Rome And The Latin Settlements Of 338 Bc

1191 words - 5 pages

Rome was forged in violent struggle. Wedged between often hostile cities and civilizations from the Etruscans in the north, to Hellenistic cities of the south, Rome seemed to be forever tittering between conquest and destruction. Aristocrats of the late republican period lauded their ancestors for their military discipline and glory. The frugality and duty of Cincinnatus appointed dictator and invested with Imperium while plowing his field, was held in great esteem by Cicero in the first century before the Common Era . This nostalgic conception of early Rome may not be too far removed from actuality. Roman history was dominated by almost perpetual warfare, but Rome’s might came not from mere ...view middle of the document...

Roman military leadership eventually led to the common identification of Latium with Rome, but this relationship while symbiotic was not equalitarian. According to Livy (c. 59 BCE – 17 CE), the roots of the Latin war lay in this inequality of authority . Demands were made by the Latins before the Senate of Rome, that one Consul is to be elected from Rome and one from Latium, and furthermore that half the Senate be comprised of Latins. These requests were rejected and war ensured. Culminating in a Roman victory, the Latin war allowed Rome to reassert its authority over Latium and impose new political settlements upon defeated enemies and allies alike.

Unlike the Foedus Cassianum, the settlements of 338 were tailored to individual cities and not to Latium as a corporate body. This innovation increased the tie between Latium to Rome, while simultaneously divided Latium from itself. Many Latin cities had the rights of Conubium and Commercium, intermarriage and trade, with Roman citizens. However, such rights and relations were severed between the citizens of different Latin cities . In addition to the dissolution of the Latin league and the segmentation of Latium, different cities received diverse statuses, affecting further demarcation between the cities of Latium.

The statues, rights and obligations of the Latin cities imposed by the settlements, were determined in part by the cities locality, role in the Latin War and past history with Rome. On one end of the spectrum, the Tiburtines and Praenestini were deprived of their lands, not only for participation with the Latin’s rebellion but for their past alliance with Gauls against Rome . Tusculum on the other hand, whilst a participant in the revolt was granted Roman citizenship, after the pro-war agitators had been put to death. Along with Tusculum, Lanuvium, Aricia, Nomentum and Pedum were incorporated into the Roman state as Municipium, or self-governing communities . This method of incorporation of non-Romans into Rome predates the 338 settlements.

Underneath the status of full Roman citizenship, there was also the civitas sine suffragio, citizenship without the vote, a method of integration which represented an innovation of the 338 settlements . This status conferred the rights of trade and intermarriage with non-roman cities, but denied them political rights. Hence the Roman state could expand, without necessarily diluting its traditional political institutions and power bases . Not all cities were incorporated into the Roman state proper, but remained at the status of independent allies. The continuum of statuses from alien to full citizen allowed for flexibility in Roman policy and...

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