Why does Rome have such difficulty adjusting politically and militarily to the challenges of managing an empire? Between Marius and Caesar, what steps were taken to address these challenges?

A

The problem of succession had always been topical for the Roman Empire because of the complexity of its management. For this reason, there were two critical components as skill succession and power succession. It was solved via the introduction of a specific system presupposing the adoption of an appropriate candidate. In Roman society, it was a legal mechanism to provide an adult with an opportunity to inherit a certain political position avoiding the necessity to continue the dynasty with bloodline. This solution also helped to prevent a civil war by guaranteeing the succession of power. For instance, Five Good Emperors belonging to the Nerva-Antonine dynasty evidence the effectiveness of this model as they were all provided with power via adoption mechanisms.

However, there were some significant changes to this system under the impact of the Empire’s peculiarities. First, the rulers were appointed by praetorians who became active players impacting the policy-making in the state and using the military forces to support their candidate. The use of this system resulted in the collapse of power and the decline of the Roman Empire. There was also another change introduced by Diocletian because of the reduced popularity of adoption practice. To guarantee the stability of succession, he established the system of superiority and apprenticeship. The would-be ruler was provided with the title of Caesar of Junior Emperor and had to rule in some areas, while Augustus had all power. These changes were preconditioned by the difficulties in the giant state’s management and the necessity to create a more predictable and stable succession mechanism. However, there is an opinion that the existence of two rulers preconditioned the further split of the Empire into the Eastern and Western ones. In such a way, it created the basis for the future collapse of Rome.

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Academic.Tips. 2021. "Why does Rome have such difficulty adjusting politically and militarily to the challenges of managing an empire? Between Marius and Caesar, what steps were taken to address these challenges?" September 14, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/why-does-rome-have-such-difficulty-adjusting-politically-and-militarily-to-the-challenges-of-managing-an-empire-between-marius-and-caesar-what-steps-were-taken-to-address-these-challenges-2/.

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