The Carthaginians, so dismissive of their opponent’s seafaring

The main strength of Carthage, Rome’s rival in the Punic Wars, was their naval abilities. Not only were they skilled in seafaring and fighting with ships, but they were also admired for the quality of their ships. Because of these known strengths of Carthage, Rome came to the realization that in order to defeat Carthage, it would be necessary for them to build a strong naval fleet of  their own. “The Carthaginians, so dismissive of their opponent’s seafaring skills, had not even bothered to form battle lines. When the Carthaginian flagship was captured, the commander was forced to flee in a rowing boat.” ( The Carthaginians were so confident in their naval skills that they did not see Rome as a threat and were therefore unprepared for battle, which is likely one reason for their defeat. The expansion of Rome caused multiple issues, one being a decline in the number of small landowners. This is because they were frequently forced to serve in the military, some of their farms were destroyed, and they couldn’t compete with the cheap grain imported from Sicily, a new Roman province. Therefore, as a result of the expansion, many small landowners were left unemployed, poor, and hungry. These people made up the majority of the citizens of Rome. On the other hand, those who lived in the city and had more money were able to buy the land from the small landowners who needed the money. Then, the rich people were able to hire cheap slaves from conquered areas to work the land for them. From this, large slave plantations called latifundia were established and became common in many parts of Italy.Julius Caesar came from a family involved in politics and was expected to be involved as well so he made connections with politicians. Some of these politicians were out of favor because they supported Marius, a Roman general and consul, and Sulla, the dictator of Rome wanted to get rid of any Marian supporters. Caesar was arrested, but Sulla spared him, along with some others. Although he was released, it was obvious that Caesar would have to leave Rome for a while until the tension decreased a little, so he went into exile. He left Rome to join the army, then he spent some time in the south of Italy improving his education, and was captured by pirates. They let him go and he returned to Rome because Sulla was no longer ruling so it was safe for him. He began to buy popularity and a way back into politics through bribes, public shows, gladiatorial contests, games, and banquets for everyone to attend. He was sent to Spain and to everyone’s surprise, he was successful in commanding the military. After this, he allied with Pompey and Crassus to form the first triumvirate, which is a group of three men holding power, and became a consul. Once his one-year term of office as consul ended, he found a new position as the governor of Gaul. After conquering many areas and gaining more power he gained complete control as dictator of Rome once Pompey and Crassus were killed.When Julius Caesar became the dictator of Rome, he made many reforms in order to help the citizens. “…one of his first endeavors was to offer land to seasoned veterans. Next, he gave grain to the urban poor and planned to move these same poor to the newly acquired colonies in Anatolia, Greece and North Africa… He created a new calendar (still in use today), and provided both gladiatorial games and banquets as entertainment… Caesar not only provided jobs through public work projects but also cleaned up the dangerous city streets. He even built a public library.” ( While most commoners liked these reforms, many of his enemies and even some of his friends were upset that their beloved republic no longer existed in the way it did previously. Not only did they believe they no longer had a voice in politics, but Caesar was also extremely arrogant and mainly concerned with vanity, which offended many people in the Senate. Because of this, an unusual mix of both friends and enemies of Caesar conspired against him and plotted to kill him. One day, when Caesar entered the Senate building, the conspirators approached him and to his surprise, stabbed him to death.Before Julius Caesar was killed, he wrote in his will that his nephew, Octavian, was to be the next ruler after him. Unlike Julius, Octavian did not rule as a dictator, but rather as the first emperor of Rome. “Instead of following Caesar’s example and making himself dictator, Octavian in 27 BC founded the principate, a system of monarchy headed by an emperor holding power for life.” ( Along with taking on this position, he took on a new name as well, Augustus, meaning ‘lofty’ or ‘serene’. For the most part, these adjectives described him fairly well, as he was considered by many to be not only a successful leader, but caring as well.  “He initiated religious reforms… Augustus established a very effective financial system in his empire… His monetary reforms led to expansion in trade… Augustus transformed the appearance of Rome with massive building projects… He secured order and protection of Rome by instituting police and fire-fighting forces” ( These were some of his many accomplishments and are all reasons that the people of Rome adored him.


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