Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Heart of Change: Julius Caesar and the End of the Roman Republic

The Heart of Change: Julius Caesar and the End of the Roman Republic. This is an essay that looks at the organizational change theory of Kotter and Cohen (2002) and applies it to the actions of Julius Caesar as he brought about the end of the Roman Republic.

Most of the essay is based on Caesar Against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War by R. L. Jimenez and Rubicon by T. Holland. Both are recent works on the subject which have gotten good reviews.

Most of the examples used to illustrate the points made come from the Great Roman Civil War between Caesar and Pompey. This was truly a World War. There was fighting in Asia, Africa, and in multiple fronts in Europe including Spain, Italy, and Macedonia. The conflict engulfed the entire Western world.

From the site:

Change is a fact of history. It has occurred repeatedly throughout time and it will invariably be a constant for the future. Taking this into account, it is reasonable to assume that the change models proposed by various theorists should be applicable to the study of past events. One of the most important events in ancient history was the transformation of the democratic Roman Republic into the Emperor ruled Roman Empire. This event altered human history. As such, analysis of it using a change model should be possible.

Kotter and Cohen wrote the book Heart of Change in 2002. In it, they describe an eight step model for change. A look at this model shows that it is a good one for describing the actions of Julius Caesar as he took charge of the Roman Republic and ended the democratic rule of the Roman Senate and replaced it with a system that would result in the rule of Caesar’s for centuries to come. While it is not a perfect fit, the Kotter and Cohen model is still helpful in understanding how Caesar was able to accomplish what he did and it allows for the analysis of his actions.

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