Vibivs Arvina, a fat Italian at 58 was next appointed and he was mediocre. In the disparaging legions, a slave-born freeman soldier had become fed up with how Rome had come to such a sorry state. The name of this Pilus Prior(a rank in the legions) was Gaivs Octavivs, from Gallia Narbonensis and he had ideas of revitalizing the empire and reconquering the lost provinces, as well as getting some more. He planned to use all the plunder available to restore the economy, he planned also to tighten laws on citizenship and reduce the rights of minorities, especially the slaves. He became a very powerful political representative for the legions (rising in rank also and undermining some of his superiors) and eventually worked directly under the republican legionary General in Gaul.
Also there was a freeman Gladiator named Germanicvs (because that’s where he was from) he was taking the route of life many rich slaves were but he was not quite the Abadse as the others in that he would prefer more collective distribution for the slaves still not living as well as others. He became a very wealthy merchant and later joined Italia’s government machine. He would prefer the masses to be more involved in their government, this would make them more patriotic and less morbid. He also had military plans for the lost provinces but did not see Rome as needing to really be any larger.
Essentially these 2 were getting themselves to be the most (at times only) prominent choices for the next appointment for emperor. In the end the Senate liked Octavivs’ military expansion but not his social policies and liked Germanicvs’ social and diplomatic policies but also thought they went too far for slaves in particular. In actuality, neither of them really had a chance, the Senate would never let someone who was once a slave or gladiator be Emperor.
So in the end, Germanicvs led an organized slave/gladiator uprising of about a million (with others joining the revolt independently) and Octavivs managed to lead 489 000 legionaries out of the total 800 000 in a civil war bid for control. The Praetorians and Senators led the loyalist military, some getting up from their seats (to be generals) for the first time in their lives- Vibivs Arvina was totally useless and coward away in his Sardinian mansion.
So now there was a three way civil war, not even all the ancient civil disruptions put together could compare. It was a massive and annoying struggle, Rome at its worst was supposed to be reclaiming its lost provinces, not killing itself. The Senate and Praetorians, after successfully assassinating Germanicvs and several of his generals in 1644(891) and then Octavivs in 1645(892) finally tore up the rebellious shards and reclaimed loyalty from others by late 1646(893). Because of the rebellions, places like Hibernia, Asia, and Scandia were cut off from Rome as long as 6 years. Hibernia and Mazun were lost but the rest were retained.
The entire affair was an outrage to both the Senate, Praetorians, and the people, especially since the empire just kept shrinking. The Senate passed several laws, raising taxes for the wealthy, lowering them for the farmers, more freeman rights, allowing the returning the senatorship seats to the provinces conquered by Germanicvs and Octavivs, dividing Africa Proconsularis into a northern and southern province: the new emperor controlled province become the province of Libya; the Aegyptian division would be given fully to the Senate when Aegytpvs was restored to the Senate; the Senate gained more control in government policies, including limiting the position of Emperor to 12 years, and transforming the Praetorian guard. Defectors and spies during the war had caused a lot of trouble for the guard's coercion. It was split 3 ways into distinct areas of responsibility and their accountability increased on the whole. It was the first of many changes to the government that would lead to a large separation of powers.
The 3 new Praetorian groups were the Praetorivs Senatvs: pretty much the emperors guards, but since the emperor’s importance kept dwindling, the guard was expanded and fitted for Senator protection; Praetorivs Procvris: specialized in financial transaction security as well as border patrol; and Praetorivs Politicvs: basically the Vigiles Vrbani (watchmen of the city(police and firefighters)) but with authority throughout the precincted province and with praetorian training(all 3 had much anti-treachery education, testing, and background checking). This along with other Senate laws cut down corruption and political intrigue. Vibivs Arvina was impeached for his incompetence during this whole process in the month of Martius, 1650(897). He returned to Sardinia and lived there until his death.
On a lighter note, some Italia ADAs begin reviewing and expanding on the ancient Greeks' analytical geometry and Aristotle's biology. The ADAs in Greece and elsewhere eventually started getting into it once things became a bit more normal.
During the war, vexillology had become increasingly important in order for the legions in the field to tell each other apart. It helped to distinguish all the militias, mercenaries, and loyalists from the Republican forces. Many legionaries individually started wearing family crests or symbols over their armour, also helping them distinguish similarly suited legionaries fighting for Octavivs. By the end of the war, Vexillology had become a very precise and descriptive study. (Vexill)Flags started playing a larger role in national identities.