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The End of the Republic Chapter 11, Lesson 3 Problems in the Republic • As Rome continued to win victories abroad, economic troubles grew at home. • In the 100s B.C. many small farmers were pushed out of business by large farms that relied on slave labor. • Small farms closed, and unemployed people moved to Rome’s cities looking for work. • Conflicts between rich and poor grew in Rome. • Roman rulers offered cheap food and free entertainment to Rome’s poor. • “Bread and Circuses” • The Gracchus brothers worked for reforms to help the poor. • They were murdered by a group of Senators. Critical Thinking Analyzing What does the murder of these brothers tell us about the Roman government at this time? The Gracchus Brothers tried to help poor farmers who had lost their land to much larger Roman farms known as latifundia. Roman Politics and the Army • Rome’s military leaders sought political power. • In 107 B.C., Marius became consul and recruited armies by promising land to those who joined. • Rome’s army was full of mercenaries who swore allegiance to Marius, not the state. • Others soon began recruiting their own armies, and civil war broke out. • In 82 B.C., Sulla drove his enemies out of Rome and proclaimed himself dictator. • Sulla reduced the power of the tribunes and gave the Senate more power. The Rise of Julius Caesar •After Sulla left, Rome fell into a 50 year period of civil war. • Three men, Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar formed the first triumvirate, which is a group of three rulers sharing political power. • Crassus was killed in battle, and Senators wanted Caesar to step down and let Pompey have control. • Caesar refused, and returned to Rome by crossing the Rubicon River. Caesar crossed the Rubicon at great risk. Even today, the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” is used when a person makes a decision that cannot be undone. Critical Thinking Predicting What might have happened if Caesar had not decided to cross the Rubicon? •Caesar’s return to Rome started another civil war, in which he defeated Pompey’s army. •Caesar was named dictator (absolute ruler) of Rome. • Caesar’s reforms made him loved by the poor, but hated by the Senate and most wealthy Romans. • He gave jobs to the unemployed and granted citizenship to those living in Roman territories. • He also increased the size of the Senate to 900 and ordered landowners using slave labor to hire free workers. • In 44 BC, Caesar was murdered by a group of Senators. In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Caesar utters, “Et tu, Brute?” when he realizes that not only Cassius, but also his friend Brutus, has helped to assassinate him. “Et tu” means “You, as well?” or “You, too?” Today this phrase is still used when addressing a disloyal person or an unexpected traitor. For example, if a person started spreading rumors about you, and then you found out that a supposedly good friend has been joining forces with that person, you might appropriately use the phrase, “Et tu, Brute?” to express your shock and disappointment in the person. From Republic to Empire •A second triumvirate formed after Caesar’s death. • Octavian was Caesar's heir and grandnephew. • Mark Antony was Caesar’s ally and assistant. • Lepidus was the commander of Caesar’s cavalry. •Within a few years, the empire was divided into two parts. • Octavian controlled the west, Antony the east. • Octavian and Antony came into conflict. • Antony aligned himself with Egyptian queen Cleopatra. • Octavian’s army defeated Antony’s army, causing Antony and Cleopatra to flee to Egypt, where they committed suicide. Octavian – A New Direction •At age 32, Octavian was the sole ruler of Rome. • He gave some power back to the Senate because he knew many Romans favored a republic over a dictatorship. • In 27 BC, the senate gave him the title Augustus. • He was now Rome’s first emperor, or all powerful ruler.