Roman Origins.docx

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Classical Studies
Thomas Robinson

Roman Origins 8/5/2013 1:57:00 PM Settlement on the Palatine dating back to 800BC Spoke Latium. Existed but not as advanced as the Etruscans in the north and the Greek colonies of the south Tradition in early Rome based on oral sources didn’t start writing history in 200BC, sounds like myth and folktale. Difference from Greek was that the characters weren’t famous because of wealth, family, looks but because of virtue. Stories told by Livy, stories of leaders who sacrificed their lives and children for the state. For military victory, freedom from tyranny and political stability Literature themes: conquest of the wealthy city, provery and simplicity were important values Important Dates 1. 753 Foundation of Rome 2. 510 Expulsion of the Kings 3. 494 – first secession of the Plebs; creation of tribunes 4. 451 BCE – Promulgation of the 12 tables 5. rome sacked by Gauls st 6. 1 punic War 7. 2nd punic war 8. censorship of Cato 9. Perseus defeated at pydna in 3 rdMacedonian War rd 10. Sack of Carthage in 3 Punch war/ Sack of Cornith 11. Assassination of Tiberius 12. Cicero’s consulship 13. Civil war between Caesar and Pompey 14. Assassination of Caesar Who were the Romans Believed that Romulus was a descendent from Aeneas, a Trojan hero from Homer’s iliad, The Aeneas legend shows that they adapted elements of foreign cultures (influenced by the Greeks) and created their own interpretation of Homeric myth that served the nation’s nations Started as a village and developed into a city(forum) an open, public space. Created temples on Capitoline hill. Rome was the leading power in Latium The Etruscans Rome was subject to foreign kings, the Etruscans who built the public works and monuments that transformed into a city. Similar to the Greeks, they had portrayed their gods “anthropomorphically” (looking like humans) and constructing temples, skilled at divination/reading omens in the entrails of a sacrificed animal.  Developments of urbanization, public architectures and anthropomorphic religion were some of the results of the Etruscan conquest of Rome. Government and Society in the Early Republic Similarities of Greek/Roman drama: Lucretia’s rape was avenged by relatives; similar to Athenian legend of assassination of Pisistratus’ son by 2 male lovers.  Shows that the Romans relate their own history to the Greeks (the more advanced culture at the time) After the expulsion of the kings, they called the system of the government Res Publica – the public matter  Roman constitution resembled Greek politeia o Similarities: citizens able to vote, a council (senate) to advise magistrates; magistrates that controlled the army, legislation and judged legal cases o Difference: Romans’ system was more aristocratic and hierarchical than Greeks;  senators and 2 consuls were elected every year – but came from the best families  voted in units not individuals; wealthy members of the assembly had more voting rights than poorer members  consuls wielded imperium – power to command army, subject people to death  legal authority to individuals of high status: praetor – the public judge, who had the privilege and responsibility  In Athens, judicial power lay in the hands of the people Social Relations – Patronage A legal advocate (patron) and his client; people of unequal rank were bound by ties of loyalty and gratitude. The patron would lend support to the client and the client did what he could for his benefactor. Allows patron to gain status, clients can vote for them in an election. Patrons had power in wealth, high office, social connections and military success. Didn’t depend on the official position and emotions to work, it was a dynamic system where everyone’s status was constantly being challenged and reasserted. One’s privileges and obligations were not defined but depended on the situation. Plebians and Patricians – class struggle between the two groups  Small number of families had patrician status – born into the family  Dominated consulship and high office positions; plebeians have no chance  Plebeians were indebted to them  Plebeians want more equality, created new type of magistrate – Tribune o Tribune can cancel the actions of other magistrate (veto) o No one was allowed to assault or kill them; prevent patricians to coerce them physically o 1 stRoman legal code – Twelve Tables o won the right to hold consulship/ new assembly – Comitia tribute; organized into tribes not property class o Resolved the class conflict  Twelve tables o Board of magistrates, help manage agricultural side  Address problems of farmland and property rights/ harsh penalties for defaulting debtors/ creditors could seize them and sell them into slavery  Family in the twelve tables is patriarchal Warfare and the Conquest of Italy  The army was organized into legions under the command of consuls  At first fought like hoplites (Greeks)  Went to war almost every year, they had brought most of Italy south of the Po river under their control,  Rome was sacked by a tribe of Gauls invading from the north  Conquest of the Samnites (The Samnites were a confederacy of tribes that lived in the mountains of south-central Italy) o Fought 3 wars with them, suffered defeat at the Caudine Forks, but they continued war until they could declare victory. o Samnites continued to oppose Rome by taking sides with the enemies in the war with Pyrrhus, war with Hannibal and Social War. o Romans did not treat all the defeated peoples of Italy in the same way; adapted their rule to the specific situation; some were granted citizenship and others were granted limited citizenship without vote and some were allies o Ager Publicus – public land  Romans received an allotment of land from the coloniess o Consus – counted their citizens and accessed their property, gathered information for tax and the draft o Roman paid a tax (tribute) mainly paid for the army and became military recruits o Rome’s military strength grew and its subjects had an economic interest in fighting and winning since some of the goods are distributed to them o Conquests Overseas  Polybius – wrote about War with Carthage; warned the Greeks about Roman’s domination  Would take aggressive action against those that offended them to reassert their authority if challenged Carthage and the West (Punic War)  Carthage was Rome’s 1 overseas enemy, had a thriving port with large merchant fleet as well as a strong navy. Had colonies and armies overseas (Sicily and Spain)  1 Punic War – suffered heavy losses nd  2 Punic War – the Carthaginians general (Hannibal) invaded Italy from Spain o Romans continued to fight Hannibal and disloyal allies; invaded Africa and Hannibal was called back to defend his homeland  As a result of the Punic Wars, Rome asserted its influence in areas that belonged to Carthage , collected taxes from other states (Spain, Syracuse) o Appinted magistrates to territories to oversee the command of army and supervise the collection of taxes – granted them imperium, o extended magistrates’ terms of office – Prorogation, so that aristocrat can serve one year as praetor or consul and 2 or more years as proconsul in his “provincial”  Rome and the Hellenistic Kingdoms o Drawn to Hellenistic kingdoms of the East, confrontation with Phillip V of Macedonia and Antiochus of Syria and won o Consul announced freedom of the Greeks, o When Phillip’s son wanted to reassert Macedonian power, the Romans declared war and destroyed the Macedonian military at Pydna and abolished kingship and divided Macedonia into 4 parts o Achaean League made of Greek cities declined to obey Roman commands, the Romans destroyed the city of Cornith. o Over time the Hellenistic monarchies disappeared, Perseus was the last king of Macedonia when the king died he left kingdom to the Roman people. The Seleucids and Ptolemies continued to r
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