Questions tagged [roman-republic]

Questions about the period of ancient Roman civilization when the government operated as a republic from 509 BC to 27 BC.

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11
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1answer
4k views

“No sane man will dance.”? When / where / about-what did Cicero say this?

I hate quotes out of context, even great lines like "No sane man will dance." -- which was allegedly uttered by Cicero. But every time the quote is used, context is omitted. Was Cicero really ...
11
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1answer
316 views

In the early Roman Republic, did every patrician family have at least one consul?

It appears that gens Foslia for example only produced one: Marcus Foslius Flaccinator in 433. Are there examples of patrician families that produced no consuls? Or is it that our knowledge of ...
9
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3answers
800 views

Why was the Marian reforms' inclusion of landless masses necessary?

The Marian reforms of the late Roman Republic changed Rome's military into a standing, professional volunteer force and greatly enhanced its effectiveness, thereby ensuring Rome's dominance for ...
2
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1answer
449 views

How did the Romans build their armies for the First Punic War?

The Romans built a great and vast empire, my question is what were some of the military techniques they used to build, train, and use their army? Specifically during the period of the First Punic War. ...
9
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1answer
632 views

First Roman battles after the Marian reforms

I'm quite interested in the removal of the Hastati, Principes and Triarii elements introduced by the Marian reforms in 107 BC, and how it affected the Roman army at first. Looking on Wikipedia for ...
5
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1answer
326 views

Gaulish logistics during Caesar's invasion

How much, if anything, do we know about how the Gauls camped and marched when facing Caesar? Did they have tents, mules, wagons, camp followers? Can we infer anything about their rate of march? Was ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Why did the Roman Republic never set up a civilian police department?

I was recently reading about conflicts between Clodius and Pompey. Clodius first but subsequently Pompey as well, used - what I would characterize as - armed gangs. The power of these gangs was such ...
3
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1answer
748 views

Is there any sort of list of Roman senators?

I am looking for records on Roman senators (specifically around 100 B.C., around the time Ceasar was born) Googling for it I only find various wikipedia articles on how the Roman senate worked, but no ...
50
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6answers
14k views

Why did the Roman military start to favour swords over the spear phalanx?

Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, ...
3
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1answer
140 views

Were the republican legati pro praetores appointed by the governors?

I am not referring to the Legati Augusti pro praetores of the Empire. In republican Rome, provincial governors chose their own legates quite freely. I found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
14
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3answers
2k views

What factors contributed to earlier democratic states failing?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the superior form of government. If this is true, then factors might have contributed to earlier democratic states like Athens in 500 BCE and the Roman ...
0
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1answer
1k views

What percent of the Roman Republic's population were citizens in various centuries? [closed]

Does anyone have any sources mentioning the percentages of citizens at various times, or the populations of citizens and corresponding total populations so I can calculate percents? I looked at dozens ...
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2answers
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What is the 'rank switching' done by Roman Legionnaires in HBO's 'Rome' called, and did it actually happen?

I'm talking about the formational fighting show in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJO2UfG9KcI Where did the show's creators get the source material? If so, what was it called, when did ...
8
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1answer
358 views

Were quaestors in the Roman Republic entitled to lictors/fasces?

I apologise if this is too basic a question, but Wikipedia seems to contradict itself! It says here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaestor that a Quaestor was entitled to one lictor and one fasces, ...
3
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1answer
164 views

What Was the Constitutional Basis that Made Pompey “Consul Without Colleague” for 52BC

From my understanding, the Senate had no prerogative in naming a consul. At best they could appoint an interrex among themselves. What was the constitutional basis that enabled the Senate to appoint ...
2
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0answers
248 views

What was the Constitutional Basis for Gaius Julius Caesar's Dictatorship

In the early republic, a dictator was usually appointed for a reason such as presiding over an election or defending the city against a foreign invasion. I remember reading somewhere that Sulla's ...
2
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2answers
308 views

Fulvia in Sallust's Catiline Conspiracy the same Fulvia as Mark Antony's wife?

I found this book that said they were not the same woman, but the author didn't give any evidence: Squires, S. (Ed.). (1990). Asconius Commentaries on Five Speeches of Cicero. Bolchazy-Carducci ...
0
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1answer
351 views

What happened to Marcus Licinius Crassus' Gold?

Marcus Licinius Crassus (from the First Triumvirate) was considered to be richest man ever. After his death however, what happened to his immense fortune? It seems like a treasure like that would be ...
4
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1answer
179 views

Examples of Romans repeating early stages of the cursus honorum

In some special cases, Romans held lower offices than some they had already held, for example Quaestor while having been a consul before. I understand that senators, expelled by the censors for ...
3
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1answer
364 views

What was the role of the college of consuls in Ancient Rome?

Wikipedia says: By law, only three persons were required to create a legal collegium; the only exception was the college of consuls, which included only the two consuls. I wonder what was the ...
8
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1answer
393 views

How was the Roman Princeps Senatus appointed?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) was supposed to have been nominated by the censors, who were elected every 5 years for 1 and a half years. What happened when the ...
4
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1answer
268 views

Did the Roman senate immediately send new governors after the death of proconsuls/propraetors?

I would like to know whether the Roman senate sent replacements for deceased governors (due to illness, accident, war, ...) immediately after hearing of their death or was content to entrust the ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Short or long Roman numerals?

TL;DR: Is 1995 correctly written as MVM, or as something more like MCMLVL? MCMVC? MCMLXLV? MCMLXXXXV? From what I recall from my Latin classes (European highschool...), you are not supposed to write ...
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2answers
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Why is Sulla's nose in the bust in Munich Glyptothek broken?

I was just wondering if someone did this as a slight to Sulla in the same manner that crosses were carved into the foreheads of Roman busts.!
7
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1answer
688 views

Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
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0answers
308 views

The influence of the second catilinarian conspiracy on the fall of the Roman Republic? [closed]

When studying Roman history during the first century BC, one of the prominent events mentioned is the second Catilinarian conspiracy, wherein Catiline seeks to overthrow the Roman Republic through a ...
6
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1answer
3k views

From Tiberius Gracchus to Julius Caesar

In the BBC series about six critical moments in Ancient Roman history, the earliest episode is about Tiberius Gracchus. They say that, although his reforms were not successful, they initiated a ...
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2answers
1k views

How democratic was the ancient republic of Rome? [closed]

So in ancient Rome Republic elections where done every year and two consuls were elected, however I see sometimes the same consuls elected again and again, same seems to happen with the senators. ...
7
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1answer
914 views

Was Julius Caesar a hippie?

I was reading the question What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline? when I noticed this comment by Oldcat: There is even a story of Julius Caesar wearing a long fringe sleeved tunic to ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Is “Friends, Romans, …” a historical speech?

While searching for a canonical translation to my language of the phrase Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears I was surprised to find reference to it only in the Shakespeare play. As the ...
3
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1answer
367 views

Did Caesar hold proconsular imperium for his entire governorship?

In order to hold a governorship during the late Roman Republic the magistrate needed to be a pro magistratu, specifically proquaestor, propraetor or proconsular. Since Caesar was appointed his ...
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1answer
272 views

Christian and Etruscan end of times [closed]

I believe I've read somewhere, that the Etruscans (anymore knows any sources?) devoted ever more thought to the afterlife, as the Roman republic encroached on their territory. Similarly the Romans ...
5
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1answer
347 views

Was Marcus Marcellus faced with Viridomarus or Britomartus?

I seem to have come to a discrepancy, as I'm sure a lot have, concerning the event in which Marcus Claudius Marcellus is supposedly meant to have slain the King of the Insubres in 222 B.C.E. Plutarch ...
7
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1answer
566 views

Was it widespread practice to grant freedom to slaves in early Roman Empire?

If a citizen owned a slave, he or she could free him / her. The Wikipedia article gives some reasons for doing this: Slaves were freed for a variety of reasons; for a particularly good deed toward ...
11
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3answers
1k views

At the Battle of Zama, was the Roman army more “native” than the Carthaginian?

At the battle of Zama, which army had a higher proportion of native troops? Within the context of this question consider troops to be either "native" or "mercenary". Native troops serve out of ...
9
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2answers
948 views

Did the Gallic army besieged in Alesia conduct itself well when expecting relief?

During a Gallic revolution against Rome, a Gallic army of some 80,000 men took shelter in the fortress town of Alesia, where they were besieged by some 50,000 Romans under Julius Caesar. (His army may ...
9
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1answer
4k views

Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
11
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4answers
508 views

What is considered to be the pivotal battle between Caesar and Pompey? [closed]

Caesar and Pompey's forces battled with one another on numerous occasions during the Fall of the Roman Republic. What is the earliest battle that is commonly accepted as the one where it became clear ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What role did Jews play in the Punic Wars?

There were Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean at the time of the Punic Wars? What role if any, did jews play in these wars?
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3answers
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In Battle of Zama, how did Hannibal's use of war elephants lead to a Roman Victory?

Why did Hannibal attack with elephants from the front? Why not from side? Also why did the elephants just keep walking through the small gap? Why not wreak havoc in the middle of Roman troops? (like ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Who proposed the motion that gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus?

In 27 BC, the Senate gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus. I am assuming that as the senate gave him that title, the motion must have been proposed by someone at the senate floor. Do we know, ...
9
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1answer
127 views

In which direction does the thumb point in the “pollice verso?”

Pollice verso was the gesture used to indicate death by roman crowds in the arena. However, wikipedia notes some debate over the exact gesture indicated by the phrase. Has there been any relevant ...
13
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1answer
396 views

What were the rights of various classes of people in the Roman Republic?

Ancient Rome is often cited as a republic/democracy, and one of the earliest examples of a civilisation enforcing some degree of human rights. However, it's no secret that slavery was present in Rome. ...