History UsefulNotes / TheRomanRepublic

8th Jul '17 1:39:21 PM nombretomado
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The second one is the overthrow of the Tarquins. The Romans were once TheKingdom ruled by this Etruscan family. Their last King was the tyrant Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud). This King was overthrown by conspirators from the aristocrat family, led by Lucius Brutus. After overthrowing the King, he and his fellow aristocrats swore a vow that Rome would never be ruled under a King. They formed what they called a ''respublica'' (literally, "Thing of the People"), from which we gain the term "Republic." Rome was organized as an oligarchy with [[AristocratsAreEvil the Aristocracy, called patricians]], controlling the "Senate" (derived from ''senex'', meaning "old man"), though the public had some say on the issues through the tribunes[[note]]This office was created about 250 years after the republic's founding. Details are at TheOtherWiki.[[/note]] (lit. Protector of the People) who had veto power over the Senate, as well as the less formal ability to beg favors from their patrons. This organization is reflected in the famous Roman slogan SPQR which stands for ''Senatus Populusque Romanus,'' or "The Senate and People of Rome." TheRepublic in social structure was quite family-oriented with various clans becoming centers of webs of patronage, a patron/client relationship that has modern answers in political machines and TheMafia. While Rome's system was oligarchical by modern standards it had [[FairForItsDay for its time]] a reputation for justice and stability and its elaborate checks and balances were often admired by Greeks whose cities were often troubled by [[WeAreStrugglingTogether chaos]].

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The second one is the overthrow of the Tarquins. The Romans were once TheKingdom ruled by this Etruscan family. Their last King was the tyrant Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud). This King was overthrown by conspirators from the aristocrat family, led by Lucius Brutus. After overthrowing the King, he and his fellow aristocrats swore a vow that Rome would never be ruled under a King. They formed what they called a ''respublica'' (literally, "Thing of the People"), from which we gain the term "Republic." Rome was organized as an oligarchy with [[AristocratsAreEvil the Aristocracy, called patricians]], controlling the "Senate" (derived from ''senex'', meaning "old man"), though the public had some say on the issues through the tribunes[[note]]This office was created about 250 years after the republic's founding. Details are at TheOtherWiki.Wiki/TheOtherWiki.[[/note]] (lit. Protector of the People) who had veto power over the Senate, as well as the less formal ability to beg favors from their patrons. This organization is reflected in the famous Roman slogan SPQR which stands for ''Senatus Populusque Romanus,'' or "The Senate and People of Rome." TheRepublic in social structure was quite family-oriented with various clans becoming centers of webs of patronage, a patron/client relationship that has modern answers in political machines and TheMafia. While Rome's system was oligarchical by modern standards it had [[FairForItsDay for its time]] a reputation for justice and stability and its elaborate checks and balances were often admired by Greeks whose cities were often troubled by [[WeAreStrugglingTogether chaos]].
22nd Apr '17 9:14:51 PM JulianLapostat
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** Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, was a famous and celebrated socialite in her era, and so popular in her own right, that a Ptolemaic King proposed to her, which she refused. She had a loving marriage with Tiberius Gracchus the Elder and gave birth to 12 Children (which was such a huge deal that her own son Gaius, as per Plutarch, proudly boasted it as her accomplishment, which is fitting since childbirth was the number one killer of most women in the ancient world). Her children invoked Cornelia's chastity and virtue when appealing to people. When she died, long after her famous sons were killed, a statue was erected in her honour.

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** Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, was a famous and celebrated socialite in her era, and so popular in her own right, that a Ptolemaic King proposed to her, which she refused. She had a loving marriage with Tiberius Gracchus the Elder and gave birth to 12 Children (which was such a huge deal that her own son Gaius, as per Plutarch, proudly boasted it as her accomplishment, which is fitting since childbirth was the number one killer of most women in the ancient world). Her children invoked Cornelia's chastity and virtue when appealing to people. When she died, long after her famous sons were killed, a statue was erected in her honour. Cicero's letters discuss her long afterwards which mentions her surviving letters that were apparently published and studied for its rhetorical qualities. The only things that survive is a disputed fragment by Cornelius Nepos' Latin biographers which is not seen as entirely authentic but it's indicative of how popular she was.
22nd Apr '17 7:20:40 PM JulianLapostat
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* MommasBoy: Motherhood was a big part of Roman culture and many famous mothers of Romans were celebrated for their loving and nurturing nature, and many stories of mothers defending and protecting their children. It was considered right for Roman men to love and honor their mothers. Later authors, have noted startling similarities between this and the Virgin Mary motif in Christianity, seeing the latter as a HijackedByJesus take on this pre-existing mentality. Other historians note that the drastic contrast between the Republican cult of motherhood with that of the Empire (where Livia and Aggrippina are described as VicariouslyAmbitious evil matriarchs):
** Shakespeare's ''Theatre/{{Coriolanus}}'' actually depicts this quite accurately. Volumnia encourages Coriolanus' ambitions and is prized and celebrated for her virtue even as her son becomes a renegade. In the end, Volumnia tells her son to stand now and give up his rebellion against the Republic, which he obeys and the mother is celebrated as a hero of the city and an embodiment of its virtues. Volumnia wasn't there in Plutarch's account of Coriolanus (which is what Shakespeare used as a source) but the way he framed her is quite similar to other narratives in Plutarch and other Latin works available in Elizabethan chapbooks that [[CompositeCharacter might have inspired her characterization]].
** Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, was a famous and celebrated socialite in her era, and so popular in her own right, that a Ptolemaic King proposed to her, which she refused. She had a loving marriage with Tiberius Gracchus the Elder and gave birth to 12 Children (which was such a huge deal that her own son Gaius, as per Plutarch, proudly boasted it as her accomplishment, which is fitting since childbirth was the number one killer of most women in the ancient world). Her children invoked Cornelia's chastity and virtue when appealing to people. When she died, long after her famous sons were killed, a statue was erected in her honour.
** Roman authors also saw Aurelia Cotta as TheMentor to her son UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar, since his father was mostly absent in his childhood, and the former spiritedly defended her headstrong son from the proscriptions of Sulla Felix.
22nd Apr '17 6:26:29 PM JulianLapostat
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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Caesar, Cato, Cicero, Pompey, Spartacus, Mark Antony, Octavian, Sulla, Marius, Catilina, Scipio Africanus and the enemies of Rome, Hannibal Barca and Spartacus, appear in literature and works of art centuries after they walked the earth.

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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Caesar, Cato, Cicero, Pompey, Spartacus, Mark Antony, Octavian, Sulla, Marius, Catilina, Scipio Africanus and the enemies of Rome, Hannibal Barca and Spartacus, appear in literature and works of art centuries after they walked the earth.



** Spartacus has received this almost unanimously since UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment. Creator/KarlMarx called him the greatest hero of the Ancient World, and he's celebrated for being a remarkably prodigious general leading a SlaveLiberation, a cause most people today wholeheartedly support. Of course, the only sources we have are Romans, who naturally won't be too keen on taking his side, but there's no evidence that Spartacus had goals for general abolition, or that he was seeking a revolution, which in any case doesn't mean his actions aren't SlaveLiberation or can't be seen as revolutionary (the many crucifixions overseen by Crassus certainly proves how the Romans saw it). It's also pointed out that Spartacus' servile army was largely composed of rural slaves and when they sacked towns, they tended to kill urban slaves and attracted little support from them, which while taking nothing from his exceptional story, does complicate the picture a little bit, and accounts for his overall failure.

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** Spartacus has received this almost unanimously since UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment. Creator/KarlMarx called him the greatest hero of the Ancient World, and he's celebrated for being a remarkably prodigious general leading a SlaveLiberation, a cause most people today wholeheartedly support. Of course, the only sources we have are Romans, who naturally won't be too keen on taking his side, but there's no evidence that Spartacus had goals for general abolition, or that he was seeking a revolution, which in any case doesn't mean his actions aren't SlaveLiberation or can't be seen as revolutionary (the many crucifixions overseen by Crassus certainly proves how the Romans saw it). It's also pointed out that Spartacus' servile army was largely composed of rural slaves and when they sacked towns, they tended to kill urban slaves and attracted little support from them, which while taking nothing away from his exceptional story, does complicate the picture a little bit, and accounts for his overall failure.failure.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Catilina got this thanks to Cicero. He was a corrupt patrician who participated in Sulla's purges, and his involvement in some populare causes seems to have almost certainly been opportunistic. However there is serious debate if Catilina really was planning to overthrow the state in the manner Cicero framed it, or if the threat was serious enough to justify EmergencyAuthority and summary execution without trial. Sallust, who was a populare, criticized Catilina but he noted that he did have some good virtues and genuine grievances, and some see Cicero, Cato and other optimates making a scapegoat of Catilina to [[MakeAnExampleOfThem intimidate reformists]] and tarnish the populares by association.
22nd Apr '17 6:13:42 PM JulianLapostat
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** Spartacus has received this almost unanimously since UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment. Creator/KarlMarx cited him as the greatest hero of the Ancient World, and he's celebrated for being a remarkably prodigious general leading a SlaveLiberation, a cause most people today wholeheartedly support. Of course, the only sources we have are Romans, who naturally won't be too keen on taking his side, but there's no evidence that Spartacus had goals for general abolition, or that he was seeking a revolution, which in any case doesn't mean his actions aren't SlaveLiberation or can't be seen as revolutionary (the many crucifixions overseen by Crassus certainly proves how the Romans saw it). It's also pointed out that Spartacus' servile army was largely composed of rural slaves and when they sacked towns, they tended to kill urban slaves and attracted little support from them, which while taking nothing from his exceptional story, does complicate the picture a little bit, and accounts for his overall failure.

to:

** Spartacus has received this almost unanimously since UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment. Creator/KarlMarx cited called him as the greatest hero of the Ancient World, and he's celebrated for being a remarkably prodigious general leading a SlaveLiberation, a cause most people today wholeheartedly support. Of course, the only sources we have are Romans, who naturally won't be too keen on taking his side, but there's no evidence that Spartacus had goals for general abolition, or that he was seeking a revolution, which in any case doesn't mean his actions aren't SlaveLiberation or can't be seen as revolutionary (the many crucifixions overseen by Crassus certainly proves how the Romans saw it). It's also pointed out that Spartacus' servile army was largely composed of rural slaves and when they sacked towns, they tended to kill urban slaves and attracted little support from them, which while taking nothing from his exceptional story, does complicate the picture a little bit, and accounts for his overall failure.
22nd Apr '17 6:11:30 PM JulianLapostat
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** Marcus Junius Brutus is often invoked as "the last of the Republicans" and one of the last great Romans. A man of principled Republican virtue burdened by ConflictingLoyalty and a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic. The real Brutus was according to Creator/{{Cicero}} a corrupt LoanShark who extorted the poor with exorbitant interest rates, which considering Cicero's own attitudes to the poor, is saying a lot. Likewise, the "Liberators" during the Civil War [[http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/acans/caesar/CivilWars_Libertas.htm cast coins with Brutus' likeness on it]], glorifying their assassination with the words Ides of March coated with daggers and a Purlieus (a symbol of liberty) which regardless of Brutus' motives, does not support someone who was as modest and reluctant the way Creator/WilliamShakespeare framed him. Likewise, putting the likeness of a living Roman on a coin is a mark of autocracy, an illegal action which Pompey and Julius Caesar did, which suggests that Brutus was more or less angling to be a strongman of some kind or another, and it's only his defeat and death that made him "Republican".

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** Marcus Junius Brutus is often invoked as "the last of the Republicans" and one of the last great Romans. A man of principled Republican virtue burdened by ConflictingLoyalty and a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic. The real Brutus was according to Creator/{{Cicero}} a corrupt LoanShark who extorted the poor with exorbitant interest rates, which considering Cicero's own attitudes to the poor, is saying a lot. Likewise, the "Liberators" during the Civil War [[http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/acans/caesar/CivilWars_Libertas.htm cast coins with Brutus' likeness on it]], glorifying their assassination with the words Ides of March coated with daggers and a Purlieus (a symbol of liberty) which regardless of Brutus' motives, does not support someone who was as modest modest, remorseful and reluctant the way Creator/WilliamShakespeare framed wrote him. Likewise, putting the likeness of a living Roman on a coin is a mark of autocracy, an illegal action which Pompey and Julius Caesar did, which suggests that Brutus was more or less angling to be a strongman of some kind or another, and it's only his defeat and death that made him "Republican".
22nd Apr '17 6:09:26 PM JulianLapostat
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** From the late Republican era, Cato the Younger became the major one. He was a model for incorruptibility to the extent that UsefulNotes/MaximilienRobespierre considered him his role model, even if his politics was way on Cato's left. The Roman poet Lucan in his poem ''Pharsalia'' famously made Cato the hero of an epic poem. Modern historians feel that Cato's lack of compromise and his intransigence shares much of the blame for the decay of Republican institutions. They also question his courage, noting that he would often go after Pompey's henchmen for profiting of Sulla's proclamations but never go after Pompey or Crassus himself, that he often seemed more interested in being a SpannerInTheWorks to Caesar out of some personal grudge rather than any true principles, citing his unconstitutional alliance with Pompey, where he and the senate nominated him to a Consul with EmergencyAuthority when that was an elected post. The fact that he was an influence on the Confederate Lost Cause also calls into question his influence.
** Marcus Junius Brutus is often invoked as "the last of the Republicans" and one of the last great Romans. A man of principled Republican virtue burdened by ConflictingLoyalty and a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic. The real Brutus was according to Creator/{{Cicero}} a corrupt LoanShark who extorted the poor with exorbitant interest rates, which considered Cicero's own attitudes to the poor, is saying a lot. Likewise, the "Liberators" during the Civil War cast coins with Brutus' likeness on it, glorifying their assassination with the words Ides of March coated with daggers and a Purlieus (a symbol of liberty) which regardless of Brutus' motives, does not support someone who was modest and reluctant the way Creator/WilliamShakespeare framed him. Likewise, putting the likeness of a living Roman on a coin is a mark of autocracy, an illegal action which Pompey and Julius Caesar did, which suggests that Brutus was more or less angling to be a strongman of some kind or another, and it's only his defeat and death that made him "Republican".

to:

** From the late Republican era, Cato the Younger became the major one. He was a model for incorruptibility to the extent that UsefulNotes/MaximilienRobespierre considered him his role model, even if his politics was way on Cato's left. The Roman poet Lucan in his poem ''Pharsalia'' famously made Cato the hero of an epic poem. Modern historians feel that Cato's lack of compromise and his intransigence shares much of the blame for the decay of Republican institutions. They also question his courage, noting that he would often go after Pompey's henchmen for profiting of Sulla's proclamations but never go after Pompey or Crassus himself, themselves, that he often seemed more interested in being a SpannerInTheWorks to Caesar out of some personal grudge rather than any true principles, citing his unconstitutional alliance with Pompey, where he and the senate nominated him to a Consul with EmergencyAuthority when that was an elected post. The fact that he was an influence on the Confederate Lost Cause also calls into question his influence.
** Marcus Junius Brutus is often invoked as "the last of the Republicans" and one of the last great Romans. A man of principled Republican virtue burdened by ConflictingLoyalty and a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic. The real Brutus was according to Creator/{{Cicero}} a corrupt LoanShark who extorted the poor with exorbitant interest rates, which considered considering Cicero's own attitudes to the poor, is saying a lot. Likewise, the "Liberators" during the Civil War [[http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/acans/caesar/CivilWars_Libertas.htm cast coins with Brutus' likeness on it, it]], glorifying their assassination with the words Ides of March coated with daggers and a Purlieus (a symbol of liberty) which regardless of Brutus' motives, does not support someone who was as modest and reluctant the way Creator/WilliamShakespeare framed him. Likewise, putting the likeness of a living Roman on a coin is a mark of autocracy, an illegal action which Pompey and Julius Caesar did, which suggests that Brutus was more or less angling to be a strongman of some kind or another, and it's only his defeat and death that made him "Republican"."Republican".
** Spartacus has received this almost unanimously since UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment. Creator/KarlMarx cited him as the greatest hero of the Ancient World, and he's celebrated for being a remarkably prodigious general leading a SlaveLiberation, a cause most people today wholeheartedly support. Of course, the only sources we have are Romans, who naturally won't be too keen on taking his side, but there's no evidence that Spartacus had goals for general abolition, or that he was seeking a revolution, which in any case doesn't mean his actions aren't SlaveLiberation or can't be seen as revolutionary (the many crucifixions overseen by Crassus certainly proves how the Romans saw it). It's also pointed out that Spartacus' servile army was largely composed of rural slaves and when they sacked towns, they tended to kill urban slaves and attracted little support from them, which while taking nothing from his exceptional story, does complicate the picture a little bit, and accounts for his overall failure.
22nd Apr '17 5:47:21 PM JulianLapostat
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* ForeignCultureFetish: The Romans claimed to despise barbarians (anyone not Roman: other Italians, Gauls, Germans, Greeks, Carthaginians, Persians) but in practice the were gluttons for the culture of conquered peoples, albeit to an extent:
** They had some liking and appreciation for Carthaginian culture, the reverse-engineered a Carthaginian trireme to make their own navy. And in the time of the third and final Punic war, one of the explicit orders given was to preserve a book on Agriculture from Mago, an encyclopedia of the ancient world that the Romans wanted a copy of for their own work.
** Greece was the big discovery for them. Hellenistic culture became all the rage, and Roman aristocrats started reading up and patronizing Greek oratory and culture. Scipio Africanus and his circle were major players in bringing Greek culture to Rome. This became significant enough that Cato the Elder repeatedly condemned the Greek fad and argued for pure Latin but even he sent his son to study Greek and apparently modeled his own attempt to write a history on Latin on Greek works, all to surpass it of course. Cicero and later, Caesar followed and plays by Menander and Plautus were highly popular in the Republican era.
** On the other hand some Greeks started to like Rome. Polybius in his ''Histories'' wrote about how Rome quickly became the major power of the Mediterranean, surpassing the Hellenophone. He was quite fascinated with Rome's Republican government which he saw as the true reason for their success and the main reason why Greek city-states failed. A lot of the best historians and writers in Rome, during and after the Republic, were Greek (Polybius, Plutarch, Appian).


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* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Happened to quite a few eminent Republicans:
** Cincinnatus is a major one, and most historians consider Livy's account as a little too good to be true. He was the TropeCodifier for constitutional responsibility and for peaceful transition of power, cited as a hero by Washington. Yet Livy's own account notes that he was a remarkably aristocratic man, opposed to any rights by plebeians and earned his reputation for putting down one uprising.
** From the late Republican era, Cato the Younger became the major one. He was a model for incorruptibility to the extent that UsefulNotes/MaximilienRobespierre considered him his role model, even if his politics was way on Cato's left. The Roman poet Lucan in his poem ''Pharsalia'' famously made Cato the hero of an epic poem. Modern historians feel that Cato's lack of compromise and his intransigence shares much of the blame for the decay of Republican institutions. They also question his courage, noting that he would often go after Pompey's henchmen for profiting of Sulla's proclamations but never go after Pompey or Crassus himself, that he often seemed more interested in being a SpannerInTheWorks to Caesar out of some personal grudge rather than any true principles, citing his unconstitutional alliance with Pompey, where he and the senate nominated him to a Consul with EmergencyAuthority when that was an elected post. The fact that he was an influence on the Confederate Lost Cause also calls into question his influence.
** Marcus Junius Brutus is often invoked as "the last of the Republicans" and one of the last great Romans. A man of principled Republican virtue burdened by ConflictingLoyalty and a tragic hero who failed to save the Republic. The real Brutus was according to Creator/{{Cicero}} a corrupt LoanShark who extorted the poor with exorbitant interest rates, which considered Cicero's own attitudes to the poor, is saying a lot. Likewise, the "Liberators" during the Civil War cast coins with Brutus' likeness on it, glorifying their assassination with the words Ides of March coated with daggers and a Purlieus (a symbol of liberty) which regardless of Brutus' motives, does not support someone who was modest and reluctant the way Creator/WilliamShakespeare framed him. Likewise, putting the likeness of a living Roman on a coin is a mark of autocracy, an illegal action which Pompey and Julius Caesar did, which suggests that Brutus was more or less angling to be a strongman of some kind or another, and it's only his defeat and death that made him "Republican".
22nd Apr '17 2:18:34 PM JulianLapostat
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** The Romans themselves internalized this to the extent that it became part of their propaganda. They had contempt for all kings, feeling superior over their neighbors and refusing to consider any state with a crown a legitimate ruler, and their soldiers, generals, senators felt that any of them was greater than any king, and it was their justification to expand, grab and take over territory. The word "rex" or "regnum" was such an insult that not even the most autocratic and hereditary of the Emperors used the word. And it was the reason behind such SerialNumbersFiledOff titles as Imperator and Princeps (from which we derive Emperor and Prince).
22nd Apr '17 12:17:00 PM JulianLapostat
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** Quintus Sertorius, a Marian General had earned his spurs as a cunning infiltrator who could blend in the Gallic and Germanic tribes and also learnt their languages. Later he served alongside Marius and Cinna after they took over the city after Sulla's First March on Rome. When Sulla returned, angry and bloodier than ever, Sertorius fled back to Gaul and later Hispania where he managed to be the biggest and longest-lasting holdout against the Republic, forming a rival state in Hispania formed by him, other generals, local tribes that included among other things its own public school and other infrastructures. He was more or less making his own Roman Republic in the wild, complete with its own slave revolts and brutal suppression of the same. Sertorius repelled all of Sulla's generals and even Pompey, finally being assassinated by his own associates at a banquet, which Pompey "claimed" as his victory.

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** Quintus Sertorius, a Marian General had earned his spurs as a cunning infiltrator who could blend in the Gallic and Germanic tribes and also learnt their languages. Later he served alongside Marius and Cinna after they took over the city after Sulla's First March on Rome. When Sulla returned, angry and bloodier than ever, Sertorius fled back to Gaul and later Hispania where he managed to be the biggest and longest-lasting holdout against the Republic, forming a rival state in Hispania formed by him, other generals, local tribes that included among other things its own public school and other infrastructures. He was called "the Roman Hannibal". He was more or less making his own Roman Republic in the wild, complete with its own slave revolts and brutal suppression of the same. Sertorius repelled all of Sulla's generals and even Pompey, finally being assassinated by his own associates at a banquet, which Pompey "claimed" as his victory.
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