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Lecture 1

CLASSICS 1M03 Lecture 1: Notes - Ancient Rome (Full Course)

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Claude Eilers

Founding of Rome Lecture 17 March 17, 2017 April 21, 753 BC Romulus and Remus and the Foundation of Rome to the Roman Kingdom Earliest known written account of the myth is from the late 3 century BC Twins born to Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin and daughter of former King Numitor, and the god Mars o Numitor was displaced by his brother Amulius and he felt they were a threat to his rule o They were supposed to be killed but the soldier tasked with killing them instead abandoned them on the River Tiber o Saved by the river god Tiberinus and sucked by the shewolf in the Lupercal cave, and later raised by a farmer o Went on to kill the Amulius then when quarrelling over who had favour from the gods Romulus killed Remus o Romulus Little Rome would become the First King of Rome constitutional vestiges that suggests there used to be Kings in ancient Rome but his reign is likely a myth Lapis Niger is an earlysurviving inscripture from the Romans o Phoenician writing going from right left (Greeks eventually developed a left right system), is the earliest stone ascription of the Romans o The stone bears the word King on it one of the pivotal ideas of Roman history is that the people had overthrown their King and become a Republic o Evolution of leaders (from kings to magistrates, etc.) seemed to happen in Rome o Two important trends to the evolution towards the Roman Republic: decay (system becoming unable to meet needs of the people) and desire for expansion 509 BC thThe Early Roman Republic (Res publica) By the 5 century BC there were various peoples living in the Italian peninsula, with Latin centred around Rome, Etruscan, Ligurian, East Italic, Faliscan, Venetic, and Celtic to the north, and Greek, Messapic, and OscoUmbrian to the south. SPQR = Senatus and Populus Romanus = The Senate and People of Rome was a defining phrase for the Republic Optimi principi to best emperor Early stages: o The Republic was nothing more than the city of Rome itself, which expanded to be larger than Athens o Governed by its constitutional apparatus a magistrate, a senate, and a people, of which there were two types o Patricians vs. Plebeians Patricians were Romans claiming descent from the patres or fathers, who were the elites Plebeians were Romans with minor political rights (lacked right to stand in public office) Struggle of the orders and struggle for political apparatus Lex Licinia SextiaLicinian Rogations (368 BC) were laws proposed by the tribunes of the plebs Lucius Sextius Lateranus and Gaius Licinius Stolo These laws provided limits on interest rates for loans, restriction of private land ownership, and mandated plebeian consulship (1 out of 2 consuls must be plebeian) Kings are then replaced by magistrates, who become consuls; senate becomes the council 485 to 265 BC Roman Expansion Expansion from Rome down to Naples, along the Apennines, and eastward to the Adriatic Sea. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus was a Greek statesman and general (Hellenistic Period) o A successor king of Alexander the Great ~ 30 years postAlexander o Widely regarded as one of the best military minds of his time and a major opponent of early Rome o As the Roman Empire expanded, it collided with Greek cities, leading to war o The Pyrrhic War (280 275 BC) Pyrrhus invaded Southern Italy and proved his brilliance as a tactician and won many battles, though he suffered heavy losses to achieve victory Not enough men were enlisting, support in Italy waned; the Romans had worse casualties but were able to replenish their legions His victories were so expensive, he decided to leave the Italian peninsula and left to fight in Sicily Pyrrhic victory = a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor it is tantamount to defeat By 100 BC much of Italy is either Roman territory, a colony of Rome, or under an ally of Rome. Their relationships are complicated and Rome is quickly becoming one of the greatest powers in the region. 1 Punic War (264 241 BC) o First of three wars fought against Ancient Carthage o Important development in Hellenistic period was Leagues having common foreign policy and enabled them to resist pressure from the great powers surrounding them o Rome had now amalgamated its power through Italian peninsula
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