Roman Republic facts for kids

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Roman Republic

Official name (as on coins):
Roma


after c. 100 BC:
Senatus Populusque Romanus  (Latin) (SPQR)
(The Senate and People of Rome)

509 BC–27 BC
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Denarius of Brutus, 54 BC, showing the first Roman consul, Lucius Junius Brutus, surrounded by two lictors and preceded by an accensus.
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC
Capital Rome
Common languages Latin (official)

Etruscan, Greek, Osco-Umbrian, Venetic, Ligurian, Rhaetian, Nuragic, Sicel, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Punic, Berber, Illyrian, Iberian, Lusitanian, Celtiberian, Gaulish, Gallaecian, Aquitanian (unofficial, but commonly spoken)
Religion
Roman polytheism
Government Constitutional republic
Consuls  
• 509–508 BC
Lucius Junius Brutus,
Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (first)
• 27 BC
Gaius Octavianus,
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (last)
Legislature Legislative Assemblies
Roman Senate
Historical era Classical antiquity
• Overthrow of Tarquinius Superbus
509 BC
• Dissolution of the Latin League
338 BC
• Caesar proclaimed dictator
47 BC
2 September 31 BC
• Octavian proclaimed Augustus
16 January 27 BC
Area
326 BC 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)
50 BC 1,950,000 km2 (750,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Capitoline Wolf of Roman Kingdom.svg Roman Kingdom
Roman Empire Augustus fist century aureus obverse.png

The Roman Republic was a phase in history of the Ancient Roman Civilization. According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by Romulus in 753 BC. It was a kingdom until 510 BC, when the last King, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown. With that date, the Roman Republic began.

The Roman Republic was very well organized for ancient times. The Roman people elected Consuls, who ruled for a short time. Some of the ideas of the Roman Republic are still used today.

The end of the republic is still a matter of dispute; different scholars will give different dates for it. Usually, the dates of the start of the First Triumvirate or the Second Triumvirate are given. (The Triumvirates were groups of three men who had much power)

The end of the republic is often said to be when Gaius Julius Caesar was appointed as dictator (single ruler) by the Roman Senate. This happened after a series of civil wars that lasted from about 49 BC to the year 44 BC.

Some people say the republic ended with the naval Battle of Actium between Marcus Antonius and Octavian. They both had been in the Second Triumvirate. It was fought on September 2, 31 BC. Octavian won. Later on, he was proclaimed Roman Emperor. The end date could also be when Octavian was given the title of the first Augustus. This was on January 16, 27 BC.

These are modern views though. In the view of the early emperors, the res publica (what is translated to Republic) still existed. It was simply "under their protection". They promised it would some day, maybe, be restored to its original form, even though this never happened. After the Roman Republic ended, the Roman Empire began. The Triumvirate faced many problems as with the assassination of Julius Caesar and the input of Lepidus and Octavius with Marc Antony.

The Republic got most of its wealth from trading and taxation. The Republic had few enemies but it was constantly on war with the Gauls, who were conquered by Caesar later. The Punic Wars against Carthage were fought all over the Mediterranean coasts, mainly because of Sicily and trade disputes. The third enemy being the Germanic tribes or simply barbarians (uncivilized people).

The Republic suffered many disasters including Spartacus (the leader of a slave revolt) Spartacus defeated one consul's army before being captured, the Republic suffered at the hands of Hannibal, who after crossing the Alps defeated the Roman Army at Cannae and many other battles which saw Rome with a great fear of being destroyed by Hannibal.

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Roman Republic Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.