Mortal Republic

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by Edward J. Watts

With this informative history from an award-winning author, you'll learn why the Roman Republic fell apart — and how it may have survived.

Edward J. Watts, a prize-winning historian, presents a fresh history of the demise of the Roman Republic in Mortal Republic, which explains why Rome traded freedom for authoritarianism. Rome's governance structures, legislative procedures, and political practises effectively promoted dialogue and compromise for centuries, even as it rose into the Mediterranean's preeminent military and political force.

However, by 130 BC, Rome's rulers were increasingly employing these same tactics to shamelessly pursue personal wealth and block their opponents. As the city deteriorated and dysfunction increased, political squabbles gave birth to street-level political violence. The stage was prepared for bloody civil wars and, eventually, Augustus' imperial reign.

The fall of the Republic of Rome was not unavoidable. Watts demonstrates in Mortal Republic that it died because it was permitted to, from thousands of little wounds inflicted by Romans who thought it would live forever.

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Our favourite quote from Mortal Republic

The republican system no longer constrained the individual.

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The republican system no longer constrained the individual.

— Edward J. Watts, Mortal Republic