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Queen's University
Classical Studies
CLST 201

Wk5L01 TERMS OF THE DAY Dignitas (prestige) and Auctoritas (authority) Optimates (the best men) vs Populares (the men of the people) Gaius Marius (157-86 BC) Novus Homo – a new men 7 x consul = 107, 104-100 (5x), 86BC 121BC – transalpine gaul  8 Roman province Gallia Narbonensis (Narbonese Gaul) 112 – 105BC – Jugurthine War Micipsa adopted Jugurtha. 112 – Cirta – Quintus Caecilius Metellus Gaius Marcius – born at ARPINUM in 157 BC 133 – served at Numantia in Spain in 133 119 – tribune 115 – praetor 114 – proprietor of Farther Spain 107 – 1rst consulship – novus homo. Held it 7 times (107, 104-100, 86) married to Julius Caesar’s aunt. *Commander in Jugurthine war Marius’ quaestor was LUCIUS CORNELIUS SULLA King Bocchus of Mauretania betrayed Jugurtha. Tullianum – prison in Rome 104-101 BC – war against the Cimbri and Teutones. 105 – Battle of Arausio 102 – Battle of Aquae Sextiae vs Teutones 101 – Battle of Cercellae vs Cambri Marius’ military reforms: Marius created proletariat army, landless volunteers. Roman Legion – 6000 soldier 1 Legion = 10 coherts of 600 Men -unhealthy rivalry between aristocracy and plebs escalated, eventually destroyed the republic. - root of strife: members of the senate always had to protect their dignitas (prestige) and auctoritas (authority) by any means in front of their peers. -Two main political factions: Optimates (conservatives, power wielding, old aristocratic nobility) Populares (also of senatorial aristocracy, sometimes of less distinguished birth (ie equestrian) who championed the cause of the poor and seized upon the plebs discontent to advance their own power) in late 2 to 1rst century BC. Mirrored previous “Struggle of the Orders” in the two sides represented and the ideals fought for. -Both factions were members of the same senatorial nobility -Not like modern political parties – social origins and goals of both party members the same; their methodology was all that differed. -Covered in end of chapter 5 -Optimates – “the best men” - devoted to see the oligarchy continue as the main system of government in Rome. Bitterly opposed to any modification of the existing status quo, which might adversely affect their prestige, political influence, or economic situation. They controlled the senate, and therefore the administration of the state. They believed they were entitled to this control by their noble birth and wealth. -Populares – the men of the people – drawn from a minority faction of the senate. Leaders of the discontented. Political representatives of those segments of Roman society who were dissatisfied with existing status quo. Leaders of the urban poor, military veterans, and Rome’s Italian allies. Some were genuinely interested in correcting wrongs; most used reform agenda as a means to further their own political careers and gain pre-eminence among their peers in the senate. Didn’t fully realize that their desire to gain pre-eminence among their oligarchic peers by attacking oligarchy was stupid. -Eventually, the struggle affected the whole Roman world. Both sides strove to surround themselves with the military might they would need to win the political war. One politician: Gaius Marius (157-86 BC). Military commander, Novos Homo, became consul in 107. Held the consulship 7 times – record. -At same time as this political strife, had to deal with problems in Gaul (S of modern France), the Romans crushed a resistance of restless Gaullic tribes (125-121 BC). Subjugated the entire coastal region, between Pyrinnes and Alps, except for the territory of ally Massilia (modern day Marsailles). -In 121BC, this coastal area became the 8 province: TRANSALPINE GAUL. (“Across the Alpine”) Later known as Narbonensis Gauls, within which Massilia was independent. 112 – 105BC – Jugurthine War. Named for Rome’s Numibian enemy, Jugurtha. When Massinissa’s son, Micipsa, died, he bequeathed throne to his 2 biological sons and his adopted son, Jugurtha. 112 – Jugurtha besieged Cirta, in Numibia. Defeated it, slaughtered all it’s defenders, including Italian merchants trapped within. Caused outcry in Rome, senate declared war against Jugurtha 109 – Jugurtha kicks Rome’s ass. Then Quintus Caecilius Metellus takes command. One of his senior commanders: Gaius Marius – born of wealthy equestrian family in Arpinum in 157BC. Gauis had served under Scipio Africanus in siege of Numantia in Spain in 133 BC. 133 – served at Numantia in Spain in 133 119 – tribune 115 – praetor 114 – proprietor of Farther Spain 107 – 1rst consulship – novus homo. Held it 7 times (107, 104-100, 86) married to Julius Caesar’s aunt (old family – good political marriage for Gauis) Gaius endured same hardships as his soldiers, very brave, not too proud – was therefore very popular among them. Plutarch (a Greek writer in Roman empire) really emphasizes this in his biography. Marius’ success in Jugurthine war encouraged him to run for consul; won in 107, ennobled his family. This offended the nobility. He made violent speeches which offended the aristocracy – they claimed he won consulship as spoil of war. Marius said original nobles were honoured because of merit and deeds, like himself. He deliberately provoked the senate. Concillium plebis passed a plebiscite appointing Marius to take command of war against Jugurtha, supplanting Quintus Caecilius Metellus. *Commander in Jugurthine war Marius’ quaestor was LUCIUS CORNELIUS SULLA – future dictator and rival. King Bocchus of Mauretania betrayed Jugurtha, on Sulla’s suggestion. Marius returned home, paraded prisoner Jugurtha, executed him in Tullianum (prison). Marius was elected consul again in 104, against precedent, because of fear of invasion of Italy from Germanic tribes in the north (Cimbri and Teutones). They had thrice defeated Roman armies (109, 106, 105); wanted more land for their growing population. In 105, the Battle of Arausio (in Transalpine Gaul)– most disasterous Roman defeat since Cannae. Left the way to Italy open to barbarian attack. 104-101 BC – war against the Cimbri and Teutones. Marius was re-elected despite rule about 10 years between consulships. In 102 – Battle of Aquae Sextiae against the Teutones – Marius annihilated the Teutones. In 101 – Battle of Vercellae – annihilated the Cimbri. Marius was super exalted, was re-elcted in 100BC despite the peace. Even though he was a political outsider, he therefore held consulship for 5 consecutive years to deal with external military threat. Moral: A military crisis could elevate a popular general by granting him power through Concilium Plebis, even to the extent of overriding the restrictions on repeated tenure of office. Marius also made significant military reforms: Marius created a PROLETARIAT army, composed of landless volunteers. -At the time Rome had few military recruits because there were more landless people – solved by allowing the landless in, esp. urban lower classes. -This army was equipped at the public expense -Military service was transformed from obligation to the state to a c
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