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The Decline of the Roman
Time Line of Ancient Rome
Consider the timeline on page 164 of your
What has been the nature of the development of
Rome to this point?
What have been the most significant events or
moments so far?
Gaius Marius
Political Reforms/ Actions
Not a Patrician was a part of the Tribune.
Elected as consul.
Received command of N. Africa behind the Senates back.
Military Reforms/ Actions
Reformed the military – professional soldiers who were
paid by the general.
Men served 16 years.
Consequences/ Outcomes
Army became more loyal to the general then the Senate.
This will be used by generals such as Sulla and Caesar to
become dictators.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Political Reforms/ Actions:
Elected consul as reward for serving Marius.
Marched on Rome with his army.
Killed many senators and took their property.
Increased senators # to 6000.
Military Reforms/ Actions:
Changed the legion – 10 cohorts of 6000 men each.
Thus, senate loses control of the army.
Civil war between Marius and Sulla.
Consequences/ Outcomes:
82 BCE Sulla was appointed dictator.
Became an example of other ambitious generals.
First Triumvirate (60 BCE)
All military adventurers who cared nothing for the
Republican constitution by which they had prospered.
 Private arrangement to split government amongst
themselves in 60 BCE.
 Formed the first Triumvirate, the Rule of Three Men.
Temporary measure for all three to gain power.
Pompey and Crassus
Pompey – fame as military general.
Wanted political power but from low social class.
Started military career under Sulla – successful
campaigns in Spain and Middle East.
Extended Empire in the East to Mesopatamia.
Became gaurdian of the senate and was sent to kill
Caesar who had illegally crossed the Rubicon River.
Killed in Egypt by Ptolemy after loosing against Caesar.
Very wealthy and gained fame for crushing the slave
In an alliance with Caesar
Campaign in the East ended his life (Parthia)
Crassus & Pompey became consuls in 70 & 55 BCE
The First Triumvirate cont'd...
Julius Caesar
A patrician but poor with political and military
Took control of the armies of Northern Itlay in
the alliance.
Declared enemy of the state by senate for
refusing to disband his army – last surviving
member of Triumvirate.
Had himself appointed dictator for ten years.
Became Pontifex Maximus (High Priest)
assumed virtually all responsibility for
decision making.
The Dictatorship of Julius Caesar
Political Actions/ Reforms:
Had all political power centralized as dictator,
consul, high priest ( etc.
Didn't restore the republic but created
dictatorship, rewarded his followers.
Extended Roman citizenship.
New Calendar – the Julian Calendar
Caused resentment among young patricians.
Military Actions
Gained great military support and extended
the Empire.
After Caesar...
Republicanism dead – patricians are left
without real power and oppose this.
At his death, chaos ensues.
Civil war tradition continues after death.
Military involvement in politics established.
Power struggles continue until the rise of
Octavian (Caesar's nephew).