Roman Republic

The Roman Republic was a phase in history of the Ancient Roman civilization. According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by Romulus in c. 750 BC. It was a kingdom until 510 BC, when the last King, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown. Then began the Roman Republic.

Roman Republic
Res publica Romana
509 BC–27 BC
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Common languagesLatin (official)

Etruscan, Greek, Osco-Umbrian, Venetic, Ligurian, Rhaetian, Nuragic, Sicel, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Punic, Berber, Illyrian, Iberian, Lusitanian, Celtiberian, Gaulish, Gallaecian, Aquitanian (unofficial, but commonly spoken)
Roman polytheism
GovernmentConstitutional republic
• 509–508 BC
Lucius Junius Brutus,
Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (first)
• 27 BC
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (last)
LegislatureLegislative Assemblies
Roman Senate
Historical eraClassical antiquity
509 BC
• Dissolution of the Latin League
338 BC[1]
• Caesar proclaimed dictator
47 BC
2 September 31 BC
16 January 27 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Capitoline Wolf of Roman Kingdom.svg Roman Kingdom
Roman Empire Augustus first century aureus obverse.png
Today part of

The Roman Republic was a civilization that was ahead of its time and very advanced. The Roman people elected consuls, who ruled for about a year. Many of the ideas of the Roman Republic are still used today.

The Roman Republic got most of its wealth from trading and taxation. The Roman army was the strongest in Italy. It was constantly battling the Gauls, who were later conquered by Caesar. The Punic Wars against Carthage were fought all over the Mediterranean coasts, mainly because of disputes over Sicily and trade. The third enemy was the Germanic tribes or other barbarians (uncivilized people).

The Roman Republic suffered many disasters, including Spartacus (the leader of a slave revolt) who defeated one consul's army before he was captured. Also, Hannibal crossed the Alps and then defeated the Roman army at Cannae and many other battles, which saw Rome greatly fear being destroyed by Carthage.

The end of the Roman Republic is still a matter of dispute, and different scholars will give different dates for it. Usually, the dates of the start of either the First Triumvirate or the Second Triumvirate are given. The triumvirates were groups of three men who had much power.

The end of the Roman Republic is often said to be Gaius Julius Caesar's appointment as dictator (single ruler) by the Roman Senate. That happened after a series of civil wars lasting from about 49 BC to 44 BC.

Some people say the Roman Republic ended with the naval Battle of Actium between Marcus Antonius and Octavian. Both had been in the Second Triumvirate. The battle was fought on 2 September 31 BC in which Octavian won. Later, he was proclaimed Roman emperor. The end date could also be when Octavian was given the title of the first Augustus by the Senate, on 16 January 27 BC.

Those are modern views, however. In the view of the early emperors, the Res Publica (Republic, literally "Thing of the People") still existed but was simply "under their protection". They promised that some day that the Republic would restored to its original form. That never happened and so scholars divide the Roman Empire and the Roman Republic as two different and distinct periods in the history of Rome.

Roman Republic Media


  1. "Latin League". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  2. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage, pp. 455, 456.
  3. Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth–Decline Curves, 600 BC to 600 AD". Social Science History. 3 (3/4): 115–138 [125]. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
  4. Crawford 1974, pp. 292–93.