The Romans adopted an aggressive military policy, but they were not strong enough to become masters of the Italian peninsula immediately. They fought for nearly a century just to ensure their safety from the Etruscans. They also faced invasion by the Gauls, a people of the Celtic language group who inhabited most of modern-day France and northern Italy. The disastrous sack of Rome by the raiders from Gaul in 390 BC could well have ended the citys history, even though patriotic fiction has since minimized the event. At that time some Romans argued that they should emigrate; instead, citizens made the momentous decision to rebuild Rome. During the next century the Romans capitalized on their advantageous geographical position in the center of the peninsula, as the Etruscan cities to the north and Greek cities to the south fought amongst themselves.
The Romans made their army more flexible by adopting javelins, using cavalry, and organizing the infantry in small groups (called maniples) which were superior in mountain fighting. These new military methods eventually allowed Rome to conquer all of Italy and achieve the first political unification of the peninsula. Immediately to the south of Rome was the Latin League, composed of 30 cities that shared their language and religious festivals. During the 5th and 4th centuries BC, Rome increasingly dominated these cities and eventually dissolved the league and made subjects of both the Latins and the Etruscans. About the same time, Rome expanded further southward and annexed the rich farmland of Campania, a region bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. Expansion brought Rome into conflict with the mountain peoples of central Italy, the Samnites, who conducted frequent raids against the cities of Campania. The Campanians formed a league centered on the town of Capua and invited Rome to defend them against the Samnites. The Romans fought three bitter campaigns against the Samnites between 343 and 290 BC.
I. Introduction Rossellini’s Rome, Open City, De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, and Fellini’s The Road share common ground in their makers’ country of origin and the general theme appropriated: they are all made by Italian filmmakers to convey the reality of their country during the post-World War II era. Above the typical collective philosophies of an wave or generation of filmmakers, the purpose of ...
Despite some serious losses, Rome ultimately prevailed. Once the Romans secured dominance over the Etruscans in northern Italy and the Samnites in central Italy, they then began to challenge the Greek cities that still controlled the peninsula south of the Bay of Naples. These cities sought aid against the Romans from King Pyrrhus of Epirus in northern Greece. Pyrrhus had gained a reputation as a brilliant adventurer who had won many battles, although with huge loss of life (thus the term Pyrrhic victories).
He invaded Italy, but despite early victories against Roman armies, he was eventually defeated. By 266 BC Rome controlled Italy from the plains of the Po River valley in the northern part of the peninsula to its southernmost tip.
The city on the Tiber River had vanquished all enemies within Italy. The next step was to cross a narrow waterway, the Strait of Messina, to the fertile island of Sicily. (Ward, Neichelheim, Yeo. 1998) The Romans referred to the defeated Latin, Italian, and Greek cities as allies, but they were, in fact, Roman subjects. Rome gave full citizenship to the people of only a few of these cities; most others received more limited privileges such as intermarriage and trading rights. Rome required these cities, known as municipia, to pay taxes and to supply detachments for the Roman army, but otherwise allowed self-government in internal affairs. Rome also established military colonies throughout the peninsula to ensure loyalty and protect the coast from pirates and invaders.
The Romans, in comparison to other ancient peoples, were generous in granting citizenship to freed slaves. They were slower in extending citizenship to newly conquered peoples, although in time they did grant citizenship to their loyal subjects throughout Italy and eventually, after 212 BC, throughout the entire Mediterranean world. That generosity and Romes adaptability to new circumstances were, perhaps, the chief reasons for the success of this small city in conquering, and ultimately transforming, so many neighbors. (Auguet, August. 1994) As we see through the period from the start of Punic Wars to the death of Julius Caesar Rome was transformed from a city-state to the Empire. The citizens also and army changed drastically. At the beginning of the Republic the main social class of Rome was consisted of free farmers. During the war these peasants were conscripted to the army. The farmer warriors were the free men, they possessed the private property and fought for their patria and ideals.
Ancient Roman Empire Rome had a war god in its lineage and wolf milk in its belly, implying that its citizens had a knack for warfare-which they would prove again and again. Early in Rome's history, the city was conquered by the Etruscans, the most notable civilization in Italy before Rome's rise to power. The Etruscans, who would influence Roman civilization, had migrated to Italy from Asia ...
(Cicero, Griffin, Atkins. 1991) Such kind of army was quite suitable for the small city-state. But through Punic Wars and up to 45 BC the Roman army was transformed to the professional one, with the help of such prominent personalities as Scipio Africanus, Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar himself. Roman army consistent no longer from free peasants temporary conscripted during hostilities. It consisted of the poor plebeians trained and disciplined to the greatest extent, for whom military service was a profession. Roman soldiers no longer fought for their ideals and patria but rather for the conquest of neighbors, for money and war booty. Closer to its end the Republic changed into the dictatorships of Sulla and Caesar. But the superficial attributes of it were preserved well into the Imperial era.
One of these republican attributes was the concept of farmer warrior. It was preserve to maintain the popularity and symbolic meaning of military service. The army was still considered to fight for its homeland, the plebeians were still considered to be free, though the imperial armies fight for conquests and no one can be free in the dictatorship state. All these steps were made to make the plebs content and not intervene into the business of the politicians, dictators and senators.
1) A History of the Roman People by Allen M. Ward, Fritz M. Neichelheim and Cedric A.
Gaius Julius Caesar was a powerful military leader who changed the course of the Greco-Roman civilization decisively and irreversibly. Julius belonged to Rome's original Aristocracy, the patricians, or landholding upper class, and his lineage can be traced back to the goddess Venus. While growing up Caesar dreamed of being like Alexander the Great who had already conquered what at Caesar's time ...
Yeo. Prentice Hall; 1998. 2) Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games by Roland Auguet and Roland August. Routledge; 1994. 3) Cicero: On Duties by Marcus Tullius Cicero, Miriam Griffin (editor) and Margaret Atkins (editor).
Cambridge University Press; 1991..