WI Roman Republic annexed Egypt in 80 BC?

In 80 BC Sulla displayed a paper in the Roman Senate claiming that it was the Will of Ptolemy XI and said that the late Pharaoh was inheriting his kingdom to the Roman Republic (the same way Attalus III gave Pergamus to Rome).
However the Senate dismissed the Will of Ptolemy XI and backed the bastard son of Ptolemy IX as Pharaoh Ptolemy XII whom the Senate felt that he was friendlier to Rome...
WI Roman Senate upheld Ptolemy's XI Will and annexed Egypt in 80 BC?
How is this affecting History? What would be the major butterflies from that?
 
They may have faced opposition from the Syrian Seleucids if Egypt was being willed away to Rome, plus there would be enough relatives of the Ptolemy Dynasty and other Hellenistic warlords whom would Rome's claim to Egypt.
 
They may have faced opposition from the Syrian Seleucids if Egypt was being willed away to Rome, plus there would be enough relatives of the Ptolemy Dynasty and other Hellenistic warlords whom would Rome's claim to Egypt.
Seleucids were collapsing by 80 BC... Tigranes King of Armenia was ruling the remnants of Seleucid Empire (Seleucus VII was nominally the King but actual power was in Tigranes's hands) so i guess Seleucids wouldnt be a big threat if Rome wishes to annex Egypt...
 
Seleucids were collapsing by 80 BC... Tigranes King of Armenia was ruling the remnants of Seleucid Empire (Seleucus VII was nominally the King but actual power was in Tigranes's hands) so i guess Seleucids wouldnt be a big threat if Rome wishes to annex Egypt...
Thats right, sorry, Tigranes was practically the overlord of Syria at this point.:eek:

Still, any Egyptian general may want to use Ptolemy XII Auletes as a figurehead to rouse the Egyptian populace to resist Roman annexation. Or alternately, some Hellenistic nobles from Syria or Pontus may lead a mercenary army to ostensibly support the defence of Egypt, before wanting to seize Alexandria for themselves, giving them a base of operations for the gradual takeover of the kingdom.

The Romans though, still have the largest and most advanced professional army in Europe and the Mediterranean region, but just how badly do they need Egypt at this point?
 
Well Egypt was exporting grain to almost all over Mediterranean... Romans needed Egyptian grain...
Plus Egypt was in debt to Rome since Ptolemy IX so Romans had something to say in Egypt's internal affairs...
 
Well Egypt was exporting grain to almost all over Mediterranean... Romans needed Egyptian grain...
Plus Egypt was in debt to Rome since Ptolemy IX so Romans had something to say in Egypt's internal affairs...
Rome was getting grain from Sicily, Sardinia, and North Africa, and the Republic's foreign territories weren't as extensive in 80 BCE as they would be at the beginning of the First Cetury CE. It was less taxing to the Roman Senate to have a friendly monarch in Egypt than to direct internal affairs by themselves.
 
Well if among the Senators were greedy men (like Crassus etc.) they might wanted to plunder the riches of Egypt themselves... instead of waiting the pharaoh to pay them off...
 
In 55 BCE, the Proconsul of Syria, one Aulus Gabinius, helped restore the Pharoah Ptolemy XII Auletes to the throne after a rebellion in Egypt. Gabinius left a couple of legions in the country to support him. The so-called "Gabiniani", composed largely of Roman citizens with Gauls and Germanics forming the cavalry arm, would be used to crush uprisings against Ptolemy XII and were employed as royal guards and police in Lower Egypt. Rather quickly, they apparently adapted to the native Egyptian culture, and began intermarrying with the local women and were raising families. They became very loyal to the Ptolemies, further distancing themselves from Rome. The assassins of Pompeius Magnus, Tribune Lucius Septimius and the Centurion Salvius were officers in that rogue Roman force. The Gabiniani would be disbanded after Gaius Julius Caesar secured Egypt on behalf of Cleopatra VII in 48 BCE.

If Sulla were to successfully occupy Egypt in 80 BCE, one rising star in the Roman Senate, upon being appointed Proconsul, could potentially secede from Rome, and replicate the Republic in Alexandria. Just as Quintus Sertorius attempted to do in Hispania in 83 BCE.
 
If Sulla were to successfully occupy Egypt in 80 BCE, one rising star in the Roman Senate, upon being appointed Proconsul, could potentially secede from Rome, and replicate the Republic in Alexandria. Just as Quintus Sertorius attempted to do in Hispania in 83 BCE.
Except that any proconsul sent to govern the new province would be a Sullan partisan and a Sullan appointee, or at least a member of the new Sullan oligarchy, and not a popularis radical in the manner of Sertorius. After all, the Senate opposed Marcus Licinius Crassus' attempts to annex and govern Egypt, despite the fact that he was a peripheral member of the Sullan optimate oligarchy.

A consequence of Egypts acquisition and annexation by Roman in the late eighties would be that Rome's involvement in the eastern Mediterranean would greatly increase. The Roman Republic would probably move against Mithridates VI and Tigranes II the Great earlier then it did historically, in order to secure the frontiers of Egypt; Syria would probably also be annexed earlier, leading to an earlier confrontation with the Parthian Empire.

 
Lucius Cornelius Sulla dies in 78 BCE, so the rivalry of the Populares and the Optimates could still potentially flare up again, making Egypt a key province in any civil conflict.

And this is my Thousandth post.
 
Lucius Cornelius Sulla dies in 78 BCE, so the rivalry of the Populares and the Optimates could still potentially flare up again, making Egypt a key province in any civil conflict.

And this is my Thousandth post.
Congrats for your milestone post Lysandros!!!
If Sulla dies as per OTL in 78 BC he would have filled the position of the Governor of Egypt with someone really trusted so that his party would have a firm grasp of one of the richest provinces of the Republic after his death...
 
Lucius Cornelius Sulla dies in 78 BCE, so the rivalry of the Populares and the Optimates could still potentially flare up again, making Egypt a key province in any civil conflict.

And this is my Thousandth post.
It could certainly happen. Lucius Cornelius Sulla died in 78 BC, but the Sullan oligarchy kept its hold on power of about another decade. The annexation of Egypt would most likely change the entire dynamics of Republican politics and the First Triumvirate; Gaius Julius C[FONT=&quot]ae[/FONT]sar might angle for a proconsulship and resulting war in Egypt instead of Gaul, or Marcus Licinius Crassus might succeed in establishing himself as primus inter pares with the wealth and resources of Egypt behind him. Alternately, the annexation of Egypt could also strengthen the hold of the Sullan oligarchy, and someone like Lucius Licinius Lucullus might emerge as the chief of the Republican dynasts.

Oh, and congratulations. This is my 102nd post...:(
 
It could certainly happen. Lucius Cornelius Sulla died in 78 BC, but the Sullan oligarchy kept its hold on power of about another decade. The annexation of Egypt would most likely change the entire dynamics of Republican politics and the First Triumvirate; Gaius Julius C[FONT=&quot]ae[/FONT]sar might angle for a proconsulship and resulting war in Egypt instead of Gaul, or Marcus Licinius Crassus might succeed in establishing himself as primus inter pares with the wealth and resources of Egypt behind him. Alternately, the annexation of Egypt could also strengthen the hold of the Sullan oligarchy, and someone like Lucius Licinius Lucullus might emerge as the chief of the Republican dynasts.

Oh, and congratulations. This is my 102nd post...:(
Also this would change balances in Rome... Caesar could still be the rising star of political life though i think that he would fight in Egypt,Syria and Armenia and not Gaul... Crassus would doubled his fortune by exploiting the port of Alexandria and the natural resources of Egypt and Cyrenaica... Lucullus would be the other rising star of Rome who as a protegee of Sulla could have claimed the governorship of the wealthy province... Maybe after that Triumvirate (assuming they still occur) could be Caesar, Crassus, Lucullus... Pompey would sunk to obscurity as he was more friend to Ptolemies...
 
Congrats for your milestone post Lysandros!!!
If Sulla dies as per OTL in 78 BC he would have filled the position of the Governor of Egypt with someone really trusted so that his party would have a firm grasp of one of the richest provinces of the Republic after his death...
I think the big question becomes who controls the resource stream from Egypt after Sulla steps down?

If it becomes a Senatorial province, or if administration of it remains in Optimate hands, I don't think Caesar has such an easy time of it when it comes time to destroy the Republic.

Then again, since the whole problem with the late Republic is that power was becoming focused on individuals operating outside the urban political system of the capital, maybe the Republic goes down even faster - anyone with a veteran army and the wealth of Egypt could potentially leverage that into setting up the princeps system ahead of schedule.
 
So...Egypt becomes an important Roman province in 80 BCE. The Dictator Sulla appoints a trusted someone like Lucullus or Crassus as its first proconsul. I suppose if Caesar survives the administration of Crassus as per OTL, and later becomes proconsul of Egypt or Syria in 59 BCE, could we expect him to use the initiative to push on into Parthian territory? A military campaign where Caesar battles with the Parthian Prince Surena?!

With Caesar a couple of thousand miles to the east, who would attempt to invade Gaul? The Gauls were a wealthy and sophisticated civilization. So unless there is a general of the same calibre as Caesar or Pompey in command of such an expedition, abortive Roman expansion into Gaul could motivate one of the powerful tribal groups like the Arverni or the Aedui into reorganising themselves, create permanent standing armies, and subjugate their neighbours. This could potentially give birth to a powerful new state north of the Alps, threatening Narbonnensis and Massalia.

An early conquest of or acquisition of Egypt could cause the Republic to focus further on the east, with at least two new states in Europe that could oppose Rome, one being Dacia in the Balkans, the other being in Gaul. Both places a resource-rich and prosperous in agriculture, with developing urban infrastructures, and organized religions.

On the bright side of this for Romanophiles, having one or two immediate rivals in the west might push Rome to advance technologically and culturally.
 
I think the big question becomes who controls the resource stream from Egypt after Sulla steps down?

If it becomes a Senatorial province, or if administration of it remains in Optimate hands, I don't think Caesar has such an easy time of it when it comes time to destroy the Republic.

Then again, since the whole problem with the late Republic is that power was becoming focused on individuals operating outside the urban political system of the capital, maybe the Republic goes down even faster - anyone with a veteran army and the wealth of Egypt could potentially leverage that into setting up the princeps system ahead of schedule.
The most probable contenders for the Egyptian proconsulate would be the most distinguished members of the Sullan optimate oligarchy – men like Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, and Quintus Lutatius Catulus, or eminent Sullan protégés like Lucius Licinius Lucullus and Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives. A consequence of the earlier annexation of Egypt would be that, very likely, the Roman Republic would be thrust into an earlier Third Mithridatic War, with the result that Pompeius Magnus would remained bogged down fighting Quintus Sertorius in the Spains, and would never command his famous eastern campaign in the 60s BC. Instead of a triumvirate, one could see the emergence of Licinius Lucullus and Licinius Crassus as rivals for the leadership of a strengthened Sullan oligarchy, with Pompeius Magnus remaining in the sidelines. The alliance between Pompeius Magnus and Licinius Crassus, which effectively resulted in the collapse of the Sullan political structure and the revival of the Marian populares in the late 70’s BC would never occur, as a result of which the career of Gaius Julius Caesar would be severely hampered.

This is not say that the Republic would not collapse – indeed, the continuing stranglehold on power by the clique of the conservative optimates might well result in a quicker and far more violent Marian restoration, without a balanced leader like Caesar to rein in the more vicious elements of the populares faction. However, that collapse will probably result from the acts rogue populist politicians in the vein of the Gracchi, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, and Publius Clodius Pulcher then military principes like Pompeius Magnus or Caesar.

So...Egypt becomes an important Roman province in 80 BCE. The Dictator Sulla appoints a trusted someone like Lucullus or Crassus as its first proconsul. I suppose if Caesar survives the administration of Crassus as per OTL, and later becomes proconsul of Egypt or Syria in 59 BCE, could we expect him to use the initiative to push on into Parthian territory? A military campaign where Caesar battles with the Parthian Prince Surena?!
Indeed. Its quite possible that Caesar, or some other ambitious and militarily able proconsul (Gaius Cassius Longinus possibly? He did after all, govern Syria on his own initiative in the aftermath of the Carrhae disaster.) would turn his eyes to the Parthian Empire. One might see the expeditions of Trajan occuring one hundred years earlier.

With Caesar a couple of thousand miles to the east, who would attempt to invade Gaul? The Gauls were a wealthy and sophisticated civilization. So unless there is a general of the same calibre as Caesar or Pompey in command of such an expedition, abortive Roman expansion into Gaul could motivate one of the powerful tribal groups like the Arverni or the Aedui into reorganising themselves, create permanent standing armies, and subjugate their neighbours. This could potentially give birth to a powerful new state north of the Alps, threatening Narbonnensis and Massalia.

An early conquest of or acquisition of Egypt could cause the Republic to focus further on the east, with at least two new states in Europe that could oppose Rome, one being Dacia in the Balkans, the other being in Gaul. Both places a resource-rich and prosperous in agriculture, with developing urban infrastructures, and organized religions.

On the bright side of this for Romanophiles, having one or two immediate rivals in the west might push Rome to advance technologically and culturally.
While I could see a powerful Gallic state developing eventually, the problem is that it is that it would be effectively hemmed into the south the by the Roman Republic, which would find the rise of a potentially unified Gallic polity quite worrisome. As to Dacia, while a Zalmoxid state could eventually develop, but a greater emphasis on the eastern Mediterranean might also lead the Republic to attempt to develop a land connection with its eastern provinces, in the manner of Caesar Augustus’ campaigns on the Danube basin.
 
While I could see a powerful Gallic state developing eventually, the problem is that it is that it would be effectively hemmed into the south the by the Roman Republic, which would find the rise of a potentially unified Gallic polity quite worrisome. As to Dacia, while a Zalmoxid state could eventually develop, but a greater emphasis on the eastern Mediterranean might also lead the Republic to attempt to develop a land connection with its eastern provinces, in the manner of Caesar Augustus’ campaigns on the Danube basin.
I agree... When Romans finished dealing with Egypt Parthia Armenia etc. they would turn towards Dacia and the Balkans subduing the local tribes and securing completely their eastern borders... If gallic tribes hadnt bothered them till now i believe that after a few years of recovering Rome would have subjugated them easily (assuming that no civil war erupted between Roman strongmen and no surprise attacks fro gallic tribes occur...)
Maybe the Senate could send some of its officials to Gaul to deal with them perhaps Pompey or Caesar or someone else in order to remove him from the rich and powerful eastern provinces (if they deemed him too dangerous for the Republic... but of course this could backfire as it happened frequently in OTL)
 
Ok here's what I see.
I see Sulla giving Lucullus Egypt and then dying. Pompey, looking to make his name, uses it as a staging post for his invasion of Asia (conquering Syria etc. as per OTL) thereby forging a political alliance with Lucullus. Meanwhile, Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, angles for control of Egypt. Lucullus, envious of Pompey's gains in Asia and desiring glory for himself, requests the Senate to strip Pompeyof his command. The Senate comply, with egyptian gold oiling the works of the Res Publica. Pompey, furious, enlists Crassus's aid, offering him Egypt. He also enlists the aid of Cicero, who is equally furious at the undermining of an upstanding citizen and the destructio nfo Roman virtues by Oriental decadence. Cicero lambasts Lucullus in the Senate while Crassus bribes Senators and raises armies across the empire to fight for them. One of these is led by Julius Caesar, in Hispania where he carves out a political niche. Pompey meanwhile invades Egyp, rolling back Lucullus adn forcing him back to Alexandria which he besieges. He also supports Ptolemy XII and once he is victorious lets the Pharaoh have use of two of his legions.
Pompey then returns to Rome in triumph where he is voted a Triumph. He announces to the Senate, however, that a state of emergency exists, as the empire (NOT capitalised) is still fragmented. He requests the powers of a Dicator for six months in order to restore order. He is voted these rights through the money of Crassus adn the rhetoric of Cicero. CAesar, meanwhile, has moved back to Italy where he gains the office of pontifix maximus. Pompey, using his powers, purges the army of all hostile influences and in the end discharges almost half the armed forces. He then leads a campaign of subjugation through Armenia smashing Tigranes and extending Roman power into eastern Anatolia. Positioning a constellaton of client-kings in Asia ranging from Ptolemy XII to Herod he sets up his network of clients. Crassus, however, is not best pleased, and demands to be made proconsul of Egypt as Pompey had promised. Pompey, however, makes a complete volte-face. He, Cicero and Caesar reach a seond agreement. They cut Crassus out, and Cicero lampoons Crassus, denouncing him as an effete, hedonistic, lecherous and vile money-lender who has no place in true, Roman society. Public opinion against Crassus is inflamed by the people's tribunes who have been bribed by Caesar so that his house in Rome is burnt in a violent riot. Crassus, fearing for his life, retreats to Campanis where he attempts to raise a scratch legion. He rallies some 3,000 men yet Caesar is on his heels with his first major military command under Pompey. He leads 10,000 veterens which he uses to great effect, smashing Crassus who commits suicide in 64 BC. Caesar, remembering the Samnite Wars fought by Sulla, sees fit to impose martial law in the area to pacify it. He leaves the army there and returns ot Rome bearing the head of Crassus. Despite his suicide and therefore honourable death, Crassus's property is confiscated and divided. One half is sold off to the people. One quarter is handed ot Caesar and another quarter given to Pompey. Cicero accepts none, disgusted by the shameful partition of a dead man's possessions (Cicero may have hated Crassus but he was preoccupied with honour and 'dignitas').
We therefore have a triumverate, with Caesar the rsing star, ready to conquer the world, Cicero afire with his Rpublican rhetoric and Pompey resting for awhile on his laurels, taking stock of his situation and finding himself on top.

I smell a TL in there somewhere; what do we all think?
 
With earlier annexations of Egypt and Syria in the 80's-70's BCE, much of Rome's energy may wind up being focused on the Parthians, a powerful culture in their own right. Conquering cities like Edessa, Harran, and Arbela between Syria and Mesopotamia early on would boost the wealth and confidence of the Republic. While the Parthians were friendly to Hellenistic culture within their own territories, local Greeks might be compelled to aid and abett the Roman invaders of Adiabene, Mesopotamia and Babylonia.

The Celts of Gaul and other places had fought as mercenaries in the armies of Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucid Syria, Attalid Pergamon, Bithynia, Pontus, Macedonia, Epirus, Syracuse, and Punic Carthage. Some of those soldiers of fortune would have settled down in the lands of their paymasters, while others would have returned home, after gaining much wealth and prestige, and used it to gain power in their communities. In all the foreign campaigns they were involved in, I don't believe that the real-life Gallic warriors, much derided by the Roman and Greek chronicalers as uncivilized and backward, would have learned nothing of their experiences abroad. It does not wash. They were particularly valued by the Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans for their cavalry. And Chainmail, shortswords and the oval shields adopted by Greek and Roman forces were first made by Celtic peoples. While the Gauls may have composed various tribes and confederacies, they had been in the steady transition between tribal society to urban statehood since the Third Century BCE. They were literate and educated, despite Classical era stereotyping, they had their own road system, they minted their own coins, and they apparently seemed to have running water as well according to archeological finds in Bibracte. Centuries of trade with the Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians could have shaped the native urban development in Gaul and Spain. And of course, the lands of western and northern Europe were rich in Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lead, and Tin. If it were not for Caesar's proconsulship from 58-49 BCE, or any Roman military incursions, the larger tribes in Gaul would have absorbed the smaller tribes, and formed permanent kingdoms and republics. A further shift in Druidical ideology could influence native Gallic society further as it develops into statehood. Of course, this would not escape the attentions of the Romans.

The Dacians in the reign of King Burebista, whom ruled between 82-44 BCE, were already a unified and urbanized civilization. They too had literacy, philosophy, roads, mining and complex law. Their lands were wealthy in precious metals. And their state religion was the Henotheistic Cult of Zalmoxis. As both the Celts and Thracians contributed auxilliaries to the Roman Republics, some of those discharged soldiers formerly in Roman service could return home and be offered employment and a generous salary by the regional overlord to begin training a new professional army modelled on the Romans.

If Rome remains tied up with wars in the Middle East, there is a strong chance that the political landscape in northern Europe could develop in such a way that it could be beyond the means of Rome to handle.
 
How about Pompey pulling an early Mark Antony? If Caesar Lucullus and Crassus forge a political alliance excluding Pompey (as he was a friend and supporter of Ptolemy XII) he could go rogue and try to establish his own independent lands in Hispania perhaps?
 
Top