Classics 20 Discovering the Romans
Origins of Rome: Myths and History
Etruria, in northern Italy, ruled by the Etruscans, separated by Lower Gaul
by Alps. Latium, run by Latins and Sabines, located in central Italy, with Campania, run
by Greeks and Ocans, located in southern Italy. Apennine’s divide Italy vertically.
Found post holes and Iron Age huts. Found Etruscan funeral urns,
remnants of Roman palazzos, hill founded by Romulus.
Livy (Titus Livius)
: Born Padua (Patavium) 59BC, wrote “The Rise of Rome”, outlined
the origins of Rome, while keeping in context with Civil war and leadership by Augustus.
Presents the “politically correct view”, and then the more likely account.
. Warrior at Troy who flees to Latium after
defeat by Greeks. Marries
, has son
who founds Alba Longa. He has
. Rivalry leads Amulius to usurp thrown, God of war
Mars rapes Numitor’s daughter
, has twin sons;
Left on bank of Tiber, saved by a wolf, found by a herdsman
Romulus and Remus
: Have joint power, dispute over location of capitol of city. Remus
breeches Romulus’s walls, and is murdered. Romulus finishes building his city, Rome, on
the Palatine hill. Ruled as king, began all institutions, and was either slain by the senate,
or disappeared mysteriously.
Rape of the Sabines
: Romulus invites Sabines to a festival and claims the women for
themselves because of few Roman women. Battles stopped by Sabine women, who
convinced both sides for truce. Sabines and Rome became allies with joint leadership.
Family, Religion and Society
The father and Head of the household. Had legal rights over the children,
could whip, imprison, sell, or kill. Could free salves, must be Roman, and one per house.
Group of families who shared a common belief or ancestor. Most were centered
around family, but became politically oriented later. Aristocratic gentes had all political,
religious, and military power.
was the first name, and common name. The
the surname of the family, usually ending in “ius”, and the
used to identify a
nickname, achievement, or insult. Women took family name, with cognomen if plural.
Patronus and Clients:
A relationship between Patrons and clients, in which they had
mutual obligations to each other. Patrons gave plebs economic and political protection,
and plebs gave patrons contributions.
Patrician and Plebeian
: “The struggle of the Orders”(450BC – 287BC, political struggle
between plebs and patricians. Plebs sought for equality for 200 years, created tribunes
and Council of Plebs, even settled by
which gave equal weight to the laws
of the Senate AND the council of Plebs.