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Chapter 14 Section 5
Republic declines
• Rome expands borders- demand taxes and
enslave those who were conquered.
• Tax collectors were called publicans- they paid
ahead of time for contracts but would collect
extra money from the conquered people.
• Roman farmers lost their land as well as their
political and economic independence
• Roman luxuries could be imported from
elsewhere- leaving the Roman merchants
• Artisans lost business because rich Romans
wanted items from Syria and Greece
• Government officials were getting rich, but
not fixing problems
• The gap between rich and poor was getting
• This leads to political instability
Roman Leadership
• Over the next 100 years, many leaders would
try to improve conditions in Rome. Some were
reformers while others were generals.
Tiberius & Gaius
Gaius Marius
Lucius Sulla
The Reformers
• The Gracchus Brothers Tiberius Sempronius
Gracchus was the 1st reformer.
• He felt this was the reason of Rome’s
problems: making small farmers leave their
land caused Rome’s problems.
He was elected Tribune in 133 B.C. and
tried to make these reforms-•
Limit amount of land owned
Divide up public land
Give land to the poor
What happened when he tried to run for a 2nd
term? Were you allowed to serve more than 1
term in office?
• Against the law to run for a 2nd term
• Senate staged a riot and had him killed
• In 123 B.C. Tiberius’s younger brother, Gaius
Gracchus was elected Tribune.
• He felt the answer to Rome’s problem was
moving poor from the city back to the
• He improved and extended the reforms of his
brother---took over sale of wheat—sold to poor
at lower price.
• What was the issue of this reform?
• Wheat was given away rather than sold
• What happened to him?
• Senate had him killed in 121 B.C.
The Generals
• In 107 B.C. a military hero, Gaius Marius
became consul. He was the first low class
Roman elected.
• Marius was supported by ex-soldiers who had
been farmers and had their farms taken away
when they served in the military.
• He felt Rome’s troubles could be solved by
setting up a professional army.
• Marius opened the army to everyone with the
promises of
– Pay
– Land
– Pension
– Treasure
• His plan both helped put Romans to work and
hurt the Republic because soldiers were loyal
to generals who hired/paid them.
• Marius was opposed by Sulla.
• He was given Military Command that Marius
• Marius tried to get the assembly to take away
the command from Sulla. Sulla marched on
Rome and took over the city.
• This was the first time that a Roman
commander had led his soldiers against the
• Civil wars break out and when they are over,
Sulla declares himself dictator.
• Sulla wanted to increase the size of the
• The senators had more duties and it
weakened the power of the tribunes.
• He also stopped generals from holding the
same army command for more than 1 year.
1st Triumvirate
Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey.
After Sulla retired power passed to a triumvirate.
It was made up of Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey.
Pompey believed in a Republic ruled by upperclass senators.
• Caesar wanted one-man rule
• After Crassus died the 2 remaining people fought
for control. Caesar finally gained control after
Pompey was murdered in 48 B.C.
List Reforms of Caesar
Entered Rome and named himself dictator
Re-distributed state lands and new colonies
Gave land to ex-soldiers
Public work projects (Roads, buildings, etc...)
which gave jobs to people who were out of work.
• Business people now senators (cut back on
• Roman citizenship to Greeks, Spaniards, and
End of Republic
• The Roman People turned against the
Senators that killed Caesar.
• Political power passed to 2nd Triumvirate.
– Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus
• For a while this worked but then fights break
out .
• In 31 B.C. Octavian had won and he became
the sole and single ruler of Rome.