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I was thinking of making a story about a person from our world reincarnated as a Dungeons&Dragons wizard three or so decades before the second punic war, working his way either as a slave or as a commoner in the roman republic. Magic is reemerging in the world and with such monsters and other classes from Dungeons&Dragons are appearing. They will be natives.

Do note that as a strange gift, the protagonist has knowledge on the locations of books on topics of:

  • modern iron/steel making (blast furnace, open hearth, bloomeries)
  • varied forging techniques (forging, welding and such)

Considering that wizards can mind-control people and do many other things, how feasible would it be to create a rebellion and overthrow the government, then steer the new republic from the shadows?

The events of the second punic war could happen (not sure yet), so Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus are both alive at this time.

For a reference on what wizards can do I´ll put a link to the dandwiki: list of wizard/sorcerer spells

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    $\begingroup$ Err... Didn't it? See Julius Caesar - of course depending on your definition of "popular rebellion". $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 25 '16 at 4:45
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The fall of the Res Publica Roma was due to a multitude of factors, including changes in demographics, the attempt to rebalance or regain political and economic power between the various classes, the influx of new people gaining Roman Citizenship, the stretching of the Roman Army, the new flows of wealth coming from conquered regions....etc.

Introducing new technologies will probably destabilize the situation even further, and create even more chaos to make the Res Publica Roma even more dysfunctional. If anything, you are creating a situation where either the Imperium arrives earlier, or the Republic collapses and Roman power is irretrievably lost.

The resulting contrafactual would change so much else that the Punic wars would probably not happen (certainly not in the way they played out in OTL), and certainly the historical outcomes we know, including the creation of modern European peoples and nations will not happen the way we understand either. The "worst" possible outcome will be a return of oriental despotism and the ending of the experiment of Republican government, individual rights, and indeed what we now call Western Civilization (being the outgrowth ad successor to the Classical civilizations of Greece and Rome.

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About the question: "Can a popular rebellion overthrow the roman repubilc?"
In general, every human lead government (I do not mean only democractical, but any functionally governing body) can be overthrown if it governs life of active people, because in this case the government depends on the will of people. If the government can enforce the will, it is a workaround to keep the things in the way that the government prefers. What they prefer is the direct and indirect collective interests of the government members.

To have a DnD wizard (reincarnate) cross-universed with real life Roman Empire is quite a call, first thing comes to me that the reincarnated will is not able to cope with slavery in a mean of hiding powers to avoid being spotted. Of course it depends on how fast the other classes show up and how fast magic becomes "native", it can smooth the edges to not make the protagonist seem as a weirdo (only) at best chances. Still it is a huge apparatus to run an empire, whatsmore the big roman one, and to puppet it by a wizard, who is not owning the full diplomacy and foreign affair, not inbred of a high family for authentic history or protocol knowledge. It takes a lot, and easily more than a wizard can cover himself. So everthrowing is okay, but to control it, no. Or if he gets to be so legendary character to be able to control it, what is the motive to do it? He would be able to form his own state and convert any company (of people).

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