Roman Republic | Definition, Dates, History, Government, Facts

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There were two main eras in the history of ancient Rome. The first lasted from 509 BC to 27 BC and was called the Roman Republic. Rome was not governed by a single person during this time. Elected representatives controlled the government. The second era was the Western Roman Empire, which lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD. An emperor presided over the administration at the period.

Roman Republic

The consuls served as the leading officials of the Roman government throughout the Roman Republic. There were two consuls at once, and their terms of office were just one year. This prevented any one man from acquiring excessive power.

First Triumvirate

Three influential Roman politicians, Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Licinius Crassus, formed an alliance in 59 BC, which marked the beginning of the Roman Republic’s downfall. The First Triumvirate was the name given to this coalition. Rome was effectively dominated by these three guys. Pompey, however, turned against Caesar and the two became rivals after Crassus was killed in battle in 53 BC.

Julius Caesar

Caesar’s army was being led by him while he was away from Rome, so Pompey collected political opposition to Caesar. When Caesar advanced on Rome by crossing the Rubicon River with his army, civil war broke out. Caesar eventually overcame Pompey and rose to the position of authority in Rome. In order to prevent him from overthrowing the Roman Republic and ascending to the throne, Caesar’s adversaries killed him in 44 BC.

Second Triumvirate

Following Caesar’s demise, Mark Antony, Octavian (Caesar’s successor), and Lepidus established the Second Triumvirate. In 43 BC, the Roman government formally acknowledged the Second Triumvirate. According to some historians, this marked the end of the Roman Republic. Up until 33 BC, the Second Triumvirate held power. When Octavian ousted Lepidus from power in 36 BC, it started to disintegrate.

Octavian Defeats Mark Antony

Between Octavian and Mark Antony, a civil war broke out when the Second Triumvirate came to an end. Octavian established a power base in Rome while Mark Antony was in the eastern part of the empire with his army. The moment Cleopatra VII of Egypt united with Mark Antony, he immediately launched an offensive against Antony. In the Battle of Actium, which took place in 31 BC, Octavian defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

Roman Empire Establishment

The most powerful man in all of Rome was now Octavian. He gave himself the name “Augustus” and was crowned the first Roman Emperor in 27 BC. The Roman Empire officially got its start at this point. One of Ancient Rome’s most wealthy eras was the first century of the Roman Empire. Rome experienced great riches as the empire grew to its broadest extent.

Moving from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire: Interesting Facts

Although Mark Antony had an affair with Cleopatra VII, he married Octavia, Octavian’s sister.

A piece of legislation known as the “Lex Titia” created the Second Triumvirate. The three members were placed above the consuls in terms of rank.

Although he wasn’t his son, Octavian was Caesar’s successor. His great-nephew was him.

Both Mark Antony and Cleopatra killed themselves after realizing they had lost the battle.

Caesar’s army crossing the Rubicon River signaled the start of the Roman Civil War. The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” today denotes passing the “point of no return.”

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