UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
were her political troubles increased on account of her republican form.
The wills of the many were at cross purposes in the Senate and the Forum.
Faction paralyzed the arm of the Republic and it became more and more
apparent that the distracted counsels of aristocratic Rome must yield to
the Imperial will of one, in order that the great state created by the
valor of Roman arms and maintained by the vigor of Roman law might be saved
from universal insurrection and imminent dismemberment. Caesar answered to
the great emergency.
2. In the second place the Empire rose over the Republic because of the
decay of those peculiar virtues by which only a popular form of government
can be upheld. Old Rome was pervaded with patriotism. The contention of
faction was counterbalanced by the love of country. The Roman character
was, at the first, one of great simplicity. The man of Rome was frugal,
brave, temperate, virtuous- according to the standard of his age. His
neighbor was like himself. The people of the city cooperated in the work of
government. The senators were content to be equals. The gross vices of
ambition and the grosser lusts of power had not yet germinated in the Early
Republic. It remained for war and conquest, the inflamed passions of
haughty consuls, the envy and distraction and burning jealousies of the day
of triumph to kindle in the Roman breast those fierce and relentless
enmities in the flame of which patriotism is consumed and virtue melts like
3. The Roman Republic gave place to the Imperial rule because of essential
vices in the old constitution. The Republic so called, was not a republic
in fact. It was an aristocracy: at first, an aristocracy of intellect and
birth; but afterward, an aristocracy of wealth and luxury and pride. The
theory that government of right proceeds from the people-that it is of the
people and for them-never prevailed in the Imperial City. The Roman
Republic, great and glorious as it was, was a mockery. The state existed
for itself, and not for its subjects. In such a condition one of two things
must ultimately ensue: anarchy or Imperialism. In the case of Rome the
Caesarian system answered to the call of this necessity.
4. In the fourth place, the peculiar character of the personal agencies
which controlled the closing decades of the Old Era contributed not a
little to replace the Republic with the Empire. The affairs of the world
are in part-albeit not largely-controlled by men. Such leaders as they who
composed the two Triumvirates have sufficient influence in their own age to
shape somewhat the general destinies of mankind. Such leaders were the
Catos, the Scipios, Crassus, Lepidus, Pompeius, Antonius, and especially
Julius Caesar. The strife of Pompey the Great and his greater rival-the one
the representative of the tottering Past and the other of the titanic
Future- was precisely the kind of a strife required for the furnace heat of
a great revolution. The existence of such a man as Julius-so daring, so
creative, so great-was of itself a strong suggestion of the substitution of
the progressive and audacious One for the paralyzed and retrogressive Many.
The Man came to the aid of Destiny.