The denarius was the standard Roman silver coin from its introduction in the Second Punic War c. 211 BC to the reign of Gordian III, when it was replaced by the Antoninianus. It continued to be minted in small quantities for ceremonial purposes and through the tetrarchy; the word dēnārius is derived from the Latin dēnī "containing ten", as its value was of 10 assēs. The word for "money" descends from it in Italian, Slovene and Spanish, its name survives in the dinar currency. Its symbol is represented in Unicode as, however it can be represented as X̶. A predecessor of the denarius was first struck in 267 BC, five years before the First Punic War, with an average weight of 6.81 grams, or 1⁄48 of a Roman pound. Contact with the Greeks prompted a need for silver coinage in addition to the bronze currency that the Romans were using at that time; the predecessor of the denarius was a Greek-styled silver coin called the didrachm, struck in Neapolis and other Greek cities in southern Italy. These coins were inscribed for Rome but resemble their Greek counterparts.
They were most used for trade purposes and were used in Rome. The first distinctively Roman silver coin appeared around 226 BC. Classic historians sometimes called these coins denarii, but they are classified by modern numismatists as quadrigati, derived from the quadriga, or four-horse chariot, on the reverse, which with a two-horse chariot or biga was the prototype for the most common designs used on Roman silver coins for the next 150 years. Rome overhauled its coinage around 211 BC and introduced the denarius alongside a short-lived denomination called the victoriatus; this denarius contained 1⁄72 of a Roman pound, of silver. It formed the backbone of Roman currency throughout the Roman republic; the denarius began to undergo slow debasement toward the end of the republican period. Under the rule of Augustus its silver content fell to 3.9 grams. It remained at nearly this weight until the time of Nero, when it was reduced to 1⁄96 of a pound, or 3.4 grams. Debasement of the coin's silver content continued after Nero.
Roman emperors reduced its content to 3 grams around the late 3rd century. The value at its introduction was 10 asses, giving the denarius its name, which translates as "containing ten". In about 141 BC, it was re-tariffed at 16 asses; the denarius continued to be the main coin of the Roman Empire until it was replaced by the antoninianus in the middle of the 3rd century. The coin was last issued, in bronze, under Aurelian between AD 270 and 275, in the first years of the reign of Diocletian.. It is difficult to give rough comparative values for money from before the 20th century, as the range of products and services available for purchase was so different. Classical historians say that in the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire the daily wage for an unskilled laborer and common soldier was 1 denarius or about US$2.80 in bread. During the republic, legionary pay was 112.5 denarii per year doubled by Julius Caesar to 225 denarii, with soldiers having to pay for their own food and arms.
Centurions received higher pay: under Augustus, the lowest rank of centurion was paid 3,750 denarii per year, the highest rank, 15,000 denarii. The silver content of the denarius under the Roman Empire was about 50 grains, 3.24 grams, or 1⁄10 troy ounce. On June 6, 2011, this was about US$3.62 in value. The fineness of the silver content varied with economic circumstances. From a purity of greater than 90% silver in the 1st century AD, the denarius fell to under 60% purity by the year 200, plummeted to 5% purity by the year 300. By the reign of Gallienus, the antoninianus was a copper coin with a thin silver wash. By comparison, a laborer earning the minimum wage in the United States in January 2014 made US$58 for an 8-hour day, before taxes and an employee earning the minimum wage in the United Kingdom in 2014 made £52 for an 8-hour day, before taxes. In the final years of the 1st century BC Tincomarus, a local ruler in southern Britain, started issuing coins that appear to have been made from melted down denarii.
The coins of Eppillus, issued around Calleva Atrebatum around the same time, appear to have derived design elements from various denarii such as those of Augustus and M. Volteius. After the denarius was no longer issued, it continued to be used as a unit of account, the name was applied to Roman coins in a way, not understood; the Arabs who conquered large parts of the land that once belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire issued their own gold dinar. The lasting legacy of the denarius can be seen in the use of "d" as the abbreviation for the British penny until 1971, it survived in France as the name of a coin, the denier. The denarius survives in the common Arabic name for a currency unit, the dinar used from pre-Islamic times, still used in several modern Arab nations; the major currency unit in former Principality of Serbia, Kingdom of Serbia and former Yugoslavia was dinar, it is still used in present-day Serbia. The Macedonian currency denar is derived from the Roman denarius; the Italian word
Cato the Younger
Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather, was a statesman in the late Roman Republic, a follower of the Stoic philosophy. A noted orator, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity, as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period. Cato was born in the son of Marcus Porcius Cato and his wife, Livia, his parents died when he was young, he was cared for by his maternal uncle, Marcus Livius Drusus, who looked after Cato's sister Porcia, half-brother Quintus Servilius Caepio, two half-sisters Servilia Major, Servilia Minor. Cato was four when his uncle was assassinated in an event which helped to spark the Social War. Cato's stubbornness began in his early years. Sarpedon, his teacher, reports a obedient and questioning child, although slow in being persuaded of things and sometimes difficult to retrain. A story told by Plutarch tells of Quintus Poppaedius Silo, leader of the Marsi and involved in controversial business in the Roman Forum, who made a visit to his friend Marcus Livius and met the children of the house.
In a playful mood, he asked the children's support for his cause. All of them smiled except Cato, who stared at the guest suspiciously. Silo demanded an answer from him and, seeing no response, took Cato and hung him by the feet out of the window. Cato would not say anything. Plutarch recounts a few other stories as well. One night, as some children were playing a game in a side room of a house during a social event, they were having a mock trial with judges and accusers as well as a defendant. One of the children a good-natured and pleasant child, was convicted by the mock accusers and was being carried out of the room when he cried out for Cato. Cato became angry at the other children and, saying nothing, grabbed the child away from the "guards" and carried him away from the others. Plutarch tells a story about Cato's peers' immense respect for him at a young age, during the Roman ritual military game, called "Troy," in which all aristocratic teenagers participated as a sort of "coming of age" ceremony, involving a mock battle with wooden weapons performed on horseback.
When one of the adult organisers "appointed two leaders for them, the boys accepted one of them for his mother's sake, but would not tolerate the other, a nephew of Pompey, named Sextus, refused to rehearse under him or obey him. When Sulla asked them whom they would have, they all cried "Cato," and Sextus himself gave way and yielded the honour to a confessed superior." Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the Roman dictator, liked to talk with Cato and his brother Caepio, requested the child's presence when the boy defied his opinions and policies in public. Sulla's daughter Cornelia Sulla was married to the boys' uncle Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus. According to Plutarch, at one point during the height of the civil strife, as respected Roman nobles were being led to execution from Sulla's villa, aged about 14, asked his tutor why no one had yet killed the dictator. Sarpedon's answer was thus: "They fear him, my child, more than they hate him." Cato replied to this, "Give me a sword, that I might free my country from slavery."
After this, Sarpedon was careful not to leave the boy unattended around the capital, seeing how firm he was in his republican beliefs. After receiving his inheritance, Cato moved from his uncle's house and began to study Stoic philosophy and politics, he began to live in a modest way, as his great-grandfather Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder had famously done. Cato subjected himself to violent exercise, learned to endure cold and rain with a minimum of clothes, he drank the cheapest wine on the market. This was for philosophical reasons, he remained in private life for a long time seen in public. But when he did appear in the forum, his speeches and rhetorical skills were most admired. Cato was known to drink wine generously. Cato was first engaged to Aemilia Lepida, a patrician woman, but she was married instead to Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, to whom she had been betrothed. Incensed, Cato threatened to sue for her hand, but his friends mollified him, Cato was contented to compose Archilochian iambics against Scipio in consolation.
Cato was married to a woman called Atilia. By her, he had a son, Marcus Porcius Cato, a daughter, who would become the second wife of Marcus Junius Brutus. Cato divorced Atilia for unseemly behavior. In 72 BC, Cato volunteered to fight in the war against Spartacus to support his brother Caepio, serving as a military tribune in the consular army of Lucius Gellius Poplicola. Gellius is remembered as an indifferent commander, but his army inflicted the greatest of any defeats on Spartacus before Crassus raised his six legions and defeated the slave uprising; as a military tribune, Cato was sent to Macedon in 67 BC at the age of 28 and given command of a legion. He led his men from the front, sharing their work and sleeping quarters, he was nonetheless loved by his legionaries. While Cato was in service in Macedon, he received the news that his beloved brother Caepio, from whom he was nearly inseparable, was dying in Thrace, he went to see him but was unable to arrive before his brother died. Cato was overwhelmed by grief, for once in his life, he spared no expense to org
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was a Roman patrician, a part of the Second Triumvirate alongside Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Marcus Antonius, the last Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Republic. Lepidus had been a close ally of Julius Caesar. Though he was an able military commander and proved a useful partisan of Caesar, Lepidus has always been portrayed as the weakest member of the Triumvirate, he appears as a marginalised figure in depictions of the events of the era, most notably in Shakespeare's plays. While some scholars have endorsed this view, others argue that the evidence is insufficient to discount the distorting effects of propaganda by his opponents, principally Cicero and Augustus. Lepidus was the son of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, his brother was Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus. His father was the first leader of the revived populares faction after the death of Sulla, led an unsuccessful rebellion against the optimates. Lepidus married Junia Secunda, sister of Marcus Junius Brutus and Junia Tertia, Cassius Longinus's wife.
Lepidus and Junia Secunda had Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the Younger. Lepidus joined the College of Pontiffs as a child, he started his cursus honorum as triumvir monetalis, overseeing the minting of coins, from c. 62–58 BC. Lepidus soon became one of Julius Caesar's greatest supporters, he was appointed as a praetor in 49 BC, being placed in charge of Rome while Caesar defeated Pompey in Greece. He secured Caesar's appointment as dictator, a position Caesar used to get himself elected as consul, resigning the dictatorship after eleven days. Lepidus was rewarded with the position of proconsul in the Spanish province of Hispania Citerior. While in Spain Lepidus was called upon to act to quell a rebellion against Quintus Cassius Longinus, governor of neighbouring Hispania Ulterior. Lepidus refused to support Cassius, who had created opposition to Caesar's regime by his corruption and avarice, he negotiated a deal with the rebel leader, the quaestor Marcellus, helped defeat an attack by the Mauretanian king Bogud.
Cassius and his supporters were allowed to leave and order was restored. Caesar and the Senate were sufficiently impressed by Lepidus' judicial mixture of negotiation and surgical military action that they granted him a triumph. Lepidus was rewarded with the consulship in 46 after the defeat of the Pompeians in the East. Caesar made Lepidus magister equitum his deputy. Caesar appears to have had greater confidence in Lepidus than in Mark Antony to keep order in Rome, after Antony's inflammatory actions led to disturbances in 47. Lepidus appears to have been genuinely shocked when Antony provocatively offered Caesar a crown at the Lupercalia festival, an act that helped to precipitate the conspiracy to kill Caesar; when in February 44 Caesar was elected dictator for life by the Senate, he made Lepidus magister equitum for the second time. The brief alliance in power of Caesar and Lepidus came to a sudden end when Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44. Caesar had dined at Lepidus' house the night before his murder.
One of the ringleaders of the conspiracy, Gaius Cassius Longinus, had argued for the killing of Lepidus and Mark Antony as well, but Marcus Junius Brutus had overruled him, saying the action was an execution and not a political coup. As soon as Lepidus learned of Caesar's murder, he acted decisively to maintain order by moving troops to the Campus Martius, he proposed using his army to punish Caesar's killers, but was dissuaded by Antony and Aulus Hirtius. Lepidus and Antony both spoke in the Senate the following day, accepting an amnesty for the assassins in return for preservation of their offices and Caesar's reforms. Lepidus obtained the post of Pontifex Maximus. At this point Pompey's surviving son Sextus Pompey tried to take advantage of the turmoil to threaten Spain. Lepidus was sent to negotiate with him. Lepidus negotiated an agreement with Sextus that maintained the peace; the senate voted him a public thanksgiving festival. Lepidus thereafter administered both Narbonese Gaul; when Antony attempted to take control of Cisalpine Gaul by force and displace Decimus Brutus, the Senate, led by Cicero, called on Lepidus to support Brutus – one of Caesar's killers.
Lepidus prevaricated. After Antony's defeat at the Battle of Mutina, the Senate sent word that Lepidus' troops were no longer needed. Antony, marched towards Lepidus's province with his remaining forces. Lepidus engaged in negotiations with Antony; when the two armies met, large portions of Lepidus's forces joined up with Antony. Lepidus negotiated an agreement with him, while claiming to the Senate, it is unclear whether Lepidus' troops forced him to join with Antony, whether, always Lepidus's plan, or whether he arranged matters to gauge the situation and make the best deal. Antony and Lepidus now had to deal with Octavian Caesar, Caesar's great-nephew and, adopted by Caesar in Caesar's will. Octavian was the only surviving commander of the forces; the Senate instructed Octavian to hand over control of the troops to Decimus Brutus. Antony and Lepidus met with Octavian on an island in a river near Mutina but more near Bologna, their armies lined along opposite banks, they formed the Second Triumvirate, legalized with the name of Triumvirs for Confirming the Republic with Consular Power by the Lex T
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, in the region of Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain. The name of Capua comes from the Etruscan Capeva; the meaning is'City of Marshes'. Its foundation is attributed by Cato the Elder to the Etruscans, the date given as about 260 years before it was "taken" by Rome. If this is true it refers not to its capture in the Second Punic War but to its submission to Rome in 338 BC, placing the date of foundation at about 600 BC, while Etruscan power was at its highest. In the area several settlements of the Villanovian civilization were present in prehistoric times, these were enlarged by the Oscans and subsequently by the Etruscans. Etruscan supremacy in Campania came to an end with the Samnite invasion in the latter half of the 5th century BC. About 424 BC it was captured by the Samnites and in 343 BC besought Roman help against its conquerors. Capua entered into alliance with Rome for protection against the Samnite mountain tribes, along with its dependent communities Casilinum, Atella, so that the greater part of Campania now fell under Roman supremacy.
The citizens of Capua received the civitas sine suffragio. In the second Samnite War with Rome, Capua proved an untrustworthy Roman ally, so that after the defeat of the Samnites, the Ager Falernus on the right bank of the Volturnus was confiscated. In 318 BC the powers of the native officials were limited by the appointment of officials with the title praefecti Capuam Cumas, it was the capital of Campania Felix. In 312 BC, Capua was connected with Rome by the construction of the Via Appia, the most important of the military highways of Italy; the gate by which it left the Servian walls of Rome bore the name Porta Capena. At what time the Via Latina was stretched to Casilinum is doubtful; the importance of Capua increased during the 3rd century BC, at the beginning of the Second Punic War it was considered to be only behind Rome and Carthage themselves, was able to furnish 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. Until after the defeat of Cannae it remained faithful to Rome, after a vain demand that one of the consuls should always be selected from it or in order to secure regional supremacy in the event of a Carthaginian victory, it defected to Hannibal, who made it his winter quarters: he and his army were voluntarily received by Capua.
Livy and others have suggested that the luxurious conditions were Hannibal's "Cannae" because his troops became soft and demoralized by luxurious living. Historians from Bosworth Smith onwards have been skeptical of this, observing that his troops gave as good an account of themselves in battle after that winter as before. After a long siege, it was taken by the Romans in 211 BC and punished. Parts of it were sold in 205 BC and 199 BC, another part was divided among the citizens of the new colonies of Volturnum and Liternum, established near the coast in 194 BC, but the greater portion of it was reserved to be let by the state. Considerable difficulties occurred in preventing illegal encroachments by private persons, it became necessary to buy a number of them out in 162 BC, it was, after that period, not to large but to small proprietors. Frequent attempts were made by the democratic leaders to divide the land among new settlers. Brutus in 83 BC succeeded in establishing a colony, but it was soon dissolved.
In the meantime the necessary organization of the inhabitants of this thickly populated district was in a measure supplied by grouping them round important shrines that of Diana Tifatina, in connection with which a pagus Dianae existed, as we learn from many inscriptions. The town of Capua belonged to none of these organizations, was dependent on the praefecti, it enjoyed great prosperity, due to their growing of spelt, a grain, put into groats, roses, unguents etc. and owing to its manufacture of bronze objects, of which both the elder Cato and the elder Pliny speak in the highest terms. Its luxury remained proverbial. From the gladiatorial schools of Campania came Spartacus and his followers in 73 BC. Julius Caesar as consul in 59 BC succeeded in carrying out the establishment of a Roman colony under the name Julia Felix in connection with his agrarian law, 20,000 Roman citizens were settled in this territory; the number of colonists was increased by Mark Antony and Nero. In the war of 69 it took the side
The Second Triumvirate is the name historians have given to the official political alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Marcus Antonius, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, formed on 27 November 43 BC with the enactment of the Lex Titia, the adoption of which some view as marking the end of the Roman Republic, whilst others argue the Battle of Actium or Octavian becoming Caesar Augustus in 27 BC. The Triumvirate existed for two five-year terms, covering the period 43 BC to 33 BC. Unlike the earlier First Triumvirate, the Second Triumvirate was an official established institution, whose overwhelming power in the Roman state was given full legal sanction and whose imperium maius outranked that of all other magistrates, including the consuls. Octavian, despite his youth, extorted from the Senate the post of suffect consul for 43 BC, he had been warring with Antony and Lepidus in upper Italia, but in October 43 BC the three agreed to unite and seize power and so met near Bononia. This triumvirate of new leaders was established in 43 BC as the Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate.
Where the first triumvirate was a private agreement, the second was embedded in the constitution formally joining Octavian and Lepidus in shared rule over Rome. The only other office, qualified "for confirming the Republic" was the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. A historical oddity of the Triumvirate is that it was, in effect, a three-man directorate with dictatorial powers; as had been the case with both Sulla and Julius Caesar during their dictatorships, the members of the Triumvirate saw no contradiction between holding a supraconsular office and the consulate itself simultaneously. In 44 BC, Lepidus' possession of the provinces of Hispania and Narbonese Gaul was confirmed, he agreed to hand over 7 legions to Octavian and Antony to continue the struggle against Brutus and Cassius for eastern Roman territory. Antony retained Cisalpine Gaul and hegemony over Gaul itself, Octavian held Africa and was given nominal authority over Sicily and Sardinia. According to historian Richard Weigel, Octavian's share at this stage was "practically humiliating".
In order to refill the treasury, the Triumvirs decided to resort to proscription. As all three had been partisans of Caesar, their main targets were opponents of the Caesarian faction; the most notable victims were Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had opposed Caesar and excoriated Antony in his Philippicae, Marcus Favonius, a follower of Cato and an opponent of both triumvirates. The proscription of Caesar's legate Quintus Tullius Cicero seems to have been motivated by the perceived need to destroy Cicero's family. For ancient writers, the most shocking proscriptions were those of Caesar's legate Lucius Julius Caesar, Lepidus' brother Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus, they were added to the list because they had been the first to condemn Antony and Lepidus after the two allied. In fact they both survived. Octavian's colleague in the consulate that year, his cousin, Quintus Pedius, died before the proscriptions got underway. Octavian himself resigned shortly after, allowing the appointment of a second pair of suffect consuls.
This became a broad pattern of the Triumvirate's two terms. The Caesarean background of the Triumvirs made it no surprise that after the conclusion of the first civil war of the post-Caesar period, they set about prosecuting a second: Caesar's murderers Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus had usurped control of most of the Eastern provinces, including Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria. In 42 BC, Octavian and Antony set out to war, defeating Brutus and Cassius in two battles fought at Philippi. After the victory and Octavian agreed to divide the provinces of the Republic into spheres of influence. Octavian — who had begun calling himself "Divi filius" after Caesar's deification as Divus Julius and now styled himself "Imperator Caesar" — took control of the West, Antony of the East; as a result, the province of Cisalpine Gaul was absorbed into Italy. Narbonese Gaul was absorbed into Gallia Comata, creating a unified Gaul, was thus taken over by Antony. Octavian took over Spain from Lepidus.
Lepidus himself was offered the prospect of control over Africa. The excuse given for this was a report that Lepidus had been traitorously negotiating with Sextus Pompey. If he were proved innocent he would have Africa. Octavian returned to Rome to administer the distribution of land to his veterans. Antony remained in the east to bring Brutus and Cassius' former territories under triumvirate control; the reduced role of Lepidus is evident in the fact that far fewer coins depict him from
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, orator and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, his influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement, it was during his consulship that the second Catilinarian conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, Cicero suppressed the revolt by summarily and controversially executing five conspirators.
During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches, he was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during an attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed on The Rostra. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers and political theorists such as John Locke, David Hume and Edmund Burke was substantial.
His works rank among the most influential in European culture, today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history the last days of the Roman Republic. Cicero was born in 106 BC in a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome, he belonged to the tribus Cornelia. His father possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero's mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero's brother Quintus wrote in a letter. Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas. Romans chose down-to-earth personal surnames.
The famous family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus and Catulus. During this period in Roman history, "cultured" meant being able to speak both Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers and historians. Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience, it was his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite. Cicero's interest in philosophy figured in his career and led to him providing a comprehensive account of Greek philosophy for a Roman audience, including creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy, founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome.
Cicero, "inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy", sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato's philosophy. Cicero said of Plato's Dialogues. According to Plutarch, Cicero was an talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Cicero's fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, Titus Pomponius; the latter two became Cicero's friends for life, Pomponius would become, in Cicero's own words, "as a second brother", with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. In 79 BC, Cicero left for Asia Minor and Rhodes; this was to avoid the potential wrath of Sulla, as Plutarch claims, though Cicero himself says it was to hone his skills and improve his p
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul. While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late; the wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic. Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north.
Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict; as a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt. However, through his membership in the First Triumvirate—the political alliance which comprised Marcus Licinius Crassus, Pompey, himself— Caesar had secured the proconsulship of two provinces, Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum; when the Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Metellus Celer, died unexpectedly, this province was awarded to Caesar. Caesar's governorships were extended to a new idea at the time. Caesar had four veteran legions under his direct command: Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana, Legio X; as he had been Governor of Hispania Ulterior in 61 BC and had campaigned with them against the Lusitanians, Caesar knew most of these legions. Caesar had the legal authority to levy additional legions and auxiliary units as he saw fit.
His ambition was to conquer and plunder some territories to get himself out of debt, it is possible that Gaul was not his initial target. It is more that he was planning a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia, located in the Balkans; the countries of Gaul were wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some those that were governed by republics such as the Aedui and Helvetii, had enjoyed stable political alliances with Rome in the past; the Romans feared the Gallic tribes. Only fifty years before, in 109 BC, Italy had been invaded from the north and saved only after several bloody and costly battles by Gaius Marius. Around 62 BC, when a Roman client state, the Arverni, conspired with the Sequani and the Suebi nations east of the Rhine to attack the Aedui, a strong Roman ally, Rome turned a blind eye; the Sequani and Arverni sought Ariovistus’ aid and defeated the Aedui in 63 BC at the Battle of Magetobriga. The Sequani rewarded Ariovistus with land following his victory. Ariovistus settled the land with 120,000 of his people.
When 24,000 Harudes joined his cause, Ariovistus demanded that the Sequani give him more land to accommodate the Harudes people. This demand concerned Rome because if the Sequani conceded, Ariovistus would be in a position to take all of the Sequani land and attack the rest of Gaul, they did not appear to be concerned about a conflict between non-client and allied states. By the end of the campaign, the non-client Suebi under the leadership of the belligerent Ariovistus, stood triumphant over both the Aedui and their co-conspirators. Fearing another mass migration akin to the devastating Cimbrian War, now keenly invested in the defense of Gaul, was irrevocably drawn into war; the Helvetii was a confederation of about five related Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau, hemmed in by the mountains as well as the Rhine and Rhone rivers. They began to come under increased pressure from German tribes to the east. By 58 BC, the Helvetii were well on their way in the planning and provisioning for a mass migration under the leadership of Orgetorix.
Caesar mentions as an additional reason their not being able to in turn raid for plunder themselves due to their location. They planned to travel across Gaul to the west coast, a route that would have taken them through lands of the Aedui, a Roman ally, the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul; the Helvetii sent emissaries to neighboring tribes to negotiate peaceful transit. Orgetorix made an alliance with the Sequani chieftain Casticus and arranged the marriage of his daughter to an Aedui chieftain, Dumnorix; the three secretly planned to become kings of their respective tribes, masters of the whole of Gaul. Orgetorix's personal ambitions were discovered and he was to be put on trial, with the penalty being death by fire if convicted. Orgetorix escaped with the help of his many debtors. However, the death of Orgetorix was "not without suspicion that he had decided upon death for himself", as Caesar puts it. Caesar dated their departure to the 28 March, mentions that they burned all their towns and villages so as to discourage thoughts among undecided client tribes and enemies of occupying their vacated realm..
Caesar was across the Alps in Italy. With only a single legion in Transalpine Gaul, the endangered province, he hurried to Geneva and ordered a levy of several auxiliary units and the destruction of the Rhone bridge. Th