SMC 175 L09.18 - Late Antiquity / Roman Culture

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Jennifer Harris

SMC 175 – Medieval Civilization J. Harris 09/18/12 **October 2 – Library Tutorial @ Kelley Library **Don’t forget about the Reading Quizzes every week **Maps are up online **SIGN UP at Roman Antiquity - Middle Ages made up of 3 conceptualized identities: o Romanitas o Germanitas o Christianitas - It’s very easy to get into the mindset of what happened has had to happen o Teleological thinking o But there is nothing inevitable in history  Series of surprises that no one expected but coped with - History of Rome began way earlier than its imperial period o Started as a small settlement beside the Tiber, growing into a monarchy , then an aristocratic republic, then an empire - The republic is a highly elite form of governance in which aristocrats (politicians) rule over the plebeians o Gov’t conducted by consuls and tribunes, as well as a Senate - 2 c. BCE – Rome brought the Carthaginians and the Greeks (2 Mediterranean powers) under its rule - Romans were well-influenced by the Greeks thanks to Alexander the Great’s Hellenization of the Mediterranean area o Inculturation - Romanization of the then-known world is a process that transforms cultures it interacts with o Slow, benevolent but sometimes violent as well - Egypt was later added, then provinces in Europe (Gallia, Iberia) - 117 AD, the Roman empire was comprised of client states and both imperial and senatorial provinces - 27 BCE onwards = Empire o 2 million sq. km (at least) - Trajan o Born in Iberia, emperor 98-117 AD o Presided over the Roman Empire at its largest extent o Encouraged trade far beyond the empire o Reason why he’s so good is because he worked hard to get where he got o Defeated Dacians – great spoils of war  Commemorated by a column in 113 AD - Local resistance to Romanization always present o Not always a peaceful transformation/transition - Clashes because of different cultural, religious values, etc. - Pop. 50 million at the time of Trajan and Hadrian; 4 million people in the Italian peninsula, half are slaves (or 25% ) - Slaves essential to the Roman (and later the European) economy, especially for labour intensive agriculture and industries - 212 AD, all free people are granted citizenship o Done for the purpose of enlarging the tax pool - Diocletian o Born in Dalmatia in 244 AD o Emperor 284-286, co-emperor 286-305 - Statues, monuments, coins contribute to the pool of resources historians have access to for studying (i.e., the material record) - Diocletian asserted himself as a strong man, despite being a provincial – rose up in the military ranks and gained the military’s support (important for those aspiring to be emperor) o Broke up the Roman empire into 4 parts between 2 Augusti (Senior emperors – Augustus, sg.) and 2 Caesari (Junior emperors – Caesar, sg.) = the Tetrarchy  Did not last long after Diocletian gave up his imperial rule – Constantine eliminated all rivals and became the next emperor after him - Diocletian instituted the Great Persecution – 303-305 AD o Suppressed religious minority to create some sort of unity among the Romans o Made to be some sort of “sacrifice” o Around 250 AD, 10% of the general population were Christians – a percentage that creates political consequences because of their increased presence (“too many”) o Ended with Constantine o This was the fiercest persecution period of time in which Christians were tested in their faith ~ Age of Ma
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