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Roman History - Modern Authorities On

ROMAN HISTORY - MODERN AUTHORITIES ON. The principles of historical criticism may be said to have been formulated by Giambattista Vice (q.v.), whose principi di scienza nuova were published in 1725. The credibility of the traditional account of Roman republican history was called in question by Louis de Beaufort (Dissertation sur I' incertitude des cinq premiers siecles de I'histoire romaine, 1738); but the modern critical movement dates from Niebuhr, two volumes of whose Romische Geschichte appeared in 1811-12 (the third was published after his death in 1832, his lectures in 1846). The early history of Rome was fully treated by Niebuhr's follower, F. C. A. Schwegler, whose Romische Geschichte in 3 vols. (1853-58) was continued to 327 B.C. by O. Clason (vols. 4 and 5, 1873-76). A reaction against the negative criticism of Niebuhr was headed by J. Rubino, who showed in his Untersuchungen ilber romische Verfassung und Geschichte (1839) that the growth of the Roman constitution might be traced with some approach to certainty by the analysis of institutions. It was left for Theodor Mommsen (Romische Geschichte, 1st ed., 185456; Eng. trans, new ed. in 5 vols., 1894; Romische Forschungen, 1864-79; Romisches Staatsrecht, 1st ed., 1872-75 [in the Handbuck der romischen Alterthiimer, begun by Becker in 1843 and continued under the supervision of J. Marquardt]; Romisches Strafrecht, 1899, and many other works) to reduce Roman constitutional history to a science. Mommsen substituted for the detailed criticism of the traditional narrative a picture of the growth of Italian civilization based on linguistic, literary and monumental evidence. W. Ihne (Romische Geschichte, 8 vols., 1868-90) dealt more fully with the course of events as related by ancient historians. L. Lange's Romische Alterthiimer (185671), 3 vols., treated constitutional history in a narrative form. In more recent times Eduard Meyer has treated of early Italian history in his Geschichte des Alterthums, vols. ii.-y. (1893-1902); and Ettore Pais, in his Storia di Roma, vols. i.-ii. (1898-99), has subjected the narratives of Roman history down to the Samnite wars to a searching and in many cases exaggerated criticism. De Sanctis, in his Storia dei Romani (2 vols., 1907) (down to the establishment of the Roman hegemony in Italy), combines radical criticism of tradition with a constructive use of archaeological and other evidence. Heitland's Roman Republic (3 vols., 1909) is a fresh and independent work. The last century of the republic has been the subject of many works (see reff. in text and biographical articles). W. Drumann (Geschichte Roms, 183444; new e d- by Groebe in progress) gave an exhaustive biographical account of the contemporaries of Caesar and Cicero; A. H. J. Greenidge's History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 70 (vol. i. 1904) was unfortunately cut short by the author's early death in 1906; G. Ferrero's Grandezza e Decadenza di Roma (in progress, Eng. trans, of vols. i., ii., 1907; iii.-v., 1909) is ambitious but unsound.

Tillemont's Histoire des empereurs (6 vols., 1690-1738), supplemented by his Memoires pour servir a I'histoire ecclesiastique, a laborious and erudite compilation, furnished Gibbon with material for his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776- 1788), which has never been superseded as a history of the entire imperial period, and has been rendered adequate for the purposes of the modern reader by Professor J. B. Bury s edition (1897-1900). The history of the empire has yet to be written in the light of recent discoveries. Mommsen's fifth volume (Eng. tr., as Provinces of the Roman Empire, 1886) is not a narrative, but an account of Roman culture in the various provinces. C. Merivale's History of the Romans under the Empire (8 vols., 1850-62, to Marcus Aurelius) is literary rather than scientific. H. Schiller's Geschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit (1883-88) is a useful handbook. For the later period we have Bury's History of the Later Roman Empire (1889), beginning from A.D. 395, and T. Hodgkin's Italy and her Invaders (8 vols., 1880-99), which tells the story of the barbaric invasions at great length. The imperial constitution is described by Mommsen in the second volume of his Staatsrecht (v. supra) ; divergent views will be found in Herzog's Geschichte und System der romischen Staatsverfassung (1884-91); the working of the imperial bureaucracy is treated by O. Hirschfeld, Die romischen Verwaltungsbeamten (1905). The Prosopographia Imferii Romani, compiled by Dessau and Klebs (1897-98), is a mine of information, as is the new edition of Pauly's Realencyklopddie der classischen Alterthumsunssenschaft (in progress). Von Domaszewski's Geschichte der romischen Kaiser (2 vols., 1909) is popularly written and gives no references to authorities. See further the articles on individual emperors and provinces.

A general history of Rome to the barbarian invasions, popular in character and richly illustrated, was written in French by Victor Duruy (Eng. tr. in 6 vols., 1883-86). The 2nd, 3rd and 4th vols. of Leopold von Ranke's Weltgeschichte deal with Roman history. An outline of Roman history is given by B. Niese in the 3rd vol. of M filler's Handbuch der klassischen Alterthumswissenschaft (3rd ed., 1906). A. H. J. Greenidge's Roman Public Life (1901) is an excellent guide to Roman institutions. The principal authorities on Roman chronology are: Ideler, Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie (1825-26); Fynes-Clinton, Fasti Romani (1845) (a continuation of the same author's Fasti Hellenici, 1830-41, which goes down to A.D. 14); Fischer, Romische Zeittafeln (1846); Mommsen, Romische Chronologie (2nd ed., 1859); Matzat, Romische Chronologie (1883-84) and Romische Zeittafeln (1889); Holzapfel, Romische Chronologie (1885); Soltau, Romische Chronologie (1889) ; linger, " Romische Zeitrechnung " in the 1st vol. of Miiller's Handbuch der klassischen A Iterthumswtssen schafl (2nd ed., 1892). Goyau's Chronologie de I 'empire remain (Paris, 1891) is a useful handbook.

(H. S. J.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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