Chapter I - INTERNAL DISCORD
Already since the first days of the Republic there was discord in Roman society, namely between the patricians, the rich and powerful, and the plebeians, who did possesses no privileges and who were excluded from the exercize of power. In a long struggle, in which the brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus played a preponderant role, the plebeians acquired equal rights.
Another group of people who had to complain were the Roman allies in Italy; they felt that they were treated as subjects rather than as allies. In the last century B.C. they rebelled against Rome in the Social War; the result was that they became full Roman citizens.
Successful generals began to play a poltical role. Marius reformed the army by making it into a body of professionals. Another successful general was Sulla. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 50 pp.)
Chapter II - CIVIL WAR
Marius and Sulla soon became enemies. They fought the First Civil War, which ended with Sulla becoming the undisputed master of Rome. He subjected Rome to a reign of terror.
Pompey's great victories in the East made him very powerful, but Caesar's conquest of Gaul made him too powerful and equipped with a well-trained army. He marched on Rome, occupied it and defeated the Pompeians everywhere in the Second Civil War. Julius Caesar virtually made and end of the Roman Republic, but before he could become emperor, he was murdered in 44 B.C.
His death led to the Third Civil War, that between Octavian, Caesar's adoptive son and Mark Antony. Octavian was finally completely successful, Antony lost his life, and Octavian became the first Roman emperor in 27 B.C., henceforward known as Augustus. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 88 pp.)
Chapter III - THE EMPIRE OF THE EMPERORS AND ITS END
It is explained how the empire was governed. Its regime, developing from a Principate into a Dominate, became gradually more and more authoritarian. It contained two dualisms: that of the empire and its enemies beyond its frontiers, and an internal dualism, namely, that of the reigning rulers and of the generals who wanted to take their place.
Rome's problems in the East are described: the wars with Armenia and with the Parthian Empire; in the West there was the ever growing danger caused by covetous Germanic tribes. (Length of this chapter, with notes, = 44 pp.)
Chapter IV - UNDERPRIVILEGED GROUPS
Part I is about the subjected nations. The leading idea of the Roman Empire was that everywhere the Pax Romana prevailed. All the empire's inhabitants were supposed to live together in peace and harmony, under the wise guidance of the emperors and the Roman Senate. The reality was often very different. Rome had a low opinion of its subjected nations; they were only fit to be governed by its superior power. The result was that discontent was always smouldering, and that there were regularly outburst of violence against Roman rule. The Batavian insurrection of A.D. 69 almost toppled Roman power north of the Alps.
Part II is about the situation of the slaves. Like all other ancient societies, Rome was a slave-holding society. Household slaves were better off than agrarian and industrial slaves. Slavery was a dualistic institution, because slaves were considered to be less than human, merely working automats. Slave-risings occurred, especially in Sicily, where there were two Slave-Wars. Spartacus led an enormous revolt in 73 B.C, which was fought down by the state at last.
Part III is about the situation of women in Roman society. Women were supposed to stay at home and not to meddle in the affairs of their husbands. Their main task was to bear children, preferably males, and to educate them in the Roman ideology, so that the boys could become officers and magistrates and the girls become wives. (Length of chapter, with notes, = 42 pp.)
Chapter V - THE JEWS IN THE HELLENISTIC WORLD
Part I describes the situation of the Jews in the Hellenistic world in general.
Part II describes the situation of the Jews in the eastern Diaspora before the Romans came.
Part III presents the official Roman policy with regard to the Jews. The Roman government was tolerant with regard to foreign religions, as long as they were ready to recognize Juppiter as the great imperial god and the emperor as divine. The Jews presented a problem, because they could not acquiesce in this. Palestine was a difficult country for the Romans; it was continuously unruly.
In A.D. 66-70 there was the First Jewish War, the great Jewish rebellion, which led to the destruction of the Temple. From A.D. 132-135 Bar Kochba led a second rebellion, the Second Jewish War, which ended with the famous siege of Massada. Jerusalem was depopulated.
Part IV presents the opinions of (pagan) Greek and Roman authors on Jews and Judaism. Mostly, they were far from friendly, while many of them, even famous authors, proved to be misinformed by writing the most absurd things.
Part V is about public opinion about the Jews. There was some sympathy for Judaism as a religion, but anti-Jewish attitudes were frequent. (Length of chapter, with notes, = 66 pp.)
Chapter VI - ROMANS AND GREEKS, GREEKS AND ROMANS
Their relationship was problematic. Romans admired Greek culture, but found the Greeks infantile and unreliable. The Greeks found the Romans haughty, arrogant,and uncivilized, but secretly admired the Roman Empire. (Length of chapter, with notes, = 15 pp.)
This volume contains a Bibliography and a General Index.
Published in 1996 by J.C. Gieben, Publisher.
ISBN 90 5063 247 5