|Res publica Romana|
The Roman Republic in about 315 B.C.
|Historical Era||Classical Era|
|•||Ousting of the Roman Monarchs||509 BC|
The Roman Republic was the political regime that Rome and its conquered territories functioned under during the period of about five hundred years since the fall of the Roman monarchy and the establishment of the Roman Empire. The Republic was in practice a government for the upper classes of Roman society, although over time more and more lower class interests made their way to the Senate. Eventually struggles for power over the government led to more and more Dictators-for-Life and civil wars that later would birth the Empire that would control most of the known world.
The Republic had its early beginnings after the fall of the Roman monarchy of Etruscan origins. Following the monarchy's removal, the Republic began to both gradually expand its influence amongst the other Latin city-states and also set up the aristocratic rules and institutions that would govern it for some time. Over time, Rome became the dominant power in Latium and the lower Plebeian class gained more and more influence, rendering the authority of the Patrician class increasingly less and less absolute.
Over time, the Republic began to expand its territorial control, largely due to winning either defensive or punitive wars. The wars of the Latin League, Samnites, Pyrrhic War, Sicilian War, and the Punic War enabled the Romans to become the most powerful state in the Western Mediterranean. With no effective rival, Rome would begin to expand north and east as its generals and senators desired more land, wealth, and glory. Increased militarization, decentralized control of the military to its generals, and the consolidation of political power amongst a small cadre of officials would lead to the Roman Civil War that would end with the creation of the Roman Empire under the general Caesarion.