Consider the period of the Late Roman Republic, from the arrival of the Gracchi (ca. 133 BC) down to the outbreak of civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey in 49 BC. What were some of the major issues or problems that lay behind the unraveling of the traditional, republican political order and the escalating frequency of civil unrest? You may wish to highlight specific individuals and why they were problematic, but also remember the role of certain classes or groups in the Roman socio-political order, as well as other unsolved problems that existed in the state/empire. Make sure to refer to primary sources throughout your arguments where possible.
Octavian emerged from civil war in the Late Republic to become the sole ruler at Rome and over its empire. We regard him, particularly under the name Augustus, as the first Roman emperor, and he was arguably the most successful of any. Write an essay that specifically discusses why Augustus’ immediate successors, the Julio-Claudians, were nowhere near as successful in ruling as he had been. Focus carefully on what Augustus had created in terms of ruling and how effective the following four emperors (Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero) were in upholding and working with this. Make sure you refer to the primary sources we’ve looked at for the reign of Augustus and his successors.
Identify at least three key developments that led to the “fall” of the Roman Empire in the West from about 200-500 AD.