Classics 2123: The Roman Way Spring 2008 Lecture 9. The Strains of Empire (II) Readings: BHR 111-128, 132-140 I. New Developments in the Roman State in the Late Republic Breakdown of concordia in the late Republic the result of many things, including: the extension of military commands; conflict between optimates and populares ; and gradual erosion of mos maiorum because of the needs of running an empire. 1. Split between optimates and populares-optimates the name the defenders of traditional oligarchic government gave themselves-populares use the people, especially the plebeian tribunate and plebeian assembly to advance their careers-not class warfare, pitting upper classes against lower classes; rather oligarchs themselves using different methods of advancing their careers 2. Unending series of wars throughout Mediterranean gives rise to longer and greater military commands-some generals kept in the field for multi-year commands; allows them to gain greater and greater prestige-Gaius Marius voted an unprecedented 5 straight consulships for the years 104-100 BCE
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