The Decline of the Roman Republic - Vol. 5

The Decline of the Roman Republic - Vol. 5

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The Decline of the Roman Republic - Vol. 5

The Decline of the Roman Republic - Vol. 5

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This volume contains the history of the Roman Republic from Caesar’s invasion of Italy to the close of the Civil War and the destruction of the old constitution, which was followed by other civil wars after Caesar’s death, and the establishment of the Imperial system under Caesar Augustus. It is chiefly a history of military events, in which Caesar’s great talents and his generous character are conspicuous. The civil administration is only a small part, for Caesar did not live long enough to do more than attempt to confirm order in the State, and to secure the power which he had acquired. I have said (p. 376), “Nothing could be worse than the condition of Rome when Caesar had completed his usurpation, and a radical reform seems to us impossible ; even if Caesar had the will and the capacity to make such a reform, we cannot see how it could have been effected,” Speculations about the great things which Caesar might have done, if he had lived longer, seem to me very foolish. We know what happened after his death, and what was done under the administration of Augustus, who was a man of large capacity, and after he became master of the Empire was anxious to secure peace within his extensive dominions and the prosperity of Rome and of the provinces. But it is not in the power of any man to change a state of affairs which is the result of the slow growth of centuries, or to avert the fate which awaits all political institutions. I have . . .

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