The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

The Storm Before the Storm The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization After its founding in BCE Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city state to the dominant superpowe

  • Title: The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
  • Author: Mike Duncan
  • ISBN: 9781610397216
  • Page: 207
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization After its founding in 509 BCE, Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city state to the dominant superpower of the Mediterranean world Through it all, the Romans never allowed a single man to seize control of the state Every year for four hundred years the annually elected consThe Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization After its founding in 509 BCE, Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city state to the dominant superpower of the Mediterranean world Through it all, the Romans never allowed a single man to seize control of the state Every year for four hundred years the annually elected consuls voluntarily handed power to their successors Not once did a consul give in to the temptation to grab absolute power and refuse to let it go It was a run of political self denial unmatched in the history of the world The disciplined Roman republicans then proceeded to explode out of Italy and conquer a world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings.But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome ruled Bankrolled by mountains of imperial wealth and without a foreign enemy to keep them united, ambitious Roman leaders began to stray from the republican austerity of their ancestors Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome would become engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.The Storm Before the Storm tells the story of the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic the story of the first generation that had to cope with the dangerous new political environment made possible by Rome s unrivaled domination over the known world The tumultuous years from 133 80 BCE set the stage for the fall of the Republic.The Republic faced issues like rising economic inequality, increasing political polarization, the privatization of the military, endemic social and ethnic prejudice, rampant corruption, ongoing military quagmires, and the ruthless ambition and unwillingness of elites to do anything to reform the system in time to save it a situation that draws many parallels to present day America These issues are among the reasons why the Roman Republic would fall And as we all know, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    • The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic : Mike Duncan
      207 Mike Duncan
    • thumbnail Title: The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic : Mike Duncan
      Posted by:Mike Duncan
      Published :2019-08-12T13:08:27+00:00

    About "Mike Duncan"

    1. Mike Duncan

      Mike Duncan is one of the foremost history podcasters in the world His award winning series The History of Rome set the gold standard for episodic narrative history and inspired a generation of listeners His current series Revolutions explores the great political revolutions of history and is one of the most popular history podcasts in the world Duncan s first book The Storm Before the Storm The Beginning of the End of the Romans Republic is forthcoming October 24, 2017 from PublicAffairs Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his family.

    604 thoughts on “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic”

    1. We truly live in an amazing age when someone can go from releasing a podcast about history before people really knew what podcasts were (2007) to getting a book publishing deal on the subject. If you have not been clued into Mike Duncan's amazing Roman History podcast series The History of Rome or his current one on various Revolutions you are truly missing out on some of the best audio experiences out there (and for the low, low price of free). Ever since he announced he was getting a Roman His [...]

    2. This is a solid popular history of the generation and a half before the First Triumvirate--the period from the Gracchi brothers to the death of Sulla, which is usually simplified in popular forms or skipped in order to get to Julius Caesar or Augustus. Instead, this is an easily digestible account of the Lex Agraria, the changes to the Roman military, the Roman involvement in the breaking down of the Hellenistic kingdoms in Asia Minor, ramifications of limiting or increasing voting, the triggers [...]

    3. "These echoes could be mere coincidence, of course, but the great Greek biographer Plutarch certainly believed it possible that 'if, on the other hand, there is a limited number of elements from which events are interwoven, the same things must happen many times, being brought to pass by the same agencies.""But this was an age when a lie was not a lie if a man had the audacity to keep asserting the lie was true."I'm not nervous you're nervous.

    4. *4.5 stars*At the time, everyone thought that just one more push for their personal agenda would win the day. Collectively, they ended up pushing the republic over the edge.Oh, I'm sorry. This is Ancient Rome, not modern America. But here is the story of the fall of a republic as it gallops towards oblivion. The threads of the constitution fray and fray and fray and snap as simple reform bills turn into battles for personal glory which turn into riots in the forum which turn into civil war.This [...]

    5. The shocking story of the Oligarchy ruthlessly cracking down on populists Tribunes (considered traitors), who advocated for the poor and disenfranchised masses (via the Lex Agraria).The next era would bring the rise of Caesar and the virtual elimination of the middle class, with the reduction of most of the Roman population to plebeian status.I should note how the massive inequality came about in Rome. As Rome became more involved in foreign wars and defeated the likes of Carthage and other enem [...]

    6. This was an exceptionally well written and concise outline of the history of the Roman Republic from the period of the Gracchi brothers to the death of Lucius Sulla. The author did a masterful job of describing to the reader in an organized fashion the myriad of events, personalities and issues. The Roman Republic was an extremely bloody, dynamic and complicated place where political questions were often settled through assassination and war. It would be very easy for a reader to get lost especi [...]

    7. Aside: In prepping for this review to liken it (negatively) to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast on The Roman Republic, I noticed that all the HH podcasts that I had rated and reviewed were NO LONGER IN MY BOOKS. The book pages seem to have all been recreated on Dec 27th, !??!?! NOT COOL. This doesn't exactly encourage review-writing or even rating, you know. And if non-book items are going to be deleted, then let's get rid of the book pages for ONLINE FANFICTION. Arrgh.Anyway.Before my conc [...]

    8. I am endlessly amazed at the amount of detail uncovered from events that took place more than 2,000 years ago. Mike Duncan managed to piece together an entire narrative, introducing us to the main players in a society whose climb to greatness seemed to be its undoing. I've read a lot about this period of history, but Duncan's unique approach gave me a different perspective on the unraveling of the empire. While academic, in the sense that this is not light reading, Duncan's writing style is enjo [...]

    9. The late Roman Republic is one of the most studied and most familiar periods of history. Even the average American - famously ignorant of history - could probably tell you what happened to Julius Caesar or the name of Cleopatra's lover (thanks in no small part to Shakespeare's plays). But there's surprisingly little attention paid to the period before Caesar, the events that set the stage for the fall of the Republic. Mike Duncan, host of the excellent History of Rome Podcast, takes a stab, writ [...]

    10. Everybody know the story of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cicero, Cato, Octavian, Brutus, civil war, assassination, the last grasp of liberty, and the foundation of both tyranny and centuries of peace and prosperity. Roman politics are a common metaphor for our own times. In The Storm Before the Storm, veteran history podcaster Mike Duncan (Revolutions, The History of Rome), writes about one of his favorite periods, the Roman Republic between the Second Punic War an [...]

    11. I absolutely loved this book. While it's a great story about the civil war between Marius and Sulla, and the events that lead up to it, it's also presented masterfully as a case study in how the erosion of norms can create irreparable cracks in a political system. As norms and customs that form the bedrock of a system give way to crises and the expediency of the moment, norms are subsequently weakened, or worse, new a precedent is set and the unintended consequences ripple from there. There is a [...]

    12. The Roman Republic wasn't destroyed in a day. It was a process. Starting around the time of the destruction of Carthage up to the prosciptions of Sulla or 133bcce. to about 80bce. Romes conquests with all the riches degraded the fabric of the Republic as ambitious men bit ripped apart the seams of their institutions in pursuit of glittery prizes of power. As money flowed into Rome the rich got richer and the poor got poorer which made a more desperate populace with less and less respect for inst [...]

    13. So to start, I read this book for a very interesting reason. Normally I would have no need to read this book. I know enough about the beginning of the fall of the Republic from Roman History. I don't know if I would need to read about in a book that gives a cursory telling like this book does. However, I would say the REASON I know about this time period of History is because I am an avid fan of the History of Rome Podcast by Mike Duncan. This reading was done as a fan of the Podcast and a suppo [...]

    14. This is a history book that covers a period of Roman Republic from around 146 BC to 78 BC. This is the period after the Third Punic War when Rome finally defeated Carthage until close to the end of the Republic, with the rise of Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great and Crassus, before turning into The Roman Empire. One would learn about the times when the Gracchi brothers were making reforms, the feud between the Marius and Sulla and the great Civil War. According to the author's note at the beginnin [...]

    15. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that in 75 years of lifetime, I've given scant effort to comprehending the period of the Roman Republic. I know I'm not alone in turning my back on much of this ancient history. The Storm Before the Storm provided me with an excellent outline of a sliver of the very last part of the b.c. time frame. It's a wonderful introduction to fascinating rulers and numerous warsMike Duncan presents a wide array of very clever and interesting rulers of the time. As indicated [...]

    16. The Lawfare podcast interviewed the author, and asked him to compare and contrast the subject of his book with the current United States situation, as well as a sampling of other "storms before" that did or did not lead to critical "storms".The podcast blurb:Political polarization, inequality, and corruption during the period 146 to 78 BC gravely weakened the Roman Republic in the years before its collapse. In his new book The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Late Republic [...]

    17. Wonderful Popular History of an Often Ignored EraThis is a very readable and well done popular history of the first half of the Late Roman Republic, covering the period from the Gracchi to the death of Sulla, roughly 133-78 BC. The fall of the Roman Republic is a well known subject, but this volume focuses on the events that generally form the introductions to other popular accounts which tend to focus primarily on figures like Marcus Cicero and Julius Caesar. Instead, we get a comprehensive ove [...]

    18. It occurs to me that I’ve spent a lot of years waiting for Mike Duncan’s next episode. He was only at 10 or 11 episodes of The History Of Rome when someone, maybe Mefi or reddit, let me know what he was doing. I caught up that night and since then it’s been the first thing I listen to as I leave work every release day.Lot of hours spent listening to him. A large chunk of the appeal his Duncan’s editorial voice. I’ve listened to other history podcasts and none has really stuck. But his [...]

    19. My internal monolouge of reading this book was in Mike Duncan's voice. And that enough made this book extremely enjoyable for me.In terms of content: what an eye opening read. The world of Rome is very different, but also so very similar to our own.It really is a shame that Marius, Sulla and the Gracchi brothers are overshadowed by the events that occurred half a century later. Duncan made these characters come to life, and although this book is not really long enough to delve into great detail [...]

    20. Duncan's conversational tone and injection of humor make this an incredibly accessible book. Most interesting is the focus on political machinations over military engagements. While the battles are still covered (And it would be hard not to, Rome could not get enough of war in the first and second century BCE), he always comes back to the workings of the senate.Duncan also matches the Great Man history that usually follows Rome with the greater social forces at work. And while Great Man history [...]

    21. Wonderfully dense storyIt took me ages to read this because it is so densely packed with information. I would become exhausted and fall asleep (I read in bed at night) I normally read light fiction or fantasy. I really enjoyed this epic. It s narrated in a similar voice to the podcasts. I would at times hear Duncan in my head while reading! Okay I'm gushing a little. I really enjoyed this book.

    22. It would be easy for a book about the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic to get bogged down. This one avoids that fate entirely. It covers important events and individuals with enough detail for everything to connect and make sense but not so much that the reader gets lost in it all. I've never listened to the author's podcast, but given how much I enjoyed the book, I may have to give it a try. A really interesting time in history, relevant to current day, and written in a way that makes [...]

    23. Should Be Required ReadingThis book tells the story of the death of the Roman Republic and the breakdown of political norms that gave birth to the age of the Empire. Senatorial oligarchs who wished to maintain power at the expense of immigrants, slaves, and the poor gave rise to popular demagogues and in turn gave rise to massive civil unrest and war. Are those who fail to learn history doomed to repeat it?

    24. An outstanding condensation of the roots of the collapse of not just a nation, but the idea of a nation.This is not the end, it is the beginning of the end. Mike Duncan hammers home the general outline of historical facts like Sulla relentlessly pounding Mithridates back to Pontus, yet in an endearing story telling fashion studded with his good humor. If you like an occasionally giggle while social norms are stripped away condemning entire strata of Roman society (those that were not made dead) [...]

    25. This too me AGES to read, only because I kept picking it up and putting it down (my own fault for insisting on reading it in hardcover). Anyway, I love Mike Duncan's narrative voice, and this was just a cool look at an under served time in history

    26. There are a ton of works, both fiction and nonfiction, about the fall of the Roman Republic, but very few on this period, leading up to the fall. (The only other one that I can think of that goes into this detail is Colleen McCullough's "First Man in Rome" series, but that's fiction.) Duncan makes the case here that the Republic, far from being a robust institution when Caesar and Pompey got to it, had already already been fatally weakened by violent political infighting. Duncan is probably the [...]

    27. This book is just so readable. For an historical non-fiction book meant to be read by the masses there is no higher praise. If you like the authors podcasts you will love this book and if you loved the book but haven't heard his podcasts then you really should give them a listen. He has the unique, coveted ability to educate and entertain at the same time. This book and the podcast it grew out of (The History of Rome) are both in-depth, thoroughly researched accounts of a really interesting and [...]

    28. Been a big Mike Duncan fan for a long time, and this book does not disappoint. Very readable, about a period that generally gets the "Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, yada yada yada" treatment.There's a little too much tick-tock of "and then X happened and then Y happened and then Z happened" and not quite enough analysis of WHY, or of the larger implications of the events. But that's a minor complaint, especially since the book is generally successfully largely because it doesn't try to do too much. The [...]

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