Ancient Rome - Evelyn Shuckburgh - ebook

                To write the history of a great people during a course of more than seven hundred years in about as many pages is a task of which the difficulty, best appreciated by those who have attempted it, may not unfairly plead for leniency of construction. No one can be more conscious than the author of such a book that there are many things that had better have been otherwise than they are; that expansion would have been advisable here and compression there; that much is to be said against some views that he has adopted as true, and much in favour of others that he has passed by or rejected. Such a writer can only plead that he has used his judgment honestly, and studied his authorities with such diligence and intelligence as he possessed; and that neither space nor the purpose of his book admitted of frequent or lengthy discussions on disputed points.                As it was my object to present in as vivid a manner as possible the wonderful story of the gradual extension of the power of a single city over so large a part of the known world, I have dwelt perhaps sometimes at too great length on the state of the countries conquered and the details of their conquest. But Vergil saw that the keynote of Roman history was parcere subjectis et debellare superbos, and it is impossible, I think, that a history of Rome and her mission in the world can be other than a warlike one. The Republic won what the Empire organised; and as each province was added some new principle of management was evolved which has had to be noticed at the time. I have, however, treated in separate chapters the internal development of the State up to the time of the Gracchi. The constitutional changes after that time are so closely entangled with foreign affairs that it is hardly possible to treat them so entirely by themselves. Yet I have attempted to set them forth clearly in the course of my narrative, along with some indication of the development of literature and the change of social habits. By the mechanical means of printing at the head of the chapters the names and dates of Italian colonies, provinces, and numbers of the census, I have tried to draw attention to the gradual expansion of the people and their Empire.

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Evelyn Shuckburgh


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Copyright © 2016 by Evelyn Shuckburgh

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ISBN: 9781518357305








ROME AND VEII, 482-395


























WARS IN SPAIN, 155-133


THE GRACCHI, 133-121















THE CONSOLIDATION OF ITALY – Four periods of Roman History: I. Rise of the city; II. Conquest of Italy; III. The growth of a foreign dominion; IV. Civil wars, leading to the rule of a single Emperor – The place of Roman in universal history – Its continuity.

WHEN, after the victories at Philippi in 42, Antony and Octavian were settling the division of the Roman world between them, among the provinces to be allotted no mention, we are told, was made of Italy. They assumed that everything they had been doing had been done, not to gain possession of Italy, but in behalf of the authority of Italy over the rest of the Empire.

Now when Rome first appears as a corporate town it had only a small territory, probably not more than five miles in extent in any direction. Its history should teach us how it came to pass that Italy could thus be spoken of as constituting the Roman State and not merely the city of Rome: how first the city on the Palatine absorbed other townships and became Rome of the Seven Hills; how Rome of the Seven Hills secured dominion first over all Latium and then over all Italy; how farther it was led step by step to extend its power over Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, Africa, Spain and Gaul in the West, and eastward to Illyricum, Macedonia, Greece, Asia Minor, and Syria.

The time was to come when, one man being at the head of the State, all these countries and more were to be combined into one great Empire, in which all free inhabitants possessed equal rights of citizenship. But for a long time the peoples of the countries external to Italy remained in the position of conquered subjects, retaining indeed certain local freedoms and in many cases even their native rulers, but being really subject to men of another race, who ruled and did not amalgamate with them.

With Italy the case was different. There too the supremacy of Rome was the consequence of success in war, and there too local freedom and local forms of government often continued to exist. But not only was it covered with a network of colonies, in which the settlers retained the full rights of Roman citizens, or the partial rights known under the name of Latinitas, but its native races were also gradually organised under a form of government which tended more and more to uniformity, until after the Social war the lex Julia (89) gave the full Roman citizenship to all the cities of Italy below a line marked by the river Rubicon on the east and the Macra on the west. The conquest of Italy by the Romans, therefore, may in one point of view be rather called the consolidation of all Italians within this limit into one nation.

Yet historical continuity was preserved by the fact that Italians possessed the sovereign rights of a nation over the subject provinces, not as Italians, but as cives Romani. For though Italy became in a certain sense a nation, with a capital city, yet Rome was more than a modern capital. The idea of the urban state was strictly maintained. The magistrates, whether possessing or not the full powers included under the word imperium, could not be elected elsewhere; laws could only be passed there; treaties and conditions of peace must be confirmed there. At Rome alone could the Senate properly meet; and from Rome came all regulations for the provinces and all provincial governors. Even when the government became practically vested in the person of one man, the ancient forms of election were for some time maintained; the names and some of the functions of the republican magistrates were still unaltered; the authority of the Emperor was the sum of the powers of various city magistrates vested in a single man for life; and though both Augustus and Tiberius, in fact, conducted the affairs of their great Empire at their sole discretion, the government was still directed in theory by the Senatus populusque Romanus.

The abolition by Tiberius of the empty form of popular election marks the completion of the first step in a change which was gradually to reduce the position of Rome to that of a modern capital, in which the chief seat of government is placed for convenience, though nothing is held to prevent the highest functions from being bestowed and exercised elsewhere; and which later, when (in the words of Tacitus) the secret had long been revealed “that an Emperor could be created elsewhere than in Rome,” was to lower it still more almost to the level of a provincial city, seldom if ever visited by the Emperor, and whose Senate had little more power than that of an ordinary town council.

This, however, was long after the period included in this book. Our history up to the reign of Tiberius falls naturally into four periods. First, the development of the city on the Palatine into Rome, and the extension of its territory in Latium. Secondly, Rome’s gradual annexation of all Italy. Thirdly, the acquisition of a wide foreign dominion outside Italy; and its government of the dominion when acquired. Side by side with this we shall have to trace the changes in the government of Rome itself: first under kings, next under a republic which, beginning as a close oligarchy of birth, passes to an oligarchy of wealth; thence to a system of apparent equality, which through various corruptions induces a series of civil wars leading to our fourth period, in which power became centred in the person of one man, though with many of the republican forms still maintained.

The interest of the first two periods is confined to Italy. In the two last Roman history takes its place in the line of universal history. From the gradual disruption of the great Empire won and civilised by the Romans the modern countries of Europe have mostly sprung, many of them still Latin in speech, in law, and habits. As their lands are still marked by Roman works, temples, roads, and walls, so, where the deluge of barbarian invasion has not succeeded in wiping out its traces, the peoples of modern Europe still bear indelible marks of Roman rule. Thus Roman history is not an isolated episode; it supplies the true origines of modern history, without which much of it must be unintelligible.

There is also an inner continuity, a necessary connexion between the periods of Roman history itself. The Republic is not fully intelligible without a knowledge of the traditions of the kingly period; nor the Imperial system without a knowledge of the struggles, reforms, failures, and victories of the Republic. Many of the enactments in the famous body of Roman law, the foundation of modern jurisprudence, were passed in the time of the Republic. Many of the questions touching the relations of citizens to each other and to the State were settled in the struggles between rich and poor, privileged and unprivileged, patrician and plebeian. In this point of view the “fall of the Republic” is a somewhat misleading phrase. In a sense the Republic did not fall in the time of Augustus or his successors. Though their powers and function were altered or curtailed the old magistrates were still appointed; the old laws were still in force; and the absolute powers of the Emperor were generally exercised under cover of an authority resting on the exercise of the functions of consul, censor, or tribune. He was tacitly assumed to be the chosen of the people and to represent in his person the authority of the old populus Romanus, to whom, therefore, that appeal against the decision of other magistrates was addressed, which was regarded as the chief safeguard of a citizen’s rights.

Outside Italy the Emperor was supreme in precisely the same way – by absorbing, that is, the functions of the proconsuls or propraetors of former times. Here there was even less break of continuity. These governors had continued to do really what the consuls had originally done at home, but had long ceased to do. They commanded armies, sat as judges, collected taxes. These things continued to be done by representatives of the Emperor, who was head of the army and had control of the public purse, and was the ultimate court of appeal.

Thus the successive periods of Roman history are inextricably connected. The magistrates divided among them the powers once exercised by a single king; the Emperor combined again the powers of the magistrates in his single person. The conquests of one generation led inevitably to the conquests of the next. The civil difficulties of one period were the inheritance from the difficulties or mistakes of that which preceded. No period must be omitted if we wish to understand any.



THE LIE OF THE ITALIAN peninsula – The ancient limitation of the name – Its subsequent enlargement, first, about B.C. 280, up to the Rubicon, and secondly, in the time of Augustus, up to the Alps – The parcelling out of the peninsula by the Apennines – The different character of the Apennines in the centre and south of Italy – Their contiguity to the sea, and the consequent fewness of important rivers – On the north of the Apennines. Gallia Cisalpina; on the west, Etruria, Latium, Campania; on the east, the Senones, Picenum, Pratutiani, Vestini, Marrucini, Frentani, Apulia, Calabria; in the centre, Umbria, Samnium (=Sabini, Marsi, Samnites), Picentini: continued into Lucania and Bruttium – Effect of the geographical formation on the history of Italy, early causing a struggle between highlanders and men of the plain.

OF the three great Mediterranean peninsulas, that which has for more than two thousand years been known as Italy lies between 46° 10′ and 37° 50′ N. latitude. It slopes so much to the south-east that whereas its north-western frontier is only a little more than 5°, its south-eastern extremity is more than 16° east of the meridian of Greenwich. Its natural boundaries are the Alps on the north and north-west, and the sea on all other parts.

This is Italy as we know it, and as the Romans regarded it from about B.C. 27. But for a long time this name was not applied to by any means all the peninsula. Within historical knowledge it had belonged to only a small part of it, south of a line drawn from about Metapontum on the gulf of Tarentum to Paestum, nearly fifty miles south of Naples, including the districts afterwards called Lucania and Bruttium; and perhaps earlier still was confined to the latter of these two.

Again, it was not until the time of Augustus that the basin of the Po was reckoned, except in colloquial language, a part of Italy. All between the Alps and the Apennines was known by separate names, derived from its inhabitants – Liguria, Gallia, Venetia; or was spoken of by the general term Gallia Cisalpina. The official frontier of Italy was first the Aesis, and then the Rubicon on the east, and the Macra, just above Luna, on the west, the Apennines filling up the line between the two streams.

This part of the peninsula, then, from the Rubicon to the southern extremities, had obtained the name Italia from about the time of the invasion of Pyrrhus (281-275), and it is in this sense we shall speak of it until its extension to the Alps in the time of Augustus. But until about the time of Pyrrhus it seems not to have been spoken of by this general term. The various divisions, such as Etruria, Umbria, Samnium, and the like, were specified; and if the name Italia was used, it referred to the southern portion already described as below the line between Paestum and Metapontum.

The entire peninsula is roughly portioned off by the ramifications of the Apennines. From their point of junction with the Maritime Alps – somewhere about Vada Sabbata – the Apennines stretch across the country in a direction nearly parallel to the Po, almost to the shore of the Adriatic, a little north of Ariminum, about the parallel 44° N. latitude. Then, leaving Gallia Cisalpina to the north, they bend to the south, and run in a direction roughly parallel to the eastern shore of Italy to about 42° N. latitude, the eastern slopes leaving a district between themselves and the sea averaging about forty miles in breadth, while the average distance between the western slopes to the Tyrrhenian sea is about double that distance. Thus the district of ETRURIA is left on the west, intersected indeed by less elevated mountains, but embracing also considerable plains and several lakes of importance. From 42° N. latitude the mountains take a more westerly direction, enclosing between themselves and the sea the broad undulating plain of LATIUM and CAMPANIA, and then, still bending westward, spread out through the whole of LUCANIA and BRUTTIUM, from Metapontum to the promontory of Leucopetra, leaving on the east the great lowlands of APULIA and CALABRIA. The south-west range, thus running to the toe of Italy, was called Sila, and was looked upon as ending with Leucopetra, but it is truly continued by the mountains of Northern Sicily, the Montes Nebrodes (monti di Madonia), which, like the Sila, are moderate in elevation and covered with forest.

One consequence of the peculiar configuration of the Apennines is that, forming as they do the watershed of the peninsula, they are too near to either sea to allow of many great or important rivers. The Arnus, the Tiber, the Liris, and the Volturnus are the only considerable streams on the west; while on the east no river of any importance, south of the Po, falls into the Adriatic until 41° 20′

N. latitude, where the Aufidus, with its affluents, after a course of some length from the eastern slopes above Mount Voltur, finds its way to the sea. Still, from the eastern slopes of the Apennines at least fifteen other streams fall into the Adriatic, which at certain times of the year are formidable torrents, bringing down considerable volumes of water.

Again in Central Italy the Apennines (mod. Abruzzi) are very lofty, and form a true mountain country, with upland valleys, tablelands, and passes; but in the south they are not nearly so lofty, except in the case of some isolated peaks; and thus Lucania (Oenotria) and Bruttium (Italia), though still to be called mountainous districts, are neither so wild nor so rugged as Central Italy. Their shores, indeed, form a district proverbial for its beauty and pleasantness, and were so fringed with Greek colonies that they acquired the name of MAGNA GRAECIA.

To sum up the general facts of Italian geography. The natural divisions into which the peninsula falls are – (1) The basin of the Po, between the Alps and the Apennines, including Venetia, Gallia Cisalpina, Liguria, sometimes spoken of in general terms as GALLIA CISALPINA. (2) On the west, between the Apennines and the Etruscan sea, ETRURIA, LATIUM, and CAMPANIA, the boundary between the first and second being the Tiber, and between the second and third the Liris, or the range of mountains immediately to the south-east of that river, according as the ager Falernus is counted in Latium or Campania. (3) On the east, taking the Rubicon as the southern boundary of Gallia Cisalpina, we have between the Apennines and the sea a maritime district extending from Ariminum to the river Aesis occupied by the SENONES. From the river Aesis, just north of Ancona, to the river Matrinus, south of Hatria, the AGER PICENUS, the south part of which was properly called Praetutianus ager. Between the river Matrinus and the river Frento come three smaller districts occupied respectively by the VESTINI, MARRUCINI, and FRENTANI. And south of the river Frento come the two large districts of APULIA and CALABRIA, occupying the great space of comparatively flat country left by the Apennines, as they bend to the west, between themselves and the Adriatic, and forming the heel of Italy. (4) Central Italy, consisting of the mountainous tract which traverses the peninsula in a slanting direction, following the line of the Apennines. It begins with UMBRIA on the west of the Senones; goes on with a great district sometimes called collectively SAMNIUM, sometimes divided into the separate territories of the Sabini, Marsi, and Samnites. It extends from the river Nar to the river Silarus, touching the western coast along a narrow line of shore inhabited by the Picentini between Salernum and Paestum. Of this central district LUCANIA and BRUTTIUM are, properly Speaking, a continuation, though, as has been said, the mountains which nearly cover them are of a different character to those in the more northern part, and constitute a highland region fitted for pastoral folk, not intersected with the vast heights which effectually separate tribes; while, on the other hand, the interval between the mountains and sea is comparatively narrow, and therefore gives less room for the distinction between natives of highlands and those of maritime plains, conspicuous elsewhere.

These are the broad outlines of the geography of Italy. The particular features of each district, the mountains and rivers which subdivide it, are often most necessary to be known in studying popular movements or campaigns. But they must partly be described as we go on; partly must be learnt from other books and maps. Some general facts, closely connected with this geography, must be kept in mind. The long eastern coast line has few indentations or harbours, and therefore the people did not readily take to the sea or make their way to the Greek shore; but on the west and south the outlets are more numerous, and therefore the dealings of the Italians with other nations were mostly to and from the west and south. Secondly, the Alps are easier of ascent from the north than from the south, and thus migrations into Italy were frequent, from Italy northwards almost unknown. Lastly, Italian history for a long time deals with the struggles of peoples living on plains and by the sea – and therefore agricultural or mercantile – with tribes living in central mountains, who are therefore mainly pastoral in their way of life, less settled, less civilised, and, accordingly, less capable of permanent progress and continuous dominion. In such a struggle ultimate victory is usually with those who are the more capable of civilisation, of progress in the arts and in material prosperity, if they have the power or the good fortune to repel the first assaults of the more hardy mountaineers.



THE INHABITANTS OF ITALY – Iberian and Ligurian tribes in Italy before the beginning of history – First to arrive the OSCANS and IAPYGIANS; followed by the UMBRO-LATINS, dividing into Umbrians and Latini – (2) The SABELLIANS or SABINES, which branch off as Samnites, Picentes, Peligni, and perhaps Marsi, Marrucini, and Vestini – The Samnites branch off into Frentani, Lucani, Apulia, Bruttium – (3) The ETRUSCANS, their occupation of the north basin of the Po, and partial occupation of the south – Their gradual expulsion by (3) the CELTS, who came over the Alps in various waves, whence North Italy is called Gallia Cisalpina, which includes the probably distinct tribes of the Ligutes and Veneti – (4) The GREEK colonies in Southern Italy mingle with Oenotrians and Ausonians and Itali, but are eventually overrun by Bruttii, Lucani, and Apuli, who give their names to the districts.

IT is not the province of the historian of Rome to trace to remote times, even were it possible to do so, the migrations of races. We have to deal with Italy as it was from the eighth century B.C. downwards, and the origin of the various peoples inhabiting it need only be noticed so far as it helps to explain the state of things then actually existing, and the mutual relations of its various parts. Even the little that must be said here on this subject is encompassed by difficulties, and though we may believe ourselves to have a theory which, on the whole, reasonably accounts for many of the known facts, we must remember that direct evidence is exceedingly scanty, if, indeed, it may be said to exist, and that most statements are inferences drawn from researches made in a great variety of ways, and variously interpreted.

There is reason for believing that before the arrival of the Aryan peoples, – that is, peoples speaking some variety of the languages grouped by philologists under this collective title, – Italy was inhabited by Iberian and Ligurian tribes. Whether these were the aborigines of whom Livy and Dionysius speak we cannot be sure, but it seems probable that they were for the most part in occupation of the peninsula when the Umbro-Latin people arrived there. At what time, in what order, and from what lands the new stocks came we cannot pretend to determine. The people farthest south, the Iapygians, found in historical times in the extremity of Calabria, were so Hellenised by Greek colonists from Epirus, that it remains uncertain whether they really came originally from the north (as some few words of their language which survive seem to indicate) or found their way there by sea. At any rate, in spite of this Hellenisation, they retained in historical times sufficient peculiarities to mark them off from the other inhabitants of Italy.

In the centre of Italy another race of men, whose language survived their conquest, is still to a certain extent known to us in extant inscriptions, and has certain affinities with Latin. These are the OSCI or OPICI, who appear to have occupied the district from the borders of Latium and Campania to the Adriatic, and perhaps penetrated to Lucania and mingled with original inhabitants there, the Itali or Oenotrii, who are believed to have been of what is called Pelasgian, that is, of old Greek, stock.

Upon Italy, thus partly inhabited, came two other great invasions or immigrations. First the UMBRO-LATINS. Those of them who took or retained the name of Umbrians spread over the north central part of the peninsula from the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian sea, including not only the district which afterwards preserved their name, but a considerable part of what was afterwards Etruria. The kindred Latini settled on the left bank of the Tiber in the small district afterwards known as Vetus Latium, bordered on the east and south by the Oscan tribes of Aequi, Hernici, and Volsci, who were afterwards included in the greater Latium, and whose language indicates either an original kinship or a subsequent amalgamation.

Again another great family, classed sometimes under the general name of SABELLIANS, settled first on the high ground of the central Apennines. Hence they spread under various appellations in various directions. Thus the Sabini occupied the district bounded on the north-west by the Tiber and its affluent the Nar, and bordering on the south upon the Latini. From them apparently came the Samnites, and occupied the mountain district of the Abruzzi down to Campania; while the Peligni and Picentes, and perhaps the Marsi, Marrucini, and Vestini – smaller offshoots of the same stock – occupied some less extensive districts in Central and Eastern Italy. The Samnites became the most important of all, and extended their conquests in various directions. One branch, called Frentani, occupied a district on the Adriatic; while others gave their names to Lucania, Apulia, and Bruttium, which they gradually overran and occupied.

Subsequently, as it appears, Italy was entered by another people, whose greatness is evident even from the scanty information which we possess. The ETRUSCANS, whom the Greeks called Tursenoi or Tyrrhenoi, and who apparently called themselves Râs or Rasenna, are first heard of as a “Pelasgic” tribe at the head of the Adriatic and about the Rhaetian Alps. An ancient tradition brought them from Lydia, where there was a town Τύῤῥα, the people of which were called Τυρρηνοί or Τυρρηßοί. Their real origin is shrouded in mystery. Their language, as has now been ascertained, bears no analogy to any other Indo-European dialect, and cannot help us to connect them with the other peoples of the peninsula. Yet their alphabet, and their religion and mythology, as represented on their tombs, indicate, if not unity of origin, at least very early intercourse with the Greeks. They appear to have come upon the Umbrian settlers after the discovery of the use of bronze, and before the middle of the eleventh century B.C. The district between the Po and the Alps, bounded on the west by the Ligurians, would seem to have been occupied by them entirely; while south of the Po, between it and the Apennines, there arose a mixed population of Etruscans and Umbrians. From the more northern of these two districts they were early displaced by an invasion or invasions of Celts. Their occupation of the more southern district, between the Po and the Apennines, was more prolonged; but from this too they were in time displaced, and established themselves farther south still, in the country which ultimately retained their name, stretching from the Apennines to the Tiber. They were a commercial people, and early became celebrated for their work in bronze and iron. Their corsairs infested the seas round Italy, and their merchants competed with those of the Greek communities established on the coasts, at first in combination with the great Semitic traders of Carthage, whose jealous rivalry at a later time curtailed their extension, and eventually contributed largely to the weakness which ended in their absorption by the growing power of Latium under the leadership of Rome. When at the height of their power their activity was shown, among other things, by their settlements in Campania, which were wrung from them by the Samnites about B.C. 424-420, much about the same time as their commerce was crippled by the rising power of the Syracusans, while they were being hard pressed also by Celtic attacks in the north. From the time of the fall of Melpum, which is said to have taken place in the same year as the fall of Veii (3 91)), they were almost entirely confined to the district known as Etruria.

North of the Apennines, between them and the Alps, lived the so-called Celtic tribes of the Gauls, who one after the other sought the rich basin of the Po from the overcrowded regions beyond the Alps, or the northern slopes of the Alps themselves. They expelled the Etruscans, took possession of their land, and gave their name to the district.

One part of North Italy they did not overrun. In the extreme north-west, between the upper Po and the sea, from Nicaea to Luna, the Ligurians had lived from time immemorial. Whether they were connected in blood with the Gauls who came into Italy, or were, as seems most probable, allied with the Aquitani of Caesar and their descendants the modern Basques, is a question which we have not full means of deciding. Some of their customs and characteristics agree with those of the Gauls, and they seem at first to have maintained friendly relations with the tribes that came over the Alps. On the other hand, Polybius distinguishes between Gauls, Iberians, and Ligurians; and Strabo states that they were of a different race from the Gauls, though resembling them in their manner of life

According to Polybius, the first tribes that crossed the Alps and settled on the left bank of the Po nearest its source were the Laevi and Lebecii, though Livy counts the Laevi among Ligurian tribes, and calls the latter Libui. Next came the Insubres, the largest tribe of all, whom Livy describes as a mixed host of Bituriges, and six other tribes led by Bellovisus, a nephew of the king of the Bituriges, about the time of Tarquinius Priscus. But he somewhat absurdly accounts for their adopting the name of Insubres from the fact of finding a district called by that name which they had known as belonging to a canton of the Haedui. It seems more likely that the Insubres were, as Polybius says, a Gallic tribe who brought their name with them to this district, of which Mediolanum became the capital, and that Livy’s story of Bellovisus and his mixed host is only a tradition of a second immigration, perhaps invited by the original settlers. These were followed by the Cenomani, who also settled on the right bank of the Po, but more to the east, bordering on the Vĕnĕti, who had been long established on the shore of the Adriatic between Aquileia and the mouths of the Po, their territory being bounded on the west by the river Athesis. These last were allied in race to the Celts, but differed from them both in language and dress. South of the Po settled the Ananes; next them the Boii; and next, on the coast of the Adriatic, the Lingones; and south of these the Senones. Livy mentions, besides these, the Salluvii, who settled on the left bank of the Po near the Ticinus.

By these invasions the Etruscans were gradually thrust out of the district between the Po and the Alps, and both Etruscans and Umbrians from the district between the Po and the Apennines. Those communities which remained had to submit to the Gauls, and either dwindled away or became absorbed.

The Gauls themselves are described to us as being in a very primitive state of civilisation. They cared for nothing but “war and agriculture,” by which last is meant not the cultivation of the land, but the pasturing and breeding of cattle. They raised no fortifications, but lived in open villages or collections of huts, in which were no cumbrous articles of furniture. Their beds were mere heaps of straw or leaves; and their only wealth was cattle and gold, which could be easily moved from place to place. They do not appear to have as yet fallen under the influence, half ecclesiastical and half legal, which Caesar found prevailing in Transalpine Gaul under the direction of the Druids. A chief or king indeed commanded his tribe; but his authority rested on his personal influence, his reputation as a warrior, or his skill in stirring his unruly subjects by his harangues. The men of chief power in the tribes were those who by fear or affection attached to their persons the largest number of followers or clients; and though the chiefs could lead their tribes to the field or on a foray, they could not persuade them to endure the fatigue of a long siege or the dangers of a prolonged campaign. Bold, restless, and undisciplined, these tall, blue-eyed, flaxen-haired warriors scoured the countries far and wide through which they marched, or in which they set up their quarters. But they had not the qualities which enable conquerors to make durable settlements. The plunder, which they successfully drove or carried off in their raids, was not unfrequently destroyed in the quarrels which attended its division; and if they behaved like gallant warriors on the field, their victory was often followed by scenes of brutal drunkenness and barbaric gluttony. They had, in fact, the virtues and vices of savages. Improvements and developments even in the art of war they disliked or neglected. They preferred to enter a battlefield half naked, trusting to their strength or their agility, and hoping to terrify their enemy by their hideous yells, the blare of their horns and trumpets, or the barbaric splendour of their ornaments. Their swords were poor weapons, only fit for a down stroke, without point for thrusting, and of such bad material that they were often useless after the first blow. Yet they were also good horsemen, and early adopted the use of the chariot in war. They were able to shift their quarters with astonishing speed; and being used to support themselves on the produce of pillage, could live wherever they could find cattle to be killed or to supply them with milk. It is not surprising that such a people should spread terror wherever they went, through Europe and Asia, nor that they should have failed to establish stable kingdoms or states. They could win battles, but not a campaign; they could burn and pillage, they could not build up or organise. Strabo, writing shortly before the Christian era, says of Magna Graecia, that with the exception of Tarentum, Rhegium, and Naples it had all become de-Hellenised (Ἐκßεϟαρϟαρω + ̑σθαι). Cicero in his dialogue on Friendship puts into the mouth of Laelius, supposed to be speaking in B.C. 129, the remark that “Magna Graecia once flourishing was now utterly destroyed” (deleta est). But up to the time of the Punic wars, though their decadence had been long progressing, these Hellenic towns were sufficiently important to demand a place in an account of the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula. They never, indeed, fully amalgamated with their neighbours. They remained exotics, Italiotae and not Itali. Their settlement had been for the purposes of trade, or to relieve some over-populated town in Greece; but though they succeeded for a time in Hellenising some districts in Italy, they had brought with them the habit, which had ever been the curse of Hellenism, of jealous separation and frequent war between town and town, as well as internal feuds in the several cities themselves.

These towns may be conveniently placed in three groups. Those in Vetus Italia, that is, in parts of Lucania or Bruttium, those in Iapygia, and those north of Vetus Italia.

1. The towns in VETUS ITALIA were Sybaris, an Achaean colony of B.C. 720, from which were founded Metapontum, about 700- 680; Posidonia (Paestum), about 600; and Laus and Scidrus, in which the remnants of the Sybarites took refuge at the time of the destruction of their town (510); Crotona, also an Achaean colony of about 710, from which were founded Terina and Caulonia, perhaps with additional colonists from the mother country. From Locri Epizephyrii, a colony of the Ozolian Locrians (about 710), came Hipponium and Medma. Siris, probably an Ionian colony about (690-660, was believed by some to have been originally settled by fugitives from Troy. The stream of Hellenic settlers had long ceased to flow towards Italy, at any rate with its old strength, when the last two Greek colonies were formed in this district. These were Thurii, a mixed colony, promoted by Pericles, and consisting partly of a remnant of the old Sybarites, partly of settlers from Athens and various cities in Peloponnese, sent out in the spring of 443; and Heracleia, founded in B.C. 432 by a mixed body from Tarentum and Thurii. 2. In IAPYGIA the chief town was Tarentum, colonised by Spartans in 708, which rose to great wealth, and became notorious for the luxury of its citizens. Callipolis, also founded from Sparta, with the assistance of the Tarentines. The Sallentini, who inhabited several cities, one of which was Veretum, at the extreme heel of Italy, were believed to be of Cretan origin, as were also Brundisium, Hyria, and Hydrunium; but to these towns, though always mentioned as undoubtedly Greek, or with the inhabitants at least partly Greek, we cannot assign with certainty either time or place of origin.

3. Of Greek towns north of Bruttium or Vetus Italia, the most ancient of all Greek colonies was that of Cumae, the foundation of which was placed, though without good evidence, in 1050. A joint colony from Cyme in Aeolis and the Chalcidians of Euboea, it rapidly rose to wealth and power, and long governed a considerable district of Campania. From this, combined with fresh colonists from Chalcis and Athens, probably came the colony of Palaepolis or Neapolis (the name changing with a change of locality), which eventually became the most important city in the district. Velia or Elea, established by Phocaeans, in 544, who fled before the victorious general of Cyrus, became famous for a school of philosophy founded by Xenophanes (about 5 40)- 520) and Parmenides (about 490-460). Pyxus (afterwards Buxentum) was probably at first a colony of Siris, supplemented by settlers from Rhegium in 470.

So long as these Greek cities had only to deal with the Oenotrian inhabitants of South Italy, who were themselves probably of Pelasgic or old-Greek origin, they seem to have experienced little difficulty in uniting and living at peace with them. They were active in trade; learning and philosophy found congenial homes among them; and they rapidly became both wealthy and powerful. Some of them became also notorious for their luxury, it being reported, for instance, that at Tarentum there were more public festivals than days in the year; while Sybaris furnished a word for a debauchee which has never been forgotten. This may have contributed to the decline of Magna Graecia, but a more potent cause was the quarrelsomeness habitual to Greek states, both of town with town, and of parties within the several towns themselves. Thus a revolution in Sybaris, which made Talys its tyrant and drove out a number of the oligarchical party, led to a war with Croton, which had offered the exiles its hospitality, the result of which was the entire destruction of Sybaris (510). And this was followed by a general revolutionary movement in several cities. The details as well as the origin of it are obscure; but it took the form of an outbreak against the followers of the mysterious philosopher Pythagoras, who had spent the last part of his life in Croton, and whose disciples in their various clubs or schools in many of the towns of Magna Graecia appear to have combined with philosophy some sort of association for the maintenance of political power in the hands of the upper classes. Not long after the fall of Sybaris, therefore, there seems to have been a very general uprising of the democratic party in the several towns. The Pythagorean schools or club-houses were burnt, and great disorder and confusion prevailed. At length an appeal was made to the Achaeans, who had been long living under the government of a League of twelve cities, enjoyed a high reputation for justice in Greece, and were also the original authors of several of the Hellenic colonies in Italy; and the result of this arbitration was an attempt for a time to unite the Greek colonies by a somewhat similar League. But the arrangement, if it worked at all, was very short-lived. There is no trace in the mention of the Italiots by Thucydides of any common action on their part; and the history of the dissensions of Thurii (4 43)- 413), with the bloody quarrels which characterised its earliest years and the alternate exclusion of the democratic and oligarchical parties in the next generation, offers a specimen of one of the causes constantly at work to weaken and destroy Hellenism in Italy. This was followed by the more obvious dangers arising from external attack. One of the chief sources of these was the jealousy of the Siceliots, especially of Dionysius of Syracuse (405-367). For a time this danger drew the Italian cities together. A general League was formed to resist Dionysius, but proved ineffectual; and its combined forces were defeated in a great battle near Caulonia, on the river Helorus. This was followed by the emigration of a large number of Caulonians to Syracuse, and by the siege and submission of Rhegium (about 393-391). But Dionysius was not their only enemy. They were being hard pressed about the same time by the incursions of the Umbrian tribes of Lucani, Bruttii, and Apuli. The Lucani first attacked Posidonia, next Tarentum, and the towns immediately round it, and then overran the territory of Thurii, and defeated its army. This was followed about 356 by incursions of Bruttii, who captured Terina and Hipponium, and devastated the districts of Rhegium, Locri, and Croton. Harassed within and without, the Greek cities of Italy, like those in Greece, sought help from foreign princes, – from Archidamus, king of Sparta, against the Lucani (338); from Alexander, king of the Molossi, against Samnites and Lucani combined (332); from Cleonymus of Sparta against the Lucani and Metapontum (303). But the final result was that the Bruttii, Lucani, and Apuli became the prevailing inhabitants of Southern Italy, and gave their names to districts in it. The Greek cities had not ceased to exist, or in the main to be Greek, but independence and Hellenism were alike disappearing. Their appeal for foreign help had also brought upon them another power external to all alike; and when, finally, Tarentum asked the help of Pyrrhus (2 80)) it was not against Apulians or Lucanians, but against Rome. The loss of independence which followed was consummated by the ruin of many of the towns during the Hannibalian war, and their replenishment, not by Greek but Roman colonists, till Hellenism in South Italy, except in the three towns of Tarentum, Rhegium, and Neapolis, became a mere memory of the past.



ORIGIN OF ROME – HEROIC legends of its foundation – Settlement of Aeneas in Italy – His wars with the Rutuli – His supremacy over the Prisci Latini – His son removes to Alba from Lavinium – The Alban kings – The two sons of Proca, Numitor and Amulius – The birth of Romulus and Remus, and their education by shepherds – They restore their grandfather Numitor to the throne of Alba – Their foundation of a new city – Death of Remus – Romulus founds the city on the Palatine and calls it ROME – The gradual extension of the Palatine city to include the SEPTIMONTIUM – The Roman era B.C. 753.

EVERY people that has risen to be of importance has had heroic legends connected with its origin or its early struggles. As the English chroniclers, it is impossible to say on what ground, referred the first settlement of Britain to Brute the Trojan, so the Roman annalists, or the Greek historians for them, invented or pieced together the legend of Aeneas.

When Troy was taken, they said, Aeneas with his father and son and a considerable band of followers escaped from the burning city, and sailed away in search of a land destined by the fates for him and his descendants. After trying in vain to find this promised land in Macedonia and in Sicily, he at last reached the Italian shore near Laurentum, some few miles south of the Tiber. The Trojans, who in their long voyage had suffered much from a scarcity of provisions, began to plunder the country round, in which Latinus was ruling over a people called Aborigines. The king mustered his forces and came out to repel the marauders; but he was worsted in the field, and therefore made peace with the newcomers; and, as the wife of Aeneas had perished in the escape from Troy, he gave him his daughter Lavinia in marriage, and granted him land whereon to found a city. Aeneas called his new city Lavinium, after his wife Lavinia, and begat a son called Ascanius. Then followed wars with the neighbouring nation of the Rutuli, whose king Turnus had been affianced to Lavinia. Neither side was wholly victorious, yet the Rutuli found it necessary to retire across the Tiber and join Mezentius, the king of Caere in Etruria. But in the course of the struggle king Latinus had fallen, and Aeneas now reigned over his people, whom he called Latini in his honour. He ruled well and wisely, and the Trojans and Latini rapidly became one people, strong enough to repel the attacks of the Etruscans, the most powerful nation in all Italy. At length he fell in a great battle against them, and his grateful people buried him by the river Numicus, and worshipped him under the name of Jupiter Indiges.

His son Ascanius succeeded him in his kingdom, and presently quitted Lavinium, which was becoming crowded, and founded Alba Longa to receive the surplus population. His power was so great that the Etruscans made terms with him, and agreed that the Albula, afterwards called the Tiber, should be the frontier of their respective dominions. A long list of kings reigning at Alba succeeded him – Silvius, Aeneas Silvius, Latinus Silvius, Alba, Atys, Capys, Capetus, Tiberinus (whose drowning in the Albula gave the name to the river), Agrippa, Romulus Silvius, Aventinus, Proca.

Now Proca had two sons, Numitor and Amulius. To Numitor, as the elder, the royal power descended; but his brother Amulius gathered a party round him, drove Numitor from the throne, killed all his male offspring, and, under pretence of doing him honour, doomed his race to extinction by making his daughter Rea Silvia a Vestal, bound to virginity. Nevertheless Rea brought forth twin sons, of whom the god Mars was father. Amulius doomed the mother to perpetual imprisonment, and ordered the boys to be thrown into the Tiber. The servant to whom the destruction of the children was entrusted carried them away to the then deserted region which lay between the Palatine Mount and the Tiber; and, as the river was overflowing its banks, contented himself with placing the vessel in which they lay in the shallow flood water. The river presently sank back to its ordinary channel, and the children were left on dry land, at the foot of a tree, long afterwards preserved and called the Ficus Ruminalis, “the fig of suckling.” A she-wolf that had lost her cubs, attracted by the cry of the children, and impelled by the pain of her distended udder, gave them suck; and presently a shepherd named Faustulus, who had watched the wolf often going and coming to the place, found the boys, and took them to his wife Laurentia, who brought them up and called them Romulus and Remus. When they grew to manhood they made themselves conspicuous among the neighbouring shepherds for their gallant bearing, and their prowess in repelling robbers, and rescuing the flocks and herds which were being driven off. Some of these robbers determined to be revenged; they therefore lay in wait for the brothers when they were engaged in a rustic festival on the Palatine, instituted many years before by the Arcadian Evander. Romulus managed to escape capture; but Remus was taken, and, being carried before Amulius, was accused of having plundered the land of the king’s brother Numitor. To save Remus the shepherd Faustulus imparted to Romulus the secret of his birth; who, collecting the shepherds round about, prepared to rescue his brother. Meanwhile Numitor had seen and questioned Remus, and had himself come to the conclusion that the twins were his grandsons. Thus from more than one quarter at once an attack was prepared against Amulius. He was killed, and Numitor was restored to the throne of Alba.

But the boys, though they had restored their grandfather, had been so used to rule that they could not tamely settle down to the position of subjects. Moreover, there were again more inhabitants in Alba and Lavinium than there was well room for. They therefore determined to found a new city. And what better site than those hills, near which they had been exposed for death as infants, and about which they had dwelt with shepherds as young men? But a new city must have a founder and a name-hero: which of the two should he be? As none knew which of them was the elder, they determined to settle the difficulty by an appeal to augury. Romulus took up his position on the Palatine, Remus on the Aventine, to watch for omens. They proved ambiguous. Remus was the first to see a flight of six vultures; but, just as his companions were announcing this favourable declaration of the gods. Romulus sighted double the number. Both therefore claimed to have been divinely selected to be founder, and in the quarrel that ensued Remus was killed; or, as some said, when Romulus, acting on the omens, had begun to build the city walls, Remus in derision leapt over them and fell by the spear of his angry brother. Thus Romulus became the founder of Rome, and proceeded to build his fortifications on the Palatine, where he had been brought up. Within these walls he gathered all that he could collect round about to join the settlers from Alba and Lavinium, and gave them laws.

Whatever the origin of this famous legend, whether some real tradition, or some ancient ballad handed down among the pastoral folk who once fed their flocks about the seven hills, or deliberately invented, as some think, by late Greek sophists, there seems to be this truth at the bottom of it, that on the Palatine was the first township or fortress, established originally by a shepherd-folk, which gradually grew to be Rome. This is attested first of all by the remains of the ancient Roma Qaadrata, still to a small extent visible, and much more evident in the time of Tacitus; by the existence in historical times of the festival of the Lupercalia (15th February) on the Palatine, which was a pastoral ceremony of purification or “beating the bounds” of the old city; and of the Palilia (21st April), a festival of the rustic goddess Pales, to celebrate its foundation; and again, by the well-established position of two of the gates in the original wall, the Porta Mugionis ("gate of lowing"), somewhat to the east of the present entrance to the Palatine from the road above the Forum, and the Porta Romanula ("gate of the river"), which was reached by steps from the Velabrum, near the modern church of S. Giorgio in Velabro, on the north side of the Palatine. Thus the course of the Pomoerium of the ancient city may be traced with tolerable certainty.

But this city did not all at once expand into the greater city enclosed by the Servian walls. Before that there were several ex- tensions of the bounds, even, it was believed, in the lifetime of the founder. Livy tells us that the city increased by gradual inclusion of one spot after another, although there were not as yet citizens enough to fill them. But the new enclosures would hardly be made unless they were in some way needed. The simplest explanation is that on each of these spots there were cottages or hamlets, the inhabitants of which desired to be under the protection of the city, and that they were accordingly united to the wall on the Palatine by. loop walls, which, though of lighter construction, were yet of use against marauders, or perhaps by ditches or fossae, such as the fossa Quiritium attributed to Ancus. Enclosures so made would naturally contain considerable vacant spaces, and this would account for the tradition followed by Livy that the city included a greater amount of ground than there were citizens to fill. The gradual additions appear to have been commemorated by the “festival of the seven mounts,” septimontium, which, Varro says, was not a festival of the whole people, but only of the Montani, which may plausibly be held to mean the inhabitants of the Mons Palatinus and its six adjuncts, and perhaps originally only those of the Palatine itself. These inferior fortifications would naturally disappear when the Servian wall was built, streets and buildings taking their place, and a united town, irregular in its arrangement, was the result.

That a similar fort or township existed at the same time on at least one of the other hills is not improbable in itself, and has been inferred from the existence of a Capitolium vetus, with a sanctuary of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva on the Quirinal, prior to that on the Mons Capitolinus; from the double worship of Mars on the Palatine and Quirinal; from the existence of two primitive colleges both of the Salii and the Luperci, one connected with the Palatine, the other with the Quirinal; and lastly, from the indications that the inhabitants of the Mons Palatinus and Collis Quirinalis were distinguished by the names Montani and Collini, “mount men” and “hill men”; whence we have the Porta Collina, the Salii Collini opposed to the Salii Patatini, and the tribus Collina in the Servian division.

In the absence of all means of arriving at a certainty as to the date of the founding of the Palatine city, we must be content to accept the traditional calculation. If walls were built, whether round an uninhabited hill-top, marked out for the first time by the ploughshare of the founder, or round a village community that had gradually been growing there, and now received the defences necessary for its existence in such times and with such neighbours, it is clear that there must have been some year and day in which they were begun. The Greek and Roman antiquaries and annalists who ventured upon the calculation arrived at different conclusions, but not as widely different as might have been expected. The Greeks usually accommodated it to their chronology by observing the coincidence of events with the Eponymous archons of Athens, the Olympic victors, or the priestesses of Herè at Argos; or reckoned the years (generally 408) from the fall of Troy to the first Olympic festival (B.C. 776). By what means they made the reigns of Aeneas and the Alban kings fit into the required period we cannot tell; but the result was that the foundation of Rome was assigned by most of them to the second year of the seventh Olympiad (B.C. 751). Timaeus, indeed, declared it to have taken place in the thirty-eighth year before the first Olympiad (B.C. 813); but Polybius, apparently on the authority of documents in the custody of the Pontifices, arrived at the date Olympiad 7.2 (B.C. 751).

The Romans themselves do not appear to have used the foundation of the city as an era until late in the first century B.C. They dated the years by the names of the consuls as they appeared in the Fasti, and if they calculated from any epoch at all it was usually from the first year of the Republic. Thus, if the list of consuls in the Fasti for the years before the capture of the city in B.C. 390 were to be trusted, it was easy enough to count the years from any given event to the year of the expulsion of the kings, and we should have no difficulty in assigning that event to the year B.C. 510. But, unfortunately, the Fasti for the period between the expulsion of Tarquin and B.C. 390 were far from being certain or regular, and therefore the exactness of the calculation must remain doubtful. We need not, however, think it to be seriously wrong, and from B.C. 390 downwards the lists are as certain as we can hope anything so far back to be. If we accept, then, as the date of the regifugium the year of the city 244 (B.C. 510), we see that for the regal period the Roman antiquaries had nothing for it but to count backward the sum of the years traditionally assigned to each reign. This gave 244. Cato, indeed, made another calculation, starting from the fall of Troy, and arrived at a result which would make the year of the foundation answer to B.C. 752; while the poet Ennius, writing about B.C. 172, speaks of Rome having been founded roughly 700 years before, which would agree more nearly with the era of Timaeus than with any other. The computation that eventually prevailed was that of Varro, which was accepted by the most learned Romans of the day, such as Cicero and Atticus. He assigned the foundation to the spring of the third year of the sixth Olympiad, which, according to the usual calculation, answers to the year B.C. 753. From thence- forward this was the official era; and in A.D. 47 the ludi seculares were held on the ground that it was the sooth year of the city. Even the day of the first act of foundation was believed to be fixed, and was commemorated on the first day of the pastoral festival, the Palilia, the 21St of April (xi. Kal. Mai).