The Repeal of the Oppian Laws

The Oppian laws were passed during the Second Punic War at a time when Rome was badly in need of funds to carry on their war against Hannibal. They forbid women from owning more than a small amount of gold and jewelry and from riding in carriages and from wearing purple. This encouraged wealthy women […]

Would Carthage Have Destroyed Rome If They Had Been Victorious in the Punic Wars?

After the Battle of Cannae in which Hannibal’s army killed some 50,000 Roman and allied soldiers, Hannibal expected the Romans to sue for peace. He was not inclined to destroy the city. The Romans were having none of that. They would not allow Hannibal’s emissary into the city, and the Senate made it a crime […]

Were the Romans Religious?

The Romans were strongly religious. They worshiped a variety of Gods and believed that, at times, their gods interacted with humans. They never went into battle without first taking auguries to see if the battle would be favorable to them. They built temples everywhere, and rich Romans would sponsor a temple to whichever god he […]

Social and Economic Factors Leading to the End of the Roman Republic

The severe erosion of the small landholding class during the second century B,C. These small farmers were the bulwark of the Roman Republic. This led to a movement, led by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus to redistribute public lands (ager publica) to the many landless who had been kicked off their land by wealthy people buying up […]

Who Were the Brothers Gracchi, Why Were They Popular and How did They Die?

The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius were the two sons of Cornelia who was the daughter of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, and her husband Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. Cornelia gave birth to twelve children, but only three of them survived to adulthood, Tiberius, Gaius and a daughter, Sempronia. The elder by about ten years, Tiberius joined […]

Why Did The Romans Consider Quintus Fabius Maximus’ Strategy Cowardly?

Quintus Fabius Maximus thought outside the box. The normal Roman response was to directly confront the enemy on the battlefield, and most Romans could not understand or tolerate Fabius’ thinking. Livy relates how Fabius attempted to dissuade the Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus from confronting Hannibal at Cannae. Fabius: “I think you know why I have […]

The Importance of Conquering New Carthage

The Carthaginians controlled southern Spain before the Second Punic war and had alliances with some of the tribes of northern Spain. They had highly productive gold and silver mines in southern Spain which helped finance the war. The Second Punic War began as a result of Hannibal’s destruction of Saguntum, a Roman ally, and Spain […]