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 SANS REX - Introduction

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PostSubject: SANS REX - Introduction   Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:17 am


"Per hunc castissimum ante regiam iniuriam sanguinem iuro, vosque, di, testes facio me Lucius Tarquinium Superbum cum scelerata coniuge et omni liberorum stirpe ferro igni quacumque dehinc vi possim exsecuturum, nec illos nec alium quemquam regnare Romae passurum."

"By this guiltless blood before the kingly injustice I swear – you and the gods as my witnesses – I make myself the one who will prosecute, by what force I am able, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus along with his wicked wife and the whole house of his freeborn children by sword, by fire, by any means hence, so that neither they nor any one else be suffered to rule Rome."

Lucius Junius Brutus, The Oath of Brutus following the overthrow of King Tarquinius Superbus, 509 B.C.

It is the year 78 B.C. The revered general and statesman Lucius Cornelius Sulla has finally died, having both seized absolute power in Rome and abandoned it in 81 B.C. His life is a startling contradiction. He marched on Rome with armies at his command twice, and revived the disbanded office of Dictatorship for himself, his rise to power the latest in a long line of charismatic, ruthless, and Machiavellian rulers to scoff at the laws and limitations of the Republic and rule as a King in all but name. Yet, by his legacy of reforms, such as the Cursus Honorum, and his relinquishing of absolute power, it is his hope that nobody would follow in his footsteps.

The last decades have betrayed the unsettling weakness of the Roman political sphere. Starting with the Gracchi brothers, and then the unprecedented 7 Consulships of Gaius Marius, and then, finally, Sulla himself, the Roman political arena has devolved into murder, betrayal, politicking, and scandal that would make the revered founders of Rome blush with rage. Rome itself stands as an Empire, undivided, the dominant, ascendant power in the Mediterranean world, ruling Spain, Greece, Italy, and the ruins of Carthage astride North Africa - yet Rome itself is rotting. Hundreds of thousands of slaves, inbound from foreign conquest, have flooded into the Roman economy, making possible the Latifundium, huge collections of land owned by unimaginably wealthy nobles and worked by slaves. The free men who once worked these lands have been bought or violently driven out, displaced and made homeless. Now they flock to the cities, hungry and patronless, the seed of violent revolt. And bloated by the wealth of a dozen mighty foreign conquests, the richest yet become richer, abandoning proper Roman austerity for ostentatious displays of wealth and ruthless plays for power.

Wealth and Power own Rome, now. The honor, austerity, and duty of the ancestors which bested the child-murderers of Carthage and the philosophers of Greece has been abandoned for the sake of lust for power. Four hundred years ago, when the first Consul Brutus overthrew the Tyrant Superbus, the people of Rome swore that no King would ever suffer to rule Rome again. This is the death of that oath. The Republic will die, and a King - a Princeps - an Emperor - shall rule in its stead. The only question is - who?  
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