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Lecture 9

Lecture 9: The Changing Face of Roman Society in the 3rd and 2nd Century BCE

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Glenn Wilkinson

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The Changing Face of Roman Society in the 3 rd and 2 nd Century BCE  Rome’s population was in the 100000s  Rome was spread all over the Mediterranean Wealth  Sources; the Roman Treasury o The most obvious change in Rome recently was the increase of wealth o Rome’s treasury was stored in the temple of Saturn o Rome profited from ndrge indemnities from Carthage and some Greek states o By the end of the 2 century Rome was rich  Building Boom o Many building were built with the immense roman treasury (i.e. Cato’s Temple of Victory Virgo) o Large Agricultural estates (latifundia) o Confiscated farmland tended to fall into the hands of the same people o These people used the land to build latifundia o Smaller farmers struggled to keep up  Influx Of slaves o There was a large influx of slaves, slave population ballooned o Rome was the prime customer for slaves o The elite lived in fear of a revolt of slaves o First slave war took place in Sicily 136‐132 BCE) o Led by a Syrian slave, slave armies raided estates, freed other slaves and massacred the town of Enna o This inspired other slaves to do the same and the rebels took much of Sicily, it took Rome 4 years to subdue the revolt o The influx of slaves evidently increased productivity but also social instability Growing Cultural Diversity  Influx of non-Romans o Rome was growing increasingly culturally diverse from the slaves who came from all over the place o Also, elites moved to Rome from all over Italy o Others moved to Rome for business from all over the Mediterranean  Influence of Greek Culture o Roman culture increasingly inspired by Greek influences o Roman art copied Greek art o Greek philosophy became popular in Rome
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