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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Foundation of the Republic and the “Struggle of the Orders”

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Glenn Wilkinson

Lecture 3 (September 16) Foundation of the Republic and the “Struggle of the Orders” 1. consolidation of notes from previous lecture 2. the last king (L. Tarquinius Superbus) and the rape of Lucretia 3. Republican constitution a. magistracies b. senate c. voting assemblies (centuriate and tribal) 4. “Struggle of the Orders” a. patricians and plebeians b. establishment of the Plebeian Council (494 B.C.) c. Tribune of the Plebs Notes from Previous Lecture - Aeneas – connection to old culture, and acknowledgement of Greek cultural origins, chose Trojan prince (an enemy of the Greeks) perhaps a reflection of hostility/rivalry with Greeks, sense of piety (duty to gods and family) as considered characteristic of Romans, treaty between Aeneas and Latinus and single Latin identity is similar to single Roman identity perceived by the Romans - Romulus – foundation of Rome itself is late, sense of relatively young civilization, Romulus established essential and central institutions (religious cults, laws, magistracies, senate), Rome grows in size and power under Romulus due to acceptance of other cultures - Sabine rape – Romans as a race of warriors (initially all male), central aspect of later Roman identity is military might/strength (masculine and hardy men), conclusion of a treaty with the Sabines and inclusion into Rome as “foreshadow” of the Roman control of area (reading Roman history into the founding myths), initial trick by Romulus offends the Roman commitment of fair play (as honourable people and enemies were those that tricked) The Last King - Romulus as the first of seven kings of Rome – average reign of 30 years – therefore highly unlikely - still more or less in the realm of myth - Lucius Tarquinius Superbus – “Tarquin the Proud” - Roman kings are more and more tyrannical - last three kings were foreigners –Etruscan - son of Tarquin – more high-handed and disrespectful (Sextus Tarquinius) - Sextus lusted after Lucretia – of one of the leading Roman families and already married - sneaks into Lucretia’s home and rapes her – gives her a choice to either become his wife or he would set her up - after the fact Lucretia has her male family members to swear an oath of vengeance and then she commits suicide – loss of modesty as shameful despite against her will - attack of Lucretia and subsequent suicide – uproar and Romans decide to throw out kings, especially Etruscan kings th - expulsion – supposedly took place at end of 6 century B.C. – traditional date being 509 B.C. - encapsulated come key elements – sense of honour (Lucretia), hatred of monarchy, commitment to republican government - due to tragic quality of story – Lucretia is a popular subject of literature and art - proto-martyr about Lucretia – adopted by Christians - result of Lucretia episode – republic established Roman Republic - res publica – public matter/affairs - at most basic – form of government of magistrates who govern Roman interests - interests – foreign affairs, building projects, laws - magistrates – elected, and held office for a fixed term and then replaced by next magistrate - principle of collegiality – always multiple magistrates – so that no one man could dominate the political scene – prevent corruption of power - different types of offices developed over time th Republican Magistracies (after mid-4 century B.C.) - consul • two consuls • acted as lead generals during war, usually independently of each other but could join forces on campaigns • right to lead the army – imperium – and only granted outside of the walls of Rome • in Rome – consuls as highest civilian authority • right to call political assemblies, propose legislation, punish citizens guilty of crimes • twelve lictors – acted as bodyguards and carried fasces • fasces – axe bundled together with rods – symbol of magisterial power - praetor • office held for one year • next highest authority and chief leader in city walls when consuls out on campaign • also sent out in command of campaigns when fighting on multiple fronts • only one originally, but more added as necessary
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