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Lecture 20

CLA230 Lecture 20 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Dimitri Nakassis

CLA230 Lecture 20 Notes Rome - Greek politics in the east - extent to which Rome takes over - different, for example, between Egypt and Greek mainland - Hellenistic Greece much larger - must understand this from a Roman perspective - technically, most of the Greek mainland is declared free despite being very Romanized and basically under Roman control - technically not important until later Roman Advantages - advantage of Roman republic over the Greek polis • manpower and citizenship • more flexible military formation • institutional features - republic is able to field large armies year after year – polis cannot do so unless they had very large amounts of money - Roman notion of citizenship is much more inclusive - Greek polis had closely guarded citizenship - while still not very easy, it is much more open regarding citizenship of Rome - more open concept of Roman citizenship - Rome as more effective at binding its allies to itself – loyalty of allies - Roman military formation as very different that the Greek phalanx – can be more open therefore it works better in certain environments - phalanx works will on open fields but has difficulty adapting to more ragged areas – not flexible - Roman republic as very different from Greek constitutional systems – familiar in some ways but different organization - Hellenistic Period – kings - therefore: • bad kings = bad period - death of the king could result in civil strife/warfare - senators in the republic – elected consuls – many competing consuls - nature of the republic can be seen as an advantage – more continuity in society - in Hellenistic government – if a king dies, there can be unrest – upheaval with bad kings - with consuls there is a sense of replaceability – however, this perhaps can be disadvantageous regarding its policy of a one-year office Pyrrhus - 319-272 B.C. - advantages at work - king of Eparus – king of Molossians - Molossians – Alexander the Great’s mother was a Molossian princess - Molossians claim descent from Achilles - Pyrrhus – one of the alternate names of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles - Pyrrhus becomes involved in Roman politics - expansion south into territory in Tarentum - Tarentum – only Spartan colony sent – “illegitimate” children sent out during Messenian wars - textile industry in Tarentum – also produces the best wool - also has the largest navy in southern Italy - Rome begins pushing south and takes Tarentum - problems with Tarentum and Rome – series of treaties - worry about Romans in Tarentum – call in Epirus to help in fighting the Romans - mention of events in Pyrrhus written by Plutarch - from Epirus to Tarentum – wins the Battle of Heraclea - travels Roman territory and attempts to turn Roman allies over to his side - attempt to find allies in Italy to win a war - Pyrrhus can win individual battles but Romans can replenish troops and he cannot - unsuccessful in gaining allies – goes to Sicily but is called back to allies of Tarentum - quote: “His appearance, speed and movements reminded them of Alexander... The other kings resembled Alexander only by their purple garments, their bodyguards, the way they inclined their head... But Pyrrhus alone did so by his arms and his exploits. His skill and mastery in tactical and strategic matters are readily illustrated by the writings he has left behind on these subjects.” - Pyrrhus as an adventurous man – works circulating - second battle at Asculum after winning minor battle at Herculaneum - Battle of Asculum – 279 B.C. - quote: “So the Romans…were obliged to engage on level ground and front to front; and being anxious to repulse the enemy's men-at-arms before their elephants came up, they fought fiercely with their swords against the Macedonian spears... After a long time, however, as we are told, they began to be driven back…but the greatest havoc was wrought by the furious strength of the elephants, since the valour of the Romans was of no avail in fighting them…” - Pyrrhus has war elephants – feature of Hellenistic warfare that Romans are unaccustomed to – Romans also have difficulty with Macedonian infantry on level ground - archers likely on elephants - “Pyrrhic Victory” – post-Asculum - quote: “Pyrrhus said to one who was congratulating him on his victory, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” For he had lost a great part of the forces with which he came, and all his friends and generals except a few... moreover, he had no others whom he could summon from home, and he saw that his allies in Italy were becoming indifferent, while the army of the Romans, as if from a fountain gushing forth, was easily and speedily filled up again, and they did not lose courage in defeat, but their wrath gave them all the more vigour and determination for the war.” - lost most of his generals and allies - likely dramatic but shows his difficulty – manpower, and likely a money, problem - end of Pyrrhus’ Italian adventures – final battle - Battle of Beneventum in 275 B.C. - Romans learn how to fight elephants – not just a loss for Pyrrhus but also for Tarentum - quote: “Down [the Romans] came from their strong places, and hurling their javelins at the elephants compelled them to wheel about and run back through the ranks of their own men, thus causing disorder and confusion there. This gave the victory to the Romans, and at the same time the advantage also in the struggle for supremacy.... [for] they at once got control of Italy, and soon afterwards of Sicily.” - Romans learn from their mistake Lessons from Pyrrhus - Greek military excellence – generals and troops - Roman military flexibility and manpower - according to Polybius, in 225 B.C. – 49,000 citizen infantry, 3,000 citizen cavalry – total of 150,000 as well as allies - numbers given by Polybius – very high – Tarentum has about 150,000 – much cavalry, citizen infantry - Brunt – modern historian - Brunt estimates Italian armies of 75,000 built every year – increase in manpower which allows battle on multiple fronts – either simultaneously or virtually simultaneously - estimate of 75,000-182,000 from 200-168 B.C. King Agis III - 244-241 B.C - weak Macedonian control of Greece - last attempt of Sparta at gre
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