History 204: Unit 2

Ancient Rome, Winter, 2019-20

Part II, From Republic to Empire

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

11. The Reforms of the Gracchi: Tiberius Gracchus

READ: Stillman, 36-44.

MAPS: Gracchi Reforms map (handout)

Were Tiberius Gracchus' proposed reforms a good solution to the problems that Rome faced? What should he have done to have achieved a more successful outcome? Was Tiberius motivated by his desire to reform Rome, or for his own personal gains?

12. The Reforms of the Gracchi: Gaius Gracchus

READ: Stillman, 44-56, and "Arguing about the Gracchi."

How would you compare the leadership of Gaius Gracchus with that of his brother Tiberius? What was the biggest mistake these men made? What should they have done instead? Could legislative and constitutional reforms have solved the problems the Roman Republic faced at this time? Do you agree with the quote Stillman introduces on page 51 that "those who build on the people build on mud?"

13. Debate/position paper: The reforms and actions of the Gracchi were in the best interests of Rome.

14. Reform of the military: Gaius Marius and the Roman Army

READ: Gwynn, 79 ("The Rise of the Warlords")-82 (to top paragraph); T&B, 181-190.

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #9-10.

Were the reforms of Marius appropriate? Was the Roman military good or bad for Rome?

15. Sulla

READ: T&B, 49 (top paragraph); Gwynn, 82-83, 101-105 (top paragraph); Plutarch, Fall of the Roman Republic, excerpts (56-98).

What words would you use to describe Sulla? How do you account for his rise to power? To what extent were his actions justified? What does his career tell you about Rome in the last years of the Republic?

16. Work and Slavery

READ: T&B, 121-130; Scott, "Population Control," 155-157, 180-182; Brent D. Shaw, Spartacus and the Slave Wars, 33-35;

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #23.

Today we think of slavery as immoral; would you judge slavery to be immoral based on the way it operated in Rome? Do you think that T&B depict Roman slavery accurately? What's important to know about Rome's predominantly agricultural society?

17. The Spartacus Slave Revolt

READ: T&B, 144-147 ("The Amphitheatre and Gladiators"); Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic, 139-149; Shaw, 153-155

What do the gladiatorial contests teach us about Rome? What is the significance of the Spartacus Revolt? How should we depict Spartacus? Was he a hero or a criminal? Describe the dispute between the new consuls Pompey and Crassus.

18. Cicero: The Catiline Conspiracy

READ: Jackson Spielvogel, Western Civilization to 1500, vol. 7, 137-138 (stop at "The Struggle Between Pompey and Caesar"); T&B, 80-89; "Revolt of Catiline" (from Facts on File), Holland, 199-204.

What did it take to become a political leader in the Roman republic? What happened in the Catiline Conspiracy? Was Cicero justified in executing the conspirators? Do you agree with Sallust's assessment of the situation?

19. Cicero, Pompey, and Caesar

READ: Gwynn, 109-112; Cicero, Selected Works, 7, 58, 78-80; Plutarch, 267-272

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #13.

In the struggle between Julius Caesar and Pompey, what should Cicero have done? How would you answer the questions he poses in his letter to Atticus (his publisher)? Can we trust what Cicero writes? Was he an idealist or an opportunist? How is Julius Caesar depicted in these readings?

20. Julius Caesar

READ: Gwynn, 113-114; T&B, 51 (bottom paragraph); Stillman, 59-61; Holland, xiii-xvii (stop at "Just the opposite might be thought."); Plutarch, 313-322.

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #14 & 15.

How was Julius Caesar able to achieve such power? Did he deserve to be assassinated?

21. Debate/position paper: Julius Caesar was a threat to the republic and deserved to be assassinated. (E format: The debate is postponed until next Thursday. For Tuesday Feb. 4, skip ahead to reading number 23. We'll do 22 after the debate, on Monday Feb. 10.)

22. Augustus (E format is doing it Feb. 10)

READ: T&B, 52-54; Spielvogel, 139-142; Holland, 364-371; "The Achievements of Augustus", 44-45 (stop at "Sources and Method"), 53-56 Excerpt 5 – From Dio Cassiius [c. 150-235 AD], Roman History and Excerpt 6 – From Tacitus [56- c.117 AD] Annals).

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #11, 16.

How do you account for the success of Augustus? Do you approve of the course of action he took? Would it have been possible to restore the Republic in its original form? Would it have been desirable to have attempted to have done so?

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4