Module 2: Rome's Beginnings
Terms in this set (49)
What are the mountains that divide Italy from the rest of the World?
What is the mountain range that is the "spine of Italy"?
Po river valley
a wide basin with fertile land ideal for planting. It's located roughly in the top-left of Italy right below the Alps
Maritime significance of Italy and Sicily?
the Mediterranean Sea is divided in half by Italy, and a popular passage betwen the two halves is the straits of Messina, which is by Sicily
Straits of Messina?
a narrow pass between Italy and Sicily
Why are graves so often such abundant sources of material evidence?
Ancient people, especially the elite were often buried with their possesions
limitations of archaeological evidence?
in comparison to literature the archaelogical evidence can only give us a guess on political, social, or religious thoughts/beliefs. Grave robbing gives us an incomplete idea of the evidence. Some older excavated sites were not properly recorded when first excavated in the 1900s
What do we mean when we label a period as belonging to the Stone, Bronze, or Iron Age?
this was the most advanced material employed at the time, particularly in tools
Which of the following were advantages in developing iron over bronze in Italy?
1. tools and weapons worked with iron are harder and retain an edge better
2. iron ore is more plentiful in ITaly than the constiuent parts of bronze (especially tin)
True or false: Villanovan culture is associated with the introduction of ironworking in Italy, especially Etruria.
context: evidence of the first iron-forging technology first appeared in the Villanova estate and Villanovan culture.
Which cultures traded extensively in Italy during the Iron Age?
Greeks and Phoenicians
Why do you think Phoenician and Greek trade was such an important factor in political and cultural development in Iron Age Italy?
Trade brought upon improvement in material items (i.e. wealth)
Advances in technology (i.e. writing)
Ideas (i.e. the concept for political and social organization, one of the most important of these was the idea for the city-state can specifically be linked to trade with the Greeks and Phoenicians)
Why do you think the introduction of writing to Italy so crucial to the development of the city-state?
- dedicatory purposes i.e. tomb markings
- determining social hierarchies
- (possibly) bureaucratic or legal functions
-religious or ritual behavior
True or false: many elites in the period of the early city-state adopted habits of displaying their status from Greece and the Near East.
context: the elites copied the Greeks and Phoenicians who additionally also supplied them with rare/prestigious items
Which cultures dominated Italy during the 7th-5th centuries BCE (at the time of Rome's foundation)? Mark all correct answers.
Greek and Etruscan
True or false: the Etruscans left a large body of textual evidence which is well understood by modern scholars.
context: they have an alphabet and we have a few Etruscan texts however we don't understand enough Etruscan to make sense of them
What is the name of the river running through the city of Rome?
Give two examples of the advantages provided by Rome's geographical situation.
Rome was on the banks of Tiber so they had access to water and its hills were a natural defense/baricade against enemies
What year did: Rome increases in complexity, with larger cemeteries at the margins of settlement
What year did: drainage and development of Forum Romanum
What year did: erection of monumental constructions e.g. the Regia, Comitium, Curia
late 7th centure BCE
With which legendary figure does Livy begin his Roman history?
context: refugee from Troy who was an important figure in Rome's foundation narrative
Where was Aeneas from?
context: He fled Italy at the end of Trojan War when city was destroyed by Greeks
After arriving in Latium, how did Aeneas make peace with Latinus, the king of the indigenous Latins?
Latinus let Aeneas marry his daughter, Lavinia, however this caused tensions between Aeneas and Turnus (another king that the Lavinia had already been promised to)
Another king of Latium that Lavinia, Latinus' daughter, had been promised to. However, Latinus let Aeneas marry his daughter as a compromise
True or False: after making peace with King Latium, Aeneas faced no further obstacles in settling Latium with his Trojan followers.
context: Turnus was salty that Lavinia, Latinus' daughter, was marrying Aeneas instead. Thus declared war on the Trojans and Latins
What was the ethnicity of Mezentius, with whom Turnus allies against the Trojans?
context: Mezentius ruled Caere, a nearby Etruscan region, and had grown wary ot the growing power of the Trojans under Aeneas
What do you make of Livy's story of Aeneas? Is this an invasion, or a peaceful merging of communities? How do you interpret Aeneas' execution of Turnus while begging for mercy, as an origin story of the Roman community?
the merger of Aeneas with Latinum and the Latins was interesting because they didn't see themselves as Latins, but they also recognized they shared common ancestry and customs
Aeneas' furious killing of Turnus is seen as part of the trend of the violence inherent in the establishment of new power and foreshadows Rome's history of conquest
Who founded Alba Longa?
context: Ascanius is the son of Aeneas, and founded Alba Longa about 12 miles away from Rome, his descendants are known as the Silvan Kings
Who was Rhea Silvia?
the daughter of Numitor, rightful king of Alba Longa, and the mother of Romulus and Remus
context: Ascanius had two sons (older) Numitor and (younger) Amulius while rule is passed down from father to eldest son, Amulius seized power from Numitor and killed all sons, however he spared Rhea Silvia, Numitor's daughter and made her a Vestal Virgin so she would not have sons who could usurp him for rightful power
Why was Rhea Silvia made a Vestal Virgin?
so Numitor would not have any male descendents
context: since rightful rule was by the eldest son, any male descendants of Numitor had a rightful place to the throne and could potentially usurp Amulius
Who are the Vestal Virgins?
- women of elite families who were sworn to virginity as children
- lived in the House of the Vestals
- protected a sacred fire in the House that meant the fall of Rome if it ever went out
- served until 40
- it they broke their vow of virginity they were to be buried alive
What happened to Rhea Silvia after she was made a Vestal Virgin?
she was raped by the god Mars
What happened after Amulius ordered Romulus and Remus to be drowned?
- a servant was instructed to kill the infants but instead put them in a basket in the Tiber where the current was weaker so that there was a possibility that they would be rescued before they drowned
- they were found and suckled by a she-wolf
- then found by Faustulus, a sheperd, and raised as his children
Why was Remus arrested at a festival?
he was accused of stealing cattle from Numitor
context: some other thieves were upset and framed them for stealing from Numitor, however, they were reunited with Numitor and discovered their true heritage
What happened when Remus was held in custody by Numitor?
Romulus and Remus' identities were revealed, and Numitor was hailed as the rightful king of Alba Longa
How did Romulus and Remus attempt to resolve their disagreement over who would become king? Why did their efforts fail?
They used the method of augury, however, Remus saw 6 birds first, but Romulus saw 12 birds, and since they couldn't figure out how to interpret the two omens. Specifically should the city go to who saw the birds first or who saw the greater number?
What was the primary purpose of augury in early Roman and Etruscan culture?
to sanction a course of action
context: Augury was not used to forcast the future, instead it was more of green light to do something. The augur would decide to do something and the birds would confirm/deny the choice of action.
Give two examples of Etruscan influence on Roman culture recorded by Livy.
The curule chair and the purple-bordered toga.
context: they adopted this from neighbours along with augury, lictors (body guard), the chair and toga are specifically mentioned by Livy.
Who were the patres?
the first senators appointed by Romulus
context: descendants of these 100 original senators were called "patricians", ended up being very influential
What are the major stories and themes surrounding the foundation of Rome?
stories: Aeneas, Romulus and Remus
influences: Etruscan (neighbours), Greeks and Phoenicians (trade)
themes: violence and rightful rule, role of women
With whom did Romulus populate his city initially?
fugitives from other communities
context: Rome was made to be an asylum, "all of them wanting nothing but a fresh start" (Livy 40). But there was a lack of women for that reason.
How did Romulus convince the Sabine women to come to Rome in order to get snatched up by his men?
Romulus used the ruse of a religious festival (Consualia, a festival in honor of Neptune) to attract neighbours. Then commanded the Romans to capture the neighbouring women while the mens' defenses were down
How did Romulus placate the Sabine women after their capture?
- blamed their parents for being too proud to go into peaceful marriage negotiations
- their husbands were to be kind to them
- they would equally share the fortunes of Rome, esp through their children
Who attacked Rome to enact immediate retribution for the attack on the Sabines?
the men of Caenina
context: the other countries Antemnae and Crustumium wanted to attack but they were taking too long so the men of Caenina actually attacked first`
Why did Romulus dedicate the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius?
in recognition of his victory over Caenina
context: returning from battle, Romulus gives prayer to Jupiter, and the ground becomes a temple displaying spolia opima ("rich spoils") from the war
How was peace brokered in the conflict between the Romans and the Sabines?
Hersilia, Romulus' wife, had the captured wives of the city asking her to ask Romulus for forgiveness for their parents. Since Romulus was celebrating victory Hersilia took advantage of his mood to ask him to forgive the parents of the women so that their parents could come live in Rome
What do you make of this? Why do you think Romans described their legendary origins in such violent terms? What might this tell us about ancient societies like Rome?
- brutality and unpredictability of ancient life
- violence in building community
- justification for conquering
- mythical understanding of live and death through violence
STOPPED AT THE MONARCHY