RomanNotes - Reading Notes p. 124.5 132.5 Geography of...

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Reading Notes p. 124.5 – 132.5Geography of ItalyoRome – Tiber river on one side and double ring of seven hills on otheroApennine range forms spine through Italy, separates into coastal plainsoAlps – shield on northoMany of rivers are navigableoMild Mediterranean climate allows for long growing season and variety ofcropsoWell forested hillsides, northwest rich in metalsoAmple arable land = has fertile volcanic soilSocial StatusoMain economic activity was agricultureLand = basis of wealthoSocial status, political privilege, fundamental values were related tolandownershipoMajority of early Romans were independent farmers with small plots oflandoSmall # of families obtained large tracts of landBecame members of “Council of Elders”Dominant role in politics, constituted senatorial class507 BCE, members of senatorial class, led by Brutus, overthrew last king andcreated theRoman Republico507-31 BCEoNOT a democracyoPower was split between many assembliesVotes of upper class white males mattered more than those ofpoorer citizensCivic officials were elected each year, hierarchy evolvedHighest position – one of two consulsoCenter power wasRoman SenateTechnically an advisory council, Senate made policy and governedMembers served for life, brought together the state’s wealth,influence, and political and military experienceUnrest and conflict between elite and commoners (patricians and plebeians)oKnown as Conflict of OrdersoPlebeians would refuse to work or fight or withdraw from city to pressurethe elite to make concessionsOne result = check on arbitrary decisions by judicial officialsTribunes – officials elected by and from the lower classesHad power to veto any action of Assembly or patriciansthat they deemed against interests of lower classesMore Social StatusoFamily – many generations, headed by oldest living male – paterfamilias
oPatron/client relationship– clients sought help of men ofwealth/influencePatron provided legal advice and representation, physicalprotection, loans of moneyClient must follow patron into battle, support him in politics, workon his land, contribute to dowry of his daughtero“Inequality turned into a system of mutual benefits and obligations.”WomenoAlways seen as children in eyes of lawoAlways under jurisdiction of paterfamilias (her family or husband’s)oMust depend on male guardian to advocate her interestsoProbably less constrained than in GreeceoGained greater personal protection and economic freedomSome took advantage of form of marriage that left woman underjurisdiction of her own father, and independent after his deathMany stories of strong women with great influencePoetry for women who were educated and outspokenReligionoInvisible, shapeless forces known asnuminaoVesta – living energy of fire, dwelled in hearthoOther deities resided nearby in multiple placeso

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Term
Spring
Professor
Elliot
Tags
World History, Land, Empire, Roman state, central gov t

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