It's absolutely stupefying that Jewish Sicarii and Greek Hoplites both thought they were fighting to the death for the cause of ethnic pride, national independence, and personal freedom - when in reality they were just doing the royal family a favor by killing themselves off. The royal family found a way to make even rebellion and democracy work together for their own good!
I'm sure many of the same methods were used in Roman Gaul and Germany to cull the population, although I haven't scrutinized it specifically.
The messy part of all this is that population control was also intermingled with royal fratricide and kingly succession.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.