Roman Republic

  • roman republic

    official name (as on coins):
    roma
    after c. 100 bc:
    senatus populusque romanus  (latin) (spqr)
    (the roman senate and people)
    509 bc–27 bc
    denarius of brutus, 54 bc, showing the first roman consul, lucius junius brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.[1] of rome
    denarius of brutus, 54 bc, showing the first roman consul, lucius junius brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.[1]
    roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of julius caesar, 44 bc
    roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of julius caesar, 44 bc
    capitalrome
    common languageslatin (official)

    etruscan, greek, osco-umbrian, venetic, ligurian, rhaetian, nuragic, sicel, hebrew, aramaic, syriac, punic, berber, illyrian, iberian, lusitanian, celtiberian, gaulish, gallaecian, aquitanian (unofficial, but commonly spoken)
    religion
    roman polytheism
    governmentconstitutional republic
    consuls 
    • 509–508 bc
    lucius junius brutus,
    lucius tarquinius collatinus (first)
    • 27 bc
    gaius octavianus,
    marcus vipsanius agrippa (last)
    legislaturelegislative assemblies
    roman senate
    historical eraclassical antiquity
    • overthrow of tarquinius superbus
    509 bc
    • dissolution of the latin league
    338 bc[2]
    • caesar proclaimed dictator
    47 bc
    • battle of actium
    2 september 31 bc
    • octavian proclaimed augustus
    16 january 27 bc
    area
    326 bc[3]10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)
    50 bc[3]1,950,000 km2 (750,000 sq mi)
    preceded by
    succeeded by
    capitoline wolf of roman kingdom.svg roman kingdom
    roman empire augustus first century aureus obverse.png
    ancient rome
    roman spqr banner.svg
    this article is part of a series on the
    politics and government of
    ancient rome
    periods
    • roman kingdom
      753–509 bc
    • roman republic
      509–27 bc
    • roman empire
      27 bc – ad 395
    • principate
    • dominate
    • western
      ad 395–476
    • eastern
      ad 395–1453
    • timeline
    roman constitution
    • constitution of the kingdom
    • constitution of the republic
    • constitution of the empire
    • constitution of the late empire
    • senate
    • legislative assemblies
    • executive magistrates
    precedent and law
    • roman law
    • ius
    • imperium
    • mos maiorum
    • collegiality
    • auctoritas
    • roman citizenship
    • cursus honorum
    • senatus consultum
    • senatus consultum ultimum
    assemblies
    • centuriate
    • curiate
    • plebeian
    • tribal
    ordinary magistrates
    • consul
    • praetor
    • quaestor
    • promagistrate
    • aedile
    • tribune
    • censor
    • governor
    extraordinary magistrates
    • corrector
    • dictator
    • magister equitum
    • consular tribune
    • rex
    • triumviri
    • decemviri
    titles and honours
    • emperor
    • legatus
    • dux
    • officium
    • praeses
    • praefectus
    • vicarius
    • vigintisexviri
    • lictor
    • magister militum
    • imperator
    • princeps senatus
    • pontifex maximus
    • augustus
    • caesar
    • tetrarch
    • other countries
    • atlas

    the roman republic (latin: rēs pūblica rōmāna, classical latin[ˈreːs ˈpuːblɪka roːˈmaːna]) was the era of classical roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the roman kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 bc, and ending in 27 bc with the establishment of the roman empire. it was during this period that rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire mediterranean world.

    roman society under the republic was a cultural mix of latin, etruscan, and greek elements, which is especially visible in the roman pantheon. its political organisation was strongly influenced by the greek city states of magna graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate.[4] the top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, legislative, judicial, military, and religious powers. whilst there were elections each year, the republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of powerful families (called gentes) monopolised the main magistracies. roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.

    unlike the pax romana of the roman empire, the republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. its first enemies were its latin and etruscan neighbours as well as the gauls, who even sacked the city in 387 bc. the republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. after the gallic sack, rome conquered the whole italian peninsula in a century, which turned the republic into a major power in the mediterranean. the republic's greatest enemy was doubtless carthage, against which it waged three wars. the punic general hannibal famously invaded italy by crossing the alps and inflicted on rome two devastating defeats at lake trasimene and cannae, but the republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to scipio africanus at the battle of zama in 202 bc. with carthage defeated, rome became the dominant power of the ancient mediterranean world. it then embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated philip v and perseus of macedon, antiochus iii of the seleucid empire, the lusitanian viriathus, the numidian jugurtha, the great pontic king mithridates vi, the gaul vercingetorix, and the egyptian queen cleopatra.

    at home, the republic similarly experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. at first, the conflict of the orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who finally achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century bc. later, the vast conquests of the republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. in order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the gracchi brothers, saturninus, or clodius pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. mass slavery also caused three servile wars; the last of them was led by spartacus, a skilful gladiator who ravaged italy and left rome powerless until his defeat in 71 bc. in this context, the last decades of the republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in rome to gain control of the political system. marius (between 105–86 bc), then sulla (between 82–78 bc) dominated in turn the republic; both used extraordinary powers to purge their opponents. these multiple tensions led to a series of civil wars; the first between the two generals julius caesar and pompey. despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, caesar was murdered in 44 bc. caesar's heir octavian and lieutenant mark antony defeated caesar's assassins brutus and cassius in 42 bc, but then turned against each other. the final defeat of mark antony and his ally cleopatra at the battle of actium in 31 bc, and the senate's grant of extraordinary powers to octavian as augustus in 27 bc – which effectively made him the first roman emperor – thus ended the republic.

  • history
  • constitutional system
  • military
  • social structure
  • trade and economy
  • religion
  • cities, towns and villas
  • culture
  • see also
  • footnotes
  • references
  • ancient sources
  • works cited
  • external links

Roman Republic

Official name (as on coins):
Roma
after c. 100 BC:
Senatus Populusque Romanus  (Latin) (SPQR)
(The Roman Senate and People)
509 BC–27 BC
Denarius of Brutus, 54 BC, showing the first Roman consul, Lucius Junius Brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.[1] of Rome
Denarius of Brutus, 54 BC, showing the first Roman consul, Lucius Junius Brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.[1]
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
CapitalRome
Common languagesLatin (official)

Etruscan, Greek, Osco-Umbrian, Venetic, Ligurian, Rhaetian, Nuragic, Sicel, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Punic, Berber, Illyrian, Iberian, Lusitanian, Celtiberian, Gaulish, Gallaecian, Aquitanian (unofficial, but commonly spoken)
Religion
Roman polytheism
GovernmentConstitutional republic
Consuls 
• 509–508 BC
Lucius Junius Brutus,
Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (first)
• 27 BC
Gaius Octavianus,
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (last)
LegislatureLegislative Assemblies
Roman Senate
Historical eraClassical antiquity
• Overthrow of Tarquinius Superbus
509 BC
• Dissolution of the Latin League
338 BC[2]
• Caesar proclaimed dictator
47 BC
2 September 31 BC
• Octavian proclaimed Augustus
16 January 27 BC
Area
326 BC[3]10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)
50 BC[3]1,950,000 km2 (750,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Capitoline Wolf of Roman Kingdom.svg Roman Kingdom
Roman Empire Augustus first century aureus obverse.png
Roman SPQR banner.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
ancient Rome
Periods
Roman Constitution
Precedent and law
Assemblies
Ordinary magistrates
Extraordinary magistrates
Titles and honours

The Roman Republic (Latin: Rēs pūblica Rōmāna, Classical Latin[ˈreːs ˈpuːblɪka roːˈmaːna]) was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin, Etruscan, and Greek elements, which is especially visible in the Roman Pantheon. Its political organisation was strongly influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate.[4] The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, legislative, judicial, military, and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of powerful families (called gentes) monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.

Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who even sacked the city in 387 BC. The Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean. The Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against which it waged three wars. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world. It then embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathus, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

At home, the Republic similarly experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who finally achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC. Later, the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery also caused three Servile Wars; the last of them was led by Spartacus, a skilful gladiator who ravaged Italy and left Rome powerless until his defeat in 71 BC. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system. Marius (between 105–86 BC), then Sulla (between 82–78 BC) dominated in turn the Republic; both used extraordinary powers to purge their opponents. These multiple tensions led to a series of civil wars; the first between the two generals Julius Caesar and Pompey. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but then turned against each other. The final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which effectively made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic.

Other Languages
aragonés: Republica Romana
azərbaycanca: Roma Respublikası
Bân-lâm-gú: Lô-má Kiōng-hô-kok
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Рымская рэспубліка
brezhoneg: Republik Roma
Esperanto: Romia Respubliko
한국어: 로마 공화정
Bahasa Indonesia: Republik Romawi
interlingua: Republica Roman
Kiswahili: Jamhuri ya Roma
latviešu: Romas Republika
lietuvių: Romos respublika
Lingua Franca Nova: Republica Roman
македонски: Римска Република
Bahasa Melayu: Republik Rom
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Lò̤-mā Gê̤ṳng-huò-guók
Nederlands: Romeinse Republiek
Plattdüütsch: Röömsche Republiek
português: República Romana
русиньскый: Римска република
Seeltersk: Roomske Republik
Simple English: Roman Republic
slovenščina: Rimska republika
српски / srpski: Римска република
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rimska Republika
татарча/tatarça: Rim Respublikası
Tiếng Việt: Cộng hòa La Mã