Reflecting on the elections, politicians and Roman history:
- ''The Roman Empire is not the Roman Empire. It depends on what the meaning of is is.'' Ah, another profound statement from that very famous historian.
- At the beginning the Roman republic, the royal power was divided among the various magistrates and each could check the other... when Augustus claimed / held all the offices defined by the constitution at the same time, he effectively reconstituted royal power.
- But note these words of wisdom and of consolation to our generation: "A well-ordered state has no need of great men, and no place for them either."
- On the problem of moral values and politics: In reference to Augustus, "It was not enough to acquire power and wealth: the men who seized power unconstitutionally wanted to appear and to feel virtuous." Hence moral reform and the preservation of constitutional forms. Note that Augustus has the power to investigate the morals of all citizens.
- Augustus, as other dictators elsewhere, used a variety of devices to undermine the constitution yet preserve the facade. One does not have to look far to find examples.Note the annual 'dictator' issue of Parade Magazine
ROMANIZATION and Urbanization
- 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.
- 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
- prosperous, semi-autonomous municipalities
- dual citizenship: one was both a citizen of Rome and a citizen of one's own community.
- Overview of the problem.
- 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?
- 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.
- Some general considerations. Emigration of Italians
from Italy: "trade FOLLOWS flag".
- role of army.
Roman army (detail) on the frontier.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Urbanization = civilization = Romanization. Semi-nomadic barbarians and even cultivated Greeks chose to Romanize.
- 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.
Rome encourages its subjects to adopt the HIGHER STANDARDS associated with URBAN culture
- Theaters: from Pompeii, from Orange (France); from Taurominium. Ephesus. Other examples amphitheaters, theaters ; El Djem in North Africa. Theaters
- Aqueducts: The Aqueducts of the city of Rome: model; Aqua Claudia, in Segovia1; Segovia2; Campania; Caesarea; diagram of water castle and structure and interior; distribution to public fountain. Waterwheel at Hama.
- Baths. Calidarium; frigidarium; interior at Rome; baths at Rome and a model. At Trier. Cloaca, water pipes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- TOLERANCE of diversity. Note that inclusion and tolerance of difference are closely connected.
- The advantages
of Roman law (subject of a later lecture)
- 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
- Two Case Studies: Spain (more properly Iberian peninsula) and Judaea
- It took the
Romans two centuries of continuous warfare to conquer, subjugate
and pacify the peninsula. Augustus divided
Iberia into three provinces.
- In 74, Vespasian
extends "Latin right" (partial citizenship) to all communities
in Iberia. Municipal charters on Roman model. Configuration of
town in Spain; Roman theater at Merida;
major stone theaters.
- 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.
- Judaea: an extreme
case, but indicates range.
- By 100 B.C.,
Judaea is a client-state. About as many Jews living outside Judaea
as in it. The Jewish Diaspora
- Relations to
- Some Jews
held full Roman citizenship. The historian Josephus and St Paul were
both practicing Jews and Roman citizens.
- Roman troops
stations outside Judaea, at Caesarea, under a procurator serving
the governor of Syria.
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
of imperial cult / a loyalty oath
(to Yahweh or to Caesar?)
dissension (overpopulation, the Sicarii and others)
- The general effects: Population density
in the Roman Empire.
Ethnic, linguistic and economic divisions in
the Roman Empire.
||45 to 55 million
||45-70 million [post plague]
||all residents of empire
- Summary and Conclusions: by region...
- In the west,
the attractions of Roman
civil institutions and amenities produced a
society of Romans. This process was fostered by
- the general
cultural "backwardness" of
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.