The process of expansion modified
the economic structure of the State; the immense conquered
territories, from which incalculable riches flowed, determined
the crisis of the agricultural structure on which Italy was
based; whilst Rome tried to reinforce its own political structure
to try and adapt it to the governing of the provinces, without
substantially modifying its powers, it affirmed the class
of the Cavaliers.
The cultural consequences were extremely
important to expansion in the Oriente, which indelibly modified
the features of Roman civilization. The servile war in Sicily
(136-132 BC) opened a period of strong social tension: the
tribuneship of Tiberio Gracco (133 BC) tried to help the populace
by distributing the public land to them; Fulvio Flacco (125
BC) tried without success, to extend Roman citizenship to
the Italians; Gaio Gracco (123 BC) retrieved the political
position from his brother Tiberio, but was assassinated in
121 BC: The social war (90-88BC) conducted by the Italians
who reclaimed the citizenship, which was expressed by the
profound structural crisis, intensified during the civil war.
The encounter at first saw Mario and Silla (88-82 BC) as the
two main protagonists, therefore, after the dissolving of
the first triumvirate (Cesar, Pompeo, Crasso, 60-52 BC), Pompeo
and Cesar were owed merit of the conquest of Gallia and Britannia.
After Cesar was murdered (44 BC) another civil war followed,
which had Ottaviano and Antonio as the two opposing adversaries.
They were established in Rome with the support of the Senate.
Ottaviano, after a temporary agreement with his rival (according
to the triumvirate 43 BC, with Ottaviano, Antonio, Lepido)
made a decisive attack on the Oriente to eliminate the Cesaricidi
(Filippi, 42 BC), where there was a strict alliance with the
Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.
At Azio (31 BC) Ottaviano
obtained a decisive victory and continued to define his own
personal power (auctoritas): in itself, a guarantee of peace,
from the tradition and needs of all social classes, as all
the components of the imperial command were recognized. The
administrative and military reorganization of the empire were
determinative, in particular regard to new social dynamics.
The power was linked to the person and not to the institutions
who favoured succession (dynasty Giulio-Claudia and Flavia),
a tendency to diversify governmental methods, behaviour and
political assent. Though Tiberio (14-37 AD) and Claudio (41-54)
demonstrated their inheritance of balance and longed awaited
peace from Ottaviano, Caligola (37-41), Nerone (54-68) and
Domiziano (81-96) instead, inclined towards typical oriental
methods (autocracy, theocracy), whilst Vespasiano (69-79)
and Tito 9-81) were prudent administrators of state resources.