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The Romans Part 1.docx

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Department
Classical Studies
Course
Classical Studies 1000
Professor
David Lamari
Semester
Winter

Description
The Romans Part 1 The Origins of Rome - Owes most to ancient Greece (its golden age from 490 BC until 323 BC) - Not great innovators – learned what they could and apllied their knowledge to their own needs and purposes - Dedicated in their pursuit of order and organization and in their administration of their imperialism - Free-born Roman did not need to work hard – accepted convention of the ancient world that it was a mark of humanity to inflict slavery rather than slaughter the losing side of a battle o “Slaves are a species of articulate farming stock” – Varro o 1 century: 1/3 of the roman population was a slave - Roman era divided into 3 parts o Period of kings: years from the founding of Rome until 510 BC (when the last king was ejected) o Republic of Rome: 509-27 BC – Augustus established legal precedents for absolute rule o Imperial Rome – rule by emperors o 476 AD – sitting emperor of Rome ( Romulus Augustulus) deposed by Odocer (his German mercenary commander) who ruled italy as King bringing an end to the Roman empire in the west o An eastern empire carried on until the middle ages when it finally collapsed in 1453 when Constantinople was captured by the Turk, Mehmed II - Roman dates calculated according to the number of years ab urbe condita (from the city’s foundation or AUC) which the romans claim was April 21, 753 BC o Annually on Apr. 21 – festival of the Parilla in honour of Pales, the god of shepherds and sheep o Traces of huts were found dating back to 750 BC on Palatine hill (central of the seven hills of the ultimate city) as well as a ritual boundary wall from around the same period Founding Legends: Romulus and Aeneas - Local king (Numitor of Alba Longa) was ejected by his younger brother Amulius o To secure his position – Amulius murdered Numitor’s sons and forced his daughter, Rhea Silvia, to become a vestal virgin (who normally serve as priestesses in the temple of Vesta for 30 years and the punishment for failing to stay virginal was death) o Rhea Silvia caught the eye of the god Mars who has his way with her whie she slept – bearing her twin sons named Romulus and Remus o Amulius threw Rhea Silvia into the river Tiber where she sank conveniently into the arms of the god of the river, who married her o The twins were put into a basket and floated away (also in Tiber) until it caught the branches of a fig tree o They were suckled by a she-wolf until the royal shepherd found and rescued them (in another story – breastfed by his wife – a former prostitute – who had just lost her stillborn child) o The couple cared for them until it was revealed to them the circumstances of their birth – Amulius was killed in battle and their grandfather’s crown was restored - The boys resolved t find a new city near the spot where they washed ashore – they took signs from watching birds that it should be built on Palatine hill on which Romulus was standing, and that he should be its king o Romulus set by marking its boundary with a plough drawn by a white cow and a white bull – Remus jumped over the furrow and Romulus lost his temper and killed him o The city was short of womenso he invited the neighbouring sabine tribe to a programme of games he was organizing to mark the harvest festival o When the guests were settled – they abduced at sword point 600 Sabine daughters o Were sterile until the goddess Juno sorted out the problem (or the women refused to cooperate with their abductor husbands) - A further tradition traces Rome to the Trojan hero Aeneas (son of a mortal father and the goddess venus) who fought against the Greeks in the Trojan war, escaped from the sack of the city and after many wanderings landed in Italy and founded the dynasty of which Romulus eventually came (preferred story for the Roman empires) o See poem by Virgil p. 4 – Aeneas cast anchor at the mouth of Tiber o The Tiber flowed through Latium, whose king Latinus offer his daughter to Aeneas, much to the discomfort of another king, Turnus of the Rutuli, who fancied her for himself o Drawn into war – Aeneas obtains the support of Tarchon, the king of the Etruscans, and triumphs - To cover the date from the sack of Troy (1220 BC) to the founding of Rome – they invented a string of monarchs from Aeneas’ son (Ascanius) to Numitor - No firm tradition of Aeneas’ death but we have an intriguing reference to a tomb by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnussus (p. 5) – the shrine he mentions almost certainly the tumulus excavated in the 60’s dating back to the 7 century BC - Latium and Etruria were cruical to the development of Rome though it is not certain where the orginal latins/Etrurians came from – the latins from Palatine hill date back to 1000 BC o Lived in small, scattered communities in round/oblong huts covered in clay The site of Rome - Cluster of hills – 60 to 100 m high - Soil was continually enriched by volcanic silt deposits from the Tiber and its tributaries - Burial place in marshy ground at the foot of the hill – only infants and sometimes young children appear to have been buried within the community - The sea was only a few miles downstream ( good for trade) - Midway between north and south Italy – enclosed by the Alps to the north and the sea everywhere else - Italy central to the mediterranean with easy access to the rest of Europe, Africa and the East - At the same time of the first settlements in Palatine hill  the greeks were establishing seaports along the west and south coasts and in Sicily - Port farthest north  Cumae on the bay of Naples which was in easy reach of rome giving Rome access acess to the Greek world o From the Greeks at Cumae, the latins learned the Greek alphabet which they adapted for their own use and language Etruscan Influence - Etruria was immediately across the Tiber to the North - Urban society – wealth came from trade and its supremacy through sea power - Worshipped gloomy gods, from which the romans derived some of the more repulsive features of their religious observances and public entertainment - Political philosophy originated from the Greeks/ the east - Sometime between 650-600 BC – the Etruscans crossed the Tiber in force and occupied Latium - From this point until the establishment of the republic in rome we have names of 6 kings: Numa Pompilus, Tullius Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud) Under the Kings - Roman talent for empire building originated with the kings – territory gained provided extra fighting power and the kings of Rome succeeded in subjugating a fair slice of land south of the Tiber - Most significant advance to a position of supremacy among latin states came with the defeat of Alba Longa – with that victory the Romans assumed the precedence in religious affairs in Latium, for they took over the administration of sacred festivals which for years had been celebrated on the Alban Mount - Servius Tullius transferred the regional festival of Diana from Atricia to the Aventine hill of Rome where he built a shrine for her - King was appointed by the senate, an advisory body of patricians o Had the right to inflict capital punishment and was responsible for foreign relations and war, security, public works, justice and the maintenance of religion o Accompanied by a band of attendants (lictors) wherever he went in public – each carrying the fasces (a bundle of rods with an axe in the middle) signifying the punishment that could be meted out to criminals - Each patrician family has its clients – depended on them for patronage and economic support o In return they gave their labour and military service in times of war - Each tribe further divided into 10 curiae – representatives responsible for civil affairs – required by the king to meet and discuss matters of national importance - Servius Tullius credited with reforming the army to which he also gave the status of a political assembly (the comitia centuriata) - Numa divided the craftmen according to their trades (represented by guilds) – ex. Potter, leather-dresser, etc… o Did not use money – trade was conducted by barter (ex. Wood/wool for bronze, salt for pottery, etc…) or in some cases if the system was inadequate by expressing value in terms of head of cattle o Head of cattle (pecus) was the first roman unit of value from which came the latin word for money (pecunia) – 1 head of cattle = 10 head of sheep o Later a primitive monetary system evolved based on ingots of raw copper which measured only in a single standard of unit (a roman pound – libra – 327 grams) – which can then be broken up into smaller units o According to historian Pliny – Severius first put a stamp on the copper = until then it was all raw metal - The Etruscans had 3 skills in which the romans were to excel: road construction, hydraulics and the use of the arch to bridge space - The idea for planning the great temple to Jupiter of capitoline hill was attributed to Tarquinius Priscus, but his grandson Tarquinius Superbus supervised most of the building - calling up labour from Etruria and Latium to get the job done o See passage p. 8-9 “kings were most vulnerable when the poor and needy were idle”  Extended the drainage system and added a collonade all round the amphitheatre race track  Poor worked for a small ration of grain - The Cloaca Maxima (Great Sewer) was originially an open ditch designed to drain water from the valleys between the hills of rome and to collect the streams of other drains before discharging into the Tiber - Etruscans sculptors from Veii brought to fashion a chariot on top of the temple - By the tme the temple was completeted – the period of the kings was over for good - Sextus, the son of Tarquinius Superbus – inflamed by the chastity, beauty and dedication t domestic duties of Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus – calls on her while her husband is away o Offers him a bed for the night which he accepts o At night he enters her bedroom, sword in hand – when she refuses his advances he threatens to kill her and to lay beside her a naked body of a corpse of a slave with his throat slit – and will then tell the world he caught them at it o For Lucretia, to be reckoned to have committed adultery with a slave would be worse than death itself so she submits to him o Lucretia, still guilty of adultery, sends for Collatinus and her father (whose authority exceeds her husband’s – she confesses her guilt and demands reparation for sextus’ invasion of her body and kills herself with a knife hidden in her clothing o Challenge is taken up not by her familym but by a witness – Lucius Junius Brutus (Brutus meaning stupid in latin which he pretended to be to avoid attention from his tyrannical uncle, Targuinius Superbus) - No evidence that it was the rape that caused to fall of Tarquinius – more likely a rebellion of a band of nobles, perhaps ledby Junius Brutus - Another possibility: conspiracy part of a larger revolt of latin cities against a king of Etruscan origin - Rome was not yet entirely free – Tarquinius escaped and commanded the support of the Etruscans o From this comes the legend of Horatius who held the bridge against the advancing Etruscans and Mucius Scaevola – who plunged his right hand into flames rather than reveal details of a plot to kill Porsena (Etruscan leader) o See passage p. 10 – Porsena already having survived 1 assisnation attempt withdrew his garrisons from the city in return for hostages  Cloelia (a hostage) tricked the guards and swam the river and restored a group of girls home safely to rome (more to the story p. 10- 11) - The war against other cities continued until 505 BC – Porsena’s attempt to extend hostilities were extinguished before Aricia of Greek auxiliaries from Cumae, called up to bolster the latin army– Rome meanwhile became a republic The Republic - Comes from the latin word “republica” usually translated as “state” or “commonwealth” - Never a democracy in the Greek sense o Its society was divided by legal status (free vs. slave) and class o Free men/women further classified – if they were once a slave or born free o Largely dominated by the two upper classes – the senators and the equestrians (knights) nd (2 of 5 categories to which people were allocated according to their means until the 2 century when they were provided with a horse at the public expense and required for military duty) Officers of State and Assemblies - 2 consuls with equal powers elected for 1 yr only - Publicola (one of the original consuls) instituted that lictors (essentially bodyguards) should march in front of each consul on alternate months - Fasces – bundle of rods with the axe in the middle – symbolized the authority with which the consuls were invested - Imperium translates to “power” or “command” - From 367BC – 1 consulship normally held by a plebeian - A consul was so named because he consults people – Varra - The authority within the city was subject to provaccatio – “calling out” - In war, up to the 1 century BC – the consuls led the troops – if both consuls were on a campaign together the command alternated on a daily basis - To be a consul was a privilege guarded by the leading families – conferred nobilitas (meaning both nobility and fame) - The first of a family to achieve the highest office was called “novus homo” – “new man” - A dictator could be nominated in times of war – complete control for up to 6 months – called the “master of the infantry” and his second in command – “master of the cavalry” - Gaius Marcius Rutilus was the first plebeian dictator in charge of operations against an Etruscan force which advanced onto Roman territory – captured the enemy by surprise and killed/drove away the rest – on his return, the patrician-dominated senate denied him the procession which he earned but the people gave him triumph all the same - Matters of religion in the hands of the pontifex maximus (chief priest) – elected, official residence in the middle of the forum o Responsible for the calendar, presiding state ceremonies and nomination of vestal virgins and some priests o Had disciplinary power over the priestly classes Censor: chief registrar, financial and tax officer, inspector of public works and arbiter of public morality. See passage p. 14 – divides citizens to tribes, in charge of temples, roads, water systems, assigns young men to the cavalry and infantry, guards public morality and suspend anyone from the senate guilty of improper conduct. Instituted in 444 BC – first plebeian to hold it was Gaius Marcius Rutilus in 351 BC. Was restricted to those who climbed the cursus honorum (ladder of honour) – elected every 5 years to coincide with the census. Held office for only 18 mths. See passage p. 14 Praetor (6 after 197 BC): Chief law officer and judge and understudy to the consuls, particularly in the administration of provinces. First: 366 BC and about a century later a 2 was appointed and divided up the suits whether it was between citizens or outsiders, first plebeian: 337 BC – was invested with imperium and was preceded in public with 6 lictors Aedile (4 after 366): supervisor of public works, temples, markets and games – 2 always Plebeians Quasestor (4 after 421 BC, 8 after 267 and 20 after 80 BC) : Assistant to the consuls particularly as controller of the military or civic treasury, and as keeper of records – min age 25 to allow completion of military service – first Pleb – 409 BC  Voting was by group/category – the majority voice was given a single vote. State officials were elected by these means Senate: about 300 members – nominations originally automatic and by birth/rank. Later they were made by consuls and after 350 BC by censors, Plebs admitted after the 4 century after which the senate became predominantly a body of men who served as government officials. Did not pass laws – simply acted as an advisory body to popular assemblies. Had complete control over finance, administration of state and its empire and relations with foreign powers. Also acted as an intermediary between the Roman people and the gods Comitia Curiata – assembly of representative wards comprising 1/10 part of each of the 3 original tribes of Rome – original people’s council in the time of the kings. It formally ratified the election of consuls and acted as a court of appeal – in the 4 century BC it was assumed by the comita centuriata Comita centuriata – originally an assembly of representatives of military units (centuries) – reconstituted into 193 centuries to which eligible votes allocated according to their means. Each century had an indefinite # of members. 98 votes were in the hands of the 18 centuries of equestrians and 80 given to the top 5 property bands. The assembly elected senior state officials, declared war, instituted treaties, approved legislation had the final say in execution/ exile (until it was given to the courts) Concilium plebis (meeting of the people): original plebeian parliament- sitting and voting in 35 tribal/district divisions – elected its own minor officers and formulated decrees for observance by its own kind – after 287: binding to the whole community Comita tribuna (tribal assembly): - organized in tribes but open to all citizens – it elected minor officials and was a means of approving legislation on a different voting basis than the comita centuriata The Conflict of Orders - The patricians held all the power – the bid by the plebs for rights to improve their lot was accomplished by passive resistance and collective bargaining - Major concession: creation of the tribunas plebis (tribune of the people) to be a convener of the popular assemblies and to present people’s grievances to the consuls or senate - The tribunes could hold up almost any business of the state – including actions of officials and resolutions by the senate by pronouncing a veto (“I forbid” in latin) - Required to be on call day and night for any citizen that needed help - See passage p. 17 “it is in the nature of the republic to contradict the justifiable” o “unless a state maintains a balance of rights, duties, and functions so that the state officials possess enough power, the leading citizens enough authority and the people enough freedom – it is not possible for it to remain stable” - As the plebeians started gaining power, some great patrician families started falling behind - The nobility (families of patricians) controlled the senate and through patronage, influenced the election of officials of state, who included holders of religious positions The Twelve Tables - Another major advance: appointment of the decemviri (committee of 10) to refine, standardize and record a statutory code of law - The result of the deliberations was the “Twelve Tables” – engraved on copper and permanently displayed to public view o Only a few fragments/references survive o Constituted a condensed set of rules for public, private and political behaviour o If a defendent in a civil case refused to appear, the plaintiff could apply physical force to get him there, if the defendent was too old/ill – the plaintiff must provide transport o Anyone caught stealing at night could be killed by the owner of the property (by day, other regulations applied – if a free man, he would be flogged and bound over to the injured party, if he was a slave – he would be thrown over the Tarpeian rock or if under age – flogged and required to make reparation) o Laws governing hygiene and fire-risk and the upkeep of roads (responsibility of those whose property it bordered) o Max statutory rate of interest on loans – anyone confessing or judged to be a debter had 30 days to pay or sold into slavery by his creditors o Fixed penalty for assault (reduced if the victim was a slave) o Stealing crops and slander was a capital offence – the penalty for murder was lighter than stealing crops o Distinguished intentional and accidental homicide o Criminal offence to cast a spell on anyone by incantation or to demonstrate in the streets against an individual o A father had the right to kill his badly disabled child o The laws contained in the 12 tables were never repealed in roman times – everyone was subject to the same written code (even the senate) - The decemviri’s chairman (Appius Claudius) lusted after Virgina (the daughter of a centurion) who resisted his advances – got one of his lackeys to claim she was a slave, when the matter came to court Appius was the judge. Her father – preferring her death to her dishonour, killed her with a sword o Appius himself was remanded in custody where he committed suicide rather than face trial... another decemviri also committed suicide and the rest refused to give up their offices at the end of the year – they were exiled and their property was confiscated From City State to Italian Empire - The empire began as an exercise in security and tactical aggression - By 265 BC – romans had conquered the whole Italian peninsula below the river Arno - Resisted several incursions into their territory by the Gauls and the army of Pyrrhus - Pyrrhus defeated rome at Ausculum by the deployment of his elephant corps but at a cost to his own forces - According to Plutarch, Pyrrhus died during an assault on Argos where an old woman seeing him in combat with her son hurled a roof tile at him - Insisted on treating each conquest on its individual merits and imposed restrictions or awarded privileges according to the circumstances – some were granted Roman citizenship without voting rights, some a kind of probationary citizenship; others had to give up part of their territory which became public land or carved into lots for use of roman citizens o Defeated states sometimes allowed trade/intermarriage with Rome o All required to provide troop o Not until the 2 century BC soldiers received any formal pay (although they did reimburse for their filed expenses, less the cost of rations and other items from the military stores) o A soldier’s reward in the spoils and the land - 338 – final capitulation and dissolution of the latin league of states and the establishment of Roman colonies along the coast of Latium o Shortly after, treaties were made with the important Campanian towns: Cumae and Capua (originally of greek foundation but more recently under Etruscan rule) o Accepted a form of roman citizenship and the duty of supplying soldiers in return for military protection - Soon later – the Samnite invasion of Campania: could be contained easily on the plains of central Italy but once they retreated to the alps new tactics had to be used - war lasted for 37 years o the romans were victorious but not before they had their most shameful defeat – trapped in the Caudine Froks – a series of narrow mountain passes – the whole roman army with its consuls and officers were forced to surrender o 600 equestrians were handed over as hostages o See passage p. 20 – lictors asked to stand aside as they stripped away the consuls’ cloaks of office, then followed by the officers - descending by rank. The enemy fully armed stood around cracking jokes – “went under the yoke” - The disintegration of the Etruscan empire began in 310 when a roman army by a forced march through the forest got behind the opposing army and crushed it – 3 major Etruscan cities immediately then sued for peace - The Gallic tribes and Ligurian tribes also, after much resistance, gave into Roman power Cato the Censor (231-149 BC) - No one could hold the same office twice in 10 years unless there was a suitable provincial governship available, some very accomplished men could be left without full-time employment at the height of their powers (ex. Marcius Porcius Cato or Cato the Elder) - Born at Tusculum and brought up on his father’s farm – became a consul in 195 BC and led forces to a great victory in Spain o As a senator, he participated enthusiastically in debates on civil affairs – esp. to restrict the rights of women o Elected censor in 184 (after failing in 189) - Took his duties as guardian of public morals very seriously o see passage p. 22 – expelled Manlilus from senate after embracing his wife during the day in front of their daughter (said he didn’t embrace his wife unless it thundered loudly) - could be ruthless with his enemies, especially if they were from an urban aristocracy (which he wasn’t) - strenuous with those who misused public property o cut off pipes of those who siphoned off the municipal water supply into their own homes and tore town private buildings that encroached upon public land - he imposed taxes on the rich (heavier on the very rich) and introduced police regulations to restrict luxurious living and entertaining - in his last political act as a senator –initiated a war that ultimately destroyed the entire civilization - never fully retired from an active life – he compiled the earliest Roman encyclopedia and wrote a medical work, a history of Rome and s treatise on Roman agriculture (the latter of which is the oldest surviving complete prose work in Latin) o see passage p. 22-23 (describes different remedies, etc...) - a nationalist and was ambivalent towards greek culture – states that greek literature was only worth a passing glance and worried about the effects their lectures might be having on the youth of Rome and proposed an embassy of greek philosophers should be sent home The Punic Wars (264-146 BC) - The Greek city Messana on the NE-tip of Sicily had been seized and occupied by a gang of Campanian mercenaries in 289 BC - In 284, the king of Syracuse decided to winkle them out o The mercenaries called on the Carthaginians to send a fleet – they obliged but their fleet stayed on in the harbor o The mercenaries then appealed to Rome to ride them of the Carthaginians on the ground that their Campanian blood entitled them to the same protection – the tribunes voted for the dispatch of an expedition against the Carthaginians o The arrival of the expedition was so surprised that the Carthaginian commander at Messana took his ships home o The Carthaginian government – humiliated- resolved to recapture Messena - The war lasted in 3 periods for well over a century – when it ended Carthage was a smoking heap of rubble - Carthage was originally a Phoenician colony, the language was Semitic and their gods were those of the Phoenicians (notably Ba’al Hammon – the god of the sky and fertility; and Tanit- moon-goddess) - The wars lasted so long that the word “punicus” came to mean treacherous - The Carthaginians were one of the most successful peoples of the ancient world – used its fleet to close the Mediterranean to other citizens, to wage war and to trade goods all around the Mediterranean and the west coast of Africa o Founded colonies along the North African coast, southern Spain, Corsica, Sardinia and western tip of sicily o Its citizens didn’t normally fight in the army – usually consisted of Africam conscripts and mercenaries from all over the Mediterranean o The commanders were professional career soldiers - The first punic war was fought largely at sea – the romans built a series of fleets to match the Carthaginians and manned them with marine commandos trained in hand to hand fighting - tactic was to attach grapples to an enemy ship and overwhelm them with their numbers - both sides lost a lot but the Romans were better at unearthing and deploying more resources – eventually Carthage sued for peace o Agreed to withdraw all its claims to sicily o Took advantage of the Carthaginian’s preoccupation with a revolt of their mercenaries to annex Corsica and Sardinia - Carthage retaliated by increasing its empire in southern Spain – run by Hamiclar and his son Hannibal and son in law Hasdrubal o To prevent its influence farther North – the Romans were forced into a diplomatic manoeuvre – the Ebro river was regarded as the boundary between the interests of the 2 sides o The east-coast town of Saguntum, an ally of Rome, would remain under Roman protection o Hasdrubal was murdered by a slave, Hannibal succeeded to command and started the
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