Ancient Rome

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Ancient Rome

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION <ul><li>Rome was the culmination of ancient civilization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It consolidated and improved the entire heritage of the ancient world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everything great that the ancient civilizations had achieved reached their peak of their development under the Romans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On the other hand, all that was negative about ancient civilization also reached its highest state of development with the Romans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slavery, inequality, political violence, technological backwardness, and moral ambiguity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The entire development of ancient civilization reached its peak with Rome </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With its collapse in the 5 th century AD, a new civilization (partly based on the remnants of Roman civilization) would gradually develop in its place </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. PROBLEMS WITH SOURCES I <ul><li>Titus Livius (Livy) wrote entire book on the prehistory of the Latin people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written 500 years after the fact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used work of annalists as main source of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Annalists were individuals who recorded past events in chronological order </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But the earliest known annalists lived and worked around 220 BC </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hundreds of years after the events they listed </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. PROBLEMS WITH SOURCES II <ul><li>Other sources were writings by Greeks and Etruscans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information was only incidental and fragmentary since Rome was not their primary interest </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Written documents by early Romans themselves were also probably used </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing was not used by Romans before 500 BC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rome was also sacked by Gauls in 390 BC and most public records were destroyed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Some private documents could be found in archives of the great families </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But family pride often resulted in the production of exaggerated or false documents regarding their past achievements </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. A WORD OF CAUTION <ul><li>Ancient historians like Livy had a big problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His state had become the most powerful in ancient world and it had to have a history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mythology and legend had already moved in the fill the gap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But dependable and continuous information about the Romans was scarce for the period before 390 BC </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>800 years had to be accounted for but historians like Livy did the best they could </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But the scarcity and unreliabliity of documents, records, stories, and lists they found meant they could not be accepted at face value </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modern methodologies have been used the information provided by Livy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But yawning gaps still persist and intelligent speculation must often substitute for data-based analysis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. EARLY ITALY <ul><li>Indo-European immigrants merged with Neolithic original people in Italy over thousands of years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resulted in appearance of different Italian tribes scattered throughout the peninsula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ligurians in the north, Venetians along northeast coast, Latins on the west coast, Sabellian tribes in south and center, and Samnites in the mountains of the east </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. GREEKS IN ITALY <ul><li>Set up colonies in southern Italy and Sicily at end of the Dark Age </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oldest Greek colony was Cumae </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other colonies were Syracuse, Sybaris, Croton, and Tarentum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each was an independent city-state </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main economic activity was agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly squabbled among themselves but all also supported highly developed arts and crafts, literature and philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greek cultural activity radiated throughout the Italian peninsula </li></ul>
  7. 7. ETRUSCANS <ul><li>Inhabited Etruria </li></ul><ul><li>Enigmatic people </li></ul><ul><li>12 cities were independent and individualistic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often disagreed with each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had of religious cohesion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Believed their was a powerful and inseparable relationship between heaven, earth, and hell </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vital organs of sacrificed animals could reveal the imprint of both past and future events </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interpreting organs of animals became a ritual for Etruscans and it would be adopted and highly valued by the Romans </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. ETRUSCAN INNOVATIONS <ul><li>Cities originally ruled by kings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But monarchs replaced by annually elected magistrates in 600s BC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most important was zilath </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Model for Roman republican office of consul </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other legacies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purple-bordered robe worn by consuls and triumphant generals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Throne </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lictors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fasces (bundle of rods around an axe) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept of imperium </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. ETRUSCAN INFLUENCE <ul><li>The “Etruscan” nation was a collection of individual cities primarily interested in trade-generated commercial wealth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At the height of Etruscan influence during the 700-600s BC, their culture and influence extended north of Etruria into Po Valley and southward into Campagna </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cities in these regions were conquered by roving freebooters and populated by surplus people from the cities in Etruria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rome was taken over in this manner during this time </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. ETRUSCAN DECLINE <ul><li>Etruscan power began to decline in the 400s BC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lost cities in Campagna to Samnites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gauls captured cities in the Po Valley </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempt by Gauls to capture Etruria itself weakened economy and hastened decline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drifted into insignificance, the victims of economic deterioration, increasing social unrest, and, after 300 BC, Roman aggression </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. ETRUSCAN LEGACY <ul><li>Etruscans taught Romans quite a bit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To surround their officials with pomp and symbols of power and numerous special prerogatives and duties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Art of surveying and carefully designing street patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knack for capturing the particular and unique in art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even some names </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family names like Tullius and names of many gods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practice of augury </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. EARLY ROMANS <ul><li>Descended from an Italian tribe known as the Latins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their territory, Latium, was bordered by Tiber River on the north, the sea on the west, foothills of the Apennine Mountains on east and south </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not particularly desirable territory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coastal area was malarial swamp, subject to periodic flooding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drier backcountry experienced severe volcanic activity until 800 BC </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. LATIN ORGANIZATION <ul><li>Early Latins were herdsmen who practiced agriculture on the side </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organized themselves into clans, each with its own little bit of territory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Within each territory was a town or village, usually located on the top of a hill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each town originally had its own chieftain but many later discarded their kings in favor of an annually-elected dictator </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. FOUNDING OF ROME <ul><li>In the mid-700s, a Latin clan established a new settlement on the Palatine Hill </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of several hills that overlooked a bend in the Tiber River </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roman legend attributed the founding of this village to Romulus and Remus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twin grandsons of the king of Alba Longa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orphaned when young and raised by a wolf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Later adopted by a shepherd who grazed his sheep on Palatine Hill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Later remembered it as adults and selected it as site of settlement </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. EARLY SETTLEMENTS <ul><li>Good strategic and economic reasons for selection of site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defensible, well-watered, accessible to the Italian interior, and it commanded only feasible bridgehead across the lower Tiber River </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also astride a number of natural routes to other parts of Italy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Within a few years, new settlers created villages on other nearby hills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly Latin settlements but two were Sabine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land that was ultimately become the Forum was used as a common cemetery by the villages </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. SEPTIMONTIUM <ul><li>In 600s BC, the seven villages on the hills of Rome formed a loose-knit league for either mutual protection or cooperation in exploiting pastureland </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Called the Septimontium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each village still retained its own chieftain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ruled with the advice of the heads of all familites in the village </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Powers limited by tradition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If he proposed anything new, it had to be approved by an assembly of all men of military age before it became law </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. RELIGION <ul><li>Religious practices based on worship of spiritual forces that controlled natural phenomenon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not go in much at this time for idolatry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their gods at this time did not have concrete form </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It was the job of the king to maintain the health and prosperity of his people by appeasing these spirits </li></ul>
  18. 18. ETRUSCAN TAKEOVER <ul><li>Latium attracted the Etruscans because control of region would give them a direct overland route between Etruria and the cities of Campagna </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Etruscan overlords took control of the Septimontium in the mid-500s BC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domination began with the appearance of adventurers with small contingents of supporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gained chieftainship of villages through their superiority in arms and the glamour of their advanced culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rome would be controlled for the next 100 years by Etruscan adventurers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tarquin the Elder, Tarquin the Proud, Servius Tullius, and Lars Porsenna </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. CREATION OF RUMAN <ul><li>Etruscan overlords also took the scattered villages of the Septimontium and made them into a little city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Named it Ruman (city of the river) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surrounded it with fortifications and drained the marsh which ultimately became the Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced political and economic stature of the place and its population grew rapidly with an influx of artisans and merchants from other places in Italy </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. EARLY POLITICAL LIFE <ul><li>Latins grouped clans into curiae (geographic districts) </li></ul><ul><li>Septimontium grouped three tribes into 30 curiae </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Etruscans divided city into four tribes and 30 curiae </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Etruscans also introduced more formal methods of combat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Replaced old haphazard Latin style by organizing all residents of Rome for military service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on their ability to arm themselves instead of their family or clan connections </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would also ultimately provide foundation for Centuriate Assembly later </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. CURIATE ASSEMBLY <ul><li>During Etruscan period, Romans had Curiate Assembly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each of the 30 curiae had one vote in this assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determined by majority vote within each curiae </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Function was to give advice to the king, ratify his proposals, and witness certain religious rituals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would be retained by Roman Republic where its main function would be to bestow imperium (the right to act on behalf of the state) on political leaders </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. GROWTH <ul><li>Commercial and manufacturing activity increased dramatically in Rome during Etruscan period </li></ul><ul><li>Public games (horse and chariot racing) introduced in area that would become site of Circus Maximus </li></ul><ul><li>Forum was made habitable by contruction of drainage system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Later became famous Cloaca Maxima </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foreign artists and large numbers of immigrant craftsmen and merchants moved to city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most settled in Viscus Tuscus commercial district </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. PATRICIAN RESENTMENT <ul><li>New commercial immigrants found it difficult to assimilate with the old Latin families </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who based their wealth on ownership of land and who had in the old days served as advisors to Latin kings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Etruscans set up special guilds for immigrants, allowed them to serve in army, and employed them on public works projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As a result, they identified their loyalty, safety, and well-being with Etruscan kings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not with Latin landowning elite (patricians) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patricians resented the Etruscans for giving newcomers so much attention and aid </li></ul>
  24. 24. EXPULSION OF THE ETRUSCANS <ul><li>According to Roman legend, the last Etruscan ruler, Tarquin the Proud, was expelled in 509 BC because of his arrogance and acts of immorality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The precise date is probably inaccurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But other evidence indicates that it happened around that time </li></ul></ul></ul>Tarquin the Proud
  25. 25. PATRICIANS WIN <ul><li>Main beneficiaries of the overthrow of Etruscan rule were the patricians </li></ul><ul><li>Most likely scenario was that patricians took advantage of military reverse suffered by Tarquin the Proud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overthrew him and expelled his supporters from city </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then established system of government based partly on Latin traditions and partly on the emergence of new conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to support and perpetuate their superior position in Roman society </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Would lead to creation of Roman Republic </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Rome would then move on and gradually take over all the other people of Italy Long, slow, difficult process and Roman success was by no means guaranteed Conquest of Italy took over 100 years and Rome suffered some serious setbacks in the process But through hard work, perserverence, and luck, Rome did it

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