Essay on Fall of the Roman Republic

2654 Words Jun 22nd, 2007 11 Pages
Fall of the Roman Republic
By Ryan Anderson

Arguably the greatest contribution to the eventual downfall of the Roman Republic was the institution of Gaius Marius' popular, yet dangerous reforms, and his repeated usage of questionable political tactics to achieve his underlying personal goals. By undermining the power of the senate through illegal political conduct, and by introducing reforms that created the open potential for abuse of military power, Marius paved the way for future military monarchies, civil conflict and the eventual downfall and segregation of the Roman Republic.

In the decade before Marius, the senatorial oligarchy, having been undermined by the various reforms posed by the tribunates of the Gracchi, was
…show more content…
Bradley notes that Marius made a promise to the assembly that if given consulship he would "kill Jugurtha or bring him to Rome alive,"4 a bold promise that paid off with the eventual appointment of his first consulship by the Comitia Centuriata in 107.

It wasn't long before Marius began what was to be a long line of misconduct by altering the senatorial laws in his own favor. Marius wanted to instantly assume the commandment of the army against Jugurtha, but a law created earlier by The Gracchi stipulated that consular provinces must be allocated prior to the election, making it illegal for Marius to take control of Metellus' Numidian campaign. The people of Rome, having elected Marius chiefly to take control of the military, would not stand for this, and with the encouragement of Marius and his newfound supporters, the peoples assembly passed a bill allowing Marius to go through with this previously senatorially

Related Documents