By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
Roman Republic (510 - 27 BC)
The Roman Republic (510 - 27 BC) was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a republican form of government.
The republican period began with the overthrow of the Monarchy in 510 BC and lasted until its subversion, through a series of civil wars, into the Roman Empire.
The three wars between Rome and Carthage (North Africa), known as the Punic Wars, established the foundation for Roman imperialism.
Rome and Carthage lived in peace with each other until their empires came into contact through mutual expansion and their contact at Sicily ignited into war. The empire based at Carthage (600 - 500 BCE) included the North African coast, Corsice, Sardinia, parts of Spain and much of Sicily. Carthage was the second most populous city of its time after Alexandria. The Carthageans were successful commercial people, and Carthage was the richest in the ancient world. Their industry aimed at mass-production and cheapness rather than beauty. They exploited the caravan routes of Egypt and African and sailed to Britiain and Senepal. Carthage exploited the habitants of its empire. The natives of Sardinia and Spain were exploited commercially and forced to supply mercenary troops.
1st cent BC Roman grave relief of a warrior. Shows warrior dressed in curirass and helmet leaning on his spear before a funerary stele. Serpent symbolizes soul of deceased. Relief is "archaising" and imitates Greek 5th cent BC sculpture. British Museum, GR 1905.10-23.1.
First Punic War
264 - 241 BC
In the First Punic War (264 - 241 BC) the Romans scored victory. The city of Carthage remained unconquered and its merchant fleets continued to generate wealth. Hannibal was one of history's great generals. He had great tactics and strategies. However, he based his strategy on incorrect assumptions. Because Carthegian empire was based on the conquest and exploitation of the subject peoples, these oppressed people were waiting for any opportunity to revolt against their masters. Hannibal assumed that the Roman Empire as similar.
218 - 201 BC
Following their assassination, the Republic went into a dog-eat-dog era of politics which culminated with the transition into an empire.
44 BC - 27 BC
The precise date in which the Roman Republic changed into the Roman Empire is a matter of interpretation, with the dates of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium (September 2, 31 BC), and the date which the Roman Senate granted Octavian the title "Augustus" (January 16, 27 BC), being some of the common choices.
27 BC - AD 476
The Roman Empire was ruled by a monarch bearing the title of emperor. This was established by Julius Caesar's adopted son, Gaius Octavius (Octavian), in 27 BCE when he was renamed Augustus and he was deemed emperor. This monarchy survived until 476 of the Common Era, the fall of the Roman Empire.
The 'Tetrarchy' of two emperors, one in the east one in the west, with two heir-apparents.
Emperor in the west.
Independent empire based mainly in Britain. Mints at London and Colchester.
Defeated Allectus in battle near Silchester in AD 296. Died in York.
Constantine the Great
Proclaimed emperor in York. Adoption of Christianity as the state religion.
Controlled the western provinces.
Controlled the central provinces.
Dealt with the barbarian menace.
Last coins to enter in quantity.
Rome unable to defend Britain.