Reflecting on the elections, politicians and Roman history:

ROMANIZATION and Urbanization

  1. Problem: How to account for the willingness of subjects to be absorbed into the Roman state and, from the Roman perspective, to absorb their subjects and do so with without losing their identity and uniquely Roman characteristics.
    1. Ultimately the Roman success at providing peace, a humane legal system, and assimilation depended on the fostering of urbanization. Roman success, and much of the credit goes to Augustus, altered the notion of city-state, and created a world-state based on
      1. prosperous, semi-autonomous municipalities
      2. dual citizenship: one was both a citizen of Rome and a citizen of one's own community.
      3. Overview of the problem.
    2. Specifically, citizens had carefully defined "rights", but did not "vote or fight" for the state. But those who fought did vote. How to explain the paradox?
    3. The success of this system depended ultimately on the readiness of the soldiers to identify their interests not only with the emperor but also with their home towns.
  2. Some general considerations. Emigration of Italians from Italy: "trade FOLLOWS flag".
    1. role of army. Roman army (detail) on the frontier.
    2. emigration of traders, peasants and miners from Italy and points east and west. The numbers were however small, perhaps only 2% of the population of Italy went to the provinces, so we must seek an explanation for the explosion of citizens elsewhere.
    3. Nonetheless, wherever the Romans went they founded Roman-style cities and this appears to be a part of the deliberate strategy of Augustus to assimilate and bring order and law to the Mediterranean.
  3. More specifically, the factors that encouraged subjects to become Roman aka Romanization. The Roman provided the means for their subjects to assimilate into the Roman empire. In this process, concepts of familia, status and patronage played important roles, but it is equally important that the subjects were ready [um Gott es willen !] to become Roman.
    1. the pax Romana = Roman peace for three centuries. Army of defense, not of occupation or oppression (see above). The most important consequence? The nature of the evidence. The greatest blessings that cities can enjoy are peace, prosperity, populousness, and concord. As far as peace is concerned...all war civil and foreign has been banished and has disappeared from among us. Plutarch
    2. Urbanization = civilization = Romanization. Semi-nomadic barbarians and even cultivated Greeks chose to Romanize.
      1. note the last lecture on this element of the Augustan plan, namely how Vergil extols an urban policy. Rome itself; Trier (Germany), Timgad (North Africa). Romanization of Spain; density of urbanization. Map of amenities.
      2. Incentives: Rome encourages its subjects to adopt the HIGHER STANDARDS associated with URBAN culture
        1. Theaters: from Pompeii, from Orange (France); from Taurominium. Ephesus. Other examples amphitheaters, theaters ; El Djem in North Africa. Theaters
        2. Aqueducts: The Aqueducts of the city of Romemodel; Aqua Claudia, in Segovia1; Segovia2; Campania; Caesarea; diagram of water castle and structure and interior; distribution to public fountain. Waterwheel at Hama.
        3. Baths. Calidarium; frigidarium; interior at Rome; baths at Rome and a model. At Trier. Cloaca, water pipes.
        4. Sanitation: model; at Ostia; another view and more recently, and a new perspective. Construction ... in the better 19th cent home; and those involved and their wagon. Chamber pots: one, two, three. Roman removal of waste... inscription, and view and a Roman original and another. Sewar at Cologne. Construction inscription, boat trip. On the consequences of a lack of public sanitation standards, see the plumber's page; note by contrast also village life.
        5. Urban amenities of a private character (beyond the and baths described above): comfortable private life: atrium, bedroom, toilette, apt complex, reconstructed; wall decoration. Pompeii from the air;  cafe Ostia; bakery; but transportation.
    3. Program of urbanization facilitated by the fact that the Romans had little sense of cultural superiority and had a long history of extending the principle of familia to include other among their citizens.
      1. INCLUSION (assimilation; familia) in every area, political, cultural, etc., Gaul [so a Roman general to the people of Trier] always had its petty kingdoms and intestine wars, till you submitted to Rome's authority. We, though so often provoked, have used the right of conquest to burden you only with the cost of maintaining peace. For the tranquility of nations cannot be preserved without armies; armies cannot exist without pay; pay cannot be furnished without taxes; all else is common between us. You often command our legions. You govern these and other provinces. There is no privilege, no exclusion…Should the Romans be driven out (may the gods forbid!) what can result but wars between yourselves and other nations? Tacitus, histories, and on inclusion/extension of citizenship (in AD 212): "The emperor Caesar ... Antoninus [Caracalla] declares ...that I may show my gratitude to the immortal gods for preserving me...therefore I consider that in this way I can render proper service to their majesty ... by bringing with me to the worship of the gods all who enter into the number of my people. Accordingly, I grant Roman citizenship to all aliens throughout the world..." patronage, familia
      2. TOLERANCE of diversity. Note that inclusion and tolerance of difference are closely connected.
    4. The advantages of Roman law (subject of a later lecture)
    5. Hence, the Romans actively encouraged and rewarded imitation. Tacitus writes: Agricola (the Roman governor of Britain) gave private encouragement and public aid to the building of temples, courts of justice and dwelling-houses, praising the energetic, and reproving the indolent. Thus an honorable rivalry took the place of compulsion. He likewise provided a liberal education for the sons of the chiefs, and showed such a preference for the natural powers of the Britons over the industry of the Gauls that they who lately disdained the language of Rome now coveted its eloquence. Hence, too, a liking sprang up for our style of dress, and the "toga" became fashionable.
  4. Two Case Studies: Spain (more properly Iberian peninsula) and Judaea
    1. Spain:
      1. It took the Romans two centuries of continuous warfare to conquer, subjugate and pacify the peninsula. Augustus divided Iberia into three provinces.
      2. In 74, Vespasian extends "Latin right" (partial citizenship) to all communities in Iberia. Municipal charters on Roman model. Configuration of a Roman town in Spain; Roman theater at Merida; major stone theaters.
      3. New research indicates that Romanization was essentially on political and urban level; Keltic tradition in religion and social institutions remained strong; Kelts were eclectic. Romans remained tolerant of cultural diversity so long as it did not threaten the peace. Recall the monument to the Keltic god Reve.
    2. Judaea: an extreme case, but indicates range.
      1. By 100 B.C., Judaea is a client-state. About as many Jews living outside Judaea as in it. The Jewish Diaspora
      2. Relations to Rome
        1. Some Jews held full Roman citizenship. The historian Josephus and St Paul were both practicing Jews and Roman citizens.
        2. Roman troops stations outside Judaea, at Caesarea, under a procurator serving the governor of Syria.
        3. Issues: The Romans accepted Judaism as it was, namely as an ancient and national cult; they generally stayed outside of internal conflicts and respected religious feelings. Conflicts around
          1. imposition of imperial cult / a loyalty oath
          2. taxation (to Yahweh or to Caesar?)
          3. internal dissension (overpopulation, the Sicarii and others)
          4. Roman maladministration
  5. The general effects: Population density in the Roman Empire. Ethnic, linguistic and economic divisions in the Roman Empire.

      Empire Citizens
    70 BC 30-45 million 950,000
    AD45 45 to 55 million 7,000,000
    AD 150 65-130 million  
    AD 200 45-70 million [post plague] all residents of empire
  6. Summary and Conclusions: by region...
    1. In the west, the attractions of Roman civil institutions and amenities produced a society of Romans. This process was fostered by
      1. the general cultural "backwardness" of the west,
      2. by a clear program of advancement in constitutional privilege. There were concrete rewards for Romanizing, but generally tolerance of cultural diversity at ALL levels. Rome's subject, or at least a critical mass of them, wanted to learn Latin to be able to participate in this culture
    2. In the east, ruler cult (more on this subject in a next lecture) was the traditional means of expressing gratitude for the long peace and loyalty to the regime.
    3. Important to realize that Romanization proceeded from the elite (note the work of Agricola given above) down and from town to countryside. To understand Romanization then one must understand that the leading provincials were first absorbed and given a position among the Roman elite. Origin of senators; origins of emperors.
    4. The public and private amenities listed here can only be built when there is a significant surplus in the economy. That is, the aqueducts and theaters can only be constructed at public expense when the revenues of the state allow its basic needs (defense, administration) to be met and still provide sufficient capital for the support of culture and civilization. In this case Augustus succeeded in holding down the costs of defense and also ensuring an enduring peace.
  7. To track these problems on your own, please work through the modules on Romanization and on the Crisis of the 3rd Century at the MappingHistory web site.