with an early supporter, Otho, the governor of Luistania (modern portugal). Galba had a poor grasp of how to handle things in Rome. He enraged the praetorians by refusing to pay the large handout they had been promised by their prefect Sabinus. he canceled public games upsetting the populace, and he alienated Otho, who had been anticipating being made Galba's heir, but was passed up for an unkown aristocrat, Piso. Otho turned on Galba and persuaded the Praetorian Gaurd with bribes and promises to switch sides. Galba and Piso were murdered in the Forum, and the Senate and People then accepted Otho as princeps. When the Rhine legion of Vitellius crossed the Alps into Cisalpine Gaul, Otho marched to meet them but was defeated near Cremona with massive losses on both sides. Otho apparently committed suicide to try to put an end to the civil war. Meanwhile, the legions in Syria and Judaea proclaimed Vespasian emperor and their lead was followed by the Danubian legions. Vespasian also had the support of the prefect of Egypt, whose adherence was important because of Egypt's grain exports. Vespasian split up his supporters, sending a general to march on Rome while Vespasian went to Egypt to receive herence of the Egyptian prefect. The Danube legions were the first to arrive to meet the Rhine legions of Vitellius, and defeated Vitellius, who was captured and executed, at the second battle of Cremona. Rome was captured next. Vespasian was then recognized as emperor. This began a new dynasty in Rome. The year of the 4 emperors shows that while the Praetorian gaurd had significant influence, they were no match for the frontier legions, who were the real king makers. Significant damage was suffered as a result of the infighting.


69 AD - 79 AD
  • Equestrian family
  • Successful military careers --Roman invasion of Britain in 43 --Jewish rebellion of 66
  • Brilliant and tireless administrator
  • restored Roman finances with taxes and careful administration
  • disliked extravagant life
  • died of natural causes

Public Buildings
- Repairs of existing buildings and aqueducts
- construction of roadwork, bridges, and fortifications in Italy and provinces
- built temple of peace and forum of peace
- dismantled Nero's palace and gave it back to Roman people
- Used Neros lake to build the Colosseum, although it would not be completed during his reign.

Construction of the Colosseum

72 AD - 80 AD

Inaugeration in the year 80: 5000-9000 wild animals killed
Domitian later constucted tunnels and passages for gladiators and wild animals
Named after the colossal statue of Helios placed next to it


79 AD - 81 AD

Commander-in-chief in Judea, which he had been put in charge of when Vespasian left to become Emperor.
- charming, intelligent, loved by the people
- Inaugerated the Flavian amphitheater with lavish games
- Very helpful after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD
- Constructed the Arch of Titus in 81

Mount Vesuvius Eruption

79 AD

As early as the end of the second century, the Roman government had men digging at Pompeii to retrieve large public statues from the forum and to remove building materials for other towns. The salvage work had to be curtailed while Vesuvius violently erupted for seven days in 203 A.D.       By 1700 there were only a few scholars who knew that Pompeii had ever existed. There was no one living who knew the location of the lost Roman cities of Campania. While digging his well deeper in 1711, a landowner discovered fragments of ancient marble which eventually came to the attention of the Austrian aristocracy in Naples. Miners began to tunnel horizontally from the bottom of the well and began finding marble statues of exquisite detail. Tunnels destroyed irreparably many works of art on the walls of various buildings.
The excavations were abandoned until 1738 when treasure hunters, under commission of King Charles of Bourbon, then ruler of Naples, discovered an inscription which identified the site as that of the lost town of Herculaneum (known today in Italy as Ercolano). The science of archeology did not yet exist and little effort was made to do anything more than retrieve lost classical works which could be added to royal palaces. King Charles wanted to keep the discoveries a secret until he had amassed enough ancient treasures that Naples could become a center of art that would rival Florence. But in 1740 Horace Walpole, the son of the British Prime Minister, visited the area and wrote back to England that an underground Roman town was being recklessly explored.
As the digging at Ercolano became more trouble than productive, men began to search for other cities buried by Vesuvius during Roman times. Pompeii was found in 1748, but because few statues and frescoes were unearthed, the site was reburied and forgotten until it was correctly identified as Pompeii in 1763. These ancient ruins began to offer the world an insight into the art and life of the Roman Empire. The birth of the Neoclassical movement in art and architecture is largely the result of Western civilization's fascination with new discoveries around Vesuvius. The style of buildings in Washington, D.C., would be different if Pompeii and other nearby buried cities and villas had not come to light in the eighteenth century.

Resort town of about 5.000 inhabitants
Fancy vacation homes
Buried in 79 AD by a pyroclastic flow of gas, ashes, rocks, and mud (20 m volcanic rock)
Rediscovered in 1709. Systematic excavation did not begin till later

Villa dei Papiri
Owned by Lucius Calpurnio Piso, Caesar’s father-in-law
Located on the slope of Vesuvius, North -West of Herculaneum
Covered by 30 m of volcanic ash
First excavated 1750-1765
Library containing over 1700 carbonized Papyri (many containing works of the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus)

Commercial town of about 20.000 inhabitants
Forum, amphitheater, palestra, theater, odeon, aqueduct, four public baths, private homes, shops, brothels…
Buried in 79 AD under 5 m of ashes and pumice
Rediscovered in 1748


81 AD - 96 AD

Vespasians younger son
- Nasty person, but efficient and effective ruler
- popular with the army
- widespread executions
- generally disliked by the senate and people
- killed in a plot organized by his wife


96 AD - 98 AD

Domititan was succeeded by the elderly senator Cocceius Nerva, a descendent of one of the few surviving noble families that could trace its ancestry back to the Republic. His choice by the Senate occured with such swiftness after Domitians murder that collusion between Nerva, senators, and the assassins seems likely. Domitians memory was condemned, with statues destroyed and name erased from monuments. The choice of Nerva did not sit well with the military, with whom Domitian had campaigned for many years. The generals and Praetorian Gaurd frightened Nerva into adopting the son of the commander of the Rhine army, Trajan, as his heir as protection against a coup. This adoption began a tradition for the next hundred yers of picking a successor outside of hereditary lineage. Nerva was emperor for only 2 years.

Five Good Emperors

96 AD - 180 AD

From Nerva to Marcus Aurelius
- Nerva
- Trajan
- Hadrian
- Antonius Pius
- Marcus Aurelius


98 AD - 117 AD

Trajan was a native of Italica in Spain, making him the first emperor of provincial origins. He had a military career, serving with his father in Syria during the Jewish War and afterwards commanded a legion in Spain. He was appointed consul by Domitian in 91 and Nerva made him emperor of upper Germany in 97.
After Nerva's short reign, Trajan succeeded him. Trajan was fortunate to have trusted friends, among them a fellow Spaniard, Licinius Sura, an able general and concilor who advised Trajan to take a more Augustan style approach to the Senate, which he did. Many of the senators, however, were still scarred by the despotic and arrogant Domitian.

Conquest of Dacia
Trajan was a military man. He was glad to inherit Domitian's wars against the Dacians, although it took him several campaigns and a few enormous construction projects to do it. Trajans column depicts a pictoral account of the conquest of Dacia. The territories gain from the war proved difficult to defend, in addition to the territories currently being campaigned for, and military problems were compounded when revolts started to arise. During his retreat from Mesopotamia, Trajan had a stroke, and died shortly after.


117 AD - 138 AD

Trajan's sudden death caused Plotina, his wife, to conceal it until Hadrian could be brought over from his governorship in Syria, worried about the reaction of more expansionist elements of the Roman military who favored Trajan's conquests and worried Hadrian would end them. The story was given that Trajan had adopted Hadrian on his death bed. Hadrian chose not to renew the war against the Parthians and abandoned the conquest in Mesopotamia. the leaders of the expansionist faction were executed for a supposed conspiracy against the emperor.

Hadrian loved all things Greek. He enjoyed debating sophists, writing poetry, painting, and designing buildings. He ordered the reconstruction of the Pantheon, producing one of the gems of Roman architecture. He also designed his villa at Trivoli and the Temple of Venus and Roma in the forum.

Hadrian had no intention of expanding the boundaries of the Empire, but traveled alot to do business and ensure his armies were up to the task of defending it. While in Britain he had the construction of Hadrian's wall initiated. He traveled to practically every colony. While in Jerusalem he may have unintentionally started a war by forbidding circumcision and announcing a temple to Jupiter. Hadrian's decision to refound Jerusalem was part of a more general policy to foster urban life throughout the empire. He founded cities and built new sctructures in old ones, including an aqueduct in Carthage that supplied the city with 10 million gallons of water per day. One of Hadrian's most important contributions was the success in negotiating both his successor and his successor's successor. He chose Antoninus to replace him on the condition that Antoninus would be succeeded by Marcus Verus (later Marcus Aurelius). He was smoothly succeeded by Antoninus, who would defend many of his policies, earing him the name "Pius"

Antoninus Pius

138 AD - 161 AD

Antoninus never left Rome and nothing remarkable happened during his 23 year reign. He managed the empire through letters, partly enabled to do this though the conditions that had been set for him by Trajan and Hadrian. There were no major wars during his reign. He had a great relationship with the Senate. He was a careful administrator and good financial manager. His interpretation of the law was humanitarian and their were no family problems. When he died after a long, dull and peaceful reign, he was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius as planned.

Took great interest in the revision of the law system and with the help of the best jurists of his time he introduced many important new principles:
A person is innocent until proved guilty
Trial and punishment should be where the crime was committed.
He mitigated the use of torture in examining slaves
Prohibited torture for children under fourteen

Marcus Aurelius

161 AD - 180 AD

Marcus Aurelius father died when Marcus was young and he was raised by his grandfather, a native of souther spain and a relative of Hadrian. Marcus received an excellent education in Greek and Latin. He was serious minded, and from his youth showed an inclination towards philosophy.
From childhood Marcus was a favorite of Hadrian. He was only 17 when he was adopted by Antoninus Pius and 19 when he was made consul for the first time, 25 when he received tribunician power and proconsular imperium. He insisted upon Antoninus death that his adoptive brother Verus serve with him as co-regent, a first in imperial history.

The two emperors got off to an eventful start as the two emperors were faced with a series of crises in Britain, Germany, along the Danube, and most seriously, in the east when the Parthians seized armenia in 162. Marcus sent Verus to campaign against the Parthians, who did so from Antioch. The generals first recovered Armenia then defeated the Parthians in Mesopotamia. When the legions returned, however, they brought with them disease that devestated the Empire.
The eastern campaign had barely ended when assaults along the Danube frontier, weakened by the sending of three legions to the east, began. Two new legions were raised by Marcus and both emperors campaigned in 168 but the following year Verus died and Marcus spent the next 11 years alone in continual warfare on the Danube. The German Marcomanni and Quadi tribes crossed the Alps and besieged Auileia in northern Italy in 170 AD. From 170-174 Marcus campaigned against the Marcomanni and Quadi carrying the war successfully into the invaders own territory north of the Danube (opening scene of Gladiator). Captives from the wars were resettled in Roman territory hurt by the plague. Marcus named commodus his heir in 177 A.D, and Marcus and Commodus campaigned successfully on the Danube until Marcus death in 180.

Marcus and his wife Faustina had 15 children and Commodus was the sole surviving son. He became emperor at 19, but was no Octavian, and instead of evolving, regressed. For all his accomplishments, Marcus failed in the appointment and education of a suitabe heir apparent. Commodus quickly made peace with his German adversaries, abandoned his father's conquests, and returned to Rome to celebrate a triumph. (unsure weather Marcus had planned that)

Born in 121
Spanish family
Adopted by Antoninus Pius
Stoic philosopher
Author of Meditations
Wars against the Parthians, Germanic tribes, and a revolt in the East
Plague outbreak


180 AD - 192 AD

Commodus was the first emperor to have been brought up in the palace since Nero, demonstrating how poor of a place that was for raising children. Commodus was tall and athletic, and rejected his father's intellectuallity and dedication to the work of running an empire. Commodus instead wanted to be an impresario of the games at Rome and an active participant in them. For 12 years he performed in games. Commodus. He was an insane and horrible ruler, attempting to rename everything in the empire after himself and lost in his own lunatic role-playing. He was ultimately assassinated in a coup.

Born in 161
Son of Marcus Aurelius
Dictatorial ruler
Loved gladiatorial games and participated in them
Liked to be portrayed as Hercules
Killed in a conspiracy which included his mistress

Septimius Severus

193 AD - 211 AD

A similar situation to the year of four emperors ensued following Commodus death. The heir appointed by Commodus lasted only a few months before a coup assassinated him. The gaurd attempted to essentially sell the emperorship to the highest bidder, and the frontier legions took matters into their own hands, Prompting a four year civil war between various frontier generals. One of the generals, Septimius Severus, knowing he was closest to Rome, opted to march straight there. On hearing the news, the senate sentanced the highest bidder of the emperoship, Julianus, to death. The praetorian gaurd attempted to negotiate with Severus, but Severus disbanded it and filled the ranks with his own men. He claimed one of the other generals his heir, temporarily ending that challenge until he could face it alone, and continued to conquer the others. He executed many of the senators who had supported a rival. He then declared his sons Caracalla and Geta his heirs.

He won the loyalty of the legions through significant pay raises for the army. He also removed the prohibition against soldiers marrying. He gave an enormousl and grant to the people, the largest ever made by an Emperor. The pay increase and land handouts created a strain on the income of the Empire and heightened the need for silver and gold.

in 197 Septimius sacked the Parthian capital and made Mesopotamia a province. The provine proved hard to defend. He later attempted to annex Scotland, but could not and ultimately made peace. He died a year after that.

Severan Emperors

193 AD - 235 AD

From Septimius Severus to Severus Alevander
- Septimius Severus
- Caracalla
- Elagabalus
- Severus Alexander

The army came to the forefront of attention under the Severan emperors

Percentage of silver in the coinage declined from 90% under Trajan to 45% under the last of the Severans, indicating an issue of currency with the armies pay raises.


211 AD - 217 AD

When Septimius was dying he urged his sons "not to quarrel with each other and to enrich he soldiers and ignore everything else" His advice was half taken. Caracalla murdered his borther Geta and increased the troops pay to patch things up with them. Afterwards he went on to campaign successfully in Germany and the east. The campaigns further strained finances, and he made all free inhabitants of Roman provinces citizens in 212 AD. He then doubled the inheritance tax to which only citizens were liable. Caracalla was murdered while on campaign against the Parthians in 217 AD by the Praetorian Prefect, Macrinus. He rose to the throne but was ultimately beat by Julia Maesa, the sister-in-law of Septimius Severus, who lied that her son was the son of Caracalla. legionaires loyal to the Severan dyanasty killed Macrinus and put Julia's son, Aurelius Antoninus in his place.

Syrian Princesses

217 AD - 238 AD


218 AD - 222 AD

Varius Avitus, renamed Aurelius Antoninus, was a priest of the sun god Elagabal and came to be known as Elagabalus.

He turned out to be more than what even his own family had bargained for. On his arrival to Rome he declared that Jupiter had been replaced and that Elagabal was now the chief god of the Roman pantheon. He divorced his wife and married a Vestal Virgin. The Romans did not tolerate the cavalier treatment of the gods. Julia Maesa, his Grandmother, convinved the Praetorian gaurd to depose of him and instill Severus Alexander as the new emperor.

Severus Alexander

222 AD - 235 AD

Severus Alexander was 14 when he took the throne. Thoughout his reign he as under the thumb of palace officials and his mother, Julia Mamaea. The praetorian prefect and distinguished legal scholar Ulpian was, despite his eminence as scholar, politically inept. He had no military experience and was usually with his mother, which did not endear him to the soldiers. he attempted to negotiate with the enemy in Germany in 235 AD. The troops came back to the eastern front to find their homes ransacked by the same soldiers he attempted to negotiate with. The soldiers mutinied and killed him and his mother, referring to him as "mother's cowardly brat" as they killed him.

Third Century Crisis

235 AD - 284 AD

From the end of the Severan dynastry in 235 AD the Roman Empire found itself in almost perpetual political chaos and in a state of increasing economic dislocation. Simultaneously, the eastern and western halves of the EMpire came under attack, sometime penetrating deep into the interior of the Empire. The pressures continued for more than half a century until a series of grrat emperors succeeded in bringing Rome back from the brink of destruction.

Many short lived emperors

238 - 284


270 AD - 275 AD

After Aurelian's predecessor, Gallinenus, won a major victory over the Goths in 268 at Naissus in the Balkans, he was assassinated by the Illyrian generals Claudius and Aurelian himself. Claudius succeeded Gallieneus, and Aurelian succeed Claudius II shortly after. With the defeat of the Goths and the advent of the Illyrian emperors, Romes fortunes began to rise. in 270, the process of reuniting the Empire under Aurelian after a critical period began. By 274, most enemies had been defeated and Aurelian was able to claim the title "Resitutor Orbis" or Restorer of the World. Great walls were also built around Rome. He also tried to reform the currency and install a cult around the sun god.

Aurelians Wall
Made out of concrete faced with brick
13 ft thick at the base
21 ft high
Towers at intervals of roughly 97 ft
18 gates
12 miles in length


284 AD - 305 AD

General characterisitics
Constant campaigning
New tax system
Attempted to curb inflation by establishing prices for everything
303: Edict against Christians and persecution


With Diocletian's accession to the Throne, the Empire found peace after a century of being on the defensive and in crisis. Diocletian campaigned in the east and in the Danube area while his general Maximian drove invaders out of the west. Maximium was rewarded by being made co-emperor in 286 AD. The imperial college of emperors was expanded to 4 when in 293 both Diocletian and Maximian selected junior emperor. Diocletian selected General Gaius Galerius, while Maximian selected General Flavius Constantius. The arrangement of these 4 rules, Diocletian and Maximian and their co-rulers, is known as the Tetrarchy. Its aim was to put an end to the tradition of succession by assassination and civil war, which had been the primary means of selecting emperors in the previous century. The Tetrarchs solidified their connection through marriage between families. The characterisitics of the Tetrarchs began to resemble that Kings more so than Roman Emperors. The pretense that emperors were appointed by the Senate and the People was discarded, instead the emperors soverighty was bestowed by the gods. The interactions with the Emperor and organization of his advisory council reflected the supreme rule of the emperor, rather than a "first among equals" concept. Even a crown was worn by the new emperors.
Multiplication of emperors permitted a more effective defense of the Empire, and Roman armies were able to beat back their enemies on all frontiers.

Diocletian's reforms
Like a new Augustus, Diocletian set about a thorough reorganization of the Empire in every area- Military, administrative, fiscal, and economic. He reigned long enough to implement his reforms.

-numbers increased by double
- major building on all frontiers

- successfully reorganized the collection of goods into a regular system of levies as part of the creation of a true budget for the Empire.
- replaced old system with new uniform system applicable throughout the empire, measuring productivity of both individuals and land
- the new tax system was hard for enforce and corruption made it harder
- tried to fight inflation with price fixes, but that failed

Cultural Unity
- tried to make Roman culture uniform
- banned Christianity and Manichaeism, and destroyed much of the property
- The persecutions lasted for 10 year but failed to achieve their aim of suppressing the two religions

New Administration
- The administration was expaned and professionalized to provide the necessary taxes, manpower, and supplies for the reconstituted state.
- Involved dividing states into smaller, more manageable states and attaching a bureaucracy to handle the administration of that state.

When Diocletian and Maximiam retired in 305 ad, civil war broke out again. Diocletian's co-emperor, Constantius, died in 306 and his son Constantine was proclaimed Caesar in his place. Maxentius, the son of Maximiam entered the contest for emperor but was defeated at the battle of Mulvian Bridge in 312 A.D.

Last Great Emperors

284 AD - 337 AD

Diocletian and Constantine


306 AD - 337 AD

312 Milvian Bridge (victory over Maxentius)
313 Edict of Milan: gave Christians freedom of warship and exemption from any religious ceremony
Dynamic military commander
Victory over the Goths
Separated civil governors and military commanders
Last great Roman emperor

At the battle of Mulvian Bridge in 312, in which he ended Maxentius challenge to his reign, Constantine dreamed that he would win if he paited on his soldiers shields a Christian symbol. When he won the battle, he ascribed the victory to the Christain god and was convinced that he needed to retain his support. At Milan in 313 AD. he and his co-Augustus, Liciniu, extended toleration to Christianity and returned confiscated property to the churches.

  • Consstantine, after introducing Christianity, discovered its internal rifts between Christain groups (Donatists and Orthodox), and ultimately sided with the Orthodox, who were more forgiving, practical, and understanding of political realities that made it possibe to work with. -Constantine quarreled with his co-Augustus, and the two were jealous of each other and got in territorial disputes
  • In 324, Constantine set the new Capital in Byzantium towards the east and renamed in Constantinople, replacing Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire. It became a cultural center unmatched in the West.
  • In the defining time for Christianity, certain intepretations were rejected that helped shape fundamental values of the religion today.
  • Constantine had to decide not only whether Chrisitanity was what he believed, but whether it was good for the Emperor. A sort of bargain was worked out in which he accepted the balance of positives and negatives he perceived to come with it. The actual consequences of that decision is debated today.
  • Under constantine the separation of military and civilian powers continued

End of timeline


Following Constantine, there were more Roman emperors, but Constantine was the last of the "great" Roman Emperors. Additionally, by this time the character of Rome had fundamentally changed, the Empire had been divided in two, the capital had been moved, and monotheistic religions started to dominate. While the History of Rome technically continues on, it bares little resemblance to the culture and society of the past 1000 years, and a new age started to emerge.