The Rise Of The Roman Civil War Essay

830 Words Apr 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
50 BC to 40 BC, the time in which Livy was growing up in Roman society, was a time of much conflict and division within the Roman Republic. From 49 BC to 45 BC, the massive Roman Civil War sharply divided the citizens of Rome based on their class and heritage. The Roman Civil War pitted Julius Caesar and the Populares against Pompey and the Optimates. The Civil War began because of political wrangling in the Roman Senate between the senatorial elite, who supported Pompey, and the tribunes and plebs, who supported Caesar. The Civil War led to many battles that covered the entirety of the Roman Republic including Italy, Greece, Spain, Egypt, and Africa. In addition to the Civil War, during this span of time, Caesar is named dictator and elected consul multiple times. Eventually in 44 BC, when Caesar wins the Civil War, the senate makes him a dictator in perpetuum. This office allowed Caesar to serve as dictator forever, without the normal restrictions that governed dictatorships. By making Caesar the dictator in perpetuum, the senate raised his position above the normal political offices of the republic and put Caesar on a level dangerously close to the monarchy of past Roman society.

For Livy, the experience of a departure from Roman virtues, a deeply divided Roman Republic, and a leader with powers very similar to past kings influenced his perspectives of Roman society. His experiences encouraged him to write a history that reflected a desire for Rome to maintain historic…

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