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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant
This is a sweepingly intelligent analysis of the end of the Roman Republic and the opportunism of Octavian/Augustus who was just a teenager when Caesar was assassinated. It's not by any means an easy read (partly because of Syme's indiosyncratic but weirdly fascinating writing style) or a quick one, but it's well worth the trouble. Probably not a good...
Published on 10 Feb 2006 by Roman Clodia

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
The Roman Revolution is fantastically learned and appealingly direct and opinionated. But the book seems to assume that the reader already has a detailed knowledge of Roman history -- otherwise the torrent of names and lack of context or explanation can be baffling. This is a fast-paced, stimulating read full of brilliant turns of phrase; but it is not the best...
Published 19 months ago by James R. Modrall


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 10 Feb 2006
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
This is a sweepingly intelligent analysis of the end of the Roman Republic and the opportunism of Octavian/Augustus who was just a teenager when Caesar was assassinated. It's not by any means an easy read (partly because of Syme's indiosyncratic but weirdly fascinating writing style) or a quick one, but it's well worth the trouble. Probably not a good starting point for anyone new to this period but still an absolute classic.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'THERE IS ALWAYS AN OLIGARCHY SOMEWHERE', 9 Jun 2005
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
This great work of scholarly history was first published in June 1939. In his brief foreword Sir Ronald Syme speaks cryptically about its publication being a matter of some urgency. From that we have to infer that he saw it as having contemporary relevance. From a slow and careful reading I would add that we ought to be very careful and circumspect in how we draw parallels and apply lessons. I don't dispute for a moment that a thorough and precise examination of what was done over the turbulent transition from the later Roman republic to the principate gives deep insight into human motivations and political processes. However if one particular lesson comes over loud and clear to me it is how terminology can be distorted for political ends, deliberate or even unperceived. Those prone to assert that 'reading history' will in some inevitable way support some cherished preconception of their own will, if intelligent and attentive, gain a salutary insight into what history really consists of, and with that a perception of the pitfalls of dealing in glib generalisations and citing as convenient parallels things that are no parallels at all.
The first job of the historian is to clarify what really, or probably, happened and to interpret accurately or at least rationally what the sources for the period tell us. This is rarely a matter of simple fact in the sense that multiplication tables are simple fact. Syme's reasoning is bold and forthright, and while he has no claim to be taken as gospel he never seems to me perverse or unreasonable. I personally doubt that Antony was the straightforward and honest type portrayed by Syme - Syme himself can't get away from the part Antony played in the proscriptions. On the other hand he has every reason to ridicule Octavian's propaganda concerning the nonexistent threat posed to Rome from Antony's Egyptian queen and Octavian's official party line that elevated the naval skirmish at Actium into some mighty turning-point of history.
The story I read from Syme is as follows. The Roman republic was always part-sham. Its official mode of governance was by the senate and people, with the consuls as chief officers of government chosen at stated intervals by the people. Real power was exercised by shifting coalitions of nobles together with the unseen influence of the moneyed equestrian class. The values that weighed with both nobles and plebs were tradition and 'authority', there being no written constitution. There was certainly some flexibility, but it was rare for the plebs to choose as consuls anyone lacking aristocratic status. There was no concept of progress whatsoever, and democracy on the Athenian model was despised. 'Liberty' was largely theoretical, except in the sense that free speech was untrammelled to a degree we would never tolerate now. There was no pressure from any class for reform let alone revolution, but the knights and bankers were provoked at the peril of any who did so (as Catiline found to his cost), and the plebs were prone to periodic revolt, offering a power base successively to Marius and to Caesar. Blatant inversion of the meaning of the laws was the stock-in-trade of anyone with a mission, invoking some higher interpretation as suited. Indeed what Cicero tried to do in opposition to Antony was much what he boasted of having repressed as consul in relation to Catiline. Gradually a single figure came to be dominant in the power-struggles. Sulla brutally put down the adherents of Marius in the name of restoring the right-and-proper dominance of his fellow aristocrats. However when Sulla thought his work done he simply resigned. Not so Pompey or Caesar. They sought personal dominance in a way Sulla had not done. Pompey was a brute, Caesar to some extent genuinely liberal (although I see no reason to believe that any Roman republican leader had any opinion except contempt for the plebs). However on attaining power Caesar went back basically to the status quo ante, but took the unprecedented step of accepting dictatorship for life and appointing a successor, something not even Sulla had contemplated.
From there on fate favoured Octavian. His luck was phenomenal, his ruthlessness total, his skill in balancing interests and oligarchies unprecedented, and his mendacity instinctive and brilliant. He was the butcher of Perusia and the co-tyrant of the proscriptions, and he never really changed. He was by no means all-powerful, but he eviscerated the old aristocratic oligarchies and established his own. Unrest had suited him during his rise, stability after he reached the top. He had a genuine Roman respect for tradition, but he had a populist sense that the plebs would be kept on-side with a better water-supply. He knew a good idea when he saw it, and he first supported Egnatius Rufus and his private-enterprise fire-brigade until he realised Egnatius was a danger, at which point he executed Egnatius and nationalised the fire-brigade. He removed occasions of unrest by paying off retired soldiers with money rather than letting them loose to seize land in Italy, and he paid provincial governors a salary to reduce problems to himself from their practice of extortion. Throughout, he adopted the old names and titles while systematically inverting what was done in their name.
Syme has had to interpret the sources, and I have had to interpret Syme. That's history for you. It is a matter of using our brains, and it won't just prove what we prefer it to prove. In the last resort this history gives no comfort whatsoever to my own enthusiasm for democracy. In the first place Romans disliked that idea, and in the second they traded their once-cherished 'libertas' (such as it ever was) for stability, such as it turned out to be. Augustus established a monarchy, leaving a successor of last choice who, as a Roman noble (unlike Augustus), wanted supremacy but hated the form of supremacy he inherited. It all lasted for 400 or 500 effective years. The thousand-year Reich of 1939 lasted all of 12, the British Empire roughly 150, the Soviet empire some 40 or 70 depending on when we start counting, and the New American Century looks dead in the water already. It was the creation of one city and of one man, through oligarchies of course. Go figure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 22 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. M. W. Thompson "NonCompliance" (South Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
This is a masterpiece. It was published in 1937; the 'sequel', The Augustan Aristocracy, wasn't published until 1986. The Roman Revolution covers the events and - more importantly - the shadowy groups behind these events from 60 BC - 14 AD. "[This] period witnessed a violent transference of power and of property; and the Principate of Augustus should be regarded as the consolidation of the revolutionary process".

"In all ages, whatever the form of government, be it monarchy, republic or democracy, an oligarchy lurks behind the facade". And this is no less true today for those who can see behind the carefully stage-managed, scripted media. The international banking cartel (which, ofcourse, owns and controls the media) was just as instrumental to the Roman revolution as it was before then and has been ever since; same modus operandi: as Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma states, "[by owning and controlling the money system] we have mastery over the masters of the world": nineteen years old Octavian was able to bribe his soldiers with a lifetime's income! "The marshalls, diplomats and financiers..[were]..the ministers and agents of power, the SAME MEN but in different garb". Plus ca change.

He uncovers then, in fascinating detail, the machinations of those at the nexus of power in Rome 2000 years ago. Internecine fighting had ravaged, with proscription and murder, this bloodline elite for decades until the iron-fisted military dictatorship (in everything but name - more properly the Pax of the future divus Augustus), eventually won out.

Both modern and ancient accounts (all of which are AUTHORised by the ruling elite) focus on the frontmen, those on centre stage, thereby creating the false impression that defining events happen through the agency of wilful, charismatic individuals. Syme, by opening the doors of the noble Houses of Rome (the patriciate, who began to emerge when the rule of the Tarquinii began to disintegrate; the Valerii and Fabii being the earliest) and by shining a light on "the hidden allies" of the various protaganists, exposes this conceit. In this sense his book has a parallel in - amongst others - Carrol Quigley's The Anglo-American Establishment which revealed how even close students of British history were wholly ignorant of an aristocratic elite who wielded (and still do) the real power from behind the scenes, while those who people the story books..sorry, HIstory books, who hold 'high office' have the mere appearance thereof - an illusion perpetuated by the media --> "In any age of...Republican Rome about twenty or thirty men, drawn from a dozen dominant families, hold a monopoly of office and power". Syme identifies many of these individuals but "The reader who is repelled by a close concatenation of proper names must pass rapidly over certain sections..". Yes, just skip them, but such concatenation hardly detracts from the central narrative which, in any case, DEPENDS for its existence on a prosotopographical approach. He modestly acknowledges also that the book's imperfections "are patent and flagrant...[and that]...it ought to be...rewritten". Well, if this is a draft then God help the rest of us as it's beautifully written--an effortlessly commanding, sometimes nonchalent style, impressive even by the standards of his fellow Oxford dons of that milieau; formidably researched--the sheer depth of reading required to uncover so many otherwise hidden relationships, often obscured by nomenclature and by the paucity of citations and/or the contradictions inherent in the numerous ancient sources, while 'pulling in the drawstrings' to make it read so expertly, so pacily, is a truly magnificant achievement.

It's over 500 pages long, divides into 33 chapters which are each of them brilliant self-contained essays. Thus the reader can select any chapter and derive from it as much pleasure as he or she does understanding. Some of the footnotes, where he quotes from ancient sources, are in Greek and Latin but don't let this put you off as he's usually just pressing his point.

Great investment.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still perhaps the classic alongside Mommsen, 18 Aug 2001
By 
James Miller (Durham) - See all my reviews
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Covering perhaps the most important period in Roman history as the republic shattered under the excessive abuses of the military dynasts from Marius through to Julius Caesar, and Octavian took over and created the Principate or empire, the book is a must. Syme explores many issues of critical importance such as the date at which the empire can truly be said to have started, and the means employed by Octavian, later Augustus, of holding monarchic power whilst avoiding the fate of Caesar his predecessor. The book suffers slightly from antiquated writing style, but is still a must both for those interested in Roman history generally who can see embodyied in Augustus many of the qualities of the empire right through to the 4th century and to the scholar of Augustus.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Syme's Controversial Masterwork, 8 Dec 2003
This is without doubt Syme's masterwork. The praise has been lavish. A.J.P. Taylor said it was a "work of brilliant scholarship which can be enjoyed by the expert and the layman alike". Sir Maurice Bowra said "his work is extraordinarily persuasive and interesting, it is the best book on Roman History that has appeared for many years." The Classical Review wrote that is the "one of the most important books on Roman history since Mommsen.
Need more reasons to read it? Well, I'll try. I'll start by saying that this is one of the top 25 books I have read - though I by no means agree with everything Syme believes.
What Ronald Syme has done is to lay bare the workings of the late Republic and early Empire. To do this required an effort of scholarship and synthesis on a gargantuan scale. And yet Syme manages to render the story in a lucid, straightforward, compelling manner. His arguments are often ineluctable. You find yourself drawn along, at times unwillingly, to conclusions you thought far-fetched.
The period under scrutiny is 60 BC to AD 14. Thus he covers the last generation of the Republic and the first two or three of the Empire. In a nutshell his hypothesis is that the Republic simply was not equipped to manage what had become an empire. He believes that Rome was inevitably drawn to the rule of one.
He writes of Caesar: "The rule of the nobiles, he [Caesar] could see, was an anachronism in a world-empire; and so was the power of the Roam plebs when all Italy enjoyed the franchise. Caesar in truth was more conservative and Roman that many have fancied; no Roman conceived of government save through an oligarchy."
Augustus, however, was a different matter. And it was Augustus, believes Syme, who wrought the revolution that forever changed the Roman way of life. To suggest, as has some have done, that there was no true revolution, almost defies sense and logic. And Syme ably makes the case.
But aspects of the Syme's theory remain controversial. He writes: "The nobiles by their ambition and their feuds, had not merely destroyed their spurious republic: they had ruined the Roman People. There is something more important than political liberty; and political rights are a means, not an end in themselves. That end is security of life and property: it could not be guaranteed by the constitution of Republican Rome. Worn and broken by civil war and disorder, The Roman people was ready to surrender the ruinous privilege of freedom and submit to strict government as the beginning of time....So order came to Rome." "Acriora ex eo vincula", as Tacitus observes.
Wow. This is breath taking and highly controversial. He might as well have been writing about pre-Nazi Germany (and note that Syme wrote "The Roman Revolution" in 1939). And, frankly, I must tell you I do not agree with his condemnation of the nobiles. Nor do others.
The most important voice in opposition remains that of Erich Gruen's. "The Last Generation of the Roman Republic" MUST be read alongside "The Roman Revolution." Gruen believes that the monarchy was in fact neither anticipated nor inevitable. And he strongly believes that the Republic was functioning quite well, thank you very much, and could in fact have coped with empire.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and fundamental interpretation of Augustus' government, 10 Jun 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
This is a monumental and absolutely first rate work of scholarship. It covers the period roughly from Marius to Tiberius, which saw the fall of the traditional oligarchic republic and its replacement by the despotic monarchy as designed by Augustus. While it has a great deal about the politics, it also addresses issues related to the administration of the Empire.

Following the empowerment of the Tribunes of the People under the Gracchi brothers - enabling popular assemblies to make law, originally the exclusive province of the Roman Senate - and the expansion of the empire beyond Italy, Syme argues, the Roman Republic entered a period of unprecedented crisis. Not only did the army gain political power as enforcer and monopoly holder of organized military means, but the subject peoples became interested in accessing and influencing the old-style oligarchy. Moreover, with the multiple new avenues of power, including mob-inciting demagogues who ruled the streets, a cacophony of laws were promulgated (or more often, blocked). The result was over a century of recurring civil war, which invariably erupted during certain crucial transfers of power at the change of the yearly consulship. It was only Augustus who solved the equation of who should wield power with the creation of a kind of monarchy, in this view.

Prior to this crisis, Rome was governed much as a Greek City State, with a narrow local elite taking advantage of its subject peoples to support their power games via the extraction of their wealth; responsibilities were thrust onto governors (for periods too short to learn much about their provinces) who had little knowledge of administration and cared nothing for the welfare of local subjects. The Roman Oligarchy had ruled for hundreds of years in this way, transferring power on a yearly basis to consuls as voted by the Senate, which prevented the development of autocratic power. It was essentially an aristocracy of Patricians (descendants of those who overthrew the monarchs) and rich Plebians who had achieved military glory in times of crisis (e.g. the Scipios, who defeated Hannibal). The Senators had to maintain their prestige through lavish displays of wealth in public events but also to help their client base, all for the glory of their families. Rather than parties or ideology, their power was based on family alliances as extended by a loyal "clientele" sworn to mutual assistance. Underneath them were the equestrians, who were businessmen and local aristocrats in the provinces; they made money instead of seeking glory. Finally, there was the proletariat. Only rarely did "new men", such as the military genius Caius Marius, arise to hold power in times of external threat.

Politically, this system worked reasonably well until Rome became a Mediterranean superpower. First, the source of soldiers - gentleman farmers - proved inadequate to the requirements for years of military service: they were too few and had to work the fields regularly or face ruin. This opened the way to the establishment of a professional army by Marius, in which the proletariat and anyone else could serve for wages and make a career. Second, the subject peoples of Rome wanted the same rights as the citizens; they rebelled violently and were suppressed with increasing frequency. With the opportunities that the Tribunate offered to go over the heads of the Senatorial oligarchy, the great general Marius created a new structure of power, which included both his loyal soldiers and the proletariat as well as the provincials. Sulla, Marius' protegé and then rival for power, attempted to reinstall the old oligarchy in a bloody civil war that wiped out a vast array of political talent from ranks of the oligarchy and equestrians. It was here that the powerful generals - Pompey (allied with provincials) and soon Julius Caesar (a patrician favoring the "common man") - emerged to battle the old oligarchy in a conflict that eventually could have destroyed the Republic.

While still a teenager, Octavian (mysteriously adopted by Caesar just prior to his assassination and later known as Augustus) then stepped into the breach and after much struggle completely reshaped the power structure. The true genius of Augustus, according to Syme, is that he was able to use the power of the armies - he gained command of the most important nearby legions in case of need - while channeling the ambitions of citizens into service for Rome (and for himself, of course). He did this by creating legitimate outlets for the energies of ambitious men of talent (as military officials but also as professional administrators), who served the state and empire rather than constantly maneuvered for executive power within the oligarchy. Essentially, in addition to opening administration to talent from the provinces, Augustus made a major step in the establishment of the apparatus for a more modern state, replacing the amateurish behavior of non-professionals that was the hallmark of Greek City States.

This is a wonderful interpretation that makes many aspects of Roman history comprehensible beyond naked grabs for personal power and glory. In Syme's view, the huge Roman Empire had become ungovernable by the fractious oligarchy, denuded as it was of talent over the previous 100 years of civil war; Augustus buried the old oligarchy while maintaining the appearance of the republic's institutions, bringing order at the price of liberty, which an exhausted citizenry welcomed. There is no doubt that much of this is accurate, in my opinion.

That being said, Syme makes many judgments that I found questionable, though they are nuance rather than the core ideas that I find very sound. He portrays Augustus as a proto-totalitarian, while I think he was a simple despot. He likes both Marc Anthony and Tiberius, while I think they were mediocre libertines. These are things we can never know, of course, so my interpretation is personal.

Regarding Syme's method, I want to add a note of caution for the reader. He assumes a certain level of knowledge; if the reader lacks it, the book will be very rough going and dry. You need to know not only who Sulla and Cato are, but also Livius Drusus, Crassus, the Metelli, and many many others. Syme did not intend to retell any of the stories attached to them. You also need to know the history and chronology from about 150 bc to 30 ad. If you have this grounding, the book is truly a joy of subtle interpretation and analysis accomplished by a great master scholar, who knows every obscure scrap of written sources that supports his case. The book also has a quirky, though elegant writing style.

This is one of the best books on Roman history that I have ever read, but it is not for casual readers. You need to be something of a Roman history buff before you read this, either at the gradual level or having read the wonderful historical novels of McCullough. With these caveats, I recommend this book with the greatest enthusiasm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fundamental work for any classical scholar, 18 Jan 2012
By 
Mark Stokle (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
Having read ancient history for my BA degree many years ago, I can only praise this highly acclaimed and groundbreaking work. Published more than 70 years ago, it's written by an old-school historian and definitely not intended for the novice or lay reader (as AJP Taylor claims). However, if you are well-grounded in the period or are studying this era, then Syme's book is absolutely invaluable.

One must tread carefully when looking at Roman history because so little of it is known to us. Academically speaking, I always felt it was best to first read the ancient sources themselves before moving on to modern authors who offer a critical analysis of the period. Nevertheless, this book is an exception to that rule.

Syme's objective is to explain why the old senatorial oligarchy that ruled Rome collapsed, and how it was replaced by a new upper class loyal to a monarchical form of government. This upheaval had far-reaching consequences, and undoubtedly constituted one of the greatest revolutions of the ancient world. The reader should also keep in mind that when Syme published his book, classical scholarship was still infatuated with 19th century romanticism. Caesar and Augustus were glorified as heroic revolutionaries leading on their victorious armies. Syme puts that myth to rest by reminding us that even ancient sources depict these men as corrupt demagogues who wouldn't hesitate to murder and double-cross their rivals.

Far from being a mere recounting of historical events. this study is an in-depth investigation of how these "new" men revolutionized Roman politics: their networks of patronage, their financial backers, their agricultural and military policies, their manipulation of religion and public opinion.

The authoritative scholarship and minute research displayed throughout Syme's narrative are more than impressive. Few other works are capable of providing such an understanding of the process culminating in the disintegration of the Roman Republic. Of course, as other reviewers have done well to point out, Syme's views can be questioned just like those of any other historian. Was the fall of the republic really inevitable as he claims it was? This is something which the reader will have to determine on his own.

Be that as it may, Syme's book has endured as an outstanding contribution to classical studies. It's not easy to read, and its style is old-fashioned; but surely you can only profit from reading this great work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and scholarly history, 9 July 2012
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
This is a standard and authoritative history of the period from 60BC to AD14. It was first published in 1939, and seems to have been available ever since. Every book on Augustan Rome, the Republic, or any related matter always refers to this book - this book just seems to be a definitive reference to any writer, whether they ultimately agree or disagree with the author's viewpoint. Funnily enough, I've just discovered he was born and raised in New Zealand! Fancy that ...

I read the first half of the book when doing a paper on Early Rome (up to the fall of the Republic), and have now read the rest of the book preparatory to doing a paper on Imperial Rome. So it seems a good time to review the book as a whole. Given that the book was first published in 1939, it seems almost inevitable that the author's views were coloured, to an extent, by the rise of fascism in Europe at the time, and the impending threat that hung over Europe. Syme attributes fairly "black and white" pragmatic attitudes to Augustus' methods and plans; and while that may not seem so shocking to us now, it was probably fairly reactive at the time.

This is most definitely not an easy read, and not to be attempted by a reader with no prior knowledge - the narrative moves from names to places rapidly, and assumes a familiarity with these which are vital to an understanding of the overall theme of the book. Syme approaches the period in a vaguely chronological order, with wide divergences into thematic topics. The writing style is very scholarly and very "old school", so it's a book to study, to think about and to study while referring to other sources as well, to bolster the opinion and knowledge gained.

Highly recommended for anyone seriously looking into the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked power prevailed, 5 Nov 2007
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Revolution (Paperback)
R. Syme reveals the real power players in ancient Roman society, the backers of the competing generals searching personal domination of the empire.
That empire contained two classes of citizens: the patricians and the plebs. Rome was ruled without a real constitution (legality was a casual or partisan question). In fact, an oligarchy of 20 to 30 men detained all power strings. They represented whom? The main factions involved were the optimates (wealthy nobility), the nobiles (consular houses), the equites (provincial aristocracies, captains of industry and finance) and the novi homines (senators for the 1st time). Three other groups as a whole were politically very important: the plebs, the soldiers and the Senate.
Ambitious generals tried to cement different factions into a block, a Party as a power base.

Julius Caesar was a nobilis, backed by the plebs. By nominating many novi homines he took control of the Senate. He became the first Roman revolutionary by abolishing all political liberties and installing a dictatorship. He was stabbed to death by the defenders of the Republic.
Marcus Antonius took the helm at the Caesarean Party, but Caesar also nominated a young nobilis as his heir, Octavianus. Provisory political stability was created through a triumvirate (M. Antonius, Octavianus, Lepidus) which installed a reign of terror, wiping out all political opponents through proscription and abolishing all private rights of citizenship. After the elimination of Lepidus, the two remaining triumvirs fought the battle of Actium: Octavianus became the sole master of the situation. In the choice between political freedom (and a new suicidal civil war?) or a stable government, the power players opted for the latter.
The reign of Octavianus (Augustus) was backed by the plebs (panem et circenses), the military, the Senate (purified by nominating many novi homines) and the consuls (designated by the emperor). The power of the nobiles was broken. R. Syme characterizes his reign as plutocratic. Many novi homines were opulent men from the colonies and the municipia (Italy without Rome). In reality, Rome was ruled in secret by members of his family (Livia) and personal adherents (Maecenas, Agrippa).

R. Syme's book contains many in depth portraits of major power players. A few examples: Cicero was the head of the optimates who intended to employ Octavianus in order to destroy the Caesarean Party and to restore political liberty. Octavianus was a hypocrite and opportunist chameleon, who seized power through bribery, fraud and bloodshed.
This magisterially and clear analysis of a power struggle is a must read for all historians and for all those interested in the history of mankind
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5.0 out of 5 stars The classic study of the rise of Augustus and the Empire., 4 Nov 2013
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Although obviously influenced by the events of the late 1930s in Germany, this is an amazingly detailed study of the personalities and political factions that changed Rome forever.
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The Roman Revolution
The Roman Revolution by Ronald Syme (Paperback - 8 Aug 2002)
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