The Roman Republic: From Monarchy to Julius Caesar

Israel Shatzman

in The Practice of Strategy

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608638
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731754 | DOI:
The Roman Republic: From Monarchy to Julius Caesar

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In the second chapter, Israel Shatzman examines grand strategy and military strategy during the period of the Roman Republic. Rome defeated Carthage in two great wars (264–241 and 218–201), crushed the armies of the Macedonian kingdom (197 and 168) and the Seleucid monarchy (191 and 189), and vanquished various other enemies. Shatzman discusses how strategic considerations shaped the Roman strategy for the then‐emerging empire, maintaining that the overall strategy evolved gradually. The military component of the Roman strategy—characterized by extensive recruitment of manpower and huge tactical formations, lines of communications made possible by networks of roads, military discipline combined with virtus, an offensive spirit in pitched battle, and military leaders with both wisdom and determination—was central to sustaining and further expanding the republic. Yet economic, social, and political aspects were equally important in determining the success of the strategy that the Romans practised.

Keywords: strategy; war; Roman republic; Julius Caesar; military discipline; imperialism; foreign policy; expansionism

Chapter.  11404 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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