Ellopos Home

Home of the European Prospect

Home of the European Prospect
Start ||| The Philosophical Europe ||| The Political Progress ||| European Witness ||| EU News
European Forum ||| Special Homages: Meister Eckhart / David Copperfield

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


» Contents of this Chapter
Page 38

THE END OF AN EPOCH

DOOM OF THE REPUBLIC

The republic, indeed, was doomed. A hundred years of dissension and civil warfare proclaimed clearly enough the failure of the old order. Rome was a city-state suddenly called to the responsibilities of universal rule. Both the machinery of her government and the morals of her people were inadequate for so huge a task. The gradual revolution which changed this Roman city-state into imperial Rome, judged by its results, is perhaps the most momentous movement in the annals of mankind. Let us summarize its course.

A CENTURY OF REVOLUTION

In 133 B.C. Roman society had been corrupted and enfeebled as the result of foreign conquests. The supreme power in the state more and more tended to fall into the hands of a narrow oligarchy—the senatorial nobility. Its dishonesty and weakness soon led to efforts at reform. The attempts of the Gracchi to overthrow the Senate's position and restore popular sovereignty ended in disaster. Then, in quick succession, arose a series of military leaders who aimed to secure by the sword what was no longer to be obtained through constitutional and legal means. Marius, a great general but no politician, could only break down and destroy. Sulla, a sincere but narrow-minded statesman, could do no more than prop up the structure-- already tottering—of senatorial rule. Pompey soon undid that work and left the constitution to become again the sport of rival soldiers. Caesar, triumphing over Pompey, gained a position of unchallenged supremacy. After Caesar's death, imperial power was permanently restored in the person of Octavian. The battle of Actium in 31 B.C. made Octavian master of the Roman world.

THE FUTURE

But the Romans were not yet an old and worn-out people. On the ruins of the old republican order it was still possible to build up a new imperial system in which good government, peace, and prosperity should prevail for more than two centuries. During this period Rome performed her real, her enduring, work for civilization.

 

Previous / First Page of this Chapter / Next Chapter »

 

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

url: www.ellopos.net/politics/european-history/default.asp


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

Home of the European Prospect

get updates 
RSS feed / Ellopos Blog
sign up for Ellopos newsletter:

Donations
 
 CONTACT   JOIN   SEARCH   HOME  TOP 

ELLOPOSnet