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The Roman Senate, 44 BC

Agenda: The Ides of March: Imperium within the Republic

Friends, Romans and Countrymen - Not too long ago, Spurinna warned Dictator Perpetuo Julius Caesar to beware of the Ides of March. Many days have passed, and the Ides of March are here. Disillusionment in the Senate with Caesar’s ways has never been greater.  As the Roman Republic stands at the brink of implosion, the Senate convenes on this fateful Ides of March. As the Phaedrus in Plato’s book correctly noted, “Things are not always what they seem; appearances deceive many”. While the Senate meets under the garb of diplomacy and cooperation, every Senator is aware that something much larger is at play. Some Senators have begun to claim that Caesar plans to put an end to their beloved Republic with his ‘dictatorial tendencies’ and anonymous sources say that they have decided to take matters into their own hands. 

 

However, the hour is early, and as the Senate convenes at the Theatre of Pompey the Great, it would be understating the importance of this meeting to say that the future of the Republic is dependent on this very moment, and such tense atmospheres could arguably make senators wonder how we came to such a position in the first place. 

 

The Republic, a bastion of democratic principles and oligarchic structure, has been increasingly strained under the weight of military conquests, social upheaval and the towering ambitions of its most illustrious leaders, most notably - Gaius Julius Caesar. Having recently declared himself Dictator Perpetuo - dictator for life - Caesar has successfully sown deep divisions within the hallowed chambers of the Senate. 

 

His ascent to power, marked by victories in Gaul and a civil war that saw him emerge triumphant over the esteemed Pompey the Great, has significantly altered Rome's political landscape. These actions, though celebrated by many as feats of genius and strength, have equally been perceived as direct threats to the Republic's cherished traditions, and the Senate's authority. The Senate as it stands has a majority of anti-Caesareans, but the Senate cannot take away Caesar’s greatest allies – the Roman people. Gaius Julius Caesar is greatly loved by the people, and it is certain that if anything were to happen to him in a public setting, perhaps even a Senate meeting, civil unrest would be assured. The Ides of March are here, and the Senate must beware.

 

As delegates in the role of these ancient statesmen, you are thrust into the heart of a Republic in crisis. Delegates, as Senators, the primary defenders of the most important Republic history has ever, and arguably will ever see – you will find yourself in the midst of upheaval of the highest order. Caesar made a public appearance before the Senate meeting and called out to Spurinna, “The Ides of March are here!”. Spurinna replied, “Yes – the Ides have come, but they have not yet gone.” Keep this in mind delegates. It is up to you to decide the fate of Caesar, and with it the fate of the Republic.

Letter from the Director

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…”

 

Dear Delegates, 

 

It is my distinct honour to welcome you to the Roman Senate at the 28th Session of the Cathedral Model United Nations. The Senate, set in 44 BC, is a specialised committee that will discuss the fate of a Republic plagued with betrayal and inequality. 

 

For more than 4 centuries, the Roman Republic has been an institution of stability and democracy, in a world dominated by Gods and kings. Initially founded as a monarchy, it transitioned into a complex system of governance with power vested in various institutions, including this Senate. It has seen countless military conquests that have contributed to significant territorial expansion. The assimilation of the conquered groups only enhances Rome’s growing influence across the world. 

 

From the rugged hills of Latium, to the shores of the Mediterranean, the Republic’s influence knows no limits. More recently, with the legions of Rome at his command, and against overwhelming odds, Caesar waged a campaign of brilliance to conquer the rugged terrain of Gaul. 

 

However, with consistent internal coups and factional conflict, eventually, it was bound to come crashing down. We now face that reality. The continuous military conquests and social unrest is weighing down on the Republic, and the future is looking bleak. Additionally, Julius Caesar declared himself the dictator for life and has caused extreme unrest even within this very Senate. Yet, the Roman people remain with him and thus assure either his safety or unprecedented levels of conflict in the case of his death. 

 

The Ides of March are approaching, and the likelihood of an attack on Caesar has never been higher, yet the repercussions of such an event could push the Republic into a collapsing state like never seen before. For if Caesar falls, if he is struck down by the hand of a traitor, the repercussions will be felt far and wide, shaking the foundations of the Republic to its very core. The delicate balance of power that has sustained Rome for centuries will be shattered, giving rise to a tempest of civil strife and political turmoil unlike anything the world has ever seen.

 

And so, as the hour of reckoning draws near, the fate of Rome hangs in the balance, teetering on the brink of oblivion. The fate of the Republic lies in your hands, as you decide whether the Ides of March are remembered as a day of the rebirth of an Empire, or a day where the destiny of a Republic is shattered due to an unforgivable action.

 

Will you uphold the principles of the Republic, or succumb to the allure of absolute power? Can Rome withstand the trials of internal strife and external threats, or is it destined to fall? These are the questions that you, esteemed delegates, must answer as you take your seats in the Roman Senate. 

 

Before I conclude, a little bit about myself: I am a Year 12 IB Student at the Cathedral and John Connon School. Academically, my interests lie in History and Economics, but outside, I am a huge sports fan. I say ‘sports’, because I love all of them. Some of my favourite teams are the Mumbai Indians in cricket, Manchester United in football, Haas in F1, and the Boston Celtics in basketball. I just enjoy playing sports - regardless of which one. Additionally, I love music and have been a drummer for the better part of a decade. 

 

CMUN 2024 will be my fourth and final CMUN, drawing a close to my unforgettable chapter of school MUNs. It has been an integral part of my school life, and this journey is one that I will never forget. So, whether this is your first conference, or your last, I urge you to try your best and enjoy yourself, because it doesn’t last forever. 

 

If you have any queries, please feel free to reach out to our Executive Board at trs.cmun2024@gmail.com

 

Until August, 

Krish Lambah, 

Deputy Secretary-General,

Director, 

The Roman Senate, 44 BC, CMUN 2024.

Krish Photo.HEIC

Krish Lambah

Director

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