By Philip Matyszak
We are acquainted with ponder the past due Republic as a interval during which Rome loved virtually uninterrupted army good fortune opposed to overseas enemies. but before everything of the 1st century BC, Rome, outnumbered and out-generalled, confronted a adverse military lower than a week's march from the Capitol. it really is possible that just a quick give up avoided the town from being attacked and sacked. ahead of that time, 3 Roman consuls had died in conflict, and Roman armies were soundly defeated - now not in a few overseas box, yet within the heartland of Italy. So who have been this enemy who so comprehensively knocked Rome to its knees? What military may effectively problem the legions which were undefeated from Spain to the Euphrates? And why is that luck nearly unknown today? These questions are responded during this publication, an army and political background of the Social conflict of 90-88BC. This tells the tale of the insurrection of Rome's Italian allies (socii in Latin - accordingly the identify of the war). simply because those Italian allies had the palms, education and army structures of the Roman military which and so they fought along, all Rome's traditional army benefits have been nullified. This introduced the conflict all the way down to a conflict of generals, with the Roman competitors Gaius Marius and Cornelius Sulla spending nearly as a lot time in political intrigue as wrestle with the enemy. The Italian leaders needed to deal with an both fractious coalition of peoples. a few tribes sought negotiation with Rome, and others could accept not anything under the complete extermination of town and its people. The interaction of personalities (the younger Cicero, Cato, and Pompey have been additionally protagonists); high-stakes politics and full-scale struggle mix with assassination; own sacrifice and determined measures (such as elevating a military of freed slaves) to make for a taut, fast moving tale.
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Additional info for Cataclysm 90 BC: The Forgotten War That Almost Destroyed Rome
Drusus simply out-demagogued the populist Gaius. If Gaius proposed to found three colonies of Roman citizens, Drusus proposed twelve. If Gaius proposed easing the rents on public land, Drusus announced the rents should be abolished altogether. Not unexpectedly the Roman voters loved this bidding war for their favour and were not at all prepared to remove any of the participants from the political stage. So Gaius Gracchus had to put up with Livius Drusus, and while Livius Drusus was prepared to go further than Gracchus in almost any direction, he drew the line at extending the citizenship.
They also rewarded by electing to office those who built civic amenities for them to enjoy, such as fountains, public gardens and temples. The expenses for such amenities came out of a candidate’s own pocket. If he was successful in obtaining high office, the candidate could expect to use that office to regain the money he had spent, and a lot more. Those who failed to be elected were often financially ruined. This had several effects. Firstly politics in Rome – never a gentle occupation – became increasingly cut-throat and the high stakes meant that elections became ever more competitive.
One reason for this exclusivity was that as the Roman state expanded, so did the rewards of being Roman and of holding office in Rome. This is not to say that Rome was corrupt, because ‘corruption’ implies an alternative system to be corrupted. In ancient Rome nepotism, back-scratching, and the exchange of favours did not corrupt the system – they actually were the system. Without them the administration could not function. The senate was very much an ‘old-boy network’ and took pride in that fact.
Cataclysm 90 BC: The Forgotten War That Almost Destroyed Rome by Philip Matyszak