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Classical Studies
CLST 201
Christina Zaccagnino

Chapter 1 – Early Italy: Italy and the Mediterranean world:  West coast of Italy was the most favored – fertile lands and many harbors  Etruria: the land of the ancient Etruscans, is the northernmost; this region of fertile land saw some of the earliest centers of urban life  2 important plains occupy the coast to the south: o Latium: the Latin plains ran from the sea to the foothills of the Apennines. Rome would rise here on the banks of the Tiber o Campania plain is the southernmost of the three regions.  Italy occupies a strategic point in the Mediterranean world – the island of Sicily, off the southwest tip of the peninsula, divides the Mediterranean sea into two, and maritime traffic between east and west necessarily passes by the island o The island could also serve as a virtual bridge between Italy and North Africa Italy before the City:  After the first appearance of agriculture around 4000 BC, Italy was a land of villages with simple forms or economic and social organization  To the east of Italy, in the Balkans and beyond, complex and highly organized societies, ruled by kings wit the assistance of bureaucratic and military elites, were firmly established in the second millennium BC.  The Mycenaean civilization of Greece had great influence on some of the cultures of central Europe and the Mediterranean  In Italy, Mycenaean merchants were active along the southern half of the Adriatic shore, the south coast and the west coast as far north as the bay of Naples The Iron Age in Etruria, Latium, and Campania:  Iron Age: the years between the start of the ninth century and the last third of the eighth  the extraction of metal from ore required even more complex techniques  The use of Iron would lead to cheaper products  In the ninth and eighth centuries, Etruria, Latium and Campania saw the rise of an inter-related group of cultures that would eventually develop into major centers of power and wealth  In Etruria, the iron age culture of these centuries is known as “Villanovan” Greeks and Phoenicians in the Central Mediterranean:  Maritime contact with the eastern Mediterranean again became a prominent factor in the development of central Italian societies  The Phoecians led the way – their world centered on a number of cities o Long distance trade by land and by sea was important in the social and political order of a Phoenician city-state; kings and temple priesthoods and rich merchants participated o Tyre and Sidon = most powerful of the Phoenician states  The Greeks arrived shortly after the collapse of Mycenaean civilization and established settlements in Italy The rise of the Cities:  Over the next three centuries, Etruia, Latium and Campania experience a series of political, social, and cultural innovations that would result in the formation of the first Italian city-states.  A City-state was both a type of settlement and a form of political, military, and social organization.  Fully developed city-states usually possessed a clearly defined urban core, with special areas designate for elite and for communal ends, along with cemeteries encircling it.  Political organization was essential – at first, aristocratic families and their dependants dominated most emerging city-states. In the 7 and 6 centuries th kings reined some. By the early 5 century certain cities possessed formal offices and priesthoods using the process of elections.  Scholars divide the formative age of the city-state into 2 broad phases: the orientalizing period (c. 725 – 580) and the Archaic period (C. 580 – 480) Appearance of an Elite:  At the end of 8 century, some families began to demonstrate that they posses wealth, status, and power on a scale far greater than other families in their communities  The emerging elite families sought to distinguish themselves through distinctive ways of life with appropriate marks of status (elite burials) Cities and Monumental Architecture:  From the beginning of the 7 century, members of elite families began to construct larger structures in the main centers of population.  As part of this development, the ruling elites of central Italy made the cult places of their communities grander and grander (such as temples)  Temples in central Italy generally were built upon a high platform fronted by a porch with columns; crowning the structure was a peaked roof of terracotta tiles with terracotta decorations.  As wealth came to concentrate in cities and towns, many communities began to expand resources on their defense and communities began to construct more elaborate and expensive defense systems o Some fortified themselves by digging a deep, broad ditch and using the excavated earth to construct a thick high mound inside it. Warfare in the orientalizing and archaic periods:  The 8 , 7 and 6 centuries saw major changes in the frequency of warfare and the degree of organization  The new ways of making war affected not only relations between the emerging cities, but also the role and power of aristocracies, the political and social organization of the communities themselves, and their physical layouts.  Yet, still few battles occurred.  Warriors served not as members of the community, but as followers of an aristocratic leader who had organized the enterprise. Social and economic organization:  Elite families dominated the social and economic life of their cities just as they did their political, religious and military organization  The wealth and power of the upper classes rested upon their control over their followers and other dependants as well as over land  Prominent individuals mobilized groups of men for war, led them in battle, and if successful, distributed the fruits of victory: land, cattle, captives, and the moveable goods of the defeated.  Long-term ties of democracy bound many of the inhabitants of the new cities to aristocratic leaders  relationships between elites and followers: patrons and clients o The patron granted protection to his clients, who followed his protector in war and in politics and served him in other ways when appropriate  Romans belonged to a clan or gens (gentes = pl). Gens consisted of an aristocratic lineage or group of lineages and some of their lesser followers and dependants  Members were identified by a name (nomen) that identified their gens, and they also had a first personal name (the praenomen)  Every member of a community would belong to a gens  Dependence on the rich and powerful was unavoidable. As long as communal organizations were relatively weak, only powerful families, with their many armed dependants, could offer protection from war and other forms of violence.  Debt formed another route dependency: it established a long-term relationship between borrower and lender  many men were forced to turn to their wealthier neighbors for assistance to feed their family. o Debt would probably never be paid; debtors would never gain enough wealth to payback in full, and they would need further assistance o Debt created a permanent relationship in which debtors lost control of their land and their labor, while creditors gained followers and a permanent workforce. Etruscans and Greeks:  Etruscan city-states were never unified politically, and frequently they were rivals and even enemies  In the Archaic period, Etruscan elites were among the most active in Italy.  Narrow oligarchies, composed of the descendants of the first settlers, for a long time controlled the best land and public offices  Greeks of lesser status formed the citizen body (demos) and their military service could be essential to the survival of the state. However, they had little in the way of political rights. Chapter 2 – Rome’s First Centuries: Emergence of an urban community:  Ancient Rome occupied a group of hills overlooking the Tiber River  was a favorable location (water full and hills and river made it easy to defend. It also had 2 of the most important routes passing through it (salt pans and the coastal road from Etruria to Campania))  A stream running through separated three of the hills that proved important in early Rome: the Capitol, the Palentine, and the Velia o When drained in 7 /6 centuries, this valley would become the forum romaium (Roman Forum), the city’s political and religious center o A small plain would also become the Forum Boarium – the chief market for harbor of urban Rome.  From the middle of the 7 century, the Romans began to transform the valley separating the hills into the civic and religious center of the city, the Forum Romanum  The Comitum was built at the end of the century and was a sacred space where officials would summon citizens to vote, to hear legal cases, and to make important public decisions.  The Curia Hostilita served as one of the meeting places for the council of elders know as the senate  Two other major centers of Rome's civic and religious life, the Capitol and the Forum Boarium, began to be adorned with larger more elaborate structures.  On the Capitoline hill, the Roman's began to construct the temple of Jupiter th Best and Greatest at the beginning of the 6 century – one of the largest temples in Italy Romans Early History:  7 kings supposedly ruled in Rome:  Romulus founded the city and some of its most important political institutions  Numa Pompilius set the pattern for Rome's religious life  their successors built temples, founded institutions, and waged war on Rome’s neighbors.  Servius Tullius (the 6 king) was a second founder of the city  Tarquinius Superbus, Rome’s last king, justify his fall and the end of the monarchy  It is generally thought that Romulus founded Rome in 753 Rome under the kings:  Kingship priested in Rome in the form of a priestly office, the rex sacrorum, (rex = king), that continued that king’s religious functions long after the political and military powers had been lost  The Roman monarchy had not been hereditary, so each king had to establish his right to rule  only one instance in the 7 kings where father and son both held the throne  Romans of a later date associated their kings with leadership in war, the construction of temples, the performance of religious rights, and the granting of judgments in legal disputes.  By the end of the 6 century, Rome had grown significantly (from taking over surrounding lands)  The Aristocracy had its own political, religions, and military roles in the city  leaders met in a council of elders known as the senate, which chose the kings, helped them make policy, and resisted their initiatives if they saw fit  Aristocratic councils were common in the world of the city-state  the senate met in the building Curia Hostilia  One of the chief characteristics of a fully formed city-state was citizenry organized communally to fulfill its roles in politics, religion, and war  The mass of adult male citizens was known as the populus Romanus  the populus gained the right to give assent to officeholders and their policies, a practice that would eventually become formalized as a vote  The bulk of Rome's population was integrated into the cities institutions through intermediary groups based on kinship  Several clans for gentes formed a larger unit known as a curia (pl: curiae)  The roman curiae formed three tribes – these curiae had important religious functions in which aristocrats took the lead  The tribes had an essential role in Rome’s political and military organization. o When the city made war, its army – the followers of the king and of powerful members of the elite – was organized by tribes, with each one providing its own unit of Calvary and of infantry  The sixth king, Servious tullius created new forms of classifying and organizing the population and citizens were assigned to tribes based on defined territories o He divided the city into 4 urban tribes for its residents. o Rural tribes were added for the inhabitants of the country side which would grow as Roman territory expanded o The creation of these tribes did not require the elimination of the 3 original ones, which continued to perform some of their old functions o Now roman citizens belonged to 2 tribes in 2 different tribal systems o Over time, the new tribes became more important than the old tribes and membership in one became a mark of citizenship. Rome and the Latin’s:  A shared identity linked the cities of Latium – the inhabitants of Latium had much in common: they shared the name of Latin and they used variants of the Latin language and also possessed a common material culture  The belief in an identity that transcended the separate communities of Latium received clear expression in religious ritual.  The Latin festival: latiar held in honor of Jupiter Latiarias, was the most prominent – Latin’s sense of a shared identity found expression in other ways too.  In the Greek world the ideal city-state (polus) was a closed community – few outsiders became citizens, intermarriage with non-citizens was sometimes discouraged, and the right to own land was restricted to citizens  Latin cities were less exclusive  Later, all Latin’s possessed the right of: o Conubium – permitting them to make lawful marriage with a resident of any other Latin city o Commercium: allowed Latin’s to own land in any of the Latin cities and make legally enforceable contracts with their citizens o All Latin’s had the right to take up citizenship in any other Latin city by establishing residence there  Despite this sharing – Latin’s were not politically unified  their communities waged war against one another, and the most powerful competed for primacy  cities grew by war.  The political institutions that would later unite the Latin communities resulted from the domination of a few, and eventually from the leadership of just one: Rome. The early republic:  In the 6 century, Rome was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Italy  However, Rome and many of its neighbors entered into a period of great turbulence.  In Rome itself, this coincides with an important shift in rule with the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the Roman republic  The end of the monarchy marked the beginnings of the major political institutions of the republic  Magistrates took the King’s place  magistrates spread more power more widely among the rich and powerful  Rome would eventually possess a hierarchy of offices, each with its own tasks and powers – each office was annual and colleial: more than one individual shared the powers of the position at the same time.  The Republic has 2 consuls who were elected yearly  The predominance of consulship would not become fixed until the 4 th century  During the second have of the 5 and into the 4 century, the Roman’s chose military tribunes with consular powers (generally in groups of 6)  In times of emergency – magistrates appointed one man to serve as dictator or in times of war when a unified command seemed desirable o Dictator held office for 6 months or until the emergency was over – whichever was shorter; meantime the consuls remained in office but served under the dictators command  The appointed dictator then appointed a “master of cavalry” as second in command to assist him  Annual magistracies require a process of selection, and later roman citizens would elect individuals to fill the office. o In later periods, the “centurate” assembly chose the highest officials and rendered judgments in important cases  “Laws of the twelve tables” – did not form a code – instead they were a collection of specific, detailed, and narrowly focused provisions o Debt and its consequences were among the lawmakers central concerns  the twelve tables prescribed that creditors must assure the debtors appearance in court and must carry out all judgments. Debtors have 30 days to pay a debt in default or satisfy a judgment against them. Rome and its neighbors:  By the beginning of the 5 century, ruling elites had begun to form federations  Although these federations did not result in cities, they were capable of collective action on a larger scale than before, especially when it came to raiding, warfare, and self-defense.  By the beginning of the 5 century, the highlanders had begun to press on the coastal plains. Latium suffered o Sabines, Volsci, and Aequi bordered Latium  Steadily the highlanders were first repelled and then pushed back – in the process, Latin cities that had fallen were recopied as Rome’s colonies. o Rome established new settlers to serve as garrisons, and gave them land and organized them in a city-state with officials of its own. o The new foundation was assigned a recognized place as an ally of Rome and the other Latin cities.  Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus left Rome and took refuge with the Volsci he had previously defeated. o He then led them their armies against the Romans which great success but failed to capture Rome because of the please of his mother and wife.  Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus in 458 he became a dictator of the Aequi and successfully trapped a Roman army in the mountains Struggle of the orders:  In the 5 and 4 centuries, Rome also faced severe internal conflicts that accompanied its foreign wars. – Deep conflict over aspects of the basic organization of the republic of roman society = struggle of the orders.  One kind concerned access to magistrate because after the expulsion of the king, leading families often tried to monopolize the new offices of their communities.  Second: concerned the ability of officials to punish at will  Third: involved the roles of magistrates and citizen assemblies  A long conflict between two opposing groups: patricians and plebeians characterized the first centuries of the republic  To be a patrician, a roman had to belong to one of a very few families (wealthy and powerful families)  claimed privileges and ensured their leadership  Plebeians: far outnumbered patricians. Was not a homogenous group – contained individuals with a range of statuses and roles in the city. Most were poor.  Mass plebeians would not have been unified in its concerns.  The plebeian’s main weapon was the secession, a kind of strike in time of war, and their major success derived from this.  In a secession, plebian members of an army would withdraw to a hill outside of Rome, choose leaders, and refuse to cooperate with the magistrates of the city until their grievances had been addressed  Success of the plebeians created a dual organization in the city  Consuls and military tribunes were seen as leaders of the Roman people, as a while, the pupulus Romanus, and they were expected to provide political, military, and religious leadership in matters of general concern.  The plebs created a parallel organization of officials and cults that addressed only matters specific to the plebs.  The plebs first major gain was the right to choose their own leaders, the tribunes of the plebs  The powers of the office all began with the elections of the first tribunes, but this almost certainly would not have been the case  By the second century, the tribunes of the plebs h
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