Category: Education

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Livy The Threat to Rome’s Stability

Grain Famine: 

Grain Famine Rome frequently faced food shortages Cause of famine (439) was either a bad season or people not attending to their duties Controller of Supplies interrogates the public Poor people begin to drown themselves

Spurius Maelius: 

Spurius Maelius Roman Plebeian Bought grain and gave it away for free to poor Lucius Minucius (Controller of Supplies) Accuses Maelius of wanting to become king


Cincinnatus Over 80 years old, assumed the Dictatorship “Save me! The nobles have united to put me down because I was your friend.” Gaius Servilius Ahala kills Maelius

Cincinnatus’ Speech: 

Cincinnatus’ Speech Maelius was justly killed Summoned to appear and failed to do so Recalls punishment of decimvirs (rape of Verginia and Appius Claudius) and Romulus House was destroyed and site left empty as a reminder

Gaius Sempronius: 

Gaius Sempronius Described by Livy as negligent in his war preparations Consul who redeems himself by inspiring his men to fight Later put to trial for campaign and fined when the verdict goes against him


Postumia Same time Vestal is put on trial for sexual offense Livy tells us she is innocent Dressed well and talked freely Don’t tell jokes; dress like a Vestal

Manlius Marcus: 

Manlius Marcus Rome in 386 is under attack from the Gauls Climb up the Capitoline so quietly the guard does not hear Geese sacred to Juno awaken Manlius Marcus He sounds the alarm and saves the day

Rome under attack: 

Rome under attack Camillus saves Rome twice Gets title of second Romulus Why?

Why was Camillus a flawed leader?: 

Why was Camillus a flawed leader? Camillus enslaves the citizens of Veii Takes loot from city Self-imposed exile Summoned by Manlius

Rome must prevail: 

Rome must prevail Not enough to have saved Rome, but must also stop migration “Why did we save Rome from the hands of our enemies if we desert her now?” “Heaven has given us back our city”

A sense of place: 

A sense of place Augury (Romulus & Birds) days & places for sacrifices “Men of Rome, would you desert your gods?”

Significant Locations: 

Significant Locations Can Jupiter be relocated to Veii? What about Vesta’s fire? Priest of Jupiter cannot spend one night outside city walls

The Pomerium: 

The Pomerium Should Rome house the enemy? Romulus’ hut Luck of Rome

Conclusion : 

Conclusion Return to threat of kings (Spurius Maelius) Recall of Rome’s augury and sacred spaces Reminder of duty (pietas)

City is Restored: 

City is Restored Oration moves listeners Work was hurried Rebuilding is not properly planned

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