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Ancient Rome - Index

Roman Index / Timeline Italy before the Romans Romulus and Remus Birth and Rise of Rome Early Roman Republic
The Twelve Tables Punic Wars Late Roman Republic Consuls of the Republic Trouble in the Republic
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar Play and Brutus Trial Antony and Cleopatra Octavian Late Republic Poetry
Early Roman Empire Caesar Augustus Basics of Christianity Pontius Pilate The New Testament
Bishops of Rome / Popes Late Roman Empire Attack of the Barbarians Roman Emperors Roman Emperors List

146 - 27 BC - Late Roman Republic
 

Roman Culture

139 BC

  • Jews and astrologers are expelled from the empire
  • Secret ballot introduced in the assemblies

133 BC

  • Latin becomes the literary language
 

Politics in the Republic

 
  • Slave revolts cause unrest in Sicily, Italy, and Spain
 
  • Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus elected tribune
    • Submitted a land bill allowing excess land to be claimed by the state and given to the poor. The bill was co-authored by his father-in-law Appius Claudius, P. Licinius Crassus Mucianus, and P. Mucius Scaevola
    • Bill vetoed by tribune M. Octavius, but his veto was deemed unconstitutional because he was no longer in office. The bill passed
    • Caused a riot in which conservative senators killed Tiberius and 300 others
      • Plutarch, "Tiberius Gracchus," 9.4-5

123-122 BC

  • Gaius Gracchus, brother of Tiberius, elected tribune
    • Demands increased liberties and rights for equestrian class

121 BC

  • Gaius Gracchus is not reelected tribune
    • A riot ensues in which the Senate authorizes the consuls to take all measures "lest the Republic suffer." This authorization is known as senatus consultum ultimum, or martial law
  • Civil war develops
    • Gaius and 3000 others are murdered trying to cross the Tiber River

112-105 BC

Jugurthine War

112 BC

  • Jugurtha conquers Cirta, murdering his cousin Adherbal (son of deceased Numidian King Masinissa)
    • Sallust The Jugurthine War, 4.26, p. 62. "So [the Italians] advised Adherbal to surrender himself and the town to Jugurtha, merely stipulating that his life should be spared; everything else, they said, the Senate would see to. To trust Jugurtha's word was the last thing Adherbal would have chosen to do... So he took their advice and surrendered. Jugurtha's first act was to torture him to death."
  • Rome's response shows the lethargy and incompetence of the Senate in foreign affairs

109-108 BC

  • Metellus leads Rome to occupy Vaga, Thala, and Cirta. Rome is unable to conquer Zama

107 BC

  • Marius is elected consul
    • Leads Rome to capture Capsa, fortresses on the River Muluccha, and other Jugurthine strongholds

105 BC

  • L. Cornelius Sulla, quaestor under Marius, persuades King Bocchus of Mauritania to betray Jugurtha

100 BC

  • Gaius Julius Caesar is born

90-85 BC

Further Wars and Revolts

90-88 BC

  • Italian War
    • Many of Rome's allies revolt
    • Italians separate into a confederacy with its capital at Corfinium (renamed Italia)
    • To appease the Italians, Rome grants citizenship to everyone in the Italian peninsula (Rome ceases to be a city-state)

88 BC

  • Sulla is elected consul

87-85 BC

  • Mithridatic War
    • King Mithridates VI of Pontus cajoled Greeks in Roman-controlled lands to rise against Rome
    • Disobeying orders, Sulla becomes the first commander to march his army back to Rome
    • Sulla sacks Athens and plunders Delphi
    • Sulla's actions preserve Roman dominion over Greek lands

83-82 BC

  • Sulla returns to Italy amid opposition from Cinna (consul from 87-84 BC)
  • Civil war ensues
  • Sulla appoints himself dictator to reform the Roman constitution
    • Reconstituted and expanded the Senate
    • Rebuilt temples and government buildings in Rome

79 BC

  • Sulla resigns as dictator and retires to private life

78-43 BC

Rome in Political Turmoil - Rise of Julius Caesar

 78 BC

  • M. Aemilius Lepidus elected consul

75/4 BC

  • Julius Caesar studies at Rhodes under Apollonius, tutor of Cicero

73-71 BC

  • Spartacus leads an insurrection of gladiators against Roman oppression
    • Cn. Pompeus (Pompey) and Marcus Licinius Crassus put down the rebellion
    • Crassus crucifies 6000 unclaimed slaves along the Appian way

70 BC

  • Pompey and Crassus serve as co-consuls
  • Poet P. Vergilius Maro (Virgil) born
    • Virgil Aeneid, 6.847-53

67 BC

  • Gabinian law grants imperium to Pompey over the Mediterranean and inland 50 miles to sweep out and destroy pirates
  • Cf. Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 4.39, p. 205.
  • Cult of Mithras in Rome

66 BC

  • Manilian law allows Pompey to crush the Mithridates

65 BC

  • Poet Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace) born in southern Italy

63 BC

  • The king of Pontus (leader of the Mithridates) commits suicide as a result
  • Pompey seizes Syria and Palestine as spoils
 
  • Cicero is elected co-consul with C. Antonius
    • During his consulship, Crassus and Caesar--in an effort to gain political support over rival Pompey--proposed a land law to purchase and distribute state lands among the poor
 
  • Julius Caesar elected pontifex maximus

64-62 BC

  • Conspiracy of Catiline
    • Catiline, propraetor in Africa, is prevented from seeking consulship due to extortion charge
      • Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 2.18, p. 187-8.
    • Catiline and other bankrupt aristocrats plot to murder the consuls and seize control of Rome
      • Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 2.17-20, p. 186-90.
    • After an attempt on his life, Cicero drives out the conspirators using his orations in Catilinam
      • Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 3.28, p. 195-6. Assassination
      • Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 3.31, p. 197-8. In Catilinam
    • Catiline is defeated and killed at Pistoia.
      • Sallust Conspiracy of Catiline, 7.57-61, p. 228-33.

60-59 BC

  • Julius Caesar petitions Senate to run for consulship while still outside Rome
    • Caesar would lose his legal right to triumph for his victory in Spain if he entered the city as praetor and ran for consulship
    • He chose the opportunity for consulship over celebrating his triumph
 
  • Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey form the First Triumvirate
    • Cicero was invited to join but refused for political reasons

59 BC

  • Historian Titus Livius (Livy) is born
  • Caesar is elected consul
  • Caesar is then appointed governor of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul

58 BC

  • Caesar orchestrates a coup in which Cicero, deposed, flees to Macedonia

58-50 BC

  • Caesar's conquest of Gaul
    • Vercingetorix of Gaul leads an insurrection against Roman forces
    • Roman soldiers force him into submission
    • Caesar gains prestige as well as wealth from the conquest and subsequent plunder
      • Caesar Conquest of Gaul

52 BC

  • Pompey chosen sole consul for the first time in the history of the Republic

49 BC

  • Senate votes for martial law, allowing Pompey to control the Republic
  • Civil war ensues between Pompey and Caesar
    • Caesar Civil War

46 BC

  • Caesar proclaims himself dictator for 10 years

45 BC

  • Civil war ends

44 BC

  • Caesar proclaims himself dictator for life
    • Month of Quintilis renamed July
    • His head appears on coins
 
  • Julius Caesar is assassinated by Brutus and Cassius on March 15

43 BC

  • Poet P. Ovidius Naso (Ovid) born
  • C. Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian), Mark Antony, and M. Aemilius Lepidus form the Second Triumvirate
    • They depose the Senate as a ruling body
 
  • Death of the Roman Republic

43-27 BC

Interregnum / Rise of Octavius

42 BC

  • The Second Triumvirate defeat Cassius and Brutus at Philippi in Macedonia
    • They commit suicide
    • Triumvirs divide the empire (Lepidus--Africa, Antony--the east and Gaul, Octavian--Spain, Sardinia, and Italy)

41-36 BC

  • Octavian gains success and prestige by quelling rebellions and defending Roman law

37-4 BC

  • Herod the Great rules in Palestine

36 BC

  • Lepidus dropped from Triumvirate

32-30 BC

  • Octavian defeats Antony and Cleopatra to become the master of the Mediterranean world at 32 years old

27 BC

  • Octavian offers to lay down his powers to the Senate
    • Senate grants him proconsular imperium for 10 years
    • Three days later, the Senate grants him the superhuman title, Augustus


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