RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Was Caesar the death of the Republic?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
This is for the sake of discussion. Did Caesar strike the blow that began the death of the republic, when he marched on to Rome or was it inevitable because of the corruption going on? If it wasn’t Caesar that asserted his authority then it would have been someone else?

An example might be when Rome fell. It fell only after its own self destruction.
No, the death of the Republic was a long time in coming. (longer arguments are available later :wink: )
Quote:This is for the sake of discussion. Did Caesar strike the blow that began the death of the republic, when he marched on to Rome or was it inevitable because of the corruption going on? If it wasn’t Caesar that asserted his authority then it would have been someone else?

An example might be when Rome fell. It fell only after its own self destruction.

Rome didn´t fall because of its own self destruction. Confusedhock:
I think that Sulla had a more profound effect on causing the death of the republic than Caesar did. He started the ball rolling of using military force to acheive internal political ends.
No, I do not think it was Julius that caused the fall. As mentioned above, Sulla had much to do with starting this ball rolling, along with the greed of the Senators, which made the fall inevitable.

I tend to favor the views put forth in Michael Parenti's book: The Assassination of Julius Caesar A People's History.

No doubt this will get me into trouble with some on this site, but so be it.

"Just trying to keep the conversation lively." :wink:

Narukami
Hi Narukami (! Please use your real first name in your signature!)
I'm not familiar with that book. What views are put forward in it?
Quote:
Steve Sarak:31t1y5gm Wrote:This is for the sake of discussion. Did Caesar strike the blow that began the death of the republic, when he marched on to Rome or was it inevitable because of the corruption going on? If it wasn’t Caesar that asserted his authority then it would have been someone else?

An example might be when Rome fell. It fell only after its own self destruction.

Rome didn´t fall because of its own self destruction. Confusedhock:

What I meant by its own destruction is that Rome had been deteriorating as a nation for years. At one point she had 53 emperors in 50 years. Near the end, any general that thought he could get away with being emperor, made a run for it. Without the spoils of war from new conquest, Rome didn’t have the income that it used to.

The pride of old Rome was gone. Rome herself was a ghetto in large parts and was slowly decaying. The people and armies of Rome where no longer a unified people with the dynamics of a growing nation. Sometimes decision not understood by here soldiers caused them not to fight; they cut off their thumbs so they couldn’t hold their swords and be called off to fight wars they felt they should have already won. This showed a weakness to here enemies.

It wasn’t a single thing, there was a lot that contributed to it, but whatever the cause this led to her downfall.
Quote:I think that Sulla had a more profound effect on causing the death of the republic than Caesar did. He started the ball rolling of using military force to acheive internal political ends.

Just to take the other side,
Sulla did step down; Pompii part of the triumvirate did bend to pressure from the senate and not give Caesar is five years, which of course forced him to act.
Quote:
L.Valerius Gaudentius:2lhogfb8 Wrote:
Steve Sarak:2lhogfb8 Wrote:This is for the sake of discussion. Did Caesar strike the blow that began the death of the republic, when he marched on to Rome or was it inevitable because of the corruption going on? If it wasn’t Caesar that asserted his authority then it would have been someone else?

An example might be when Rome fell. It fell only after its own self destruction.

Rome didn´t fall because of its own self destruction. Confusedhock:

What I by its own destruction is that Rome had been deteriorating as a nation for years. At one point she had 53 emperors in 50 years. Near the end, any general that thought he could get away with being emperor, made a run for it. Without the spoils of war from new conquest, Rome didn’t have the income that it used to.

The pride of old Rome was gone. Rome herself was a ghetto in large parts and was slowly decaying. The people and armies of Rome where no longer a unified people with the dynamics of a growing nation. Sometimes decision not understood by here soldiers caused them not to fight; they cut off their thumbs so they couldn’t hold their swords and be called off to fight wars they felt they should have already won. This showed a weakness to here enemies.

Is wasn’t a single thing, there was a lot that contributed to it, but whatever the cause this led to her downfall.

Good explanation, I misunderstood you. :oops:
My apologies -- I think I've got the signature block correct now.

As to the book...

I came across this book quite by chance at the local Barnes-&-Noble and found it to be fascinating.

Essentially Parenti believes Julius was assassinated by the Senators because they saw him as a threat not to the values and traditions of the Republic, but as a very real and imminent threat to their wealth.

Caesar was advocating land reform in favor of the people at the expense (or so they felt) of the Senators and the Patrician families. The irony is that even though Caesar was willing to pay the landowners above market value for land that could then be redistributed to veterans and farmers, the landowners would not accept. They did not want to part with any of it at any price and certainly not to the 'people.'

Of course there were many factors and factions that influenced the course of events that lead to the fall of the Republic. I do not think it can be pinned on any one man or any single event.

Some critics have said that Parenti's reading of history is too radical -- perhaps, but I find a ring of truth in it that is hard to resist. Likewise some find it difficult to accept Neil Faulkner's socialist approach to Ancient Rome, and I too am not totally sold on all aspects of his views, and yet I found his book on the Jewish Revolt of 66-70CE to be well written and a compelling read.

You might find this site of interest:

http://www.michaelparenti.org/Caesar.html

Narukami
Quote:Just to take the other side,

...because in your heart you agree with me :wink:

Quote:Sulla did step down; Pompii part of the triumvirate did bend to pressure from the senate and not give Caesar is five years, which of course forced him to act.

That's true about Sulla. I think that he saw his action as restoring the republic rather than destroying it and when he felt he had done what was needed, he retired. Even so, the length of his dictatorship was unprecedentedly long. However, the precedent Sulla set emboldened Caesar to take the steps he did against Pompey and also emboldened other figures of the late republic to use force to sieze political power.

I think a lot of the pressures of Roman expansion over the preceding century also played a part in destroying the republic. It seems like from just after the Jugurthine War to the founding of the principate under Augustus was one long period of tumult interspersed with bits of relative quiet. Rome never found a way to refine her republican form of government to meet the changing situation and instead wound up with a permanent military dictatorship.
Quote:
Quote:Just to take the other side, [/quite]

...because in your heart you agree with me :wink:

Do you mean, do I believe that the corruption of the governing body of Rome to think first of their own political power and personal success over the peoples needs led to a corrupt government that was doomed to fail?

For the sake of this discussion I’ll hold my thoughts on that.



Quote:
Quote:the precedent Sulla set emboldened Caesar to take the steps he did against Pompey and also emboldened other figures of the late republic to use force to sieze political power.

Is that so or did Caesar do it out of necessity? What were his alternatives, ambitious Caesar was going to be a simple private citizen and face possible prosecution. His whole life was geared for success, and with so many enemies in the senate, once he came back, his political career was over. Even if Sulla had never been dictator and set precedents, would Caesar have moved against Rome?



Quote:
Quote:I think a lot of the pressures of Roman expansion over the preceding century also played a part in destroying the republic.

The pressure driving people to expand territories for the rewards the came with success of a new conquest or the pressure on Rome from the power that the individual generals held or the pressure of political upheaval with acquiring new territories?

Quote:
Quote:Rome never found a way to refine her republican form of government to meet the changing situation and instead wound up with a permanent military dictatorship.

Or did Rome, still young in developing a sound political government, not have enough checks and balances to allow people to acquire to much military power, or did you just say that?