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Lecture 1 - The Beginnings.docx

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HIST 2904
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The Beginnings of Rome: Early Italy Etruscans th - Etruscans developed city states in 8 BC - Group of city-dwellers in landscape of villages - Probably the most advanced civilization in Italy - Well-developed religion, language, and technical skill - It is thought that the Etruscans might have come from Phoenicia but that is unsure - They are known for their tomb paintings, which are that remain of their culture today - Rome would arise in the middle of the Etruscans to the North and the Greek colonies to the South of Italy Greeks - Greeks were the second major group in Italy from 8 BC th - Cumae, near Naples - Greeks spread their culture to the Romans by proximity - Romans have quite a love affair with other cultures and tend to take/reinvent other cultures as their own The Foundations of Rome (myths) - These foundations are covered in myth and mystery which makes it hard to decipher what actually happened - Settlement took place on number of hills on Tiber river - The area settled was defensible, access to water, located on trade routes - Foundation myths: o Aeneas: son called lulus  He fled from Troy after the city fell  This story creates a bond between Greeks and Romans  The son Lulus represents the Julia family consisting of Caesar, Augustus, and the Julio-Claudian Emperors o Romulus and Remus  Two sons of Mars who founded Rome on April 21, 753  They were both abandoned on Earth and were raised by a she-wolf  They grew up to form Rome by violence, ambition, and imbued with piety  Romulus selected the Palatine hill for a city, Remus chose the Aventine  Romulus then murders Remus to solidify control  The city was then named after Romulus  This story is written by Livy  All of these elements were happening at the time of Livy during the Civil War - The history after Romulus was written by writers who wrote about what appealed to the people and time of their writing - Writing was not objective - An example would be that it is written that there were seven kings who ruled for 35 years each which would be impossible - Greek influence Herodotus Thucydides Livy - This is called “classicising history” What we do know - We do know that between 700 and 600 BC, Rome expanded - Etruscans dominated at the time and they tended to be kings of Rome - Emergence of political and social institutions such as the Curiae, who performed important religious functions of the state - There was a mobile and wealthy aristocracy - Complex religious/social practices and had emerged as serious players in the political landscape thanks to the Etruscans The Beginning of the Republic (509-449) - The monarchy was destroyed and a Republic replaced it - The end of the monarchy: o Happened around 509 BC (roughly) o The last of the kings, ending in King Tarquin, were expelled  Many reasons as to why this happened exist  Most probably because people were uncomfortable with the power vested in one individual o Lucius Junius Brutus and Publius Valerius Publicola o Creation of the Republic - The main idea of the Republic is the spreading of power across many individuals - This system creates many checks and balances to prevent too much power being put into too few - Consuls were the two main leaders at the time, though even they had their checks and balances against each other - There was also the office of Dictator which would be called upon in a time of emergency but would be required to step down in 6 months - At the early stages, the constitution was still a work in progress as they were new - This led to many problems and led to attempts at resolutions (ex. In 450 BC there were complaints that the Consuls were too powerful
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