Ancient Rome: The Decline Of The Roman Empire

1778 Words8 Pages
After the overthrow of the Tarquin dynasty, led by Julius Brutus, the ancient Romans avoided a true monarchal government for the remainder of their storied history (Even the later imperial government maintained forms of the republican system. While in practice it could be a system of absolute power for the Emperor, it was theoretically still checked by the Senate and other representative ideals.) This same Julius Brutus was later claimed as an ancestor by the Republican loyalist Marcus Brutus who was among the conspirators in the assassination of Julius Caesar and shows the deeply rooted Roman aversion to Kings. Rome was surrounded by powerful external enemies, including its former Etruscan rulers, and Patrician (the hereditary aristocratic families) in-fighting with each other and the plebeian (common people) class was an immediate source of difficulty.…show more content…
There was never a document describing or prescribing the actual republic – it was all based on agreement (among ‘gentlemen’) and precedent (the mos maioruum, or ‘custom of our ancestors’). Tacitus, in the first words of his Annals, gives us the main clue: res publica et consulatus (the republic and the consulship). The Decline of the Roman Empire with the death of Marcus Aurelius in AD 180, the rule of the empire passed to his 20-year-old son Lucius Aurelius Commodus. The concept of imperial decline beginning with the reign of Commodus is largely adapted from Edward Gibbon 's rather arbitrary work, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" and may have been a bit premature considering that the western empire endured for another three centuries. While the remaining years of the empire, especially the tumultuous 3rd century, would hardly be characterised by uninterrupted dynastic rule (in large part because of assassination and civil war), Commodus ' reign marks the end of the adoptive period that provided

More about Ancient Rome: The Decline Of The Roman Empire

Open Document