SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome - Chapter 7: "From Empire to Emperors" Summary & Analysis

Mary Beard
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Summary

In 70 BCE, Cicero prosecuted Gaius Verres, governor of Sicily for thefts and abuses of power during his posting on the island. This case is an example of the kinds of controversies that arose during the decline of the Republican period. The need to govern the now expansive empire led to power being given to individual commanders, thus shifting the cultural mentality toward autocratic rule. By the middle of the first century BCE, Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar had emerged as rivals for autocratic rule in Rome.

Governors frequently exploited their territories, though as the case against Verres demonstrates, that behavior did not always go completely unchecked. Philosophical treatises by the likes of Cicero and the establishment of a criminal court to redress the poor treatment of foreigners by Roman governors demonstrate a political will to tackle corruption and a...

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This section contains 1,376 words
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Buy the SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Study Guide
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