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The near collapse of the Roman Empire (160-284 CE)

October 9, 2012 2:54 pm

Enrich the troops…Nothing else matters — Emperor Septimius Severus, to his sons from his deathbed Why a society goes into decline and eventual oblivion is one of the most complex, interesting, and important questions one can ask in history. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire has especially fascinated […]

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The Pax Romana & spread of Roman civilization

2:51 pm

One of the greatest legacies of the Pax Romana was the spread of Roman culture to Western Europe. Roman rule in the semi-civilized areas of Western Europe (Gaul, Britain, and Spain) and Augustus’ establishment of peace during the Pax Romana meant that there were Roman troops permanently stationed in the […]

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The Augustan Principate (31 BCE-160 CE)

2:47 pm

Octavian’s victory over Antony and Cleopatra ended a century of civil turmoil and decay.  When he returned to Rome in triumph in 29 B.C.E., everyone anxiously wondered how he would use his victory.  The Roman people and Senate heaped all sorts of honors on Octavian: triumphal parades, political offices, and […]

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The Fall of the Roman Republic (133-31 BCE)

2:47 pm

The city’s life is for sale, and it would kill itself if it could find a buyer — Jugurtha of Numidia Pattern of decline Rome’s failure to adapt its city-state style government to ruling an empire triggered a century long pattern of events that would eventually lead to fall of […]

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The Flow of Power in the Roman Republic

2:39 pm

Many of the problems of the late Roman Republic came from how a small number of powerful men were able to manipulate power and turn what looked like a somewhat democratic government into an effective oligarchy. In a broader sense, it serves as a lesson about how power can be […]

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The problems of Empire

2:39 pm

Success often carries with it the seeds of its own destruction, and that was certainly the case with the Roman republic by the late second century B.C.E.  “Superpower” status wrought far-reaching changes affecting all levels of Roman society.  Unfortunately, the conservative Romans had great difficulty adapting to such rapid changes.  […]

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Further expansion of Roman Power (200-133 BCE)

2:37 pm

Like it or not, (and many Romans did not), Rome was now a Mediterranean power.  This involved it in an ever-widening circle of affairs that it found itself less and less able to avoid contact with.  As a result, the next seventy years saw Rome’s power and influence growing throughout […]

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Rome versus Carthage of The Punic wars (264-201 BCE)

2:36 pm

The First Punic War(264-241 B.C.E.) Rome’s first overseas wars were against Carthage on the coast of North Africa, the largest, most prosperous, and aggressive of the Phoenician cities.  The prize they fought for was the island of Sicily, which for centuries had been a constant battleground between Carthage and various […]

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The Roman conquest of the Mediterranean (264-133 BCE)

2:35 pm

Just as Rome got caught up in a cycle of expansion that led to the conquest of Italy, it experienced another such cycle that led to their dominance of the Mediterranean.  In this case, what triggered the pattern was the mere fact that each new conquest brought Rome into contact […]

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The Roman conquest of Italy (c.500-265 BCE)

2:26 pm

Rome’s pattern of conquest Except for the brief interruption of the Gallic disaster, Roman expansion in Italy was almost uninterrupted in the period 400-265 B.C.E. Among its first victims was the Etruscan city, Veii, which Rome attacked on its own without any help from its Latin allies. Therefore, when Veii […]

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