Roman Republic

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Roman Republic
Rem Publicam Romanus
Flag of the Roman Republic.jpg
LocationWestern Europe, Southern Europe
North Africa and Levant
State existed509–27 BC
GovernmentConstitutional Republic
Head of GovernmentConsul
LegislatureLegislative Assemblies
Roman Senate
Major CitiesAthens
Area 326 BC10,000 km2
3,900 sq mi
Area 44 BC1,950,000 km2
750,000 sq mi
Preceded byRoman Kingdom
Succeeded byRoman Empire

The Roman Republic (509-27 BC) was a powerful state that ruled lands from present-day Syria in the east to Portugal in the west, with their southernmost border being North Africa and ruling up to the Elbe River in Germany and the present-day country of England in the British Isles.


Map of the Roman Republic in 44 BC

The Roman Republic was founded after the rape of Lucretia by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, upon which upset Romans overthrew the Etruscans that ruled the Roman Kingdom. They founded the Roman Republic, which was the first major republic. Rome initially controlled the city of Rome and the surrounding areas, but it proceeded to conquer other cities such as Alba Longa and Tarquinii and take over much of the Italian Peninsula from the Gauls, other Italian tribes (like the Samnites), the Greek Cities, and Carthage. The Samnite Wars of the late 4th century BC led to the Romans seizing most of mainland Italy, but Carthage and Syracusae ruled Sicily. In 264 BC, the Romans seized Sicily in the First Punic War, and the Punic Wars led to Rome conquering the Mediterranean coast of Spain, the Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, and Tunisia. Later, they conquered Macedonia and Greece following the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC and Turkey after the Pontic Wars. Wars with Numidia gained the Romans control of more of North Africa (in present-day Algeria), and wars with the Lusitani and Spanish tribes gained Hispania.

Rome's greatest leader was Julius Caesar (100-44 BC): born Gaius Julius, Caesar led the Romans in the Gallic Wars of 58-52 BC that conquered Gaul (France) and Switzerland from the Gauls, Turkey from Pontus, and Egypt from the Ptolemaic Empire. Pompey the Great rivalled him for power in the east, taking over Syria after conquering the Seleucid Empire and conquering Judaea. In 49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River and conquered Rome from the senate, and in August 48 BC he defeated Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus; Pompey was assassinated in Egypt soon after. Caesar conquered the Brutii and Scipii when they tried to stop him from seizing power, but in 44 BC he was assassinated by Marcus Junius Brutus at the foot of a statue of Pompey. His adoptive son Octavian took over and defeated the last resistance at the 42 BC Battle of Philippi, and he later defeated Caesar's ally Mark Antony and his mistress Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, allowing for him to consolidate his rule. In 27 BC, he ended the Roman Republic and declared himself princips, although he really seized absolute power and founded the Roman Empire and became its first Emperor Caesar Augustus.

Associated Pages

  1. Roman Republic Navy