The Decline of the Roman Republic

The Roman republic decline was facilitated by a number of factors. They included profits and booty of war where Roman conquest produced so much creating surplus in the country and hence reducing the cost of agricultural products. The rich also acquired free labor from the slaves reducing cost of production and hence reducing cost of agricultural goods. This faced poor farmers out of the market since they could not afford cheap labor. They eventually sold their lands and migrated to urban area looking for jobs. The rate of unemployment increased causing inflation and cost of living. Inhabitant were demanded to pay unmanageable tithe to the empire which stirred rebellion. The cost of running the empire increased as more people migrated to the urban centers. There was also increased Roman senators’ status that started imposing their will in the empire. There was also modification in the military. During this time there was formation of the first triumvirates which involved Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompey, and Marcus Licinius Crassus and the second triumvirates that included Octavian Caesar, Marc Antony and Marcus Lepidus. These two triumvirates were formed for similar purpose which was to consolidate power by combining their influence across Rome and sharing power and in ruling the developing Roman Empire (Jauntingjen, 2015).

The first triumvirate fell out leaving Julius Caesar as the only ruler after the killing of the other two in the war. Caesar was given a chance to rule as a dictator for 10 years after defeating all the Roman enemies. The main purpose was to restore the Roman republic. He enhanced a number of reforms in the republic including flooding prevention in Tiber River, and establishment of various colonies and being generous in extending citizenships to Spain and Gaul cities. He regulated Rome traffic, imposed tariffs on imports to assist Italian industry. Julius also started an aspiring building program. He can therefore be regarded as a hero. He was assassinated by the Senate. Julius Caesar was succeeded by Octavian who formed the second triumvirate. Similar to Julius the two parties were eliminated and Octavia became the empire of Roman under the name Augustus. He built a foundation of Roman Empire that lasted for 1500 years and he can thus be described as a hero. Marc Antony on the contrary spent most of his time in Egypt with his lover Cleopatra who he had children with. He even abandoned his Roman wife, sister to Octavia and provided his children with Cleopatra more inheritance than others. He even wanted to be buried in Egypt and not Rome. This lead to his rejection and forced to kill himself together with Cleopatra. Based on his abandonment of duties, and bad treat to his wife and children, he could be considered as villain (Jays Roman History, n.d.).


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