CLS 150-01

ROMAN RELIGION

  • gods guarded Rome’s safety & prosperity (war & crops), NOT morals
  • Jupiter Optimus Maxims (Best & Greatest) = Zeus
  • Jupiter is from 2 Gk. words: Zeu (last letter of word dropped) + Pater
  • cult and shrine of Vesta, goddess of the hearth
  • household lares (ancestors) & Penates (spirits)
  • importance of numerous small daily rituals
  • Festivals: Lupercalia (Feb 15), Saturnalia (Dec 17)
  • divination and augury
  • Virtus, Pietas: values personified as deities

  • Household shrine from Pompeii: Lares flank the genius or spirit of the father of the house. snake wards off bad luck
  • Pyrrhic Wars, 280-279 BC; Greek kind Pyrrhus hels south Italian city of Tarentum (originally a Spartan colony) against Rome
  • Punic Wars, series of conflicts with Carthage, maritime power in N. Africa (originally a Phoenician colony)
  • First Punic War, 264-241 BC: Rome evicts Carthage from Sicily & Sardinia which becomne the first Roman provinces; Rome becomes a naval power
  • Roman ships had boarding bridges on front for marine assaults
  • Second Punic War, 218-202BC: hannibal crosses Alps to invade Italy, inflicts huge defeats but Rome’s allies stay loyal; Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal @ Zama, near Carthage (Modern-day Tunisia)
  • battle of Cannae: 80k killed, including many Senators
  • Third Punic War, 149-146 BC: Carthage destroyed
  • Adjusting to empire

  • Punic & other wars disrupt farmers & farming
  • displaced people flock to Rome: need for importes grain
  • flood of new slaves from wars= cheap labor
  • Latifundia: large estates, work done by slaves (similar to US southern plantations)
  • rich get richer: conquered lands to exploit
  • Money, wealth more important for public career
  • Upper-class reformers: Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus
    • 133 BC Tiberius elected Tribune & passed land reform: murdered
    • 123 BC Gaius elected Tribune, passed similar reforms: violence & Gaius commits suicide: first political murders in Republic
  • Marius, Sulla, client armies & rise of “dynasts”

  • Gaius Marius (C. 157-87 BC)
  • Excellent general
  • Novus homo: consul 107-100 BC
  • army reforms: allowed landless to serve
  • soldiers loyal to commander (patron-client) not Rome
  • Lucius Cornelius Sulla (C. 138-78 BC)
  • came to prominence in Social War (91-87): consul 88
  • Civil War w/follower of Marius (87-82 BC); proscriptions
  • successful war in east v. King Mithridates
  • appointed Dictator w/o limit to reform the state
  • enlarged Senate, curtailed office of Tribune
  • put personal glory before the interests of the state
  • Pompey the Great, 106-48 BC

  • military success at age 21 w/private army helping Sulla; granted Triumph by Senate despite never holding any office
  • victories in Spain & in 71 BC supressing Spartacus’ slave revolt
  • cunsul in 70 BC, at age 36, skipping all lower offices
  • 67 BC special command v. pirates: cleaned up entire Mediterranean
  • 66 BC defeated Mithridates; 64 BC annexed Syria (Seleucid)
Advertisements
Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.