Analysis Of Julius Caesar And The Failure Of The Roman Republic

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“Julius Caesar and the Failure of the Roman Republic”

Based on the material presented in lecture, Plutarch’s life of Caesar shows that he had a great impact on the Roman Republic in general, both positively and negatively. In many ways, he made Rome great through military expansion and economic, political and social reforms. The life of Caesar is mostly consistent with the material presented in lecture. However, many of Caesar’s activities are described and framed by Plutarch as being virtuous. Also there are a few inconsistencies and exclusions in the information presented in lecture and in the book. Caesar’s policies and military successes led to the creation and rise of a very powerful and relatively prosperous empire. He became a respected
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This created a sense of benign neglect, a detail inconsistent with Plutarch who speaks highly of Caesar’s ability to unite conquered nations into Rome. To address the issue of a lack of unity, he implemented a variety of social reforms which transformed the way people viewed both government and social rulings. He, for example extended Roman citizenship to cities outside Italy, and granted clemency or ‘clementia’ to his defeated enemies in order to counteract discontent between different regions in Rome. This was presented in lecture and is consistent with Plutarch who writes “Caesar showed most wonderful clemency towards his prisoners”. This essay focuses on Caesar’s overall contribution towards the fall of Rome and while these reforms paved the path towards a Roman Empire, his actions ended Roman Republicanism and had a hand in Romes’ fall in the long term as it led to the creation of the Second Triumvirate, another institution resulting from Caesar which had disastrous …show more content…
During his time serving as the governor of Gaul, he used the Roman Army to “effect his conquests” while also “securing to himself the favor of the Romans”. Eventually, he created a civil war by famously crossing the Rubicon river and invading Rome, forcing Pompey to flee and allowing Caesar to seize power for himself. Caesar’s greed contributed towards the fall of the Roman Republic here by first, as Plutarch writes, creating a declared “state of anarchy” leading to a restructuring of the government and the “overthrow” of the constitution. He used intimidation and his army to usurp a republican government with checks and balances in order to create a form of government in which he behaved as both a single consul and a dictator, a role intended only for emergencies. His thirst for power and the “ambitious senators” described in both lectures and reading created a tension and competition for power which spiraled into war. He thus shattered the system of checks and balances that previously existed by eliminating his co-consul, a detail not found in Plutarch’s reading. Regardless, this had detrimental effects for the Roman Republic. For a republic to exist, representatives must be elected and accountability must ensue. While Caesar’s rule may have drastically improved standards of living, he created an image of benevolence which was dangerous. One could even go as far as saying that he was, in fact,

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