Ancient Roman Society

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Ancient Roman SocietyLecture # 2 : 

Ancient Roman SocietyLecture # 2 - THE EARLY REPUBLIC (509 - 264 BC) - - G O V E R N M E N T – REPUBLICAN IDEALS – -BREAK - - FAMILY LIFE - - WOMEN – - C H I L D R E N - - REPUBLICAN LITERATURE -

THE EARLY REPUBLIC (509 - 264 BC) : 

THE EARLY REPUBLIC (509 - 264 BC) 510/509 BC expulsion of Etruscan Kings Romans date this as 244 a.u.c.(ab urbe condita = “from the foundation of the city”) 244 + 509 = 753 BC “res publica” (commonwealth, republic) Consuls (chief magistrates) Dictator - 6 months maximum

The Legend of Horatius Cocles (“The One- Eyed”) : 

The Legend of Horatius Cocles (“The One- Eyed”) 509 BC the Etruscan king Lars Porsenna of Clusium attacked Rome Horatius defended the Pons Sublicius bridge “Tiberinus, holy father, I pray thee to receive into thy propitious stream these arms and this thy warrior."

THE EARLY REPUBLIC (509 - 264 BC) : 

THE EARLY REPUBLIC (509 - 264 BC) 471 BC Tribunes (representatives of the plebs) first elected Plebeian Council Twelve Tables (450 BC) on 2 bronze tablets put on display in the Roman Forum 493 BC Latin League “Divide & Conquer” 480 – 396 BC Veii (Etruscan city north of Rome)

The Sack of Rome : 

The Sack of Rome Gauls are tall, and blonde or red-haired (woad dipped!) Many huge, migratory tribes in France Very aggressive footsoldiers, cavalry and charioteers Heroic warfare still important Fanatics would fight naked! 390/387 sack Rome : Brennus “Vae Victis” : “Woe to the Vanquished” Capitol (citadel on Capitoline Hill)

Rome Expands After the Retreat of the Gauls : 

Rome Expands After the Retreat of the Gauls “Servian” Wall (really dates to 380's, not Servius Tullius) built ager publicus ( land belonging to the state) colonies (veteran settlement in captured territories)

The Samnite Wars : 

The Samnite Wars Samnite Wars (343 - 290 BC) 321 BC Caudine Forks : “Pass Beneath the Yolk” Via Appia : fortified road from Rome to Campania via Latium

The Samnites : 

The Samnites Herdsmen, who live in the hills east and south of Rome Huge families threaten to swamp Italy Mobile experts at mountain and rough ground fighting & skirmishing

The Pyrrhic Wars : 

The Pyrrhic Wars Tarentum King Pyrrhus of Epirus (cousin of Alexander the Great) 280 – 275 BC Pyrrhic Wars -Pyrrhus brings 25,000 veterans and battle elephants (Lucanian cows) -wins 3 “Pyrrhic Victories” & leaves 264 BC Rome is “Domina” of central and southern Italy

G O V E R N M E N T : 

G O V E R N M E N T S.P.Q.R. (The Senate and Roman People) Senate (aristocratic, 300 > 600 members) - major legislation - foreign policy - senatus consultum (decree of the Senate) Popular Assemblies (1) Curiate (30 curias): - approve adoptions, wills -bestow power on senior magistrates

G O V E R N M E N T : 

G O V E R N M E N T (2) Centuriate (193 centuries): based on wealth and military potential -80 votes for rich aristocrats -18 votes for Equestrians -rest for lesser propertied and poorer citizens -no vote for the Proletariat -rich can always outvote the poor -elect senior magistrates (Consuls, Censors and Praetors) -declare war -capital appeals court

G O V E R N M E N T : 

G O V E R N M E N T (3) Tribal Assembly (20 > 35 tribes): -4 in Rome and 31 in country - elect lower magistrates (10 Tribunes) -all socio-economic classes together -legislation -non-capital appeals court

G O V E R N M E N T(Magistrates) : 

G O V E R N M E N T(Magistrates) Plebeian Council (471 BC) plebiscite (decision of the plebs) = law, 287 BC Magistrates: -cursus honorum (senatorial career pattern) starts at age 30 -Quaestor (4) - financial, incl. provincial treasurer -Aediles (4) - in charge of streets, markets, festivals, public works -Praetor (8) – in charge of public law courts or governor -Consul (2) - chief magistrate

G O V E R N M E N T (Magistrates) : 

G O V E R N M E N T (Magistrates) -proconsul, propraetor (magistrate serving in province, whose power is extended an extra year) -Censor (2, every 5 years) - census, morals -Tribune (10) - represent plebs - sacrosanctity - veto -Dictator (1) - only in emergency (for 6 months max.) -Lictors - carry fasces


REPUBLICAN IDEALS mos maiorum (ancestral customs) gravitas (seriousness) pietas (respect for authority to the gods, state and family) religio (being “bound” to the gods) virtus (manliness, courage) fides (loyalty, faithfulness, honesty, integrity) simplicitas (plain lifestyle) clementia (calculated mercy) frugalitas (frugality)

Slide 16: 

- Break - (10 Minutes)


FAMILY LIFE familia (family) Differences between Roman and “modern” families paterfamilias (male head of the family) patria potestas (authority of the paterfamilias) genius (protective spirit) matrona (wife of the paterfamilias)


WOMEN bias of our evidence (written by men for men) role of women: - biological (childbirth, sex) - economic (dowry, household management, labour, wool-working) -supervise slaves, children high moral standard expected (otherwise could be killed) little involvement in public life (service to emperor or deity) demonstration against Oppian Law on luxury (195 BC)

SSome Notable Women : 

SSome Notable Women Cornelia (mother of the Gracchi) Laelia, Hortensia (orators) Iaia of Cyzicus (painter) Theophila (philosopher-poet, compared with Sappho) Hypatia (philosopher-mathematician) Demo (commentator on Homer) criticism of women: Juvenal's 6th satire praise of women: Quintilian; eulogy of Turia


WOMEN legal dependency: male control (father, husband, guardian) -incl. exposure, arranged marriages double standard re. adultery, citizenship home bodies, or party animals? e.g. Livy vs. Ovid; Sabine women; Lucretia; Good Goddess; Papirius (all role models) women in work force (jobs attested in inscriptions, reliefs)

C H I L D R E N : 

C H I L D R E N (sources: Pliny the Elder, Lucretius, Soranus, Quintilian, Martial, Cicero, Plutarch) Augustus' legislation to encourage children use of contraceptives strange ideas on mechanics of birth miscarriages abortion (e.g. Domitian's niece) exposure by paterfamilias adoption

C H I L D R E N : 

C H I L D R E N size of families (e.g. Germanicus, Marcus Aurelius) illegitimate children treatment of children alimenta (relief scheme for farmers and needy children) started by the Emperor Nerva


REPUBLICAN LITERATURE no Latin literature until 3rd c. BC earliest forms are just copies of Greek originals translated into Latin "Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror" (Horace) Romans enjoyed many and variety forms of literature


LUCIUS LIVIUS ANDRONICUS 284-204 BCE Greek from Tarentum Greco-Roman dramatist and epic poet Translated many Greek works into Latin “The “Father of Latin Literature” Most famous for his plays, and translation of Homer’s Odyssey into Latin


QUINTUS ENNIUS 239-169 BCE “The Father of Latin Poetry” Only fragments of his work survive, but his influence is very significant The Epicharmus discusses the nature of the gods, the universe, and heavenly enlightenment. The Annals is an epic poem of the history of Rome in verse, written in 18 books, covering the period from the fall of Troy in 1180 BCE, to the Censorship of Cato the Elder in 184 BCE


POLYBIUS 203-120 BCE Greek Historian, soldier, general, statesman, and political hostage of Rome Wrote a prose History of Rome, The Histories, covering the period 220-146 BCE A bit biased Believed that Historians must write from experience


PLAUTUS Titus Maccius Plautus 254–184 BCE Roman comedic playwright 21 of 130 plays survive (high rate!) Rude, crude, low class and populist comedian One of the first writers of musical theatre


TERENCE Publius Terentius Aper 195-159 BCE Comedic playwright Was brought to Rome as a slave by Terentius Lucanus, a senator, was educated by him and then freed when his talent was recognized All 6 of his plays survive More refined than Plautus, but less funny (more intellectual) Plagiarized others? “Fortune favors the brave” “Where there is life there is hope” “Each man to his own opinion”


MARCUS PORCIUS CATO 234-149 BCE a Roman statesman, surnamed the Censor (Censorius), the Wise (Sapiens), the Ancient (Priscus), or the Elder (Maior) “Father of Latin Prose” wrote artistic prose wrote on History, politics, agriculture and technical subjects disliked aristocrats


GAIUS LUCILIUS 160’s-103/2 BCE Roman Equestrian One of the earliest Roman satirists (the only literary form invented by the Romans) Harsh critic of people, politicians and “foreigners” Few fragments survive of his work


REPUBLICAN LITERATURE (GOLDEN AGE (1st c. BC ): Lucretius (philosophical poetry = Epicurean) Catullus (Alexandrian school of lyric poetry; Lesbia) Cicero (speeches; philosophical dialogues; letters to Atticus) Caesar (historical commentaries on Gallic and civil wars) Sallust (histories of Jugurthine war, Catiline’s conspiracy)


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem I “Julius Caesar, you’re a snot, I don’t care if you like it or not. Maybe you’re good luck, maybe you’re bad, I don’t care, now go on, and be mad.”


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem V “My Lesbia, let us live and let us love And not care two cents for old men Who sermonise and disapprove. Suns when they sink can rise again, But we, when our brief light has shone, Must sleep the long night on and on. Kiss me: a thousand kisses, then A hundred more, and now a second Thousand and hundred, and now still Hundreds and thousands more, until The thousands thousands can’t be counted And we’ve lost track of the amount And nobody can work us ill With the evil eye by keeping count.”


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem CXX “She swears she’d rather marry me Than anyone – even Jupiter, Supposing he were courting here. She swears; but what a girl will swear To the man who loves her ought to be Scribbled on water, scrawled on air.”


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem VIIIL “Lesbia spits all day against my name, And yet I’ll stake my life she loves me. Why? I curse her all the time – I’ve just the same symptoms If I don’t love her, let me die.”


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem VIIC “How do you, girl with the outsize nose, Colourless eyes, stub fingers, ugly toes, Coarse conversation and lips none too dry, Friend of the bankrupt man from Formiae. Are you the lady whom Cisapline Gaul Ranks with my Lesbia and dares to call Beautiful? O provincial generation – No taste, no culture, no imagination!”


THE LYRIC POETRY OF GAIUS VALERIUS CATULLUS Poem CXIX “Rufus, it’s no matter for surprise That no girl offers you her tender thighs, Not even though you work at undermining Virtue with gifts of rare silks and clear-shining, Mouth-watering stones. An ugly rumour harms Your reputation. Underneath your arms They say you keep a fierce goat which alarms All comers – and no wonder, for the least Beauty would never bed with that rank beast. So either kill the pest that makes the stink Or else stop wondering why the women shrink.”

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