The Military Reforms of Gaius Marius in their Social, Economic, and Political context
Gambino, Michael C.
The goal of this thesis is, as the title affirms, to understand the military reforms of Gaius Marius in their broader societal context. In this thesis, after a brief introduction (Chap. I), Chap. II analyzes the Roman manipular army, its formation, policies, and armament. Chapter III examines Roman society, politics, and economics during the second century B.C.E., with emphasis on the concentration of power and wealth, the legislative programs of Ti. And C. Gracchus, and the Italian allies’ growing demand for citizenship. Chap. IV discusses Roman military expansion from the Second Punic War down to 100 B.C.E., focusing on Roman military and foreign policy blunders, missteps, and mistakes in Celtiberian Spain, along with Rome’s servile wars and the problem of the Cimbri and Teutones. Chap. V then contextualizes the life of Gaius Marius and his sense of military strategy, while Chap VI assesses Marius’s military reforms in his lifetime and their immediate aftermath in the time of Sulla. There are four appendices on the ancient literary sources (App. I), Marian consequences in the Late Republic (App. II), the significance of the legionary eagle standard as shown during the early principate (App. III), and a listing of the consular Caecilii Metelli in the second and early first centuries B.C.E. (App. IV). The Marian military reforms changed the army from a semi-professional citizen militia into a more professionalized army made up of extensively trained recruits who served for longer consecutive terms and were personally bound to their commanders. In this way these reforms created an army which could be used against other Roman commanders or the city itself. Military eligibility was no longer exclusive to landowners, and the capite censi had new opportunities for spoils and social and political advancement. Marius’ reforms were not completely novel, but the practices that he introduced he also cause to be established as standard operating procedure. He implemented these reforms in a time of crisis, and subsequently the extraordinary military careers of both Marius and Sulla acted to preserve his measures and to move the army far down the road of professionalization. What I have shown in this thesis is the larger economic, social, and political context which formed the background and provided the incubator in which Marius’ reforms were generated and developed. Once Marius crystalized his ideas and put them in place, the stage was set for Sulla and the new kind of military action that would seal the fate of the Republic.
Gambino, Michael C.. (January 0001). The Military Reforms of Gaius Marius in their Social, Economic, and Political context (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5090.)
Gambino, Michael C.. The Military Reforms of Gaius Marius in their Social, Economic, and Political context. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 0001. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/5090. May 29, 2023.
Gambino, Michael C., “The Military Reforms of Gaius Marius in their Social, Economic, and Political context” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 0001).
Gambino, Michael C.. The Military Reforms of Gaius Marius in their Social, Economic, and Political context [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 0001.
East Carolina University