The Fall Of The Republic And Fall

1642 WordsMay 10, 20157 Pages
Main Article When articles are written about the fall of the Republic and the fall of democracy, the blame is often attributed to one man: Julius Caesar. However, a figure that tends to be overlooked in popular history held the consulship over fifty years prior to the Republic’s inevitable fall was named Gaius Marius. Coming from an obscure Volscian town in the territory of Arpinum, sixty miles south-east of Rome, Plutarch wrote of Marius coming from poor origins and rising to the consulship as an archetypal ‘rags to riches’ story. This is nothing more than dramatic flair, since in reality he came from a good municipal family who were members of the local aristocracy, with the contemporary view characterising them as powerful nobles in their native town. Upon being elected consul in 107 BC, Marius was presented with the chance to cement his legacy. Accordingly, he began to reform the military. Before leaving for Africa, to finish off Jugurtha, he changed the traditional way of recruitment. Previously, Roman citizens were recruited on the basis of their property qualification: Scullard writes that the rule was that the army should be recruited only from men enrolled in the five classes. Instead, Marius appealed to the proletarii, who were men that lacked the necessary property qualification. This wasn’t any great innovation, as property qualifications had already been reduced. He simply completed the next logical step. But the results of this reform were

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