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1)From Republic to Empire

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Ideological agenda of Livy’s History
- national mythology to celebrate Rome’s imperial destiny
- Unifying history to glamorize Rome
- Livy lived in Rome. Writing around 26 BCE, when the republic collapsed
- Rome deserved a divine origin leading to the story of Romulus.
Rhea Silva
- she-wolf that heard the children crying and made her way to where they were
- offered them teats to suck and treated them with gentleness
Remus and Romulus
- twins who almost did not survive infancy because of an evil uncle abandoned them by the flooded Tiber River, expecting them to drown or die of exposure
- Romulus founded the city of Rome and established himself as its first king
- Conflict as the brothers were twins and all question of seniority was thereby precluded, they determined to ask the gods of the countryside to declare by augury which of them should govern the new town once it was founded, and give his name to it.
- Remus was killed during the test of who was more fit. This was how Romulus obtained the sole power.
- Romulus’ resurrection
- Descends from heaven says Rome should pursue its military destiny to become world’s greatest empire
Temple of Janus
- serve as a visible sign of the alternations of peace and war
- if doors of the temple open, Rome is at war
- if doors are closed, Rome is not at war
- If doors are only closed twice, Rome is dependent upon expansion
Rome’s Etruscan Legacy
- Etruscans: dynamic people who dominated Italy between 8th to 5th century BCE
- Migrated from Anatolia to Italy
- Expanded to Tuscany to the Po River valley to the region around modern Naples
- Thriving cities, metallurgy, and sea trade
- Late 6th century BCE: defeated by Greeks
- Etruscan merchants drew traffic to Rome and influenced its early development
- When Rome was a monarchy, the first several kings were Etruscan.
Sabine women
- Abduction of Sabine Women
o Romulus created festival in order to attract wives, runaways, and vagabonds from other societies.
o When the show began, Roman able bodied men burst through the crowd and seized the young women.
- Reorganized army units, so that each company should consist of Roman and Latin troops in equal numbers, under the command of a Roman centurion.
- Lawless and tyrannical as a monarch, but a fine war leader
- Began the long two hundred years of war with the Volscians
Sextus Tarquinius
- Youngest son of Tarquin
- Was sent to Gabii in the assumed character of a fugitive from the intolerable cruelty of his father.
- Was admitted to the Gabii’s council of state was the leader of the issue of war with Rome.
- Began series of raids on roman territory and war was declared against Rome.
- Thought that Sextus had been sent from heaven to lead them to victory and became an absolute leader of Gabii.
- Sextus sent a messenger to Rome to ask his father what step he should next take and he saw that Tarquin was hitting off poppy-heads with his stick. Sextus interprets this act to kill nobles of Gabii. (thus annexing gabii)
Rape of Lucretia
- Sextus Tarquinius raped Lucretia
- Killed herself after the rape
- Brutus, Lucretias father, with a armed body of volunteers marched for Ardea to rouse the army to revolt. Army of Rome turned to Brutus instead of Tarquin.
- Sent Tarquin and his sons into exile. Sextus was exiled to his old Gabii and was assassinated
- another sacrificial token in the realization of Rome’s destiny
- set Rome on path to republic
- end of monarchy, shift to republic in 509 BCE
- two new consuls were voted- Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquininus Collatinus
Two Consul System
- Two Consul System
o Despotic power
o Absolute imperium over military affairs
o Elected to one year terms
o Each could veto others decisions
o Called meetings of 2 other branches
o Aristocratic power
o Served for life
o Advisory Council
o Managed treasury, dispersed funds
o Settled disputes between colonies
o Public investigation
o Business was settled in Senate
o Democratic power
o Sole fountain of honor and punishments
o Moral authority
o Ratified treaties
o Tribunes of Plebes
• Represent Plebians
• Enacted power of Veto
Patricians vs Plebians and Tribune of the Plebes
- Plebeians threatened to secede from Rome and establish a rival settlement because the relations between the classes became so stained
- To maintain order, the patricians granted plebeians the rights to elect officials known as tribunes who represented their interests in the govt.
- Originally 2 but changed to two.
- Patricians still dominated Rome and tensions between classes persisted for as long as the republic survived
- Plebeians became eligible to hold all state offices and one of the consuls come from their ranks.
- Because of the tensions between class, the Romans appointed an official or dictator who wielded absolute power for a term of six months
Sumptuary laws regarding rites
- prevented any commoner from participating in state religious rituals
- Commoners had to attend to hold office
- It prevented the Plebians from holding office.
- Flawed checks and balances
o Ruling class checking itself
o Corruption, graft, self-serving foreign policy, economic excess
Punic Wars
- Between 264 and 146 BCE
- Fought three devastating conflicts with Carthage
- Conflict arose from economic competition. Ex. Sicily- most important source of grain
- Romans conquered the Carthaginian city and burned it to the ground and forced 50,000 people into slavery
- Used Carthaginian resources to finance imperial expansion
- Between 215 and 148 BCE Rome fought five major wars, mostly in Macedon and Anatolia
- Romans did not annex lands but rather entrusted them to allies.
Gracchi Brothers
- chief proponents of social and economic reform in the Roman republic
- thought that root of the trouble lay in the plight of the Roman farmer, once the backbone of the Republic and now a man without work
- worked to limit the amount of conquered land that any individual could hold
- those whose lands exceeded the limit would lose some of their property which officials would then allocate to small farmers
- Tiberius Gracchus elected Tribune in 134
o proposed ideas to make land more fairly shared
- Gaius Gracchus
o Wanted to grant citizenship to colonists
o Insisted that jurors be from outside Senate
o Forced to commit suicide
- Wealthy and ruling classes considered them dangerous radicals and had them both assassinated basically
- Ideas of Gracchi bros showed that constitution of t he Roman republic originally designed for a small city state might not be suitable for a growing empire.
- Formal political power remained in the hands of privileged class of people.
- Conquered lands fell larely into the hands of wealthy elites who organized enormous plantations known as latifundia
- Because they enjoyed economies of scale and often emplyed slave labor, owners of latifundia operated at lower costs than did owners of smaller holdings, who often had to sell out their land
- Public lands were monopolized by nobility
- Disenfranchised farmers
- made up for the most part of patricians and well to do plebeians
- conservative outlooks
- Represented common people
- liberal outlooks
- newly important social class or knights
- most of them were merchants, members of a large and politically ambivalent middle class whose views were in the middle
- kept Roman political life in the state of ferment
Marius and Sulla
- Gaius Marius
o Equestrian who supported the populares was eleceted consul
o Attacked the nobles
o Held consulship 6 times
o Permitted non property holders to enlist and furnished them with weapons
o Advocated redistribution of land
o During the civil war, Marius placed Rome under military occupation and hunted down his political enemies
- Lucius Cornelius Sulla
o Veteran of several foreign campaigns who allied with the conservative aristocratic classes.
o Tried to curb power back to the Senate
o His enemies were condemned to death and power of Senate was strengthened
o Brutal motherfucker. Killed everything and everyone
• Ground overflowed with blood
- During Sulla’s absence from Rome killing off Mithridates and its allies, Marius came back and killed many of Sullas friends.
- Sulla came back and killed Marius’s 6000 followers.
- Sulla became absolute dictator
First Triumvirate (Pompey, Julius Caesar, Crassus)
- did not plan to seize the govt but control the distribution of choice offices and military commands
- Pompey got recognition for his victories
- Caesar was given command of Gaul
- Crassus was able to take the field against the Parthians
- Crassus death lead to open conflict between Pompey and Caesar
Crossing the Rubicon
- ignoring the Senates order to disband his army and open violation of the law, Caesar crossed the river Rubicon, the southern limit of his military command. It was clear that he meant to march on Rome.
- Caesar attacked and defeated Pompey in the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC.
- Pompey was stabbed to death.
Julius Caesar’s reforms as dictator
- mechanics for a stronger more efficient administrative system
- undertook extensive colonization projects
- provided work for the poor
- extended Roman citizenship to peoples in the imperial provinces
- confiscated property form conservatives and distributed it to his army and his supporters
- tightened the laws against crimes
- planned a highway across Italy and Gave Rome and the Western civilization the Julian calendar.
- Wanted absolute power so he was stabbed to death by the conspirators in the Senate.
Second Triumvirate (Octavian, Mark
Antony, Lepidus)
- two of Caesar’s heirs – Octavian and Mark Antony
- Mark Antony seized power even though it was Octavians right
- Octavian wanted the consulship so he forced his election to the office with his army. He formed an alliance with Antony and another of Caesar’s top lieutenants, Lepidus.
- These three ruled the empire, Antony taking command of the east, Octavian the west, and Lepidus Africa. Shared control of Italian homeland
- Uneasy coalition became intense
- Octavian ousted Lepidus and took over the African provinces, at the same taking sole control of Italy.
- Antony rejected his legal wife, Octavian’s sister, and married Cleopatra.
o Lead to complete alienation between the two leaders
- Octavian declared war on Antony and Cleopatra and defeated them in the battle of Actium.
- Actium ended the civil war that plagued Rome for a century
- Also ended the republic
- Octavian provided a strong central authority.
Pompey the Great
- took over after Sulla died
- Great general, Sulla’s most trusted lieutenants
- Restoring the tribunes former authority
- Defeated Mithridates of Pontus
- Expected to be recognized for his feats but Senate refused to honor his deeds
- Pompey then formed a secret alliance with Caesar and Crassus
- The unofficial coalition became the First Triumvirate
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