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Old November 10th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #1
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The Roman Republic: from 300 BC onward

Inspired (nope, not plagiarizing, God forbids !) by the Statements Game threads of our Inc, let me try a similar approach on the chronological evolution of the Roman Republic.

Given the imprecision of the information from the few available sources on the early republic and specially its problematic chronology (Varro vs Livius vs Diodoros vs Fasti) the thread is going to begin in medias res, more exactly by the turn to the III century BC, when all these Classical chronologies tended to conflate.

The Livian chronology is going to be used here.

As usual, any participation or contribution of any kind will be highly welcomed.
Thanks in advance

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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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300/299 BC / CDLI AUC / 1st year 120th Olympiad.
Consulate of Marcus Valerius Corvus & Quintus Appuleius Pansa

This was an amazing fifth consulate for the patrician Corvus, kind of Roman super-star of the time; so far only two Romans had reached such milestone.

Corvus promoted the notable Lex Valeria de Provocatione, strengthening the original Leges Valeriae of 509 BC & 449 BC on the right of appeal in capital sentences
This was the third time since the expulsion of the kings that this law was re-enacted, and always by the same family.
I think that the reason for renewing it so often was solely the fact that the excessive power exercised by a few men was dangerous to the liberties of the plebs...
The Valerian law, it is true, forbade any one who had exercised his right of appeal to be scourged or beheaded, but if any one transgressed its provisions it added no penalty, but simply declared such transgression to be a "wicked act."
Such was the self-respect and sense of shame amongst the men of those days, that I believe that declaration to have been a sufficiently strong barrier against violations of the law.
Nowadays there is hardly a slave who would not use stronger language against his master.
(T. Livius, X. IX)

An excellent example of the protection given by the Republic even to her poorest citizens.

299/298 BC...

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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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299/298 BC / CDLII AUC / 2nd year 120th Olympiad.}

Consuls Marcus Fulvius Paetinus & Titus Manlius Torquatus.

A year of famine and crisis probably related with a Gaulish invasion, in spite of which (or maybe thanks to it) the patrician consul Fulvius finally captured the Umbrian city of Nequinum (Narnia, unrelated with the children's books) sieged since the last year, celebrating his duly triumph 7 days before the Kalendas of October of this year (24 September).

This was actually still the period of relative peace between the Samnite Wars II & III.

298/297 BC...

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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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298/297 BC / CDLIII AUC / 3rd year 120th Olympiad.
Consuls Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus & Cnaeus Fulvius Maximus Centumalus.

The portentous Samnite War III began due to the overlapping imperialism over Lucania (Southern Italy).
Both consuls were required in the battlefield:
- the patrician Scipio against the Etruscans and
- the plebeian Fulvius against the Samnites.
The later celebrated his triumph the Idus (13) of November.

297/296 BC:

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Old November 10th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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297/296 BC / CDLIV AUC / 4th year 120th Olympiad.
Consuls Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus, Publius Decius Mus.

The Republic favored experience under national emergencies; against their own tradition, this was his fourth consulate for this patrician and his third for this plebeian consuls.

The later legendary Appius Claudius Caecus tried to manipulate the elections by presenting (against the rules) two patrician candidates, himself and the aforementioned Rullianus; the later would have exemplarily declined:
After this he (Fabius) returned to Rome for the elections and arranged for them to be held at an early date.
The centuries who voted first declared without exception for Fabius.
Amongst the candidates was the energetic and ambitious Appius Claudius. Anxious to secure the honour for himself, he was quite as anxious that both posts should be held by patricians, and he brought his utmost influence, supported by the whole of the nobility, to bear upon the electors so that they might return him together with Fabius.
At the outset Fabius refused, and alleged the same grounds for his refusal as he had alleged the year before.
Then all the nobles crowded round his chair and begged him to extricate the consulship from the plebeian mire and restore both to the office itself and to the patrician houses the august dignity which they possessed of old.
As soon as he could obtain silence he addressed them in terms which calmed their excitement.
He would, he said, have arranged to admit votes for two patricians if he saw that any one else than himself was being elected, but as matters were he would not allow his name to stand, since it would be against the law and form a most dangerous precedent.
So L. Volumnius, a plebeian, was elected together with Appius Claudius; they had already been associated in a previous consulship.
(T. Livius, X. XV)
Guess Fabius' behavior would have made little sense had the Roman elections been just parodies and their results already known in advance, huh?

Au contraire, it's clear that there was some electoral struggle at the time.

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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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296/295 BC / CDLV AUC / 1st year 121th Olympiad.
Consuls: Appius Claudius Caecus & Lucius Volumnius Flamma Violens

The second time for this consular team; Claudius had served as praetor the previous year.

The service and Imperium of the consuls of the previous year were continues under the still relatively new office of proconsul (hence the name); the extension of the Roman territory and the magnitude of the Samnite conflict required more commands in farther locations.

The economy should have been in problems, because the two curule aediles
Cnaeus and Quintus Ogulnius, brought up several money-lenders for trial this year.
The proportion of their fines which was paid into the treasury was devoted to various public objects;
the wooden thresholds of the Capitol were replaced by bronze,
silver vessels were made for the three tables in the shrine of Jupiter,
and a statue of the god himself, seated in a four-horsed chariot, was set up on the roof.
They also placed near the Ficus Ruminalis a group representing the Founders of the City as infants being suckled by the she-wolf.
(Livius, X. XXIII)
In turn, their colleagues the Plebeian aediles
L. Aelius Paetus and C. Fulvius Curvus, spent the money derived from their fines on public games and a set of golden bowls to be placed in the temple of Ceres.

Click the image to open in full size.
It is often forgotten that the natives of southern Italy (Samnites, Lucanians & allies) were being attacked simultaneously & independently from both sides, the Romans from the north and the Hellenes of Agathokles of Syrakousai from the south.

295/294 BC...
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #7

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More visual stimuli like that map showing Lucania please, otherwise keep up the good work.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
More visual stimuli like that map showing Lucania please, otherwise keep up the good work.
You know any contribution is highly welcomed, right ?
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #9

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367 BC: promulgation of the Leges Liciniae Sextiae, named after Giaius Licinius Calvus Stolo and Lucius Sextus Lateranus.
According to most scholars, The Leges Liciniae Sextiae introduced the office of Curules Aedile, as well as enabling plebeians to run for consularship.(they also probably included an agrarian reform regarding the ownership of public land or "Aeger Publicus" and norms regulating credits and debtors)
The years preceding these laws saw a period of political anarchy marked by the harsh contrast between "the intransigent" M. Furius Camillus and the plebeians demanding more political visibility

Livy's Ab Urbe Condita, VI 35:
An opportunity for innovation was presented by the enormous load of debt, which the plebs could have no hope of lightening but by placing their representatives in the highest offices. They therefore argued that they must gird themselves to think of this: with toil and effort the plebeians had already advanced so far that it was in their power, if they continued to exert themselves, to reach the highest ground, and to equal the patricians in honours as well as in worth. For the present it was resolved that Gaius Licinius and Lucius Sextius should be elected tribunes of the plebs, a magistracy in which they might open for themselves a way to the other distinctions. Once elected, they proposed only such measures as abated the influence of the patricians, while forwarding the interests of the plebs. One of these had to do with debt, providing that what had been paid as interest should be deducted from the original sum, and the remainder discharged in three annual instalments of equal size. A second set a limit on lands, prohibiting anyone from holding more than five hundred iugera. A third did away with the election of military tribunes, and prescribed that of the consuls one, at any rate, should be chosen from the plebs. These were all matters of great moment, and it would not be possible to carry them without a tremendous struggle. Now when all the things that men immoderately covet, lands, money, and promotion, were jeopardized at once, the patricians became thoroughly alarmed; and failing, after frightened conference in public and private gatherings, to devise any other remedy than that veto which they had already tried before in many struggles, provided themselves with friends amongst the colleagues of the tribunes, to oppose their measures. These men, seeing Licinius and Sextius summon the tribes to vote, came up in the midst of a body-guard of patricians, and refused to permit the bills to be recited or anything else to be done that was usual in passing a resolution of the plebs. And now the assembly had been summoned repeatedly without avail, and the rogations were as though they had been voted down, when Sextius cried out, “So be it! Since it is your pleasure that the intercession should be so powerful, we will use5 that very weapon for the protection of the plebs. Come now, senators, and proclaim an assembly for the choice of military tribunes; I warrant you shall have no joy of that word veto, which you now hear with such satisfaction from the chorus of our colleagues.” His threats were no idle ones: except for the aediles and tribunes of the plebs, there was not an election held. Licinius and Sextius were chosen again, and suffered no curule magistrates to be elected; and this dearth of magistrates continued in the City for five years, while the plebs continued to re-elect the two men tribunes, and they to prevent the election of military tribunes.

The dichotomy Patrician consul - Plebeian consul lasted from 342 BC to 172 BC, when two Plebeian consules were elected for the first time ( Marcus Popillius Laenas and Publius Aelius Ligus)

A visual thing for Zeno, Rome during the First Samnitic War
Click the image to open in full size.

P.S. Sorry Sylla for messing up your chronology

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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by M.E.T.H.O.D. View Post
A visual thing for Zeno, Rome during the First Samnitic War
Click the image to open in full size.

P.S. Sorry Sylla for messing up your chronology
No problem, all we need now is another thread for this new point of inflection chosen by you here http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...le-orders.html .

Last edited by sylla1; November 10th, 2012 at 05:38 PM.
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