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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY

From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS

VIII. THE GREAT AGE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, 264-31 B.C.

Rediscovering the Path to Europe
Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe


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Page 33

REFORMATION OF THE PROVINCIAL SYSTEM

Caesar's reforms in the provinces had an epoch-making character. He reduced taxes, lessened the burden of their collection, and took into his own hands the appointment of provincial magistrates. Henceforth oppressive governors and swindling publicans had to expect swift, stern punishment from one whose interests included the welfare of both citizens and subjects. By granting Roman citizenship to communities in Gaul and Sicily, he indicated his purpose, as rapidly as possible, to convert the provincials into Romans. It was Caesar's aim to break down the barriers between Rome and her provinces, to wipe out the distinction between the conquerors and the conquered.

ASSASSINATION OF CAESAR, 44 B.C.

Caesar did not live to complete his task. Like that other colossal figure, Alexander the Great, he perished before his work as a statesman had hardly more than begun. On the Ides of March, 44 B.C., he was struck down in the Senate-house by the daggers of a group of envious and irreconcilable nobles, headed by Cassius and Brutus. He fell at the foot of Pompey's statue, pierced with no less than twenty-three wounds. His body was burnt on a pyre in the Forum, and his friend, Antony, pronounced the funeral eulogy.

CONSEQUENCES OF CAESAR'S DEATH

In the light of all the possibilities of beneficent government which Caesar was revealing, his cowardly murder becomes one of the most stupendous follies recorded in history. Caesar's death could not restore the republic. It served only to prolong disorder and strife within the Roman state. As Cicero himself said, hearing the news, "The tyrant is dead; the tyranny still lives."

 

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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY: Table of Contents

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IN PRINT

Rediscovering the Path to Europe Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

Learned Freeware

 

Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy

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