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Principate - The Founding of the Roman Empire Frank Marsh

Principate - The Founding of the Roman Empire

Frank Marsh

Published June 8th 2015
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
246 pages
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 About the Book 

No part of Ancient History has possessed greater fascination for the imagination than the story of the rise of the Roman republic from an insignificant town of Latium to a position of world empire and the destruction of the civil liberty of theMoreNo part of Ancient History has possessed greater fascination for the imagination than the story of the rise of the Roman republic from an insignificant town of Latium to a position of world empire and the destruction of the civil liberty of the Romans in the moment of their triumph. That the two things were intimately connected is obvious upon the surface, and historians have agreed that it was Romes conquest of the Mediterranean world that proved fatal to republican institutions. Two main explanations have been advanced of why this should have been the case. One of these is that, assailed by the new temptations which the empire brought with it, the Romans themselves deteriorated in character- the other is that, having begun her career as a city-state, Rome found her machinery of government inadequate to perform the work which world dominion imposed upon her. Both these explanations are quite obviously true and quite as obviously insufficient. The corruption and degeneracy of a people do not always lead to a change of government, and it should be shown why it did so in this instance. That a city-state could not govern an empire may be true, but it leaves open the question as to precisely why it could not. In what particular respects was the Roman republic unequal to its task? Just where and why did the machine break down? When the government did finally collapse why did not the entire fabric go to pieces? If the degeneracy of the Roman people will explain the fall of the republic, how shall we account for the fact that this same people continued to rule the world? How did it happen that the Roman world emerged from the chaos of the civil wars, transformed indeed into an empire, but still Roman as dominantly as before? By what steps had the empire been developed out of the republican machine? — for it is surely incredible that it had no more solid foundation than the astute hypocrisy of Augustus. A survey of the last century of the republic, even if only in brief outline, ought to provide some definite answer to such questions, and such a survey is the purpose of the present work. Its object will, therefore, be to show in some detail just how and why the republic failed and fell and in what way the empire was gradually evolved to meet the imperative needs which the old system could no longer satisfy...