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Republic Rome

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  • Republic Rome

    I was watching Gladiator again

    If Marcus Aurelius or some other Emperor before the decline had Re-instituted a Republican government, could the colapse of the Empire have been stopped or at least delayed significantly?

    It seems to me that the imperial sysem became too corrupt and unstable after the deaths of caligula and Nero created a precedent for assassination. People realised that the best way to become Emperor was to kill the current one, an act which would strike a huge blow to the stability of the government.
    If a government based on at least parlimentary elections had been re-established stability might have been regained and the numerous civil wars that killed the empire avoided.

    If they had survived, how long would it have taken them to conquer the world?
    (my guess is by the 18th century)

  • #2
    The Second Roman Republic would have fallen very quickly and for the same reasons as the first: the nobility disdained commerce, and were enserfing the plebs. Rome, more than a better administration system, more than a civil service test, more than the wheelbarrow, more than a commercial revolution, or the ability to form cadres of willing native born soldiers, and it needed all of these, it needed FREEHOLDING peasants. Franklins who owned their own land on family plots. Note the only time from Augustus to Constantine XI, the only times Rome was strong it's power was brittle, and revealed in horrific defeats like Adrianople, Al-Jumak and Manzikert. The sole exception was when the Romans had themes where family's owned their own plots, and in return paid tax in the form of military service. This is how the East Empire endured 300 years of slave raids and Slavic attack, to end the era as master of the Balkans, and the victor over the Caliphate. Pity they immediately wasted it by letting the generals, nobles, buy the family plots and destroying their recruitment base.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird


    • #3
      A Reformed Republic such as Gaius Julius Caesar had envisioned would IMO have been a vast improvement over the Principate, and a vast, vast improvement over the Dominate, but unfortunatly it just was not going to happen. It might have been possible during the early years of the Principate, but even then it would have been very difficult, and by the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty I would say that the Republic was gone for good. Augustus did his work too well and later Emperors finished off any chance of bringing back the Res Publica.

      One must note that the Republic had more than its share of Civil Wars, many of them arguably far more devastating than almost anything that popped up under the Empire. Without a statesman of Caesar's to guide our hypothetical 2nd Republic through its early days can it survive the same fate?

      On the subject of Gladiator, I must say that I have always been very disappointed with the portrayal of Commodus in that movie. Compared to the real Commodus, the villain of this movie was a wimp. Scheming wickedly to kill off some political rivals whose number could be counted with fingers and put a few more in jail whilst wanting to get it on with your sister? Puh-lease. The real Commodus, who kept one harem of the 300 most beautiful women in Rome and another of the 300 most beautiful men, who used human blood the way other men use Cologne and died his hair blond with sparkles in it, killed thousands personally in the arena, went around in lion-skin clothing with a club, was hopelessly, utterly incompetent, and who was strangled to death by a wrestler in the bath had more evil insanity in his little toe than the "Commodus" in Gladiator was ever able to summon up.


      • #4
        In the long run either Republican or Imperial, Rome would not last longer then it did
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