The Roman Empire (60 BCE – 160 CE) General Summary

By 47 BCE Caesar had won the civil war against Pompei, and soon became dictator, planning a major reconstruction of republican government. He was assassinated in 44, however, by a conspiracy of senators acting to save the Republic. Marcus Antonius then stepped forward as major claimant to power, while the Senate coalesced around Octavian, an heir listed in Caesar's will. After indecisive battles, the two put off final conflict in a second triumvirate, including Lepidus. Finally, the former two broke, and in 30 BCE, Octavian defeated Mark Antony at Actium. In the next twenty years, Octavian (now named Augustus) created the Principate, a new form of Roman government giving increased powers to a non-elective Princeps who would evolve into Emperor by the midfirst century CE. Tiberius took over as Princeps in 14 CE, having established a solid military reputation in the Rhine area. His rule was characterized by increasingly withdrawn and autocratic power. His successor, Caligula, went quickly insane, prompting the Praetorian Guard to murder him and proclaim Claudius Emperor in 41 CE. Less glamorous than his predecessors, Claudius did contribute to increased regularization of imperial administration, and enfranchised new elements into the roman elite, such as equestrians and some Gaulic chieftains. He in turn was succeeded by Nero in 55, who, after five good years, rapidly declined into a murderous depravity. After executing some of the Empire's best generals and senators, he committed suicide in 69, while four generals were in open revolt, and Judaea was in arms against imperial control. Germanic tribes were also acting up. After Nero, four claimants to power emerged. Vespasianus (r. 69-79), the commander in Judaea, emerged as victor from this Year of the Four Emperors. He established the Flavian dynasty, represented by his sons Titus (80-81) and Domitian (r. 81-96). A more sober administration emerged, bringing more equestrians into service, with the Emperors themselves not originating in Rome. Conflicts with Germanic tribes such as the Quadi and Marcomanni indicated the future difficulties, while Dacian marauding in the Danube region provided opportunities for Roman conquest, realized under Nerva (96-98) and Trajan (98-117). The most popular Roman Emperor after Augustus, Trajan also engaged in eastern conquests against Parthia, yet died before the troubled regions could be adequately secured. His successor, Hadrian (117-138), abandoned Parthian expansion, yet maintained gains in Dacia and Moesia, allowing the gradual process of Romanization and Latinization to begin. In his attempts to administratively regularize all regions in the Empire and rationalize Italy's judicial districts, he incurred the resentment of Italian

elites, and died unpopular, for this as well as for his lack of conquest. The reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161) showed Rome entirely at peace and with great wealth, though the economy remained under-developed and extractive. All the while, German tribes had been migrating west and congesting the Danubian and Rhine border areas. From the 160s, the Emperor Marcus Aurelias was forced to deal with Marcomanni, Sarmatian, and Quadi incursions across the Rhine and Danube in numbers never seen before. Though ultimately able to beat them back, the campaigns increased in cost, made field generals more popular and restive, and were a sign of looming problems.

Context
The study of Roman imperial history--which in practical terms began from the 60s BCE-presents the modern reader with certain paradigmatic issues relevant to governments and societies today. In broadest terms, the persistent dilemma was how to modify government structures and ethos as state and society expanded geographically and demographically. The republican ideal of Rome had somewhat made sense in a time when the state was little more than the preeminent city in a Mediterranean peninsular area, and needed to ensure its own survival and domination of surrounding locales. By the middle of the final century BCE, however, Rome had become the center of a multicontinent empire stretching from Spain to Iraq. Thus, one can present the continuing civil unrest from 80 to 30 BCE as the inability of an expanded city government to cope with the needs of an empire's administration. Part of these needs consisted of large armies far from home. In such cases, powerful generals could emerge, and after Marius' military reforms of the 90s BCE, the soldiers in these legions became dependent upon generals for material survival. In turn, soldiers and veterans strengthened military leaders' political power as a pay-off. As the ensuing halfcentury showed, the Senate could not thwart a powerful general with charisma and a mass base of political support. Also lacking in a city government weighted down with imperial responsibilities was an efficient Empire-wide civil service and economic administration. Roman fiscal exactions and provincial administration often were, or at least appeared, erratic or irrational. A common pattern of Roman governance involved Rome responding ineffectually at first to a local disturbance, which grew to such extents that Rome had to invest large human and material assets to bring a resolution to a crisis that better administration would have prevented. Of course, Roman statesmen had long thought about reforms in their state and its relations to surrounding areas--Tiberius Gracchus had innovated new agrarian laws and moved toward increased political enfranchisement; Marius had reformed the army after disasters around 100 BCE; Sulla achieved undisputed power as Dictator and used it to reform the senatorial and equestrian orders; while Caesar, again as a Dictator--now perpetual-- enacted reforms in

the court system and in the administration of the provinces, as well as in the settlement of military veterans and in the increased granting of Roman and Latin citizenship to regions near the capital. Still and all, though, the inauguration of the Principate under Octavian Augustus was a totally new departure, and while his predecessors considered themselves to be reforming for the sake of the republic's survival, Augustus' new dispensation set the state on an entirely new course of political relations and dynamics. Indeed, though Augustus himself may not have even conceived it as such, the republic was superseded by his successors in favor of outright Empire with an authoritarian, if not autocratic, ruler. This exposes another paradigmatic dilemma of the Roman Empire still relevant today. The excesses of Tiberius were irksome to the senatorial aristocracy, and there was some conspiracies against him. Still, imperial administration was passably good under him. The insanity of Caligula and later Nero, however, brought the state to the brink of civil war and anarchy. This meant that a persistent problem of the imperial period was in the growing personal rule of the sovereign. Too much relied on the wisdom and fitness of the ruler. Part of this was due to the close Emperor-military relationship. The military was always growing, and it depended entirely upon the Emperor. Conversely, an Emperor without military support was in peril. So, the personality of rule was continually problematic, and only at the end of the first century, when a truly professional civil service emerged, was the person of the Emperor somewhat less important. Still, checks and balances--a clear intent of republican period arrangements--were lacking, to the state and society's detriment. In terms of the society, social enfranchisement, and elite circulation, the imperial era from 40 BCE to 161 CE was a dynamic period. While Rome-based patrician families dominated Roman society at the beginning through control of the Senate and urban wealth, from the 40s BCE, starting with measures under Caesar and picking up speed in the 40s and 80s CE, bourgeoisie and wealthier elements from the regions of Italy and certain provinces such as southern Gaul and Iberia began to enter the elite arena. Many of them were of equestrian origin: knights-turned-businessmen with financial interests in the capital. By the early part of the first century, growing numbers of this new class were being enrolled in the Senate on the Princeps' initiative. By the time of Vespasianus (70 CE), emperors could emerge from that class. Thus, an enfranchisement of people beyond Rome's gates was well under way. Another part of the evolution in Rome, especially beginning in Claudius' time (40s CE), involved the tribal elements from Gaul and other eastern areas. Sometimes with imperial support, they were allowed to run for positions of middling elite power, and over generations, they too--be it from Gaul, along the Rhine, or the Greek parts--could ascend to senatorial rank. Of course, certain emperor's use of freedmen in administration also aided this process.

Also in ethnic terms, the end of the era described in this SparkNote, under Marcus Aurelias in particular, brings Rome face to face with what would become its most enduring, insurmountable challenge: the German Barbarians. From the time of Augustus, Rome had seen the German tribes as a military threat, source of labor, and a reservoir of auxiliary military forces. Some elements of Germanic society were, by the end of the second century, entering the Roman world, learning Latin, and becoming partially Romanized. Of course, areas near the Danube, conquered in phases throughout the period, became thoroughly Romanized by the third century, providing the majority of the Empire's generals, and several emperors. In the midst of all these political, military, and social issues of relevance to our era was the economic situation. Rome was one of the ancient worlds' wealthiest cities, with the largest population. Its government could count on the material basis to undertake almost any initiative. This strength, however, was in some respects illusory. Based on tribute from provinces as well as booty from war, the Roman economy was still ancient, primitive, and strikingly unproductive, non-innovative, and underdeveloped for the resources at the state elite's disposal. The continuing, unresolved question was how to achieve sustainable development, as opposed to mere extractive growth and exploitation of the imperial margins. Rome never came to a satisfactory answer, and this failure would have tremendous consequences in the period just after the 160s CE, when the Roman glue would begin to weaken. Thus, in almost every aspect, Roman history from 50 BCE to 161 CE illustrates those challenges characteristic of governance and societal order in all the relatively advanced states that followed it, in the early modern and modern centuries in particular. Hence its enduring popularity and didactic value, and hence those qualities that so dramatically set it off from the medieval morass that was to follow it.

Important Terms, People, and Events
Terms
equites - Knights-turned middling entrepreneurs from the provincial Italian towns with economic interests in Rome. Cultivated by Emperors as a counterweight in the imperial administration to senators, who saw them as a distinct class. Were co-opted into Senate, over time replacing most patricians. Proconsul - Post given to consuls after their year of tenure. Was a provincial military leadership assignment, its appointment came into hands of emperors as early as Augustus. Praetorian Prefect - Head of the Praetorian Guard, the palace guard of the Emperor and his possessions. Became king-makers at times of socio-political instability. An Augustinian innovation.

Alimenta - Nerva's loans to small agriculturalists, the proceeds of which went to help the fisci of Italian and Gaulic towns. Continued by Trajan. Aelia Capitolina - Trajan's idea to rebuild and repopulate Palestine with a nonJewish, Roman capital. Latifundia - Middle to large estates in Italy and southern Gaul. Material basis for patrician-equestrian wealth and city-growth.

Names
Sextus Pompei - Consul in 70s BCE, procunsul thereafter. Toured through, Near East reorganizing provinces there. Was in First Triumvirate with Caesar, before the they broke ranks and became chief antagonists until 46 BCE, when Caesar triumphed at Munda. Caesar - Consul, then procunsul in 60s-50s When denied power by the Senate, crossed the Rubicon with his loyal forces and wrested power in Rome. Established the Triumvirate with Sextus Pompei, then the two split and became bitter rivals for power. Built a faction around himself and soon defeated Pompei, after which he took power in Rome and enacted major reforms of the Senate, settlement, etc. Assassinated by the Senate, which feared he was destroying the Republic, on March 15, 44 BCE. Marcus Antonius - A lieutenant of Caesar, saw self as his heir. After Second Triumvirate of 43-33, in which he shared power with Octavian, the two came into open conflict. Allied with Cleopatra, but was finally defeated in 30 BCE. Lepidus - Second Triumvirate member. Retired soon after troops defected to Octavian. Octavian - Nephew of Caesar, adopted by him before latter's death, and listed as heir in will. Fought Mark Antony, eventually establishing undisputed, unchallenged rule over Rome and inaugurating the Principate. Ruled 30 BCE to 14 CE. Agrippa - Comrade-in-arms, friend, and adviser to Octavian. His generalship assured Octavian's victories, helped in the urban infrastructure of Rome, and assured the success of the Rhine campaigns. Died before he could become Emperor. Augustus - 'Bringer of Increase'; an epithet of the gods given to Octavian by the Senate in the 20s BCE. Tiberius - Ruled 14-38 BCE. Strong general under Augustus, passed over as heir several times. Disliked by Senate for detached, reclusive, at times vicious behavior. Marcomanni - Germanic tribe in the Rhine area, active from the first century CE. Varrus - Roman legate sent to quiet the Marcomanni in 7 CE. Was defeated in Teutoburgian forest in what became a massacre. Sejanus - Companion to Tiberius, he engineered excessive treason trials and nepotism in Rome while the Emperor was living on Capri. May have conspired against Emperor. Tiberius had him murdered in 31 CE. Caligula - Gaius, 'little boots', son of Augustus' adopted heir Germanicus. Became Emperor in 38, soon descended into insanity and Hellenistic addictions. Murdered in 41 by Praetorian Guard.

establishing the Flavian dynasty.Son of Augustus.Spanish governor revolting in 68-69.One-time crony of Nero who bribed the Praetorian Guard to raise him as Emperor in 69 CE.Equestrian background general in Judaea who rose in 69. obsessed only with Greek Hellenism. Summoned by Nero to Rome and ordered to commit suicide. Known for Alimenta and adoption of Trajan as heir. and was son of Agrippina the Younger. Harassed sub. Early years of his rule (55-61) went well. ultimately. Otho . Vitellus .People of Transylvania. became uninterested in army or administration. but not ineffective.Generla from Claudius' era. Galba . Gessius Florus . eventually fought off other military claimants to the throne.General of Claudius who conquered Mauretenia and annexed it for Rome. passed over several times.Roman scholar and early tutor of Nero. of which Trajan was a member. Unpopular ruler. . leading to its Latinization. Quadi . Died 54 CE. Vespasianus .Parthian king excessively friendly with Armenia. Killed by him in terrors. conquered Britain for Empire in 44 CE. Plautinus . Eventually became the imperial legate after the war. Paulinus .Claudius . he was accepted in Rome.Germanic tribe in Rhine-Danube area. Nerva . but had insufficient forces to beat off other claimants. then quickly descended into a vicious madness reminiscent of Caligula.Danubian Roman lands beginning in Domitian's time. disliked for physical infirmities. Chosroes . during Year of Four Emperors. Corbulo . thus encouraging Trajan to invade Parthian lands from 113. in 66 CE. and became emperor from 69-79 CE. Was defeated by Vitellus in 69 CE.Sucessfull Roman general in East. Burrus . though ultimately defeated by Vespasian.Place-holder Emperor after Domitian. Trajan finally burst through into their lands and annexed the region. Nero . Seneca . possessing organized. the Principate. Defeated Otho.Roman procurator in Judaea when Jewish Revolt began in 68 CE. Became Emperor upon Caligula's death and ruled from 40 – 54 CE.One of four claimants to the throne in 69 CE.Adopted son of Claudius.Second son of Vespasian.One of Nero's early tutors during the good years. Ruled 79-81 CE. Murdered 96 CE. which he did.Vespasian's son and successor. Was killed in 69. Was administratively and military successful--conquered Britain--but disliked by Rome elite. Dacians . fortified kingdom. Domitian . Killed several generals and wives. From ancient senatorial family. both in command of Palestine and. committed suicide in 69 CE. Titus .

and seemed to hint at demotion of Italy's status domestically. Backed only by the Praetorian Guard.Battle between Antonius Primus and Vitellus at Cremona later in 69. Ides of March . murdered by Praetorians . Otho was outnumbered and defeated. Bedricum II . His reign was extremely uneventful internally. He treated the Senate well. renewed political stability. Timeline 44 BCE: Caesar defeats Pompeians at Munda Renewed as dictator. then as dictator for life. 15 44 BCE. Piso's Conspiracy .Site of Varrus' defeat and massacre of Roman legion by Germanic Barbarians in 7 CE. 27 and 23. 27 BCE . 38--41: Caligula's rule Caligula becomes increasingly insane.Ruled 117-138. Hadrian . Lepidus. The Senators feared he was becoming a monarch. Faced and put down another Jewish revolt in Palestine. judicial terrors.Ruled 138-161. Octavian Antony's Parthian campaigns 33-30: Mark Antony--Octavian Civil War Octavian victorious at Actium.Roman Emperor. 41-33: Second Triumvirate among Mark Antony. 98-117. Events Munda . in that was not an agressive emperor externally. and killed Caesar to save the Republic.Trajan . Expanded Roman lands into Danube area and east.Battle between Otho and Vitellus at Cremona in 69 CE. Made famous because on March. Advances along Rhine.Last Caesar-Pompei era civil war battle. Antoninus Pius . Mark Antony loses naval battel as his squadrons and Cleopatra abandon him. Rome's peak of power. Most popular emperor after Augustus. Assassinated March 15. Fighting on Vespasian's behalf. secluded rule.Actually refers the middle of the month.Final Octavian-Marcus Antonius battle. leading to new trials and terrors. 30. Rome had good government and finances.Conspiracy of several Senators and Roman elites to unseat Nero and install the senator Piso in 64-65. 14 CE . Teutoburgian Forest . Caesar was murdered by a group of senators led by Brutus and Cassius. 30 BCE..38: Tiberius' rule Growing autocracy. Under his rule. Not popular. It failed and all conspirators were murdered. Germans start to become restive. Only military disaster of Augustus' reign. Actium . ended his plans to conquer up to Elbe. with external peace and wealth.14 CE: Augustus' (Octavian's) rule Principate est. Bedricum I . the ides of March simple means March 15. Primus defeated Vitellus when the latter's officers defected. Caesar defeats Pompei in 46 BCE.

Domitian murdered. 161-180: Rule of Marcus Aurelius 162-165: War Against Parthia Victories at Dura Europa. Parthian and Dacian campaigns. 69: Year of Four Emperors Legions revolt. lack of foreign adventures. adoption of Trajan as heir. 79-96: Titus and Domitian Jewish Revolt ended. Ctesiphon. prestige. wealth. peace. Jewish Revolt begins. conquest of Britain and Mauretania 54-68: Nero Good rule at first. 96-98: Nerva Alimenta. turn on selves and state. 165-180s: Plague in Roman Lands . Rome burns. 98-117: Trajan Rome at peak of power. frictions with Senate. then insanity. Vespasian wins. dynastic intrigues. friction with Senate. Christians persecuted. 117-138: Hadrian Retrenchment in Parthia. increased autocracy.41-54: Claudius Administrative advances. resentment of Italy and Senate and being 'demoted'. 138-161: Antoninus Pius Rome at peak of power.

and elevated other provincial cities to Latin citizen rights status. Egypt. 4) he began to break the barriers in the relations between Rome and the provinces. or the roots of cities in less Romanized areas such as Southern Gaul. In 47 BCE. the provincial urban centers. His forces massacred the rebels. as the petty potentates in client relations to Rome were not sure with whom to adhere. Pontus. with the elite of Rome and the outlying Italian cities being prominently represented among the victims. This was the last civil war battle in Caesar's time. including Gaul. as well as certain individuals. Iberia. In 44 BCE there were 35 legions under arms. reforming it into the Julian calendar. Sextus Pompei. Arriving in the winter of 47-46. appointing great numbers of his supporters. but exempted Jews due to their assistance to him when he was in Alexandria. as well as tribunal veto power over judicial decisions and legislation. but he wanted to shift it to a fixed land tax. allowing him as well a four-fold triumph: victories over the last ten years were celebrated. Caesar returned from the East. Collegia were made illegal.From Republic to Dictatorship: Caesar to Octavian (50--30 BCE) Summary The Pompei-Caesar civil war was violent on a scale not previously experienced by Rome. he only had half an army. Metullus Scipio. in Iberia at Munda. Just after this he defeated a further rebellion under Pompei's son. raising its numbers to 900. 6) Caesar tried to change the method of provincial tribute. bestowing it of Cisalpine Gaul. and Asia Minor. foreign policy decisions. Caesar proposed to settle de-mobilized soldiers and veterans in these cities as well as Rome's urban unemployed. Basically. The Rome Senate then accorded him the power of Dictator for ten years. he had the untouchable power to run government. It was the first wholesale extension of citizenship. His status as Dictator provided him commands of the army and provinces. he began appointing outsiders to the Senate. . 3) in urban courts. 5) He planned Caesarian colonies. Pompeii's supporters renewed the Senate with their own numbers. It was bad for the Ancient Mediterranean world in general. after which Caesar left to confront North African rebels under Q. since they were uncertain who would be victorious. As well. It had been based on tithe in kind. in addition to bringing political uncertainty. Africa. Caesar was liberal with grants of Roman citizenship. In 47 BCE he renewed the Senate. and waited until the spring before destroying the Pompeiian-supported rebels at Thapsus. and was publicly pardoned by the Senate. and Africa. much life was lost. The war disrupted its agricultural bases and was economically wasteful. the jury was divided equally between equites and senators. These included Italian town equites. financial control. Additionally. certain freedmen. Caesar also promulgated several points of practical legislation: 1) He changed the calendar. 2) he permitted the urban tribunes to attack street gangs. and ex-centurions.

and later Italy. he had begun to collect supporters among veterans from Caesar's legions. While the conspirators fled Rome. as well as his will. along with two legions. It was around this time that the orator-politician returned to Rome and delivered his series of addresses entitled the Philippics. Brutus was assisted by Octavian. and started to move towards predominance. along with the scholarly. At the age of eighteen. He went on to plan an attack on Parthia.In 44 BCE. Around this time. Mark Antony restrained him. his forces overpowered those of Brutus. doing military training. Brutus. 44—the Ides of March— sixty senators conspired to murder him. Antony was forced to retreat to Italy. respectively. In this. He was currently out of Italy. Octavian began to break with the Senate. At this time those senators who had supported the assassination allied with Octavian as a brake on growing tyranny. Passing through Italy. giving him the . the first thing Mark Antony did was to go to Caesar's residence. Octavian as heir to his personal fortune and social position. Caesar's party—the factio—was now left in confusion. There was one other player. Cassius. declaring an amnesty to the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius proconsulships in Macedonia and Syria. He prevailed upon the Senate to provide him with the proconsular command in Cisalpine Gaul. came to temporary leadership of the group. Aemilius Lepidus. who was about to become governor of Narbonnese Gaul and brought his seven legions to Rome in order to subdue the capital if need be. as well as some of his erstwhile supporters who objected to his deprivation of certain Rome aristocrats of jobs. as well as his growing autocracy. Octavian forced the issue by demanding one of the vacant consulships. the Persian state in the far eastern reaches of Roman territories. changing his name to C. Octavian still needed an army. he had (somewhat unusually) just passed from equestrian to senatorial rank. were the titular ringleaders of a group including some older senators who had opposed Caesar all along. the competent general Marcus Antonius who was Consul in 44. however Decimus Brutus--related to the co-conspirator--was already on the ground there. on March 15. however. He also declared that Caesar's legislative initiatives would stand. philosophical M. The Senate refused. in which he repeatedly condemned Mark Antony as an aspiring despot. take all the material wealth he could. At Caesar's death. Another prominent member of Caesar's factio was M. Octavian's grandfather had married a sister of Caesar. Caesar relied on his senatorial supporters to elect him Dictator for Life— dictator perpetuus. and returned to Rome as soon as he heard of Caesar's death. yet ultimately. At this point. on the steps of the Senate House named for Pompei. The latter gave fellow conspirators M. The also Senate did not appropriate the funds for Octavian to pay his soldiers. granting him the propraetorship in Cisalpine Gaul. Julius Caesar Octavianus. However. One of them. Caesar's will had (allegedly) listed C. D. who had linked up with Senate-dispatched relief forces. In July 43. He immediately found that Mark Antony had depleted Caesar's personal as well as state funds. D. Brutus defeated the besieging Mark Antony at Mutina. Octavian was thus Caesar's grand nephew. M.

Earlier. This lex Titia has been called the definitive end of the Roman Republic. however. Octavian then marched on Rome with eight legions. conscript limitless numbers of soldiers. At this point. Octavian then rescinded the amnesty for Caesar's murderers. The victors went on the divide Roman lands between them. and Sardinia. Maecenas interceded to produce a new triumviral understanding. in de facto terms. After Philippi. In settling his troops during 42-41. while ceding Spain. Maecenas. and prosecute military actions. he was able to engineer his election as consul. Antony's brother L. M. with a small republican army and a fleet. Antony and Octavian combined forces and met their opponents at Philippi. the factio ended all hopes of the conspirators. The triumvirs then launched the proscriptions against the anti-Faction camp. Antonius. as well as Mark's wife Fulvia galvanized armed opposition to Octavian. who saw him as Caesar's heir. Agrippa and C. and had gotten the allegiances of lesser potentates. as well as through the support of military friends such as M. disbanded legions in Italy and southern Gaul. At this point. while Mark Antony went off to discover glory in the East by fighting Parthia. 300 senators and 2. it was a three-man dictatorship able to pass laws. tax the populace. Two weeks later. and Illycricum to Octavian. Gaul.praetorship instead. To Octavian fell the duty of settling about 100. who then committed suicide. Octavian's ally C. Corsica. disrupting trade and communication for the populations of the . while Lepidus was about of favor. such as Cleopatra and were moving into Macedonia. In the first battle. Antony had received most of Gaul and Spain. a problem emerged in Italy. by defeating Brutus. to pay off soldiers and factio supporters. including Cicero. with Mark's support.000 soldiers of the conspirators. The three met in Bononia (near Barcelona) and negotiated the Second Triumvirate. Octavian was initially bested by Brutus. while Octavian was awarded Italian Islands and Africa. Octavian's commander at Brundisium refused him entry into Italy. but Antony's troop defeated Cassius.C. with Italy being shared. He received most regions. appoint all higher magistrates. who took his own life as well. Antony seemed ascendant. Lepidus declared for Antony. Lepidus and M. the two had taken over all of Asia Minor as well as other Eastern provinces. Their properties were confiscated. Octavian incurred the displeasure of Italian aristocrats whose lands were taken. Lepidus received Africa. At this point (40 BCE) Antony returned from desultory and costly wars in the East. Antony kept control of eastern provinces. Octavian and his colleague Agrippa defeated them at Perusia. with the aide of troops from Gaul.000 equites were massacred judicially. married Mark Antony. By 43. Sextus Pompei controlled Sicily. He acted as a pirate. The next challenge for the Second Triumvirate were Cassius and Brutus. Shortly after. and senatorial control of the western provinces collapsed. The deal was sealed when Octavian's sister. and hastened to attempt an agreement with Antony and Lepidus. Octavia. Through cultivating the masses—plebs—and raising a veteran-based army. Octavian had thus taken control of the western Roman regions. Later written into law at Rome through the tribune Titius.V.

Octavian's forces finally defeated Sextus at Naulochus. Mark formed a government in exile in Asia Minor. For the next five years (38-33). to join their leader. In the donations of Alexandria. Octavian released what he claimed was Mark's will. Under Agrippa's command. This was at the same time that Octavian was acting as the restorer of Rome. engaging in urban renovation programs. but his Armenian auxiliaries deserted. the erstwhile lover of Caesar. who then requested Octavian's evacuation of the area. he had called on her to explain her actions. In retaliation. weakened his forces. Antony was politically and financially weakened. Shortly thereafter. A major spoiler here was Cleopatra. Antony was now imminent.mainland. and raised a thirtylegion army as well as a 500-ship fleet. and that he intended to be buried next to Cleopatra--the Queen of kings. At Phraaspia he sustained initial victories. along with 20. Antony was in the East in 40. with Mark seeming less roman all the time. he stepped up his campaign. By this time both contenders had blocs of supporters in the Senate. Mark and Octavian engaged in mutual slander. Antony's undoing as they distracted him from Italy. He drove the Parthians out of the eastern territories. In 33. War between Octavian and M. as the heir to Caesar's position. advancing through Asia Minor as well as into Judaea. and made him ultimately appear a political and cultural turncoat. Mark Antony was still off in the East campaigning. Lepidus retired peacefully. who had borne him a third son. and installed Herod as Judaea's king. the triumvirate came to a legal end. and received one from Mark Antony on condition that he subsequently transfer four of his legions to the East. Octavian had the most forces and least liabilities of the three triumvirate members. and after Naulochus. Octavian remained mostly in the West. out of war weariness. so Octavian could present himself as a savior of the . she had returned to Egypt and assumed the crown. at which time Octavian decided to destroy him. For the next year. inviting Cleopatra to stay with him and repudiating Octavian's sister. A retreat was necessary. Ptolemy Caesar. and the Parthians attacked his siege and baggage train. which Antony lost. Mark indicated that he intended to move the state's capital to Alexandria. 300 Antony supporters fled to the East. He also became more financially and emotionally dependent on Cleopatra. These eastern campaigns proved M. In 39. OCtavian refused. as the restorer of peace to the Roman world. In 36 he undertook an offensive against the Parthians. His twenty-three legions surrendered to Lepidus. At this point. In it. with a depleted military. etc. fighting Italian and southern Gaul brigands. rearranged Asia Minor's provinces.000 soldiers. whereupon Sextus' old forces transferred their allegiance to Octavian. With these. When M. After his death. This put him on treasonous ground. When Octavian came to address the Senate one day. he returned east. they had become lovers and she bore him two children. He had no fleet though. Parthinii invasions also began in Macedonia. he named this son. The real break came in 32. The defeat was a big blow. These Antony drove back. the Parthians invaded Syria.

Next.Republic. in that he combined being a good general with great political and legislative skills. growing numbers of mounted and wealthy equities from provincial Italian municipalities. Egypt was made Octavian's personal property and annexed to the Roman Empire. and went south to the bay of Anbracia. and al these groups came together into the factio--Caesar's faction. Of course. so chose suicide. he had Ptolemy Caesar killed. His army was better and faster. Then. and was thus able to a gather more supporters to his banners. Meanwhile. the land for which was bought rather than expropriated. Therefore. such as Gaul. we must ask why he was killed. the assassins all felt they were acting to preserve the republic from growing tyranny and dictatorship of an individual who had made his writ stick by dint of armed force. All the while. a general's ability to support his current and retired soldiers was paramount in determining his own survivability. While Octavian followed these units south. but ended up dying in Cleopatra's arms. and Octavian followed in 30. through growing army power. Mark was defeated. he was the better general of the two. Caesar demonstrated repeatedly his ability to provide clemency to erstwhile opponents. Caesar was also unusual. as well as excellent rhetorical capabilities. Mark heard that Cleopatra had killed herself. While he fought well. increasing finances. Commentary The first question that has to be asked is why did Caesar win the civil war with Pompei? Most basically. where Agrippa blockaded Mark's forces. with his ground forces surrendering two weeks later. The final battle was in 31. When Octavian arrived in Egypt. and patronage. While the latter was in pursuit. Caesar ascended to the rank of the most powerful Roman warlord and obtained powerful supporters. he looked after them. and allowing him in turn to always provide his (retiring) soldiers with the material bases for survival. Caesar's senatorial expansion had . Mark finally decided on a naval battle. opportunist motives. he could count on the support of centurions and veterans. simply fled. Mark and Cleopatra had fled for Egypt. made up of a coalition of some senators. While the individual conspirators may have had individual. In the post-Marius era. Antony's (living) supporters were given an amnesty. after which he reduced the Roman army from sixty to twenty-eight legions. Antony's forces were in Greece. while the latter laid a 25% income tax to support his large forces. under Cleopatra's command. While they made him great. all engagement stopped for two weeks. Italian towns passed 'spontaneous' resolutions of support for Octavian. Veterans were accorded lands in over thirty colonies. allowing him always to be on the offensive. the other two dropped back. Arriving in Rome. and the fourth. Mark's fleet went to Actium. thereby extinguishing the Ptolemaic dynasty. Octavian was acclaimed with a triple triumph. He divided his fleet into four squadrons. in general terms. as well as foot-soldiers and elites fro regions where his own reputation was based. As well. himself commanding the right flank. as she had not tried to take her own life.

Thus in addition to the conflict of two individuals. Still. Mark Antony perceived himself as the true heir with the proper experience. by 30. It is important to remember. Conversely. that while what was at stake was the recasting of Rome politically and somewhat sociologically. These latter Octavian was well able to manipulate. Mark Antony had more lucrative enemies. None of the leaders. In the same way. and had no military reputation or demonstrable martial skills. though. Mark Antony's based on the old rules of power politics. were looking beyond the situation at hand. Preeminence was needed. Octavian perceived that it was now possible to obtain a good reputation without engaging in far-flung campaigns. even though Octavian was not an exceptional commander and had to rely on allies such as Agrippa. Further. Octavian held himself out as able to provide all this. the second triumvirate could not last. the latter was hampered from the start. tension pervaded their relations. no one was likely to be interested in prolonged power sharing. After Caesar had put forward the model of one man ruling all. This greatly offended senatorial aristocracies going back hundreds of years. and he was caught short here. Octavian had the legitimacy of Caesar's will on his side. Thus. People in Otaly and other parts of the Roman core were sick of war. is that from the days of Sulla. as well as a growing body of senators who saw Mark Antony as the preeminent threat to the republican order. trust was conspicuously absent from these two triumvir's relations. but also faced more costly and more enervating campaigns. He was quite young. In this. and it was assumed to be obtainable through war. and were all ostensibly fighting for the restoration of the republic as they conceived it. just as he cultivate the masses and provincial equities in a way beyond Mark Antony's capacity. and Octavian's resting on new concepts.represented an attack on the exclusivity of the legislative body and its reduction to a rubber stamp. and ran the risk of becoming the Senate aristocracy's creature in their ostensible quest to preserve the republic. it is highly likely that none of the major protagonists had any idea that they were on the cusp of an historical hinge. all had seen their own actions in the context of republic-restoration. thanks to Mark Antony. and viewed Octavian as an inexperienced neophyte. though. what emerged was the conflict of two political programs. The irony here. not recognizing that a government suited to running the affairs of a large city-state was totally inadequate to the needs of a multicontinent empire with a changing socio-economic complexion. With critical mass tending in Octavian's favor. Indeed. He also went on to only muddle through in these matters. on the surface. More concretely at least between Octavian and Mark Antony. as his settlement of ex-soldiers shows. and needed the reestablishment of law and order for human and material survival. he was financially strapped from the very beginning of the contest. Italian Romans were in no way at the point of tolerating anything hinting at a demotion in status in . A brief note should be made of Antony's Cleopatran diversions. First. it would have required superb generalship for Mark Antony to prevail.

citizens of the republic had a deep. He began with gestures in this direction. for the first time in seventy years. Octavian also reduced the Senate in two phases. which Octavian always occupied. AS well. and declared an amnesty for most civil-war actors. Augustus began by relinquishing his annual. An epithet of the gods. which emerged in the two 'settlements' of 27 and 23 BCE. from 1000 to 800. Second. Key to remember is that OctavianAugustus stage-managed this process through the large numbers of senators who were his allies and owed their status to him. The major question remaining. The second 'settlement' came in 23.Sulla and post-Caesar era. whereupon Octavian agreed to undertake the government of the large provinces--the Gauls. The senators protested. Until 27. however. and what Mark Antony was purported by Octavian's propagandists to have in store for Rome. to which he restored these prerogatives. Egypt under Cleopatra appeared to most Romans as an odd melding of Pharaonic and Hellenic.comparison to another region of the state. The answer to the question of government was the Principate. and then finally to 600. the initial success of these measures is indicated in the rise in interest rates. they conducted a census. Legally. repeating consulship. with none of the positive attributes of republican government and society. Third. and voted that he be given a new name--Augustus. The Early Principate: Augustus and Tiberius (30 BCE--37 CE) Summary After winning the post-Caesar civil war. Iberia and Syria. meaning peace and republican procedure in rule. For the first time in twenty years. annulled illegal orders. there was an annual consulship. it means 'increase'. The remaining regions would be administered by a Senatorial proconsul. On January 13 of that year. chronic distaste for kings. and perhaps most directly resonant at the time. the consuls stayed at home and engaged in no major military campaigns. Octavian disbanded the majority of the mobilized war-era legions. though Romans were soon to live under monarchs in all but name. or 'fiver of increase'. Reversing a Caesarian measure. endearing the older Rome aristocracy in the process. At the same time. reflecting an increase in liquid capital. This was what Egypt had. with the exception of Mark Antony's chief lieutenants at Actium. Octavian wanted to assure the Roman aristocracy and masses of the return of normalcy. the Senate continued to nominate Octavian as consul. his title was 'Princeps'--the first citizen. In 28 BCE Octavian and his friend Agrippa were joint consuls. pertained to the means of governance in the post. an office that was somewhat offensive to the traditional senatorial . All this was in an effort to restore popular confidence in the mechanisms of state. and the Principate was the rule of the first citizen. He publicly resigned all of his provinces and powers in front of the Senate.

All theses administrative changes provided the manpower for an expanded bureaucracy and civil service. or to the prefecture (command) of the fleet. processes of admittance were regulated to require certain financial worth. either to govern key provinces such as Egypt or Judaea. from among whom the Princeps obtained his legates. More importantly. as well as attestations to a candidate's good character. when an equestrian finished his military service. the watch. Augustus established a board to prevent the Tiber from flooding. and some were appointed to the senatorial order by the Princeps. just as a fire department with six cohorts of 1000 slaves each was set up according to fire districts under equestrian . Usually. Agrippa had always had an interest in water. the corn supply. there was a second benefit: as the ex. providing a career civil service. he could now enter government as a procurator. Also. this was now changed.aristocracy. There were similar opportunities for senators. controlled nominally by the Senate. while the form of republican life was restored and guaranteed by Augustus. In addition. While this was beneficial for equites as a group. and the best of whom would govern Augustus' own provinces. Now. as well in the senatorial regions containing Augustus' financial interests. even attaining the consulship. or administrative departments.military financial elites of Italian towns often with economic interests in Rome. In this period the Senate began to be drawn from a wider socio-political circle. Thus. and had begun building aqueducts with his slave force in Rome. as well as to veto administrative legislation and certain categories of senatorial actions. Under Augustus. his 240 hydraulic engineer slaves were formed into the water department under an equestrian prefect. the power of a tribune to introduce legislation into the Senate.procurators could rise higher. Mentioned above. which was a financial agent of the Princeps. A highway board was instituted in 20 BCE. their earlier support for Octavian now paid off. Augustus created boards. his imperium was augmented to maius imperium. his individual steering power was unassailable. When he died in 12 BCE. a grain board in 6 CE was instituted to assure regular supplies to the capital. Later. which were to be directly administered by the Senate. The best equites. superceding that of all others in the state. Along with cutting down the size of the Senate. and the distinction between Rome and other Italian towns began to recede. With these powers Augustus undertook to reorganize the civil and military administration. present in all Augustinian provinces. or the prestigious Palace Guard known as the Praetorian Guard. some of whom led legions. which funded it along with the towns connected into the system. Those equites who distinguished themselves would retain the position for years. a proconsul's imperium lapsed when he crossed the Pomerium into the core Roman lands. though. The class of equites was also reorganized. a military career. They could aspire to long-term administrative careers. Augustus was allowed to keep his imperium wherever he was. Part of this involved his receipt of tribunicia potestas. Though previously excluded from government service. the Senate changed the nature of Augustus' imperium.

It was now standardized into 1) a land tax and 2) a head tax on non-agricultural wealth. a Roman postal service emerged in Italy at least through which the towns maintained relays of horses and messengers to ensure speedy communication. On retirement. and to engage in campaigns to which he would direct them. Augustus continued his role as a super proconsul through concern with the provinces and frontiers.500 men. examining them. as opposed to earlier forces which were supposedly disbanded at the end of campaigns and could become politically unstable. Returning the Rome in 19 BCE. instead. recruits from the less civilized parts of the Empire. Agrippa had conquered the Canteberrians. numbers. regimental banners. with names.000 of these camped just outside Rome. Augustus' measures did not increase the size of the military. conducting censuses. as there had been sixty Octavian legions before 30 BCE. Their primary responsibility was to guard the person and property of the Princeps himself. and reorganizing their tribute to Rome. they received money or land equivalent to 3. There were nine praetorian cohorts. they camped adjacent to the Legions. and were well integrated into the professional army. He also built roads and founded Roman towns in these areas. known as vigilum. On the level of foreign affairs. each with 5. each one further subdivided into six units under centurions.000 men. a portion obtained Roman citizenship. and on retirement. The emerging settlement determined that the Euphrates was the boundary between the two states. and fixed bases. They served for sixteen years. and that Armenia would be a Roman client state. a real esprit de corps and fighting tradition emerged. for 225 denarii a year. then moved on to organize . In 17-16. Not born as Romans.prefects. Augustus also created a retirement fund for the forces. As regards the military. Augustus also worried about the northern provinces and the Barbarians beyond their borders. 3. Still. the legions became permanent formations. Augustus' major reform involved creating a standing army. He (and Agrippa) toured the provinces repeatedly. relations with Parthia were concerning. Most senior centurions would retire to the equestrian order. Furthermore. all the regular standing Roman forces amounted to 500. All the regular soldiers had to be Roman citizens. after which he repeated the process on Greece and Asia Minor. the Parthians then sent negotiators to Augustus. each containing 1. Now. These legions were organized into ten cohorts. a de-militarization of the ancient world took place. and were commanded by equestrian prefects. The army also acquired a new elite--the Praetorian Guard. Continuing the administrative expansion. In 22 BCE they thought a Roman attack was imminent. This broke the financial connection between (retired) soldiers and roman generals. Thus. and served for twenty years. Impressed. the forces depended financially upon the Princeps. he went west and founded new towns. Finally.000 denarii. In reality. based upon sales taxes and death duties. were commanded by their own nobles. were paid 730 denarii a year. In addition there were the auxiliaries. These auxiliaries provided a large proportion of imperial forces.000 men. Augustus set up twenty-eight legions.

In 15. a leader named Cherusi. Tiberius led armies as far east as the Elbe River. Between 25. He had been a succesful legate in Syria. including a new road system. From 25-9 BCE. Agrippa was active in Pannonia--eastern Hungary. plans had to be reconsidered. Augustus toured the area and applied the same divisions to Iberia. Around this time the Germanic tribe of the Marcomanni arrived in the region under the chief Marobaduus. taking all lands west of the Danube by 13. and Tiberius assumed responsibilities here too by 4 CE. at which point the frontier of Rome reached the Danube River. This led over time to the Romanization of the Balkans. there was a serious effort to push the frontier beyond the Rhine to the Elbe. each receiving four legions. Livia was his wife. he planned to conquer the Marcomanni by bringing converging legions from bohemia and the Danube. and he gave up the idea of taking the German woods. The revolt was only put down in 9 CE. In 16. and his fleet explored Jutland. though. the Germans ambushed him.northern Gaul into three provinces. Out-and-out familial succession would shatter the political balance of the Principate. The area was divided into two provinces. It was the one military disaster for Augustus. this river became the limit of the Roman frontier.17. Augustus suffered from nearly chronic illhealth. so he wanted to showmanage it. but in spite of successful sweeps. who had served as a Roman auxiliary. Varrus committed suicide. Drusus began in 12 BCE. Augustus then had to turn to Livia's sons. nearly decimating his forces. requiring Tiberius to fight his way to the staging point at Sermium. Drusus died in 9 BCE. The Germans between the Rhine and Elbe had observed this. In Germany. and Austria. Thus. and then the latter's children would succeed to the position. but did not understand the local tribal and political dynamics in the German borderlands. and a large portion of Rhineland and Elbe-area Germany was lost to the Empire. In 13. In 5 CE. Tiberius took over the campaigns. previously harassed by Etruscan tribes. While in the Teutoburgian forest. and auxiliary arrangements with Germans on or near the border began to emerge. was planning to revolt as well. Yugoslavia. Though he sent Tiberius back tot he Rhine area to show that Rome was not cowed. along the way exhausting his tactical reserve. as The recently subdued Pannonian and Dalmatian tribes revolted. to correct the defensive difficulties of the Danube-Rhine angle. Augustus' stepsons Tiberius and Drusus took their forces from Gaul to the AlpineDanubian region. In 6. Roman generals conquered the northern and Western Alpine passes. the lack of towns and rulers to capture made all accomplishments ephemeral. Augustus' legate in the region was Quinctillius Varrus. though. In the fall of 6 CE he took three legions to the Rhine. Things bogged down in Bohemia. and though they had not become restive at the outset. When Agrippa died at the age of fifty.one in 12 BCE at the height of his power. carrying all by 9. Though an energetic administrator and leader. and . succession remained a worry that never left him. His original hope had been for his comrade and colleague Agrippa to succeed him as Princeps. When the latter died in 12 BCE. Roman arms were used in the Alpine-Danube area as well.

yet he died in 9 BCE. where he got into an argument with the Syrian commissioner Piso. and Tiberius preferred his first wife Vispania. As well his sharp intellect and cryptic speech alienated many. as were Claudians in general. or manifestations of imperial generosity--the Rome mob liked him les than they had Augustus. and Tiberius reacted by a self-imposed exile on Rhodes for seven years at the turn of the Common Era. Piso was soon convicted. so that Augustus returned his favor to Tiberius. and administrator. Germanicus received a triumph and maius imperium in all the East. Additionally. Drusus was also able. but the former died shortly thereafter. He was cold and aloof. politician. brashness led to his downfall. so that in 14 CE when Augustus died. Tiberius had been married to Agrippa's widow Julia. and there were no big expeditions during his reign (14-37 CE). however. and committed suicide. Augustus began to groom these two for succession to the Principate. Tiberius' major concern was the succession. Germanicus visited the Principate province of Egypt without permission. Germanicus averted the crisis and gained new lands for Rome. The former formally adopted the latter as son just before the Pannonian revolt. Germanicus ordered the latter to leave the area. Claudius Nero. he was fiscally conservative. though. by a poor public personality. His wife Agrippina brought the family to Rome and had a large funeral. In 2 and 4. Tiberius was able to ascend to the Principate through a senatorial ceremony. and was sent into the German woods yearly between 14-17 for flashy though unsubstantial campaigns.had been given to him by her first husband T. In 17 he was recalled to Rome. where Tiberius saved the day for the Romans. as well as a younger option. This whole episode left disquiet and resentment within the . After years of military campaigns to expand the frontiers. the two did not get along. where he received al of his adoptive father's powers. Fifty-five years old at the time of his ascent. and the army was well maintained. the daughter of Agrippa. He had a grown son-Drusus. Germanicus was a rising general. Germanicus. as Tiberius did not want further conquest in the region. which Tiberius did not attend. hinting at his position as heir apparent. Tiberius was quite experienced as a general. Tiberius was an able general and good administrator. Provincial government was increasingly professional and regular. so that he could attain Agrippa's position. to bolster the Roman reputation in the region. In 13 CE. but totally without popular charisma. spectacles. Another problem was that Augustus' longevity allowed a third generation to emerge--the grandsons Gaius and Lucullus. Tiberius was hobbled. At this point. as his own. as he was already relatively advanced in age. Tiberius Drusus. This did not work. he was not interested in further war. and had panache. Augustus had gone on to adopt her sons. Gaius and Lucullus died prematurely. leading some to believe him responsible for Germanicus' death. As had been for the latter. so there were fewer shows. Augustus engineered the Senate's accordance to Tiberius of maius imperium. On his return from the Euphrates. War loomed with Parthia. but through negotiation.

The latter had two models: Sulla. targeting mostly Sejanus' allies. Tiberius became increasingly autocratic. the big question was two-fold: 1) Could Octavian restore a normalcy that had been lacking at least from the 80s BCE? while his enemies were dead. In 31. who had become a perpetual dictator. so was the republic. Niether approach had worked. Tiberius died in 37. He was then executed. a Tiberian letter to the Senate denounced Sejanus as a traitor. Powerful proconsuls had routinely turned their armies on Rome. was indeed good at politics. an administrator upon whom the Princeps had come to rely closely. The latter was tried and convicted by the Senate. eliminating perceived threats to his position through treason trials and executions. In essence. Tiberius' sister-in-law Antonia informed the semi-retired ruler of Sejanus' depredations and usurpations. and their new-found confidence after 30 BCE was misplaced. It was somewhat disorienting to Romans. and peace was sustained. and to gradually confuse them away from older notions of rule. and when his favorite Drusus died in 23. the ancient world got a break. It was amateurish and nothing more than an expanded city government. and later in the year. Provincial administration in particular was outrageously limited and shoddy. It was a truly sui . Thus 2) Could a bloody ex-triumvir sovle an insoluble constitutional problem. who had tried to rewrite the constitution. this was the only approach the Senate could suggest. The government had not worked since Marius. and the roman government had not worked properly since the time of the Gracchi. Worse. so that the sense of restored stability would not prove ephemeral? The chief problem facing Octavian was how and whether to rule. it deprived Tiberius of a capable heir. At the same time. with the need for dangerous proconsuls built into the provincial system.imperial family. He did this on the advice of Sejanus. as the Senate was reduced to awaiting the mail from Capri before it could make any major decisions. and whom he made Praetorian Prefect in the mid-20s. Still. The roman aristocracy had no original political ideas--for them the solution was the republic which had been failing for over half a century. eliminating several opponents through treason trials. and was designed to be so. Sejanus used Tiberius' absence to aggrandize his own position. at the age of 78. it was increasingly difficult to maintain the illusion of the Princeps as solely first citizen of the Republic. Distraught at Drusus and Germanicus' death. Commentary As alluded to above. the Roman republican government was inadequate to the needs of an empire. Octavian. his name further blackened by his widow's assertion that he had seduced Drusus' wife and planned his death. an entirely new approach to government. Miraculously. in 29 BCE. During this period. soon to be Augustus. and tired of a career going back to the 20s BCE. Tiberius semi-retired to Capri in 27. and created the Principate. no direct male heir remained. just as had Octavian. and Caesar.

only now they were pushed farther. not admitting of comparative terms in its description. Indeed. Also.it was created over time. he made it impossible for a rival proconsul to emerge. In theory. Of course. however. to contribute to an Augustan Auctoritas that was as sui generus as was the Principate. it was not a diarchy: Augustus divided up the work. and one for Augustus. but not the real power. one could have argued at the time that the republic had simply been reestablished more strongly than ever before. The senate did control Africa. were ones vetted or suggested by him. Similarly. though. so that the senatorial aristocracy could keep their political careers. Pompei. Adding to its intrisically confusing nature was its gradual imposition-. etc. and it appeared that he let the Principate run without interfering.generus institution for its era--the Principate was like nothing else. diarchy did not characterize the division of provinces. whereby he divided power between himself and the Senate. There was no sign of tyranny. After the second settlement of 23 BCE his maius imperium. He himself was consul each year-along with titularly equal colleagues--and had a large province to administer. and that made him the most powerful Roman alive. And it was these who had caused all the provincial troubles in the past Formally. among consuls and proconsuls. the army commanders. one for the Senate. and Sulla. with the greatest personal authority and legitimacy. The republic was seemingly reestablished: annual elections for the consulship were seriously contested. but in addition to his private provinces such as Africa. Increasing their disinclination was the fact that the Princeps maintained the republican offices. Indeed. like Caesar. Gaul. as opposed to senatorial eight at most. there were two mints. and Macedonia. for Augustus. the fiscus at times was able to come to its aid. Was this the case? Examples of this idea would be that there were two treasuries-the aerarium. It is likely that all proconsuls. with many of the most significant aspects of it either done behind closed doors or in such a manner permitting a creeping role expansion of the Princeps into Emperor. at Luqdunum (Lyons). and given his Auctoritas. Augustus' power was based on control of the army. Augustus controlled twenty legions. and they had republican precedents of sorts. deriving from the masses in good republican tradition. he did not have to exercise his legal powers actively--most senators were his friends. Some have seen his rule as a diarchy. while the aerarium received most provincial moneys. . while the senatorial mint made copper and bronze coins.. so essential to the Empire's fiscal system. only Augustus' mint crafted gold coins. For example. Illyria. the Roman aristocracy was disinclined to provoke him. and the fiscus. Augustus' power was exercised through employing and restricting magistrates. As it turned out. and tribunicia potestas were the bases of his legal authority. More fundamentally. and he consulted with the Senate. just as Augustus arranged politics and all the important decisions. Monopolizing it. while Augustus' power was magisterial. for the Senate. Augustus was no more than a powerful magistrate.

Augustus made it a game reserve for Roman elites. Upon Tiberius' death in 37.Indeed. all political careers were arranged into a regular sequence with age specifications and service requirements. he dressed as the gods in public. though. and when he recovered. He killed the conspirators and then led the army into battle over the Rhine. despised son of Antonia. those 'captured' Germans present at his triumph were in actuality Romans in disguise. In order for the Principate to function well. and even engaged in the games himself. and threatened to install as senator Incitatus--his horse. The senatorial order for one became increasingly regulated. Offending the Rome aristocracy even more. there was a conspiracy against him in the Rhine area legions. Equestrian regulation was done in an effort to widen the opportunities of peasants and centurions for socio-political mobility. as charioteer. in that Roman politics and administration became more organized. cooperation with the Senate was necessary. became a pathological monster. military service. He had been taken by his father Germanicus on his several German campaigns. This was done for equities as well: they required free birth. 400. gave shows for the Roman populace. and 'good character'. one million cisterces. and 'good character'.000 cisterces. candidates required a certain amount of military service. proclaimed the latter as Princeps. Caligula became nearly fatally ill. Gaius was better known as Caligula. He proceeded to build a temple to his own divinity and engage in incest with his sister Drusilla. into the political arena. In 39. In October of 37. Caligula began his rule well: he stopped the rash of treason trials. gladiator. He therefore took Germanicus' son Gaius into his palace and cultivated the youth. Caligula and Claudius (37-54): The Pitfalls and Regularization of Personal Rule Summary Tiberius was left with no male heir in the years directly before his death. and had been equipped with miniature roman centurion's uniform. and the Senate ratified the choice. Hence the nickname. Now. In the past it had been based on inheritance. As well. Claudius Nero). which stuck. and singer. He beat one consul over the head with a chair. When they . meaning 'little boots'. an acquaintance and ally of Gaius. recalled political exiles. His rule begins the Julio-Claudian dynasty. the Praetorian Prefect Macro. Caligula then spent the winter in Gaul. all of whose members were descended by blood from Augustus (related himself to Julius Caesar). There was one more side to the Principate. It was also different from the republican methods in essence. rather than driving them out of politics. or to the latter's third wife Livia (previously married to T. and brought his uncle Claudia. complete with little boots. Caligula was not interested. readying his forces to cross over to Britain for a conquest. Though the campaigns were marginally successful.

cowering behind a curtain in the palace. out of respect to the Jewish ban on graven images. Herod Agrippa. This insanity was topped off by his most self-destructive craziness. the taxes that went to the Temple in Jerusalem would not be diverted to the state fisc. a nonJewish town. he knew all about the Empire. and had spent late nights talking to him over drinks.one-volume history of Augustus. told him he was crazy. Herod had been the last important king there. Caligula erred. Herod Agrippa interceded and negotiated senatorial recognition of the new Princeps. giving the core Judaean lands to his son Archilaus. In chaotic circumstances. and Caligula. however. Claudius was also an historian. Still. A Hellenized Jewish convert from Transjordan. he was not without merits. and built great structures all over the kingdom. He was already fifty. with financial inducement. because in 41 Caligula was assassinated by an officer of the Praetorian Guard whom the emperor had offended. took over the notion. In 6 CE Judaea was thus made a Roman province. In the same vein. In the meantime. and some thought to choose the Princeps. and he had also produced a forty. He was interested in governmental efficiency. and in Judaea itself. The latter stalled. the Jews of Alexandria had supported him. Judaea had been a client kingdom since Pompei. and suffered from physical defects such as weak legs and a lolling head. He had died in 4 BCE. its history. and commanded that his likeness--tantamount to an idol--be put in the Temple. Thus. but Caligula commanded the Syrian governor to comply. In the event. the legions were ordered simply to collect seashells. they were not liable for military service. and demanded that Caligula's statue be emplaced in the Jews' Temple in Jerusalem. His mother had hated him and the rest of his family had not considered him Princeps material. and was not viewed as suitable by the Roman elites. Herod had been a friend of the Romans. Augustus had seen he was smart. the stature never arrived. Praetorian Guard members had discovered Claudius. Germanicus' younger brother. Archilaus' rule was so poor and impious that the Jews petitioned Augustus to annex the area. the Guard recognized him as emperor. one of Herod's descendants. the Senate met to decide the fate of the Empire. Though the Senate balked at first. Here. Back in Caesar's time. ruled by an imperial procurature from Caesaria.arrived to the channel in the summer. upon which Caligula threatened to kill him. Jews were not required to participate in the imperial cult (deification). He had written about Carthage. had no administrative or military career. Roman coins would not contain the Emperor's likeness. so the dictator had accorded them certain privileges: they had religious freedom and could keep the Sabbath. who was engaged in propagating his own divinity in any event. Riots broke out in support of this in Alexandria. . dividing up the realm among his three sons. Alexandrian Greeks had resented the Jews' exemptions. With no obvious successor. Taking him to the Praetorian camp. a political vacuum emerged. There was talk of return to a dual consul republic. Claudia was at first glance an unlikely choice. and how to administrate it.

A new harbor at Ostia was built. one being Cunobelinus. he did revive the sensor to eliminate bad senators from the ranks. Britain was next. Claudius thus founded secretariats with Roman freedmen as their staff: 1) Narcissus handled imperial correspondence. This forced the Senate to open the way to Gallic chief candidacy for quaestor and the senatorial position that would follow it. Paulinus was sent there. ruled by kings. An additional role Claudius undertook regarded public works. expanding trends begun under Augustus. Mauretania revolted. At the same time. it was no wonder that the Senate disliked him. He also installed larger numbers of equestrian procurators in senatorial provinces. he repressed the revolt. This was legal given their newly acquired citizen status. and now proposed to run for the office of quaestor. At times he interfered with proconsular appointments. Plautinus. and Claudius annexed the region as an imperial province. During an address to the Senate. The . While Augustus had been responsible for administrative changes. Claudius exhibited a liberal citizenship policy. and Claudius used his control over the censors to assure their election. reducing financial powers of senatorial quaestors. He had a large kingdom in the west with his capital at Camuldunom. When the king did so. using the imperial procurators to monitor the (senatorial) quaestors. 2) Palas oversaw finances. while 4) Polybius' duties are unclear to us. In foreign policy.Given this inclination and his deformities. 3) Callistus handled petitions and judicial matters. and abolished a number of senatorial offices duplicating imperial ones. the main Roman treasury. Some chiefs in Gaul already had gained Roman citizenship. 1) He gave Latin citizenship to whole tribes in the Alps and Gaul. He also cared for the provinces. but bound to incur senatorial ire. It was a Celtic land. He was served well by highly competent generals. Caligula had invited the native king to Rome. Claudius reverted to Augustus' policy of military expansion. He began with Mauretania in North Africa. 2) He accorded Roman citizenship to growing numbers of native chiefs. and the secretaries themselves became rich and powerful. Vespasianus. just as was constructed a Roman road from the Adriatic to the Danube. the secretariats' existence aggravated Claudius-Senate relations. ordered him to commit suicide. Claudius proceeded to create a thoroughgoing Roman bureaucracy. and Claudius inherited the disturbance. his rule had been exceedingly personal. yet by the 40s and 50s. In 41-42. while all of this contributed to a greater administrative and policy efficiency. Claudius indicated that the greatness of Rome lay in its acceptance of foreign elements.level position of usually financial investigative powers. the amount of administrative matters was becoming too much for one person to handle. wielding influence over the Princeps himself. it incurred aristocratic ire as it dimmed the Senate's power. and wrested control of the aerarium. and Paulinus. Thus. and when he arrived. Each of these was a quasi-minister with miniature ministries. On the domestic front. Crossing the Sahara. a senatorial. such as Corbulo. Though he was not hostile to it as a body. however. The Princeps had himself to manage all matters.

Commentary Augustus was probably the most important figure in Rome's history from 30 BCE to 100 CE. and so sent Plautinus to ready the troops on the coast in 43. in that while Augustus could maintain in his person an ad hoc collection of supreme powers based on his Auctoritas. due to his advanced age. as it had a coin. while cultural changes began in the older tribal areas along the two rivers--the Balkans at least were to become Latinized. whereas fullscale conquest was quite difficult. Pallas then suggested he marry Agrippina the Younger. and proceeded to adopt her ambitious son Nero. renamed the area Britannia. and named his son Britannicus. Pushing back the frontier to the Danube. in some areas thoroughly. Claudius received a triumph. and the solid beginnings of a professional civil service emerged by the 20s CE. Still. Also. In theory. though. Police actions seemed to suffice in this regard. In 44. and the Principate gave the Empire a lasting place in history. with years of experience of seeing Augustus make the Principate work. and was dead the next day. Plautinus then waited at the Thames until Claudoius arrived. He had Messelina killed after she publicly married her lover. gave the urban civilization of the Mediterranean basin--the core of the Empire--a new security. Finally in 54 CE. though the Teutoburgian Forest Massacre had been a disaster and Augustus forsook the notion of conquest to the Elbe. etc. no one who followed him would possess his social power and esteem--he was peerless. Tiberius' accession could have been flawless. it is difficult to fault him for shortsightedness or strategic mistakes. Roman troops crossed into Britain. the Praetorian Prefect named Nero as Princeps. He was an able general and administrator. Finally. who probably had plans to kill him in preparation for a joint usurpation. at which point Roman arms captured the capital. the German lands were so politically and socially disorganized as well as backwards that they did not yet threaten Gaul. though. From the start though. defeating the two sons and heirs of Cunobelinus.based economy and trade relations with Gaul. problems emerged. She then proceeded to kill several relatives that could prevent Nero's (and her) assent to power. and eastern England to submission. Still. becoming the pater patria--father of the country. His final two wives were the reason. Murder is quite likely. central. There appeared in Roman terms nothing to be gained from conquest there. He was also not without reputation. Plautinus then proceeded to reduce southern. Upon this. daughter of Germanicus.region was not totally Barbarian. He did this. the army was professionalized. Claudius sat down to a meal of mushrooms prepared by his new wife. Claudius' demise was unfortunate. In essence he solved the problem of how to govern Rome. Perhaps he was less than gracious in his relations with the Senate. Claudius wanted it. Augustus lived so . and the Senate agreed. and progressed from a bloody triumvir to a responsible governor. succession proved problematic. Augustus is attractive because he got better as he went along. As well. Militarily.

His father may have been killed by Tiberius. his lesser glamour combined with his decreased care for the appearance of collegiality with . they are pedagogically useful in that they make a simple point: the Principate was an advance to be sure. senators grew to resent the domination of the polity exercised by Tiberius in a way less subtle than his predecessor. leading to it's disbanding in the late third century.long that Tiberius waited in the wings for decades. Still. or even Sulla-style dictators. As a sort of king maker. the state could not function effectively without good Emperor-Senate relations. without army support. 1) Just as the Emperor now controlled the entire army in one person. Still considering their state a republic. unlike traditional consuls. he was undistinguished in this regard. 3) The Praetorian Guard had been established as a small. just as was his mother. Just as Rome was coopting aspects of Greek Hellenistic civilization. Perhaps it was because his life had been miserable until his ascent to power. the vicissitudes of Tiberius' rule and reputation show that a problem with the new system was that Emperors stayed in power until they died. cruelty. Caligula's fall and Claudius' rise indicates that it. Something that his Principate did begin to demonstrate. Caligula manifests the latent difficulties of the Principate clearly. As well. Finally. at this stage. In any event. as a whole. mostly related to his use of murder. and/or costly. though. and his older brothers were assassinated for political reasons. elite personal guard for the Princeps. there was simply no way to live up to Augustus' image. completely alienating them. and would fall precipitously. And whereas the Principate possessed a collection of powers elevating the Emperor beyond the level of primus inter pares. To a great extent. a strident assertion of superiority over the erstwhile Mediterranean power made it perilous for a high roman official to be to devoted to a Hellenistic renaissance. however. his negative representation in roman histories demonstrates two points: 1) The continuing penchant of Roman elites to privilege material and cosmetic concerns in social evaluation. In comparison to later rulers though. However. Indeed. Caligula's demise illustrates three key points. could become a political player in its own right. Any change was therefore to be violent. the Praetorian Guard would expand and abuse this role in the future. 2) Though pursuing the same policies of Augustus and developing continuations of his predecessor rather than innovations. while the Julio-Claudians have been criticized by both contemporary as well as modern historians. As regards Claudius. Most importantly. he took Tiberius' cool attitude to the Senate to its logical conclusion. at one time passed over as favored heir. 2) A Roman-Greek cultural animosity continued. a problem persisted in that the Princeps was too powerful and unchecked. There are no convincing reasons for Caligula's descent into depravity. and lust. especially in the person of the Praetorian Prefect. was the degree that the Senate and administration as a whole was in thrall to the Emperor. Claudius' physical infirmities hobbled him from the start in his relations with senators. He developed a terrible reputation in Senate histories. and Rome was politically stable with unchallenged external power. the Princeps was nothing.

He brought the Greek games to . and he altered the nature of the Princeps. and Claudius' son Britannicus was eventually killed in the jockeying for position. though not by intent. rather than drowning. he undermined the Senate. This was an odd policy. but that he and his successors would have to come to Rome to get his crown. While Seneca and Burrus controlled Nero to a degree. in 59. and decided to have her done in. Their efforts to get rid of her were increasingly confused. His ministers evolved an odd. In 59 CE. and was tutored by the Praetorian Prefert Burrus and the literateur Seneca. Claudius expanded the Empire and improved its administrative and fiscal effectiveness. Later. The Senate accepted Seneca and Burrus' cover-up. Nero and the 'Year of the Four Emperors' (54-69) Summary Nero's rule began well in 54. the Parthian king Voloqesus made his brother Tiridates the king of Armenia. a relatively major territorial/political gain. just as he opened the door to its ethnic evolution. Nero had ascended to the Principate at the age of sixteen. the term Imperator--Emperor--becomes truly appropriate to describe the status of Rome's ruler. a star in the ancient Hellenistic fashion. she swam to shore on the boat's collapse. b) his liberal granting of citizen rights and advocacy for Gaulic socio-political inclusion in Roman society. he feared his mother. he was able to chase Tiridates out of Armenia. In 55. On shore. and sent her home in a collapsing boat. First. During the winter a whole army surrendered to the Persians. These two helped him initially to make good on his promises of good government. she was finally beaten to death by sailors on Nero's orders.the Senate mean that from Claudius. In sum then. but worked for the next 200 years. the real Nero stepped forward. He was a Julio-Claudian descended from Mark Antony and Octavian. Henceforth he totally neglected military and provincial matters. and the years 55-61 were later called quinquennium Neronis. and c) his poor choice of marriage partners in Agrippina the Younger. Three further matters mark the Claudian era of rule: a) the Roman conquest of Britain. yet successful Parthian policy. and his mother Agrippina had assumed that she would rule through him. yet in the spring of 63. Nero's administration sent general Corbulo to the East to retrain the Syrian legions. and aroused the severe dislike of Seneca and Burrus. She had several of her relatives killed in her aspirations and paranoia. yet war with Parthia in 62 presented setbacks. Peace terms dictated that Tiridates could be king. In 58-59. writing poetry and playing the harp. In the last days of Claudius. she was driven from the palace. the Princeps had her over to dinner. This presented the dilemma to Rome of Parthia and Armenia becoming uncomfortably close. Corbulo drove the entire Parthian host out of Asia Minor. Nero's five good years. Also. he wanted to be known only as a showman.

they increasingly resented Nero's reliance on Near Eastern freedmen as army officers and senators. Nero proceeded to do . the Princeps elected to go to Greece and compete in the games there. These were the first recorded Roman persecutions of Christians. City-wide persecutions of Christians commenced. To deflect such criticisms. In 65. Rome burned. the year of a senatorial plot against Nero. on July 18. a relatively broad-based conspiracy emerged. Both they and the Jews were frequently mistrusted. he assumed the latter's father-in-law Corbulo was its leading figure. and began murdering those with wealth. He also insisted on better fire codes. he appointed as Praetorian prefects sinister characters such as Ofonius Tigellinus who were prepared to pander to his most base impulses.Rome and actually competed in them. Next. Yet his comment that the blaze provided an excellent opportunity for urban renewal. 64. Nero was away when the fire began. or stood by while it consumed Rome. who planned to seat C. providing relief to the newly homeless survivors. At this point. and are supposedly the ones in which Peter and Paul died. After the Rome fire. and whose wife Poppaea Sabina he took as a mistress. Matters began an unrecoverable downward spiral in 65. nineteen major Rome personalities were executed-including Seneca. and the general popular hatred of him. He then took his Hellenic addictions to new levels. Nero ordered him to commit suicide. Nero was totally out of control. Rome was scandalized by the public nature of his acts. After this Tigellinus was given free reign to conduct a purge. whom he sent to Lusitania as propraetor. with Tiberian-era treason trials returning en masse. It became increasingly widespread. and in the ensuing terror of vengeance. Hence the term Piso's Conspiracy. Hew then needed more funds. Calpurnius Piso as the new emperor. When Tiridates arrived for his crown in 66. Christians were smeared with lye and set afire in the Vatican arena. he was made to worship Nero as a god. After removal to Campania and a second conviction for adultery. She convinced Nero to divorce Octavia for sterility and adultery. Seneca retired from public life. he focused urban dislike on the Christians of Rome. Including the consul designate as well as co-Praetorian Prefect Rufus. imperial agents detected it. while seven more sustained serious damage. He killed Poppaea--who had encouraged Agrippina's murder in the first place-by kicking her during a pregnancy. it also embraced several senators. Under the direction of the city Prefect. others were used as animal bait in the Circus. daughter of Claudius. Nero had spent lavishly in restoring palaces and building himself new ones. The Roman nobility began to fear for their existence. Also in 62 he engineered the death of his wife Octavia. In the aftermath of a second coup attempt planned by Vinicianus. Poppaea's sympathy for the latter spared them. By the mid-60s. gave rise to the suspicion that he either started the fire. Then. yet returned and energetically tried to salvage the city. Three of its fourteen neighborhoods were totally razed. When Burrus died. Nero had a close friend named Otho. Octavia was killed. The night before the plot's implementation. Summoning him to Rome. As well.

but the latter withdrew his forces. or 'daggers' in Greek. He wrote letters to other Rhine generals suggesting that they unite against Nero. those of the lower classes had remained strictly orthodox in religion as well as cultural outlook. Nero was still in Greece at this time. and even appointed his oriental freedmen as generals. In the spring the southern Gaul (Gallia Luqduniensus) governor C. . By 68. Rather than patronizing it. This was the sign of open revolt. In early 69. The Praetorian Guard as well as the Senate accepted him. however. Temple sacrifice in the name of the Emperor ceased. the anti-Hellenistic component of the masses and priesthood revolted. He was supported by other Spanish governors. At this point. The army was no longer a pillar of the Principate. and committed suicide. so Vespasianus began by reducing the rural areas. Thus ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty. After riots in Jerusalem and Caesaria. Judaea re-emerged as a trouble spot. also declaring for the Senate. he avoided military camps. and sent the general Vespasianus to Syria in 67. as well as by some African propraetors. Judaea had come into the Empire peacefully under Pompei. with only 3. Jerusalem was fortified against Roman entry. Hailed by his troops as Caesar. Julius Vindex revolted. who secluded themselves from society into messianic communes. He was also a second-generation senator. While several members of the Jewish upper classes had undergone a willing process of cultural Hellenization. whereupon the revolt spread throughout Judaea and the Galilee. he proclaimed himself Princeps. and then everything slowed down. The Iberian (Hispania Terracomnius) governor S. Virgilius Rufus from Upper Germany responded to Vindex's letters by defeating him. as well as more militant anti-Hellenist/Roman groups such as the Sicarii. hoping to restore a kingdom along the lines of the Hasmonean dynasty. It had never stopped simmering since Caligula's blunders. As well. and he proclaimed himself Caesar. A member of an ancient senatorial family. Its administrator was the procurator in Caesaria. he had isolated Jerusalem.this with several generals from the upper and lower Rhine region. Early in 68 Nero had made off to Naples. No one stopped him. While the two raised armies. This was too civil a manner of revolt for Roman generals. in 66. These intra-Jewish tensions were matched by growing conflict between Jews and pagans. There were socio-economic tensions as well as religious problems. Originally. including civil disturbances. Sulpicius Galba revolted. At the beginning the procurator Gessius Florus called upon the governor of Syria for aid. At this point Galba went to Rome. claiming he was acting in defense of the Senate. as did previous Princeps. He was a Romanized Gaulic whose forebears had taken Claudius at his word. Nero saw he no longer had any support. there were radical Jewish groups-the Essenes and Dead Sea sect. L. In 66.000 troops. It had never felt the weight of conquest. becoming an imperial province under Augustus. All of Judaea was in arms at this point. Nero thus alienated the army as a whole. he declared no interest in rule.

Still. Vitellus had fled to Rome by now. He conquered all of Jerusalem after a grueling 139-day siege. and Primus followed him in force. Still. Rome was plundered by legionnaires on 22 December 69. and was somewhat popular in Rome. so declared Aullus Vitellus emperor in 69 as well. Vespasianus had left his sonTitus there. In the summer of 69 the latter proclaimed Vespasianus Emperor. The best. In the interim. M. after which the Guard caught and killed Galba. At what became known as Bedricum II. As regards Judaea. probably still hoping for financial reward. Antonius Primus. while his soldiers refused to defect. a Danube region general. yet Primus ultimately won. Thus. and continuing revolt of the Batavians on the lower Rhine. all the Rhineland and eastern Gaul was in arms. by the middle of 70. He never actually met Vitellus in battle. and Otho was eliminated at a battle remembered as Bedricum I. For the most part. M. An earlier protege of Nero. His opponent's remaining legions fought for Rome in a street-by-street manner. He took several Rhine legions to Italy to fight Galba. They were led by Civilus. The majority of Vitellus' officers went over to Primus. as well as up to three legions and several Gaulic tribesmen to join him. He faced two immediate problems: the Jewish Revolt in Judaea. and 2) he was Emperor just because of his troops and only his troops. he won the support of the Danube and Thrace area legions. The Praetorian forces were outnumbered five to one. and Vespasianus was installed as Princeps by the beginning of 70 CE. He left his son Titus in Judaea to deal with the Jewish Revolt and made for Rome. however. even while denuded of legions engaged in civil war. The latter had begun their uprising due to Primus' instigation so as to detain Vitellus Rhine area troops. A good general and a savvy politician. yet would not desist when told to do so by Antonius. which met Primus at Cremona. . Vitellus then went south to Rome and the Senate recognized him as Princeps. Salvius Otho--one of Galba's first supporters--went to the Praetorian camp and bribed the forces into recognizing him as emperor. Only with sustained efforts by fresh legions were the disturbances put down. most balanced man had won. He sent legions to Italy and also began revolts against Vitellus in the Italian towns. Vitellus reacted by dispatching an army to northern Italy. Batavians under Civilus terrorized the Rhineland. The Rhine legions were ill disposed towards him.Nero's death ushered in the Year of the Four Emperors. At this point the simmering enmity between the legions of the Rhine and those of Syria came into play. and he convinced the Roman auxiliaries. Early in 69. Vespasianus was therefore a good political general. Primus was victorious and his forces plundered for four days. Otho led the Praetorian Guard through Cisalpine Gaul to Cremona where he met Vitellus in battle. the Roman frontiers had remained stable throughout 69. Galba was weak as an emperor for two reasons: 1) he had no funds in the fiscus with which to keep his troops in line and bribe the Praetorian guard. all his military support was much farther away than was his opponent Vitellus. Otho was degenerate and ineffective. gave Vespasianus support and military muscle.

and along with their deployment away from home. Much booty was then taken to Rome. and the Senate's prerogatives were at least titularly still intact. the greatest weakness of the Principate was that when the Princeps lost army support. A fundamental change was effected along the borders. He was a provincial from the Sabine region. This was now ended. Ultimately. they were now commanded by Roman officers. His key mistakes therefore were first to ignore the army and then to begin killing its generals. and in theory. even turning against itself and arrogating to itself the prerogative of proclaiming emperors from within its ranks. he was one of Rome's most influential commanders and received command of the legions subduing the Jewish Revolt. in strongholds such as Masada and Gamla. the eventual victor of 69. The remaining Generals were forced into revolt either by a sense of Roman honor. In addition to founding a new dynasty. murdering much of the high priesthood and carrying others off into slavery. was a different sort of Emperor. even learning Greek. with the Temple tax now going to Rome. and invaded Africa. The Rhine revolt had shown the drawbacks of using auxiliaries in the regions from which they were recruited. and Judaea became a second-rate military province. he was a sixty-one-year old. mayhem ensued. Vespasian's reign was peaceful. During Nero's time. known for his parsimoniousness and good humor tempered by shrewdness. Vespasian had received an excellent education. the Jews were allowed to retain most of their privileges related to religious practice. His father had been an equestrian. With the exception of the Jewish Revolt and the Batavian confrontation. The Emperor was able to enforce his insistence that he be allowed to choose the proconsuls for provincial commands. which was somewhat rare for that era. or for self-preservation. following a publicani career under Augustus. A sequel to this will be seen in the third century. but not in formal terms. Bu the Senate was nothing like a partner to Vespasian. given the close military-Princeps relationship. had ascended to the level of consul. though. no added powers accrued to Vespasian than to his predecessors. and the Emperor was able to devote time to its organization. Change continued in other areas. The revolt lingered on for another three years. the army demonstrated its combination of neglect and contempt for the Senate and civilian population of Rome. Still. He expected them to obey his directives and they proved quite malleable. What was truly shocking.His forces then went out of control--they tore down and burned the Temple. He had commanded a legion in Britain. At the same time. and then the city. whose social origins were equestrian. The Principate survived. was that Augustus' professional army had gone totally out of control. Commentary That Neros' demise would emerge from the army is not surprising. a legion was stationed in the region under the legate Gessius Florus. ending . In 70 CE. Thus. Vespasianus.

Domitian was good at administration and retained the favor of the army. His son Titus was well prepared and passed through the proper cursus honorum. Like Vespasian. and the army was loyal throughout. Vespasian also tried to improve finances.any illusion of a diarchy. there were even small advances on the German frontier. Though Vespasianus was an autocrat and the illusions of the Augustus period were gone. In 80. but he was abrasive. and Vespasian was even able to entirely arrange an amicable succession prior to his death. gradually even . which was distributed loyally. A successful general who treated the Senate with respect (if not deference). a key example being in the aftermath of Mt. thus endowing Roman government with increased propriety. 81-96) succeeded him. clearly different from the other Flavians (the dynasty name is take from one of Vespasianus' names). As well. A new aristocracy of Italian town origins was established. Furthermore. Rome burned again. providing the second-century basis of civil administration associated with Rome's golden age. increasing provincial tribute. to be replaced by Italian town equestrians. including consulships and military commands. and boring. especially as regards his attitude towards the Senate. industrious. It is also important to remember that while Domitian was somewhat vicious and not nearly as respectful as Vespasian or Titus. and the provincial administration was cleaned up. and professionalism. the same basic policies were continued. Equestrians replaced freedmen as Principate secretaries. In 81 CE Titus died. He also ensured that the succession worked smoothly. and moderation. He increased the heavy reliance on the equites in imperial administration. and thus did not acquire the latter's political savvy. but effective. the Flavians represented the administrative class of equestrians from which they emerged. respectful autocrat. he saved the Empire from chaos. His younger brother Domitian (r. efficiency. The Short-Lived Flavian Dynasty: 69-96 CE Summary Vespasianus had become Emperor after the chaos of the post-61 Nero years and the 'Year of the Four Emperors'. the Princeps was a respectable. He also administered disaster relief. The imperial court of Rome was made more solemn. providing it instead with stability. He was. and did not gain Titus' education or experience. He gave gifts and military donatives upon his accession. The succession went off without a hitch. and this group began to monopolize government. though. Officials such as Trajanus and Agricola believed in public service. necessitating more disaster relief. with government efficiency and fiscal soundness growing. and from 65-96 CE. honesty. they were sober. In 79 he became Emperor. and treated the Senate well. 50% of the old senatorial families disappear. he restored stability to the throne and order to the Empire's workings. Vesuvius' eruption in 79-90. He had been kept in the background by his father.

with a kingdom ruled by Decebalus. on the Roman side of the Danube. the praetorian prefect. after a time lag. was seen by Romans as a defeat when employed on the Danube. the campaigns were not very satisfactory.lived fiasco. Wedged between these groups were the Dacians. the revolt convinced Domitian he could no longer trust the senatorial aristocracy. L. he attempted to bolster the frontier. Second. such as trying to name a month after him. execution. which had provided several legates. hedged by the Roxolani of the western Ukraine. while popularly accepted an acceptable tactic in the eastern reaches of Roman lands. and undertook to send subsidies--yearly protection money. revolted. however. Senate historians blackened Domitian's name and devoted little attention to his period.A. A strong warrior.moving into governor slots in senatorial provinces. but as the river thawed early that spring. He was an autocrat. and Domitian elected to make a treaty in 88-89. Around the same time. He was able to destroy a healthy chunk of the old senatorial aristocratic clans through exile. If this is true at all. while downstream were the Sarmatians. Thus. He had allied with the Barbarian Chatti across the Rhine. Indeed. First. he invaded Moesia (Bulgaria). he was able to lead large forces by example. He took the Agri Decumantes along the Danube. plundering heavily. Domitian's measure. In 85. accomplish some reasonable things. Saturninus. in 93. There were three main groups. a new Tiberius-style terror commenced. Around this time. and had some grandiose eccentricities. and expropriation of their material basis. Thus. They were the most advanced of the Barbarians. perhaps he was justified in his paranoia: in 96 he was assassinated by his wife. writers began to refer to him as psychologically unbalanced--Tacitus called him a paranoid monster. He did. Domitians death marked the end of the Flavians. Further. at times even leading legions. an imperial legate from the upper Rhine area. the Emperor eventually gave up on them and ruled without even the appearance of consulting them. . On the middle and upper Danube were the Marcomanni and Quadi. Both of the latter two were usually prerogatives of senators. Decebalus in turn promised peace. While the Romans did drive out the Dacians. Domitian collected his legions and went to war from 86-88. and the Roman mob rioted at the prospect of a new power vacuum. it only began after 93. The northern bank was increasingly congested with Barbarians. which shortened the line of the frontier. The revolt turned out to be a short. Yet despite its meagerness. of Transylvania. we know little of his actions. whereby he recognized Decebalus as a client king. Fearing conspiracies. they were unable to cross to assist him. Equestrians were also added to the Emperor's council--a sort of law court in which senators could even find themselves judged by the (assumedly) lower social status equites. Domitian was active near the Danube. the Emperor used treason charges to judicially murder his enemies. while at first DomitianSenate relations were characterized by irritation. and a palace visitor.

In peacetime. continual government beyond the clan. where bonds were now between man and lord. There were no surpluses. changes occurred in the next 250 years: A) Though kinship remained the primary bond. . such as arms. while middle Rhine groups incorporated into the Franks. longer serving war-chiefs. spurred by the desire to partake of Roman material culture. whose legitimacy ended after hostilities. 3) Divisions into numerous small tribes meant a lack of political cooperation. 4) There was no real. B) At the same time. gradually migrated from North Poland to the Ukraine. small tribes began to coalesce into supra-tribal groups. around one million.Commentary As events during Domitian's rule suggest. around this time the German Barbarians were becoming an unavoidable element in the Rhine-Danube areas. E) Increasing numbers of Germans began to serve as Roman auxiliary forces just beyond the Roman borders. coming to admire Roman society even more. domestic wares. more lethal warrior group came about. etc. the latter signaling the beginning of a small aristocracy. successful warrior chieftains took in younger aspirants. Goths and Vandals. as inter-tribe conflict increased. causing demographic pressure on the borders. Tacitus described the Germans again about 100 CE. Caesar first observed them in 51 BCE. Some even underwent a process of partial Romanization. C) Eastern German tribes. as the North Germans coalesced as Saxons. Cultivation was rudimentary given the hard clay soil and use of implements more suited to Mediterranean areas. They would elect temporary war chiefs. learning new tactics. consisting of ambushes and a mass charge. A kind of professional. pressuring the Danube frontier and settling north of the Black Sea. they were not a real danger to Rome: 1)Poverty ensured poor armor and weapons. who then raided and shared the booty with each other. Gradual. they were an iron-age culture emphasizing war. Small numbers were accepted for service with Roman legions. Living intermittently in settled forest clearings called hamlets. a new kind of political formation evolved: the Comitatus. For the first century CE. with blood-loyalty the basis for all bonds. D) Around 200. By the 300s there was a continual belt of barbarian tribes all along the Roman borders from the North Sea to the Black Sea. to the West of the Huns. and 2) they had limited tactics. and small scale German-Roman trade relations emerged involving cattle and slaves developed. tribal assemblies made up of all free men and warriors decided issues of peace and war. After Caesar had taken Gaul up to the Rhine. acquiring better materials. German tribes were clan-based. so population remained small. Southern Germans came together into the Alamanni. Without much occupational specialization. Some Germans began to come into contact with Roman civilization at border garrisons. they engaged in mixed subsistence cultivation of crops and animals. Older. tribes began electing fewer. expansion space was curtailed for the nomadic tribes. They greatly admired the material aspects of Roman culture.

Nerva took out an insurance policy of sorts. one of the Praetorian Prefects began complaining ominously that no one had prosecuted Domitian's killers. In this respect his situation was analogous to that of Galba in 68-69. His murderers and the Senate arranged the succession. During his two-year rule. roving societies traditionally do not tolerate population pressure. Nerva was advanced in age--66--and had no son. Nerva then calmed the Prefect by doing just that. These funds in turn were used to support poorer families and orphans. 2) In 98. The migrations have come to be known as the volkerwanderung.' What set off this very unfortunate demographic avalanche was not Barbarian anti-Roman animosity. and the pay-off from the loans went to the local towns and villages. which fell to M. who nonetheless held the throne as a rather weak place-holder. and then proceeded to bring back the previously exiled senators and cooperated with the Senate as a whole. a legion . in the fundamental division of antiquity between an urbanized. This was Trajan. these tribes represented the citadel of Barbarism ready to move. sedentary peoples to avoid encroachment by neighboring nomadic. Indeed. The interest was a low 5%. Rome's Halcyon Days: 96-161 CE Summary Domitian was disliked by all the elites. yet he had protected Rome's internal administration and the state's external posture. he was unrelated to any previous ruling dynasty and had no support group in the legions. Beyond that. Nerva undertook three popular measures: 1) He created the Alimenta. non-literate Barbarian world emerging from the steppe lands. transhuman groups. He also began to blacken Domitian's name. 3) Most importantly. The Empire faced no existential threats. Coceius Nerva. but were kept in line by a Roman elite desirous of stability. at times explosive migration of Germanic Barbarians into Roman territory that would end the placidity of the early part of Marcus Aurelius' reign (r. and a rural.It was the gradual. Latin civilization whose core was the Mediterranean basin. and was intelligent. 161180). 'wanderings of the peoples. It was a quite successful measure. by adopting a son with a strong military reputation. To a certain extent. and was well equipped to deal with any challenges. Thus. pastoral. a small agriculturalists' loan. making him unable to start a dynasty of his own. The new Emperor understood his status. In addition. nomadic. an eminent and admired senator. Small farmers were allowed to borrow funds from the imperial fisc up to 1/12 the value of their landholdings in order to improve their crops or implements. though. when he assumed the purple. agrarian-based. it was predetermined: a defining aspect of ancient and Medieval history was the inability of settled. some Syrian and Danubian legions moved towards revolt. He began by giving the legionnaires a pay raise. the sheer demographic pressure of the piling up of different Barbarian tribes served to encourage expansion: unsettled.

At the same time. Dacia proper was a fortress surrounded by mountains. The adoption was a brilliant move in that it calmed down Rome and removed anxiety about the future. reported back to it.formation. but the former sought the advice of the Senate. but it is also clear that Trajan wanted a conquest.commander in upper Germany. and the aristocracy quieted down. and spent ten years as a military tribune. as the Dacians were not entirely conquered. the practice of adopting powerful men as successors became common practice throughout the second century. it set a trend: several subsequent emperors adopted their successors as son shortly before their deaths. his family only moved into senatorial ranks under Vespasian. In 102 CE. this smoothed elite relations in Rome. He made a good impression on the capital city elites by entering Rome on foot. The conquest was extremely profitable in terms of slaves and gold. Trajan was the most famous Emperor in Roman historical memory after Augustus. Supposedly the campaigns against Dacia were undertaken as an effort to restore Roman honor after Domitian's failures. Nerva's adoption of Trajan was so popular. but the settlement did not last. He was from Iberia. Trajan's methods were as autocratic as Domitian's. Trajan was on the Rhine and returned to Rome in a leisurely manner. To conquer Dacia. Though the Julio-Claudians had adopted heirs on a few occasions. In 105. It was from this point that the Roman people and aristocracy came to view themselves as world-conquerors par excellence. Decebalus massacred a Roman garrison in the region and began raiding Moesia again. By the beginning of his rule he was already a rather eminent general. and the Emperor opened the region up to settlement. and this trend of non-Roman born emperors would expand in the future. Thousands of Latin-speaking peasants settled there. Though he did not at all need senatorial support. The new Emperor had followed the normal elite cursus honorum. in 106 Trajan took thirteen legions into Dacia. after which the entire area was annexed directly to the Empire. indicating a more cosmopolitan era in Roman elite. as the Barbarians of the region had become more popular in the second century CE. and wanted the booty that would come from control of this relatively wealthy region. Decbaulus committed suicide. beginning a trend that was to . ransacked Transylvania. in fact. Decebalus gave up and became a client king. The campaigns may also have been a preventative strike. As well. From a traditionally equestrian lineage. Nerva died in 98. it solved the problem of succession in an extremely popular manner. Thus. it was necessary to cross the Danube and then traverse open country in a forced march. Trajan took an army across the Danube and fought his way into Dacia. and socialized with senators. beginning the full-fledged process of Latinization of the region. Romans under Trajan received good government. but had a penchant for longterm military service. in that his family was neither from Rome nor Italy. completed over the next 150 years. and stormed the Dacian capital. He was a significant departure.based military reputation. He expressed his military side of himself early on in his Principate: he conquered Dacia for Rome.

and exempting Emperors from the fear of a senatorial conspiracy. Roman legions built barges and wagons. He was from the same town as Trajan and was of the appropriate aristocratic background. In 113. In the early 100s CE. government became increasingly smooth--imperial legates were professional. Furthermore. and won back for him a fair portion of those areas that had rebelled against Rome. JewishHellenistic animosity had simmered for the past century-and-a-half.000 people. In the winter of 115-116. The Parthian capital Ctesiphon was then captured and sacked. Since the 50s BCE Rome had been attracted to eastward expansion at Parthia's expense. in Cyprus in particular they were able to get control of the island and killed up to 250. but feeling himself insecure. In 116. In Cyrene. The next decade reinforced the conviction of Roman grandeur. In the process. 115 saw Roman troops east of the Euphrates. with Chosroes fleeing and Trajan annexing the area. While turning to deal with this in 117. to his legions. it would cause growing local resentment towards an increasingly obnoxious imperial bureaucracy. and Trajan cared for the bankrupt cities which had overspent on public building programs. installing his nephew as king of Armenia and ignoring the arrangement going back to Nero. difficulties emerged. and broke out in opposition to the Hellenistic communities surrounding them. Northern Mesopotamia was never fully restored. annexing mesopotamia in the North and Assyria to the South. the Emperor won him over. had done military service. In Syria. During 116. Trajan slowly moved east. He had completed the proper cursus honorum. Egypt. particularly in the East. however. Hadrain gave a double donative.last for some time. By promising the province of Parthia to Chosroes' son Parthamaspates. or accension gift. At this point. however. and a new revolt broke out. which they used in the spring to float down the Tigris. persistent difficulties in 116-117 weakened Trajan in terms of manpower and some prestige. the Parthian king Chosroes had acted without tact. but over time. Jewish groups in these areas had expected Trajan not to return West from Parthia. remaining noncommittal in response to Chosroes' peace envoys. this time among the Jewish communities of Cyprus and Egypt. Trajan was equal to the challenge. Trajan retrained the legions. the Alimenta was expanded. This was a good idea in that the curatores were efficient. after which he annexed Armenia in 114. and to reestablish fiscal soundness. and maintained realistic advances. he had communicated with Decebalus during the Roman-Dacian war. In 117 he was in Syria. and Trajan took Edessa and marched 150 miles more to Nisibis. Trajan suddenly had a stroke and died. The Emperor then proceeded to the Persian Gulf. and had governed two provinces. and a Parthian army appeared in the South. Parthamaspates fought for Trajan. the Jews massacred their Hellenistic neighbors in several areas. Still. He . the Praetorian Prefect Plotina stepped forward to attest that Trajan had adopted Hadrian as successor. the Praetorian Prefect was put under siege. The northern Mesopotamian cities began to revolt. Imperial curatores were sent to these areas to take over financial responsibility.

and was the greatest military building project of the era. improving aqueducts. A conspiracy of two generals against him early in his reign illustrated the mounting elite dissatisfaction with such policies. however. behind which was a stone and cement wall fifteen feet high. This was highly unpopular though. and Iberia. and suggested that Hadrian might have wanted to demote Italy's status to something just above that of a province. temples. evincing his cosmopolitan view of the Roman Empire--development of the provinces would weld the Empire together better. but since it had begun the process of Romanization. Hadrian still worked hard as an administrator. From 120-123 he visited the western and central provinces. Furthermore. as it derogated from senators' prerogatives. All this was accompanied by an increase in the size of the civil service and equestrian order. In 127 he toured Italy. In the Danube region. As well. and then went East again. he founded new towns. Hadrian initiated a civic building project. while from 123-125 he looked at the East. it. and this was to be one of his longest-lasting legacies. the coast of Gaul. eleven feet deep. In the eastern Greek cities. he negotiated with them. training. He was also responsible for the Roman wall in Britain. returning to Parthian rule the lands east of the Euphrates. Near approximations of the wall were built along sections of the German border. This was a reasonable move in that Rome had never been able to convincingly maintain its power there. inspecting it. who had been accustomed to not seeing emperors unless they were passing through on their way to war. Sprinkled along this were observation and signal towers.three miles long. It consisted of a big ditch. Hadrian divided peninsular Italy into four judicial circuits. and impressed the provincials. in order to delegate administrative responsibility and relieve Italian townspeople from the need of traveling to Rome for court cases. 2) He opposed the eastern expansion too. as well as sixteen major forts. he was convinced to desist from further withdrawal here. and broke up Barbarian communications. Hadrian was now at peace with his neighbors. . yet it was not designed as the type of wall to be held for an indefinite period against a determined enemy. paying particular attention to Greek culture. While up until Hadrian senators had come mostly from Italy. he took lots of time receiving petitions from the provinces. even maneuvering with the soldiers and eating rations with them. He also visited the army camps and would climb mountains just to see the sun rise. He spent much time and money on the army. It stopped Barbarian raiding parties. so the question was what to do with his time and the Empire's wealth? He went on a tour. and basilicae. near Scotland. 3) Hadrian also wanted out of Dacia. and withdrew Roman troops from northern Mesopotamia. He went without a large retinue. roads. several Greeks were now appointed to the Senate. with little fuss. visiting its great Hellenistic cities. Hadrian's Wall was seventy.went back on Trajan's policies in the realm of military expansion: 1) instead of making war on the Sarmatian tribes in the Danube area. historical markers.

virtually nothing of note appeared to occur within Rome or on its borders. Additionally. If peace be the measure.The only major disturbance during Hadrian's reign was again related to the Jews. land transport was rather slow. Lacking the stirrup as well. The barrel was still in the future. By 135. they also lacked stoppers. The British general Severus was brought in. being of the increasingly predominant country gentry of southern Gaul. the disinterest in economics and sociology by that period's historians. Commentary Though extremely important for a grasp of this era's history as a whole. with Aelia Capitolina being built and no Jews allowed in Judaea. quite well liked. by contrast.without Jews. also hindered other liquids' preservation. and liquids presented challenges of transport and storage. and a guerrilla war ensued. and the promise of a great successor. but was ridden without a collar. in addition to preventing the aging of wine. which. destroyed in 70 CE. fearing conspiracies. given the lack of conquests during his reign. Hadrian was hated by the Roman elite at his demise. the revolt was over. The main draft animal was the oxen or donkey. When the emperor visited Judaea in 130. though wooden ships sailed the Mediterranean. such as wood. stone. He had executed his two successor candidates. His idea was to rebuild it. he found Jerusalem in desolated ruins. The common brick was not innovated until the time of Tiberius. Still. The ancient world was composed of naturally occurring substances. There was peace. though the prohibition was impossible to enforce fully. His successor Antoninus Pius almost refused Senatorial investment when the latter would not deify Hadrian. but metal supplies were restricted due to its high cost. thus forcing the aristocracy to relent. Crafting consisted of metalworking. given the antiquity of it all. He also agreed to abolish Hadrian's four-way administrative division of Italy. plant and animal fibers. The horse was not used as a draft animal. the ancient world was generally of low-technology. of clothing. there was the dying. it was the hey-day of Rome. In short. Thus. A Roman legion was soon destroyed. and Hadrian went to Antioch with six supporting legions. As well. Antoninus was. and glass. it was somewhat ineffective in this role. seeing military service as light cavalry. financial savings. the outlines are helpful. the increasingly intrusive civil service. and the large jugs called amphora were unwieldy--too large to be used for two-way transportation. Hadrian then died in 138. This was the result of a paucity of ideas on how to alter matter. which was supported by several in the rabbinical class who viewed the uprising in messianic terms. a new temple to Jupiter was to be built on the site of the old Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Roman social and economic history is rather difficult to target. During his twenty-three-year rule (138-161). making it a new Jerusalem--Aelia Capitolina-. and suggestions of Italy's diminution within the Empire. These plans elicited an organized revolt under the Jewish leader Bar Kokhba. On the water. and the lack of recovered statistics. good government. . pottery. in the person of Marcus Aurelias.

it was ten times as large as its biggest competitor. but they were successful enough to generate a surplus leading to the emergence of cities. easily eroded. Antiquity existed between the sea and the mountains. These cities literally needed the estates and hinterlands for food. To the ancients. with only the Barbarians drinking beer. 2) urban areas were .they were small. Urban areas with mineral supplies in the hinterland could also grow larger. Ancient agriculture had been invented in the Near East and transported west. The ancient city was a natural unit of two components joined organically: the urban center. There were large number of free and semi-free peasants. While olive cultivation provided a source of fat and illumination. Rome may have contained one million inhabitants. On the whole. the ancient world's population was small. except for in Egypt. and possessed silver mines. and owned estates--latifundia--in the hinterland. even at the height of the latifundia. hence the use of expansion. with no oats yet. slow. and were without compasses. Cities had 4 roles: 1) it was the center of effective government and law. Significantly. Most lived on the coastal plain until the time of Caesar and Augustus. had a primitive sail complement. the cities nevcer outgrew the productivity of the estates. Such an agricultural system was based mostly on hand labor. which developed naturally. To get so large and support so many hungry mouths. as the transport of foodstuffs was considered too expensive--wheat double in price every 300 miles. Rome squeezed other regions of the Empire in the form of tribute and taxes. The economic basis of life here was agrarian. Thus. Macedonia was highly urbanized. the city was not the amount of people. consisting mostly of a narrow coastal plain surrounding the Mediterranean. Some urban areas were larger. The main drink aside from water was wine. being cereals such as wheat and barley. and would pull up on beaches during the night. and were always in fear of getting lost. If this was the case. We are not sure of the effectiveness of these agricultural methods. and what emerged was a seasonal tempo to both commerce and warfare. Mediterranean sailors stayed within sight of the coast.000 people. Indeed. The hills were comparatively naked. but good soil was not common. They also preferred the shortest crossings of open water. The simple scratch plough was good for gardens. Military expansion also aided city growth. Alexandria. but the quality of life.00020. and the agricultural hinterland. and estates were also worked by tenants. perhaps only amounting to 50 million. with months elapsing before the arrival of news from the eastern Mediterranean and Parthia. and proved fragile. The standard size of a large town was 7. The people in the towns were comparatively wealthy. Thus. The ancient world was also restricted geographically. and impinged upon the trade lanes. The crops thus worked for the area. it was a small place. As well. with a rainy season inhibiting planting and further eroding the soil. and Romans also used it for light soil. free peasants persevered. and Rome. unless they were by the sea. the Mediterranean basin was mostly a dark world. sailing in winter was almost unheard of. such as Carthage.

but also towards the provinces as a whole. trade was extensive. There were a few exceptions. One example was Aretium. they were often outside society as understood by its pillars. equestrians. artisans were without social status. with temples and deities. yet within fifty years the technology had diffused to other regions. Cities were not centers of economic production. employing only family members. Thus. Whereas urban merchants could be wealthy. Thus ancient cities became nodes in the trade system. and by the Flavian era Aretium had lost its prominence. It became popular immediately. and was exported all over the ancient world. and guilds were organized. Around 30 BCE. and a few instances of guild activity. This attitude. and connected to India from Octavian's time. In Rome. There were only small shops. This was indeed somewhat parasitic and exploitative both vis-a-vis the agricultural hinterlands. and consisted f foreigners such as Greeks and Easterners. There was no self-sustaining motor economically speaking. Samianware was the commercial name of the product. Roman elites looked down on the mercantile classes. as well as taxes accruing to government systems. What emerged was a Mediterranean trade complex extending to Egypt. minerals. sustained the underdevelopment of the Roman economy. Great cities like Rome were atypical also in that they had a modest amount of artisanal activity. and were ill regarded by the elites. and Roman leaders often did not think in economic terms. they occupied an anomalous social position. Shops with up to fifty-eight slaves emerged. the economic basis of cities was the income rural landlords could bring into the city from their estates. the potter artisans of this city discovered terra sigillata. but only of consumption. Actually. and hides. The western provinces exported raw materials and imported manufactured goods from the East. and the paucity of technology and manufacturing. or veteran centurions. Italy imported and exported handicrafts and some luxury items to the lesser developed regions and Barbarian elites. a red glazed tableware.cultural/cultic centers. In short. elites consisted of patricians and senatorial families. Spain exported wine. 4) cities were also the place to purchase the consumer goods appropriate to these elites. and enjoyed peace and economic growth--this is not the same as development--at the expense of the surrounding areas. By and large. elites consisted of latifundia owners and owners of medium-sized estates. olive oil. in addition to freedmen. in addition to traditional societal leaders whose sustenance was not from land. As in the medieval era. In contrast. be they senators. Rome was under-productive. Also. . 3) it was the place where the better sort of people lived. with equities becoming increasingly prominent.

so much so that interest rates went up. but by offering each member of the Guard 15. the first time a Roman consul had done so in twenty years. a sui generus. Second. He needed to change the government in a way that could guarantee army loyalty and create a system to professionally govern the empire. On January 27 Octavian went before the Senate and gave up all his extraordinary and possessions. Claudius had been kept in the dark for decades. Still. 2. Describe the measures Augustus took to reestablish political stability and explain how he changed the government and the army. Octavian needed to restore the confidence of the people and aristocracy in him and Rome. the senators asked him to take control of Iberia. Octavian had quite a task in front of him. The Senate. Octavian's largest task lay ahead. but he now led an empire that had been at war for about 50 years. he had to ensure a smooth succession. he took a census. Also the Senate continued to vote him consulships. yet was a decent Princeps. a near deistic appellation showing their gratitude. the Gauls. accepted Claudius with Herod Agrippa's intervention. he had to do away with the Republican form of government. and whose proconsuls had armies loyal to them alone. First. along with naming him Augustus. which could not suit an empire. Explain his rise to power and his accomplishments. Why was he successful?. Octavian remained at home in 28. Because of his auctoritas. Not only was he seen as a bloody ex-triumvir. he was murdered by the Guard. he got their support. Confidence was restored. Militarily.Study Questions 1. What was his undoing? Answer for Study Question #2 After Caligula had insulted his empire and in particular an officer of the Praetorian Guard. he was weakened by physical disabilities. At 50. gradual process whereby the Princeps. Lastly. Answer for Study Question #1 After the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE. and Syria. he had to avoid offending the aristocracy. which was debating the return to republic. In order to restore roman confidence. All the while. His idea was the Principate. his accomplishments included conquering Britain in 44 . Also. or first citizen. they found Claudius hiding behind a curtain. in 41 CE. gained more power over time without offending the sensibilities of the republican minded senators. and had not the system of government to prevent future conflict.00 denarii. by reducing the number of legions from 60-28 he reduced the risk of war for a people tired of it. the first in 70 years. and while they searched the palace. and.

his secretaries died quite rich. around one million. expansion space was curtailed for the nomadic tribes. This further snubbed the Senate. they engaged in mixed subsistence cultivation of crops and animals. In peacetime. and alienated the Senate due to his methods. For the first century CE. 4) There was no real. He also attracted other good generals. and 2) they had limited tactics. 2) deactivated magistracies duplicating imperial offices. continual government beyond the clan. Some Germans began to come into contact with Roman civilization at border garrisons. so that he could be emperor. he both made the civil service more powerful and efficient. His undoing was his second wife Agrippina. domestic wares. they were not a real danger to Rome: 1) Poverty ensured poor armor and weapons. Pallas was in charge of finances. causing demographic pressure on the borders. Living intermittently in settled forest clearings called hamlets. They greatly admired the material aspects of Roman culture. Small numbers . he changed the nature of the Principate. so population remained small. she was quite ambitious and wanted her son Nero to be adopted by Claudius. and the annexation of Thrace. he put equestrian prefects in senatorial provinces to monitor the financial situation there. There were no surpluses. 3.with the help of Plautinus. This increased efficiency. making it more autocratic. By 150 CE. On the administrative side. Narcissus was in charge of correspondence. They would elect temporary war chiefs. and 4) as he withdrew behind his secretariats. such as Corbulo and Vespasianus. etc. but offended the senatorial class because 1) he revived the censor to eliminate bad senators. Agrippina actually caused Claudius to ruin many a career. tribal assemblies made up of all free men and warriors decided issues of peace and war. they were an iron-age culture emphasizing war. the annexation of Mauretania by Paulinus. allowing her to rule through him. such as arms. Without much occupational specialization. Further. who he married on Pallus' advice. The daughter of Germanicus. Also. 3) Divisions into numerous small tribes meant a lack of political cooperation. He set up secretariats. and finally murdered him in 54 CE. Cultivation was rudimentary given the hard clay soil and use of implements more suited to Mediterranean areas. what was the status of Germanic society and what kind of threat did it present to Rome? Answer for Study Question #3 German tribes were clan-based. whose legitimacy ended after hostilities. with blood-loyalty the basis for all bonds. After Caesar had taken Gaul up to the Rhine. 3) allowed some Gaulics to become quaestor. having started as freedmen. and Callistus dealt with legal matters. consisting of ambushes and a mass charge.

What explains the recurrent disturbances among the Jews in Palestine. learning new tactics. to the West of the Huns. the latter signaling the beginning of a small aristocracy. Gradual changes occurred in the next 250 years: A) Though kinship remained the primary bond. gradually migrated from North Poland to the Ukraine. more lethal warrior group came about. Older. and what was its resolution by the time of Hadrian? . Egypt and the Aegean from the 40s-120s CE? What were the components of the problem. B) At the same time. and inner nature. as inter-tribe conflict increased. Goths and Vandals. and small scale German-Roman trade relations emerged involving cattle and slaves developed. tribes began electing fewer. acquiring better materials. who then raided and shared the booty with each other. Some even underwent a process of partial Romanization. a new kind of political formation evolved: the Comitatus. longer serving war-chiefs. pressuring the Danube frontier and settling north of the Black Sea. How did the Princeps evolve into an Emperor? 5. successful warrior chieftains took in younger aspirants. 4.were accepted for service with Roman legions. How would you characterize the Roman economy? What were the foundations of society and economy in Roman antiquity? 7. What were Mark Antony and Octavian's comparative strengths and weaknesses? How did each go about trying to secure victory in their struggle? 8. stages of creation. C) Eastern German tribes. and how did it play out? 10. spurred by the desire to partake of Roman material culture. D) Increasing numbers of Germans began to serve as Roman auxiliary forces just beyond the Roman borders. What were some of the major problems eliciting the formation of the Principate? 6. A kind of professional. Describe the Principate. in terms of its origins. where bonds were now between man and lord. Who were the rising social classes of the period 30 BCE-100 CE and how did they get where they were going? 9. coming to admire Roman society even more. What was the Year of the Four Emperors? What caused it.

adoption (B) Septimius Severus. 120s CE Who was Caligula's successor. adoption (C) Claudius. Sarmatians. 100 CE (C) Quadi. Praetorian selection The Flavian emperors were of what background? (A) Balkan. Senatorial election (D) Claudius. tribal Augustus' reforms did not include (A) boards (B) military reorganization (C) religious freedom (D) new coinage . 160s-80s. Marcomanni. the method of imperial succession was (A) Hereditary (B) Senatorial acclamation (C) Adoption (D) Legion decision Who were the first Germanic Barbarians to invade Roman lands and when? (A) Franks. CE (D) Angles and Saxons. 57 BCE (B) Marcomanni. commercial (B) Iberian.Review Test The chief threat to Rome's eastern borders in the 160s were the (A) Marcomanni (B) Parthians (C) Goths (D) Sassanids In the time of Marcus Aurelius. military (C) Italian provincial equestrian (D) Gaulic. and how did he become Emperor? (A) Trajan.

and general lack of warfare ion imperial territory (B) treaties between Roman co-emperors in East and West (C) Roman-Barbarian agreements for settlement in return fo military service (D) The Church's corporate status ion Rome Latifundia began as (A) Emperor's estates administered by decurions (B) provincial notables' large agricultural estates worked by landless peasants (C) regions settled by Barbarians. from which they received share of agricultural surplus (D) North African Grain Reserves The Parthians were (A) Eastern Danubian tribes of slavic origin (B) Dacian troops pushing far west (C) a pacifist Persian dynasty overthrowing the Sassanids (D) Rome's chief Eastern enemy The Triumvirate was (A) Tiberius' sharing of power with his adopted half brothers (B) Pompei's sharing of power with Augustus and Caesar (C) Vespasian's bequest of power to four families (D) Temporary cooperation among Marcus Antonius. Octavian. order.Pax Romana refers to (A) Strong Roman administration. and Lepidus When as the Jewish revolt? (A) 68-71 CE (B) 41-43 CE (C) 116 CE (D) 62 BCE Christianity's status under Nero was (A) the new imperial cult (B) tolerated but illegal (C) the official state religion (D) persecuted In the eyes of Roman society. craftsmen were (A) equal in status to equites .

(B) to swear they used proper coinage (C) seen as a lower social class (D) sons of the Church Praetorian Prefect was (A) Chief of staff of all Roman forces (B) Latin generals serving as Imperial aides (C) commander of elite palace guard (D) The crown prince Which of the following is not a reason Germanic tribes presented little danger to Rome prior to 200 CE? (A) They were impoverished (B) rulership was excessively centralized (C) internal fighting was rampant (D) The Roman garrisons kept them at bay Comitatus was (A) the council in which imperial decisions were taken (B) Large German armies under tight German king control from 200 (C) Church conventions from 325 in Nicaea (D) Small. tightly organized Germanic raiding groups from the 200s Who brought Rome's borders to the German lands? (A) Pompei (B) Varrus (C) Germanicus (D) Caesar Why was Agrippina murdered? (A) Sterility (B) She conspired against Nero (C) Nero feared her and was influenced by his advisers (D) She disliked Mark Antony What was Cleopatra's role at Actium? (A) Naval deployment (B) desertion (C) treason (D) mediator .

required to provide military service (D) From beyond Roman boprders. coopted into service under legionary commanders and tribal lords. took advantage of position (D) last consul Alimenta was begun under (A) Trajan (B) Hadrian (C) Claudius (D) Nerva When was the first recorded persecution of Christians by Rome? (A) 33 CE . Sejanus was (A) Augustus' comrade (B) Caligula's tutor (C) Boon companion of Tiberius. and possibly as a safe haven (D) Rome was barbarous Who conquered Dacia? (A) Camuldunom (B) Decebalus (C) Trajan (D) Domitian When was the second Jewish revolt? (A) under Caligula (B) under Nero (C) Under Hadrian (D) Under Vespasian What were the auxiliaries? (A) non-Italian Roman citizens (B) barbarians settled outside Roman borders. selling goods to state merchants (C) Barbarians settled within Roman lands from the 50s.What was the Barbarian attitude to Rome? (A) Awe and resentment (B) attraction and unquestioning loyalty (C) material attraction.

(B) 68 CE (C) 65-67 CE (D) 118 CE The Principate began to emerge in (A) 29 BCE (B) 23 BCE (C) 27 BCE (D) 14 BCE Equites were (A) Emperor's cavalry (B) Gaulic clients (C) Knights-turned businessmen from Italian towns. supporter (C) Germanicus' wife (D) Nerva's adopted heir Munda (A) Began the Antony-Octavian conflict (B) Last Caesar-Pompei era battle (C) The Princeps mint (D) Aeretium's glassware Britain was conquered in (A) Caligula's reign (B) Domitian's reign (C) Claudius' reign (D) Caesar's consulship . (D) Armenian sovereigns Bedricum II was in (A) 69 CE (B) 7 CE (C) 30 BCE (D) 44 BCE Agrippa was (A) Mark Antony's lieutenant (B) Octavian's chief companion.

Who was not one of the Four Emperors? (A) Galba (B) Otho (C) Primus (D) Vespasian When did Caesar die? (A) 15 March 47 BCE (B) 1 March 44 BCE (C) 15 March 44 BCE (D) 33 BCE The core of Roman society was (A) Asia Minor and Italy (B) Italy (C) The Mediterranean Basin (D) Italy. and Iberia Who put down the Jewish Revolt? (A) Vespasian (B) Florus (C) Hadrian (D) Titus Who killed Claudius? (A) Agrippina (B) Poppaea (C) Sejanus (D) Antoninus Pius What was the importance to Rome of North Africa? (A) Preventing a Carthaginian resurgence (B) Money tribute supporting the Roman economy (C) grain and other foodstuffs (D) gold and slaves Marcus Aurelius (A) gave Roman citizenship to all in the empire (B) was Balkan in origin . Gaul.

to be applied to all (C) based on place of origin (D) heavily Christian by 450 By 96.(C) was the son of Italians who settled in Iberia (D) died from the plague Until 7 CE Augustus' goal in Germany was (A) Annexation to Oder (B) withdrawal (C) the border on the Elbe (D) Veterans' colonies The foundation of Roman law was (A) avoidance of blood-feuds (B) impersonal. the Senate (A) was almost entirely Barbarian (B) Mostly Patrician (C) a king-maker (D) mostly equestrian When did Rome burn? (A) 69 CE (B) 29 BCE (C) 98 CE (D) 64 CE Marcomanni were (A) Dacian refugees (B) Parthian horsemen (C) Germanic tribals along Danube-Rhine (D) Italian peasants Germans learned of Rome (A) through conquest (B) as slaves (C) through trade and auxiliary service (D) as new citizens .

and later adopted heir (B) cousins (C) father and son (D) servant and master Hellenism attracted (A) Caligula (B) Nero (C) Caligula and Nero (D) Burrus and Seneca (E) Aspirantion The Praetorian Guard was (A) a group of papal officers provided by Constantine (B) an elite corps of palace guards from Praetus (C) Palace guards all of Italian birth who ended up making and unmaking emperors. eliminated by 200 Claudius was disliked (A) because he was too Hellenistic (B) because he was of non-Italian birth (C) because he allowed the Jews to rebuild their Temple (D) because he was infirm and ignored the Senate Who was the most favorite emperor after Augustus? (A) Vespasian (B) Trajan (C) Antoninus Pius (D) Hadrian Who innovated a standing army? (A) Marius (B) Agrippa (C) Augustus (D) Caesar Otho became emperor through (A) battle (B) bribery .How were Caesar and Augustus related? (A) nephew.

Webster. 1989. 1979. The Augustan Aristocracy. The Emperor in the Roman world (31 BC--AD 337). The Roman Revolution. & H. 1975. Structure and Scale in the Roman Economy. A.B. New York: Arno Press. 1939. R. Scullard. London: Routledge. A History of Rome Down to the Reign of Constantine. Cambridge. The Failure of the Roman Republic.F. 1998. . 1992 Brunt. London: Oxford University Press.H. Norman: University of Oklahoma.(C) birth (D) acclamation What was not one of Augustus' reforms? (A) army (B) Rome administration (C) calendar (D) career paths of senators Further Reading Cary. London: Oxford University Press. The Roman World: 44 BC--AD 180. Goodman. Ltd. New York: Penguin. Imperium Romanum: Politics and Administration.M. Smith. Third ed. London: Routledge. 1998.A. Norton and Co.J. Augustus. 1986.W. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1990. E. Syme.. The Roman Imperial Army of the First and Second Centuries AD. 1990. Syme. P. G. London: Routledge..G. London: Oxford University Press.H. Duncan-Jones. Millar. 1970. 1997. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. The Penguin Atlas of Ancient Rome. Jones. Chris. F.E. Scarre. Norman.W. A. Salmon. R. Lintott. 1995. Norman: University of Oklahoma. 1993. London: Macmillan Education. Keppie L. New York: W. R. Roman Imperial Themes. A History of the Roman World: 30 BC to AD 138. The Making of the Roman Army: From Republic to Empire.T. R. M.