The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina, its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines; the cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m; the mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi
Titus Livius – rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime, he was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history. Livy was born in Patavium in northern Italy, now modern Padua. There is a debate about the year of his birth- either in 64 BC, or more in 59 BC. At the time of his birth, his home city of Patavium was the second wealthiest on the Italian peninsula, the largest in the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Cisalpine Gaul was merged in Italia during his lifetime and its inhabitants were given Roman citizenship by Julius Caesar. In his works, Livy expressed his deep affection and pride for Patavium, the city was well known for its conservative values in morality and politics.
"He was by nature a recluse, mild in averse to violence. The governor of Cisalpine Gaul at the time, Asinius Pollio, tried to sway Patavium into supporting Marcus Antonius, the leader of one of the warring factions; the wealthy citizens of Patavium refused to contribute money and arms to Asinius Pollio, went into hiding. Pollio attempted to bribe the slaves of those wealthy citizens to expose the whereabouts of their masters, it is therefore that the Roman civil wars prevented Livy from pursuing a higher education in Rome or going on a tour of Greece, common for adolescent males of the nobility at the time. Many years Asinius Pollio derisively commented on Livy's "patavinity", saying that Livy's Latin showed certain "provincialisms" frowned on at Rome. Pollio's dig may have been the result of bad feelings he harboured toward the city of Patavium from his experiences there during the civil wars. Livy went to Rome in the 30s BC, it is that he spent a large amount of time in the city after this, although it may not have been his primary home.
During his time in Rome, he held a government position. His writings contain elementary mistakes on military matters, indicating that he never served in the Roman army. However, he was educated in rhetoric, it seems that Livy had the financial resources and means to live an independent life, though the origin of that wealth is unknown. He devoted a large part of his life to his writings, which he was able to do because of his financial freedom. Livy was known to give recitations to small audiences, but he was not heard of to engage in declamation a common pastime, he was familiar with the imperial family. Augustus was considered by Romans to have been the greatest Roman emperor, benefiting Livy's reputation long after his death. Suetonius described how Livy encouraged the future emperor Claudius, born in 10 BC, to write historiographical works during his childhood. Livy's most famous work was his history of Rome. In it he narrates a complete history of the city of Rome, from its foundation to the death of Augustus.
Because he was writing under the reign of Augustus, Livy's history emphasizes the great triumphs of Rome. He wrote his history with embellished accounts of Roman heroism in order to promote the new type of government implemented by Augustus when he became emperor. In Livy's preface to his history, he said that he did not care whether his personal fame remained in darkness, as long as his work helped to "preserve the memory of the deeds of the world’s preeminent nation"; because Livy was writing about events that had occurred hundreds of years earlier, the historical value of his work was questionable, although many Romans came to believe his account to be true. Livy had at least one daughter and one son, he produced other works, including an essay in the form of a letter to his son, numerous dialogues, most modelled on similar works by Cicero. Titus Livius died in his home city of Patavium in either AD 12 or 17. Livy's only surviving work is the "History of Rome", his career from his mid-life 32, until he left Rome for Padua in old age in the reign of Tiberius after the death of Augustus.
When he began this work he was past his youth. Seneca the Younger gives brief mention that he was known as an orator and philosopher and had written some treatises in those fields from a historical point of view. Livy's History of Rome was in high demand from the time it was published and remained so during the early years of the empire. Pliny the Younger reported that Livy's celebrity was so widespread, a man from Cadiz travelled to Rome and back for the sole purpose of meeting him. Livy's work was a source for the works of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, Florus, Granius Licinianus and Orosius. Julius Obsequens used Livy, or a source with access to Livy, to compose his De Prodigiis, an account of supernatural e
Civic virtue is the cultivation of habits important for the success of the community. Linked to the concept of citizenship, civic virtue is conceived as the dedication of citizens to the common welfare of their community at the cost of their individual interests; the identification of the character traits that constitute civic virtue has been a major concern of political philosophy. The term civility refers to behavior between persons and groups that conforms to a social mode, as itself being a foundation of society and law. Civic virtues have taught as a matter of chief concern in nations under republican forms of government, societies with cities; when final decisions on public matters are made by a monarch, it is the monarch's virtues which influence those decisions. When a broader class of people become the decision-makers, it is their virtues which characterize the types of decisions made; this form of decision-making is considered superior in determining what best protects the interests of the majority.
Aristocratic oligarchies may develop traditions of public lists of virtues they believe appropriate in the governing class, but these virtues differ from those who are identified under the category of civic virtue, stressing martial courage over commercial honesty. Constitutions became important in defining the public virtue of republics and constitutional monarchies; the earliest forms of constitutional development can be seen in late medieval Germany and in the Dutch and English revolts of the 16th and 17th centuries. In the classical culture of Western Europe and those places that follow its political tradition, concern for civic virtue starts with the oldest republics of which we have extensive records and Rome. Attempting to define the virtues needed to govern the Athenian polis was a matter of significant concern for Socrates and Plato; the Politics of Aristotle viewed citizenship as consisting, not of political rights, but rather of political duties. Citizens were expected to put their private lives and interests aside and serve the state in accordance with duties defined by law.
Rome more than Greece, produced a number of moralistic philosophers such as Cicero, moralistic historians such as Tacitus, Sallust and Livy. Many of these figures were either involved in power struggles that took place in the late Roman Republic, or wrote elegies to liberty, lost during their transition to the Roman Empire, they tended to blame this loss of liberty on the perceived lack of civic virtue in their contemporaries, contrasting them with idealistic examples of virtue drawn from Roman history, non-Roman "barbarians". Texts of antiquity became popular by the Renaissance. Scholars tried to gather as many of them as they could find in monasteries, from Constantinople, from the Muslim world. Aided by the rediscovery of the virtue ethics and metaphysics of Aristotle by Avicenna and Averroes, Thomas Aquinas fused Aristotle's cardinal virtues with Christianity in his Summa Theologica. Humanists wanted to reinstate the ancient ideal of civic virtue through education. Instead of punishing sinners, it was believed that sin could be prevented by raising virtuous children.
Living in the city became important for the elite, because people in the city are forced to behave themselves when communicating with others. A problem was that the proletarianization of peasants created an environment in cities where such workers were hard to control. Cities tried to keep the proletarians out or tried to civilize them by forcing them to work in poor houses. Important aspects of civic virtue were: civilized behavior, work. Religion changed, it became more focused on individual behavior instead of a communion of people. The people who believed in civic virtue belonged to a small majority surrounded by "barbarity". Parental authority was popular the authority of the monarch and the state. Civic virtue was popular during the Enlightenment but it had changed dramatically. Parental authority began to wane. Freedom became popular, but people can only be free by containing their emotions. Trying to keep proletarians out or putting them in a poor house was not done anymore; the focus was now on educating.
Work was an important virtue during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but the people who worked were treated with contempt by the non-working elite. The 18th century brought an end to this; the advancing rich merchants class emphasized the importance of work and contributing to society for all people including the elite. Science was popular; the government and the elites tried to change the world and humanity positively by expanding the bureaucracy. Leading thinkers thought that education and the breach of barriers would liberate everybody from stupidity and oppression. Civic conversations were held in scientific journals. Civic virtue became a matter of public interest and discussion during the 18th century, in part because of the American Revolutionary War. An anecdote first published in 1906 has Benjamin Franklin answer a woman who asked him, "Well, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?" He responded: "A Republic, if you can keep it." The current use for this quotation is to bolster with Franklin's
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution. Polybius was born around 200 BC in Megalopolis, when it was an active member of the Achaean League, his father, was a prominent, land-owning politician and member of the governing class who became strategos of the Achaean League. Polybius was able to observe first hand the political and military affairs of Megalopolis, he developed an interest in horse riding and hunting, diversions that commended him to his Roman captors. In 182 BC, he was given quite an honor when he was chosen to carry the funeral urn of Philopoemen, one of the most eminent Achaean politicians of his generation.
In either 169 BC or 170 BC, Polybius was elected hipparchus, an event which presaged election to the annual strategia. His early political career was devoted towards maintaining the independence of Megalopolis. Polybius’ father, was a prominent advocate of neutrality during the Roman war against Perseus of Macedon. Lycortas attracted the suspicion of the Romans, Polybius subsequently was one of the 1,000 Achaean nobles who were transported to Rome as hostages in 167 BC, was detained there for 17 years. In Rome, by virtue of his high culture, Polybius was admitted to the most distinguished houses, in particular to that of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, the conqueror in the Third Macedonian War, who entrusted Polybius with the education of his sons and Scipio Aemilianus. Polybius remained on cordial terms with his former pupil Scipio Aemilianus and was among the members of the Scipionic Circle; when Scipio defeated the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War, Polybius remained his counsellor.
The Achaean hostages were released in 150 BC, Polybius was granted leave to return home, but the next year he went on campaign with Scipio Aemilianus to Africa, was present at the Sack of Carthage in 146, which he described. Following the destruction of Carthage, Polybius journeyed along the Atlantic coast of Africa, as well as Spain. After the destruction of Corinth in the same year, Polybius returned to Greece, making use of his Roman connections to lighten the conditions there. Polybius was charged with the difficult task of organizing the new form of government in the Greek cities, in this office he gained great recognition. In the succeeding years, Polybius resided in Rome, completing his historical work while undertaking long journeys through the Mediterranean countries in the furtherance of his history, in particular with the aim of obtaining firsthand knowledge of historical sites, he interviewed veterans to clarify details of the events he was recording and was given access to archival material.
Little is known of Polybius' life. He wrote about this war in a lost monograph. Polybius returned to Greece in his life, as evidenced by the many existent inscriptions and statues of him there; the last event mentioned in his Histories seems to be the construction of the Via Domitia in southern France in 118 BC, which suggests the writings of Pseudo-Lucian may have some grounding in fact when they state, " fell from his horse while riding up from the country, fell ill as a result and died at the age of eighty-two". Polybius’ Histories cover the period from 264 BC to 146 BC, its main focus is the period from 220 BC to 167 BC, describing Rome's efforts in subduing its arch-enemy and thereby becoming the dominant Mediterranean force. Books I through V of The Histories are the introduction for the years during his lifetime, describing the politics in leading Mediterranean states, including ancient Greece and Egypt, culminating in their ultimate συμπλοκή or interconnectedness. In Book VI, Polybius describes the political and moral institutions that allowed the Romans to succeed.
He describes the Second Punic Wars. Polybius concludes the Romans are the pre-eminent power because they have customs and institutions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, a fear of the gods, he chronicled the conflicts between Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus such as the Battle of Ticinus, the Battle of the Trebia, the Siege of Saguntum, the Battle of Lilybaeum, the Battle of Rhone Crossing. In Book XII, Polybius discusses the worth of Timaeus’ account of the same period of history, he asserts Timaeus' point of view is inaccurate and biased in favor of Rome. Therefore, Polybius's Histories is useful in analyzing the different Hellenistic versions of history and of use as a credible illustration of actual events during the Hellenistic period. In the seventh volume of his Histories, Polybius defines the historian's job as the analysis of documentation, the review of relevant geographical information, political experience.
Polybius held that historians should only chronicle events whose participants the historian was able to interview, was among the first to champion the notion of factual integrity in historical wri
In the ancient Roman legend of the kingdom era, the Horatii were triplet warriors who lived during the reign of Tullus Hostilius. The accounts of their epic clash with the Curiatii and the murder of their sister by Publius, the sole survivor of the battle, appear in the writings of Livy. Livy recounts this tale in the first book of his History of Rome. During the Roman king Tullus Hostilius' war with the neighboring city of Alba Longa, it was agreed that fighting a costly war between their armies would leave the door open for an Etruscan invasion. Sabine dictator Mettius Fufetius appealed to Tullus Hostilius that the conflict should be settled by a fight to the death between the Roman Horatii triplets and their Alban counterparts, known as the Curiatii, they met on the battlefield between the lines as their countrymen looked on. With so much at stake, both sides fought bravely; the Horatii had wounded all three Curiatii. That surrounded by the three Albans. Though he was uninjured, Publius realized he stood no chance against all three of his enemies together.
So he began to run across the battlefield instead. The Albans pursued him, each as fast as their individual injuries permitted; this was what he had hoped they would do, after they had gone far enough, he saw that the Curiatii had become staggered and were separated from each another. His plan had worked perfectly, he launched a furious attack on the first, least-injured Curiatius and slew him. The Roman spectators, moments before, had been sure of defeat, began cheering wildly as the Albans began shouting at the Curiatii to regroup in the face of Publius' onslaught, but before they could, the Horatius caught up to the second Curiatius and killed him as his brother, looked on. The final Curiatius was physically spent from the chase, his hope had been crushed by watching both of his brothers die. He managed to unsteadily stand his ground and faced the Horatius, heartened by his wildly successful strategy and confident of his imminent victory. Publius declared, he would kill their rule over the Albans.
He thrust his sword down the Alban's throat and took the armor of his slain enemies as the spoils of his victory. Afterwards, the Alban dictator Mettius honored the treaty and Alba Longa accepted Roman rule, before provoking a war with the Fidenates and betraying Rome; the victorious Horatius returned to a hero's welcome. Before the war had broken out, Publius' sister, had been engaged to one of the Alban triplets; when she saw the cloak that she herself had woven and given to the Curiatius on her brother's shoulder, now stained with his blood, she realized that her betrothed had been slain. Camilla began wailing and crying out his name. Proclaiming that no Roman woman should mourn Rome's fallen enemies, Publius killed his sister on the spot. For his crime, he was condemned to death. On the advice of a jurist named Tullus, Publius appealed to one of the popular assemblies. In defense of his son, the Horatius' father Publius, spoke of the recent victory and entreated them to spare his last surviving son.
The assembly was persuaded and Publius' sentence was commuted. This may be the source of the Roman tradition of allowing the condemned to appeal their sentences to the populace. Publius the elder was required to offer a sacrifice to atone for his son's crime and from that time forward, the Horatia family made it a tradition to offer the same; the spoils of the victory were hung in a place. A wooden beam was erected on the slope of the Oppian Hill, called the Sororium Tigillum, it symbolized a yoke. It remained standing long after his death. Cato the Elder Cincinnatus Marcus Atilius Regulus Publius Decius Mus Livy, Ab urbe condita, 1:24-26