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Thread: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

  1. #21
    Second Lieutenant fmurciap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Yes they had permanent prisons in Rome - one was were Castello San Angelo now sits, & of course was used as a dungeon by the Papacy for centuries (always interesting how repressive regimes so like to reuse the same sites). Exile was for aristocratic offenders who were believed to suffer by being excluded from Roman social life (hence Ovid being sent off to the Black Sea).
    That's not right. Castello Santangelo is the former tomb of emperor Hadrian, it is near the Vatican and, being at the other side of the Tiber, was out of the limits of Republican Rome. The only 'prison' of Rome was the Tullianum -also known as Mamertina in the Middle Ages- and was at the other side of the Urbs. Actually is under the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami.
    In fact, by the period of the game, neither Rome nor any other country, AFAIK, had prison as punishment. Criminals were put to death, sold to slavery or send to exile (the upper classes). By then, to be forced to live out of your town or your country was a very harsh punishment, as out of your country you wero no longer a citizen, so you have very few or no rights at all.
    The Tullianum was used only as a very temporary prison, prior to execution. By the way, at the time it was a hole in the ground, without doors, and prisoners were taken there by a ladder ... or simply dropped.

  2. #22
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    Chapter VI - The Massilian Campaign (250 BC)

    A. The "Great Colonization" and Massilia

    Roughly from 750 - 550 BC, a wave of Greek colonists began to advance into the central and western Mediterranean in order to found new colonies. The most important cause for these enterprises was the establishment or expansion of trade relationships. But other events like overpopulation and civil unrest in the mother cities also played a part.

    Important mother cities during this period were Chalcis, Eretria, Corinth, Megara, Miletus and Phocaea. Phocaean merchants arrived at the coast of today`s southern France in order to trade Tin from the local Ligurian tribes for Greek goods like pottery. In the 6th Century BC, they established a commercial settlement named Massilia, that grew in size over the time.

    Due to its advantageous location at the mouth of the Rhone, that was a trade route to the Gaul back country, Massilia became the most important Greek city in the western Mediterranean. Around 600 BC, Phocaean/Massilian settlers founded a new colony called Emporion at the northeastern coast of Iberia, that was administrated by Massilia thereafter.


    Fig.4: Massilian territory in 251 BC


    B. Causes of the conflict

    During the middle of the 4th Century BC, Massilia found itself under pressure from several Gaul tribes and realized, that it can`t withstand without gaining Allies. Overall it had two options. The first one would have been to approach Carthage. But since Carthage had established an Empire already, there would have been the threat to get incorporated into it. The second possible choice was a rising, but not yet dominant city in the middle of Italy. Since the second alternative was the more attractive in order to maintain its independence, Massilia finally allied with Rome(16).

    In the years 252/251 BC the relations between Massilia and Rome began to significantly cool down. Rome had finished colonizing Italy south of the Alps and seemed to seek a way to expand its influence across the mountains. Massilia must have felt threatened by this development. In late 251 BC, the situation escalated due to an unclear demarcation between Roman and Massilian territory. In early 250 BC, Rome declared war.

    C. Progress

    The Legio I Italia was stationed in Liguria in 250 BC. The almost 70 year old Consul Appius Claudius Caudex himself took command of it and let it march along the coast. Massilia itself was nearly helpless, since its force had been severely beaten by a barbarian Tribe soon before. When Appius Claudius appeared, he removed the barbarian threat(17), before he began to besiege Massilia itself. Shortly after, the city surrendered due to its hopeless situation(18).

    Afterwards Appius Claudius split his Legion and send one half under the command of Lucius Junius Pullus across the sea to capture Emporion(19). Lucius Junius faced no serious resistance when arriving in Iberia and decided to starve out the city. After about nine months the city opened its gates.

    The war was over and Massilia part of the Roman territory.

    D. Result

    The Massilian campaign is generally considered to be landmark in Roman expansionism, since it was the first time it attacked a long-term ally. There has been a lot of debates about this campaign, but after all it was consistent with Rome`s expansionist logic. Rome controlled whole Italy and was eager to further expand its territory. Putting the moral scruples to act versus an Ally aside, Rome had several good reasons for this.

    Massilia was a weak neighbor and it wasn`t impossible, that it finally got overrun by some barbarian Tribe, that had maybe destroyed a prospering city and trading hub, that still played an important role in Rome`s foreign trade. Thus, the Invasion can be rated as preemptive strike. Secondly Massilia became an unreliable Ally, since it had to fear to lose its Independence to Rome`s increasing power. Although there is no evidence, that Massilia had any diplomatic contact with Carthage, Rome could not take the risk of Massilia to change sides. Finally it was simply a too great temptation to conquer Massilia and thus gain a developed a base in both Gaul and Iberia, gaining the possibility for further vast expansions in the western Mediterranean without having to confront Carthage openly.

    On the other hand, and many Historians consider the enterprise to be a mistake due to this fact, the Campaign came to an inconvenient point of time. The political turbulences caused by the "Fulvian Conspiracy" had not died down yet. Also this Campaign faced a lot of opposition in the population as well as the Senate. The personal efforts of Appius Claudius Caudex during the Campaign allows the Theory, that he and his Faction in the Senate started the War in order to distract from the domestic crisis. And all sources indicate, that he failed on this point(20).


    (16) In 280 BC, Massilia and Rome had a strong partnership with Massilia paying a yearly Tribute of 15,6 attic Talents (= 561,6 kg) of Silver.
    (17) According to Decius Mus there was a battle a little to the north of Massilia, where the barbarian force of about 5.000 men suffered a decisive defeat.
    (18) Decius Mus depicts, that Massilia was also cut off from the sea by a roman fleet of about 25 Triremes. It is one of the few sources for the state of the roman navy.
    (19) The two parts of the Legion have never been united again. The force, that was send to Iberia, remained there as garrison and became the new Legio IV Martia.
    (20) Graffiti found in Capua indicate, that there has been a turmoil, maybe even a revolt in the city in 249 BC due to the fact, that the war emptied the treasury and there were no funds left to pay for building maintenance and other public duties. Other sources suggest the assumption, that the Populist`s influence in the Senate hasn`t decreased significantly.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 31-01-2011 at 17:41.

  3. #23
    So, you annexed them?
    Owner of a cookie of Awesome Communist Guessing!

  4. #24
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    thanks for the prison explanation ... most informative

    so reading between the lines (or more stictly, reading the footnotes), the Populists are still being a bit of a pain?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  5. #25
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    One can call pretty much every war a 'pre-emptive' invasion.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middelkerke View Post
    So, you annexed them?
    Oooh, yes. I love short campaigns.

    so reading between the lines (or more stictly, reading the footnotes), the Populists are still being a bit of a pain?
    I tell you. I noticed too late, that their leader had 8 Charisma and now the Religious and Populist Faction are in the lead. But the Militarists seem to be coming and the new Pop Leader has only 3 Charisma.

    One can call pretty much every war a 'pre-emptive' invasion
    Its not "Invasion", its "Active Defense".

    EDIT:

    The next entry will take some time since I don`t think that something interesting will happen anytime soon.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 27-01-2011 at 22:11.

  7. #27
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    Are you playing vanilla or a mod? With the Epigoni mod for example you would have had the option to peacefully annex them once they were your allies and tributaries.


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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    Are you playing vanilla or a mod? With the Epigoni mod for example you would have had the option to peacefully annex them once they were your allies and tributaries.
    Peaceful? You`re in the wrong AAR, are you?

  9. #29
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    Chapter VII - Consolidating the Republic (250 - 234 BC)

    A. The barbarian threat

    Soon after the Republic won the War versus Massilia, it had to experience the meaning of being a power with widespread territory. From 247 - 244 several tribes pushed against the roman borders in Iberia, Gaul, Italy and Dalmatia.

    There has been a long debate about the cause of these coincident migrations. A theory established in the early 20th Century, that a cold snap and the resulting bad harvests have forced these Tribes to leave their areas of settlement, has been refuted in the last 20 years(21). More recent theories like to point out, that an absence of failed harvests led to an overpopulation in the tribal areas and that these migration movements were a measure to handle the population pressure.

    Regardless of the causes, these movements posed a serious threat to the recently acquired territories, since the Republic had to fight in several theatres simultaneously. Superior organization and numbers finally let the Republic repulse the "barbarian menace", but sources indicate, that the Republic paid a high price for this victory in terms of loss of property and casualties(22).

    B. Colonization and Assimilation

    In the decade from 244 to 234 BC the Republic came to rest and could focus on its colonizing efforts. Although these experienced some setbacks during the years before(23), a number of new colonies is proven for this period in Iberia (Cissa, Tolosa), Gaul (Vaison, Vienne) and Dalmatia (Agrianes).


    Fig.5: The Roman Republic in 234 BC


    Parallel to the establishment of new colonies, an active building program started as part of Rome`s strategy to assimilate the population of the new territories. Thermae and Temples were geared to convince the locals of the superiority of roman lifestyle. In the end, Rome succeeded with it, but it took nevertheless at least 15 years(24) to completely assimilate a new province.

    C. Political landscape

    The events of the years from 252 to 250 BC were probably a shock for the "political" Rome. There are no reports about the political discourse for the period from 249 to 234 BC, but some historians interpret this lack of material as evidence, that the Senators returned to a policy of dialogue and balance. The unfortunate protagonists of the Fulvian Conspiracy and the Massilian Campaign fell into oblivion(25).

    (21)The "Harcourt-Theory" presumed a climatic phenomenon, that influenced whole Europe. But the Analysis of Pollen and Sediments give no indications to support this theory.
    (22) Naturally, roman annalists provide either flattering or no information at all about roman casualties and failings, so historians have to rely on rough estimates. Depending on the source, these range from 20.000 to 40.000 dead.
    (23) Excavations in Verona set free a burned layer, that is dated on the middle of the 3rd century BC and taken as evidence, that the city was sacked. Although the city was not destroyed, this event put back roman colonization in the region for about two decades.
    (24) Barkinhead`s study about roman colonization in the 3rd and 2nd century BC states, that there is no universal period, since assimilation was largely dependent on the local culture and societal structure. Although there are examples of assimilations being finished after less than 10 years, most cases indicate a period between 15 and 40 years.
    (25) They probably died in custody.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 29-01-2011 at 18:44.

  10. #30
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    Swift expansion.
    Usual barbaric overpopulation.

    Why not attempt to establish clients somewhere?
    Any barbarians successful somewhere?

  11. #31
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    Why not attempt to establish clients somewhere?
    Diplomacy? These are bad-ass romans, not the namby-pamby goody-goodies you know from the history-books.

    Any barbarians successful somewhere?
    Barbarians? Nope. But during the last Seleucid-Egyptian War two countries seceded from Seleucia.

  12. #32
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    since things are going so well ... give or take a few lost senators, various cities sacked & a load of dead soldiers ... is it time to take on that rather yucky green thing to your south?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  13. #33
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    Chapter VIII - The Tylic War (233 - 232 BC)

    A. Causes

    The Danube. With a length of 2.857 kilometer the second longest river in Europe. When Rome established its rule in the former Kingdom of Illyria in 269 BC, it came across this large stream with a width of at least 400 meter and immediately recognized its potential to be a natural border between the civilized world and the "barbaricum".

    Around 260 BC Rome advanced to the east with the foundation of Moesi. Excavations along the Danube prove the existence of several legionary camps on both sides of the Danube. As it seems, Rome intended to control the river to prevent migrations from the north into its territory and, on the other hand, further expansion of other realms to the north. Thus, Rome`s interests were heading for collision with its neighbors`.

    The tribal Kingdom of Tylis was a result of the great Celtic invasion in the early 3rd century BC. Almost simultaneously Macedonia and Illyria tried to destroy it, but both were defeated, with Illyria losing the province of Tauletani. Afterward it was in the favorable position to expand its territory to the north. Settlement traces in the ancient city of Seuthopolis indicate, that it occupied the area between Danube and the Black Sea in the 250`s BC.

    Rome monitored the situation with mistrust. Allegedly there was a diplomatic mission around 240 BC, but no reports about its results. In late 234 BC, Tylis took the leap across the Danube, established the colony of Sucidava and declared war on the tribe of the Dacians.


    Fig. 6: The Balkans in early 233 BC


    Rome reacted outraged. It send Drusus Sempronius Blaesus as envoy to Tylis in order to demand their retreat. The current Chief of Tylis was Arvirargus Sinatid, a man in his forties and, according to Macedonian sources, an inconstant personality. He received Sempronius, but let him execute right away(26). Subsequently Rome declared war.

    B. Progress

    Rome had two Legions stationed in Dalmatia, the Legio III Illyricorum and the recently deployed Legio V Alaudae. The next one and a half year were dominated by their commanders. Secundus Sulpicius Gallus was Governor of the Region Moesia Superior and lead the Legio V, while the Legio III was allocated to Publius Valerius Falto(27).

    The campaign began promising. Publius Valerius marched along the Adriatic coast toward Epidamnos. After short preparations he ordered an assault and the city was taken by storm. Meanwhile, Secundus Sulpicius stayed in Moesia. He expected the Tylic commander to attack, what he did. In a large battle, the Tylic force was severely beaten. Sulicius pursued it and defeated it again in the vicinity of Sucidava(28). The city itself surrendered shortly later.

    It was late summer 233 BC, and apparently the two commanders reorganized their strategy. Sulpicius now advanced south and captured the cities of Naissus and, in early 232 BC, Bylazora. After that he returned to Moesia in order to replenish his forces and remained there until the war was over.

    In the meantime Publius Valerius was seeking the Tylic army and found it in Suci, where it tried to recapture the city. Publius won the battle and pursued the survivors to Triballi, where he destroyed the remnants of the Tylic force. In the next months he conquered Triballi and Maedi. In May, he arrived in Thracia to besiege the Tylic capital. Arriving there, he met the Dacian force.

    The Dacians, exploiting the roman successes, had seized the city of Seuthopolis in Crobobizi and advanced to Thracia. The Tylic Chief Arvirargus realized, that the Dacians were the weaker enemy and managed to conclude a separate peace with them. Shortly after, the Dacians evacuated Thracia and Crobobizi and crossed the Danube to return home(29).

    Publius Valerius was left with two possibilities. Either stay there and besiege the capital or march north to seize Seuthopolis. He decided for the latter. In late September, Seuthopolis surrendered after a siege of only two months.

    In the aftermath, messengers from Arvirargus appeared and sued for peace. Rome accepted, but demanded with the provinces of Tauletani, Dardania, Suci and Crobobizi a large part of the Tylic territory. With Tylis being bankrupt and defenseless, Arvirargus had to agree.


    Fig. 7: The Balkans in late 232 BC


    C. Result

    The Tylic War is always considered to be a textbook example for a short and successful campaign in order to implement a strategic design.

    Rome`s major war goal was to hinder Tylis (or any other country) to expand to the north. And from 232 BC on, the roman territory blocked any such attempt. A spin off from this war was, that Tylis lost its Hegemony in the Balkans and was reduced to a medium sized power. Not strong enough to pose a serious threat, but not too weak to be an easy target for its neighbor Macedonia. Finally, Rome shared a common border with Macedonia now, thus being a Sword of Damocles above the Macedonian King`s head.

    (26) His tongue was cut out before they beheaded him. His head was thrown on the ground in front of a legionary camp.
    (27) At this time, he was 49 years old and looked back to a colorful career of 15 years. He is described as both a military genius as well as an extremely charismatic person and the Republic always needed his abilities as much as it feared his ambitions. As Governor of Tarraconensis he defeated the invading barbarians in the early 240`s, but was removed from his position due to allegations, that the loyalty of the Legio IV toward him exceeded those toward the Republic. In 232 BC, when the Tylic War was over, he was granted a Triumph but immediately stripped off his command.
    (28) There is a vague report by Gaius Sutonius about these battles. According to his testimony, Tylis fielded about 25.000 men and lost about three quarters of them.
    (29) Arvirargus paid dearly for this agreement. The Dacians received 200 attic Talents (= 7,2 tons) of Silver with a today`s market value of about 4,5 Million Euro. According to a roman witness, there wasn`t enough silver left in Tylis to forge a simple wedding ring.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 31-01-2011 at 17:39.

  14. #34
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    thats a nice expansion, potentially creates a Roman controlled Balkans (as long as the great yellow blobby thing doesn't arrive) & good to see a peace treaty that properly loots the loser ...
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    thats a nice expansion, potentially creates a Roman controlled Balkans (as long as the great yellow blobby thing doesn't arrive)
    He`s got other things to do. Egypt, Parthia, Pontus and Armenia are potent enemies, so I still should have decades time.

  16. #36
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    How much can land can one state lose in a century?
    Macedonia is the champion.

  17. #37
    Crazy Cat Person. Meow! Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    I'd say you'd better not wait too long to conquer all of Tylis to block the Seleucids from crossing the Bosporus.


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    Chapter IX - Reshaping the Republic (232 - 219 BC)

    The period after the Tylic War is often described as "Decade of Revaluation". During the first ten years there are no known reports about any kind of hostilities or attempts to expand roman territory through warfare or colonization.

    On the other hand, it is an interesting period concerning the economical / societal developments within the Republic. Nothing could illustrate the events during these ten years better than the election of Gaius Sulpicius for Consul. Being close to 70 years old at the time of the election, it was the pinnacle of his career.

    Sulpicius is a representative of the rising class of families without long tradition in roman politics, but increasing influence due to their financial standing. It is due to people like him, that the trading activities within the Republic expanded and thus donated to the total income of the state(30).

    The second interesting development is, that Rome no longer confined itself on domestic commerce, but also tried to negotiate trade agreements with other nations, such as Carthage(31), but probably also with the whole eastern Mediterranean(32).

    After all one has to evaluate the reasons for this increasing wealth. Besides the fact, that it were times of peace with no threats to the Republic, one has to take note of the investments into agricultural production, such as improved irrigation, that increased the surplus.

    It`s a debatable point, whether this development was simply a random result of a long period of peace or the Republic intentionally kept peace in order to improve its economic power. But at last, this period came to an end.

    The Republic got pushed back to reality with the invasions of the Delmatae in Illyria (222/221) and the Henoichi in northern Italy (220/219). As a result, the Republic decided to secure the northern Alpine foreland and establish the colony of Vindelicia in late 219 BC.


    (30) Estimations concerning the roman budget and its development vary largely. An average for the yearly total revenue at the end of the decade amounts to 1.500 attic talents. Although there are no exact numbers, it is believed to be up to 40% higher than 10 years before.
    (31) There are reports about salt trade in Iberia.
    (32) Quantity and extent of coin findings in cities like Pergamon, Antioch and Alexandria increase significantly during this period.

  19. #39
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    To Danube in north? Fast expansion during the last century. Divine intervention?

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    To Danube in north? Fast expansion during the last century. Divine intervention?
    You mean cheating? Nope.

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