Chapter 10 (tenth reading): the decline of the republic and the founding of the principate (149-21) bce . In the second century bce, rome became the most powerful state in the mediterranean world, and even though we still call it a republic, it amassed an empire of provinces extending from spain to anatolia. From one crisis to the next (149-88 bce) : a number of problems that had been developing for some time since rome had so much land. The failure of roman methods for administering the provinces and a crisis in military recruitment methods became so serious they threatened the existence of the. Tithe system: farmers paid one-tenth of their annual crop in taxes. This was in more economically sophisticated provinces. g. ii. Tributum: a form of tax that is a fixed rate no matter how good or bad the province is doing economically. The tribute system was in less economically developed provinces.