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Your right that to a certain extent I was probably conflating late imperial and late republican problems in my mind. But in the time of Caesar the official pay of the troops was low enough that their main income was loot that was made possible by victorious generals, making the troops more loyal to the general than the senate. The senate was also not offering any retirement plan, so generals could cement loyalty by promising to provide one. But the parable is probably not as strong as I thought.

On politicians delivering what they promise, An Emperor has a lot more leeway than a democratic politician to either confiscate his rivals property to pay for X or to simply not promises X in the first place and say X is not practically feasible, and I'm still in charge whether you like me telling hard truths or not.






An Emperor has a lot more leeway than a democratic politician

Thatís a good point (to be fair, though, inadequate Roman emperors rarely died in their beds while inadequate consuls usually just lost reelections).
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melian
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