In 22 BC, amid a series of natural disasters and political and economic crises, a mob locked Rome's senators into the Senate House and threatened to burn them alive if they did not make Augustus dictator. Why did Rome - to this day one of the world's longest-lived republics - exchange freedom for autocracy? 'Mortal Republic' is a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome made this trade. Prizewinning historian Edward J. Watts shows how, for centuries, Rome's governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs succeeded in fostering compromise and negotiation. Even amid moments of crisis like Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the 210s BC, Rome's Republic proved remarkably resilient, and it continued to function well as Rome grow into the premier military and political power in the Mediterranean world
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