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Lecture 18

CLA233 Lecture 18 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael J.Dewar

CLA233 Lecture 18 Notes Opting In - empire functions as a small bureaucracy – not considered necessary to provide education or hospitals - empire is about funding for military and judicial systems - Roman Empire as a large “protection racket” and power structure – aristocracy - the way the Roman Empire works with a minimalist bureaucracy – very small - use Roman military source to back up - elite do the actual administration – main concern as army - impose tax to maintain the army – not much else - empire functions as an ideal between bureaucratic rule and aristocracy - balance – keep Roman governor away and elite do as they please – only have to ensure that the Empire gets a cut - Greek as main language of bureaucracy and administration for about half the Empire - system “borrowed” from previous states – Romans as not liking change – only difference is military taxation to the Roman army, not Macedonia or Ptolemaic kingdom - west – full of barbarians without Mediterranean culture – Romans attempt to impose their culture on Western civilization - in the west, no substantial cults until Roman influence - the Roman idea of civilization is based on existence of a city - for Egyptians – not much change because money still goes to the governor, and is all in Greek – only difference is that it goes to a Roman governor - Roman taxation burden is quite light, but slightly higher than that of “king” rule – because of the larger army - aristocrats of conquered provinces can aspire to be given citizenship of Rome by a special administrative grant - example of man who would like to be a Roman consul - Roman attempt to make their system work in the west – very different culture, based not on towns/cities, no traditional government since they are tribal nomadic cultures Britons: A Case Study - well documented - added to Roman empire – Julius Caesar – about showing force and “scoring points” among aristocracy, so to speak - trade with people on the borders – Briton had long experienced integration with Roman economy by the time of the conquest of Claudius (1) Conquest – ‘Divide and Rule’ - Claudius – did not expect to rule – senior surviving male member of the royal family at the time of Caligula’s murder - only one campaign – clear disapproval of Suetonius - senate gave him the honour of wearing military dress - Julius Caesar – ancestor of Claudius – Claudius uses Briton as a connection to him – in a state of unrest at the time - allying with Romans was often done because they were so powerful - Dio’s Roman History provides further clarity – campaign actually done by another - before conquest – already a network of allies with Roman Empire - being an ally of the Romans can be advantageous - Claudius uses this as a diplomatic excuse – Bericus is an ally and he must help - Romans maintain the statement that they never attacked people for no reason or for pure conquest - within 30 years – the local tribal area is “Romanized” and becomes like a typical Mediterranean town (2) Acceptance of Roman Rule - praise of Agricola by Tacitus - information in the ways that the Romanization of the Briton aristocracy was done - period of the 80s B.C. to the 1 century B.C. – just 40 years later, the Britons are happy - Britons are happy with Roman rule as long as they are not oppressive - allow Romans to continue their control - aristocrats of royal houses of ancient tribes - Agricola conquered most of the island – used winter to continue the process of civilizing the Britons - gives “private encouragement” of civilization through luxury – underlying assumption that Britons are barbarians - therefore to amuse themselves they fight each other – therefore build Roman-style bathhouses, temples, etc. – civilize the Britons in the Roman sense - those who help are praised – setting competition of aristocrats to build Roman style buildings – very Roman - crafty – competition for honour in Roman way - educated at Roman expense – praised young princes – Britons acquire Roman education through manipulation - in speaking of “Britons”, he means the aristocratic class - barbarian dress – men wore pants – thrown aside by young aristocrats who begin to wear the toga - Agricola systematically givens the Britons a chance to “opt in” - rhetorically contentious – regards civilization as a form of corruption - rhetorical point – idea that he is not an average Roman - most Romans would consider it to be civilization – Tacitus considers this a way to psychologically enslave the aristocrats (3) Resistance to Roman
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