Why Did The Roman Republic Fall

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“Why did the Roman Republic fall?” The Roman Republic did not fall simply from one cause, rather many external pressures that brought on political instability and destruction. There were multiple pressures that lead to the downfall of Rome including ambitious generals, changing politics, client armies, and a desolate Senate desperate to remain prominent. Many significant people of the time, who wrote letters and speeches on ancient Rome, help to build detailed recollections of the political warfare that took place between 78-31BC. Many different internal and external pressures lead to the destruction of the Roman Republic. Cornelius Sulla, a Roman general, dictator and optimate, anticipated and was aware of the results of many powerful and…show more content…
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus was a talented soldier who had raised his own army to support Sulla during the civil war, which resulted in outstanding success. Pompey then demanded he be given a triumph for his victory but was refused, being under the age of requirement and without family connections. Pompey decided to then put pressure on Sulla for his triumph and appealed to popular opinion. According to Plutarch he told Sulla “more people worship the rising rather than the setting sun” which indicated that Sulla’s time was coming to an end as Pompey began to rise through the political ladder at a rapid pace. Around this time, the consular armies were faced with military crises. The Senate decided this was an opportunity for Pompey to take charge although many Senators became concerned of what may result in giving one man so much power. They had such reason to fear this as in 70BC a joint consulship was elected by the Popular Assembly between Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus, an extremely wealthy Roman general and politician. Although Sulla had in place, laws to prevent Pompey reaching such office at such a young age (34), Pompey’s overwhelming popularity easily overcame these obstacles and held no reason to pass through normal stages of office. The joint consulship of Crassus and Pompey was one of the most crucial political developments in the fall of the Roman Republic. It allowed for laws to once again be changed including restoring the power of tribunes. Pompey was viewed as a fantastic and fair leader and repaid the people with the goodwill that they had shown him. Senators, equestrians and tribuni aerarii were made equal and 64 new Senators were enrolled, all in Pompey’s debt. All these laws replaced those that had been established by Sulla and virtually restored the earlier Republican system. Interestingly,

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