Rome

Contemptuous Remus immediately crossed the line, and Romulus killed him. Romulus later said he regretted killing his brother, but life goes on. He built his city on the Palatine Hill, and called it Rome. When Romulus founded Rome in 753 BC, he made himself the king. Being a brand new city, it had very few people. Romulus built up the population by allowing anybody who wanted to live there, including criminals who flocked to the city. This caused a shortage of women. To get some, the Romans hosted athletic games and invited their neighbors, the Sabines. While they were at the games, some of the Romans sneaked off and stole the Sabine women (Burrell 14-15). Realizing what had happened, the Sabines prepared their army. Expecting this, the Romans were ready and the two forces lined up preparing to fight. Surprisingly, some of the women ran into the no-man's-land in between the armies. This is what their leader said: We were just daughters a short while ago, now we are both wives and daughters. We did not choose our husbands - they chose us. We want this fighting to stop. If it goes ahead, many will be slain. When our fathers are dead, we shall be orphans, but if our husbands die, we shall be widows. We lose either way. (Burrell, 14-15) Surprisingly, the two armies listened and put down their weapons. Since anyone was allowed to reside, Rome had great diversity in its people. There were three main ethnic groups: the Romans, who were first generation, the Sabines, and the Latins, who Romulus is descended from. The Sabines lived in the mountains east of the Tiber and north of the Latins. Later on, another group of people called the Etruscans started moving in. They were unique in that their language had no relation to any other known language, the only one like that. Romulus established a government with a king, who was imperium, Over all persons and in all causes supreme (Adcock 6). Romulus chose one hundred fathers to form the Senate. These people and their descendants are known as Patricians, from the Latin word pater, meaning father. He divided the people into three tribes, mentioned above, and each tribe was divided into smaller curiae. The succession of kings wasn't hereditary. The previous king appointed someone, and that person had to show the good will of heaven. Once king he had to keep the pax deorum, Latin for peace of the gods. Romulus created an army that was to have three thousand infantry and three hundred horsemen, one-third from each tribe. This was a national guard, with people keeping their day jobs. When Romulus died in 717 BC, the two main tribes, the Romans and the Sabines, couldn't decide how to pick a king. Finally it was decided that the Romans would pick a Sabine king. They picked Numa Pompilius. This is what Plutarch had to say about him: He banished all luxury and softness from his own home, and... in private he devoted himself not to amusement... but to the worship of the immortal gods. (Nardo 19) One of Pompilius' notable achievements was rearranging the calendar so it had twelve months instead of ten. The third king, Tullus Hostilius, was a war monger. He believed his subjects would grow soft if they weren't engaged in a war. Conquering neighboring people, including Alba Longa, he extended Rome's rule out to twelve miles. Supposedly the gods got angry with him and killed him with a lightning bolt (Burrell, 12). The fourth king, Ancus Martius, was a Sabine. He extended Rome's boundary to the sea and built the Pons Sublicus, the first bridge across the Tiber. He also captured the Janiculum hill on the far bank. The fifth king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, was the first Etruscan king. He got the throne when he persuaded Martius to send his sons away. He was an architect king. He built the capitol temple, drained the marsh between the Paletine and Aventine Hills, built the Cloaca Maxima, or great sewer, and designed the Circus Maximus. The sixth king was Servius Tullius, another Etruscan. He divided the citizens into five social classes, from richest to poorest. All but the poorest had to provide soldiers. The seventh, and final, king was Tarquinius Superbus. He was a bad king. He got the throne by marrying Tullius' daughter, Tullia. He then pushed Tullius down a flight of stairs. He sent men to finish him off, but Tullia ran over her father with a cisium, Latin for a light, two-wheeled carriage. As king, he paid absolutely no attention to what the people wanted. According to Asimov, when he was off at war with the Volscians, the Senate voted to exile him, and he wasn't let back into the city. After his reign, the people vowed never to have a king again, and a law was made where anybody who even talked about having a king back was executed. A senator named Brutus said, I swear, and you, o gods, I call to witness that I will drive [away]... Tarquinius Superbus, together with his wicked wife and his whole family, with fire and sword and every means in my power, and I will not [allow] them or anyone else to reign in Rome. (Nardo 25) Republic is English for the Latin Res Publica, meaning the public thing. A republic is a country governed by the elected representatives of the people (Encarta Republic). Instead of a president or king, the Republic has two praetors, later known as consuls, who were elected annually. The one exception was emergency dictators, who served for six months and six months only. The Senators served for life. The object of the Republic was to give the people a voice in the government, and to keep just one person from having all the power. Noting the Greek government, the Romans created the Centuriate Assembly of citizens. This was an assembly where citizens discussed and voted on important issues. Many of the members were Patricians, but there were a few Plebs, or commoners too poor to own land. Only free Roman adult men who owned weapons were citizens. Not long after the Republic was formed, the Patricians closed off immigration of new patriarchal families. In the early years of the Republic, the Patricians often made laws unfair to the Plebs. Only Patricians could become consul, the senate was almost all Patricians, and the Patricians controlled the Plebs in the Assembly by giving the Plebs financial aid, who in turn voted the way they were told. Public Officials weren't paid, so only wealthy people could afford to serve on a regular basis. One time, the Plebs refused to serve in the army until they got their way. As Livy said, The Patricians dreaded the Plebians [who were striking].... How long could it be supposed that the multitude which had seceded would remain inactive? And what would be the consequence if in the meantime a foreign war should break out? No glimpse of hope could they see left except in concord between the citizens, which must be re-established in the state on any terms. (Nardo 28) In 494 BC, the Patricians gave up and allowed the striking Plebs their own council, called the Popular Assembly, which excluded Patricians. This assembly couldn't make laws, but they elected ten tribunes each year who had the power of veto. The Patricians pronounced the validity of decisions made by the assembly. As the Republic grew older, it became more complicated. The Assembly had to elect officials to help. They elected eight praetors, or court judges, four aediles, who managed public streets and buildings, two censores, who took censuses, admitted new senators and collected taxes, and twenty five quaestores, or financial officers. In 450 BC, the Plebs demanded that the laws of Rome be written down so that the praetors couldn't twist the law in their favor. They were written down on the Twelve Tables. An example of a law from the Twelve Tables was, If plaintiff summons defendant to court, he shall go. If he does not go, plaintiff shall call witness [to this]. Then only shall he take the defendant [to court] by force. (Nardo 28-29) The Tribunes of the Plebs protected the Plebs from unjustness, and the Plebs protected them by threatening to strike. As time went on, Patrician control over Plebians gradually decreased, until in 366 BC, the Plebs were allowed to become consul. Soon it became a custom to elect one Pleb and one Patrician (Nardo 28). In 287 BC, the Popular Assembly gained the right to make laws. Rome was ever expanding. In 496 BC, Rome conquered Latium. In 449 BC, the Sabines fell, and in 396 BC, the Etruscans. Instead of trying to oppress conquered tribes and peoples, Rome absorbed them, integrating them into their culture. This made them much easier to control, because they felt like they belonged to Rome. This is what Cicero had to say about it: Every citizen of a corporate town [one annexed by Rome] has, I take it, two fatherlands, that of which he is a native, and that of which he is a citizen. I will never deny my allegiance to my native town, only I will never forget that Rome is my greater fatherland, and that my native town is but a portion of Rome. (Nardo 31) The Senators of Rome also felt great loyalty towards the city. In 390 BC, raiders from Gaul invaded the city. Some of the Senators stayed in the city. Livy tells what happened: [The Senators sat]...without fear or concern.... The Gauls, for a great while, stood wondering at the strangeness of the sight, not daring to approach of touch them, taking them for an assembly of superior beings. But then one [Gaul], bolder than the rest, drew near to one elderly senator, and... gently stroked [the Senator's] chin and touched his long beard; the Senator with his staff struck him a severe blow on the head; upon which the barbarian drew his sword and slew him. This was the introduction to the slaughter. (Nardo 32) The Romans didn't look kindly upon failures. After the consul Varro lost fifty thousand soldiers in battle with Hannibal's army, he was ejected from office. According to Nardo, the only reason he wasn't executed was that he fought along side the army, and didn't desert (45). In the Punic wars against Carthage, Rome had to develop naval technology. After Carthage was defeated, Roman merchants adopted ships to do their trading, making them more and more wealthy. Eventually, these wealthy merchants formed a new class, called the 'equestrian order'. This new class competed with the patricians for power in the government. The citizens began splitting into two parties. The Imperialists, led by General Scipio Africanus, wanted to continue expanding eastward. The Conservatives, led by Senator Cato the Elder, wanted to settle down and stop expanding.http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Rome/74641

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