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Roman Republic

The history of the Republic of Rome, from the Punic Wars to the firms of Spartacus, until the arrival of the great Emperor Augustus.

According to Tito Livio the founding of the Roman Republic, was due to Tarquinius Sextus, son of the last King of Rome, Tarquinio Superbus, who raped Lucretia, a Roman noblewoman. This event sparked the ire of  the woman's family, including her husband, Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatino, who won election as the first two consuls. The period following the end of the Seven King's power, was marked by a military and economic crisis in Rome. It was during the Republican that Rome fought its wars more violent, conquering most of the Italian and foreign territories. They include The Samnite Wars (343-290 BC), who also saw other people (the Etruscans, Umbria, Basilicata, Gauls) to the enemies of Rome. Following the war, the Samnites were forced to leave their territorial ambitions and providing quotas to the Roman legions.


After the Battle of Telamon the Romans succeeded in countering the Celts and earn all the territories of central Italy. With the Battle of Benevento, the Romans also defeated Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who helped in the war the Samnites against Rome.

The history of the Roman Republic continued with the Punic Wars, the two major conflicts clash that saw Rome and Carthage for many years. After conquering various territories of the Italian peninsula, the Romans decided to go to the conquest of Sicily. The Carthaginians interpreted this action as a violation of existing treaties and declare war on Rome, beginning the First Punic War. The war lasted for about twenty years, from 264 BC to 241 BC and was fought mainly on the sea where it was decided at the Battle of Aegadian with the victory of the Romans.

After the First Punic War, the territorial dominion of Rome had achieved a great extent, that in 238 BC took possession of the islands of Sardinia and Corsica without the Punic to react. The Second Punic War, after the first successes of Hannibal at Trebbia, Lake Trasimeno and Cannae battle dragged on for years, never decisive, for the conquest of Southern Italy


In the end, defying the Roman Senate, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus as proconsul of Sicily organized and led the war under the walls of Carthage, and after two years of fighting, defeated Hannibal returned to Italy, in the famous Battle of Zama (202 BC) that ended the war, ended the dominance not only trade of the Carthaginians and put Roma in terms of economic and prestige in a few decades to enable it to become "master" of the territories bordering the Mediterranean.

In the meantime, however, Carthage had undergone a recovery from the economic and commercial matters. This fact alarmed Cato the Censor, who ended every speech with the famous phrase "Carthago delenda ceterum censeo est" (Carthage must be destroyed). The Third Punic War lasted three years, from 149 BC to 146 BC, was fought on African soil, and ended with the defeat of the Carthaginians. Carthage was completely destroyed and this was poured on the salt so that there could no longer grow.

Rome at this point had become a power so great that the inconveniences were soon to be felt. With regard to domestic politics in fact, there were too many clashes between warring factions. Because of the brutal conditions in which slaves were kept Rome was often the scene of major clashes with the rebels. These include the famous story of Spartacus, a Thracian slave who was trained as a gladiator. In 73 BC, together with some companions, rebelled at Capua and fled to Mount Vesuvius. Spartacus and his second in command Crixus succeeded in defeating several legions sent against them. Once that was established a unified command under Marcus Licinius Crassus, the rebellion was crushed in 71 BC. In 62 BC, after several times forbidden to be his state to become consul, Lucio Sergio Catilina decided to plot a conspiracy against the Roman State. But the consul in charge, Marcus Tullius Cicero succeeded in foiling the plot and to restore order in Rome.


From this point on the Roman Republic undergoes decay, to govern the territories had become too big and there was a need for more power balance. A first attempt at recovery was the establishment of the first triumvirate in power saw Caesar, Crassus and Pompeo. In 49 BC the Senate ordered him to return to Caesar his command of the legions that had led to the conquest of Gaul, and return to Rome as a private citizen. On January 10, leaving the last doubts, (Alea east IACT), Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his troops, thus starting the civil war against the opposing faction. Caesar had the better of the opposite faction, took the title of dictator, if you add up to many powers and prerogatives, as a prelude to the emperor, but he will not recruit ever, who was killed on the Ides of March in 44 BC


The death of the dictator, contrary to the declared intentions of the conspirators, did not lead to restoration of the Republic, but in the new period of conflict and civil wars. The two who were vying for power Octavian (Augustus) and Mark Antony. The civil war between Octavian and Marco Antonio ended with the Battle of Anzio in 31 BC, by which the future Augustus Caesar defeated his rival Mark Antony, initiating, if not certainly in the forms in fact the imperial period of Roman history. Augustus kept alive the Republic, in effect turning it into a monarchy.


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