In Mortal Republic, prize-winning historian Edward J. Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise.
By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus.
The death of Rome's Republic was not inevitable. In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Autocratic Freedom 5
Chapter 2 The New World Order 13
Chapter 3 Empire and Inequality 45
Chapter 4 The Politics of Frustration 69
Chapter 5 The Rise of the Outsider 97
Chapter 6 The Republic Breaks 119
Chapter 7 Rebuilding amid the Wreckage 145
Chapter 8 The Republic of the Mediocre 169
Chapter 9 Stumbling Toward Dictatorship 191
Chapter 10 The Birth and Death of Caesar's Republic 219
Chapter 11 The Republic of Octavtan 241
Chapter 12 Choosing Augustan Liberty 271