Civil War in the last 100 years of the Republic
Key Theme: Land and Soldiers
Examples: Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Caesar
Cicero on Caesar
Brilliant general leader, who fixed the broken Republic, only to be treacherously
Or vain, power-mad, selfish murderer, justly assassinated for assuming monarchal
Or just a “great man” of history?
Decline of the Republic: Major Issues
Land: Patricians (wealthy elite) (wealth was based on their landholding, they were
typically not mercantile agents) they scoop up “public land”
Land and Soldiers: Property needed to enlist in army, veterans want land upon
retirement. To qualify to serve as a soldier, you need to own land; hence the peasant-
solider was endangered.
Soldiers and Generals: Armies more loyal to leader than country. Persistent problem
with soldiers identifying with their army more than their country. This allows for the
possibility for civil warfare to arise.
Tribune Power: Full use of tribuneship bestowal of favors to masses= potential clients.
Senatorial class often suspected tributes to use their power to get their way unfairly.
Gracchis uses the tribute used it to force through reforms and decisions he thinks
Italian Allies: Want more political rights (full citizenship). The senatorial class was
Equestrians vs. Patricians “publicani” issues
Assassinations, mobs, civil warfare, proscriptions
133: Tiberius Gracchus assassinated
-Decade later so is Gaius Grachus 80s: Civil War: Sulla & Marius
-Sulla becomes dictator
70’s and 60’s: Rivalry of Pompey the Great, Crassus
60: First triumvirate’:
Issue: Granting of public land to small farmers/potential soldiers
Patrician landholders resist
-So T.G uses shortcuts: senate not consulted; fellow tribune deposed
*Senate fears TG’s patronage power will grow
Tiberius killed in mob violence
Tribune ten years after brother
Grain given out, or prices fixed
Equestrian publicani control extortion court (law court designed to prosecute the
patrician class if they had serve