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Classical Studies
Course Code
CLST 100
Christina Zaccagnino

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Weeks 1-6 Winter Classics
- Rome founded near River Tiber, on Italian peninsula surrounded by water
o Allowed for irrigation/ aqueducts, important for agriculture
o Salt mines at mouth of River Tiber source of wealth/ important for diet “salt of the
earth” – “salary” comes from “salt”
- Peninsula shared by other Italic populations: Etruscans, Sabines, Italic Hill Tribes, etc.
o Spoke separate languages
o Etruscan not spoken since 1st century A.D., but does not have to be deciphered. Few
Etruscan works remain.
Early Rome
- Rome founded in hilly area easy to defend
- Early Roman settlements understood from archaeology no texts
- Lived in huts hut-depiction urns were commonly used to house ashes of the deceased
The Foundation Myth of Rome Remus and Romulus
- Amulius and Numitor kings of Alba Longa; Numitor had a daughter Rhea Silvia who was a
priestess and vestal virgin, meaning she couldn’t marry or reproduce
- Rhea had twins, Remus and Romulus, because Mars the God of war fell in love with her
- The twins were ordered to be thrown into the River Tiber, but the servant doing it left them at
the edge of the river
- Twins were found by a she-wolf (the Capitoline wolf) and she suckled them
- The twins were found by shepherds beside a fig tree near cave by Palatine hill
- Faustulus (one of the shepherds) and his wife Acca Larentia raised the twins
- When they reached adulthood they wanted to found a city in the spot that they were found and
- To decide what to name the city (Roma or Remora?) they both went to separate hills to look for
the omens of flying birds; Romulus had the better omen
- Remus lept the city walls and was killed by Romulus (it was considered aggressive to enter the
city this way if he wanted to be friendly, he would have entered via the gates)
- Romulus invited men exiled/left homelands
- Women were needed to populate future generations, so they kidnapped and raped Sabine
- Rome’s birthday: April 21at 753 B.C.E the date calculated and commonly accepted, according
to Valerio Belli
Greek Backgrounds
- Felt need for connection to nobler past, as their own myth was violent and gross
- Hercules was worshipped at Great Altar (ara maxima) in Rome

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Weeks 1-6 Winter Classics
o Cult started by Evander and the Arcadians after Hercules killed bandit Cacus (who
robbed the hero of the cattle of Geryon)
- Aeneas, Trojan hero, a link between Greek world and Rome so important that Vergil wrote his
saga, the Aeneid
Aeneas’ Saga
- Trojan war, escaped sack of Troy with his small son and his elderly father Anchises on his back
considered a pious hero
- Travelled from Troy Sicily Carthage- Italy etc.
- Sources for saga: Hellanicus, Naevius, Ennius, Fabius Pictoir, Cato the Elder, Vergil, Levy
- Aeneas arrived in Latium and became betrothed to Lavinia, a local princess (daughter of king
Latinus); she was previously betrothed to a local prince
- Aeneas fought aborigines due to conflict with local prince was successful, married Lavinia
- Aeneas founded the city Lavinium. He wanted to found another city, wanted to sacrifice a white
sow, but it ran away. They found the pig, who had just delivered 30 piglets. He decided to wait
30 years due to a dream about this before founding the city where the pig delievered the
- Aeneas died, became a god, and left his son Julus as successor, 30 years later Alba Longa was
- Alba = feminine form of white, for white sow
- Gens (clan) Julia claimed to be descendents of Aeneas (Julia from his son Julus’s name)
- Famous Gens Julia : Caius Julius Caesar; Caius Octavius (later Julius Caesar Octavianus, later
Augustus the first emperor)
- Alba Longa was the city where Remus and Romulus were born, hence the link between Greece
and Rome
The Seven Kings
-Rome a monarchy from 753-510 B.C.
- In order: Romulus, Numa Pompilius (Sabine), Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus
(Etruscan), Servius Tullius (Etruscan), Tarquinnus Superbus (The Arrogant) (Etruscan)
- Kings were people who were able to be influential enough to be recognized as leaders they were first
leaders of clans
Gens (pl. gentes)
- Clans
- Praenomen, then Nomen, then Cognomen (if they had one) praenomen = first/given name,
nomen = family name, cognomen = nickname, deeds, achievements, successes, physical

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Weeks 1-6 Winter Classics
- Women had only one name: the feminine form of the family nomen, e.g. Marcus Tullius’s
daughter was Tullia
- For more than 1 daughter, they had maior or minor (older and younger) added for two, or
prima, secunda, tertia (first, second, third) etc. for more than 2.
Imperium = Power later meant Empire
End of the Monarchy
- Lucretia, the wife of Tarquinius Collatinus was raped by Sextus Tarquinus (the son of King Tarquinius
- She committed suicide, but first told her father and Lucius Junius Brutus, who fought against the
- They left Rome, went to Gabii
The Republic
- Roman people wanted no absolute power invested in just 1 person
- 2 consuls elected by assembly of Roman people for 1 year office
- Unstable situation at beginning of Republic, so office of the Dictator was created had absolute
power for shorter term, 6 months practical for times of safety risks/war/conflict
- Decemuiri, Board of 10 men created first code of law: the 12 tables (not preserved)
- Military tribune with the power of a consul took over consulship 444-366 B.C.E.
- Had important advisory board, Senate (senes = old men)
- Comitium = place of assembly
- Comitia = assembly
- Only male citizens could participate in the Comitia
Patricii (Patricians) vs. Plebians
- Word originates from “pater”, the Latin word for father
- Could only be patrician by birth
- Origins from monarchy; according to tradition, Romulus created the distinction of patricians
- Had monopoly on all of the most important priesthoods in Rome
- Thought only Patricians should be elected consul or hold important offices, as they had religious
authority and only they could do what was favored by the Gods
- May be related to the Greek word for masses
- Could not be priests, magistrates, members of senate (in the early republic)
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