Hypothetical reconstruction of Roman Forum in Imperial times. Watercolor (18th century), Giuseppe Becchetti
Objectives for this section:• shift of Rome’s government from monarchy to republic and the cause of this shift.• differences among the classes • (patrician, plebian, et al)• basic structure of Roman republican government and the checks & balances each division had on the others.• Punic Wars who fought and why. • Cause of each war and the aftermath • Hannibal • Cannae - Why was the battle important? • Scipio • overall result of all the Punic Wars?
218 B.C. Second A.D.284 Diocletian, who will Punic War, divide the Roman Empire, 509 B.C. Rome becomes a Hannibal 27 B.C. Rome becomes emperor. republic. invades Italy. becomes an Empire500 B.C. 500 AD 44 B.C. Conspirators 264 B.C. kill Julius Caesar. A.D. 476 Western Roman 1st Punic War w/ Empire falls with the ouster Carthage Julius of the last emperor, Romulus begins. Caesar Augustulus.
According to legend, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Mars• R & R were supposed to be killed, but the servant assigned the murder, instead left them on the bank of the Tiber. The Tiber flooded & they floated away.• downriver, they were rescued & raised by this lovely she-wolf.
In reality, people had been living in the region for a while.• Rome was defensible due to the hills & river and• was surrounded by a fertile, farmable plain• Tiber river had a shallow point where it could be forded• navigable by small boats from the sea• According to legend, Romulus founded Rome in 753 BC.• Probably not Romulus, but archaeology suggests Rome was indeed founded in the middle of the 8th century BC.
The early Romans were strongly influenced by those around them.• Etruscans to the north,• Sabines to the east,• Greeks along the coast.
• In a dispute, Romulus slew Remus.• Romulus named the city after himself,• set up all of its institutions, and• attracted to it people who needed a fresh start… which typically meant criminals.• When women ran short, he just kidnapped 700 from the neighboring Sabines. • According to the Roman historian Livy, though, they were treated well and weren’t assaulted. • Perhaps the Sabine historian tell it differently
Rome, in the beginning, was a monarchy• According to ancient sources, there were only seven kings in 243 years, which gives an average reign of 35 years – far longer than the norm.• There probably really were more kings, but accurate records no longer exist.
• He was apparently elected (proposed by the Senate and voted on by the Assembly)• the line wasn’t hereditary.• King was head of the religion and held most of the power.
Rome’s ancient Kings were of varying quality, some were even decent.• They gradually expanded Rome’s power & territory.• One king, Tarquinius Priscus, • put in the 1st sewer system, • drained a swamp, • built the Circus Maximus.• The last king - Tarquinius Superbus was superb . . . at being a jerk.
Rome’s last king - Tarquinius Superbus • Son of Priscus (Sewer & Swamp guy) - wasn’t patrient enough to wait to be elected to the throne - instead had a temper tantrum. . . . • had Servius, the elected king, assassinated with the help of Tarquinius’ wife, Servius’ own daughter. • After Servius was dead, the daughter drove over her daddy’s body with her chariot. . . Several times• Tarquinius Superbus repealed popular reforms• Was selfish . . . and became increasingly violent.• The Senate finally expelled him in 510 BC.
Tarquin the Proud equals Grand Moff Tarkin?!Some speculate so (but its probably a coincidence).
After getting rid of Tarquin the Jerk, the Senate decided it had had enough of kings . . . & reformed Rome’s government into a Republic 509 BCThe Beginning of the era of the Roman Republic• (Some speculate 509 BC was a backdate so that Rome, with its major cultural inferiority complex towards Greece, could claim that Republican Rome predated Cleisthenes’ Athens.) - but we all know Romans would not DO such a thing
one of the Roman virtues, along with pietas, dignitas & virtus. Gravitas may be translated as personal character, presence, seriousness, dignity, or being of recognized importance. Gravitas connotes a certain substance or depth of personality.GRAVITAS
There were several classifications of people in Rome: patricians, plebians, allies, and slaves.• Patricians - the traditional aristocrats – wealthy, privileged, powerful.• Plebians - the commoners – the average joe farmers & artisans. •Both patricians & plebians were considered citizens.• Allies - native people of conquered territories made provinces of Rome - They had a limited form of citizenship• Slaves had no rights at all. They were purely property.
The patricians initially formed a kind of a republican oligarchy.• The plebians didn’t like this • threatened to secede from Rome on several occasions and so established the tribunes • Tribunes were tasked w/ protecting plebian rights.
So instead of a king,they had two consuls• Kinda like the two Spartan kings, two men in charge instead of one, you resist tyranny.• Each consul had to consult the other before acting and one could veto the other.• Were patricians• elected to one year term• Must wait ten years before it possible to be re-elected
•two Consuls• Supreme commanders of the military• Took care of daily affairs and kept other officials in line• Also presided over the Senate.• Would join the Senate at the expiration of their term as consul, • so it was in their interest to cultivate good relations with that body.• Later, proconsuls were created – consuls whose terms could be extended due to military matters, such as leadership continuity during a war.
• two Consuls• 300 Senators• 35 Tribunes• in a crisis you need decisiveness & quick action• What do you do ???
A Dictatorcould be appointed to a singe six month term.• Had supreme power & could override the consuls.• Appointed in times of crisis.
The Senate• A body of 300 patricians from the wealthiest aristocratic families.• main power in Republican Rome.• Advised consuls,• Served for life.• Approved spending & projects• Foreign policy
Centuriate Assembly• Composed of citizen-soldiers by class.• Collectively Appointed consuls. • Votes weren’t individual votes. • Individual votes contributed to how the class decided.• The upper classes’ votes had more weight.• Thus, it was still patrician-controlled.
Assembly of Tribes• Included both patricians & plebians.• People were split up depending on where they lived – into one of 35 different tribes. • Tribes were determined by geography, ;’not by population.
• Each tribe had one vote.• Since the majority of people lived in one of Rome’s four urban tribes, that meant the 31 rural tribes had more influence.• The tribal assembly grows in power and eventually makes most of the laws.• Also elected the tribunes.
The Twelve Tables• The first codification of Roman law.• Made around 450 BC in response to plebians’ complaints that the patricians were making and interpreting laws to benefit only themselves.• written down on 12 bronze tablets & posted in the Roman forum.• More a listing of rights than formal laws.• Oddly, for something so important, we don’t know what the exact text was, it was lost during the Imperial era• but we can piece a lot of the Twelve Tables together from surviving fragments.
Here’s a sampling from the Twelve Tables:• If summoned to court, one must go. If he doesnt go, a witness to the refusal should be called. Only then should the one summoned be captured. If illness or old age is an impediment, let him be given a carriage.• A deformed child must be put to death.• If a father sells his son into slavery three times, the son shall be free of his father’s control.• If a person dies intestate without heirs, the nearest male kinsman shall inherit. If there is no near male kinsmen, his clansmen shall inherit.• If one has maimed another and does not buy his peace, let there be retaliation in kind.
• Someone who breaks anothers bone by hand or club must pay 300 sesterces; for a slave, 150; if he has done simple harm against another, 25.• No dead man may be cremated nor buried in the City.• Marriages between plebeians and patricians are forbidden.• Men in the army may not wed until training is complete.• One who has brought a false claim shall be brought before three judges, and shall pay a double penalty.
The Roman system had a series of checks and balances among the different entities.• This carries over today.
Punic Wars• In 390 BC, however, Rome was sacked by the Gauls.• In response, Rome gradually expanded its power over Italy and conquered its neighbors. By 265 BC, it controls Italy and has a significant trade empire in the Mediterranean.• Its growing power naturally puts it in conflict with Carthage, the dominant Mediterranean city at the time. When interests among power conflict, war happens.• Rome and Carthage fought three different wars, called the Punic Wars because the Latin term for a Carthaginian was Punici.
• It ain’t just ancient. Compare… German U-Boat pens from World War II
First Punic War• 264-241 BC• War between Rome and Carthage was inevitable• the spark was a power struggle island Sicily. • It was under the control of Carthage, but Rome backed a rebellion and sent in its forces.
Carthage’s areas of influence before the First Punic War.
• Fighting was initially restricted to Sicily, but Rome then took the fight to Carthage. The Romans built a huge naval force of warships and troop transports and began attacking Carthage’s North African cities and countryside. • This force was eventually defeated by a Spartan mercenary general. That and Carthage regained control over Sicily. But the key was the naval battles.
• Carthage was master of the seas.• Rome, though, as usual, adapted nicely.• Romans captured a few Carthaginian ships, took them home & Copied their designs
• Carthage was master of the seas.• Rome also introduced new, improved ideas like the corvus. • The corvus was a pivoting bridge with a big spike • Romans would maneuver in close to an enemy ship, drop the bridge onto the deck of the enemy, the spike would ”bite” into its victim ship locking the two ships together. • Roman marines would then charge over the bridge to fight the enemy aboard their own ship. • It did cause some problems, though, since it made their own ship less stable . . . and difficult to separate . . . A helpful ability when the enemy ship is sinking
• Despite Rome’s efforts, bad luck played a hand.• Bad weather destroyed much of the Roman fleets• Carthage gained the advantage.• Carthaginians, thinking the war over, started demobilizing.• Rome quickly rebuilt its fleets & annihilated Carthage’s fleet.• Both sides were exhausted , both suffered heavily. Over 50,000 Romans had died & a great deal of their treasury was spent.• Both sides needed desperately for the war to be over
• Rome, could dictate terms to Carthage… and the terms were heavy.• Carthage had to give up Sicily .... and• most other of its Mediterranean islands to Rome. and• Roman prisoners were to be returned . . . but, Carthaginian prisoners had to be ransomed (or bought back $$$$ ). and . . . .• Carthage was forced to pay Rome an exorbitant sum of money 2,200 talents of gold.• (one talent is 71 pounds) = 156,200 lbs. (781 tons)• One pound of gold today costs $27,700• 4,327,640,000
• Aftermath • Rome was ruler of the seas –, the Aegean, Balearic, the Black Sea, the Ionian, the Adriaditic, . . . . • the whole dang Mediterranean. • Carthage was now second-rate. It was also humiliated. • The victor’s peace imposed upon Carthage hindered its recovery and fueled resentment, which led to . . . . • the Second Punic War.
Second Punic War• 218-202 BC• Carthage was angry over its treatment by Rome after the First Punic War.• Also, to pay off the reparations, it had to get the money from somewhere, so it expanded its power in Spain.
• The Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca began conquering Spain• He had his son Hannibal swear to “finish” Rome
• Hannibal attacked a Roman ally in Spain and made other provocative moves• Rome declared war on Carthage.
• Hannibal advanced towards Italy,• subdued people along the way by force or diplomacy.• Hannibal had 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry and some 60 war elephants.• But he did something very unexpected, he crossed over the rugged Alps … in winter.• an amazing feat - caught the Romans completely and utterly by surprise.• Romans had readied themselves to fight Hannibal in Spain - had sent their forces there.• SURPRISE !!!!
• Suddenly, the Carthaginian enemy was right in Rome’s back yard.• Hannibal picked up the support of rebellious locals• He was good at “picking his battles” - avoiding hose that were unnecessary or of no strategic advantge.• He was a military genius and the Roman generals sent out to face him . . . weren’t.• When he did fight, he wasted the Romans.
• Rome’s worst defeat, though, wasthe Battle of Cannae on 8/2/216 BC• Nearly 87,000 Romans engaged around 55,000 of Hannibal’s troops.• Rome had never before fielded such an army.• Hannibal developed a cunning plan. • He was helped by the stupidity of the Roman commander.
• Though the Romans had more soldiers and could have made a longer, flanking line of troops . . .• They instead arranged “deeper” -more lines of soldiers but stretched no longer than Hannibal’s.• The Romans’ idea was to use their superior numbers to break through Hannibal’s center.
The initial set up • Hannibal put his weaker troops in his center and his good troops on the flanks. • the Romans attacked, gradually drove back Hannibal’s center. • Just as Hannibal had hopedHannibal also had an advantage in sun and wind.
• Once the Romans drove in, the stronger Carthaginian troops on the flanks closed in• Carthaginian cavalry swung around and attacked the Roman rear.• The Roman force was completely enveloped and they were slaughtered.• Their panicked soldiers smashed in upon themselves making it impossible to maneuver – they were slaughtered
Hannibal counting therings of defeated Romanofficers that he sent backto Carthage as proof ofthe scale of his victory.
• 60,000 of the original 87,000 Roman troops were killed,• Nearly 600 Roman legionaries died per minute - all day long.• The Roman dead included: one of the two Consuls, 80 of the 300 Senators• Another 10,000 Romans were taken prisoner.• only about 17,000 made out of Cannae alive & free.• 80% of Rome’s overall military was gone!• It’s one of the greatest tactical defeats in history• as well as one of the greatest losses of life in a single day’s battle.
To compare:• U.S. WWI battle deaths: 53,402• But that’s over two years and was just 1% of total service member.• U.S. WWII battle deaths: 291,557• That’s over four years in two theaters of operation. It’s also 1.8% of the total service members• Iraq War deaths: about 3,700 so far - over 8 yrs and is about 0.3% of the total service members.• The vast majority killed not in battle but by cowardly IED bombing and sniper fire• We have won every open fire fight
After Cannae,• the Romans were terrified• didn’t know what to do.• many of Rome’s regional allies decided to side with Hannibal and Carthage.• They were also in shock. • Everyone in Rome either knew or was related to someone killed at Cannae.
• Hannibal opted not to attack Rome directly• He reasoned that a fortified city would be hard to take• Hannibal offered Rome reasonable surrender terms• Rome, in true Roman style, even though it was on the ropes, refused Hannibal’s offer.
• Rome drew up a new army, enlisting a good chunk of the male populace.• It was prohibited to speak the word ‘peace’• and only women could shed tears in public but were strongly discouraged to do so.• Instead of engaging Hannibal in battle, the Romans merely harassed him and denied him the supplies he needed.• Whenever he could get the Romans to attack, he always beat them.• So,
• Rome took the war to Carthage.• They attacked Carthaginian forces in Spain - Carthage’s main source of wealth,• Carthage responded by sending reinforcements and supplies there instead of to Hannibal.
• They also attacked Carthage’s allies -• in Sicily and Macedon.• While Hannibal was better than any Roman commander, . . .• the Romans, coninuously attacking his support system and supply lines gradually wore Hannibal down.
• Finally, Scipio, who was successful in Spain, is elected consul and he takes an army to North Africa. • Carthage recalled Hannibal from Italy in 203 BC to face the threat. • Scipio defeated Hannibal in the Battle of Zama (finally!). • Scipio comes back a hero and is given the name Scipio Africanus Major.
• On the brink of destruction, Carthage sues for peace. • Rome again imposes a victor’s peace: • Spain becomes Rome’s. • Carthage has to pay a lot in reparations. • Its navy can only have 10 ships to fight pirates. • It couldn’t raise an army without Rome’s blessing. • Carthage, once proud and powerful, is essentially reduced to a Roman client state.
• Another problem was that when a border dispute arose between Carthage and its neighbor Numidia, the Roman Senate kept finding in Numidia’s favor. • Carthage was also raising an army in order to deal with Numidian incursions. But, even though it was defensive, it was still a no-no under the terms of the treaty.• Rome also insisted on Carthage continuing to pay its annual tribute even though the reparations had, by 151 BC, all been paid back under the terms that ended the Second Punic War.
Third Punic War• 149-146 BC• Carthage might have been stripped of most of its power BUT,• its continued existence made many Romans uneasy.• They had, after all, fought two long bloody wars with Carthage• “and the enemy had been at the gates of Rome itself.”
• Some Romans openly agitated for war.• The great statesmen Cato would end his Senate speeches with “Et Carthago delenda est,” or “And Carthage must be destroyed.”• He had also traveled to Carthage in 157 BC and feared what he saw as growing prosperity there.• In a dramatic act, he flung ripe figs from a fold in his toga, declaring they had been plucked in Carthage just two day ago.• What do you think this was supposed to illustrate?
• So Rome engages in a pre-emptive war against Carthage.• It may not have been unfounded.• After the Romans got there, there were indications Carthage was rearming, especially its navy• because its harbor had been improved.
• Rome beats Carthage and the Carthaginians sue for peace.• Rome keeps giving more conditions until it finally says the population will have to move inland and Carthage will be burned.• The Carthaginians refuse,• Rome lays siege to Carthage (it lasts 3 yrs),• the Romans finally storm the city, and Carthage falls.• The city is razed taking ten days to the ground.• Those few Carthaginians who didn’t die in the siege or the city’s street to street battles are sold into slavery… about 50,000 people.
• Carthage ceases to exist• All of Carthage’s holdings becomes Roman provinces.• Rome takes full control over the western Mediterranean as well as North Africa and Spain• Who’s next?
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