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Thread: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

  1. #201
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    Chapter XXXVIII - Conclusion of the Britannic conquest (146 - 49 BC)

    A. Conquest of England (146 - 81 BC)

    After the end of the Silurian Campaign in the year 146 BC, Rome controlled southeast and central England as well as Wales. During the next three decades, the Republic maintained the status quo, since it was occupied with the events in Gaul and Iberia. Nevertheless we may assume, that the local Governor established stable relations with the neighboring tribes via a more or less substantial trade.(192)

    In the late 2nd Century BC, Rome finally began its further expansion and the establishment of Colonies. The Dumnonii, a tribe in the southwest of England around their capital Isca Dumnoniorum(193), let themselves incorporate in to the Republic without opposition around the year 102 BC.

    But the Republic experienced more resistance to the east and north. The Iceni, who populated today`s Norfolk with their capital Venta Icenorum(194), tried to stop the roman expansion by force. In a long and exhausting campaign, Rome finally succeeded and seized the territory of the Iceni in 107 BC. The Iceni were supported by the Corieltauvi, who settled around today`s Leicester and posed a constant threat for the young roman colonies. It took more than twenty years, before Rome could break the last resistance in the year 81 BC.

    B. Expansion to the north (81 - 49 BC)

    For the next fifteen years, Rome seemed to have consolidated its power in southern Britannia and maybe thought about the future strategy of its colonization. Reasons for a further expansion were probably the restless tribes in Hibernia (Ireland) and Caledonia (Scotland). While the Irish tribes crossed the North Channel to raid southern Britannia, the tribe of the Pictii(195) had established a stable realm in the Highlands. Both were reasonable threats to the newly established roman colonies.

    In the mid 60s BC, Rome advanced north into the territory of the Brigantes, who were subdued without nameable resistance. Simultaneously with the founding of the new regional capital of Eboracum(196), Rome began to secure the northern border of this province with a limes, known today as "Tuditan`s wall"(197), of about 80 miles length from today`s Newcastle to Solway Firth.

    Although the building of this wall indicated the end of its expansion, Rome crossed this border shortly after its completion and established a new province in the territory of the Damnonii, probably to control the Damnonii themselves and the other tribes of the Lowlands. Shortly after their arrival they began to build another limes, the "Valerian Wall"(198), of about 40 miles length between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, thus establishing a border toward the territory of the Pictii.

    With the building of the "Valerian Wall", the expansion of the Roman Republic in Britannia finally came to an end.

    Fig. 42: Britannia during the Roman conquest 146 - 49 BC
    (Dark Red: Rome`s holdings in 146 BC)


    C. Summary

    Whatever the reasons may have been to give up the "Tuditan Wall" and march north, they caused more problems than they solved. During the next 200 years, the Province had no long period of peace and the Republic had to maintain a considerable large Garrison to secure the area.

    Around 180 AD, Rome finally gave up the Lowlands and retreated to the repaired "Tuditan Wall" that marked the northern border of the Roman Empire for another 200 years, before Rome`s forces completely retreated from Britannia during the usurpations in the late imperial era around 400 AD.

    It is an often discussed topic, why Rome stopped and didn`t completely conquer the British Isles, or at least Britannia itself. The most common theories state, that Britannia and Hibernia, similar to Germania, were too remote and poor to justify any further conquests. Others, like Hawthorne, point out, that already in the late Republican era first symptoms of overexpansion developed(199).

    From the end of the roman expansion in 49 BC to the beginning of the Usurpations by roman Commanders in Britannia in the 3rd Century AD, the country remained remarkably stable and peaceful. Although there are no vast roman remains, the "Tuditan Wall" is still an impressive remnant of roman presence and source of academic insight(200).


    (192) Findings of coins and amphorae especially in Norfolk and Devon indicate trade routes at least to the Celtic capitals.
    (193) Today Exeter
    (194) Today Caistor St. Edward near Norwich
    (195) The word Pictii is of Latin origin and derives from "to paint", so the Pictii were "the painted", maybe a reference, that tattoos were common. The Picts self-designation is unknown.
    (196) Today York. The origin of this name is not certain, but maybe a native language. Although there are findings of Mesolithic settlements, it is unknown, if these were permanent or not.
    (197) Named after Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, Consul 65 - 63 BC
    (198) Named after Titus Valerius Falto, Consul 49 - 47 BC
    (199) But Hawthorne admits, that the political unrest during the transition from the Republican to the Imperial era contributed to the fact, that Rome`s focus shifted to the Roman heartland for decades and thus prevented the pursuit of a consistent Britannic strategy.
    (200) Special attention should be paid to the Vindolanda Tablets, found in the year 1973 in a former fort along the Tuditan Wall, that provide insight into military as well as personal correspondence of the 1st and 2nd Century AD.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 15-04-2011 at 08:54.
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  2. #202
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    What? You don't want to give your Legionairs access to some fine single malt Whisky?

  3. #203
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    Well, I'm a few chapters in and really like it. I'll to be sure to finish it.

  4. #204
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    lovely. Why did you not attack?

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    lovely. Why did you not attack?
    I pursue an "historic" approach, when it comes to Rome`s territory. Speaking of it: Next update probably tomorrow.
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  6. #206
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    Chapter XXXIX - The "Cornelian War" and the Fall of the Carthaginian Empire (71 - 41 BC)

    A. The situation after the 5th Punic War (71 - 43 BC)

    A constant in Rome`s foreign policy during the 1st Century BC was the struggle to bring down the Carthaginian Empire.

    After the 5th Punic War (72 - 71 BC), Carthage tried to reorganize its holdings, mainly due to the downfall of its maritime trade in the decades before(201). Intense investments into infrastructure and trade connections within Africa, probably even beyond the Sahara, were supposed to compensate the lack of commerce in the Mediterranean.

    These improvements were probably noticed by Rome and during the 6th Punic War (66 - 64 BC)it occupied the important city of Theveste, thus blocking the land connection between Carthage and its remaining holdings, mostly in Tripolitania(202).

    Fig. 43: Carthage after the 6th Punic War


    Over the next 20 years, Rome sustained the permanent pressure and successively occupied the rest of Carthage`s territories. The importance of these operations can be deduced from the fact, that, in the final stage of the Roman-Carthaginian conflict, full five Legions were stationed on African soil. In 47 BC, after the 9th Punic War, Carthage was reduced to the area surrounding the City itself.

    B. The final conflict (42 - 41 BC)

    Rome`s operations during the 10th and last Punic War, also known as "Cornelian War", were initiated and realized by the 41-year-old Spurius Cornelius Scipio, Governor of the Region of Africa since 49 BC, and his 21-year-old son Lucius Cornelius Scipio.

    Both Scipios were skilled tacticians both in military and political terms. Their branch of the Cornelian family had gained vast influence within the Republic, that finally lead to Lucius Cornelius` major role during the end of the Republic about 20 years later.

    In the year 42 BC, Lucius Cornelius was appointed Governor of Numidia, the second Region bordering the reaminig Carthaginian territory. Shortly after, his father Spurius marched northward from Thapsus toward Carthage.

    Although being severely beaten, Carthage never lost the ability to raise large amounts of Troops, although their quality constantly decreased. In 42 BC, Carthage fielded according to Polydoros an Army of about 50.000 soldiers consisting of Carthaginian citizens as well as hired mercenaries. Polydoros describes the combat strength of this last contingent as marginal, and the events of the next weeks proved his point.

    In December 42 BC, Spurius Cornelius outmaneuvered the Carthaginian Army and deployed his troops between them and the city. In the following battle, about 10.000 Carthaginians were killed and the remaining Army forced to retreat to the southwest. Shortly after, it ran into the two Legions lead by Lucius Cornelius. A short but bloody battle later, the Carthaginian force was destroyed(203).

    Meanwhile, Spurius Cornelius had begun to besiege Carthage. Due to the fact, that the Roman Legions completely blocked all land routes, while a large roman fleet controlled the surrounding waters, it is no surprise, that Carthage surrendered after a short siege of three months.

    C. Aftermath

    Carthage was defeated, but not destroyed. The Scipios implemented a more or less tolerant occupation policy(204). Although at least 50.000 Carthaginians were enslaved(205), the population of the city remained calm, since the last Suffet Bomilcar was pardoned after short imprisonment and other Carthaginian officials were commissioned to roman offices(206).

    After having secured the new conquests, the Scipios returned to Rome. Carthage was still a wealthy city and thus the war booty for the roman treasury as well as the African Legions was immense, thus establishing a solid loyalty among the citizens and soldiers toward the family. This was intensified by the large games hosted by the Cornelians.

    The Senate, that was not completely controlled by the Scipios and their Allies, tried to deny the victors a triumph, but the protests of the population against this proposal broke the Senate`s resistance to not further dignify the Cornelians.

    Historians consider the downfall of Carthage as beginning of the end of the Roman Republic as well and never forget to point out the literally deadly irony in this. In the next years, Lucius Cornelius Scipio steadily strengthened his position, before he finally removed the last remnants of centuries-old republican traditions.


    (201) No roman author reports about any sea battle during the last 30 years, indicating the extinction of both the Carthaginian Navy and merchant shipping.
    (202) Rome controlled and most probably taxed the Carthaginian land trade to and from Carthage. Although there are no exact sources, estimations are, that Carthage`s revenues decreased between 20 to 40 percent due to this fact.
    (203) According to Polydoros, Carthage`s force still consisted of about 30.000 soldiers. Allegedly, about 25.000 of them were killed and the survivors enslaved.
    (204) Consequently clemency (latin: clementia) became a much-cited virtue especially in Lucius Cornelius` biography.
    (205) Polydoros made a sardonic remark, that the Scipios took no more slaves because otherwise the prices on the slave markets would have dropped too much.
    (206) The most prominent case was Bodmelqart Mattanid, who became Aedile in 40 BC.
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  7. #207
    It only took 3 wars IRL, but in Rome it takes 10.

  8. #208
    General Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    It only took 3 wars IRL, but in Rome it takes 10.
    That`s why I skipped writing about wars 6 - 9. It would have been boring to repeat myself over and over. Well, it`s 39 BC now and the end is nigh. Maybe something will happen during the last years, but don`t count on it. Anyway I intend to write one or two epilogues after the "Game over"-screen.
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  9. #209
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Scipio?
    Instead of later use Kaisar/Kaiser/Keisari... we would have something strange.

  10. #210
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    Chapter XL - Decline of the Republic and the Transition to an Empire (41 - 10 BC)

    A. The situation after the Cornelian War and the Triumvirate (41 - 30 BC)

    "At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."(207)

    In the year 41 BC, when Carthage opened its gates and a century-old conflict for supremacy in the Mediterranean came to an end, Rome controlled a territory of about 2.6 Million square kilometer with about 50 Million inhabitants. It fielded 19 Legions with nearly 600.000 Legionaries and had a fleet of at least 400 ships(208).

    Fig. 44: The Roman Republic in 41 BC
    (I - XIX: Legionary camps)


    No other remaining political entity in Europe or the Near / Middle East could compete with the Republic, so one may not be surprised, that the end of the Republic came from within instead of abroad. The cause for the Republic`s downfall was the major increase of the General`s influence on the troops. Some of the Senators, as Cicero, realized the situation, but lacked the capability to solve it.

    Shortly after his return to Rome, Lucius Cornelius Scipio was faced with the Senate`s antagonism, that culminated in the Senate`s denial of land allocations for the dismissed Veterans of the African Legions, although the Senate should have been aware of the rising importance of the Troops` loyalty toward their Generals.

    As a reaction, Lucius Cornelius concluded an agreement with Septimus Fabius Asina and Decimus Livius Otho. While Septimus Fabius was another General, who gained renown for his actions during the barbaric invasions in the years 43/42 BC(209), Decimus Livius was the oldest of the three partners and rather a politician. Due to his long-term service as Governor in Iberia he was also one of the most wealthy people in the Republic.

    These Triumvirs gathered enough wealth and followers to finally control the whole roman policy by place candidates of their choice in all key offices. While Lucius Cornelius remained Governor of Numidia and, since 38 BC, Africa, Septimus Fabius was allocated Gaul. Decimus Livius stayed in Iberia. It was Lucius Cornelius` largest accomplishment to "neutralize" Greece and Asia, that proved to be crucial for later events.

    B. End of the Triumvirate and Civil War (29 - 21 BC)

    In the year 29 BC, Decimus Livius Otho died at the age of 59 years in Iberia. In the same year, Lucius` sister Cornelia, who was married to Septimus Fabius since 40 BC(210), also died in the childbed. During the next years, the relationship between the two Triumvirs eroded, since Septimus Fabius approached the Senate again.

    In the year 24 BC, Septimus Fabius was elected as Consul. Shortly after, Lucius Cornelius received order from the Senate to return to Rome in order to face allegations of corruption and abuse of authority. In the middle of 24 BC, Lucius Cornelius arrived in Neapolis with three of his African Legions and immediately marched toward Rome. The Senate and Septimus Fabius fled northward and organized the resistance.

    During the next four years, a civil war between the two factions raged in Africa, Iberia and Egypt, since King Zeteres Ptolemy had agreed to support the Senate. In the major battles of Agrianes (23 BC), Oldonae (22 BC) and finally Tibur (21 BC), Lucius Cornelius could overcome his opponents. Septimus Fabius died in the battle of Tibur, while several other Senators committed suicide.

    C. Last Resistance of the Senators, second Civil War and the Principate (20 - 10 BC)

    In the year 20 BC, Lucius Cornelius was 44 years old and at the height of his power. At his first arrival in Rome in 24 BC he was already declared Dictator for 10 years, now this was extended to Dictator for life. It is a still debated question, if he targeted the Kingship, but it is assumed today, that he couldn`t achieve his goal within the still valid limitations of the Republican system. Lucius Cornelius influenced individuals, but not institutions. Although his position was king-like, the Senate was not willing to establish a monarchy. Maybe in order to get over this dead point, Lucius Cornelius announced a major campaign versus Asia for the year 19 BC.

    But this did not happen. In early 19 BC, several Senators conspired against Lucius Cornelius and stabbed him during a session of the Senate on March 15th.

    Lucius Cornelius had testamentary adopted his nephew Decius Cornelius Scipio Caesar(211), who already was his uncle`s successor as Governor of Numidia and Africa. After the assassination of his Uncle, he approached Mamercus Postumius, Lucius Cornelius` deputy and General. Together they hunted down the conspirators and defeated them in 18 BC during the battle of Palenzia in southern Italy.

    Decius and Mamercus decided to split the power within the Republic and divide the Regions. While Decius received Gaul, Iberia and Africa, Mamercus gained the Balkans, Asia and Greece. During the next six years, the partnership between them cooled down significantly. During the "Ptolemaic War" of 12/11 BC, Mamercus, accompanied by Egypt, that was ruled by Cleopatra VII., declared war on Decius, but in the combined sea/land battle of Kenosperagai, Mamercus` and Cleopatra`s forces were destroyed. Mamercus was betrayed and beheaded by his commanders, while Cleopatra died by suicide in Alexandria.

    Decius returned to Rome. Obviously he wanted the same as his Uncle, and he had a solution for it. In a ceremony held on 13th January 10 BC, Decius returned the power to the Senate but in return received the control over those Regions, where most of the Legions were stationed. Furthermore he held those offices, that granted him a king-like position. He was Plebejan Tribune for life, thus controlling the Senate and the Consuls. Plus he was elected for Consul in 22 out of 24 years until his death in 14 AD. Finally the Senate granted him the title Augustus (the majestic). Decius himself took the title princeps senatus, that lead to the later designation of the Principate for his reign.

    Decius wasn`t declared King, but the Republic was merely a shadow of itself, since Decius was in full military and political control of the whole state. Thus, the 13th January 10 BC is widely accepted to be the obit of the Roman Republic, that was established in 510 BC and lasted five centuries, before it returned to its monarchic roots.


    FINIS



    (207) Abraham Lincoln, The Lyceum Address, 1838
    (208) All figures from C. Graf`s "At the edge of an Empire", 1997
    (209) Polydoros reports about a large Tribe of about 40.000 "Ingvaeones" crossing the northern Rhine. Today it is believed, that these Ingvaeones were in fact a gathering of several different Tribes from northern Germany.
    (210) Cornelia was already married for two years with Marcus Atilius Regulus. Lucius Cornelius convinced him to agree to a divorce. Allegedly he was rewarded with a large holding near Carthage including several female Nubian slaves.
    (211) The word Caesar, origin of the german title Kaiser and the russian Title Czar, derives from the Latin caedere (to cut out). Although it didn`t mean the same as Caesarean section, there is the possibility, that Decius was born that way.
    Last edited by Stuckenschmidt; 27-04-2011 at 12:40.
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  11. #211
    Game Over?

  12. #212
    General Stuckenschmidt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    Game Over?
    Yes, but there will be an Epilogue. So stay tuned.
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  13. #213
    but but...
    The all out war with "ze east"?
    Owner of a cookie of Awesome Communist Guessing!

  14. #214
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    No Parthians? Early Sassanids? Or eternal Seleukids?
    Contact with Qin/Han?

  15. #215
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    Great ending!

    But I feel I've read something like that before....

    But it's good to see a Cornelius Scipio in control. For some reason I like that family...

  16. #216
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    Okay, people, I`ve promised an Epilogue, but due to RL-issues (spring, great weather and stuff) I`ll have to skip it. Beg your pardon for that, but this AAR is thus officially at its end.

    It was my first history-book AAR and it was a nice experience, that should be repeated next winter (I never wrote a EU2-AAR ). Making stuff up or modify RL-history to make it fit into the narration was great.

    Unfortunately I couldn`t conquer the whole RL roman empire, mostly due to lazyness-issues (), but I hope, that you nevertheless enjoyed it. Thanks for all commentaries. See you next time.

    Greetings

    Stuckenschmidt
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  17. #217
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    Too bad, but totally understandable. Thanks for the ride!
    Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. -Isa 41:10

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16
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  18. #218
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    great ending in any case, and a really realistically written history book approach. Had that nice air of a suitably scholarly Victorian take on the subject.

    Now if you lived in Scotland, you'd of course be able to update more as spring is but a series of short term events rather than a fixed seasonal change
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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