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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 First and Second Punic Wars

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University of Toronto St. George
Glenn Wilkinson

Lecture 6 (September 23) First and Second Punic Wars 1. continuation of previous lecture: slaves, freedpersons, and clients 2. continuation of War with Pyrrhus lecture (280-275 B.C.) 3. First Punic War (264-241 B.C.) a. Carthage b. capture of Messana and siege of Syraceuse (264-261 B.C.) c. Rome builds a navy (and the corvus); stalemate (261-256 B.C.) d. Rome invades North Africa; catastrophe (256-255 B.C.) e. stalemate, victory, and truce (255-241 B.C.) 4. the interwar period (241-218 B.C.) 5. Second Punic War (218-202 B.C.) a. Hannibal in Italy (218-207 B.C.) b. the Spanish front and the Scipios (218-207 B.C.) c. Scipio “Africanus” and Hannibal clash in North Africa (204-202 B.C.) d. postscript on Hannibal Slavery - the primary purpose to having slaves was to produce more - more slaves means more agricultural land - surplus wealth is dependent on the exploitation of other people - short excerpt from Cato the Elder – late 3 century B.C. - gives advice to other farmers on their slave-run farms - reading – owner usually absent from the farm and day-to-day operations run by slave foreman - Cato’s advice is to put pressure on foreman when visiting – so that the foreman can put pressure on the workers to create more profit sell off surplus at the end of the year – resources, old animals, and old slaves - standard provisions to slaves that are retained – glimpse of what daily life was like for agricultural slaves - to be given olives that were not useful for pressing, fish sauce and vinegar to dip bread it, and when that ran out to give olive oil but not too much - one shirt, and a set of shoes, every two years – had to give back old shirt/shoes when given new ones - for Cato – slaves were used to maximize profits - wealthy Romans eventually came to employ slaves for many other purposes - slaves – litter carriers, serve and cook food, hairdressers, raise children, teach Latin, etc. - by the early Imperial period – about 400 personal slaves in the palace - not unusual for a single aristocrat to own tens of thousands of slaves - the empire was truly build on slavery - fragmentary last will and testament – Dasumius - carved in stone and set up at tomb as a monument – document gives an illustration of patronage and potential complexity of relationships - names heirs, then on second page he lives some things to a nurse (a position usually held by a slave) who is almost certainly a Greek slave - former slave – manumitted – bequeaths to her two slaves to catch fish, possessions, silverware, papyrus/bark - next paragraph – freedom is given to his accountant slaves and their women – manumission through will - slaves could not legally marry but could form partnerships - mentions that they may now legally marry because all manumitted - specifies dollar amounts to freedmen – his clients - bequeaths some of his slaves to people – jobs of slaves (personal attendants, depilator, shoemaker, doctor, etc.) - towards the end he makes provision for his tomb and land it is on to his freedpersons – charged with taking care of his tomb - bequeathal – can be seen in two ways; either still must pay a regular tribute of honour, or shows the tight bond between former master and slaves War with Pyrrhus - king of Epirus, across the Adriatic Sea on the western side of Greece - accepted an invitation from Tarentum to protect them from Roman aggression - crossed the Adriatic with infantry, cavalry, and elephant brigades - once in southern Italy, joined forces with Tarentum and other cities – Battle of Heraclea as the first encounter with the Romans in 280 B.C. - initial Roman successes, but Greek forces managed to win a victory - elephants were particularly effective – Roman horses were terrified by the elephants - enormous casualties on both sides – thousands on each side – perhaps up to 15,00 dead - origin of the phrase “Pyrrhic victory” – victory at too great a cost - following defeat in 208 B.C., Romans retreated - army in the North recalled – Roman army had been fighting on many fronts - next year – 279 B.C., Battle of Asculum – Greeks won another Pyrrhic victory – massive casualties on both sides - two successive victories – perhaps may have been able to deliver a crushing blow
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