ROMA NUMQUAM RES PUBLICA FORE
Roma Numquam Res Publica Fore
A History of the Kings of Rome
From the Founding of the City
To The Gaulish Sack
Romulus 1-37 AUC
Numa Pompilius 38-79 AUC
Tullus Hostilius 80-111 AUC
Ancus Marcius 111-136 AUC
L. Tarquinius Priscus 137-174 AUC
Ser. Tellus 175-218 AUC
L. Tarquinius Superbus 219-242 AUC
L. Tarquinius Collatinus 243-269 AUC
L. Junius Brutus 270-274 AUC
Ti. Junius Brutus 275-296 AUC
C. Junius Brutus 296-331 AUC
Ti. Junius Hostilius 331-360 AUC
Tiberia Junia Quinta 360-363 AUC
Hail to my fellow citizens of Rome!
I have learned to my dismay that many Romans are ignorant of our glorious history. We know of warlike Romulus and Tullus, of religious Numa and Ancus, and even something of the Tarquins, but beyond that is a great hole in the History of Rome. Therefore I have endeavored to create a history of the Kingdom of Rome that shall solve these problems. Beginning with Collatinus, I plan to take the history of Rome to the present day. This is compounded by several difficulties. Following the sacking of Rome, many changes were made to the official record to profane the memory of the Junian Dynasty. As the massive official record is often the only source we have to go by, I have attempted to be impartial, but it is rather difficult. Nevertheless, I feel that I have created an accurate history, one that shall be open to the people. This is the first part of that, detailing the last of the Tarquins and the Junians.
Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, sometimes referred to as Lucius III, was the Eighth King of Rome. A member of a lesser branch of the Royal House of Tarquin, he seemed unlikely to gain the throne. However, in 243 AUC the wife of Collatinus, Lucretia, was assaulted and sexually exploited by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the current King, L. Tarquinius Superbus. After a confession and suicide, the enraged prince, along with one L. Junius Brutus, swore an oath to expel Sextus and his family from Roman territory. An army was raised in Rome, which marched on the royal camp in Ardea, where they had been stationed putting down a revolt. Through the planning of Brutus more than anything else, the King was forced to flee, eventually ending up in the city of his father, Tarquinii. The Senate proclaimed Collatinus King of Rome unanimously, but to prevent future tyranny, a new office was legislated, the praetor. The first to hold this office was Brutus, however the office was to be limited to one year, but renewable. In fact, Brutus would hold the Praetorship for his entire reign. In addition, many of the duties of religion the King once held were transferred to the Pontifex Maximus, and the Senate was given greater rights of assembly.
However, the trials of the Kingdom were not over. Superbus declared the selection of Collatinus invalid, and the Kings of Tarquinii and Veii supported him in this. However, Lars Porsena, the King of Clusium, refused to give aid to the revolt, as he failed to see any difference between the harsh Superbus and Collatinus. Despite this, the minor Etruscan cities led an army against Rome. The battle resulted in complete failure and a slaughter at the Vatican Hill, however, later expeditions failed to take revenge for the attack. Roman assassins broke into the camp, and while they did not get to the King of Veii or Tarquinii, they managed to kill many major commanders of the Etruscans.
The throne secure, Collatinus allowed little power to the Praetors to rule Rome during the day-to-day matters of the Kingdom, preferring to take an active role in governing. Ever faithful to his late wife, he had no children.
In 280 AUC, Lucius Junius Brutus, now much older than the man who had aided Collatinus in his revolt and still Praetor despite protests, seized upon the readmission of Arruns Tarquinius in 269 AUC to Rome as a justification to dethrone Collatinus on the same grounds as Superbus was dethroned. The Senate was convinced to accept this for the public good in a stirring speech by Brutus. Collatinus was found dead in mysterious circumstances soon after.
Lucius Junius Brutus was the ninth King of Rome. He undid many of the reforms of Collatinus that related to the plebeians, and in fact made their position worse in some ways than under the early Tarquins. This was too much for the plebeians to bear, and they declared secession, and intended to build a new city called Collatinium after the late King who had supported them.
Before the suppression of the plebs is given in detail, it is interesting to look at a supposed decline in Brutus. At the overthrow of L. Tarquinius Superbus he seemed a patriot, and yet a look at his history seems to show a constant demand for power. Early in the reign of Collatinus, he is known to have made suggestions that Collatinus himself should be exiled, as he bore the hated name of Tarquin. This suggestion shows little more than a demand for power, as Brutus was related just as closely to the tyrannical king. And looking even earlier in Brutus’ life, we see evidence that he wished to be King, though many of these stories are likely apocryphal.
The actions of the plebs were met with anger by Brutus, who led the Roman army to slaughter and burn the city of Collatinium. Despite the effectiveness of these moves, even the patricians were shocked by these actions. To keep power in his hands, Brutus often switched out praetors even before the end of their terms, and made sure that they were in the hands of his friends. This backfired near the end of his fourth year, when the man Publius Valerius Publicola was appointed praetor. He immediately instituted processes of dethroning for Brutus, for overuse of force in cutting down the seceding plebs. The king was shocked, and ordered the army to march on the Curia Hostilia to prevent the Senate from taking action. However, the army mutinied behind Publicola, and forced Brutus to stand down in 274 AUC. The Senate elected Tiberius Junius Brutus, a general in the Roman Army who helped lead the mutiny, king of Rome in that year.
Tiberius Junius Brutus was a general in the Roman Army when he was selected as King of Rome. As such, he was very warlike. He campaigned against the other Italic tribes, greatly expanding the sphere of the Roman state. Traditionally, his reign is used as the date when Rome finally subsumed nearly all of the land between the Tiber and Neapolis, excepting Samnium and several regions loyal to the Etruscans. Veii finally made a peace agreement when the remnants of the descendants of L. Tarquinius Superbus finally died out, and Etruria flourished with the creation of the Dodecapolis League between the twelve largest Etruscan city-states, led by Veii at first, though later Clusium would take over that role.
Though the Senate had selected him for his actions against tyranny, Tiberius proved to be a staunch monarchist as well. The praetors during his early reign were under his control, and he took more powers upon himself. This came to a height when he moved to dismiss Titus Junius Brutus from the praetorship in 289 AUC. His father had used this power often, however Titus refused to go. A constitutional crisis had broken out in Rome. The Senate stood behind Titus, but the King pressed the issue. In response, the Senate refused to consider any laws, and was followed by the assemblies. King Tiberius saw the danger of creating laws without Senatorial approval, and so government stalled in Rome. For two years this situation persisted, for despite some Senators wishing to dethrone Tiberius, the praetor had to initiate such proceedings, and without a clear situation on who was praetor, this could not happen. In 291 AUC, it was decided that this situation was untenable and was leaving Rome in danger. To resolve the constitutional problems, it was decided to create a commission called the Decemvirate. This commission would consist of ten men, nine patricians and one plebian, who would draw up a constitution for Rome without intervention by Senatorial or Monarchist factions. The Decemvirate would hold power in Rome during the time that the constitution would be written, excepting the plebian member who would not have any role outside of the writing of the document. After one year, though, the Senate and the King agreed to take over the governing role. The Decemvirate took five years in writing what became known as the Lex Decim Tablarum¸ the Law of the Ten Tables, which clarified Roman law, a confusing mass of traditions and acts that dated back to Romulus.
King Tiberius did not approve of much of the Tables, as he felt they took too much power from where it rightfully belonged, the King, who would rule benevolently. It is believed that he was planning to refuse authorization to the Tables. In 296, he is believed to have been murdered by Appius Pontius Rufus, the sole plebian decimvir. Appius denied involvement, and was accepted in a court. After approving the Tables, the Senate selected a new King, Gaius Junius Brutus, the son of Titus Junius Brutus, and husband of Junia Minor, the only surviving daughter of King Tiberius.
Gaius Junius Brutus followed his uncle as King of Rome. Nearly all of the constitutional debates that dated back to Collatinus had finally been resolved, and with Rome’s interior problems resolved, they could look outward. However, conflicts with the Latin peoples, organized into an anti-Roman league, slowed the military glories that characterized the beginning of his reign. Near the middle of his reign, however, an attempt by the Latin cities to organize against Rome was crushed, and the Latin league became more and more an extension of Roman power.
The praetorship truly became a powerful office in the days of King Brutus. It absorbed the role of governing the city of Rome during his reign. However, since the patricians, many of whom also formed the Senate, elected the praetor, the plebs began to fear more laws similar to those passed in the reign of King Lucius Junius Brutus would go through. They petitioned directly to the King, however, Gaius had no love for those who had killed his beloved uncle. Thus began the second attempt at the secessio plebis. Brutus was unwilling to take the harsh measures used by his grandfather in suppressing the plebs, and because the King had complete say over the military, the city began to collapse without its farmers and lesser workers. The King himself met with representatives of the plebs, and agreed to create a new office, the quaestor. The quaestor would be a plebian citizen, and would hold an equal power with the praetor. On matters of law, the praetor and quaestor would have to agree to pass the issue. As part of the compromise, an eleventh table was to be drawn up, which would seal the powers of the quaestor in stone. However, while the Senate reluctantly agreed to the institution of the quaestor, they refused to this last demand.
Gaius Junius Brutus perished soon after the resolution of the conflict.
Tiberius Junius Hostilius followed him as King of Rome. The husband of Junia Maior, daughter of Gaius Junius Brutus, he ruled in a different style to past Kings. His first act was to massively expand the Senate to more families. This gave his supporters a majority in that important body, and made Tiberius a powerful king. The praetors, while not puppets as they had been in the past, were almost always his allies. As king, he gained the name Hostilius for his warlike behaviors that reminded many of the past King Hostilius, and conquered several formerly allied states directly into the Kingdom of Rome. When he sacked the allied city of Aritium in 347 AUC, bringing its inhabitants into slavery and building a new city called Hostilia in it’s place. Meeting in the Curia Hostilia, the Senate in 348 AUC issued the Declaration of Republic, abolishing the monarchy for good, and ordering the expulsion of the Royal Family. Thus began the King’s Civil War.
Tiberius moved his forces from Hostilia to Rome as soon as he could, taking a route around the Tiber as to catch the city by surprise. However, outside the city the Battle of the Vatican occurred, blocking Tiberius’ access to Rome for the time being. Tiberius instead focused on sapping the city’s resources. As the Romans walled themselves in, Tiberius captured all the towns that were loyal to the Republican cause. By 351, Rome was surrounded, and the farms within the city were not sufficient to keep the city fed. Tiberius’ troops stood out for the siege, which amazingly lasted for two long years. In 353, the city, reduced to nearly an eighth of its population and in a state of near collapse, finally surrendered. The King had won the civil war, but at heavy cost- the destruction had left the Latin league outside of Roman authority, and Rome was still too weak to conquer it again.
Tiberius immediately began to strengthen the state. He kept the Senate, but reduced it in power, having changes made directly to the Ten Tables. Now, the Senate could only consider praetorial candidates offered by the monarch, and the balance shifted even more to the allies of the monarchy rather than the patricians. Meanwhile, the plebeians protested through their quaestor that the war had caused too much damage to them, when the patricians caused it. Tiberius agreed, and put heavy taxes on those who nobles who survived the war and supported the Republic. Rome was all but a royal dictatorship.
What happened next is unsure. The most official sources say that he died, and his daughter managed to force the Senate to crown her a Queen of Rome. But this is heavily disputed and seen as unlikely
Tiberia Junia Quinta is a mysterious personage, attested mostly through kingship lists and a few doubtful sources, thanks to the chaos caused by the Gallic invasion. Some have argued that she was actually a he, Tiberius Junius Quintus, the fifth son rather than fifth daughter of King Tiberius Junius Hostilius, whose name was later changed to the female to insult him. Others have argued that Quinta was a historical person, perhaps one with influence over her father, but her “reign” was really a continuation of Tiberius Junius Hostilius’. It is known that around the beginning of her reign, the Gauls entered the Po Valley, which consisted of Etruscan cities allied with the Dodecapolis. These fierce warriors defeated the Etruscan armies in order to force heavy tribute from the Dodecapolis. Many Etruscan cities in the Po Valley would not be rebuilt for over a century, and many show traces of Gaulish residence in this period. The Gauls continued their march south. In 363 AUC, the armies of Gaul crushed the Roman army, according to some sources killing the Queen in the process. Rome was utterly crushed, many of its records were burned, and the Tomb of the Kings burned. Thus, the Junian dynasty was ended, and the Senate hastily convened to elect a new King. Never again would royal power reach the levels it once did.
Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo
From the Gaulish Sack (363 AUC)
To the Carthaginian War (492 AUC)
Sex. Mucius Scaevola 363-379 AUC
Octavian Mucius Scaevola 379-400 AUC
Pub. Julius Volscius Imp. Aug. 400-418 AUC
Primus Valerius Laevinus 419-433 AUC
Ti. Valerius Poseidonius 433-454 AUC
L. Valerius Laevinus 455-461 AUC
Aelius Cornelius Malugiensis 461-491 AUC
Sextus Mucius Scaevola was the first monarch to be elected following the Gaulish sack. At that time the future of Rome as an independent entity seemed to be at its end. The Gauls, after they wiped out the Latin League in 365 AUC, ruled everything north of the Latin territories either directly or by tribute. Indeed, the Gaulish king Brennus refused the original choice for King, L. Valerius Publicola. However, in 370 AUC Brennus died, and the Gauls fought among themselves to decide who would follow him. It was the Etruscans who took the initiative, seizing the Po Valley, cutting the short-lived Gaulish Empire in half, the conquered territories from the Gaulish heartland to the north. It was then the true genius of Sextus Mucius began to show itself. In the past, he had treaded a steady line between supporting the Gauls outright and opposing them, making him seem a more independent prince than those in the Latin cities, who were essentially complete puppets to the Gauls, and in a few cases Gauls themselves. When Gaul was cut in half, Scaevola was quick to declare opposition, and rally the anti-Gaulish groups to him. The Latin princes were overthrown, and by 372 he had expanded Rome massively. To cement his claims, he welcomed the Latins into the Roman state with citizenship, and several Latin families gained seats in the Senate. He created the modern Roman military system, the Legion, to prevent any other power from ever sacking Rome. The Legion would serve Rome well; serve it well beyond its wildest dreams.
However, there was a darker side to Scaevola. He is responsible for the destruction of the remaining Roman records, and replacement with a sort of propaganda for the reforms he made to the state. Indeed, since Scaevola wrote the history, the picture of him as a man who captured the Latin cities without a single Roman life lost may be completely fictional. In any case, Sextus Mucius Scaevola left another important legacy, a dangerous one for Roman history. He designated his only surviving son, Octavian, as his successor in 378 AUC, disliking the heir according to past tradition, Gnaeus Julius, the husband of Scaevola’s eldest daughter, Mucia Maior. Gnaeus Julius killed King Scaevola in the Curia Hostilia in 379 AUC.
Octavian Mucius Scaevola became the King of Rome at the tender age of two, only elected because Gnaeus Julius killed his father. He was the only son of Sextus to live that long, and it should be noted that the sons that preceded Sextus, who was a sixth son, all died at young ages as well. As Octavian grew, it was realized that something was wrong with the boy. He had, for one thing, a great deformity on the right hand, with just two fingers and a stub of a thumb. It is luck that he belonged to the family Mucius Scaevola, Scaevola meaning left-handed, as he would have likely gained that cognomen anyway.
Thus, his reign was marked by dominance of the Senate and praetors, and it was in his reign that government became a res publica, a “thing of the people”. I understand that this may seem odd judging by my title of this history, but note that then, the term did not refer to a government without a monarch, and it is my intention to show the importance of a monarch.
Octavian made a very poor symbol, a skinny and ill boy king with a deformed hand. Instead, generals and conquerors filled this symbolic role. Chief among them was Publius Julius Volscius, who vanquished the Volscian tribes from the annals of history. Marching through Rome, he was honored by massive cheering crowds, and was given the title of Imperator Augustus.
But Octavian proved to grow worse and worse. In 400 AUC, at the age of 23, the patricians decided that it would be right for the King himself to honor the famed general. The speech began well, a list of praises, but Octavian began to fall apart, going into poor jokes about the general’s nose and insults. At the end, he leaped from the podium set up into the ground below, and died hated by the people for insulting their hero. The damnatio memoriae was set up against King Octavian, and the Mucian dynasty was prematurely ended.
Publius Julius Volscius Imperator Augustus was selected to follow Octavian Mucius as King. He was brilliant in war, and a hero in the eyes of the people, and this caused many patricians to fear that he would be another Hostilius. However, he proved to not care for matters of state, and left ruling to the Senate so he could campaign. He enlarged the Roman state deep inland, campaigning against the Samnites for much of his reign, as though other tribes fell easily the Samnites were a threat. But he was an aging man, and could not keep up with what he demanded of himself.
In 416, Publius had defeated the Samnites and incorporated them into Rome, but in 417 they revolted again. In battle against them, Publius was unstoppable, and is often considered the finest general in history, surpassing even Alexander, but he himself did not take care of his health. He is known to have been a drunkard, and would go without sleep for weeks on end. In 418, he fell from his horse in battle, and while they won the battle and would win the war, they had lost their leader.
Primus Valerius Laevinus began the Valerian dynasty of Kings of Rome. Volscius had no successors or children whatsoever, having spent much of his life on campaign, and had never taken a wife, which led some to say he was homosexual. Primus Valerius was the grandson of Lucius Valerius Laevinus, whose wife was Valeria Tertia, the youngest daughter of Valerius Publicola, who had been rejected King by Brennus. Primus Laevinus used these family connections to convince the Senate to let him become the King, and did this successfully after quite a bit of bribery.
He continued Volscius’ war against the Samnites to success, but his reign would be defined by a later war, the war that would turn Rome from Italian power to Mediterranean War: The First Greek War. In 426 AUC Latin mercenaries overthrew the Greek city-state of Neapolis. The other cities of Magna Graecia, fearing a decline in Greek power, formed an alliance to restore the previous government, and the Latin mercenaries then requested Roman support, which it was glad to oblige. It was here that the Legion of Sextus Scaevola showed its strength. Neapolis was restored to Greek rule in 430, but the Romans then invaded it, and after a siege it fell back under Latin control in 431 AUC. Rome then turned on the other Greek cities, allying with the Lucani to sack Poseidonia in 432 AUC, and Elea later that year. In 433, the King would die, but as a testament to the power the Senate and Praetors had, the war went on with barely a ripple.
Titus Valerius Poseidonius returned from the battlefield to be proclaimed King by the Senate. The only child of the King, he had planned the battle that had cost the Greeks Poseidonia, thus explaining his cognomen. Poseidonius would finish the war his father had started. In 435, Calabria would be ravaged and brought into the Roman sphere, and Taras, leader of the Greek confederacy, would sue for peace. Rome’s territory was expanded over nearly all of Magna Graecia, with only the lands closest to Greece staying independent. The Romans were a recognized power, stretching from the Tiber to the shores of Calabria. But it was the border on the Tiber that caused Titus to fear, for the Dodecapolis was becoming stronger and more united by the day. He sent ambassadors to the capital city of Clusium, and demanded that a “security zone” to the city of Veii be ceded to the Roman Republic.
The Etruscans, quite naturally, refused, and made a similar demand of Rome. The Romans were shocked, and marched the Legions into Etruria. The Etruscan Army was equipped for fighting Gaulish remnants in the Po Valley, and the occasional Ligurian raiding party, but not the fighting force that was the Roman legion. Even so, they put up a determined resistance, only to be slaughtered. But unlike the Greeks, the Etruscans knew when to give up. They reluctantly agreed to cede a zone larger than the pre-war demand to Rome, and were forced to become Roman clients.
Perhaps, however, the Etruscans had given up too quickly. For soon after the peace treaty was signed, the Samnites revolted over claimed abuses committed by the Romans on their lands in the war. They were crushed in the end, but it took years of war, years that took their toll on King Poseidonius, who wished to be known as a King of Peace, but instead was known as a conqueror. And he died with that reputation.
Lucius Valerius Laevinus came from a dynasty that had produced two of Rome’s great military kings. However, it is inevitable that all dynasties have low points: For every Mucius Scaevola who created the Legions, there is an Octavian who can barely think. Lucius Valerius was not that low. He simply ignored affairs of state and of military completely, exploiting the treasury for lavish parties and gifts for his friends. He nearly provoked another Greek war when he insulted an ambassador from Taras, and recalled one of his best generals from the war against the Samnites to replace him with a clearly inferior friend who wanted the job. He refused to authorize key laws for petty reasons, but his most audacious act was his murder of the elderly Senator Aulus Cornelius Malugiensis, which he followed with a victory parade in the streets of Rome. When a member of the gens Cornelia attacked him in rage, he ordered the entire family murdered. This was too much. The praetor of the era, Septimus Julius Caesar, called the Senate to depose King Lucius. This they gladly did, and ordered the gens Cornelia reinstated.
Aelius Cornelius Malugiensis was selected King out of his grandfather’s memory more than anything else. However, he proved to be one of the most farsighted Kings in Roman history. He realized that with the inheritance of Magna Graecia, came a need to defend the trade that formed the backbone of Magna Graecia’s economy. And with a need to defend trade, came the need for a strong, united navy, something Rome had no experience with. But while to the Latin mind water was an obstacle, to the Greeks water was something to cross, and both the Latins and Greeks spoke the language of money. Rome purchased a large number of boats from the Greek city-states, and hired experienced seamen to train new sailors. By the end of his reign, Rome was a naval power.
Several other changes had begun in Europe. Epirus had conquered much of Greece, excepting Attica and the Peloponnesus, thus forming the Kingdom of Epirus-Makedon. The Carthaginian Republic had solidified control over half of Sicily and all of North Africa past Africa proper. The Dodecapolis was extending full membership to more cities in Corsica and the Po Valley, thus it is no longer correct to call it the “Dodecapolis”, however that name will be used as it is still most common in our Latin sources even after this date. All in all, consolidation was occurring across the Mediterranean.
Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo
From the Carthaginian War (492 AUC)
To the Battle of the Rubicon (700 AUC)
Ti. Claudius Nero 492-530 AUC
C. Claudius Nero 530-545 AUC
Ti. Claudius Nero II 545-597 AUC
L. Claudius Nero 598-605 AUC
Cn. Claudius Macedonicus Nero 606-641 AUC
Ti. Claudius Nero III 641-674 AUC
Ti. Claudius Nero IV 674-699 AUC
Ti. Claudius Nero V 700 AUC
Tiberius Claudius Nero would be the first King of the Claudian Dynasty, whose Nero branch would dominate Rome to the Battle of the Rubicon. The history of King Tiberius Claudius Nero is almost completely the history of the Carthaginian War. In 492 AUC, the Republic of Carthage blatantly signed an agreement with the city of Rhexium on the boot of Calabria, promising them covert support if they would separate Calabria from Roman control. This was all done through Syracuse, and perhaps we would only know a Calabrian revolt had it not been for the capture of a certain Carthaginian ship by Roman ships, caught aiding the revolt. Carthage then boldly called upon its allies to attack Rome. Nero placed Rome’s forces under the complete command of Gaius Regulus, an experienced soldier, and granted him the title of Dictator.
At first, the war went Carthage’s way. A prominent Romanized Greek general, Antiochus of Poseidonia, betrayed Rome for promises of being made governor of his home city when Carthage crushed the Latin upstart. As a result, Regulus decided to rely only on Latin generals for his campaigning, calling Greeks treacherous over one act of treason, despite the fact that most of the other Greek cities were loyal, and even Taras had given support to Rome. Indeed, it was the Carthaginian failure to find allies that hurt it the most. They found some dissent among some of the Greek cities, but powers that mattered, for example the Etruscan Dodecapolis and Epirus-Macedon, simply stayed out. Indeed, ancient Etruscan communications found in the archives reveal that the Dodecapolis promised to join Rome’s war effort if they were allowed to take Sardinia and were returned the lands west of the Tiber, but Rome refused to make these concessions. Meanwhile, in 500 Carthage held everything on the west coast south of Neapolis, tenuously held by Roman defenders, and a calm broke out across the front for five years, though neither side would sign a treaty.
But the calm was simply preparation for the future. Gaius Regulus formed many new legions, and the King made a deal with the Samnites for increased autonomy, if they would only use their fighting skills against Carthage rather than against Rome. In 505 the Great Offensive broke out, with Elea being captured in a massive battle. Slowly but surely, Regulus’ plans to force the Carthaginians out of Italy once and for all took place. In 514, Rhexium was again alone, and was besieged for two years before falling. The war had entered a new phase, one where Italy would no longer be a front, for Carthage refused to give up under Rome’s terms, and Rome refused to give up under Carthage’s.
In 515 Messena signed an alliance treaty with Rome, and Syracuse immediately mustered an army of mercenaries to fight it. Thus began a proxy war that would last for some time, and with no definite result. For in 521, Carthage would overrun it’s Sicilian border, attacking Messena directly. In return, Rome sent it’s fleet to blockade the Sicilian ports. But here, Regulus again hit the flaws of his Greek exclusion policy, for many of his best captains were Greeks. After the Roman fleet was routed in the Tyrrhenian Sea by a cunning Carthaginian plan, he relented and allowed Alexander of Neapolis, known for his unorthodox method of warfare, to take control of the Roman Navy. He immediately proved himself by capturing Malta, a heavily defended natural fortress of an island many considered impossible to take by force. He then set up a complicated plan to win Rome the war. He knew that only total victory would force the Carthaginians to the table, when they still held all their pre-war territory. Thus, he set up a plot to distract the Carthaginian fleet by making it look like he was attacking Sardinia, but in reality he lunged for Carthage itself.
Alexander had believed the battle would be easy, but it was certainly not. Three-quarters of the Roman fleet and all of the Carthaginian fleet in the city was sunk in the ensuing battle, and even the great naval mind Alexander was killed. However, near the end of the year 528, a Roman army marched triumphantly into the hall where the leaders of Carthage sat, bearing golden standards with the legend R.S.Q.R.: REX SENATUSQUE ROMANUS.
The victory over Carthage was complete. The island of Sicily was ceded to Rome, where its Greek cities would enjoy a status similar to the Greek cities on the mainland. The Romans made the shocking decision to demand Africa from Carthage, rather than end it’s occupation in return for Sardinia as was expected. Rome considered Carthage’s position and natural harbor a threat, but it would be an asset if Rome held it. Under the treaty, Carthage would be forced to build a new capital elsewhere, while the old city would not be destroyed, but would be resettled by Roman soldiers. Tiberius Claudius Nero decreed that the city would be called Aelia Capitolina, consecrated to the great God Jupiter Capitolinus, and in remembrance of the King Aelius Cornelius Malugiensis, who had created the navy that gave Rome the victory. Africa would be Rome’s first Province.
The remains of Carthage would at first retreat to Tingi, but only for the construction of a new city: Carthago Nova, on the mainland of Spain, the capital of a revitalized state ready for an eventual rematch.
Gaius Claudius Nero followed his father as King of Rome. His reign was one of peace, primarily, but also one of a major change in government. It was decided to change the earlier system of a Praetor chosen by the Senate, and a plebeian Quaestor to question and stop the Praetor’s actions, and replace them with two equals, called consuls (partners). The patrician Consul would continue to be elected by the Senate, and the plebian Consul would continue to be elected by the Assembly of the Plebs. The King would continue to be the absolute leader, and in fact gained power because now the call for dethronement would have to be supported by both consuls.
The classes of Rome were in harmony, the Kingdom was victorious on all fronts, trade prospered. Other states went differently. Epirus-Makedon became known as the Kingdom of Hellas after seizing Athens and vassalizing the resistant Peloponnesus, though Hellas’ rule did not expand past the semi-independent city-state of Byzantion, which held a small fiefdom of it’s own on the fertile shores of the Black Sea.
Near the end of Gaius Claudius’ reign, the nation of Taras, realizing it’s dependency on Rome, signed a treaty of vassalization with the Kingdom. It still held a degree of independence, and gained some freedom from Roman tariffs. Rome was finally recognized as a power, not a backwards tribal kingdom that many had seen it as.
Tiberius Claudius Nero II succeeded his father as King of Rome. Near the beginning of his reign, Phoenician settlements in Africa erupted into revolt. They formed a massive rampaging army that wiped out the smaller Latin settlements in Africa, and headed towards Aelia Capitoliana. Despite the fact that Claudius ordered the bolstering of the army there to a full legion, they were defeated, and the standards seized by the Phoenicians, who invited the Carthaginians back to their capital. The Carthaginians made the wise decision to refuse the offer, as Rome was angry and would soon descend on the revolt with full force. The first attacks landed at Tunis, and marched to retake Aelia. The Phoenicians were now slaughtered, and the legionary standards regained. Africa would never revolt again for the remainder of his reign.
In Hellas, a civil war broke out. Realizing the wealth to be held in Greece, he launched an invasion of Achaia, where the puppet Kingdom of Achaia was set up. The remainder of Hellas would split between Epirus, Macedon, and Athens, though Athens would soon be added to Achaia.
Then Rome again looked north. The Etruscan Dodecapolis had been making inroads in Liguria, nearing the Greek-ruled city of Massilia, and seemed to have plans to purchase the island of Sardinia from Carthage. Rome warned Carthage that if it made any moves towards the sale of Sardinia, it would be punished. Carthage said that it had no plans to sell the island, but Rome was getting paranoid, and in 559 AUC demanded the island of Sardinia be ceded to it without compensation, and when Carthage refused, Rome went to war with Carthage again.
The Second Carthaginian War was a harder affair. Carthage was weaker, but now it’s main cities were to the west, defended by Sardinia. Thus, there was one place where War would occur: Sardinia. The island would be rampaged by legions and mercenaries over the five-year war. However, in the end Rome would again prevail, pushing the Punic forces from the island. Thousands of Punic colonists left the island for greener pastures in Carthaginian Spain rather than live under Roman rule, as Rome gained it’s second Province. This was the primary event of Tiberius Claudius II’s reign.
Lucius Claudius Nero was a king who had a short reign and did little with it. The main event of his reign was the conquest of Dalmatia: he did do a good job conquering the region, but there was little there to conquer, and he added little wealth to Rome. Rome remained stable, but this is the extent of his reign’s accomplishments. Even the rest of the world had little to offer. The Seleucids remained somewhat stable in Mesopotamia and Syria, while losing more ground in the east to Parthia and in the North to Armenia, a growing power that vassalized Pontus. Greece remained divided, and Asia Minor splintered. Byzantion’s fiefdoms expanded over the Kingdom of the Bosporus in the Chersonese Peninsula. Carthage expanded into Greece and Gaul, while Massalia finally fell to the Etrsucan arms. But this made little change geopolitically, for the Dodecapolis had dominated the city-state already.
Gnaeus Claudius Macedonicus Nero was a more robust King. At first, he did not hold the title of Macedonicus, only gaining it near the end his reign. For, in 631 AUC, the Kingdom of Macedon attacked the Roman ally of Epirus. Rome warned Macedon to stay out of Epirote affairs, but Macedon retaliated by having the Roman ambassadors humiliated and imprisoned. This was too much for Rome, who declared war on the Kingdom of Macedon. Gnaeus Claudius himself led the initial attack, but gained fame for a later campaign, where he himself captured the Macedonian capital of Thessalonica. The kings were forced into Exile in Parthia, and Macedon became a Province of the Kingdom of Rome. Taras was also finally annexed directly into the Kingdom.
Gnaeus was greatly injured in the Battle of Thessalonica, however. He died two years after leading Rome to victory, and was given a hero’s funeral where all of Rome came out to mourn the great King.
Tiberius Claudius Nero III succeeded his noble uncle, Gnaeus having no children. He was known as “Bibulus”, the Drinker, for his love of wine, however this did not usually impair his ability as King. He did, however, show distaste in getting involved in the conflicting politics of Rome, and delegated many powers to the consuls.
The politics of Rome became divided on new lines. In the past, it had been plebeians fighting the patricians. Now, two new parties arose, the Populares who argued for greater democracy, and the Traditiares who argued for the preservation of what had been handed down, the current state of the Republic. While the Senate tended to support the Traditiares, and the Plebeians the Populares, there were supporters of both on both sides. These two parties would dominate Rome during the late Claudian era.
Tiberius Claudius Nero IV succeeded his father, and bore his father’s name. He made it his ambition to bring Greece under Roman control, forcing complete vassalization from Epirus, and launching a campaign in Asia Minor in 680. At that time, the Greek states of Asia Minor were loosely under the influence of Armenia, but mostly fought with one another. Tiberius’ invasion changed all that. Much of Asia Minor was made into two Kingdoms: Asia and Ionia, with a large area north of that annexed as the Province of Pergamum. This angered Armenia, but as it was allowed to keep it’s domination over more important Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia Armenia was satisfied.
Politically, the Populare / Traditiare conflict grew in scope. In 690, the Traditiares gained absolute control in the Senate, and voted to expel the plebian Consul, Junius Rufus, and force the replacement of him with a Traditiare Plebian. A mob was assembled outside the Plebian Assembly to force them to vote the right way, and they did. The Traditiares now dominated the state.
This greatly bothered the people, and a popular general, Gnaeus Julius Caesar, appealed to them and spoke against the Senate. The Senate, in order to have him killed, sent him to campaign in the Dalmatian wilds, but there he won great victories, coming back to even greater glories in 697. In 698, they gave up and forced him to flee to the Dodecapolis, where he organized an army of his supporters to take back Rome. In this atmosphere, King Tiberius Claudius Nero IV died, and his son Tiberius Claudius Nero V, a firm Traditiare, became the next King. But he would not reign long.
Tiberius Claudius Nero V reigned for less than a year. Gnaeus Julius Caesar had organized an army on the banks of the Rubicon, the border between Rome and the Dodecapolis, and the Traditiares had an army on the other side. Fighting soon broke out, causing Caesar’s supporters to overrun the Rubicon and enter Roman territory.
Tiberius Claudius Nero V fled the city in shambles, first to the island of Sicily, then to Aelia Capitoliana. He planned to flee from there to the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, however he was recognized in the city and arrested. He was led back to Rome in chains, where he received a sentence of death, a sentence that would not only spell his end, but the end for the Claudian Dynasty. The short civil war was over.
Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo
The Mediterranean Sea in 700 AUC
Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo