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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Excerpted on author's behalf:

Despite the apparent success of the military, the period from 133 BC until 27 BC marked a critical time in Roman history as the Republic began a perilous slide towards internecine warfare that eventually ended with the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. The problem facing modern historians centers on the causal factors behind the changes of the Roman Republic. Economic and political factors such as the struggle between the patricii (aristocrat class) and the plebes (common people), civil war, and the denigration of Roman law all influenced the transformative process. While each of these causal factors contributed to the evolution of the Roman Republic, they did not encompass the entire scope of the process of change or explain the machinations behind key events and people who contributed to Rome’s emergence as an empire. Amongst the myriad factors that contributed to the demise of the Republic, one rose above the others as the prime enabler to the transformative process. The Roman legions presented the one common denominator that the causal factors shared and became the fulcrum point between key events and historical figures. Modern historiography about the late Roman Republic pays scant attention to the crucial relationship between the military and the civil authorities and their resulting effect upon the transformation process of the Republic.

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