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Lecture 9

HIST 3131 Lecture 9.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 3131
Professor
Ben Kelly
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 9 November-12-12 2:29 PM Modern Explanations for Roman Imperial Expansion Part 2 Three questions for Harris:  What Roman bellicosity really exceptional?  What were the origins of Roman Bellicosity?  Why did weaker states frequently ask for the aid of a bellicose, expansionist state such as Rome? o Why did so many states call upon Roman aid?  What are the origins of Rome's warlike character?  Eckstein: seeks to add to and revise Harris' viewpoints  Tries to explain the phenomenon of invasion by invitation o Romans were very aggressive, but so what? All other states in the med. World were  Why did Rome succeed in taking all the others over?  Roman state existed as a rather complex system of states  Cant focus on Rome in isolation  Must look at the other cultures surrounding them, in looking for the Roman desire for war  Realist theory o No effective systems of international law, live in international anarchy o No effective diplomatic institutions o The continuous threat of military violence between states o High levels of security consciousness, paranoia, and militarization o Constant "worst case scenario" are assumed o The search for actual superiority over the states, and hence imperialistic behaviour o Bipolar or multipolar balances of power that are quite fragile, and prone to 'power transition crises' o Major power collapses internally and this spreads chaos and anarchy and turmoil everywhere  Realist theory is sometimes considered "too bleak" an interpretation  Modern world, Eckstein believes whatever is applicable to the Modern world, can be applied to the ancient world  Realist paradigm applies to both worlds  Western med, diplomacy was crude and rudimentary, conducted at the last minute, where two states reached a point where the threat of war was present  International anarchy in the western med o Crude and ineffective diplomatic practices o Aggressive neighbours who attacked each other and Rome incessantly o Militaristic cultures in all states, not just Rome o Appeals by weak states to stronger states to try to guarantee their own survival  Gauls and Etruscans fought  Samnites have a record of aggressive behaviour  Samnites have a ritual where a band of young men are sent out to find a new territory to conquer  Carthaginians were no innocent Punic traders attacked by the Romans  Behaved aggressively, was expansionist  Attacked the traders and so became the first Punic war  Aggressive and vengeful behaviour that led to the second Punic war, Hannibal  Rome developed and exceptionally aggressive military culture, but so did everyone else  409 BCE Carthaginians sacked the Sicilian city of Capua?  Anarchy in the Hellenistic East o These states also existed in an environment of international anarchy o Early interactions between Rome and the states of the Hellenistic world were such as to cause Rome to view them as a security threat o The 'power transition crises' prompted by the collapse of Egyptian power in the last decade of the third century BCE caused further instances of 'imperialism by invitation', which Rhodes and Pergamum inviting Roman intervention in the East o Often times states were so war crazed, kings would fight and die in battle o Inflated boasting of the victories and such in inscriptions o Also boasting through processions o The kings of the states faced legitimacy problems and thus had to fight to prove their legitimacy to the throne o Hellenistic world also a state o f anarchy as well o Lore of international conduct: you could take over and enslave an entire population, but you leave the sacred, religious temples alone  Didn’t always happen o Diplomacy in this world was also rudimentary o Issues threats rather than negotiate a solution o States always anxious about their security, always feared the revenge of surrounding states o Being passive in a humiliating state
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