Consuls of the
Roman Republic



The Roman Republic
509 BCL. Iunius M.f. Brutus
L. Tarquinius Collatinus
Suffecti:  P. Valerius Volusi f. Publicola
T. Lucretius T.?f. Tricipitinus
M. Horatius M.f. Pulvillus
508P. Valerius Volusi f. Publicola II
T. Lucretius T.f. Tricipitinus
507P. Valerius Volusi f. Publicola III
M. Horatius M.f. Pulvillus II
506Sp. Larcius Rufus
T. Herminius Aquilinus
505M. Valerius Volusi f. (Volusus?)
P. Postumius Q.f. Tubertus
504P. Valerius Volusi f. Publicola IV
T. Lucretius T.f. Tricipitinus II
503Agrippa Menenius C.f. Lanatus
P. Postumius Q.f. Tubertus II
502Opiter Verginius Opit. f. Tricostus
Sp. Cassius Vecellinus
501Postumius Cominius Auruncus
T. Larcius Flavus (or Rufus)
500Ser. Sulpicius P.f. Camarinus Cornutus
M'. Tullius Longus
499T. Aebutius T.f. Helva
C. (or P.) Veturius Geminus Cicurinus
498Q. Cloelius Siculus
T. Larcius Flavus (or Rufus) II
497A. Sempronius Atratinus
M. Minucius Augurinus
496A. Postumius P.f. Albus (Regillensis)
T. Verginius A.f. Tricostus Caeliomontanus
495Ap. Claudius M.f. Sabinus Inregillensis
P. Servilius P.f. Priscus Structus
494A. Verginius A.f Tricostus Caeliomontanus
T. Veturius Geminus Cicurinus
493Postumus Cominius Auruncus II
Sp. Cassius Vecellinus II
492T. Geganius Macerinus
P. Minucius Augurinus
491M. Minucius Augurinus II
A. Sempronius Atratinus II
490Q. Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus
Sp. Larcius Flavus (or Rufus) II
489C. Iulius Iullus
P. Pinarius Mamertinus Rufus
488Sp. Nautius Sp.?f. Rutilus
Sex. Furius Medullinus? Fusus?
487T. Sicinus Sabinus?
C. Aquillius Tuscus?
486Sp. Cassius Vicellinus III
Proculus Verginius Tricostus Rutilus
485Ser. Cornelius Maluginensis
Q. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus
484L. Aemilus Mam.f. Mamercus
K. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus
483M. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus
L. Valerius M.f. Potitus
482Q. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus II
C. Iulius C.f. Iullus
481K. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus II
Sp. Furius Fusus
480M. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus II
Cn. Manlius P.f. Cincinnatus
479K. Fabius K.f. Vibulanus III
T. Verginius Opet.f. Tricostus Rutilus
478L. Aemilius Man.f. Mamercus II
C. Servilius Structus Ahala
suff.: Opet. Verginius Esquilinus
477C. (or M.) Horatius M.f. Pulvillus
T. Menenius Agrippae f. Lanatus
476A. Verginius Tricostus Rutilus
Sp. Servilius (P.f.?) Structus
475P. Valerius P.f. Publicola
C. Nautius Sp.f. Rutilus
474L. Furius Medullinus
A. Manlius Cn.f. Vulso
473L. Aemilius Mam.f. Mamercus III
Vopiscus Iulius C.f. Iullus
472L. Pinarius Mamercinus Rufus
P. Furius Medullinus Fusus
471Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Crassinus Inregilliensis Sabinus
T. Quinctius L.f. Capitolinus Barbatus
470L. Valerius M.f. Potitus II
Ti. Aemilius L.f. Mamercus
469T. Numicius Priscus
A. Verginius Caeliomontanus
468T. Quinctius L.f. Capitolinus Barbatus II
Q. Servilius Structus Priscus
467Ti. Aemilius L.f. Mamercus II
Q. Fabius M.f. Vibulanus
466Q. Servilius Priscus II
Sp. Postumius A.f. Albus Regillensis
465Q. Fabius M.f. Vibulanus II
T. Quinctius L.f. Capitolinus Barbatus III
464A. Postumius A.f. Albus Regillensis
Sp. Furius Medullinus Fusus
463P. Servilius Sp.f. Priscus
L. Aebutius T.f. Helva
462L. Lucretius T. f. Tricipitinus
T. Veturius T.f. Geminus Cicurinus
461P. Volumnius M.f. Amintinus Gallus
Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus
460P. Valerius P.f. Poblicola
C. Claudius Ap.f. Inregillensis Sabinus
suff.: L. Quinctius L.f. Cincinnatus
459Q. Fabius M.f. Vibulanus III
L. Cornelius Ser.f. Maluginensis Uritus
458C. Nautius Sp.f. Rutilus II
Carvetus ?
suff.: L. Minucius. P.f. Esquilinus Augurinus
L. Quinctius L.f. Cincinnatus, Dictator, 458
457C. (or M.) Horatius M.F. Pulvillus II
Q. Minucius P.f. Esquilinus
456M. Valerius M'.f. Maximus Lactuca
Sp. Verginius A.f. Tricostus Caeliomontanus
455T. Romilius T.f. Rocus Vaticanus
C. Veturius P.f. Cicurinus
454Sp. Tarpeius M.f. Montanus Capitolinus
A. Aternius Varus Fontinalis
453Sex. Quinctilius Sex.f.
P. Curiatus Fistus Trigeminus
452T. Menenius Agripp.f. Lanatus
P. Sestius Q.f. Capito Vaticanus
451Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus II
T. Genucius L.f. Augurinus
450Decemviri
449L. Valerius P.f. Potitus
M. Horatius Barbatus
448Lars (or Sp.) Herminius Coritinesanus
T. Verginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus
447M. Geganius M.f. Macerinus
C. Iulius (Iullus?)
446T. Quinctius L.f. Capitolinus Barbatus IV
Agrippa Furius Fusus
445M. Genucius Augurinius
C. (or Agripp.) Curtius Philo
444Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
suff.: L. Papirius Mugillanus
L. Sempronius A.f. Atratinus
443M. Geganius M.f. Macerinus II
T. Quinctius L.f. Capitolinus Barbatus V
442M. Fabius Q.f. Vibulanus
Post. Aebutius Helva Cornicen
441C. Furius Pacilus Fusus
M'. (or M.) Papirius Crassus
440Proculus Geganius Macerinus
T. Menenius Agripp. Lanatus II
439Agrippa Menenius T.f. Lanatus
T. Quinctius L.f Capitolinus Barbatus VI
L. Quinctius L.f. Cincinnatus, Dictator, 439
438Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
437M. Geganius M.f Macerinus III
L. Sergius L.f. Fidenas
Suff.: M. Valerius M.f. Lactuca Maximus
436L. Papirius Crassus
M. Cornelius Maluginensis
435C. Iulius (Iullus?) II
L. (or Proc.) Verginius Tricostus
434C. Iulius Iullus III
L. (or Proc.) Verginus Tricostus II or
M. Manlius Capitolinus
Q. Sulpicius Ser.?f. Camerinus Praetextatus
433-432Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
431T. Quinctius L.f. Poenus Cincinnatus
C. (or Cn) Iulius Mento
430L. (or C.) Papirius Crassus
L. Iulius Vop.f Iullus
429Hostus Lucretius Tricipitinus
L. Sergius C.f Fidenas II
428A. Cornelius M.f. Cossus
T. Quinctius L.f Poenus Cincinnatus II
(Listed by Diodorus between the
colleges of 428 and 427:
L. Quinctius (L.f. Cincinnatus)
A. Sempronius (L.f. Atratinus))
427C. Servilius Structus Ahala
L. Papirius L.f Mugillanus
426-424Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
423C. Sempronius Atratinus
Q. Fabius Q.f. Vibulanus
422Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
421Cn. (or N.) Fabius Vibulanus
T. Quinctius T.f Capitolinus Barbatus
420-414Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
413A. (or M.?) Cornelius Cossus
L. Furius L.f. Medullinus
412Q. Fabius Ambustus Vibulanus
C. Furius Pacilus
411L. Papirius L.f. Mugillanus
Sp. (or C.) Nautius Sp.f. Rutilus
410M'. Aemilius Mam.f. Mamercinus
C. Valerius L.f. Potitus Volusus
409Cn. Cornelius A.f. Cossus
L. Furius L.f. Medullinus II
408-394Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
Siege & Capture of Veii, 405-396
393L. Valerius L.f. Potitus
P.? (or Ser.) Cornelius Maluginensis
Suff.: L. Lucrrtius Tricipitinus Flavus
Ser. Sulpicius Q.f. Camerinus
392L. Valerius L.f. Potitus II
M. Manlius T.f. Capitolinus
391-376Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
Gauls sack Rome, 390
370-367Trib. Mil. Cons. Pot.
366L. Aemilius L.f. Mamercinus
L. Sextius f. Sextinus Lateranus
365L. Genucius M.f. Aventinensis
Q. Servilius Q.f. Ahala
364C. Sulpicius M.f. Peticus
C. Licinius C.f. Stolo or Calvus
363Cn. Gentucius M.f Aventinensis
L. Aemilius L.f. Mamercinus II
362Q. Servilius Q.f. Ahala II
L. Genucius M.f. Aventinensis II
361C. Licinius C.f. Calvus or Stolo
C. Sulpicius M.f. Peticus II
360M. Fabius N.f. Ambustus
C. Poetelius C.f. Libo Visolus
359M. Popillius M.f. Laenas
Cn. Manlius L.f. Capitolinus Imperiosus
358C. Fabius N.f. Ambustus
C. Plautius P.f. Proculus
357C. Marcius L.f. Rutilus
Cn. Manlius L.f. Capitolinus Imperiosus II
356M. Fabius N.f. Ambustus II
M. Popillius M.f. Laenas II
355C. Sulpicius M.f. Peticus III
M. Valerius L.f. Poplicola
354M. Fabius N.f. Ambustus III
T. Quinctius Poenus Capitolinus Crispinus
353C. Sulpicius M.f. Peticus IV
M. Valerius L.f. Poplicola II
352P. Valerius P.f. Poplicola
C. Marcius L.f. Rutilus II
351C. Sulpicius M.f. Peticus V
T. Quinctius Poenus Capitolinus Crispinus II
350M. Popillius M.f. Laenas III
L. Cornelius P.f. Scipio
349L. Furius M.f. Camillus
Ap. Claudius P.f. Crassus Inregillensis
(Listed under this year by Diodorus:
M. Aemilius, T. Quinctius)
348M. Valerius M.f. Corvus
M. Popillius M.f. Laenas IV
347C. Plautius Venno (or Venox)
T. Manlius L.f. Imperiosus Torquatus
346M. Valerius M.f. Corvus II
C. Poetelius C.f. Libo Visolus II
345M. Fabius Dorsuo
Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus Rufus
344C. Marcius L.f. Rutilus III
T. Manlius L.f. Imperiosus Torquatus II
343M. Valerius M.f. Corvus III
A. Cornelius P.f. Cossus Arvina
First Samnite War, 343-341
342Q. Servilius Q.f. Ahala III
C. Marcius L.f. Rutilus IV
341C. Plautius Venno (Venox) II
L. Aemilius L.f. Mamercinus Privernas
340T. Manlius L.f. Imperiosus Torquatus III
P. Decius Q.f. Mus
Latin War, 340-338
339Ti. Aemilius Mamercinus
Q. Publilius Q.f. Philo
338L. Furius Sp.f. Camillus
C. Maenius P.f.
Annexation of Campania, 338
337C. Sulpicius Ser.f Longus
P. Aelius Paetus
336L. Papirius L.f. Crassus
K. Duillius
335M. Atilius Regulus Calenus
M. Valerius M.f. Corvus IV
334Sp. Postumius Albinus (Caudinus)
T. Veturitis Clavinus
333Dictator year
332Cn. Domitius Cn.F. Calvinus
A. Cornelius P.f. Cossus Arvina II
331C. Valerius L.f. Potitus
M. Claudius C.f. Marcellus
330L. Papirius L.f. Crassus II
L. Plautius L.f. Venno (Venox)
329L. Aemilius L.f Mamercinus Privernas II
C. Plautius P.f. Decianus
328C. Plautius Decianns II or
P. Plautius Proculus
P. Cornelius Scapula
or P. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus
327L. Cornelius Lentulus
Q. Publilius Q.f. Philo II
Second Samnite War, 326-304
326C. Poetelius C.f. Libo Visolus III
L. Papirius Sp.f. Cursor
325L. Furius Sp.f. Camillus II
D. Iunius Brutus Scaeva
324Dictator year
323C. Sulpicius Ser.f. Longus II
Q. Aulius Q.f. Cerretanus
322Q. Fabius M.f. Maximus Rullianus
L. Fulvius L.f. Curvus
321T. Veturius Calvinus II
Sp. Postumius Albinus (Caudinus) II
320L. Papirius Sp.f. Cursor II
Q. Publilius Q.f. Philo III
319L. Papirius Sp.f. Cursor III
Q. Aulius Q.f. Cerretanus II
318L. Plautius L.f. Venno (Venox)
M. Folius C.F. Flaccinator
317Q. Aemilius Q.f. Barbula
C. Iunius C.f. Bubulcus Brutus
316Sp. Nautius Sp.f. Rutilus
M. Popillius M.f. Laenas
315L. Papirius Sp.f. Cursor IV
Q. Publilius Q.f. Philo IV
314M. Poetelius M.f. Libo
C. Sulpicius Ser.f. Longus III
313L. Papirius Sp.f. Cursor V
C. Iunius C.f. Bubulcus Brutus II
312M. Valerius M.f Maximus (Corrinus)
P. Decius P.f. Mus
311C. Iunius C.f Bubulcus Brutus III
Q. Aemilius Q.f. Barbula II
310Q. Fabius M.f. Maximus Rullianus II
C. Marcius C.f. Rutilus (Censorinus)
309Dictator year
308P. Decius P.f. Mus II
Q. Fabius M.f. Maximus Rullianus III
307Ap. Claudius C.f. Caenus
L. Volumnius C.f. Flamma Violens
306Q. Marcius Q.f. Tremulus
P. Cornelius A.f. Arvina
305L. Postumius L.f. Megellus
Ti. Minucius M.f. Augurinus
Suff.: M. Fulvius L.f. Curvus Paetinus
304P. Sempronius P.f. Sophus
P. Sulpicius Ser.f. Saverrio
303Ser. Cornelius Cn.f. Lentulus
L. Genucius Aventinensis
302M. Livius Denter
M. Aemilius L.f. Paullus
301Dictator year
300M. Valerius M.f. Corvus V
Q. Appuleius Pansa
299M. Fulvius Cn.f. Paeyinus
T. Manlius T.f. Torquatus
Suff.: M. Valerius M.f. Corvus VI
298L. Cornelius Cn.f. Scipio Barbatus
Cn. Fulvius Cn.f. Maximus Centumalus
Third Samnite War, 298-290
297Q. Fabius M.f. Maximus Rullianus IV
P. Decius P.f. Mus III
296Ap. Claudius C.f. Caecus II
L. Volumnius C.f. Flamma Violens II
295Q. Fabius M.f. Maximus Rullianus V
P. Decius P.f. Mus IV
294L. Postumius L.f. Megellus II
M. Atilius M.f. Regulus
293L. Papirius L.f. Cursor
Sp. Carvilius C.f. Maximus
292Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Gurges
D. Iunius D.f. Brutus Scaeva
291L. Postumius L.f. Megellus III
C. Iunius C.f. Bubulcus Brutus
290M'. Curius M'.f Dentatus
P. Cornelius Cn.f. Rufinus
289M. Valerius M.f. Maximus Corvinus II
Q. Caedicius Q.f. Noctua
288Q. Marcius Q.f Tremulus II
P. Cornelius A.f. Arvina II
287M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
C. Nautius Rutilus
286M. Valerius Maximus (Potitus?)
C. Aelius Paetus
285C. Claudius M.f. Canina
M. Aemilius Lepidus
284C. Servilius Tucca
L. Caecilius Metellus Denter
283P. Cornelius Dolabella
Cn. Domitius Cn.f. Calvinus Maximus
282C. Fabricius C.f. Luscinus
Q. Aemilius Cn.f. Papus
281L. Aemilius Q.f. Barbula
Q. Marcius Q.f. Philippus
280P. Valerius Laevinus
Ti. Coruncanius Ti.f.
War with Pyrrhus, 280-275
279P. Sulpicius P.f. Saverrio
P. Decius P.f. Mus
278C. Fabricius C.f. Luscinus II
Q. Aemilius Cn.f. Papus II
277P. Cornelius Cn.f. Rufinus II
C. Iunius C.f. Bubulcus Brutus I
276Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Gurges II
C. Genucius L.f. Clepsina
275M'. Curius M'.f. Dentatus II
L. Cornelius Ti.f. Lentulus Caudinus
274M'. Curius M'.f. Dentatus III
Ser. Cornelius P.f. Merenda
273C. Fabius M.f. Licinus
C. Claudius M.f. Canina II
272L. Papirius L.f. Cursor II
Sp. Carvilius C.f. Maximus II
Surrender of Tarentum, 272
271K. Quinctius L.f. Claudus
L. Genucius L.f. Clepsina
270C. Genucius L.f. Clepsina II
Cn. Cornelius P.f. Blasio
269Q. Ogulnius L.f. Gallus
C. Fabius C.f. Pictor
268P. Sempronius P.f. Sophus
Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Russus
267M. Atilius M.f. Regulus
L. Iulius L.f. Libo
266D. Iunius D.f. Pera
N. Fabius C.f Pictor
265Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Gurges
L. Mamilus Q.f. Vitulus
264Ap. Claudius C.f. Caudex
M. Fulvius Q.f. Flaccus
First Punic War, 264-241
263M'. Valerius M.f. Maximus (Messalla)
M'. Otacilius C.f. Crassus
262L. Postumius L.f. Megellus
Q. Mamilius Q.f. Vitulus
261L. Valerius M.f. Flaccus
T. Otacilius C.f. Crassus
260Cn. Cornelius L.f Scipio Asina
C. Duilius M.f.
259L. Cornelius L.f. Scipio
C. Aquillius M.f. Florus
258A. Atilius A.f. Caiatinus
C. Sulpicius Q.f. Paterculus
257C. Atilius M.f. Regulus
Cn. Cornelius P.f. Blasio II
256L. Manlius A.f. Vulso Longus
Q. Caedicius Q.f.
Suff.: M. Atilius M.f. Regulus II
255Ser. Fulvius M.f Paetinus Nobilior
M. Aemilius M.f. Paullus
254Cn. Cornelius L.f. Scipio Asina II
A. Atilius A.f. Caiatinus II
253Cn. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
C. Sempronius Ti.f. Blaesus
252C. Aurelius L.f. Cotta
P. Servilius Q.f. Geminus
251L. Caecilius L.f. Metellus
C. Furius C.f. Pacilus
250C. Atilius M.f. Regulus II
L. Manlius A.f. Vulso II
249P. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
L. Iunius C.f. Pullus
248C. Aurelius L.f. Cotta II
P. Servilius Q.f. Geminus II
247L. Caecilius L.f. Metellus II
N. Fabius M.f. Buteo
246M'. Otacilius C.f. Crassus II
M. Fabius C.f. Licinus
245M. Fabius M.f. Buteo
C. Atilius A.f. Bulbus
244A. Manlius T.f. Torquatus Atticus
C. Sempronius Ti.f. Blaesus II
243C. Fundanius C.f. Fundulus
C. Sulpicius C.f. Galus
242C. Lutatius C.f. Catulus
A. Postumius A.f. Albinus
241A. Manlius T.f. Torquatus Atticus II
Q. Lutatius C.f. Cerco
240C. Claudius Ap.f Centho
M. Sempronius C.f. Tuditanus
239C. Mamilius Q.f. Turrinus
Q. Valerius Q.f. Falto
238Ti. Sempronius Ti.f. Gracchus
P. Valerius Q.f. Falto
237L. Cornelius L.f. Lentulus Caudinus
Q. Fulvius M.f. Flaccus
Occupation of Corsica & Sardinia, 237
236P. Cornelius L.f Lentulus Caudinus
C. Licinius P.f. Varus
235T. Manlius T.f. Torquatus
C. Atilius A.f. Bulbus II
234L. Postumius A.f. Albinus
Sp. Carvilius Sp.f. Maximus (Ruga)
233Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus
M'. Pomponius M'.f. Matho
232M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus
M. Publicius L.f Malleolus
231M. Pomponius M'.f. Matho
C. Papirius C.f. Maso
230M. Aemilius L.f. Barbula
M. Iunius D.f. Pera
229L. Postumius A.f. Albinus II
Cn. Fulvius Cn.f. Centumalus
First Illyrian War, 229-228
228Sp. Carvilius Sp.f. Maximus II
Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus II
227P. Valerius L.f. Flaccus
M. Atilius M.f. Regulus
226M. Valerius M'.f. (Maximus) Messalla
L. Apustius L.f. Fullo
225L. Aemilius Q.f. Papus
C. Atilius M.f. Regulus
224T. Manlius T.f Torquatus II
Q. Fulvius M.f. Flaccus II
223C. Flaminius C.f.
P. Furius Sp.f. Philus
222Cn. Cornelius L.f. Scipio Calvus
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
221P. Cornelius Cn.f. Scipio Asina
M. Minucius C.f. Rufus
Suff.: M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus II
220M. Valerius P.f. Laevinus
Q. Mucius P.f. Scaevola
Suff(?): L. Veturius L.f. Philo
C. Lutatius C.f. Catulus
219L. Aemilius M.f. Paullus
M. Livius M.f. Salinator
218P. Cornelius L.f. Scipio
Ti. Sempronius C.f. Longus
Second Punic War, 218-201;
Defeat by Hannibal at Trebia River, 218
217Cn. Servilius P.f. Geminus
C. Flaminius C.f. II
Suff.: M. Atilius M.f. Regulus II
Defeat by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene, Flaminius killed,
Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus Dictator, 217
216L. Aemilius M.f. Paullus II
C. Terentius C.f. Varro
Defeat by Hannibal at Cannae, Paullus killed,
Varro escapes, 216
215Ti. Sempronius Ti.f. Gracchus
L. Postumius A.f. Albinus III
Suff.: M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus II abd.
Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus
(Cunctator) III
214Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus IV
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus III
First Macedonian War, 214-205
213Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus
Ti. Sempronius Ti.f. Gracchus II
212Ap. Claudius P.f. Pulcher
Q. Fulvius M.f. Flaccus III
211P. Sulpicius Ser.f. Galba Maximus
Cn. Fulvius Cn.f. Centumalus Maximus
210M. Valerius P.f. Laevinus II
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus IV
209Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Verrucosus V
Q. Fulvius M.f. Flaccus IV
208M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus V
T. Quinctius L.f. Crispinus
207C. Claudius Ti.f. Nero
M. Livius M.f. Salinator II
206Q. Caecilius L.f. Metellus
L. Veturius L.f. Philo
205P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Africanus
P. Licinius P.f. Crassus Dives
204M. Cornelius M.f. Cethegus
P. Sempronius C.f. Tuditanus
Scipio Africanus invades Africa, 204
203Cn. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
C. Servilius C.f. Geminus
202Ti. Claudius P.f. Nero
M. Servilius C.f. Pulex Geminus
Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama, 202
201Cn. Cornelius L.f. Lentulus
P. Aelius Q.f. Paetus
200P. Sulpicius Ser.f. Galba Maximus II
C. Aurelius C.f. Cotta
Second Macedonian War, 200-196
199L. Cornelius L.f. Lentulus
P. Villius Ti.f. Tappulus
198T. Quinctius T.f. Flamininus
Sex. Aelius Q.f. Paetus Catus
197C. Cornelius L.f Cethegus
Q. Minucius C.f. Rufus
196L. Furius Sp.f. Purpureo
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
195M. Porcius M.f. Cato (the Elder)
L. Valerius P.f. Flaccus
194P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Africanus II
Ti. Sempronius Ti.f. Longus
193L. Cornelius L.f. Merula
A. Minucius Q.f. Thermus
192L. Quinctius T.f. Flamininus
Cn. Domitius L.f. Ahenobarbus
Syrian War, 192-188
191M'. Acilius C.f. Glabrio
P. Cornelius Cn.f. Scipio Nasica
190L. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Asiaticus/Asiagenus
C. Laelius C.f.
Defeat of Antiochus III the Great, 190
189Cn. Manlius Cn.f. Vulso
M. Fulvius M.f. Nobilior
188C. Livius M.f. Salinator
M. Valerius M.f. Messalla
187M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus
C. Flaminius C.f.
186Sp. Postumius L.f. Albinus
Q. Marcius L.f. Philippus
185Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
M. Sempronius M.f. Tuditanus
184P. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
L. Porcius L.f. Licinus
183Q. Fabius Q.f. Labeo
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
182L. Aemilius L.f. Paullus
Cn. Baebius Q.f. Tamphilus
181P. Cornelius L.f. Cethegus
M. Baebius Q.f. Tamphilus
180A. Postumius A.f. Albinus (Luscus)
C. Calpurnius C.f. Piso
Suff.: Q. Fulvius Cn.f. Flaccus
179L. Manlius L.f. Acidinus Fulvianus
Q. Fulvius Q.f. Flaccus
178M. Iunius M.f. Brutus
A. Manlius Cn.f. Vulso
177C. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
Ti. Sempronius P.f. Gracchus
176Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Scipio Hispallus
Q. Petillius
Suff.: C. Valerius M.f. Laevinus
175P. Mucius Q.f. Scaevola
M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus II
174Sp. Postumius A.f. Albinus Paullulus
Q. Mucius Q.f. Scaevola
173L. Postumius A.f. Albinus
M. Popillius P.f. Laenas
172C. Popillius P.f. Laenas
P. Aelius P.f. Ligus
Third Macedonian War, 172-168/7
171P. Licinius C.f. Crassus
C. Cassius C.f. Longinus
170A. Hostilius L.f. Mancinus
A. Atilius C.f. Serranus
169Q. Marcius L.f. Philippus II
Cn. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
168L. Aemilius L.f. Paullus II
C. Licinius C.f. Crassus
167Q. Aelius P.f. Paetus
M. Iunius M.f. Pennus
166C. Sulpicius C.f. Galus
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
165T. Manlius A.f. Torquatus
Cn. Octavius Cn.f.
164A. Manlius A.f. Torquatus
Q. Cassius L.f. Longinus
163Ti. Sempronius P.f. Gracchus II
M'. Iuventius T.f. Thalna
162P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Nasica (Corculum)
C. Marcius C.f. Figulus
Suff.: P. Cornelius L.f. Lentulus
Cn. Domitius Cn.f. Ahenobarbus
161M. Valerius M.f. Messalla
C. Fannius C.f. Strabo
160L. Anicius L.f. Gallus
M. Cornelius C.f. Cethegus
159Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Dolabella
M. Fulvius M.f. Nobilior
158M. Aemilius M'.f. Lepidus
C. Popillius P.f. Laenas II
157Sex. Iulius Sex.f. Caesar
L. Aurelius L.f. Orestes
156L. Cornelius Cn.f. Lentulus Lupus
C. Marcius C.f. Figulus II
155P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Nasica II
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus II
Carneades at Rome, introduces Greek philosophy, 155
154Q. Opimius Q.f.
L. Postumius Sp.f. Albinus
Suff.: M'. Acilius M'.f. Glabrio
153Q. Fulvius M.f. Nobilior
T. Annius T.f. Luscus
152M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus III
L. Valerius L.f. Flaccus
151L. Licinius M.f. Lucullus
A. Postumius A.f. Albinus
150T. Quinctius T.f. Flamininus
M'. Acilius L.f. Balbus
149L. Marcius C.f. Censorinus
M'. Manilius P.f.
Third Punic War, 149-146
148Sp. Postumius Sp.f. Albinus Magnus
L. Calpurnius C.f. Piso Caesoninus
Fourth Macedonian War, Rome
annexes Greece & Macedonia, 148
147P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Africanus Aemilianus
C. Livius M. Aemiliani f. Drusus
146Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Lentulus
L. Mummius L.f.
Carthage destroyed by Scipio Aemilianus, 146
145Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Aemilianus
L. Hostilius L.f. Mancinus
144Ser. Sulpicius Ser.f Galba
L. Aurelius L.?f. Cotta
143Ap. Claudius C.f. Pulcher
Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Macedonicus
142L. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Calvus
Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus Servilianus
141Cn. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
Q. Pompeius A.f.
140C. Laelius C.f.
Q. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
139Cn. Calpurnius Piso
M. Popillius M.f. Laenas
138P. Cornelius P.F. Scipio Nasica Serapio
D. Iunius M.f. Brutus (Callaicus)
137M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus Porcina
C. Hostilius A.f. Mancinus
136L.? Furius Philus
Sex. Atilius M.f. Serranus
First Sicilian Slave War, 136-132
135Ser. Fulvius Q.f. Flaccus
Q. Calpurnius C.f. Piso
134P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Africanus Aemilianus II
C. Fulvius Q.f. Flaccus
133P. Mucius P.f. Scaevola
Calpurnius L.f. Piso Frugi
Pergamum willed to Rome, 133
132P. Popillius C.f. Laenas
P. Rupilius P.f.
131P. Licinius P.f. Crassus Mucianus
L. Valerius L.f. Flaccus
130L. Cornelius Lentulus
M. Perperna M.f.
Suff.: Ap. Claudius Pulcher
129C. Sempronius C.f. Tuditanus
M'. Aquillius M'.f.
128Cn. Octavius Cn.f.
T. Annius Rufus
127L. Cassius Longinus Ravilla
L. Cornelius L.f. Cinna
126M. Aemilius Lepidus
L. Aurelius L.f. Orestes
125M. Plautius Hypsaeus
M. Fulvius M.f. Flaccus
124C. Cassius Longinus
C. Sextius C.f. Calvinus
123Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus (Baliaricus)
T. Quinctius T.f. Flamininus
122Cn. Domitius Cn.f. Ahenobarbus
C. Fannius M.f.
121L. Opimius Q.f.
Q. Fabius Q. Aemiliani f. Maximus
120P. Manilius P.?f.
C. Papirius Carbo
119L. Caecilius L.f. Metellus (Delmaticus)
L. Aurelius Cotta
118M. Porcius M.f. Cato
Q. Marcius Q.f. Rex
117L. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Diadematus
Q. Mucius Q.f. Scaevola
116C. Licinius P.f. Geta
Q. Fabius Q. Serviliani f. (Augur) Maximus Eburnus
115M. Aemilius M.f. Scaurus
M. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus
114M'. Acilius M'.f. Balbus
C. Porcius M.f. Cato
113C. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Caprarius
Cn. Papirius C.f. Carbo
112M. Livius C.F. Drusus
L. Calpurnius L.f. Piso Caesoninus
War against Jugurtha, 112-106
111P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Nasica Serapio
L. Calpurnius Bestia
110M. Minucius Q.f. Rufus
Sp. Postumius Albinus
109Q. Caecilius L.f. Metellus (Numidicus)
M. Iunius D.f. Silanus
l08Ser. Sulpicius Ser.f. Galba
Q.? Hortensius
Suff.: M. Aemilius Scaurus
107L. Cassius L.f. Longinus
C. Marius C.f.
l06C. Atilius Serranus
Q. Servilius Cn.f. Caepio
105P. Rutilius P.f. Rufus
Cn. Mallius Cn.f. Maximus
104C. Marius C.f. II
C. Flavius C.f. Fimbria
Second Sicilian Slave War, 104-100
103C. Marius C.f. III
L. Aurelius L.f. Orestes
102C. Marius C.f. IV
Q. Lutatius Q.f. Catulus
Marius defeats Teutones & Cimbri, 102-101;
anti-piracy campaign in Cilicia, 102
101C. Marius C.f. V
M'. Aquillius M'.f.
100C. Marius C.f VI
L. Valerius L.f. Flaccus
99M. Antonius M.f.
A. Postumius Albinus
98Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Nepos
T. Didius T.f.
97Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Lentulas
P. Licinius M.f. Crassus
96Cn. Domitius Cn.f. Ahenobarbus
C. Cassius L.f. Longinus
95L. Licinius L.f. Crassus
Q. Mucius P.f. Scaevola
94C. Coelius C.f. Caldus
L. Domitius Cn.f. Ahenobarbus
93C. Valerius C.f. Flaccus
M. Herennius M.f.
92C. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
M. Perperna M.f.
91L. Marcius Q.f. Philippus
Sex. Iulius C.f. Caesar
Social War, 91-87
90L. Iulius L.f. Caesar
P. Rutilius L.f. Lupus
89Cn. Pompeius Sex.f. Strabo
L. Porcius M.f. Cato
88L. Cornelius L.f. Sulla (Felix)
Q. Pompeius Q.f. Rufus
First Mithridatic War, 88-85
87Cn. Octavius Cn.f.
L. Cornelius L.f. Cinna
Suff.: L. Cornelius Merula
Marius seizes Rome, 87
86L. Cornelius L.f. Cinna II
C. Marius C.f. VII
Suff.: L. Valerius C.?f. Flaccus
Marius dies, 86
85L. Cornelius L.f. Cinna III
Cn. Papirius Cn.f. Carbo
84Cn. Papirius Cn.f. Carbo II
L. Cornelius L.f. Cinna IV
83L. Cornelius L.f. Scipio Asiaticus
C. Norbanus
Second Mithridatic War, 83-82
82C. Marius C.f.
Cn. Papirius Cn.f. Carbo III
Sulla Dictator, 82-79
81M. Tullius M.f. Decula
Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Dolabella
80L. Cornelius L.f. Sulla Felix II
Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Pius
79P. Servilius C.f. Vatia (Isauricus)
Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
78M. Aemilius Q.f Lepidus
Q. Lutatius Q.f. Catulus
77D. Iunius D.f. Brutus
Mam. Aemilius Mam.f. Lepidus Livianus
76Cn. Octavius M.f.
C. Scribonius C.f. Curio
75L. Octavius Cn.f.
C. Aurelius M.f. Cotta
74L. Licinius L.f. Lucullus
M. Aurelius M.f. Cotta
Third Mithridatic War, 74-63
73M. Terentius M.f. Varro Lucullus
C. Cassius L.f. Longinus (Varus?)
Slave Revolt of Spartacus, 73-71
72L. Gellius L.f. Poplicola
Cn. Cornelius Cn.f. Lentulus Clodianus
71P. Cornelius P.f. Lentulus Sura
Cn. Aufidius Cn.f. Orestes
Crassus defeats Spartacus, 71
70Cn. Pompeius Cn.f. Magnus
M. Licinius P.f. Crassus
69Q. Hortensius L.f. Hortalus
Q. Caecilius C.f. Metellus (Creticus)
68L. Caecilius C.f. Metellus
Q. Marcius Q.f. Rex
Suff.: Servilius Vatia
67C. Calpurnius Piso
M'. Acilius M'.f. Glabrio
Pompey's Settlement of the East, 67-63
66M'. Aemilius Lepidus
L. Volcacius Tullus
65L. Aurelius M.f. Cotta
L. Manlius L.f. Torquatus
64L. Iulius L.f. Caesar
C. Marcius C.f. Figulus
63M. Tullius M.f. Cicero
C. Antonius M.f. Hybrida
62D. Iunius M.f. Silanus
L. Licinius L.f. Murena
61M. Pupius M.f. Piso Frugi Calpurnianus
M. Valerius M.f. Messalla Niger
60Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Celer
L. Afranius A.f.
First Triumvirate, Pompey, Caesar, & Crassus, 60
59C. Iulius C.f. Caesar
M. Calpurnius C.f. Bibulus
58L. Calpurnius L.f. Piso Caesoninus
A. Gabinius A.f.
Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, 58-51
57P. Cornelius P.f. Lentulus Spinther
Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Nepos
56Cn. Cornelius P.f. Lentulus Marcellinus
L. Marcius L.f. Philippus
55Cn. Pompeius Cn.f. Magnus II
M. Licinius P.f. Crassus II
54L. Domitius Cn.f. Ahenobarbus
Ap. Claudius Ap.f. Pulcher
53Cn. Domitius M.f. Calvinus
M. Valerius Messalla Rufus
Parthians kill Crassus at Carrhae, 53
52Cn. Pompeius Cn.f. Magnus III
Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Pius Scipio
Revolt of Vercingetorix in Gaul, captured at Alesia, 52
51Ser. Sulpicius Q.f. Rufus
M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
50L. Aemilius M.f. Paullus Lepidus
C. Claudius C.f. Marcellus
49C. Claudius M.f. Marcellus
L. Cornelius P.f. Lentulus Crus
Caesar Crosses Rubicon, Dictator, 49
48C. Iulius C.f. Caesar II
P. Servilius P.f. Vatia Isauricus
Pompey defeated by Caesar, murdered in Egypt, 48
47Q. Fufius Q.f. Calenus
P. Vatinius P.f.
Caesar Dictator II, 47-46
46C. Iulius C.f. Caesar III
M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus
Caesar Dictator III, 46-45; Vercingetorix executed, 46
45C. Iulius C.f. Caesar IV
(without collega)
Suff.: Q. Fabius Q.f. Maximus
C. Trebonius C.f. C. Caninus C.f. Rebilus
Caesar Dictator IV, 45-44
44C. Iulius C.f. Caesar V
M. Antonius M.f.
Suff.: P. Cornelius P.f Dolabella
Caesar Dictator for Life, assassinated, 44 BC
43C. Vibius C.f. Pansa Caetronianus
A. Hirtius A.f.
Suff.: C. Iulius C.f. Caesar Octavianus
Q. Pedius (Q.f.?)
P. Ventidius P.f. C. Carrinas C.f.
Second Triumvirate, Antony, Lepidus, & Octavian,
Cicero executed, 43
42M. Aemilius M.f. Lepidus II
L. Munatius L.f. Plancus
41L. Antonius M.f.
P. Servilius P.f. Vatia Isauricus II
40Cn. Domitius M.f. Calvinus II
C. Asinius Cn.f. Pollio
Suff.:L. Cornelius L.f. Balbus
P. Canidius P.f. Crassus
39L. Marcius L.f. Censorinus
C. Calvisius C.f. Sabinus
Suff.: C. Cocceius (Balbus)
P. Alfenus P.f. Varus
38Ap. Claudius C.f. Pulcher
C. Norbanus C.f. Flaccus
Suff.: L. Cornelius
L. Marcius L.f. Philippus
37M. Vipsanius L.f Agrippa
L. Caninus L.f. Gallus
Suff.: T. Statilius T.f. Taurus
36L. Gellius L.f Poplicola
M. Cocceius Nerva
Suff.: L. Nonius (L.f Asprenas)
Marcius
35L. Cornificius L.f.
Sex. Pompeius Sex.f.
Suff.: P. Cornelius (P.f. Scipio)
T. Peducaeus
34M. Antonius M.f. II
L. Scribonius L.f. Libo
Suff.: L. Sempronius L.f. Atratinus
Paullus Aemilius L.f. Lepidus
C. Memmius C.f. M. Herennius
33Imp. Caesar Divi f. II
L. Volcacius L.f. Tullus
Suff.: L. Autronius P.f. Paetus
L. Flavius
C. Fonteius C.f. Capito
M. Acilius (M'. f.?) Glabrio
L. Vinicius M.f. Q. Laronius
32Cn. Domitius L.f. Ahenobarbus
C. Sosius C.f.
Suff.: L. Cornelius
M. Valerius Messalla
31Imp. Caesar Divi f. III
M. Valerius M.f. Messalla Corvinus
Suff.: M. Titius L.f. Cn. Pompeius Q.f.
30Imp. Caesar Divi f. IV
M. Licinius M.f. Crassus
Suff.: C. Antistius C.f. Vetus
M. Tullius M.f. Cicero
L. Saenius L.f.
Suicides of Antony & Cleopatra,
annexation of Egypt, 30
29Imp. Caesar Divi f. V
Sex. Appuleius Sex.f.
Suff.: Potitus Valerius M.f. Messalla
28Imp. Caesar Divi f. VI
M. Vipsanius L.f. Agrippa II
27Imp. Caesar Divi f. VII
M. Vipsanius L.f. Agrippa III
Octavian becomes Augustus, 27
Two Consuls, the principal Executive officers of the Roman Republic -- Respublica Romana -- were elected at Rome to yearly terms (sometimes we get substitutes or replacements, suffecti). Roman dating, as that by Eponymous Archons at Athens, was by these Consuls. The list of Roman Consuls to 337 AD, the year of the death of Constantine, is given by E.J. Bickerman, Chronology of the Ancient World (Cornell University Press, 1968, 1982, pp.140-162). After the foundation of Constantinople in 330, the tradition develops, irregularly, to associate one Consul with the new capital.

Here, Consuls are only given for the Roman Republic, ending with 27 BC, when Octavian was granted the title Augustus, by which he is then known as the first of the Roman Emperors, although the title Imperator ("commander") was already used (for a military commander with both civil and military jurisdiction). Nevertheless, the Consular office continued, until the reign of Justinian, as explained by Bickerman himself:

The Romans dated by consuls until AD 537 when Justinian (Novell. 47) introduced the dating according to the regnal years of the emperors. From 534 in the West and after 541 in the East, only the emperors held the consulship. Yet, the dating by consuls continued to be used in Egypt until 611. Accordingly, we have the complete list of consuls from Brutus and Collatinus, the founders of the Roman Republic in 509 BC, to Basilius in AD 541: 1,050 years. [p.69]

While Bickerman may have the list to 541, he only gives it to 337. Since his book is the chronology of the "ancient world," perhaps this explains why it wouldn't extend after 476, but that doesn't explain why it should already end at 337. This certainly relfects a disinterest or a distaste for Late Antiquity, such as I have discussed elsewhere. The foundation of Constantinople is one of the conventional dates for the beginning of "Byzantine" history. The list of Consuls of the Roman Empire, or at least the Western Consuls at Rome right down "to Basilius," are now given on a popup page.

Bickerman's list gives the year in the AD (the Christian Annô Domini, "in the Year of the Lord") era and the year in the AUC era. The latter I have discarded, since it was not used, as described by Bickerman himself:

An era ab urbe condita (from the founding of the city of Rome) did not, in reality, exist in the ancient world, and the use of reckoning the years in this way is modern....

The principal reason for not using the system ab urbe condita was that the age of the city was disputed... [p.77]

Bickerman says that Cicero, Livy, and Diodorus identified the founding of the city with the 2nd year of the 7th Olympiad, as the chronology of the Olympiads had been constructed by Polybius. The more familiar date now is the one hit upon by Atticus, Titus Pomponius Atticus (d.32 BC), in his Liber annalis. This was 753 BC, the 4th year of the 6th Olympiad, and was then popularized by Varro, Marcus Terentius Varro (d.27 BC). The year is now associated with Varro more than Atticus.

Roman names ideally consisted of three parts, the tria nomina:  the praenômen, the given name, the nômen, the "gentile" name or name of the gens or clan, and the cognômen, the surname or family name (though this was sometimes missing, as with C. Flaminius, killed at the battle of Lake Trasimene against Hannibal in 217, and could also be more in the form of an epithet or personal name). Thus, the full name of Julius Caesar was Gaius Iulius Caesar, with the praenômen, nômen, and cognômen, respectively. Today people would tend to think of "Julius" as the given name, but it was not, though the nômen was often used for women as the equivalent, as with Augustus's daughter Julia. In the list of Consuls, there is another name that is given, the "filiation," or, as it would be called from Greek, the "patronymic," the name of one's father. This consists of the praenômen of the father (in the genitive case) followed by filius, "son" (abbreviated f.). The filiation is given between the nômen and the cognômen. Caesar's name, without abbreviations, thus could be Gaius Iulius Gaii filius Caesar. Some extended filiations are given, as with C. Livius M. Aemiliani f. Drusus, Consul in 147. A name may end with various epithets, like Africanus, an agnômen, also called a "surname," which can be legally granted in recognition of some service to Rome, or might accrue informally. For instance, Pompey the Great, Cn. Pompeius Cn.f. Magnus, did not have a cognômen, but then acquired Magnus, "Great," as the equivalent. One might expect this to have happened informally, but it was in fact legally granted by Sulla.

The praenômen is usually abbreviated in the table, as follows:

  • A. = Aulus
  • Ap. = Appius
  • C. = Gaius
  • Cn. = Gnaeus
  • Corn. = Cornelius
  • D. = Decimus
  • Fl. = Flavius
  • K. = Kaeso
  • L. = Lucius
  • M. = Marcus
  • M'. = Manius
  • Mam. = Mamercus
  • N. = Natus
  • N. = Numerius
  • Opet. = Opiter
  • P. = Publius
  • Post. = Postumus
  • Proc. = Proculus
  • Q. = Quintus
  • Ser. = Servius
  • Sex. = Sextus
  • Sp. = Spurius
  • T. = Titus
  • Ti. = Tiberius
  • Vop. = Vopiscus

Thus, Caesar's name is actually listed as C. Iulius C.f. Caesar. Augustus, a nephew of Caesar, and originally C. Octavius, but as a son by adoption, assumed exactly the same name, with the agnômen Octavianus. This is how he is listed as a Consul for the year 43. Subsequently, however, he is listed as Imp. Caesar Divi f., "Emperor Caesar, son of the Divine [Caesar]."

For the year 43 Octavian is actually given as a suffectus (Suff.), a "substitute" Consul.

The first list of Consuls was apparently compiled around 300 BC, and undoubtedly contained a great deal of legendary material and speculative chronology. As Bickerman says:

The cornerstone of ancient Roman chronology was the capture of Rome by the Gauls, since this event was the earliest fact of Roman history mentioned and dated by contemporary Greek authors. The date corresponded to 387/6 BC... Yet, the roman consular list indicated 382 BC. In order to use the Greek synchronism, Diodorus twice gives the names of the same Roman eponyms... Livy reaches the date 387/6 by inserting a quinquennium of anarchy without the magistrates... The Fasti Capitolini insert four years of dictators sine consule and in this way arrive at 391/0 as the date of the Gallic sack of Rome... [p.69-70]

Nevertheless, histories usually give the sack of Rome as an unproblematic 390 BC.

The purpose of dividing executive power between two Consuls for annual terms was to prevent the concentration and accumulation of power and the restoration of something like the monarchy. Nevertheless, times of crisis might call for greater authority and unified command. Consequently, a Dictator could be appointed, for a term of six months. The archetype of what a Dictator should be like, with legendary embelishments, was L. Quinctius L.f. Cincinnatus, who was supposed to have been appointed in 458 and 439. Cincinnatus had been impoverished and was simply farming his own land. The story is that the messengers from the Senate found him working on his farm, dirty and undressed. They asked him to put on his toga and then informed him that he had been appointed Dictator. This scene is clearly cherished by the historian Livy, Titus Livius, who relates it thus:

Now I would solicit the particular attention of those numerous people who imagine that money is everything in this world, and that rank and ability are inseparable from wealth:  let them observe that Cincinnatus, the one man in whom Rome reposed all her hope of survival, was at that moment working a little three-acre farm (now known as the Quinctian meadows) west of the Tiber, just opposite the spot where the shipyards are today. A mission from the city found him at work on his land -- digging a ditch, maybe, or ploughing. Greetings were exchanged, and he was asked -- with a prayer for the god's blessing on himself and his country -- to put on his toga and hear the Senate's instructions. This naturally surprised him, and, asking if all were well, he told his wife Racilia to run to their cottage and fetch his toga. The toga was brought, and wiping the grimy sweat from his hands and face he put it on; at once the envoys from the city saluted him, with congratulations, as Dictator, invited him to enter Rome, and informed him of the terrible danger of Minucius's army. [Livy, The Early History of Rome, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt, Penguin Books, 1960, p.197 -- "God's" changed to "the god's," ed.]

This resonated in the 18th century for everyone who believed in Republican government, limited government, by honest private, disinterested citizens. That is how Cincinnati, Ohio, got its name. At the end of the 19th century, we have the very eerie repetition of this scene when Alexander Cassatt was offered the Presidency of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Nevertheless, the office of Dictator itself contained the potential for danger. Although the end of the Republic is usually dated to 27 BC, when Octavian became Augustus, a key date certainly would be 44 BC, when Caesar was made Dictator for life. A lifetime office is not a Republican office. Of course, Caesar was then assassinated, but his friends and his heir, Octavian, defeated the Republicans. Augustus, indeed, did not assume or create a Dictatorship for life (refusing Dictatorship or Consulship for life in 22 BC), maintaining a fiction of Republican government, but he did become Tribune for life, and his informal constructions gradually solidified into the lifetime office of Imperator.

Rule by one man had threatened earlier. The first real threat may have been Marius, C. Marius C.f., who reformed and enlarged the army, enrolling landless proletarii, and was then able to help defeat the revolt of Jugurtha (112-105). Marius was elected to five successive Consulships, 104-100, even though it was supposed to be illegal for anyone to succeed himself in the office (or serve again for ten years). Eventually, he seized Rome by force in 87, driving out Sulla. But then he died of natural causes the next year. Sulla himself, L. Cornelius L.f. Sulla Felix (felix = "happy" or "lucky," an apparently informal agnômen), was the next threat. He was made Dictator in 82 and continued in the office until he resigned in 80 or 79, dying in 78.

One of Sulla's supporters, Pompey would have represented the next threat of one-man rule, but he had to contend with powerful rivals like Crassus, M. Licinius P.f. Crassus, and then Caesar himself. Crassus was killed by the Parthians, and Caesar defeated Pompey in 48 BC. A fleeing Pompey was then obligingly executed by the advisors of the child King Ptolemy XIII of Egypt. Caesar was not pleased with this and found an ally in the rebellious Queen and sister of the King, Cleopatra, with whom, as we know, Caesar ushered in the height of his power. The last century of the Republic thus looks like little more than a continuing civil war to see which individual would assume the equivalent of a permanent dictatorship. Why this should have happened is a good question for any kind of elective government.

The fasces, "bundles," axes tied with red ribbon in a bundle of birch (or elm) rods, were symbols of the imperium, "command," the power and authority of the Roman State and of its offices, each carried by a lictor who accompanied officials. These were symbols of Etruscan Kings, and originally the axe might be double-bladed, the labrys, familiar from the Aegean world and which apparently gave its name to the great palace at Knossos, the Labyrinthos. Twelve fasces were carried (by twelve lictores) for the Roman Kings, a number inherited by the Consuls. Other officials rated their own number of fasces, as follows, though the display of them in Rome itself was often limited.

Although they continued to be used for the Emperors, originally 12, after Domitian, 24, by the 18th century they were symbols more of Republican than of Imperial government. As such, fasces turn up in American, French, Swiss, and other modern Republican iconography. However, Mussolini, seeking his own version of modern Roman power, liked the symbolism more of power and unity than of Republicanism, and he adopted the fasces to symbolize his own political party. This made the party the Fascist Party, which then contributed its name to related political ideologies, which in the simplest terms would be totalitarian, collectivist, and nationalistic. Now, a form of collectivism, of subordinating the individual to the state, is not alien to Roman sensibility, as considered elsewhere. While the power of the Emperors would have been to Mussolini's liking, the purposes of Roman Republican government, however, dividing and limiting authority, were alien to "Fascist" purposes, which were for unlimited and absolute government -- an ideal of government unfortunately all too congenial to many in modern politics.

The saying is that Rome conquered the world in self-defense. If all one does is read Roman sources, this is what it sounds like. The dynamic of this is simple enough. If your neighbors are giving you trouble, defeat them. Right from the beginning, however, the Roman viewed disputes with neighbors as something like betrayal and began to conquer them instead of just setting them back. But they also began to truly absorb neighbors, not always giving them the same rights as Roman citizens, but giving them something, and benefiting from their participating in the Roman army. Since absorbing a neighbor means that one acquires the neighbors of their far borders, the process begins over again.

By 301 BC, Rome, after a very long process, had risen from a city state to dominate Latium and then Campania. In the South of Italy the Romans faced Greek city states. They called the area Magna Graecia, "Great Greece," but got their own word for the Greeks, which modern Western European languages still use, from some tribe in the area.

The maps here duplicate the treatment at the Hellenistic Monarchs page, except for the last map, for 44 BC. For the following maps, click on the map for a full sized popup.

By 270, the Romans have absorbed Etruria (Tuscany) and have defeated and absorbed the Greek cities in Italy, despite the best effort of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus. Pyrrhus contributed an enduring phrase to discourse. Although he won his first battles against the Romans, the slaughter was so great, he commented that one more such victory and he would be ruined. Hence, a "Pyrrhic Victory," where one might as well have lost, because of the cost.

Carthage was the Great Power of the Western Mediterranean in these days, and relations with Rome had initially been friendly. But once the two powers found themselves strategically adjacent, Rome's attitude changed. Roman diplomacy towards Carthage became touchy and demanding, with a simmering hostility. The disputes were over Sicily, where Rome had no possessions, but of course any Greek cities appealing to Rome for help could become "allies." Carthage put up with this for a while, but the perhaps inevitable war broke out in 264. This was the First Punic (i.e. Phoenican) War, which lasted a punishing 20 years (264-241). Syracuse got caught in the middle, and eventually went over to the Romans, thereby preserving some autonomy. The land campaign was a tough one, but the decisive actions came at sea. Carthage was a thalassocracy, and the Romans could only contend by building a navy. The initial tactics, since the Roman were not knowledgeable seafarers, where to grapple and board Carthaginians ships. Until the Carthaginians could counter such tactics, the Romans got an advantage and experience at sea. Their inexperience, however, told several times when Roman fleets were caught by storms at sea. Storms ended up doing more damage than the Carthaginians. Carthage was at a disadvantage in that the Carthaginian state did not have the manpower of the Roman, relying on allies and mercenaries; and since the state was essentially a commercial one, there was a certain lack of enthusiasm for the investment in military power that would have been necessary. Rome won Sicily, and then rubbed in its victory by annexing Corsica and Sardinia in 237.

By 220 Carthage itself had acquired new resources. Hamilcar Barca, the Carthaginian commander in Sicily during the First Punic War, prepared for the future by moving to Spain and enlarging Carthaginian possessions there. He died, but his son Hannibal planned on what would need to be done to deal with Rome. Once Rome acquired "allies" in Spain and began making demands, Hannibal knew it was time.

What Hannibal did was to take his seasoned army from Spain and to march over the Alps into Italy, initiated the Second Punic War (218-201). This is the most serious threat that Rome ever faced to the growth of its power. It didn't help that Hannibal turned out to be one of the greatest generals in all of history. For centuries thereafter, Roman mothers could frighten their children with, "Hannibal is at the gates!" In three years, Hannibal won three crushing victories and killed two Roman Consuls. The third victory, at Cannae (in 216), all but annihilated four Legions, enveloping them on each flank and then surrounding them. This has become the ideal battle of military history, though rarely matched. Hannibal, however, labored against three insuprable disadvantages:  (1) Rome had the manpower resources to recover quickly from the defeats; (2) Hannibal did not have a siege train and was unable to take or seriously threaten Roman cities; and (3) his hope that his victories would inspire defections from the cities of Latium, Campania, and Magna Graecia proved generally unfounded. His prospective allies knew what Rome was like, what Roman vengeance could be like, and Hannibal seemed to have little to offer them by way of certainties or sureties.

While Hannibal endured no real defeats in Italy, the strategy of Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, made dictator in 217, was to avoid battle. This made him Cunctator, "Delayer." Repudiation of this, and a determination to come to grips with Hannibal, simply led to Cannae. Fabius was vindicated, and now he has contributed another phrase to modern discourse, "Fabian tactics." This has even ended up in political history, as "Fabian Socialism," the idea that socialism could be instituted, not by an abrupt Marxist revolution, but through piecemeal and incremental victories. As a device to institute socialism, not only was this quite successful, but it continues to be successful even when everyone has forgotten, or at least doesn't admit, what the purpose of the process is -- and even the word "socialism" is avoided.

While Hannibal was largely neutralized in Italy, Rome continued to dominate the sea and Roman strategy began to focus on conquering Spain in Hannibal's rear. At first this had its ups and downs, against Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal, and then seemed to be going very badly when the brothers P. Cornelius L.f. Scipio and Cn. Cornelius L.f. Scipio Calvus were both killed there in 211. They were immediately succeeded by the former's son, P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio -- who would become Africanus. Scipio captured New Carthage (Carthago Nova, Cartagena), Hamilcar's capital, in 209. Hasdrubal, defeated in 207, left to join Hannibal in Italy. C. Claudius Ti.f. Nero secretly took his army away from watching Hannibal and joined M. Livius M.f. Salinator at the River Metaurus to defeat and kill Hasdrubal. The head of Hannibal's brother was then thrown into his camp. This must have been the most bitter of moments for Hannibal, who now knew that he could expect no more from the resources of Spain -- all his father's work lost.

Wrapping things up in Spain, Scipio return to Rome and then led an invasion of Africa itself in 204. This had been tried in the First Punic War and had not gone well. Now Scipio tempted over the Carthagian ally, Masinissa of Numidia. The Numidians had supplied much of the best Carthaginian cavalry. Now, as Hannibal at last returned to Africa to deal with the threat, this cavalry was turned against him when he finally met decisive defeat at Zama in 202. Carthage then repudiated Hannibal and the War was settled expeditiously. Carthage was left with a rump African state, with few rights to pursue her own policies. Rome became the dominant, almost the only, state in the Western Mediterranean.

A sad and ugly episode of the War was when M. Claudius M.f. Marcellus took Syracuse (which had switched sides to Carthage) in 212. Archemides, probably the greatest mathematician of antiquity, had used his powers of invention to create engines that helped withstand the Roman siege for three years. Before the city fell, Marcellus instructed his men to respect Archemides, but the great man was killed, for various legendary reasons, when a Roman soldier found him.

By 192 Rome had defeated Macedonia (Second Macedonian War, 200-196) in revenge for siding, for a while, with Carthage. T. Quinctius T.f. Flamininus defeated Philip V at Cynoscelphalae (197) and proclaimed the "Freedom of Greece" at the Isthmian Games (196). This made Rome a player in the Aegean, and naturally it made enemies of anyone on the hither shore. This turned out to be the Seleucid King Antiochus III, the Great, who had marched to India and apparently restored the power of his Kingdom.

Antiochus, however great, was no match for the Romans. At Magnesia in 190, Antiochus was defeated by Scipio Africanus, who allowed the glory to go to his brother, L. Cornelius P.f. Scipio, as nominal commander. L. Cornelius was then honored with the agnômen Asiaticus or Asiagenus. The Seleucids ceded Anatolia north and west of the Taurus, never to return. The Romans rewarded Pergamum with most of this territory.

By 145 two major changes had occured. The Third Punic War (149-146) had ended with the annihilation of Carthage. This had been urged on by M. Porcius M.f. Cato, better known as Cato the Elder, who always ended his speeches with a ringing, Delenda est Carthago, "Carthage must be destroyed." It was, under the direction of P. Cornelius P.f. Scipio Africanus Aemilianus, adopted as a grandson of Scipio Africanus, accompanied by the Greek historian Polybius. At the same time, Greece was conquered by L. Mummius L.f. (Fourth Macedonian War, 149-146). Corinth was brutally sacked in an example of Roman revenge. Meanwhile, Parthia, independent since 248, tossed the Seleucids out of eastern Iran by 185. And Judaea had thrown off Seleucid control by 164.

By 74 BC, when Cyrene was made a province, Asia, meaning western Anatolia, had also been annexed, when the lands of Pergamum were willed to Rome in 133 by the last King, Attalus III. Cilicia was annexed after a campaign against pirates by M. Antonius M.f. in 102. Cilician pirates had kept Rome well supplied with slaves. The existence of so many slaves led to notable slave revolts, in Sicily up to 100, and especially the huge revolt of Spartacus coming in 73. Warfare was carried on by Marius against the revolt of Jugurtha and invasions by the Celtic (not German) tribes of the Teutones and Cimbri. The Social War (91-88) led to Italian provincials being given full Roman citizenship. A different sort of conflict was between the Popular and the Senatorial parties at Rome itself, with Marius for the former and Sulla emerging for the latter. Sulla was given command to deal with Mithridates III of Pontus, who turned the Black Sea into a Pontic lake, overran Anatolia, and invaded Greece (First Mithridatic War, 88-85). It came down to Civil War between Marius and Sulla, with Marius in possession of Rome in 87. But then he died the next year. Sulla and the Senate took control. Sulla then had to deal with Mithridates again (Second Mithridatic War, 83-82). When Sulla died in 78, his political heir was Pompey.

By 44, when Caesar was assassinated, the outlines of the future were in place. L. Licinius L.f. Lucullus had been left by Sulla to fight Mithridates, which he did successfully. But his army didn't like him, and in 66 he was replace by Pompey, who then destroyed Mithridates and imposed a Roman settlement on Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine (67-63). Local autonomous states were allowed to remain, but it is revealing that several of these rulers sported names like Philorhômaios, "Lover of Rome."

Pompey enjoyed a unique opportunity in history, when he took Jerusalem in 63. According to Josephus (Joseph ben Matthias or Flavius Josephus):

Among the disasters of that time nothing sent such a shudder through the nation as the exposure by aliens of the Holy Place, hitherto screened from all eyes. Pompey and his staff went into the Sanctuary, which no one was permitted to enter but the high priest, and saw what it contained -- the lampstand and the lamps, the table, the libation cups and censers, all of solid gold, and a great heap of spices and sacred money totalling £2,000,000. Neither on this nor on any other of the sacred treasures did he lay a finger, and only one day after the capture he instructed the custodians to purify the Temple and perform the normal sacrifices. [The Jewish War, translated by G.A. Williamson. Penguin, 1959, p.41]

Noteworthy in Joseph's description of the contents of the Sanctuary is the absence of the Ark of the Convent, whose fate is discussed elsewhere.

Spartacus defeated several Roman armies, including that of the Consul C. Cassius L.f. Longinus at Mutina in 72. He was defeated by Crassus in 71 and crucified with his entire army along the Appian Way. The shadow of Spartacus, however, looms larger in modern political history than in Roman. The Communists who attempted a revolution in Berlin in 1919, led by Rosa Luxemburg, were the "Spartacists," seeing workers through Marxist theory as slaves under Capitalism. This Communist connection continued much later with the movie Spartacus (1960), whose screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, a man who had been an active member of the Communist Party USA, was blacklisted after being found in Contempt of Congress, but then was given screen credit by Kirk Douglas, a star and producer of the movie, breaking the blacklist for the first time (it had been an agreement among Hollywood producers, with no legal force). While Trumbo wrote under a pseudonym during the blacklist, hardly even suffering professionally, and of course was not shipped off to a Gulag or shot the way similar dissidents in his beloved Soviet Union were, he continues to be celebrated as a martyr by the people who don't want to admit how bad Josef Stalin was or who, more disturbingly, still promote forms of collectivism and political correctness that differ little from Soviet principles. Note well:  Trumbo was not penalized for his opinions or for free speech -- he never exercised free speech by honestly voicing his opinions in public. His very success and celebrity were a joke on capitalism and clueless liberals.

Julius Caesar began his career as an adherent of Marius's popular party. However, Caesar allied with Pompey and Crassus in the First Triumvirate (60). This enabled him to win command in Gaul. "Cisalpine" Gaul, in northern Italy, was already Roman. "Transalpine" Gaul, beyond the Alps, he conquered from 58 to 51. This gave him a large and loyal army, with which he invaded Italy in 49, when he crossed the Rubicon River, the boundary of his command. By 44 BC, he had defeated Pompey (at Pharsalus, 48), dallied with Cleopatra, married her as a second wife (rather shocking to the Romans), and consolidated his position as de facto monarch. This was the Roman Empire in most essentials, though disposing of final opposition and the definitive forms of Imperial power had to be engineered by Augustus, who also had to defeat Caesar's own friend and adherent, M. Antonius M.f. -- Marc Anthony, who famously succeeded Caesar in the arms of Cleopatra.

The cause of the Republican assassins of Caesar ended at the battle of Philippi in 42. Most notable among the assassins was Brutus, Marcus Iunius Brutus, "the noblest Roman of them all." Although Brutus's name meant "heavy" or "immovable," and was used to mean dull or stupid, and is now used to mean brutal ("You brute!" -- indeed, "brutal" is just the adj. brutalis from brutus), it was a cognômen of the gens Iunius and recalls the name of the first Consul of the Republic, L. Iunius M.f. Brutus. Brutus was widely respected for his conscientiousness, integrity, and patriotism -- though Cicero thought him guilty of extortion. He joined Pompey but was pardoned by Caesar after Pharsalus. His adherence to the plot against Caesar gave it most of its moral weight. When Caesar saw that Brutus was among his attackers on the Ides of March, he reportedly lost heart. Suetonius, C. Suetonius Tranquillus ["The Deified Julius," Lives of the Caesars], reports that Caesar said nothing during the attack, "though some have written" that he said to Brutus, Kaì sù téknon? "And you, child?" in Greek [Loeb Classical Library, Suetonius, Volume I, Harvard, 1913, 1998, p.140-141 -- Shakespeare puts it, loosely, in Latin, Et tu, Brute?]. This phrase, among other things, continues to fuel speculation that Brutus was actually Caesar's own natural son, a twist that puts the whole business in an even more tragic light than it already has. Although driven out of Rome by riots, in 43 the Senate itself rewarded Brutus with a proconsular command in the Balkans. Nevertheless, the matter would be settled by force, and after the defeat by Anthony and Octavian at Philippi, Brutus committed suicide. The Roman Republic thus may be said to have ended with a Iunius Brutus the way it had begun with a Iunius Brutus.

So, we must ask, what went wrong with the Roman Republic? From Polybius to Machiavelli and beyond, it was admired as a system of government, and it did have a good run, but in the end it unquestionably failed. What happened?

Machiavelli, in a tradition from the Greeks to the present, thought that that the Roman Republic worked because of a mixture of institutions, designed to correct each other and limit the abuses that various pure forms of government would have. Thus, he believed that Monarchy alone led to Tyranny, Aristocracy alone let to Oligarchy, and Democracy alone led to Anarchy. The Republic included a (limited) Monarchical power in the Consuls, Aristocratic power in the Senate, and Democratic power in the Tribunes and other institutions of the Plebs. We have other features, such as the custom for most of the Republic that one Consul would be from the Patrician/Senatorial class, while the other would be a Pleb.

Since, for at least the last century, most trendy political opinion has despised the principles of limited government and naively imagined that the more democracy the better, most recent judgment about the Roman Republic would be that it was insufficiently democratic. Indeed, a great deal of the political conflict through the whole history of the Republic was in the direction of greater democracy, of greater power for the Plebs; and for the last century, from Marius to Caesar, there was a virtual, and sometimes very real, civil war between Senatorial and Popular factions. That was perhaps initiated by the two Gracchi brothers, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus (Tribune 133) and C. Sempronius Gracchus (Tribune 123 & 122). A land reform bill, trying to redistribute agricultural holdings to small farmers, instead of their being worked by slaves for landlords, got Tiberius lynched by Senatorial opponents. Gaius continued with other democratizing proposals but also provoked, for the time being, successful opposition. Their cause, however, continued and would be championed, not always consistently, by Marius and Caesar. The trouble with viewing this history as a simple Aristocracy vs. Democracy morality play is that in winning, the leader of the Popular faction, Julius Caesar, did not usher in utopian Democracy but simply dictatorship and then a very durable Monarchy. Disturbingly, this is no less than what Plato would have predicted for the outcome of democratization.

The key to all this is the prinicple of rent-seeking, the desire to live off one's capital, off the labor of others, or off pseudo-property created by political fiat (e.g. monopolies, unnecessary offices, etc.). With the cynicism of politicians, this is obvious. Even uncynical politicians, who may be above mere power seeking, inevitably pass from the scene and are rapidly replaced by more mercenary and venal successors. Roman politicians are rarely either purely idealistic or completely cynical. Whether someone like Caesar thought he was doing good or was simply out for himself is a good question. They were rarely unwilling to employ the support of the opposition if circumstances warranted or allowed it. None of this is suprising. More importantly, however, is the fact that democracy can also easily become a form of rent-seeking, with politicians promising benefits in general. The triumph of Caesar and the Empire depended, in a sense, on the essential tendency of democracy, even if the forms and functions of democracy were overriden and gradually eliminated. The means of this triumph can be summed up in a familiar phrase:  Panem et Circenses, "Bread and Circuses." Free food and free entertainment. The population of Rome, and later of Constantinople, was favored with a free ration -- one reason why Augustus kept Egypt, with its agricultural productivity, as his personal possession. This meant that large parts of the populations of the metropolitan cities of the Roman Empire didn't need to work much for a living and were provided with something else to do. The loss of productivity, creativity, and enterprise can hardly be imagined. The migration of power and intiative out of Rome itself, however, does not surprise. The state was much better off once that happened, and the subsequent loss of North Africa and then Egypt, the breadbaskets of the Empire, eventually ended the possibility of free rations -- though, at the same time, such reductions in territory greatly limited the resources available for recovery.

The institutions under which this all happened, however admired by Machiavelli or others, obviously allowed for their degeneration. The principles were not wrong, but their weaknesses can be identified. When military commands were political offices, the danger of a successful general, with loyal troops, using his army for his own political purposes became very great. Caesar could cross the Rubicon because his men were willing to obey illegal orders and because there was no army or commander his equal in his way. In comparison to such a general, who might hold a command for years, the power of the legal Executives of the state, the Consuls, was paltry. With this in mind, one understands why the President of the United States, in office for a substantial four years, is Constitutionally the Commander-in-Chief over armed forces whose own tradition is apolitical. The political appointment of generals, especially in the Civil War, has existed in American history, but successful generals, from the Civil War on, have tended to be career military professionals. Generals dissatisfied with political decisions concerning them, like Robert E. Lee, Joseph Stillwell, or Douglas McArthur, might complain, but would end up doing nothing worse than resigning. Also, a modern army is so dependent on its logistical support, ultimately back to civilian sources, that no general really commands an independent force.

Thomas Jefferson said that when he was young, he and his friends used to say, "Where annual election ends, tyranny begins." He was unhappy with how long the term of the President was, was appalled at the term of a Senator (six years), but was terrified that the President could be elected over and over again. What frightened him so was the example of Poland, where the election of the Kings of Poland had come entirely under the control of foreign powers. As it happened, for more than the first century of American history, all the Presidents who might have successfully run for a third term -- Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Grant -- declined to do so. The precedent of Washington, who could easily have been President, or King, for Life, came to be viewed as morally binding.

Thus, the Julius Caesar of American history was no general but a President, the one who broke with Washington's precedent (literally becoming President for Life), and the one who turned government into a promise of ever increasing benefits, rations, and subsidies. This was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the damage done to American government is still evident, not just in the rent-seeking practices that now overwhelm political life, but in the respect paid to Roosevelt by both Democrats and Republicans. Neither Party intends to reverse the principle, ennunciated in their day by Hamilton and rejected by Jefferson and Madison, but embraced by Roosevelt, that the United States Government can tax and spend money for any purpose, as long as this can be construed as promoting the "general welfare." Free benefits for everyone would certainly produce a kind of "general welfare," except for the effects produced similar to the Panem et Circenses. Again the damage to productivity, creativity, and enterprise can only be vaguely estimated, though the decline in all of these in countries, like France, where taxation and welfare provisions are much greater than in the United States, is obvious to anyone who cares to look. While dictatorship is not an immediate threat, we already see one interesting effect, where aggitation for more democracy and honest elections has led to a law, passed by Congress, approved by the President, and allowed by the Supreme Court, that prohibits criticism of candidates for federal office in advertisements purchased by advocacy groups. This grotesquely abridges the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and is rather obviously motivated, like most campaign "reform" laws, by the desire to protect politicians from criticism. Avenues thus open to real tyranny and perhaps even to real Caesars, leaving us with no confidence that modern Democracies, or even the Great Republic itself, might not go the way of the Respublica Romana.

As Caesar was rising to power, one of his most vocal critics was Cato the Younger, M. Procius Cato. Cato originally opposed all the Triumvirs; but as hope for withstanding Caesar focused on Pompey, he threw his lot with that faction. Cato ended up holding Utica in North Africa (hence the informal agnômen "Uticensis") under Q. Caecilius Q.f. Metellus Pius Scipio (Consul with Pompey in 52), who fled there after Pharsalus. Caesar invaded North Africa in 46 and defeated the Pompeian forces at Thapsus. Metellus and Cato both committed suicide. Cato's defense of the Republic was remembered in the British Whig politics of the 18th century. Joseph Addison (1672-1719, admired more than Locke by Hume) wrote a play, Cato: A Tragedy, in 1713:

While Cato lives, Caesar will blush to see
Mankind enslaved, and be ashamed of empire.
[Act IV, scene iv]

This was followed by a series of 138 letters under the pseudonym "Cato," published by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, between 1720 and 1723. These Cato's Letter were reprinted many times, in Britain and in America, and played a large part, after the pattern of John Locke's natural law and natural rights justification of the Glorious Revolution (1688), in the formulation of the ideology of the American Revolution. Trenchard died in 1723; and Gordon, who did not die until 1750, threw his lot, a bit like Cato himself, with a particular political faction. The Whig Party of Sir Robert Walpole (considered the first Prime Minister of England), however, was rather more suitable than the faction of Pompey the Great. Today, both Cato himself and the Cato's Letters are remembered in the work of the Cato Institute, whose efforts on behalf of limited, Jeffersonian, and Constitutional government are occasionally even noticed in Washington.

Consuls of the Roman Empire

Decadence, Rome and Romania, the Emperors Who Weren't, and Other Reflections on Roman History

The Vlach Connection and Further Reflections on Roman History

Rome and Romania

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