Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny

Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny

by Edward J. Watts


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Learn why the Roman Republic collapsed — and how it could have continued to thrive — with this insightful history from an award-winning author.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541646483
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 08/25/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 150,808
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Edward J. Watts holds the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Endowed Chair and is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. The author and editor of several prize-winning books, including The Final Pagan Generation, he lives in Carlsbad, California.

Table of Contents

Maps viii

Preface 1

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

Notes 283

Index 323

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