Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic

Jeremiah McCall

Date Published :
September 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
No illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526733177
Pages : 328
Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


This is the story of how some Roman aristocrats grew so competitive in their political rivalries that they destroyed their Republic, in the late second to mid-first century BCE. Politics had always been a fractious game at Rome as aristocratic competitors strove to outshine one another in elected offices and honors, all ostensibly in the name of serving the Republic. And for centuries it had worked - or at least worked for these elite and elitist competitors. Enemies were defeated, glory was spread round the ruling class, and the empire of the Republic steadily grew. When rivalries grew too bitter, when aristocrats seemed headed toward excessive power, the oligarchy of the Roman Senate would curb its more competitive members, fostering consensus that allowed the system—the competitive arena for offices and honors, and the domination of the Senate—to continue.

But as Rome came to rule much of the Mediterranean, aristocratic competitions grew too fierce; the prizes for winning were too great. And so, a series of bitter rivalries combined with the social and political pressures of the day to disintegrate the Republic. This is the story of those bitter rivalries from the senatorial debates of Fabius and Scipio, to the censorial purges of Cato; from the murders of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, to the ultimate rivalry of Caesar and Pompey. A work of historical investigation, Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic introduces readers not only to the story of the Republic's collapse but the often-scarce and problematic evidence from which the story of these actors and their struggles is woven.

About The Author

Dr Jeremiah McCall has a PhD in Classical History and specializes in the military history and political culture of the Roman Republic. He teaches high school history in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a pioneering advocate of the use of video games as a means for learning history. His previous works include The Cavalry of the Roman Republic (2002); The Sword of Rome: A Biography of Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Pen & Sword 2012) and Swords and Cinema: Hollywood vs the Reality of Ancient Warfare (Pen & Sword, 2014).



Chapter 1: The Warhorse and the Prodigy: Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio
Chapter 2: The Censor and the Corrupt Nobles: Cato, the Scipios, and Flamininus
Chapter 3: The People’s Tribune and the Reactionary: Tiberius Gracchus and Scipio Nasica
Chapter 4: The Reformer and the Reactionary: Gaius Gracchus and Lucius Opimius
Chapter 5: The Noble, the New Man, and the Fallen Patrician: Metellus, Marius, and Sulla
Chapter 6: The Republic Devours Its Own: Three Dead Tribunes and Two Civil Wars
Chapter 7: Bloody Masters of Rome: Marius, Cinna, Carbo, and Sulla
Chapter 8: The Butcher and the Financier: The Early Careers of Pompey and Crassus
Chapter 9: The Orator and the Conspirator: Cicero and Catiline
Chapter 10: Sky-watching and Law-making: Bibulus and Caesar
Chapter 11: The Patrician Populist and the Statesman: Clodius and Cicero
Chapter 12: The Triumvirate Disintegrates: Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar
Chapter 13: Deadlock and War: Pompey and Caesar
Conclusion: The Death Throes of the Republic

Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: List of Ancient Authors and Available Online Translations

More from this publisher