Rome, History Of, Ii - The Republic 500-265 Bc
ROME, HISTORY OF, II - THE REPUBLIC 500-265 BC
PERIOD A: 500-265 B.C. 10 (a) The Struggle between the Orders. It is characteristic of Rome that the change from monarchy to republic 11 should have been made with the least possible disturbance of existing forms. The title of king was retained, though only as that of a priestly officer (rex sacrorum) to whom some of the religious functions of the former kings were transferred. The two annually elected consuls, or praetores, were regarded as joint heirs of the full kingly authority, and as holding the imperium, and the correlative right of taking the auspices, by direct transmission from the founder of the city. They were, it is true, elected or designated by a new assembly, by the army of landholders voting by their classes and centuries (comitia centuriata) , and to this body was given also the right of passing laws; nevertheless it was still by a vote of the thirty curiae (lex curiata) that the supreme authority was formally conferred on the magistrates chosen by the centuries of landholders, and both the choice of magistrates and the passing of laws still required the sanction of the patrician senators (patrum auctoritas) . u Nor, lastly, were the legal prerogatives of the senate altered, although it is probable that before long plebeians were admitted to seats, if not to votes, and though its importance was gradually increased by the substitution of an annual magistracy for the lifelong rule of a single king. But the 8 Livy ii. 9-14. Pliny (N-H. 34, 14) and Tacitus (Ann. iii. 72) imply the existence of a tradition, possibly that of " Tuscan annalists," according to which Porsena actually made himself master of Rome. The whole story is fully criticized by Schwegler (ii. 181 seq.) and Zoller (Latium u. Rom, p. 180).
9 See the exhaustive criticism in Schwegler (ii. pp. 66-203).
10 The traditional account of early republican history, given in annalistic form by Livy, has been subjected to severe criticism in recent times, notably by Pais in his Storia di Roma, vols. i. and ii. It is true that the dearth of contemporary docu ments, especially for the period before the sack of Rome by the Gauls (390 B.C.), must have led to the filling of gaps by episodes drawn mainly from popular traditions, and it is therefore impossible to guarantee the accuracy of the narrative in details. Nevertheless, the general truth of the story of Rome's early wars and constitutional growth cannot be seriously impugned.
11 Schwegler (ii. 92) suggests that the dictatorship formed an intermediate step between the monarchy and the consulate; cf. Ihne, Rom. Forsch. 42.
a That the consuls were originally styled praetores is stated by Varro, ap. Non. p. 23, and Liv. iii. 55; cf. Cic. Legg. viii. _3, 8. When additional praetors were created, the two originally appointed were called j>raetores maximi and hence aipantyol DTOTOI or simply Birarot in Greek.
13 The view of the patrum auctoritas here adopted is that taken by T. Mommsen (Forsch. i.).
abolition of the monarchy brought with It a change of the utmost importance in the actual working of the constitution. Though the distinction between patricians and plebeians was at least as old as the state itself, it is not until the establishment of the Republic that it plays any part in the history of Rome. No sooner, however, was the overshadowing authority of the king removed than a struggle commenced between the two orders which lasted for more than two centuries. It was in no sense a struggle between a conquering and a conquered class, or between an exclusive citizen body and an unenfranchised mass outside its pale. Patricians and plebeians were equally citizens of Rome, sprung of the same race and speaking the same tongue (but see above). 1 The former were the members of those ancient gentes which had possibly been once the " chiefly " families in the small communities which preceded the united state, and which claimed by hereditary right a privileged position in the community. Only patricians could sit in the council of patres, and hence probably the name given to their order. 1 To their representatives the supreme authority reverted on the death of the king; the due transmission of the auspicia and the public worship of the state gods were their special care; and to them alone were known the traditional usages and forms which regulated the life of the people from day to day. To the plebs (the multitude, jrXfjflos) belonged all who were not members of some patrician gens, whether independent freemen or attached as "clients" 3 to one of the great houses. The plebeian was a citizen, with civil rights and a vote in the assembly of the curies, but he was excluded by ancient custom from all share in the higher honours of the state, and intermarriage with a patrician was not recognized as a properly legal union 4 (see PATRICIANS).
The revolution which expelled the Tarquins gave the patricians, who had mainly assisted in bringing it about, an overwhelming ascendancy in the state. The plebs had indeed gained something. Not only is it probable that the strictness of the old tie of clientship had somewhat relaxed, and that the number of the clientes was smaller and their dependence on patrician patrons less complete, but the ranks of the plebs had, under the later kings, been swelled by the admission of conquered Latins, and the freeholders among these had with others been enrolled in the Servian tribes, classes and centuries. The establishment of the Republic invested this military levy of landholders with political rights as an assembly, for by their votes the consuls were chosen and laws passed, and it was the plebeian landholders who formed the main strength of the plebs in the struggle that followed. But these gains were greater in appearance than in reality. The plebeian landholders commanded only a minority of votes in the comitia centuriata. In their choice of magistrates they were limited to the patrician candidates nominated by patrician presiding magistrates, and their choice required confirmation not only by the older and smaller assembly of the curiae, in which the patricians and their clients predominated, but also by the patrician patres. They could only vote on laws proposed by patrician consuls, and here again the subsequent sanction of the patres was necessary. The whole procedure of the comitia was in short absolutely in the hands of their patrician presidents, and liable to every sort of interruption and suspension from patrician pontiffs and augurs (for details see further COMITIA and SENATE).
But these political disabilities did not constitute the main grievance of the plebs in the early years of the Republic. What they fought for was protection for their lives and liberties, and the object of attack was the despotic authority of the 1 This is the view taken by the present writer, as against Schwegler and others. For Ridgeway's theory, see above.
*Cf. aedilis, aediltcius, etc.; Cic. De Rep. ii. 12; Liyy i. 8; for a full discussion of other views, see Soltau 179 seq. ; Christensen, Hermes, ix. 196.
* For the clientela, see Mommsen (Forsch. i. 355 sqq. ; Staalsr. iii. 54 sqq.); Schwegler (i. 638 sqq.); Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyklopadie, iv. 23 sqq. (von Premerstein).
4 The offspring of such a union ranked as plebeians.
patrician magistrates. The consuls wielded the full imperium o( the kings, and against this " consular authority " the plebeian, though a citizen, had no protection and no appeal, nor were matters improved when for the two consuls was substituted in some emergency a single, all-powerful, irresponsible dictator.
The history of this struggle between the orders opens with a concession made to the plebs by one of the consuls themselves, a concession possibly due to a desire to secure the Lex allegiance of the plebeian landholders, who formed Valeria the backbone of the army. In the first year of deprovothe Republic, according to the received chronology, catloae - P. Valerius Publicola or Poplicola carried in the comitia centuriata his famous law of appeal. 6 It enacted that no magistrate, saving only a dictator, should execute a capital sentence upon any Roman citizen unless the sentence had been confirmed on appeal by the assembly of the centuries. But, though the " right of appeal " granted by this law was justly regarded in later times as the greatest safeguard of a Roman's liberties, it was by no means at first so effective a protection as it afterwards became. For not only was the operation of the law limited to the bounds of the city, so that the consul in the field or on the march was left as absolute as before, but no security was provided for its observance even within the city by consuls resolved to disregard it. 6 It was by their own efforts that the plebeians first obtained any real protection against magisterial despotism. The traditional accounts of the first secession are confused The first and contradictory, 7 but its causes and results are secession tolerably clear. The seceders were the plebeian ana the legionaries recently returned from a victorious cam- trlbunate - paign. Indignant at the delay of the promised reforms, they ignored the order given them to march afresh against Volsci and Aequi, and instead entrenched themselves on a hill across the Anio, some 3 m. from Rome, and known afterwards as the Mons Sacer. The frightened patricians came to terms, and a solemn agreement (lex socrato) 8 was concluded between the orders, by which it was provided that henceforth the plebeians should have annual magistrates of their own called tribunes (tribuni plebis), members of their own order, who should be authorized to protect them against the consuls, 9 and a curse was invoked upon the man who should injure or impede the tribune in the performance of his duties. 10 The number of tribunes was possibly at first two, then five; before 449 B.C. it had been raised to ten.
The tribunate is an institution which has no parallel in history. The tribune was not, and, strictly speaking, never became, a magistrate of the Roman people. His one proper prerogative was that of granting protection to the oppressed plebeian against a patrician officer. This prerogative (jus auxilii) was secured to him, not by the ordinary constitution, but by a special compact between the orders, and was protected by the ancient oath (vetus jusjurandum) , u which invoked a curse upon the violator of a tribune. This exceptional and anomalous right the tribunes could only exercise in person, within the limits of the " pomoerium," and against individual acts of magisterial oppression. 12 It was only gradually that it expanded into a wide power of interference with the whole machinery of government, and was supplemented by the legislative powers which rendered the tribunate of the last century B.C. so formidable (see TRIBUNE).
But from the first the tribunes were for the plebs not only protectors but leaders, under whom they organized themselves in opposition to the patricians. The tribunes convened Lex assemblies of the plebs (concilia plebis), and carried Pubfflla. resolutions on questions of interest to the order. This incipient 5 Livy ii. 8, lex Valeria de provocations, Cic. De Rep. ii.3i; cf. Livy iii. 20.
6 Greenidge, Legal Procedure of Cicero's Time, pp. 344 sqq.
7 Schwegler ii. 226 seq. 8 Ibid. ii. 251 n. ; Livy i. 33. 9 Cic. De Rep. ii. 34, " contra consulare imperium creati." Livy iii. 55. " Festus 318.
12 Gell. xiii. 12, " ut injuria quae coram fieret arceretur."
plebeian organization was materially advanced by the Publilian law of 471 B.C., 1 which appears to have formally recognized as lawful the plebeian concilia, and established also the tribune's right cum plebe agere, I.e. to propose and carry resolutions in them. These assemblies were tributa, or, in other words, the voting in them took place not by curies or centuries but by tribes. In them, lastly, after the Publilian law, if not before, the tribunes were annually elected. 2 By this law the foundations were laid both of the powerful concilia plebis of /ater days and also of the legislative and judicial prerogatives of the tribunes. The patricians maintained indeed that resolutions (plebiscita) carried by tribunes in the concilia plebis were not binding on their order, but the moral weight of such resolutions, whether they affirmed a general principle or pronounced sentence of condemnation on some single patrician, was no doubt considerable.
The next stage in the struggle is marked by the attempt to substitute a public written law for unwritten usage.
The proposal of C. Terentilius Arsa (462 B.C.) to appoint a plebeian commission to draw up laws restricting the powers of the consuls 3 was resolutely opposed by the patricians, but after ten years of bitter party strife a compromise was effected. A commission of ten patricians was appointed, who rhe should frame and publish a code of law binding equally Decem- on both the orders. These decemviri were to be the viratc. s O i e an( j supreme magistrates for the year, and the law of appeal was suspended in their favour. 4 The code which they promulgated, the famous XII. Tables, owed little of its importance to any novelties or improvements contained in its provisions. For the most part it seems merely to have reaffirmed existing usages and laws (see ROMAN LAW) . But it imposed, as it was intended to do, a check on the arbitrary administration of justice by the magistrates. With the publication of the code the proper work of the decemvirs was finished; nevertheless, for the next year a fresh decemvirate was elected, and it is conceivable that the intention was permanently to substitute government by an irresponsible patrician " council of ten " for the old constitution. 6 However this may have been, the tyranny of the decemvirs themselves was fatal to the continuance of their power. We are told of a second secession of the plebs, this time to the Janiculum, and of negotiations with the senate, the result of which was the enforced abdication of the decemvirs. The plebs joyfully chose for themselves tribunes, and in the comitia centuriata two consuls were created. But this restoration of the old regime was accompanied by legislation which Valeria- made it an important crisis in the history of the Horatian struggle between the orders. With the fall of the laws. decemvirate this struggle enters upon a new phase. The tribunes appear as at once more powerful and more strictly constitutional magistrates; the plebeian concilia take their place by the side of the older assemblies; and finally this improved machinery is used not simply in self-defence against patrician oppression but to obtain complete political equality. This change was no doubt due in part to circumstances outside legislation, above all to the expansion of the Roman state, which swelled the numbers and added to the social importance of the plebs as compared with the dwindling forces of the close corporation of patrician geni.es. Still the legislation of 449 clearly involved more than a restoration of the old form of government. The Valerio-Horatian laws, besides reaffirming the right of appeal and the inviolability of the tribunes, improved the position of the plebeian assemblies by enacting that plebiscita passed in them, and, as seems probable, approved by the palres, should be binding on patricians as well as plebeians. 6 1 Livy ii. 56, 60; Dionys. ix. 41; Schwegler ii. 541; Soltau 493- 2 For theories as to the original mode of appointing tribunes see Mommsen, Forsch. i. 185, Staatsr. ii. 274 sqq.
' Livy iii. 9. 4 Ibid. iii. 32.
6 On the disputed question of the date of the XII. Tables see Pais, Storia di Roma, vol. i. chap, iv., and Greenidge, Eng. Hist. Review (1905), pp. I sqq.
* Livy iii. 55, " quum veluti in controverso jure esset, tenerenturne 310-88.
By this law the tribunes obtained a recognized initiative in legislation. Henceforth the desired reforms were introduced and carried by tribunes in what were now styled comitia tributa, and, if sanctioned by the patres, became laws of the state. From this period, too, must be dated the legalization at any rate of the tribune's right to impeach any citizen before the assembly of the tribes. 7 Henceforward there is no question of the tribune's right to propose to the plebs to impose a fine, or of the validity of the sentence when passed. The efficiency of these new weapons of attack was amply proved by the subsequent course of the struggle. Only a few years after the ValerioHoratian legislation came the lex Canuleia, itself a plebiscitum (445 B.C.) , by which mixed marriages between patricians /. and plebeians were declared lawful, and the social Caauieia. exclusiveness of the patriciate broken down. In the 309 ~ same year with this measure, and like it in the interests primarily of the wealthier plebeians, a vigorous attack commenced on the patrician monopoly of the consulate, and round this L eges stronghold of patrician ascendancy the conflict raged i.iCiniae until the passing of the Licinian laws in 367. The Sextiae. original proposal of the tribune Gaius Canuleius. in 445, that the people should be allowed to elect a plebeian consul was evaded by a compromise. The senate resolved that for the next year, in the stead of consuls, six military tribunes with consular powers should be elected, 8 and that the new office should be open to patricians and plebeians alike. The consulship was thus for the time saved from pollution, as the patricians phrased it, but the growing strength of the plebs is shown by the fact that in fifty years out of the seventy-eight between 444 and 366 they succeeded in obtaining the election of consular tribunes rather than of consuls. Despite, however, these discouragements, the patricians fought on. Each year they strove to secure the creation of consuls rather than consular tribunes, and failing this strained every nerve to secure for their own order at least a majority among the latter. Even the institution of the censorship (435), though rendered desirable by the increasing importance and complexity of the census, was, it is probable, due in part to their desire to discount beforehand the threatened loss of the consulship by diminishing its powers. 9 Other causes, too, helped to protract the struggle. Between the wealthier plebeians, who were ambitious of high office, and the poorer, whose minds were set rather on allotments of land, there was a division of interest of which the patricians were not slow to take advantage, and to this must be added the pressure of war. The death struggle with Veii and the sack of Rome by the Gauls absorbed for the time all the energies of the community. In 377, however, two of the tribunes, C. Licinius Stolo (see LJCJNITJS STOLO, GAIUS) and L. Sextius,came forward with proposals which united all sections of the plebs in their support. Their proposals were as follows: 10 (i) that consuls and not consular tribunes be elected; (2) that one consul at least should be a plebeian; (3) that the priestly college, which had the charge of the Sibylline books, should consist of ten members instead of two, and that of these half should be plebeians; (4) that no single citizen should hold in occupation more than 500 acres of the common lands, or pasture upon them more than 100 head of cattle and 500 sheep; (5) that all landowners should employ a certain amount of free as well as slave labour on their estates; (6) that interest already paid on debts should be deducted from the principal, and the remainder paid off in three years. The three last proposals were obviously intended to meet the patres plebiscitis legem comitiis centuriatis tulere, ut quod tributim plebs jussisset populum teneret, qua lege tribuniciis rogationibus telum acerrimum datum est." What were the precise conditions under which a plebiscitum became law can only be conjectured. The control of the patres over legislation certainly remained effective until 287 B.C. (See below.)
7 After the decemvirate, the tribunes no longer pronounce capital sentences. They propose fines, which are confirmed by the comitia tributa.
8 Livy iv. 6; cf. Mommsen, Staatsrecht, ii. 181.
9 Mommsen, Staatsrecht, ii. 331."
10 Livy vi. 35, 42; Appian, B.C. i. 8.
demands of the poorer plebeians, and to secure their support for the first half of the scheme. Ten years of bitter conflict followed, but at last, in 367 B.C., the Licinian rogations became law, and one of their authors, L. Sextius, was created the first plebeian consul. For the moment it was some consolation to the patricians that they not only succeeded in detaching from the consulship the administration of civil law, which was entrusted to a separate officer, praetor urbanus, to be elected by the comitia of the centuries, with an understanding apparently that he should be a patrician, but also obtained the institution of two additional aediles (aediles curules), who were in like manner to be members of their own order. 1 With the opening of the consulship, however, the issue of the long contest was virtually decided, and the next eighty years witnessed a rapid succession of plebeian victories. Now that a plebeian consul might preside at the elections, the main difficulty Opening in the way of the nomination and election of plebeian of the candidates was removed. The proposed patrician Irarfcs monopoly of the new curule aedileship was almost instantly abandoned. In 356 the first plebeian 398. 404. was ma( j e dictator; in 350 the censorship, and in 417 ' 337 tne praetorship were filled for the first time by 4S4. plebeians; and lastly, in 300, by the lex Ogulnia, even the sacred colleges of the pontiffs and augurs, the old strongholds of patrician supremacy, were thrown open to the plebs? The patricians lost also the control they had exercised so long over the action of the people in assembly. The patrum auctoritas, the sanction given or refused by the patrician senators to laws and to elections, had hitherto been a powerful 415. weapon in their hands. But in 339 a law of Q. Publilius Pubiuiaa Philo, a plebeian dictator, enacted that this sanction laws. should be given beforehand to laws enacted in the comitia centuriata? and a lex Maenia of uncertain date extended the rule to elections in the same assembly. Livy ascribes to the same Publilius a law emancipating the concilium plebis Lex from the control of the patres ; but this seems in reality Horteasia, to have been effected by the famous lex Hortensia, 467 - carried by another plebeian dictator. 4 Henceforward the patrum auctoritas sank into a meaningless form, though as such it still survived in the time of Livy. From 287 onwards it is certain that measures passed by the plebs, voting by their tribes, had the full force of laws without any further conditions whatsoever. The legislative independence of the plebeian assembly was secured, and with this crowning victory ended the long struggle between the orders.
(b) Conquest of Italy. Twelve years after the passing of the lex Hortensia, King Pyrrhus, beaten at Beneventum, withdrew from Italy, and Rome was left mistress of the peninsula. The steps by which this supremacy had been won have now to be traced. 6 The expulsion of the Tarquins from Rome, followed as it seems to have been by the emancipation from Etruscan supremacy of all the country between the Tiber and the Liris, entirely altered the aspect of affairs. North of the Tiber the powerful Etruscan city of Veii, after a vain attempt to restore the Tarquins, relapsed into an attitude of sullen hostility towards Rome, which, down to the outbreak of the final struggle in 407, found vent in constant and harassing border forays. The Sabines recommenced their raids across the Anio; from their hills to the south-east the Aequi pressed forward as far as the eastern spurs of the Alban range, and ravaged the low country between that range and the Sabine mountains; the Volsci overran the coast-lands as far as Antium, established them- 1 Livy vi. 42.
2 Ibid. vii. 17, 22; viii. 15; x. 6.
* Ibid. viii. 12, " ut . . . ante initum suffragium patres auc tores fierent," cf. Livy. i. 17. For the lex Maenia, see Cic. Brut. 14, 55; Soltau 112.
4 Plin. N.H. xyi. 10; Cell. xv. 27; Gaius i. 3, " plebiscita lege Hortensia non minus valere quam leges."
6 For details of these wars see articles on the various cities, districts and tribes. For ethnographic and philological evidence see Italy, Ancient Peoples.
selves at Velitrae and even wasted the fields within a few miles of Rome. But the good fortune of Rome did not leave her to face these foes single-handed, and it is a significant League fact that the history of the Roman advance begins, * the not with a brilliant victory, but with a timely alliance. ^ad' tterAccording to Livy, it was in 493, only a few years after oicaas.^ the defeat of the prince of Tusculum at Lake Regillus, 261.
that a treaty was concluded between Rome and the Latin communities of the Campagna. 6 The alliance was in every respect natural. The Latins were the near neighbours and kinsmen of the Romans, and both Romans and Latins were just freed from Etruscan rule to find themselves as lowlanders and dwellers in towns face to face with a common foe in the ruder hill tribes on their borders. The exact terms of the treaty cannot, any more than the precise circumstances under which it was concluded, be stated with certainty (see LATIUM), but two points seem clear. There was at first a genuine equality in the relations between the allies; Romans and Latins, though combining for defence and offence, did so without sacrificing their separate freedom of action, even in the matter of waging wars independently of each other. 7 But, secondly, Rome enjoyed from the first one inestimable advantage. The Latins lay between her and the most active of her foes, the Aequi and Volsci, and served to protect her territories at the expense of their own. Behind this barrier Rome grew strong, and the close of the Aequian and Volscian wars left the Latins her dependents rather than her allies. Beyond the limits of the Campagna Rome found a second ally, hardly less useful than the Latins, in the tribe of the Hernici (" the men of the rocks "), in the valley of the Trerus, who had equal reason with the Romans and Latins to dread the Volsci and Aequi, while their position midway between the two latter peoples made them valuable auxiliaries to the lowlanders of the Campagna.
The treaty with the Hernici is said to have been concluded in 486,* and the confederacy of the three peoples Romans, Latins and Hernicans lasted down to the great Latin war in 340. Confused and untrustworthy as are the chronicles of the early wars of Rome, it is clear that, notwithstanding the acquisition of these allies, Rome made but little way against her foes during the first fifty years of the existence of the Republic. In 474, it is true, an end was put for a time to the harassing border feud with Veii by a forty years' peace, an advantage due not so much to Roman valour as to the increasing dangers from other quarters which were threatening the Etruscan states. 9 But this partial success stands alone, and down to 449 the raids of Sabines, Aequi and Volsci continue without intermission, and are occasionally carried up to the very walls of Rome.
Very different is the impression left by the annals of the next sixty years (449-390). During this period there is an unmistakable development of Roman power on all sides. In southern Etruria the capture of Veii (396) capture virtually gave Rome the mastery as far as the Ciminian of Veil. forest. Sutrium and Nepete, " the gates of Etruria," 3Sg became her allies and guarded her interests against any attack from the Etruscan communities to the north, while along the Tiber valley her suzerainty was acknowledged as far as Capena and Falerii. On the Anio frontier we hear of no disturbances from 449 until some ten years after the sack of Rome by the Gauls. In 446 the Aequi appear for the last time before the gates of Rome. After 418 30S - they disappear from Mount Algidus, and in the same 336.
year the communications of Rome and Latium with the Hernici in the Trerus valley were secured by the capture and colonization of LabicHm. Successive invasions, too, broke the strength of the Volsci, and in 393 a Latin colony was founded as far south as Circeii. In part, no doubt, these Roman successes were due to the improved condition of Livy ii. 33 ; Cic. Pro Balbo, 23. 7 Livy viii. 2.
1 From the Celts in the north especially.
8 Ibid. ii. 41.
affairs in Rome itself, consequent upon the great reforms carried 304-312 Between 450 and 442; but it is equally certain that now, as often afterwards, fortune befriended Rome by weakening, or by diverting the attention of, her opponents. In particular, her rapid advance in southern Etruria was Decline of f ac ii; tate( i by the heavy blows inflicted upon the poiven 111 Etruscans during the sth century B.C. by Celts, Greeks and Samnites. By the close of this century the Celts had expelled them from the rich plains of what was afterwards known as Cisalpine Gaul, and were even threatening to advance across the Apennines into Etruria proper. The Sicilian Greeks, headed by the tyrants of Syracuse, wrested from them their mastery of the seas, and finally, on the capture of Capua by the Samnites in 423, they lost their possessions in the fertile Campanian plain. These conquests of the Samnites were part of a great southward movement of the highland Sabellian peoples, the immediate effects of which upon the fortunes of Rome were not confined to the weakening of the Etruscan power. It is probable that the cessation of the Sabine raids across the Anio was partly due to the new outlets which were opened southwards for the restless and populous hill tribes which had so long disturbed the peace of the Latin lowlands. We may conjecture, also, that the growing feebleness exhibited by Volsci and Aequi was in some measure caused by the pressure upon their rear of the Sabellian clans which at this time established themselves near the Fucine lake and along the course of the Liris. But in 390, only six years after the great victory over her ancient rival Veii, the Roman advance was for a moment Sac* of checked by a disaster which threatened to alter the Rome by course of history in Italy, and which left a lasting the aauis. impress on the Roman mind. In 391 a Celtic horde 363 ' left their newly won lands on the Adriatic, and, cross- ing the Apennines into Etruria, laid siege to the Etruscan city of Clusium (Chiusi). Thence, provoked, it is said, by the conduct of the Roman ambassadors, who, forgetting their sacred character, had fought in the ranks of Clusium and slain a Celtic chief, the barbarians marched upon Rome. On July the 18th of 390 B.C., only a few miles from Rome, was fought the disastrous battle of the Allia. The defeat of the Romans was complete, and Rome lay at the mercy of her foe. But in characteristic fashion the Celts halted three days to enjoy the fruits of victory, and time was thus given to put the Capitol at least in a state of defence. The arrival of the barbarians was followed by the sack of the city, but the Capitol remained impregnable. For seven months they besieged it, and then in as sudden a fashion as they had come they disappeared. The Roman chroniclers explain their retreat in their own way, by the fortunate appearance of M. Furius Camillus with the troops which he had collected, at the very moment when famine had forced the garrison on the Capitol to accept terms. More probably the news that their lands across the Apennines were threatened by the Veneti, coupled with the unaccustomed tedium of a long siege and the difficulty of obtaining supplies, inclined the Celts to accept readily a heavy ransom as the price of their withdrawal. But, whatever the reason, it is certain that they retreated, and, though during the next fifty years marauding bands appeared at intervals in the neighbourhood of Rome, and even once penetrated as far south as Campania (361-60), the Celts never obtained any footing in Italy outside the plains in the north which they had made their own.
Nor, in spite of the defeat on the Allia and the sack of the city, was Rome weakened except for the moment by the Celtic Annexa- attack. The storm passed away as rapidly as it had tion of come on. The city was hastily rebuilt, and Rome dis- southern m ayed the enemies who hastened to take advantage ra * of her misfortunes by her undiminished vigour. Her conquests in southern Etruria were successfully defended against repeated attacks from the Etruscans to the north. The creation in 387 of four new tribes (Stellatina, Sabatina, Tromentina, Arnensis) marked the final annexation of the territory of Veii and of the lands lying along the Tiber valley.
A few years later Latin colonies were established at Sutrium and Nepete for the more effectual defence of the frontier, and finally, in 353, the subjugation of South Etruria was completed by the submission of Caere (q.v.) and its partial incorporation with the Roman state as a " municipium sine suffragio " the first, it is said, of its kind. 1 Next to the settlement of southern Etruria, the most important of the successes gained by Rome between 390 and 343 B.C. were those won against her old foes the Aequi and Volsci, and her old allies the Latins and Hernicans. The Aequi indeed, already weakened by their long Aequi'and feud with Rome, and hard pressed by the Sabellian Voitci. tribes in their rear, were easily dealt with, and after 364-411 the campaign of 389 we have no further mention of an Aequian war until the last Aequian rising in 304. The Volsci, who in 389 had advanced to Lanuvium, were met and utterly defeated by Camillus, the conqueror of Veii, and this victory was followed up by the gradual subjugation to Rome of all the lowland country lying between the hills and the sea as far south as Tarracina. Latin colonies were established at Satricum (385), at Setia (379), and 36g 37J at Antium and Tarracina some time before 348. In 358 two fresh Roman tribes (Pomptina and Publilia) were formed in the same district. 2 Rome had now nothing more to fear from the foes who a century ago had threatened her very existence. The lowland country, of which she was the natural centre, from e . the Ciminian forest to Tarracina, was quiet, and orgaoizawithin its limits Rome was by far the strongest 'power, tion of But she had now to reckon with the old and faithful the Ltttla allies to whose loyal aid her present position was '**""' largely due. The Latini and Hernici had suffered severely in the Aequian and Volscian wars; it is probable that not a few of the smaller communities included in the league had either been destroyed or been absorbed by larger states, and the independence of all alike was threatened by the growing power of Rome. The sack of Rome by the Celts gave them an opportunity of reasserting their independence, and we are consequently told that this disaster was immediately followed by the temporary dissolution of the confederacy, and this again a few years later by a series of actual conflicts between Rome and her former allies. Between 383 and 358 we hear of wars with Tibur, Praeneste, Tusculum, Lanuvium, Circeii and the Hernici. But in all Rome was successful. In 382 Tusculum was fully incorporated with the Roman 372 ^ state by the bestowal of the full franchise; 3 in 358, ' according to both Livy and Polybius, the old alliance was formally renewed with Latini and Hernici. We cannot, however, be wrong in assuming that the position of the allies under the new league was far inferior to that accorded them by the treaty of Spurius Cassius. 4 Henceforth they were the subjects rather than the equals of Rome, a position which it is evident that they accepted much against their will, and from which they were yet to make one last effort to escape.
We have now reached the close of the first stage in Rome's advance towards supremacy in Italy. By 343 B.C. she was already mistress both of the low country stretching from the Ciminian forest to Tarracina and Circeii and of the bordering highlands. Her own territory had largely increased. Across the Tiber the lands of Veii, Capena and Caere were nearly all Roman, while in Latium she had carried her frontiers to Tusculum on the Alban range and to the southernmost limits of the Pomptine district. And th'S territory was protected by a circle of dependent allies and colonies reaching northward to-Sutrium and Nepete, and southward to Sora on the upper Liris, and to Circeii on the coast. Already, too, she was beginning to be recognized as a power outside the 1 For the status of Caere and the " Caerite franchise," see Marquardt, Staatsverw. i. 28 seq ; Madvig, R. Verf. i. 39; Beloch, /to/. Bund, 120; Mommsen, Sta'atsr. iii. 583 sqq.
1 Livy vii. 15. * Ibid. vi. 26.
4 Mommsen, R.G. i. 347 n ; Beloch, /to/. Bund, cap. ix.
limits of the Latin lowlands. The fame of the capture of Rome by the Celts had reached Athens, and her subsequent victories over marauding Celtic bands had given her prestige in South jgg Italy as a bulwark against northern barbarians. In 354 she had formed her first connexions beyond the Liris by a treaty with the Samnites, and in 348 followed a far more important treaty with the great maritime state of Carthage. 1 Rome had won her supremacy from the Ciminian forest to the Liris as the champion of the comparatively civilized comAdvaace munities of the lowlands against the rude highland beyond tribes which threatened to overrun them, and so, when lad't'in' her legions first crossed the Liris, it was in answer to Samaite an appeal from a lowland city against invaders from Wars. the hills. While she was engaged in clearing Latium of Volsci and Aequi, the Sabellian tribes of the central Apennines had rapidly spread over the southern half of the peninsula. Foremost among these- tribes were the Samnites, a portion of whom had captured the Etruscan city of Capua in 331 334 4 2 3> ^ e Greek Cumae in 420, and had since then ruled as masters over the fertile Campanian territory. But in their new homes the conquerors soon lost all sense of relationship and sympathy with their highland brethren. They dwelt in cities, amassed wealth, and inherited the civilization of the Greeks and Etruscans whom they had dispossessed; 2 above all, they had before long to defend themselves in their turn against the attacks of their ruder kinsmen from the hills, and it was for aid against these that the Samnites of Campania appealed to the rising state which had already made herself known as the bulwark of the lowlands north of the Liris, and which with her Latin and Hernican allies had scarcely less interest than the Campanian cities themselves in checking the raids of the highland Samnite tribes.
The Campanian appeal was listened to. Rome with her confederates entered into alliance with Capua and the neighFirst bouring Campanian towns, and war was formally declared (343) against the Samnites. 3 While to the Latins and Hernicans was entrusted apparently the defence of Latium and the Hernican valley against the northerly members of the Samnite confederacy, the Romans themselves undertook the task of driving the invaders out of Campania. After two campaigns the war was ended in 341 by a treaty, and the Samnites withdrew from the lowlands, leaving Rome the recognized suzerain of the Campanian cities which had sought her aid. 4 There is no doubt that the check thus given by Rome to the advance of the hitherto invincible Sabellian highlanders not only made her the natural head and champion of the low countries, south as well as north of the Liris, but also considerably added to her prestige. Carthage sent her congratulations, and the Etruscan city of Falerii voluntarily enrolled herself among the allies of Rome. Of even greater service, however, was the fact that for fifteen years the Samnites remained quiet, for this inactivity, whatever its cause, enabled Rome triumphantly to surmount a danger which threatened for the moment to wreck her whole position. This danger was nothing less than a desperate effort on the part of nearly all her allies and dependants south of the Tiber to throw off the yoke of her supreThe Latin mac y- The way was led by her ancient confederates War. the Latini, whose smouldering discontent broke into open flame directly the fear of a Samnite attack was removed. From the Latin Campagna and the Sabine hills the revolt spread westward and southward to Antium and Tarracina, and even to the towns of the Campanian plain, 1 Livy vii. 27. For the whole question of the early treaties with Carthage, see Polybius iii. 22 ; Mommsen, vol. ii. Appendix (p. 523) ; Strachan-Davidson, Polybius, pp. 50 ff. ; Pais, Storia di Roma, i. 2, 305, n. i ; also article CARTHAGE.
* For the Samnites in Campania, see Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, i. 453 ; Schwegler-Clason, R.G. v. 98 seq.; Beloch, Campanien (Berlin, 1879).
8 Livy vii. 32.
4 For the difficulties in the traditional accounts of this war, see Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, i. 459 n. ; Schwegler-Clason, R.G. v. 14 seq.
where the mass of the inhabitants at once repudiated the alliance formed with Rome by the ruling class. The struggle was sharp but short. In two pitched battles* the strength of the insurrection was broken, and two more campaigns sufficed for the complete reduction of such of the insurgent communities as still held out. The revolt crushed, Rome set herself deliberately to the task of re-establishing on a new and firmer basis her supremacy over the lowlands, and in doing Settleso laid the foundations of that marvellous organization meat of which was destined to spread rapidly over Italy, Latium; and to withstand the attacks even of Hannibal. The old historic Latin league ceased to exist, though its memory was still preserved by the yearly Latin festival on the Alban Mount. Most if not all of the common land of the league became Roman territory; 6 five at least of the old Latin cities were compelled to accept the Roman franchise 7 and enter the pale of the Roman state. The rest, with the Latin colonies, were ranked as Latin allies of Rome, but on terms which secured their complete dependence upon the sovereign city. The policy of isolation, which became so cardinal a principle of Roman rule, was now first systematically applied. No rights of conubium or commercium were any longer to exist between these communities. Their federal councils were prohibited, and all federal action independent of Rome forbidden. 8 In Campania and the coast-lands connecting Campania with Rome, a policy of annexation was considered safer than that of alliance. Of the two frontier posts of the Volsci, an( / / Antium and Velitrae, the former was constituted a CamRoman colony, its long galleys burnt and their pania. prows set up in the Forum at Rome, while the walls of Velitrae were razed to the ground, its leading men banished beyond the Tiber, and their lands given to Roman settlers. Farther south on the route to Campania, Fundi and Formiae were, after the precedent set in the case of Caere, declared Roman and granted the civil rights of Roman citizenship, while lastly in Campania itself the same status was given to Capua, Cumae, and the smaller communities dependent upon them.' During the ten years from 338 to 328 the work of 410-26 settlement was steadily continued. Tarracina, like Antium, was made a Roman colony. Privernum, the last Volscian town to offer resistance to Rome, was subdued ^ in 330, part of its territory allotted to Roman citizens, and the state itself forced to accept the Roman franchise. Lastly, to strengthen the lines of defence against the Sabellian tribes, two colonies with the rights of Latin allies were established at Cales (334) and at Fregellae (328). The ^g 426 settlement of the lowlands was accomplished. As a single powerful and compact state with an outer circle of closely dependent allies, Rome now stood in sharp contrast with the disunited and degenerate cities of northern Etruria, the loosely organized tribes of the Apennines, and the decaying and disorderly Greek towns of the south.
The strength of this system was now to be tried by a struggle with the one Italian people who were still ready and able to contest with Rome the supremacy of the peninsula, second The passive attitude of the Samnites between 342 and Samaite 327 was no doubt largely due to the dangers which Y 2 V'o4- had suddenly threatened them in South Italy. But 427-so7 the death of Alexander of Epirus, in 332, 10 removed 412-27. their only formidable opponent there, and left them 422 - free to turn their attention to the necessity of checking the steady advance of Rome. In 327, the year after the ominous foundation of a Roman colony at Fregellae, a pretext for renewing the struggle was offered them. The 6 At the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Livy viii. 9 ; at Trifanum, ibid, viii. II. Livy viii. II.
' Livy viii. 14; Lanuvium, Aricia, Momentum, Pedum, Tusculum.
8 Ibid. loc. cit., " ceteris Latinis populis conubia commerciaque et concilia inter se ademerunt."
9 For the controversy as to the precise status of Capua and the " equites Campani " (Livy viii. 14), see Beloch, Ital. Bund, 122 seq.; idem, Campanien, 317; Mommsen, Staatsr. iii. 574.
10 Livy viii. 3, 17, 24.
Cumaean colony of Palaepolis 1 had incurred the wrath of Rome by its raids into her territory in Campania. The Samnites sent a force to defend it, and Rome replied by a declaration of war. The two opponents were not at first sight unequally matched, and had the Sabellian tribes held firmly together the issue of the struggle might have been different. As it was, however, the Lucanians to the south actually joined Rome from the first, while the northern clans, Marsi, Vestini, Paeligni, Frentani, after a feeble and lukewarm resistance, subsided into a neutrality which was exchanged in 304 for a formal alliance with Rome. An even greater advantage to Rome from the outset was the enmity existing between the Samnites and the Apulians, the latter of whom from the first joined Rome and thus gave her a position in the rear of her enemy and in a country eminently well fitted for maintaining a large military force. These weaknesses on the Samnite side were amply illustrated by the events of the war.
The first seven or eight years were marked by one serious disaster to the Roman arms, the defeat at the Caudine Forks (321), but, when in 318 the Samnites asked for and obtained a two years' truce, Rome had succeeded not only in inflicting several severe blows upon her enemies but in isolating them from outside help. The Lucanians to the south were her allies. To the east, in the rear of Samnium, Apulia acknowledged the suzerainty of Rome, and Luceria, captured in 320, had been established as a base of Roman operations. Finally to the north the Romans had easily overcome the feeble resistance of the Vestini and Frentani, and secured through their territories a safe passage for their legions to Apulia. On the renewal of hostilities in 316, the Samnites, bent on escaping from the net which was being slowly drawn round them, made a series of desperate efforts to break through the lines of defence which protected Latium and Campania. Sora and Fregellae on the upper Liris were captured by a sudden attack; the Ausones in the low country near the mouth of the same river were encouraged to revolt by the appearance of the Samnite army; and in Campania another army, attracted by rumours of disturbance, all but defeated the Roman consuls under the very walls of Capua. But these efforts were unavailing. Sora and Fregellae were recovered as quickly as they had been lost, and the frontier there was strengthened by the establishment of a colony at Interamna. The Ausones were punished by the confiscation of their territory, and Roman supremacy further secured by the two colonies of Suessa and Pontia (312). The construction of the famous Via Appia, 2 the work of the censor Appius Claudius Caecus, opened a safe and direct route to Campania, while the capture of Nola deprived the Samnites of their last important stronghold in the Campanian lowlands. The failure of these attempts broke the courage even of the Samnites. Their hopes were irtdeed raised for a moment by the news that Etruria had risen against Rome (310), but their daring scheme of effecting a union with the Etruscans was frustrated by the energy of the Roman generals. Five years later (305) the Romans revenged a Samnite raid into Campania by an invasion of Samnium itself. Arpinum on .the frontier was taken, and at last, after a twenty-two years' struggle, the Second Samnite War was closed by a renewal of the ancient treaty with Rome (304).* The six years of peace which followed (304-298) were employed by Rome in still further strengthening her position. Already, two years before the peace, a rash revolt of the Hernici 4 had given Rome a pretext for finally annexing the territory of her ancient allies. The tribal confederacy was broken up, and all the Hernican communities, with the exception of three which had not joined the revolt, were incorporated with the Roman state as municipia, with the civil rights of the Roman franchise. Between the Hernican 1 Livy viii. 22. 1 Ibid. ix. 45.
2 Ibid. ix. 29; see APPIA, VIA. 4 Ibid. ix. 43.
valley and the frontiers of the nearest Sabellian tribes lay what remained of the once formidable people of the Aequi. In their case, too, a revolt (304) was followed by the 4SO annexation of their territory, which was marked in this case by the formation there (301) of two Roman tribes (Aniensis and Teretina). 6 Not content with thus carrying the borders of their own territory up to the very frontiers of the Sabellian country, Rome succeeded (304) in finally detaching from the Sabellian confederacy all the tribes lying' between the north-east frontier of Latium and the Adriatic Sea. Henceforward the Marsi, Paeligni, Vestini, Marrucini and Frentani were enrolled among the allies of Rome, and not only swelled her forces in the field but interposed a useful barrier between her enemies to the north in Etruria and Umbria and those to the south in Samnium, while they connected her directly with the friendly Apulians. Lastly, as a security for the fidelity at least of the nearest of these allies, colonies were planted in the Marsian territories at Alba Fucentia (303) and at Carsioli (298). A significant indication of the widening range of Rome's influence in Italy, and of the new responsibilities rapidly pressing upon her, is the fact that when in 302 the Spartan Cleonymus landed in the territory of the Sallentini, far away in the south-east, he was met and repulsed by a Roman force. 7 Six years after the conclusion of the treaty which ended the Second Samnite War, news arrived that the Samnites were harassing the Lucanians. Rome at once interfered to Third protect her allies. Samnium was invaded in force, Samnite the country ravaged and one stronghold after another War, captured. Unable any longer to hold their own in a *** position where they were hedged round by enemies, the Samnite leaders turned as a last hope to the communities of northern Etruria, to the free tribes of Umbria and to the once dreaded Celts. With a splendid daring they formed the scheme of uniting all these peoples with themselves in a last desperate effort to break the power of Rome.
For some forty years after the final annexation of southern Etruria (351 B.C.) matters had remained unchanged in that quarter. Sutrium and Nepete still guarded Romans the Roman frontier; the natural boundary of the I" N. Ciminian forest was still intact; and up the valley of Etruria. the Tiber Rome had not advanced beyond Falerii, a 403 ~ few miles short of the most southerly Umbrian town Ocriculum. But in 311, on the expiry, apparently of the long truce with Rome, concluded in 351, the northern Etruscans, alarmed no doubt by the rapid advances which Rome was making farther south, rose in arms and attacked Sutrium. The attack, however, recoiled disastrously upon the heads of the assailants. A Roman force promptly relieved Sutrium, and its leader, Q. Fabius Rullianus, without awaiting orders from home, boldly plunged into the wilds of the Ciminian forest, and crossing them safely swept with fire and sword over the rich lands to the north. Then turning southward he met and utterly defeated the forces which the Etruscans had hastily raised in the hopes of intercepting him at the Vadimonian Lake. 8 This decisive victory ended the war. The Etruscan cities, disunited among themselves, and enervated by long years of peace, abandoned the struggle for the time, paid a heavy indemnity and concluded a truce with Rome (309-8). In the 445-46 same year the promptitude of Fabius easily averted a threatened attack by the Umbrians, but Rome proceeded nevertheless to fortify herself in her invariable fashion against future dangers on this side, by an alliance with Ocriculum, which was followed ten years later (299) by a colony at Nequinum,' and an alliance with the Picentes, whose position in the rear 6 Liyy x. 9- * Ibid. ix. 45. r Ibid. x. 2.
8 Ibid. ix. 39. Ihne (Romische Geschichte, i. 2 394 seq.) throws some doubts on the traditional accounts of this war and of that in 296.
9 It received the name of Narnia (Livy x. 10).
of Umbria rendered them as valuable to Rome as the Apulians had proved farther south.
Fourteen years had passed since the battle on the Vadimonian Lake, when the Samnites appeared on the borders of Etruria and Battle of ca U e d on tne peoples of northern Italy to rise against Sen- the common enemy. Their appeal, backed by the i inuin. presence of their troops, was successful. The Etruscans 29S-4S9. ounc j coura g e to f ace the Roman legions once more; a few of the Umbrians joined them; but the most valuable allies to the Samnites were the Celts, who had for some time threatened a raid across the Apennines, and who now marched eagerly into Umbria and joined the coalition. The news that the Celts were in motion produced a startling effect at Rome, and every nerve was strained to meet this new danger. While two armies were left in southern Etruria as reserves, the two consuls, Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus and P. Decius Mus the younger, both tried soldiers, marched northwards up the valley of the Tiber and into Umbria at the head of four Roman legions and a still larger force of Italian allies. At Sentinum, on the further side of the Apennines, they encountered the united forces of the Celts and Samnites, the Etruscans and Umbrians having, it is said, been withdrawn for the defence of their own homes. The battle that followed was desperate, and the Romans lost one of their consuls, Decius, and more than 8000 men. 1 But the Roman victory was decisive. The Celts were annihilated, and the fear of a second Celtic attack on Rome removed. All danger from the coalition was over. The Etruscan communities gladly purchased peace by the payment of indemnities. The rising in Umbria, never formidable, died away, and the Samnites were left single-handed to bear the whole weight of the wrath of Rome. During four years more, however, they desperately defended their highland homes, and twice at least, in 293 and 292, they 461, 462. mana g e d to place in the field a force sufficient to meet the Roman legions on equal terms. At last, in 290, the consul M'.Curius Dentatus finally exhausted their power of resistance. Peace was concluded, and it is significant of the respect inspired at Rome by their indomitable courage that they were allowed to become the allies of Rome, on equal terms and without any sacrifice of independence. 2 Between the close of the Third Samnite War and the landing of Pyrrhus in 281 B.C. we find Rome engaged, as her wont was, in quietly extending and consolidating her power. In southern Italy she strengthened her hold on Apulia by planting on the borders of Apulia and Lucania the strong colony of Venusia. 3 In central Italy the annexation of the Sabine country (290) carried her frontiers eastward to the borders of her Picentine allies on the Adriatic. 4 Farther east, in the territory of the Picentes themselves, she established colonies on the Adriatic coast at Hadria and Castrum (285-83).* North of the Picentes lay the territories of the Celtic Senones stretching inland to the north-east borders of Etruria, and these too now fell into her hands. Ten years after their defeat at Sentinum (285-84) a Celtic force descended into Etruria, besieged Arretium and defeated the relieving force despatched by Rome. In 283 the consul L. Cornelius Dolabella was sent to avenge the insult. He completely routed the Senones. Their lands were annexed by Rome, and a colony established at Sena on the coast. This success, followed as it was by the decisive defeat of the neighbouring tribe of the Boii, who had invaded Etruria and penetrated as far south as the Vadimonian Lake, awed the Celts into quiet, and for more than forty years there was comparative tranquillity in northern Italy. 6 In the south, however, the claims of Rome to supremacy 1 Livy x. 27.
* Livy, Epit. xi., " pacem petentibus Samnitibus foedus quarto renovatum est."
3 Dion. Hal. Exc. xvi. xvii. 5 ; Veil. Pat. i. 14.
4 Livy, Epit. xi. ; Veil. Pat. i. 14.
Livy, Epit. x. Ibid. xii. ; Polyb. ii. 20.
were now to be disputed by a new and formidable foe. At the close of the Third Samnite War the Greek cities War wlth on the southern coast of Italy found themselves once Pyrrhus, more harassed by the Sabellian tribes on their borders, 281-75= whose energies, no longer absorbed by the long struggles 473 ~ 79 - in central Italy, now found an attractive opening southward. Naturally enough the Greeks, like the Capuans sixty years before, appealed for aid to Rome (283-82), and like the Capuans they offered in return to recognize the suzerainty of the great Latin Republic. In reply a Roman force under C. Fabricius Luscinus marched into south Italy, easily routed the marauding bands of Lucanians, Bruttians and Samnites, and established Roman garrisons in Locri, Croton, Rhegium and Thurii. At Tarentum, the most powerful and flourishing of the Greek seaports, this sudden and rapid advance of Rome excited the greatest anxiety. Tarentum was already allied by treaty (301) with Rome, and she had now to decide whether this treaty should be exchanged for one which would place her, like the other Greek communities, under the protectorate of Rome, or whether she should find some ally able and willing to assist in making a last stand for independence. The former course, in Tarentum, as before at Capua, was the one favoured by the aristocratic party ; the latter was eagerly supported by the mass of the people and their leaders. While matters were still in suspense, the appearance, contrary to the treaty, of a Roman squadron off the harbour decided the controversy. The Tarentines, indignant at the insult, attacked the hostile fleet, killed the admiral and sunk most of the ships. Still Rome, relying probably on her partisans in the city, tried negotiation, and an alliance appeared likely after all, when suddenly the help for which the Tarentine democrats had been looking appeared, and war with Rome was resolved upon (281-80).' King Pyrrhus, 8 whose timely appearance seemed for the moment to have saved the independence of Tarentum, was the most brilliant of the military adventurers whom the disturbed times following the death of Alexander the Great had brought into prominence. High-spirited, generous and ambitious, he had formed the scheme of rivalling Alexander's achievements in the East, by winning for himself an empire in the West. He aspired not only to unite under his rule the Greek communities of Italy and Sicily, but to overthrow the great Phoenician state of Carthage the natural enemy of Greeks in the West, as Persia had been in the East. Of Rome it is clear that he knew little or nothing; the task of ridding the Greek seaports of their barbarian foes he no doubt regarded as an easy one; and the splendid force he brought with him was intended rather for the conquest of the West than for the preliminary work of chastising a few Italian tribes, or securing the submission of the unwarlike Italian Greeks. He defeated the Roman consul, M. Valerius Laevinus, on the banks of the Liris (280), and gained the support of .the Greek cities as well as that of numerous bands of Samnites, ' * Lucanians and Bruttians. But, to the disappointment of his new allies, Pyrrhus showed no anxiety to follow up his advantage. His heart was set on Sicily and Africa, and his immediate object was to come to terms with Rome. But though he advanced as near Rome as Anagnia (279), nothing could shake the resolution of the senate, and in the next year 475 ' (278) he again routed the legions at Asculum (Ascoli), but only to find that the indomitable resolution of the enemy was strengthened by defeat. He now crossed into Sicily, where, though at first successful, he was unable to achieve any lasting result. Soured and disappointed, Pyrrhus returned to Italy (276) to find the Roman legions steadily moving southwards, and his Italian allies disgusted by his desertion of their cause. In 275 the decisive battle of the war was fought at Beneventum. The consul, M'. Curius Dentatus, the conqueror of Samnium, gained a complete victory, 7 Livy, Epit. xii.; Plut. Pyrrh. 13.
8 For his career and for the story of his wars with Rome, see the article PYRRHUS.
481, 491. 481, 486, 491. 486.
and Pyrrhus, unable any longer to face his opponents in the field, and disappointed of all assistance from his allies, retreated to disgust to Tarentum and thence crossed into Greece. 1 A few years later (272) Tarentum was surrendered to Rome by its Epirot garrison; it was granted a treaty of alliance, but its walls were razed and its fleet handed over to Rome. In 270 Rhegium also entered the ranks of Roman allies, and finally in 269 a single campaign crushed the last efforts at resistance in Samnium. Rome was now at leisure to consolidate the position she had won. Between 273 and 263 three new colonies were founded in Samnium and Lucania Paestum in 273, Beneventum in 268, Aesernia in 263. In central Italy the area of Roman territory was increased by the full enfranchisement (268) of the Sabines, 2 and of their neighbours to the east, the people of Picenum. 4 86 To guard the Adriatic coast colonies were established 49 g at Ariminum (268), at Firmum and at Castrum Novum (264), while to the already numerous maritime colonies was added that of Cosa in Etruria. 3 Rome was now the undisputed mistress of Italy. The limits of her supremacy to the north were represented roughly by a Rome the line drawn across the peninsula from the mouth of mistress the Arno on the west to that of the Aesis on the east. 4 of Italy. Beyond this line lay the Ligurians and the Celts; all south of it was now united as "Italy" under the rule of Rome. But the rule of Rome over Italy, like her wider rule over the Mediterranean coasts, was not an absolute dominion over conquered subjects. It was in form at least a confederacy under Roman protection and guidance; and the Italians, like the provincials, were not the subjects, but the " allies and friends " of the Roman people. 5 In the treatment of these allies Rome consistently followed the maxim, divide et impera. In every possible way she strove to isolate them from each other, while binding them closely to herself. The old federal groups were in most cases broken up, and each of the members united with Rome by a special treaty of alliance. In Etruria, Latium, Campania and Magna Graecia the city state was taken as the unit ; in central Italy where urban life was non-existent, the unit was the tribe. The northern Sabellian peoples, for instance the Marsi, Paeligni, Vestini, Marrucini, Frentani were now constituted as separate communities in alliance with Rome. In many cases, too, no freedom of trade or intermarriage was allowed between the allies themselves, a policy afterwards systematically pursued in the provinces. Nor were all these numerous allied communities placed on the same footing as regarded their relations with Rome herself. To begin with, a sharp distinction was drawn between the " Latini" and the general mass of Italian allies. The " Latins " of this period had little more than the name in common with the old thirty Latin peoples of the days of Spurius Cassius. With a few exceptions, such as Tibur and Praeneste, the latter had either disappeared or had been incorporated with the Roman state, and the Latins of 268 B.C. were almost exclusively the " Latin colonies," that is to say, communities founded by Rome, composed of men of Roman blood, and whose only claim to the title " Latin " lay in the fact that Rome granted to them some portion of the rights and privileges formerly enjoyed by the old Latin cities under the Cassian treaty. 6 Though nominally allies, they were in fact offshoots of Rome herself, bound to her by community of race, language and interest, and planted as Roman garrisons among alien and conquered peoples. The Roman citizen who joined a Latin colony lost his citizenship to have allowed him to retain it would no doubt have been regarded as enlarging too rapidly the limits of the citizen body; but he received in 1 Livy, Epit. xiv. ; Plut. Pyrrh. 26.
2 Veil. Pat. i. 14, " suffragii ferendi jus Sabinis datum." 'Ibid.; Livy, Epit. xv.
4 Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 60, note I ; Nissen, /to/. Landeskunde, i. p. 71.
6 Beloch, Ital. Bund, 203; Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 60, note 2.
s For the coloniae Latinos founded before the First Punic War, see Beloch, 136 seq.
exchange the status of a favoured ally. The member of a Latin colony had the right of commercium and down to 268 7 of conubium also with Roman citizens. Provided they left sons and property to represent them at home, they were free to migrate to Rome and acquire the Roman franchise. In war-time they not only shared in the booty, but claimed a portion of any land confiscated by Rome and declared " public." These privileges, coupled with their close natural affinities with Rome, successfully secured the fidelity of the Latin colonies, which became not only the most efficient props of Roman supremacy, but powerful agents in the work of Romanizing Italy. Below the privileged Latins stood the Italian The allies; and here again we know generally that there Italian were considerable differences of status, determined allies. in each case by the terms of their respective treaties with Rome. We are told that the Greek cities of Neapolis and Heraclea were among the most favoured; 8 the Bruttii, on the other hand, seem, even before the Hannibalic War, to have been less generously treated. But beyond this we have no detailed information.
Rome, however, did not rely only on this policy of isolation. Her allies were attached as closely to herself as they were clearly separated from each other, and from the first she took every security for the maintenance of her own paramount authority. Within its own borders, each ally was left to manage its own affairs as an independent state. 9 The badges which marked subjection to Rome in the provinces the resident magistrate and the tribute were unknown in Italy. But in all points affecting the relations of one ally with another, in all questions of the general interests of Italy and of foreign policy, the decision rested solely with Rome. The place of a federal constitution, of a federal council, of federal officers, was filled by the Roman senate, assembly and magistrates. The maintenance of peace and order in Italy, the defence of the coasts and frontiers, the making of war or peace with foreign powers, were matters the settlement of which Rome kept entirely in her own hands. Each allied state, in time of war, was called upon for a certain contingent of men, but, though its contingent usually formed a distinct corps under officers of its own, its numerical strength was fixed by Rome, it was brigaded with the Roman legions, and was under the orders of the Roman consul. 10 This paramount authority of Rome throughout the peninsula was confirmed and justified by the fact that Rome herself was now infinitely more powerful than any one of her The numerous allies. Her territory, as distinct from that Romaa of the allied states, covered something Eke one-third * tate ' of the peninsula south of the Aesis. Along the west coast it stretched from Caere to the southern borders of Campania. Inland, it included the former territories of the Aequi and Hernici, the Sabine country, and even extended eastward into. Picenum, while beyond these limits were outlying districts, such as the lands of the Senonian Celts, with the Roman colony of Sena, and others elsewhere in Italy, which had been confiscated by Rome and given over to Roman settlers. Since the first important annexation of territory after the capture of Veii (396), twelve new tribes had been formed, 11 and the number of male citizens registered at the census had risen from 152,000 to 2f)o,ooo. n Within this enlarged Roman 7 The year of the foundation of Ariminum, the first Latin colony with the restricted rights; Cic. Pro Coec. 35, 202; Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 52 n.; Staatsr. iii. 624; Marquardt, Staatsverw. i. 54; Beloch, 155-58, takes a different view.
8 Beloch, Camp. 39; Cic. Pro Balbo, 8, 21, 22, 50.
9 For the relation of the socii Italici to Rome, see Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 53 ff. ; Beloch, Ital. Bund, cap. x.
10 Beloch, 203. The importance of this duty of the allies is expressed in the phrase, " socii nominisve Latini quibus ex formula togatorum milites in terra Italia imperare solent."
11 Four in South Etruria (387), two in the Pomptine territory (358), two in Latium (332), two in the territory of the southern Volsci and the Ager Falernus (313), two in the Aequian and Hernican territory (299). The total of thirty-five was completed in 241 by formation of the Velina and Quirina, probably in the Sabine and Picentine districts, enfranchised in 268. See Beloch, 32.
12 Livy, Epit. xvi. ; Eutrop. ii. 18; Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, iu 55 n. ; Beloch, cap. iv. pp. 77 seq.
state were now included numerous communities with local Coioakt institutions and government. At their head stood and the Roman colonies (colonioe civium Romanorum), ci"!a' founded to guard especially the coasts of Latium and Campania. 1 Next to these eldest children of Rome came those communities which had been invested with the full Roman franchise, such, for instance, as the old Latin towns of Aricia, Lanuvium, Tusculum, Nomentum and Pedum. Lowest in the scale were those which had not been considered ripe for the full franchise, but had, like Caere, received instead the civitas sine suffragio, the civil without the political rights. 2 Their members, though Roman citizens, were not enrolled in the tribes, and in time of war served not in the ranks of the Roman legions but in separate contingents. In addition to these organized town communities, there were also the groups of Roman settlers on the public lands, and the dwellers in the village communities of the enfranchised highland districts in central Italy.
The administrative needs of this enlarged Rome were obviously such as could not be adequately satisfied by the system which had done well enough for a small city state with a few square miles of territory. The old centralization of all government in Rome itself had become an impossibility, and the Roman statesmen did their best to meet the altered requirements of the time. The urban communities within the Roman pale, colonies and municipia, were allowed a large measure of local self- government. In all we find local assemblies, senates and magistrates, to whose hands the ordinary routine of local administration was confided, and, in spite of differences in detail, e.g. in the titles and numbers of the magistrates, the same type of constitution prevailed throughout. 3 But these local authorities were carefully subordinated to the higher powers in Rome. The local constitution could be modified or revoked by the Roman senate and assembly, and the local magistrates, no less than the ordinary members of the community, were subject to the paramount authority of the Roman consuls, praetors and censors. In particular, care was taken to keep the administration of justice well under central control. The Roman citizen in a colony or municipium enjoyed, of course, the right of appeal to the Roman people in a capital case. We may also assume that from the first some limit was placed to the jurisdiction of the local magistrate, and that cases falling outside it came before the central authorities. But an additional safeguard for the . , equitable and uniform administration of Roman law, Prefects. . ^ in communities to many of which the Roman code was new and unfamiliar, was provided by the institution of prefects (praefecti juri dicundo), 4 who were sent out annually, as representatives of the Roman praetor, to administer justice . in the colonies and municipia. To prefects was, moreover, assigned the charge of those districts within the Roman pale where no urban communities, and consequently no organized local government, existed. In these two institutions, that of municipal government and that of prefectures, we have already two of the cardinal points of the later imperial system of government.
Lastly, the changes which the altered position and increased responsibilities of Rome had effected in her military system 5 The tended to weaken the intimate connexion between military the Roman army in the field and the Roman people system. at home, and thus prepared the way for that complete breach between the two which in the end proved fatal to the Republic. It is true that service in the legion was still the first duty and the highest privilege of the fully qualified citizen. But this service was gradually altering in character. Though new legions were still raised each year for the summer 1 Ostia, Antium, Tarracina, Minturnae, Sinuessa, and, on the Adriatic, Sena and Castrum Novum.
2 To both these classes the term municipia was applied.
' For details, see Beloch, /to/. Bund, caps, v., vi., vii. The enfranchised communities in most cases retained the old titles for their magistrates, and hence the variety in their designations.
4 For the praefecti, see Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 49, 67, and Staatsr. ii. 608; Beloch, 130-35.
6 Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, ii. 72 seq. ; Livy viii. 8 ; Polyb. vi. 17-42.
campaigns, this was by no means always accompanied, as formerly, by the disbandment of those already on foot, and this increase in the length of time during which the citizen was kept with the standards had, as early as the siege of Veii, necessitated a further deviation from the old theory of military service the introduction of pay.* Moreover, while in the early days of the Republic the same divisions served for the soldier in the legion and the citizen in the assembly, in the new manipular system, 7 with its three lines, no regard was paid to civic distinctions, but only to length of service and military efficiency, while at the same time the more open order of fighting which it involved demanded of each soldier greater skill, and therefore a more thorough training in arms than the old phalanx. One other change resulted from the new military Thepro , necessities of the time, which was as fruitful of results ^,,,^1^, as the incipient separation between the citizen and the soldier. Under the early Republic, the chief command of the legions rested with the consuls of the year. But, as Rome's military operations increased in area and in distance from Rome, a larger staff became necessary, and the inconvenience of summoning home a consul in the field from an unfinished campaign became intolerable. The remedy found, that of prolonging for a further period the imperium of the consul, was first applied in 327 B.C. in the case of Q. Publilius Philo, 8 and between 327 and 264 instances of this prorogatio imperil became increasingly common. This proconsular authority, originally an occasional and subordinate one, was destined to become first of all the strongest force in the Republic, and ultimately the chief prop of the power of the Caesars.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)