Plutarch & Roman Republic
This paper argues that there are many circumstances which led to the instability of the Roman Empire around 130 BCE. Studies show that, the Roman Empire was led by rigorous political leaders who led the land with an iron fist and to instill reforms, war was a major option (Plutarch, p). Cato the elder, the Gracchi brothers and Sulla all had a big role in the collapse of the Roman republic. For example, Cato was pro-aristocratic making him to be loved by many people.
The Gracchi brothers on the other hand, tried to bring reforms to the Roman Empire but were murdered for it and Sulla was responsible for tyranny and violence in the Roman Empire. According to Plutarch, Cato the elder was the instigator of the third Punic war regardless of his aristocratic qualities and he also believed that carthage should be destroyed (Plutarch, p383). Cato’s bibliography among others of Romanian leaders shows how the political leaders in the Roman Empire made decisions which would later lead to its collapse.
Cato the elder was for example against any philosophers since he despised their way of thinking and ideas (Plutarch, p317). However, refusal to indulge philosophers in his political tenure would ensure that policies could not easily be debated upon for the good of the subjects. In other words, a regime of impunity was encouraged since the leadership of the Roman Empire could not be questioned or criticized by philosophers. Consequently, the Gracchi brothers tried their level best to bring reforms to the Roman Empire and their change was not received well leading to the ultimate murders (Plutarch, p149).
For example, Roman homeless soldiers who did not have anywhere to go were given a conducive environment which would allow them decent lives (Plutarch, p161). However, the senate was against the agrarian laws of the Gracchi brothers and gave them a lot of opposition. An analysis of the reading about Gracchi brothers shows how the Roman Empire senate at the time lacked the political for its citizens since they were concerned about their wealth accumulation. Eventually with colliding interests between the Gracchi brothers, other members of the senate, the Guracchi brothers were finally murdered through orchestrated conspiracies.
For example Tiberius was killed through a conspiracy between Octavius and Scipio Nasica and Scipio Aemilianus (Plutarch, p191). Killing the Guracchi brothers would later cause many problems to the Roman Empire in trying to consummate the Guracchi reforms. It can be argued that, the Guracchi brothers would have helped the Roman Empire become more stable and well developed with their reforms if they had not been murderer by other Roman selfish leaders. After the Guracchi brother, Sulla brought tyranny into the Roman Empire leading to much political unrest.
Sulla is depicted by Plutarch as a political leader who led with dictatorship and killed anyone who stood on his way. For example he is known to have ordered the massacre of people in the city of roman based on his likings and preferences (Plutarch, p427). Such leadership of impunity and tyranny was a danger to the success of the Roman Empire. An analysis of Plutarch bibliographies shows that, Sulla seems to have been the worst political leader who led to the eventual fall of the Roman Empire. Why efforts to reform the Republic and its institutions failed
The Roman Empire lacked organization in its leadership in terms of leaders being responsible for their own decision making. In analyzing the case of Cato the elder it is apparent that as a leader no one would object his leadership style of locking philosophers from the Roman Empire simply because he disliked their way of thinking. Plutarch notes that Cato the elder did not like philosophers because of their notions on medicine and he preferred to eat vegetable and duck and hare meat which would also be fed to the sick (Plutarch, p376).
Eventually however, he ended up loosing his wife and son owing to his adamancy is holding mediocre ways of thinking. On the other hand, Cato the elder would also not condone self development of his workers perhaps because he strived so much to compensate for the wrongdoing of the elite group in Roman Empire (Plutarch, p305). Cato’s leadership style lacked direction and focus since he dwelt more in ensuring that he pleased the people by showing them that he placed a higher regard to aristocracy.
Plutarch in page 313 notes that, Cato the elder did not give his slaves a lot of money since he didn’t want them to become very smart and lazy like the rich elite. Such shows that the people of the Roman Empire were seen by their leaders as subjects who could not possibly know or even understand what was good for them. Consequently, most of the reforms of the Roman Empire also failed because of corruption and selfishness. In analyzing the case of the Guracchi brothers, it is apparent that they could not instigate reforms in the Roman Empire successful without opposition from colleagues.
Plutarch states that Tiberius was an eloquent public speaker who left the likes of Octavius and Scipio Nasica and Scipio Aemilianus jealous of his success (Plutarch, p149). On the other hand, the Gurachi brother’s political enemies did not like the brothers’ reforms of agrarian laws since they stood in their way of power and wealth accumulation. In the light of the above, the Roman Empire can be argued to have had two forms of political leaders: leaders who had the political will for their subjects like the Guracchi brothers and selfish leaders who did not want people to benefit like Octavius and Scipio Nasica and Scipio Aemilianus.
Such a scenario would lead to continuous tags of war which would most probably stand in the way of success of reforms in the Roman Empire. Plutarch notes that hatred of noble leaders like Tiberius was even manifested in his murder and the way they disposed off his body without any respect (Plutarch, p193). In the case of Roman Empire, the evil forces of leadership overcame the positive forces leading to more problems than good. When Sulla eventually came to power, he instead introduced Romanian to evil forces of tyranny and impunity.
Sullas leadership style was that of a dictator and that shows he did not have any political will for his country. His anger clouded his judgment and more often than not he would order for unnecessary wars which would cost Roman Empire many lives of soldiers and resources. The fact that he could not condone to be questioned was enough to ensure that he could make irrational decisions for the Roman Empire and still get away with it hence hindering the success of creation of any reforms in the country.
Bibliography Cato the Elder: http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Cato_Major*. html Tiberius and Gaius Grachhus: http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Tiberius_Gracchus*. html http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Caius_Gracchus*. html Sulla: http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Sulla*. html http://penelope. uchicago. edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Antony*. htmlSample Essay of Paperial.com