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Roman Imperialism in the 2nd Century

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Western University
History 2173
Barbara Murison

Nov, 21, 2012 nd Roman Imperialism in the 2 Century The Settlement of the West: Spain: -Territorial imperialism was a fact of life and they were interested in dealing with Spain who had to be controlled but this was hard to do and they didn’t want anyone hostile towards them to hold Spain because it was a good vantage point so they felt it needed to be occupied by them from where Carthage had held it in the Punic wars -It was also hoped it would make them money and that paying for occupation could come from Spain’s resources -Not all of Spain had been under Carthage’s power and the north was outside of their control and it was a tribal society with no principalities and this meant there was lots of raiding and looting and this made it impossible for Rome to win because they were using guerrilla warfare in small groups and in 197 Spain was organized into two provinces Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior but these were not completely settled -Roman imposed taxes were too high for the tribes to pay and this led to lots of unrest and there were a few governors who could keep them sort of quiet and the mines were reopened and they founded new villages -Low grade warfare was going through until 133 BC and Spain was not fully settled until the Republic was over Scipio Aemilianus - 134 BC: -Rome sent him to Spain because he was the best general and he was looking for another chance to get glory and prestige and he realized he couldn’t force some of the tribes into battle even though they had more men -He knew that Numantia was a focus for native opposition and he wanted to deal with the problem through siege -He surrounded the city with walls and towers from which archers fired into the city and his troops were guarded in seven camps and he was isolating the city for starvation and the city was in northern Spain to the east and he set the town on fire and again many people watched this siege like C. Gracchus, C. Marius, Jugurtha, and Polybius -The siege was successful and destroyed in 133 BC and it was very brutal and this was becoming more common in the Roman army and some of their enemies had resorted to suicide or cannibalism Roman Imperialism in the Near East: -The Punic wars marked a crucial period in their history and by 146 BC Rome had changed from being a purely Italian power to the dominant power in the Mediterranean and imperialism was accelerated by the war -They were being drawn further and further away from home and they got used to long term commitments and despite the losses in the Punic wars they were able to persevere and they had huge economic strength and this is seen in their ship building but the second Punic war had had huge effects as Hannibal moved around their area -Small holdings of soldiers were being neglected and once they came home they had much hardship and debt and the wars in the East and in Spain had taken men away and only made things worse but many men stayed in the army because of this because it was the only way they could make money and the army was getting more professional while others made their way to Rome for work (most unable to do so and they ended up in the slums) -A lot of the tribute from their provinces came to Rome in the form of agricultural products so Italian agriculture seemed less important and Rome was not consciously aggressive and they just acted to protect themselves and this is one way of looking at how imperialism came about but there is a problem with this because the consuls were actively looking for war and Rome had become highly involved in the east long before like in the Punic wars -Can’t understand this period without understanding the Hellenistic history post-Alexander Macedonia and the Antigonids: -Macedonia sometimes controlled Greek areas and they were ruled by the Antigonids Egypt and the Ptolemies: -Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemies who controlled a huge area Syria and the Seleucids: -Seleucids controlled Syria and a lot of Asia Minor as well as Mesopotamia Pergamum – Rhodes: -Were two smaller states with bit parts and their existence depended on the balance of power between the three larger ruling powers who were always fighting trying to gain power but they wanted independace from them Three Roman Wars against Macedonia: -When the balance was tipped with the bigger three states in the East Rome got involved after people there plead Nov, 21, 2012 for their help and their motives for this included the need for more slaves, the treasure to be gained, to get taxes and the potential consuls were looking nd prove themselves Battle of Cynoscephalae: Part of the 2 War – 197 BC: -Second war lasted from 200-196 BC and the phalanx was hugely powerful in Hellenistic times and the cavalry fell out of use and their warfare had became ritualized and they knew for success you needed level ground and space -Unfortunately for the Hellenistic kingdom the land they fought on was not level and Rome easily beat them Quinctius Flamininus versus Philip V of Macedon: -Was the one to win the battle and he made contact with the army of Philip V of Macedon in Thessaly in a hilly area and the armies were on opposite sides of a ridge and the Macedonians wanted to cross over and fight on level ground but the consul decided to strike when they were only half way over the ridge -The armies were about the same size but the Romans were much more flexible and able to do more manoeuvres -The Roman maniples allowed for people to scramble and they attacked the phalanx before it could from protective ranks and some sources say a tribune of Rome diverted 20 maniples and they struck the back of the Macedonians and struck (sign of initiate of Roman officers and they could strategize) -The Macedonians wanted peace because their losses were devastating and it had shown that the phalanx couldn’t work on rough terrain and it was vulnerable to Roman formations and we have to ask why they didn’t see the limitations and reform to be effective but the answer might be they were conservative and they didn’t recognize the limitations and they just blamed it on the environment and they in different situations they would win rd Battle of Pydna: Part of the 3 War – 168 BC: L. Aemilius Paullus versus Perseus of Macedon: -Fought against the son of Philip V and the military on both sides were not doing well and this was good for Rome and in 168 BC Paullus took command and he defeated Perseus at Pydna near mount Olympus and this showed truly how incapable the phalanx was and that any gaps were exploited by the Romans -Some of the ground was rough and they were not moving uniformly and the Macedonians had to abandon their pikes and fight at close quarters but the Romans were superior and Polybius was there on the side of Macedon and he was a captive but he was allowed to go back to Rome after their defeat and he stayed with the Scipios and he absorbed lots of information from them and he was very popular with them Latifundia: -They constantly needed slaves and the aristocrats were building huge estates called Latifundia Cursus Honorum: -Was a progression through the ranks of the military and going through the training to eventually become consuls -Consuls were compared to their ancestors and they would do better if they had military people in their family and there was lots of ritual involved and they were looking for divine help and sanction of their wars and warlike habits were entrenched deeply and the men were very competitive -The Italian allies provided troops but no tax or tributes and this allowed them to feel like they had some control over what went on in the area and they got to reap the benefits of conquest bu
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