Roman Culture


Fall of Troy (most popular date)

1184 BC

Albus Longa established by descendants of Aenaeas (fictions date)

1150 BC

Development of Villanovan Culture

900 BC - 700 BC

Founding of Rome

753 BC

The Period of the Kings

753 BC - 509 BC

The Seven Kings of Rome:
1) Romulus
○ Rape of the sabine women
2) Numa Pompilius
- sabine
○ Gave rome its relgious institutions
3) Tullus Hotilius
○ wars
4) Ancus Marcius
○ peace
5) Tarquinius Priscus
○ etruscan
6) Servius Tullius
○ etruscan
7) Tarquinius Superbus
- forced people to work on huge building projects such as the completion of the Capitoline Temple to Jupiter and great sewer that drained the forum area
- was overthrown by Brutus

emergence of true cities, first in Etruria, and then later in Latiuum

700 BC - 500 BC

Tarquinius Superbus (last Etruscan King) was banished by the Romans

510 BC

The Republic

509 BC - 27 BC

Struggle of the Orders

509 BC - 287 BC

the term given to the two hundred years of agitating between pats and plebs to establish balance of power

Wars with the Oscans and other external pressures

500 BC - 400 BC

-Oscans practiced "sacred spring" (ver sacrum)
- the people of that year who were not allowed to stay would take over Latin and Greek cities
- both the Latins and Romans death with this problem
- these events took place within a 12-25 radius of Rome and lasted for over a century
- fortresses were established to deal with invading Oscans

Crisis of the Fifth Century

499 BC - 400 BC

there was a lot of war with the highland tribes
patricians and plebs both lost a lot of land, however it was worse for the plebs because if they could not pay their debt after being away fighting at war, they became the form of payment and were required to essentially work until debt could be payed off. however plebeians were not making money while this was happing so debt was never payed off. also, still a large imbalance of power between patricians and plebeians during this time. the power of the state declined because people lost their land, and therefore could not serve in the military (military crisis)

Rome defeats the Latins for attempting to reinstall Tarquinius Superbus (Battle of Lake Regillus), but then enters into a pact with them (Cassian Treaty)

496 BC
  • the Cassian treaty regulated relations between the Romans and the Latins for the next century and a half -essentially an alliance between Latium and Rome

First Plebian Secession

494 BC

-Sacred Oath-anyone who took the oath and broke it was declared accursed
-would follow their leaders and retreat to a hill outside Rome knows as the Sacred Mound

Council of the Plebs established

471 BC

established as an alternate to the Centurate Assembly. patricians not allowed to attend

Publication of the Laws of the Twelve Tables

451 BC - 450 BC

-written by a body of ten men (the decemviri)
The laws represent the first attempt to establish in written form, the entirety of the rights, responsibilities and duties of a Roman citizen. They were created in response to the plebeians' protest of unrestricted powers and abuses of the patrician class, which had exclusive access to the major magistracies and priesthoods

Second Plebian Secession

450 BC

Law of Provocation established

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 magistrat

Position of Military Tribune

445 BC - 367 BC

-land that was lost to invaders becomes recovered and alliances with the Latins allows Romans to fare well against their joint enemy, the Oscans. This eventually leads to more landowners and the number of people eligible for military service begins to rise. During the given years, military tribunes, with consular power ranging from 3 to 6 replaced the two consuls and plebeians were allowed to run for this position. Few were elected but that is not the point.

Payment is introduced in army

406 BC

-this has the effect of expanding the amount of people available for military service because people could afford to leave their farms and homes and pay for equipment to serve
-the rich were taxed to supply the money used for payment

Roman capture Etruscan city of Veii

396 BC

-Veii, just 10 miles from Rome, was a threat
-independent of the help of the Latin League, this event was to date Rome's most independent acquisition of territory
- the Romans called the gods of Veii to abandon the fallen city and come to Rome, thereby eliminating Veii's claim to right of divine protection
- Juno migrated and was worshipped on Aventine Hill

Rome sacked by the Celts, battle of the Allia

390 BC

-warlike celtic tribes had been settling in the Po Valley and pushing Etruscans and other people out for generations
-the bulk of these migrations took place during the fourth century
-Livy says the reason the Etruscans were occupied with these people and therefore did not come to the aid of Veii when the Romans captured it
- this event embedded a fear of the northerns that would be reflected in Roman law
-this event exposed the lacking of Rome in the Latin league
- the Romans were sure that the Celts would attack again
- in response to this, the Romans constructed defensive walls around the city

Licinaian 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.

Military Revolution of 4th Century

350 BC

-Rome solves the problem of the phalanx by arranging men in units called maniples which consisted of lines of men, the youngest at the front and the oldest at the back.
-each maniple was made of two centuries of 60-80 men commanded by centurions
-the glades, a short stabbing sword replaced thrusting spears and took a longer time to learn how to master. changed method and psychology of fighting and took more courage because opponent had to be more closely engaged to stab
- all of this type of engaged fighting took more training than phalanx type fighting
-discipline and professionalism were provided largely by centurions who were drawn from the ranks and bridged the gap between solider and the elite officers
-centurions were attached directly to individual maniples, not legions as a whole

First Samnite War

343 BC - 341 BC

-The Romans had made an alliance in 543 BC with Samnites, but then went back on that alliance to aid the Campanian city of Capua (companians were more politically similar to the Romans) when it was being treated by the Samnites. This decision to go against the Samnites eventually lead to war and and the Roman defeat of the Samnites allowed Rome to extend its power deep into southern Italy.
- another side effect of this war was that when it was settled now boundaries were recognized by the Romans and the Samnites and the Latin found themselves in between Rome and Roman-dominated Campania
-this led to the Latin revolting and the Samnites helped the Romans to defeat the Latins

Latin Revolt

340 BC - 338 BC

Latin feel threatened after Romans defeat Samnites and revolt
-Romans win

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 with Latin Colonies following the Latin Revolt

338 BC

The settlement the Roman established with the Latins after the Latin Revolt is important because it allowed Rome to expand and grow while still mainting the characteristics of its polis and Republican Constitution. The general rule at the time for polis-type societies was that once a certain size had been reached, further growth was impossible without losing essential elements of the polis way of life.
The settlement was based on the fact that the Latins and Romans were not too different.
1. some land was confiscated with most was left with its original inhabitants. Conquered peoples were not made slaves or serfs, they were given new relationships with Rome.
2. Latin League was abolished. Some Latins were given full Roman citizenship while being allowed to still run their own cities. what they lost was the right to conduct their own foreign affairs as independent states.
-an important precedent was established that non-citizens could be given all the rights of a Roman citizen while retaining the citizenship of their own native community. in other words, it became possible for a community anywhere in Italy to have full Roman citizenship.
3. some states, that were too large to be absorbed, remained latin states, but lost all of their rights to make decisions. all matters would be decided by Rome.
4. Some colonies that were founded before 338 BC remained latin colonies but now each had individual relationships with Rome, not with each other.
5. People of places such as Campania and the Volci, who were culturally different from Rome and spoke different languages were given second-class citizenship, which was better than slavedom or serfdom.
6. Roman colonies were established on the coast as protection to avoid creating a navy, for which Rome was not yet ready
7. Although the Latin League was abolished, Latin religion and tradition were maintained as ancient myths told of the shared Trojan origins of Latins and Romans.
-this cemented the idea of ethnic unity although was this entire settlement really established was the fact that any people anywhere in Italy could be included in some way in the Roman state, regardless of ethnicity, language or culture

-What Rome Avoided:
- a permanent class of serfs or slaves
-no police, administrative bureaucracies, judges, tax collectors
-conquered cities paid no tribute, Rome only demanded the right to call on cities for soldiers when needed
-conquered ran their affairs just as they had done before

-What Rome gained:
-37 % territory increase
-42 % population increase
-ability to call on cities for troops
-core area of central coastal Italy came under direct Roman control
-allies all across Italy

-Rome launched a road building program to connect all of these places
-the Romans had learned a lot about road building from the Etruscans, specifically from the conquer of Veii
-paving roads with stone was expensive and gave the Romans a high level of self-confidence for that fact that they were able to do this

-the entire settlement put Rome in direct contact with the Samnites due to expanded boundaries in Campania, which led to second Samnite war

Second Samnite War

326 BC - 304 BC

Battle of Caudine Forks

321 BC

-part of the Second Samnite War
-what the romans considered their worst defeat
-they were forced to surrender and give up recently established fortresses at Fregellae and Wales
-a five year truce followed before the Third Samnite War

Third Samnite War

298 BC - 290 BC

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.

Lex Hortensia

287 BC

law that gave the decrees of the Plebian Assembly the backing of the law and the Tribal Assembly became the main legislative body of the state.
-gave the Plebian Assembly the same weight as the Centuriate Assembly

Third Plebeian Secession

287 BC

War with Pyrrhus

280 BC - 275 BC

-a Greek city, Thurii appealed to Rome for help instead of Tarnetum, so the Romans obliged and in retaliation, Tarentum started war with the Romans
- the tarentines then asked Pyrrhus, a Greek for help and he won one battle, came to a draw at another, and was then withdrew from Italy and Tarentum fell to the Romans
- The Romans changed the name of this city to Beneventum

-Pyhruss' invasion inspire the Samnites and the Lucanians to revolt, a revolt that lasted for 10 years
- the Romans then decided to break up the Samnites confederation by establishing new colonies at key sites
- at this point, Rome had conquered all of the Italian peninsula except for the Celtic north
-also, Rome's defeat of the respected military leader Pyrhuss gained Rome recognition in the eyes of the world, particularly the Greeks

The First Punic War

264 Bc - 241 BC

The Greek city of Messina in Sicily was occupied my Campanian mercenaries. The city asked both the Romans and Carthaginians for help. Carthaginians agreed first then the Romans decided to go to war with them in the not quite clear hopes of restoring the power back to the Greeks from the Carthaginians or further, driving the Carthaginians out of Sicily completely.
The war ended in 241 BC when the Romans replaced their nearly destroyed fleet and resumed the Sicilian blockade.
A settlement ended the war.

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 a navy to fight the Carthaginians

260 BC

they use the "Corvus" to turn navy battles into land battles allowing soldiers access to enemy ships by locking ships together

Ambitious expedition and storms destroy Roman navy

256 BC - 249 BC

Roman navy was destroyed and manpower losses were staggering

Settlement that give Rome Sicily ends 1st Punic War

241 BC

Rome later uses this settlement as a pretext to seize Corsica and Sardinia, which sets the foundation for the second punic war

Truceless War

240 BC - 219 BC

Carathage's war against its unpaid mercenaries, which it wins

Rome defeats the Celts at Telamon

225 BC

The Celts had remained quiet during the wars with Carthage but crept up and the Romans attempted to finally finish them off through a series of campaigns. However, before they could finish, the second Punic War broke out.

Fall of Saguntum

220 BC

Event that catalyzed the second Punic War.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 - 201 BC

Rome defeated at Lake Trasimene

217 BC

Battle of Cannae

216 BC

one of the biggest losses of the 2nd punic war that led to the destruction of the Roman army and depleted manpower

First Macedonian War

214 BC - 206 BC

Rome wanted to strike at Philip V of Macedonia for siding with hannible after Carthage's successful win at Cannae but Rome was too weak so they asked the Atolian League, an old Greek enemy of Mecedonia to wage war on their behalf and the Aetolians and romans eventually made peace with Philip V

Cisapine Gaul pacified

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

The second Macedonian war was started for a variety of reasons:

Rome challenged Philip to stop attacking greek states and when he refused they launched a war against him. Led by general flaminius, rome defeated Philip and 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.

general Titus Quincitus defeats Philip at Cynoscephalae

197 BC

early commanders had moderate success in the Second Macedonian War. This defeat was a more major one that ended up forcing Philip to sue for peace

Rome conducted a series of campaign to gain control of Iberia

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.

Rome conducts a series of campaigns in Iberian Peninsula to secure its hold on it

197 BC - 133 BC

during these campaigns against Celtic, Iberian and Lusitanian people, Rome faced a lot of challenges against their skillful guerrilla warfare and resorted to extreme brutality

Syrian War with Antiochus

192 BC - 188 BC

Rome's ally, the aetolians had the desire to fill the power gap after the Romans defeated the Macedonians, but Rome would not let this happen. The aeotolians then appealed to Syrian kind Antiochus III. The romans, with the help of their Greek allies (from who they had won much goodwill by evacuating Greece after the defeat of Philip ) defeated Antiochus at Magnesia in Asia Minor. The Romans had followed Antiochus to Asian Minor under the command of Lucius Cornelius Scipio, who was accompanied by his famous brother, Scipio Africans. the war destroyed the Seleucid power in the east and Rome's allies, Rhodes and Pergamum, were rewarded.

Battle of Magnesia

190 BC

Lucius Cornelius scipio, brother of scipio Africans, leads roman army and defeats Antiochus

Peace of Apamea

188 BC

ended Second Macedonian war and established a new balance of power in the easter Mediterranean

Third Macedonian War

172 BC - 167 BC

Battle of Pydna

168 BC

a combination of events lead to final overthrow of Macedonia

in the aftermath of the war, Macedonia is divided into four parts and for the first time, tribute is imposed on an eastern state

*Polybius conclusion about eventual fate of Rome after saying that Persia was conquered by unknown Macedonia and Macedonia was conquered by Rome, therefore....

Elmination of tributum

167 BC

the tax, tributum, that roman citizens had to pay was eliminated because of the large amount of wealth that was entering Rome from its acquired lands

Athens sacks Boetian frontier 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

150 BC - 148 BC

a revolt had broken down in Macedonia led by a pretender named Andrisuc who claimed to be son of the last Macedonian king. this distracted Rome from dealing with the problem between Athens, town of Oropus and the Aachean League.

after the revolt of Andriscus had been put down, the four republics of Macedonia were dissolved and the country made subject to direct Roman rule as a province. Now, the states that had fought against Rome in the Aechean War would be ruled under the governor of Macedonia and in this way, all of Greece came under Roman control

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 Masinissa brought rome to the decision to destory the city. The case for its destruction was argued by Cato, who ended every speech in the Senate which the phrase that Carthage should be destroyed.. It was put under siege and utterly destroyed. Africa then became another province and was controlled by a Roman governor.

Acaean War: Sack of Corinth

146 BC

Corinth destroyed as a message to rest of Greece

Numantia captured by Scipio Aemilianus

133 BC

same general that defeated Carthage secures this Celt-Iberian town allowing Roma to finally secure its hold on the Spain (Iberian peninsula)

Tiberius Gracious becomes Tribune of the Plebs

133 BC

Deteriortation of Gracchan reforms

119 BC - 111 BC

some of the brothers' reforms remained, such as grain subsidies and reforms of the court, however most were undone. Tiberius' land program was not immediately put to a halt, rather, it was slowly stripped away and the key law which prevented land that was parceled out to be sold was eliminated. land commission was abolished in 119 BC and a law passed in 111 BC ended agrarian reform program. there was now no peaceful way that the manpower and poverty problems in the city could be solved. The termination of these reforms prepared the way for the developement of private/client armies by the dynasts of next century

Jugurthine War: Marius in Africa

111 BC - 104 BC

the ruling king, Micipsa, of Rome's client kingdom, Numidia (in North Africa), had on the recommendation of Scipio Aemilianus, adopted Jugurtha-who had served with Aemilianus at the siege of Numantia. Jugurtha was related to the founder of Numidia but was not directly in line to succeed. Rome then solved this issue by dividing Numdia between Jugurtha and one of the legitimate heirs, however, Jugurtha got rid of his co-ruler and. the senate enlisted consul L Opimus to fight Jugurtha but he quickly made peace out of fear of a long guerrilla war. Jugurtha was even said to have visited Rome on safe conduct and to have used to oppurtunity to have some of his enemies killed and because he was so well connected was allowed to leave safely. supposed quote of him saying that Rome was up for sale as he left.
the war dragged on for a while due to difficulty of a guerrilla war, military incompetence and corruption.
Once Marius was elected to the consulship in 107 BC, he decided to face the basic issue of guerrilla warfare of how to outnumber the enemy 7:1 by enlisting the proletarii in his army.
He ended the war in 105 BC in time to return to Italy for another war.

Marius enlists proletarii for army

107 BC

marius was consul and ignored property qualifications to enlist people in army since property qualifications had been an issue since Second Punic War, marius' actions were not incredibly revolution but he did set precedent for other generals on how to fill up their vacancies in their legions. the real problem was what should be done with demobilized, long-serving veterans. whether to give them land, cash?? could lead to same problems gracchi faced if senate tried to give them land

defeat at Arausio (orange)

105 BC

rome suffers worst defeat since canna against germanic tribes

War with the Cimbri and Teutons

105 BC - 101 BC

the Cimbri, a large German tribe, were driven from their home in Denmark by floods and began to move southward with the plan of pillaging their way to Medditerannean shore, just like the Celts, and they were joined by two other tribes, the Teutones and Ambrones. they were later joined on their march by the Tigurini and other Celtic tribes. rome sent an army under Silanus, consul of 109 BC to defend their new province in southern Gaul, but the army was defeated and two years later another Roman army was also defeated and its consular commander killed.
In 105 BC, consul Mallus a New Man was sent to fight but the leader of remaining army in Southern Gaul, Carbo, refused to work with Mallus because he was a new man. As a result, the battle of Arausio (orange) in 105 BC was the Romans' worse defeat since Cannae.
Marius had just ended war with Jugurtha and for the next five years, Marius was elected consul, which blatantly disregarded the law that prohibited people from holding office so many times in a row. Marius immediately set about reorganizing and retraining army (remember "Marius' Mules) and in 102 BC the Cimbri and Teutones and their allies headed for Italy. They divided their forces and attacked Italy from multiple sides, forcing Romans to divide their forces also. Marius was able to destroy the Teutones and Ambrones at Aquas Sextiae then return to northern Italy to join other consul, Catulus to confront Cimbri and allies. These were defeated in 101 BC

Gaius Licinius works to pass law that allows priesthoods to be filled by popular election

104 BC

Marius allies with Saturninus to get land for his veterans

103 BC

Marius aligned himself with tribune Saturninus to produce land for his veterans after war in Africa

Marius uses his veterans to force passage of land grant

100 BC

this was unprecedented and Marius, hoping to repeat the success of getting land for his veterans after the war in Africa, eventually has to use force and brings his veterans into legislative assembly.
-The granting of land to Marius' veterans provided an important precedent for ambitious generals who enrolled proletarii in their armies

Social War

90 BC - 88 BC

the issue of citizenship for Italian allies resurfaced violently. the allies felt as though they were participating in Rome's wars and fighting on the behalf of Rome but not getting their share of the booty and war spoils. In 95 BC the consuls of that year ordered allies who lived in Rome to the expelled in order to prevent them from acquiring citizenship illegally.
issue of citizenship was brought up by tribune M. Livius Drusus in 91 BC and he was assassinated, then the Italians rose up in revolt and set up an independent state called Italia with its capital at Corfinium.
the social war strained Rome's resources. at its end, citizenship was granted to cities and communities that had not revolted and to those who had surrendered.
numbers in census rose from 394,000 to 963,000
even then, however, Rome tried to avoid distributing new citizens among all 35 tribes

More mutinies during this time than in past 100 yeas

89 BC - 80 BC

Revolt of Mithridates VI

88 BC

Mithridates VI, king of Pontus invaded Roman province of Asia where many welcomed him asa liberator. he killed 80,000 residents of Romans and Italians.
as consul of 88 BC, sulla inherited this war but was challenged by Marius who along with tribune Sulpicius Rufus, had himself pronounced commander. Sulla convinces his army to follow him along with his relative, Lucullus, Marius was driven out and tribune Suspicious was killed.
-War with Mithridates:
Mithridates forces cross into Greece, Athens sides with them, Sulla then pillages Athens. he then wins two decisive battles against Mithridates in Boeotia and forces Mithridates to evacuate Greece.
in the meanwhile, Sullas enemies had sent forces to fight Mithridates and to challenge Sulla
in 85 Bc Mithridates is ready to negotiate and when the two opposing Roman armies made contact, the second leader of the opposing army committed suicid and his army was incorporated into Sulla's

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.

Mithridates VI, king of Pontus invaded Roman province of Asia where many welcomed him asa liberator. he killed 80,000 residents of Romans and Italians.
as consul of 88 BC, sulla inherited this war but was challenged by Marius who along with tribune Sulpicius Rufus, had himself pronounced commander. Sulla convinces his army to follow him along with one relative to liberate Rome from its opressors and his soldiers were easy to convince because they knew that a war in the east would be lucrative and therefore wanted Sulla to lead instead of Marius, who may choose to raise a new army. Sulla and army go to Rome, drive Marius out, and kill tribune Suspicius and invalidate his laws. They kill some more enemies and make some new laws then leave for the east.
After Sulla leaves, Marius, who had fled to Africa, returned and allied with other Sulla-hater Cinna, they raised armies, marched on Rome, captured it and took vengeance on enemies. Sulla was outlawed, exiled property taken and house torn down. Thus, Sullas war against Mithridates was from now on conducted without legal mandate. Sulla however, continued to claim that he was still true representative of republic. Marius dies before Sulla returns to Italy.

Marius dies

86 BC

Marius dies after a record seventh consulship

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.

Sulla's Dictatorship

82 BC - 79 BC

in 82 BC Sulla had himself appointed dictator with special powers for reestablishing the state. position of dictator had been used in the past in cases of emergency but Sulla used it ruthlessly.
-Proscription List-these hit lists were lists of people that Sulla would pay to have murdered. he would then use the money that to pay his troops while at the same time eliminating his political opponents. the list was posted publicly and had the effect of incriminating/involving others in the killings which meant that he was sharing the responsibility of what was happening. even though people claimed that they had hunted down and killed out of fear, which was not at all unlike but nonetheless put others at fault as well.About 200 senators and 1600 equestrians perished.

Sulla's Reforms;
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 limited power of the tribunate because he saw it as the main thing interfering with senates power. increased number of quaestors and predators and established a schedule for different magistracies. he also limited the power of provincial governors by saying that they could no longer start wars or march troops beyond their provinces.
his most important reforms were those he enacted to change the senate. he added 450 from the equestrian order and from this time onwards the makeup of the senate was very different because the people came from a broader variety of backgrounds and some appointed were not those most loyal to Rome but those who had joined Sulla out of opportunity. in essence, the senate just became larger and more incoherent.

Sulla retires from political life and dies a year later

79 BC

Consulship of Aemilius Lepidus

78 BC

Lepidus was the consul of 78 BC and he initiated an armed revolt when frustrated by not being able to undo Sullan constitution. he sent Brutus, father of assassin of Ceasar to occupy Gallia Cisalpina and raise troops there and from this base Lepidus planned to launch a march on Rome (this set a precedent of what Ceasar would do later in the future). the senate turned to young Pompey, a Sulla supporter to defend Rome and despite the fact that he had not previously held ay office gave him a special command, imperium, the power to act as a prator. he was told to put down Lepidus and also put down resistance in Spain by a governor/general called Sertorius. Pompey did both of these things although Spain was harder and on his way back to Rome helped clean remnants of sale revolt of Spartacus in northern Italy.

special command given to Lucullus and Mark Antony

74 BC

in this year, multiple special commands were given out by the senate. it is important to understand that by giving these out, the result was that the senate was progressivly losing control of its foreign affairs.
- command given to Lucullus to lead revived war against mithridates
- command given to Antony to fight pirates

Slave Revolt of Spartacus

73 BC - 71 BC

Slave revolt broke out in gladiatorial schools in Campania and Spartacus, a former auxiliary soldier and who had also been trained as a gladiator led the uprising and was joined by additional slaves, some of who were victims of th civl war who had lost their land in expropriations of Sulla ten years earlier. Two of Spartacus' generals were Celts and for the first two years of revolt he won against roman armies and led his troops into Gaul hoping to get rid of some of his followers. his followers did not leave him and then the senate resulted in a special command which they gave to another Sulla supporter, Crassus, who collected a large army and cornered slave army in southern Italy. Crassus then ordered that 6000 of the captured slaves be crucified and that their bodies be lined up along the via Appia, a road that lead to Rome?


70 BC - 19 BC

Consulship of Pompey and Crassus

70 BC

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

Pompey's campaigns against pirates

67 BC

a law was proposed to give Pompey special command against the issue of the pirates, whose power had grown since Rome curtailed the maritime power of Rhodes, Piracy had long been a problem but was a more serious problem because it was threat ending Rome's dependence on imported grain and this was further an issue because since the time of Gaius Gracchus, urban plebs depended on subsidized grain and it was dangerous for government to let the price of grain fluctuate dramatically.
-when it was proposed that Pompey be given special command there was a lot of outrage and protest in senate out of fear that not too much power should be given to a single man.
-after great disagreement, the special command was given and Pompey cleared up the issue in a few month by means of great organization of his resources
-however, pirates still remained a problem up until 50s?

Pompey's conquest of East

66 BC - 62 BC

the war with mithridates had started again but after initial successes of Lucullus, its was not going well. it was proposed that Pompey finish off the war. under the terms of Manillan law, supported by ceasar and the "new man" Cicero, Pompey was given Command of provinces Cilicia, Bithynia. and Pontus and of the war against Mithridates. between 66-62 BC Pompey swept through the east, first defeating mithridates and forcing him to flight then continuing into Armenia and from there back to syria and into Palestine, where he settled a dispute over throne of Judea. by hiimelef, he redrwe the map of theeastern mediterranean founding cities and making provinces and treaties with client kings, he increased romes annual income by 70 percent.

Conspiracy of Cataline

63 BC

Cataline was a a praetor in 68 BC but failed repeatedly in his attempts running for the consul. in 63 BC, Cicero was elected consul, partly because he was seen as an alternative to Cataline. Cataline then planned to overthrow the government to enact two revolutionary measures 1) a land distribution program 2) cancellation of debts. however, his plans were betrayed and Cicero had his co-conspirators arrested in Rome and Cataline escaped by joining a private army in Etruria assembled by one of his associates and was declared public enemy of the state and killed in battle by Roman forces.
-the issue was what to do with Cataline's conspirators. they had not been declared public enemies nor were the armed when they were arrested. however, in contrast to long tradition, Cicero had them executed without a trial. this would haunt Cicero for the rest of his career.

Life of Augustus

63 BC - 14 AD

Pompey returns from the East

62 BC

when Pompey returned from the east with his army, there was fear amongst the optimal oligarchs that he would use his soldiers to sustain his unusually high and unjustified position. however, Pompey had no intention of starting another civil war and told the senate that he was content to work with the senate in exchange for the ratification of his reorganization of the East and for the pension of land grants for his veterans. the oligarchs saw this as a sign of weakness and furthered believed it when in 62 BC Pompey demobilized his army. however, when the time came neither of the two things that Pompey was promised came to fruition

First Triumvirate

60 BC

Because Pompey was denied what he asked for from the Senate, he first turned to a tribune and after failing there, turned to Ceasar, who was running for the consulship of 59 BC. ceasar was able to get Pompey and Crassus to be friendly and with the combined support of crassus and Pompey, Caesar was elected consul. so in this way the so called "first triumvirate" was established and essentially the three men had an agreement to not work against each other and to when possible, push each others' plans forward

Ceasars Consulship

59 BC

upon becoming consul, ceaser immediately saw that he got his allies what they wanted. after a failed attempt to work with the senate, Ceasar forced legislation that would grant pompey's veterans land and ratify his arrangments in the east with violence and ignored the vetoes and auguries of his fellow consul.
-crassus got what he wanted as well, which was that a contract for the collection of taxes in Asia be revised
-ceasar got what he wanted, which was 5 years and three legions in the province of cisalpine gaul. later transalpine gaul with another legion was added.
-the significance of having gaul was evident since the revolt of Lepidus some 20 years earlier. In other words, cease now had control of a place and army from a place that was only a few days' march from Rome. he also had the choice of conquering gaul if he wanted.
-also, Caesar married daughter, Julia to pompey to further solidify their relationship


59 BC - 17 AD

Conquest of Gaul by Caesar

58 BC - 50 BC

once in his province of gaul, ceasar easily created a narrative that supported full scale conquest of gaul. this was not difficult considering Rome;s previous history with the Celts and the fact that Caesar was a great propagandist. a lot was not known about the area or people and Caesar used his regular reports as a means of promoting his acheivements and justifying the war. the senate and oligarchs were suspicious of what ceasar was doing however, he overcame the suspicions by succeeding. Cesar was able to make good use of people;es bad memories of the Celts, the cimbri and the teutones because these people were all from the same part of the world. Caesar was really motivated by honor, glory and resources (money and clients) and was attempting to do what pompey had done-establish a base of power through clients.
the oligarchs understood ceasars motives and feared ceasars success in gaul. they understood than an army's loyalty belonged to its successful general and old slightly to Rome.

between the time stated, essentially, Cease conducted a huge plundering mission. huge numbers of Celts were sold as slaves and their temples and towns sacked. on one occasion, when two German tribes had crossed the Rhine to settle into Gaul, when Cesar met with the leaders to negotiate, he held them prisoner and launched a surprise attack on their armies.. Cato insisted that Caesar should be handed to the germans because he broke a truce. ceasar follwed up this massacre by buiding a bridge across the Rhine, raiding into Germany and rto demonstrate rome's military abilities and to intimidate any more germans into not crossing the Rhine. two years later he did this again and for similar reasons, raided across the channel into Britain in 55 and 54 BC.
By 50 BC Cesar as annexed entire empire which was double the size of Italy and in term of manpower and money, had enough of both to be considered an independent kingdom. ceasar and his successors in Gaul and Britain essentially snuffed out Celtic society.

Claudius/Clodius is tribune of the plebs (unsure of date)

57 BC

who allowed him to turn plebeian???
after a year in his position, he organizes a powerful force of urban plebs. his longterm goals were unclear, but his immediate aim was to have Cicero, an emery exiled, which he did.
-Clodius; genius is seen in his ability to recognize that he could use Rome's urban plebs to build a base of power. eventually, his gangs became capable of halting public business to a standstill, and he could at his own will, show down assemblies and courts and intimidate power magistrates. even great military dynasts had to learn to take clods into account.

Theater of Pompey

55 BC

Second Consulship of Pompey and Crassus

55 BC

Collapse of the "First Triumvirate"

55 BC - 54 BC

at the end of 55 BC, crassus went to syria in an attempt to refurbish his military reputation, but two years later he was killed by the Parthians at battle of Carrhae (he was killed by having gold poured into his mouth). this event along with the death of pompey's wife, Julia, the daughter of Caesar, led to the end of the alliance.
over a period of two years, communication between pompey and ceasar broke down and pompey was weaker and was convinced to go the side of the oligarchs. there was a lot going on in the senate considering Caesars position and cesasar bribed an important tribune, curio to propose that both pompey and Caesar step down from their positions. however, when a rumor spread that Caesar was already going to march on rome, the consuls asked pompey to defend state against Ceasar.

Civil Wars

49 BC - 45 BC

the civil war that happened after the breakdown of relations between caesar, pompey and senate lasted from 49-45 BC. pompey was defeated a Pharsalus in Greece in 48 BC and was murdered shortly after by kind ptolemy while seeking refuge in Egypt. there were a few other engagements, thapsus in Africa and Munda in Spain, and caesar returned triumphantly to rome in 45 BC. there were no proscriptions and he extended marcy to his foes.

"the die is cast"

48 BC

Caesar tried to avert war by suggesting that he was willing to give up transalpine gaul if he could keep cisalpine gaul along with two legions until the beginning of his consulship in 48 BC. he wanted peace but was not willing to come bace to Rome unconditionally and tried by his enemies, which they had long been threatening to do. other compromises were proposed and although pompey may have been willing to agree, Cato and other optima consuls wanted a confrontation and convinced the senate to pass the ultimate decree to defend the state. cesuras supporters, curio, Cassius and Antony recognized that their safety was at stake and joined Caesar in gaul. caesar saw that compromise was impossible and cross the Rubicon saying "the die is cast" as he crossed. unlike Sulla, all of caesars officers except for one stayed with him.

Battle of Pharsalus (civil war)

48 BC

where pompeys forces are defeated in Greece

Ceasar's Reforms

47 BC - 44 BC

ceasar increased numbers of senate from 600 to 900 and made it clear that the traditions of the republic were at an end. in 44 BC he had himself declared Perpetual Dictator and received divine honors.
between the years stated caesar made many reforms and initiated a number of programs. ceasars solution to the debt crisis was to to offer something to bother creditors and debtors, but did not solve problems. To solve issue of settlements of veterans, instead of following in Sulla's footsteps of violent proscriptions and confiscations, ceasar, settled veterans along with poor of rome on land overseas that belonged to state. his two most ambitious projects were the resettlement of abandoned sites of Corinth and Carthage.
- to reduce violence in rome, he lowered number of grain recipients and banned neighborhood colleges.
-increased order of chaotic elections by nominating his own candidates,
-limited terms of propraetors and proconsuls in order to prevent governors from having too much power
-increased number for queastors to 40 and number of praetors to 16
-reformed calendar and the calendar that is used today is the one that Cesar made and which Pope Gregory XIII altered
-Ceasar also wanted to make Rome a cultural center so he granted Roman citizenship to a lot of Greek doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. if they agreed to settle in Rome
-built a library in imitation of library of Alexandria
-Roman law was to be codified
-a huge building program was undertaken to give Rome better appearance
-ceasar saw need for greater public space in Rome and had a new forum built next to original forum- forum and Temple of Venus?
-forum finished by Augustus
-ceasar did not have any constitutional reforms except to graft his divine and hereditary rule to existing system and when aristocrats saw what he was trying to do, a chasm appeared between them. Ceasar, aware of the now poisoned atmosphere, planned to escape by campaigning against Parthians but his enemies forestalled him and in 44 BC assassinated him

Assasination of Ceasar

44 BC

chasm between caesar and aristocrats. ceasar plans toe space by going to campaign against Parthaians. Enemies forestall him and he was struck down by a group of senatorial assasns led by Brutus and Longinus. a whole new round of civil wars break out after his death.

Octavian rises to power and "second triumvirate"

44 BC - 31 BC

Octavian reacts quickly to the death of caesar, establishing himself as one of the leaders of ceasars group. he wooed ceased veterans and found himself in conflict with Mark Antony (one of Ceasars trusted generals) but they work their difficulties out and along with Lepidus, another one of caesars generals, establish themselves as second triumvirate
-one of their first acts is to purge their enemies with proscription lists and settle the murder of caesar, which they did at battle of Philippi
-they essentially divide the empire between themselves
-to streghten alliance, Antony marries octavia, octavia's sister in 40 BC

-Lepidus was dropped in 36 BC and then the other two began to fall apart

Battle of Philippi

42 BC

second triumvirate eliminates caesars murderers, Brutus and Cassius

Octavian offers to give up triumviral powers if Antony does the same

36 BC

the fact that octavian was willing to do this showed that he was aware of the fact that he had to consider a constitutional solution to the problems facing the republic. when antony is finally out of the picture, he fulfills his offer (27 BC)

Octavian get oath of loyalty from all of Italy

32 BC

Battle of Actium

31 BC

Octavian declares war against Cleopatra

31 BC

while Octavian secured his hold on Italy and the west, Antony failed in a campaign against the Parthians and became more dependent on resourced of Egypt and Cleopatra. he divorced the sister of octavian to settle into a relationship with Cleopatra and these events allowed octavian to launch a successful propaganda campaign against antony. he accused antony of treachery and immorality but worst accusation was that Antony wanted to transfer capital of empire to Alexandria. in 32 octavian gets oath which gives him legitimacy as sole ruler and gives him resources and land with which he can give to his followers.
in 31 BC, octvian declared war against Cleopatra-this is important because it is not war on antony, it is war against a foreign enemy.
the same year in Actium antony and Cleopatra were defeated and both commit suicide. civil wars were finally over.

Octavian becomes Augustus

27 BC

in this year he transfers full control of the state back to the senate and is named Augustus
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

The Empire

27 BC

Augustus gives up consulship after holding it for 9 consecutive years

23 BC

Augustus actually gains power by this move and as part of his agreement with the senate, he now has the power of being able to recommend an additional candidate every year which strengthens his power within the aristocracy.

Augustus is voted to have tribunician power

23 BC

this is not the office of the tribune, which, as a patrician, Augustus was not allowed to hold
-however, he still has all the powers of the tribune position which was popular with the people

Augustus' Illness

23 BC

Agrippa get tribulation power

18 BC

Augustus becomes pontifex Maximus

12 BC

Death of Augustus

14 AD


14 AD - 37 AD

Tiberius was Augustus' last choice after Marcellus, Agrippa, Augustus/ two grandsons: Gaius and Lucius and Tiberius knew this and felt it. Tiberius was trained and in warfare and diplomacy and Augustus showed the Empire that he trusted Tiberius to be Emperor when he married his daughter, Julia, to Tiberius. Tiberius was forced to divorce his wife that he liked to marry Julia and his marriage to Julia was not a happy one. Augustus choice of Tiberius established the unintentional precedent of an emperor choosing the most ABLE person over his own kin.
Tiberius was cynical, not social or accessible to the Senate/people as Augustus had been. He had no advisors that he could trust and found a confidant in Aelius Sedans, a Preatorian Prefect, whom he made sole commander of the guard. Tiberius would eventually move to a home on the island of Capri to be isolated and leave Sejanus in control of a lot of the affairs of the empire. While Tiberius was away, Sejanus plotted to eliminate people blocking his way to the throne and once Tiberius was alerted of this he came back and Sejanus and his family were sentenced to death.
Also, Tiberius, unlike Augustus, did not spend money on games or large festivals, so the people of the empire resented him.

Gaius (Caligula)

37 AD - 41 AD

Gaius and Gemellus made joint heirs in 36 but this was ignored and Gaius became the sole heir. He learned the name Caligula "little boots" from all of the time he spent in his childhood with his parents in military camps. He witnessed the campaigns of Sejanus against his family and saw the deaths of mother and brothers. However his administration began well and did not go badly until later. He was smart but cruel and had a cruel sense of humor and theatricality, which pleased the people. Was a singer, dancer, gladiator. Had bad relationships with the Senate. After an illness that he had, he became more erratic and had multiple people killed that he was suspicious of. After his rule became more brutal and erratic, he was killed with his wife and baby by Praetorian officers.
Caligula also allegedly committed incest with one of his sisters and tortured prisoners. As Tiberius was criticized for a lack of spending, Caligula was criticized for his wild extravagance.
He was a little crazy, but his rule did no permanent damage to Roman Empire
-two new aqueducts
-maintainence of roads in Italy
-harbor improvements to ensure grain supply
-a circus on the Vatican


41 AD - 54 Ad

Claudius was the grandson of Augustus and Livia and was kept out of public eye and though to be an embarrassment to the family because of some health defects. Due to this confinement, he studied history under Livy and was an expert on this and religious matters.
In an act of intelligence, he bought the support of the Pratorian Guards that had conspired to kill Caligula. He gave them huge amounts of money and Suetonius commented that this was the first time that an emperor openly purchased the loyalty of the military. However, it was a weakness that he was dependent on the Guard. Also legionary soliders wondered why the lucrative power of king making should lie solely with the Praetorian Guard.
Celebrated secular games to get support of the people and to gain military prestig and support of the army, he annexed Britain and had a good choice of commanders, which included the future emperor, Vespasian.
He had unexpected administrative abilities and organized permanent beuraucraies/ departments to manage different aspects of the empire. However the senate did not like him for this because he appointed his own freedmen and members of his household to these powerful positions when members of the senate thought that they deserved. He also added Gauls to the Senate against the opposition.
Because of the way he was brought up, he did not have a lot of trusted advisors as Augustus did and relied heavily on his wives and freedmen. Two freedmen, Nassus and Pallus, gained a lot of wealth and influence and were resented by members of the senate.
Claudius had poor choice in women and was married five times; his last two wives, Messalina and Agrippina were the two most dangerous. Messalina was mother to Britannicus, Claudius only surviving son and planned a coup against him and was executed. He then married Agrippina, who unfortunately had a son, Nero, and convinced Claudius to adopt him as a partner with his own son. A marriage between Octavia (daughter of Claudius) an Nero promoted Nero over Britannicus and Agrippina gained support of Seneca, Pallas, and Burrus(a praetorian prefect). She allegedly poisoned Claudius and and Nero succeeded him.
Britannicus named after Claudius' conquer of souther Britain, although it would ne another 30 years until Britain was secure.


54 AD - 68 AD

Nero was taught by his tutor Seneca and has a passion for all things Greek. The beginning of his rule went well, as most of the affairs of governing were left to his mother, Agrippina, Seneca, and Burrus. Agrippina was even pictured alongside her son on the coins and was the first empress to be depicted with a reigning princess. However, as time went by, things went downhill and Agrippina threatened to show Britannicus favor so Nero had him poisoned. Nero decided that Agrippina was a menace and had her stabbed to death. When Burrus died, seneca/s influence also came to an end and Nero emerged as irresponsible, amoral and was only interested in theater, music, literature and athletics. He was uninterested in military affairs and never visited the army.
In a disastrous fire that destroyed 10 of the 14 regions of Rome, Nero introduced new building and fire code, but also took the opportunity to seize the MASSIVE amount of land and build a palace for himself on it called the Golden House. he was accused to starting the fire and blamed the Christians and had many of them burned. the Roman people did not buy it and sympathized with the Christian scapegoats. However, the people did like Nero because of the games he put on and his generosity.
A failed conspiracy to kill Nero resulted in the deaths of Seneca, Petronius, Lucan and others.
-while Nero was messing around and performing in the theater, excellent governors were appointed to the provinces and major wars were fought by some of the best generals
-Vespacian was appointed commander and he almost had the war In Judea tied up when civil war broke out over who would succeed Nero

Nero would force people to commit suicide if he wanted them dead

Nero's suspicion of his generals led to a revolt after he had ordered them to commit suicide in which he eventually fled and killed himself. The senate then recognized the governor of Spain, Galba, as emperor.

Seneca forced to commit suicide

65 AD

Year of the Four Emperors

69 AD

Four men competing to be emperor: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian

The Flavian Emperors

69 AD - 96 AD

Three emperors: Vespasian and his sons, Titus and Domitian

-after the year of the four emperors, it was revealed that Pratorian guard was a dangerous, destabilizing force and that its power to make emperors was limited; it was no match for legionary soldiers. the legions revealed that they were the ultimate kings makers and this was not a great thing.

-The Flavian Emperors made clear that this was to be a hereditary monarchy, and did not skirt around it the way that Augustus did. The Flavians also set the precedent that emperors could be made in places other than Rome in the way that they did not claim greatness of a family name.

-During the Flavian period, the powers of the princeps became a matter of legal statute
-after this, when the senate and the people chose a new princeps, they bestowed upon him a certain set of powers

-Administration of the Flavians
many senators had perished in the trials of Nero and in recent Civil Wars. numbers had shrunk from 600 to 200. the need to make the senate larger gave Vespasian and his son Titus the opportunity to create what became a new party and a new aristocracy. new senators were appointed from the equestrian order and from the provinces
- Tacitus from Narbo
- Pliny the Younger from Po Valley

Campaigns of the Flavian Emperors:
-one of their reforms was to break up the large concentrations of troops, such as the 8 legions that served in the Rhine area

Relations with the Senate:
-the dynasty they established was based on the rural bourgeoisie of Italy
-the Flavians belonged to an equestrian family that engaged in tax collecting and Vespasian had made his name through his career in the army
-their regime held the ideas of modesty, simplicity and strict adherence to the old ways; Vespasian was similar to Augustus in the way that he was a restorer of peace after a period of bitter civil war (Augustus was also of equestrian order)


69 AD - 79 AD

-the fall of Jerusalem allowed Vespasian to celebrate a 30 day triumph advertising the restoration of order in the Roman World by the Flavians
**- he built the Temple of Peace on land reclaimed from Nero's house and started work on the Colosseum amphitheater, which was funded by the sack of Jerusalem and built by Jewish slaves

-died naturally of a Fever


79 AD - 81 AD

-was left in charge of the siege of Jerusalem by his father in the year of the four emperors
-titus held 7 consulships until he died suddenly and was succeeded by Domitian


81 AD - 96 AD

-suceeded his brother Titus, after his unexpected death
-behaved poorly and had to, unlike Titus, build up his military image when he assumed rule
-he lead campaigns in against the Germans on the Rhine and against the Dacians in what is now Romania

-under his rule, the conquest of Britain continued under the competent leadership of Julius Agricole, father in law of Tacitus

-The writings of Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius paint Domitian in a possibly more negative way than he actually was
-however, he was impatient with the Senate and did not handle relations with them respectfully. he liked to be referred to as "Lord and God"

-however, although he did not handle the senate well, he understood the importance of the people and the military
-people were entertained by frequent banquets and spectacles and the recently completed Colosseum was put to good use
-Domitian knew the army had to be kept busy, successful, and well paid and he raised the pay of the legionaries by a third (after Vespasian had already raised it??). he was a successful leader in campaigns on the Rhine and Danube

-however, after an attempted rebellion against Domitian, he became increasingly suspicious and paranoid and a period of terror fell on Rome. he imagined plots against him everywhere and real and imagined traitors were put on trial and the Senate always obliged to death sentences
-Domitian was killik in the palace by conspirators, among which may have been his wife, Domitia


96 AD - 98 AD

-was an elderly senator, a descendent of one of the few surviving noble families
-he was chosen by the senate so quickly that it is likely that her was part of the conspiracy to kill Domitian
-Domitian's memory was condemned (damnation memoriae); his statues were destroyed and his name was erased from official monuments
-hoever, the military, which had supported Domitian, did not like the senate's choice of Nerva and scared him into adopting Trajan, the commander of the Rhine army; Nerva did not have any sons
-Nerva's adoption of Trajan again revived the principle liked by the senate of choosing successors by those who were best suited, rather than from one's own family
-this would last until the reign of Marcus Aurelius, who had a natural son


98 AD - 117 AD

-was born in Spain, the first emperor from a place outside of Italy, but certainly not the last
-The conquest of Dacia: Trajan was a military man and was glad to inherit Domitian's wars against the Dacians, although it took him several campaigns and the building of a huge bridge across the Danube
-Trajans Column: gives an account of the war in its winding segments
-during his time in office, there wa a revolt of the Jews in Egypt and recall letters between Trajan and Pliny??? OR Tacitus?? on how to handle the jews
-Trajan responded rationally and told _______to let them be ????

-Trajan eventually had a stroke and could not make it back to Rome before he died


117 AD - 138 AD

-After the death of Trajan, it was uncertain who would succeed him
- he and his wife did not have children, so Hadrian, Trajan's cousin and ward, and who was also married to Trajan's grandniece Sabina, seemed like the best choice; Hadrian also had the support of Trajan's wife and was popular with the troops.
- wife of Trajan and Praetorian Prefect concealed the death of Trajan until Hadrian could be summoned and the story given out that Trajan had adopted Hadrian on his deathbed. the story aroused suspicion but Hadrian had the support of Syrian legions (he was governor of Syria)

-Hadrian chose not to renew the war against the Parthians and abandoned Trajan's conquests in Mesopotamia; he also thought of abandoning Dacia but did not

-Hadrian loved all things Greek. He debated with sophists, wrote poetry, painted and designed buildings. He ordered the reconstruction of the Pantheon, producing one of the gems of Roman architecture in terms of innovative design and use of concrete. Also, he used his villa at Tivoli as a drawing board for his architectural passions and he also designed the Temple of Venus and Roma in the forum.

-Hadrian's Travels: Unlike Trajan, Hadrian had no desire to expand the boundaries of the empire and was content to ensure that the armies were up to the job of defending it effectively. He spent the years 120-131 touring the empire, often making unannounced visits to remote outposts, checking account books, and observing and participating in military excercises,
-these tours were not easy and they were expensive. Hadrian's army traveled with him.
-in Britain, he launched the building of the 80 mile long wall that has his name on it
-while traveling in Jerusalem, Hadrian sought to rebuild the city and unintentionally started a war by building a Temple to Jupiter and forbidding circumcision. Soon after he left Judea, the Jews rallied together and there was a war in which it was claimed that 600,000 rebels perished

-Hadrian's decision to refound Jeruslem was part of a more general policy to foster urban life throughout the Empire, He founded new cities and rebuilt old ones, constructing over 130 miles of aqueducts in Carthage that supplied nearly 10 million gallons of water a day.
-one of his most important contributions to Roman history was his success in in negotiating not only his successor, but his successor's sucessor
-His first choice of a successor, Commodus (called Ceaser) died early and he picked Antoninus, a senator who was from Gallia on the condition that Antoninus adopt the young Marcus Aurelius

Antoninus Pius

138 AD - 161 AD

-Hadrian had negotiated that he would be succeeded by Antoninus and that Antoninus would be succeeded by Marcus Aurelius, but, after the death of Hadrian, the senate, who disliked Hadrian, debated whether to do what Hadrian had wanted
-Antoninus convinced them not to annul Hadrian's acts and thus, he earned the name "Pius"
-Unlike Hadrian, Antoninus never left Rome and for this reason, the Senate liked him alot. he was happy to live the life of an aristocrat and it is though that he was able to live simply and peacefully because of Trajan's aggressive military policies and Hadrian's care for the army
-there were no major wars during Antoninus's reign
-he had great relations with the senate
-he was a careful administrator and a good financial manager
-no family problems
-he died after a long, dull, peaceful reign; power transitioned smoothly to Marcus Aurelius
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

-was a Spaniard?
-his father died at an early age and he was raised by his grandfather, a spaniard who was a relative of Hadrian's. he received an excellent education in Greek and Latin and was inclined towards philosophy, particularly Stoicism and Epicureanism. He wrote "Meditations," a sort of philosophic diary
-from childhood he was a favorite of Hadrian's and was bethroded first to the daughter of Hadrian's first pick for successor who died, then to the daughter of Antoninus Pius, Faustina.
-at age 19 he was made consul for the first time and at 25 received tribunacion power and proconsular imperium.
-on Antoninus's death, he insisted that his adoptive brother serve with him as co-regents, a first in Roman imperial history; however, Marcus who was the Pontifex, Maximus, had seniority

-Campaigns Against the Germans: Marcus' reign was not at calm like that of Antoninus, and almost immediately the join emperors faced a series of crises in Britain, Germany and along the Danube and most seriously in the east when the Parthians seized Armenia.
-Marcus sent his co ruler, Verus, to lead the effort against the Parthians, and he was successful, however, the solidiers returned, infected with a communicable disease that spread throughout the empire, causing great loss of life and economic damage. Scholars are unsure of what the disease but it could have been smallpox or typhus
-the eastern campaign had barely ended when assaults along the Danube frontier began. Marcus auctioned off imperial property to pay for the campaign and both emperors campaigned until Verus died the following year and Marcus spent the next 11 years alone in constant warfare on the Danube (against the Parthians??? or GERMANS????)
-in 177 AD, Marcus named Commodus his heir and they campaigned together successfully on the Danube

-Problems with succession: It was incredibly unfortunate that of Marcus and Faustina's 15 children, Marcus was the only surviving so. he was 19 when he became emperor, but was no Augustus, who has also been 19 when he assumed power. Commodus, instead of evolving, regressed,


180 C.E. - 192 C.E.

-son of Marcus Aurelius
-once he inherited power at age 19, he quickly made peace with his German adversaries, abandoned his father's conquests and returned to Rome to celebrate a Triumph (it is unknown whether this was planned by Marcus)

-Commodus was the first emperor since Nero to have been raised in the palace and this may reflect on what a bad place it is to raise children. Commodus was tall and athletic, and unlike his father in that way that his father was studious and interested in the hard work of running an empire. Commodus was more interested in being a star of the games and for 12 years, he entertained audiences with exhibitions of skillful shootings of wild beasts and gladiatorial performances. He killed thousands of animals, including elephants and ostriches and greatly outdid Nero in the ridiculousness of his performances
- he wanted to be portrayed as Hercules, the slayer of monsters, human and otherwise and this was a sort of method to his madness. the people thought of him as their hero and the sustainer of order and civility through viewing his performances
-the progression of his insanity was seen in his attempts to rename some of the months Commodus, Hercules and so on and then in his attempt to rename Rome Colonia Commodiana with senatorial approval (Romans would become Commodians)
-many senators died in a number of conspiracies and as Commodus became more dangerous, the members of the imperial household took it into their hands to kill him; poison did not work so they had him strangled
-after his murder, the senate attempted to installed one of its own members as emperor, but the praetorian guards intervened and put someone in power that they liked more. Then the frontier armies objected to this and a legionary general became emperor

Severen Emperors

193 AD - 235 AD

-Septimits Severus
-Severus Alexander

under the Severi, the thing of most importance was taking care of the army. Septimius success was due to the fact that he won the loyalty of his soldier by increasing their pay by at least 50% and possibly 100%. he removed the prohibition of soldiers marrying
-Septimius was also aware of the need to please the people and gave the largest land grant to the people in the history of emperors
-however, Septimius had poor relations with the senate

The pay increase of the army and huge land grants served to put a strain on the economy of the empire and increased the need to silver and gold for the coinage required to pay the army, equestrian bureaucracy and Rome large food bill
Under the last of the severance, the percentage of silver in coinage declined from 90% under Trajan to 45% -however not a consequence of inflation, rather they did not have enough silver

-Septimius also made Mesopotamia a province which was dangerous and costly and later he set out for Britain to incorporate Scotland into the empire, but this was more difficult than he though and he eventually withdrew and died the following year

Septimius Severus

193 AD - 211 AD

Commodus' initial replacement was an elderly Senator Pertinax was murdered by Praetorian guards after a short rule of 87 days. then guard then proceeded to put into power whomever would be willing to pay the most and this was the senator Julianus.

when the frontier soliders heard of the death of Pertinax, they took matters into their own hands and a four year civil war took place. Troops in Syria pronounced Niger as their emperor and those in Britain, Albinus and the Danube legions, Septimius Severus. Severus reached Rome first and declared himself avenger of Pertinax and adopted the emperors name. Julianus was sentenced to death by the senate and the Praetorian guard attempted to negotiate with Severus to get money from what was happening. Severus, instead, disbanded the guard and replaced it with his own veterans then went on to deify Pertinax and hold a magnificent funeral in his honor. He defeated his other enemies and turned on the senate because a number of them had supported one of his enemies. He announced his adoption as the son of Marcus Aurelius and declared his sons Caracalla and Geta as his heirs.

-Members of his family were among those North Africans promoted to high positions in the army and provincial administration Severus rose to prominence under Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. some say that he spoke Latin with an accent. Also, his wife, Julia Domna, was from a prominent Syrian family


211 AD - 217 AD

Caracalla murdered his brother Geta, supposedly in front of their mother, but took his father's dying advice to take care of the military. He increased soldiers' pay and went on to campaign successfully in Germany against the Alamanni and afterward in the east against the Parthians. his wars and pay increases causes financial problems for the empire, so he extended Roman citizenship to ALL FREE INHABITANTS of the empire!!!!! this was most likely so he could tax them because he then proceeded to double the inheritance tax that only citizens had to pay.
-a dream of philosophers to have a single world community of citizens seemed to have come true
-while on campaign, caracalla was murdered by a Praetorian Prefect

Syrian Princesses

217 AD - 238 AD


218 AD - 222 AD

Macrinus was the person who murdered Caracalla and he attempted to ascend the throne, but he was no match for Julia Maesa, the sister in law of Septimius Severes who made up the story that her grandson, Avitus, priest of the sun god at Elagabal was the so of Caracalla. He was renamed Antoninus and the legions, who were loyal to the severan dynasty, killed Macrinus and put Avitus (aka Elagbalus) in place as emperor.

however, he turned out to be more than he bargained for. He declared Elagabal the chief god of the Roman pantheon instead of Jupiter and moved around some other stuff that was offensive to the Gods. He then divorced his wife and married a vestal virgin
He was then, at this grandmother's suggestion, disposed of by the Praetorian Guard after the Roman people had been persuaded to adopt Severus Alexander as their next ruler

Severus Alexander

222 AD - 235 AD

was only 14 when he ascended the throne. throughout his reign he was firmly under the thumb of place officials and his mother, Julia Mamea. the Praetorian Prefect, the legal scholar Ulpian and a number of senators were good influences on Severus Alexander however, this was not sufficient for a strong base of power. Ulpian, despite his scholarship, was politically inept. Alexander was young, so he didn't have any military experience and the fact that he was with his mom all the time did not make him favorable to soldiers. He made the mistake of attempting to negotiate with an enemy and when his soldiers returned and found their homes ransacked, they were enraged that revenge was not going to be taken and killed him calling him "mother's cowardly brat" as they killed him. His mother died along with him