The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5)
by Theodor Mommsen
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Embarkation of Pyrrhus for Sicily— The War in Italy Flags

By the departure of Pyrrhus the hands of the Romans were set free in Italy; none ventured to oppose them in the open field, and their antagonists everywhere confined themselves to their fastnesses or their forests. The struggle however was not terminated so rapidly as might have been expected; partly in consequence of its nature as a warfare of mountain skirmishes and sieges, partly also, doubtless, from the exhaustion of the Romans, whose fearful losses are indicated by a decrease of 17,000 in the burgess-roll from 473 to 479. In 476 the consul Gaius Fabricius succeeded in inducing the considerable Tarentine settlement of Heraclea to enter into a separate peace, which was granted to it on the most favourable terms. In the campaign of 477 a desultory warfare was carried on in Samnium, where an attack thoughtlessly made on some entrenched heights cost the Romans many lives, and thereafter in southern Italy, where the Lucanians and Bruttians were defeated. On the other hand Milo, issuing from Tarentum, anticipated the Romans in their attempt to surprise Croton: whereupon the Epirot garrison made even a successful sortie against the besieging army. At length, however, the consul succeeded by a stratagem in inducing it to march forth, and in possessing himself of the undefended town (477). An incident of more moment was the slaughter of the Epirot garrison by the Locrians, who had formerly surrendered the Roman garrison to the king, and now atoned for one act of treachery by another. By that step the whole south coast came into the hands of the Romans, with the exception of Rhegium and Tarentum. These successes, however, advanced the main object but little. Lower Italy itself had long been defenceless; but Pyrrhus was not subdued so long as Tarentum remained in his hands and thus rendered it possible for him to renew the war at his pleasure, and the Romans could not think of undertaking the siege of that city. Even apart from the fact that in siege-warfare, which had been revolutionized by Philip of Macedonia and Demetrius Poliorcetes, the Romans were at a very decided disadvantage when matched against an experienced and resolute Greek commandant, a strong fleet was needed for such an enterprise, and, although the Carthaginian treaty promised to the Romans support by sea, the affairs of Carthage herself in Sicily were by no means in such a condition as to enable her to grant that support.

Pyrrhus Master of Sicily

The landing of Pyrrhus on the island, which, in spite of the Carthaginian fleet, had taken place without interruption, had changed at once the aspect of matters there. He had immediately relieved Syracuse, had in a short time united under his sway all the free Greek cities, and at the head of the Sicilian confederation had wrested from the Carthaginians nearly their whole possessions. It was with difficulty that the Carthaginians could, by the help of their fleet which at that time ruled the Mediterranean without a rival, maintain themselves in Lilybaeum; it was with difficulty, and amidst constant assaults, that the Mamertines held their ground in Messana. Under such circumstances, agreeably to the treaty of 475, it would have been the duty of Rome to lend her aid to the Carthaginians in Sicily, far rather than that of Carthage to help the Romans with her fleet to conquer Tarentum; but on the side of neither ally was there much inclination to secure or to extend the power of the other. Carthage had only offered help to the Romans when the real danger was past; they in their turn had done nothing to prevent the departure of the king from Italy and the fall of the Carthaginian power in Sicily. Indeed, in open violation of the treaties Carthage had even proposed to the king a separate peace, offering, in return for the undisturbed possession of Lilybaeum, to give up all claim to her other Sicilian possessions and even to place at the disposal of the king money and ships of war, of course with a view to his crossing to Italy and renewing the war against Rome. It was evident, however, that with the possession of Lilybaeum and the departure of the king the position of the Carthaginians in the island would be nearly the same as it had been before the landing of Pyrrhus; the Greek cities if left to themselves were powerless, and the lost territory would be easily regained. So Pyrrhus rejected the doubly perfidious proposal, and proceeded to build for himself a war fleet. Mere ignorance and shortsightedness in after times censured this step; but it was really as necessary as it was, with the resources of the island, easy of accomplishment. Apart from the consideration that the master of Ambracia, Tarentum, and Syracuse could not dispense with a naval force, he needed a fleet to conquer Lilybaeum, to protect Tarentum, and to attack Carthage at home as Agathocles, Regulus, and Scipio did before or afterwards so successfully. Pyrrhus never was so near to the attainment of his aim as in the summer of 478, when he saw Carthage humbled before him, commanded Sicily, and retained a firm footing in Italy by the possession of Tarentum, and when the newly-created fleet, which was to connect, to secure, and to augment these successes, lay ready for sea in the harbour of Syracuse.

The Sicilian Government of Pyrrhus

The real weakness of the position of Pyrrhus lay in his faulty internal policy. He governed Sicily as he had seen Ptolemy rule in Egypt: he showed no respect to the local constitutions; he placed his confidants as magistrates over the cities whenever, and for as long as, he pleased; he made his courtiers judges instead of the native jurymen; he pronounced arbitrary sentences of confiscation, banishment, or death, even against those who had been most active in promoting his coming thither; he placed garrisons in the towns, and ruled over Sicily not as the leader of a national league, but as a king. In so doing he probably reckoned himself according to oriental-Hellenistic ideas a good and wise ruler, and perhaps he really was so; but the Greeks bore this transplantation of the system of the Diadochi to Syracuse with all the impatience of a nation that in its long struggle for freedom had lost all habits of discipline; the Carthaginian yoke very soon appeared to the foolish people more tolerable than their new military government. The most important cities entered into communications with the Carthaginians, and even with the Mamertines; a strong Carthaginian army ventured again to appear on the island; and everywhere supported by the Greeks, it made rapid progress. In the battle which Pyrrhus fought with it fortune was, as always, with the "Eagle"; but the circumstances served to show what the state of feeling was in the island, and what might and must ensue, if the king should depart.

Departure of Pyrrhus to Italy

To this first and most essential error Pyrrhus added a second; he proceeded with his fleet, not to Lilybaeum, but to Tarentum. It was evident, looking to the very ferment in the minds of the Sicilians, that he ought first of all to have dislodged the Carthaginians wholly from the island, and thereby to have cut off the discontented from their last support, before he turned his attention to Italy; in that quarter there was nothing to be lost, for Tarentum was safe enough for him, and the other allies were of little moment now that they had been abandoned. It is conceivable that his soldierly spirit impelled him to wipe off the stain of his not very honourable departure in the year 476 by a brilliant return, and that his heart bled when he heard the complaints of the Lucanians and Samnites. But problems, such as Pyrrhus had proposed to himself, can only be solved by men of iron nature, who are able to control their feelings of compassion and even their sense of honour; and Pyrrhus was not one of these.

Fall of the Sicilian Kingdom— Recommencement of the Italian War

The fatal embarkation took place towards the end of 478. On the voyage the new Syracusan fleet had to sustain a sharp engagement with that of Carthage, in which it lost a considerable number of vessels. The departure of the king and the accounts of this first misfortune sufficed for the fall of the Sicilian kingdom. On the arrival of the news all the cities refused to the absent king money and troops; and the brilliant state collapsed even more rapidly than it had arisen, partly because the king had himself undermined in the hearts of his subjects the loyalty and affection on which every commonwealth depends, partly because the people lacked the devotedness to renounce freedom for perhaps but a short term in order to save their nationality. Thus the enterprise of Pyrrhus was wrecked, and the plan of his life was ruined irretrievably; he was thenceforth an adventurer, who felt that he had been great and was so no longer, and who now waged war no longer as a means to an end, but in order to drown thought amidst the reckless excitement of the game and to find, if possible, in the tumult of battle a soldier's death. Arrived on the Italian coast, the king began by an attempt to get possession of Rhegium; but the Campanians repulsed the attack with the aid of the Mamertines, and in the heat of the conflict before the town the king himself was wounded in the act of striking down an officer of the enemy. On the other hand he surprised Locri, whose inhabitants suffered severely for their slaughter of the Epirot garrison, and he plundered the rich treasury of the temple of Persephone there, to replenish his empty exchequer. Thus he arrived at Tarentum, it is said with 20,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry. But these were no longer the experienced veterans of former days, and the Italians no longer hailed them as deliverers; the confidence and hope with which they had received the king five years before were gone; the allies were destitute of money and of men.

Battle near Beneventum— Pyrrhus Leaves Italy— Death of Pyrrhus

The king took the field in the spring of 479 with the view of aiding the hard-pressed Samnites, in whose territory the Romans had passed the previous winter; and he forced the consul Manius Curius to give battle near Beneventum on the -campus Arusinus-, before he could form a junction with his colleague advancing from Lucania. But the division of the army, which was intended to take the Romans in flank, lost its way during its night march in the woods, and failed to appear at the decisive moment; and after a hot conflict the elephants again decided the battle, but decided it this time in favour of the Romans, for, thrown into confusion by the archers who were stationed to protect the camp, they attacked their own people. The victors occupied the camp; there fell into their hands 1300 prisoners and four elephants—the first that were seen in Rome—besides an immense spoil, from the proceeds of which the aqueduct, which conveyed the water of the Anio from Tibur to Rome, was subsequently built. Without troops to keep the field and without money, Pyrrhus applied to his allies who had contributed to his equipment for Italy, the kings of Macedonia and Asia; but even in his native land he was no longer feared, and his request was refused. Despairing of success against Rome and exasperated by these refusals, Pyrrhus left a garrison in Tarentum, and went home himself in the same year (479) to Greece, where some prospect of gain might open up to the desperate player sooner than amidst the steady and measured course of Italian affairs. In fact, he not only rapidly recovered the portion of his kingdom that had been taken away, but once more grasped, and not without success, at the Macedonian throne. But his last plans also were thwarted by the calm and cautious policy of Antigonus Gonatas, and still more by his own vehemence and inability to tame his proud spirit; he still gained battles, but he no longer gained any lasting success, and met his death in a miserable street combat in Peloponnesian Argos (482).

Last Struggles in Italy— Capture of Tarentum

In Italy the war came to an end with the battle of Beneventum; the last convulsive struggles of the national party died slowly away. So long indeed as the warrior prince, whose mighty arm had ventured to seize the reins of destiny in Italy, was still among the living, he held, even when absent, the stronghold of Tarentum against Rome. Although after the departure of the king the peace party recovered ascendency in the city, Milo, who commanded there on behalf of Pyrrhus, rejected their suggestions and allowed the citizens favourable to Rome, who had erected a separate fort for themselves in the territory of Tarentum, to conclude peace with Rome as they pleased, without on that account opening his gates. But when after the death of Pyrrhus a Carthaginian fleet entered the harbour, and Milo saw that the citizens were on the point of delivering up the city to the Carthaginians, he preferred to hand over the citadel to the Roman consul Lucius Papirius (482), and by that means to secure a free departure for himself and his troops. For the Romans this was an immense piece of good fortune. After the experiences of Philip before Perinthus and Byzantium, of Demetrius before Rhodes, and of Pyrrhus before Lilybaeum, it may be doubted whether the strategy of that period was at all able to compel the surrender of a town well fortified, well defended, and freely accessible by sea; and how different a turn matters might have taken, had Tarentum become to the Phoenicians in Italy what Lilybaeum was to them in Sicily! What was done, however, could not be undone. The Carthaginian admiral, when he saw the citadel in the hands of the Romans, declared that he had only appeared before Tarentum conformably to the treaty to lend assistance to his allies in the siege of the town, and set sail for Africa; and the Roman embassy, which was sent to Carthage to demand explanations and make complaints regarding the attempted occupation of Tarentum, brought back nothing but a solemn confirmation on oath of that allegation as to its ally's friendly design, with which accordingly the Romans had for the time to rest content. The Tarentines obtained from Rome, presumably on the intercession of their emigrants, the restoration of autonomy; but their arms and ships had to be given up and their walls had to be pulled down.

Submission of Lower Italy

In the same year, in which Tarentum became Roman, the Samnites, Lucanians, and Bruttians finally submitted. The latter were obliged to cede the half of the lucrative, and for ship-building important, forest of Sila.

At length also the band that for ten years had sheltered themselves in Rhegium were duly chastised for the breach of their military oath, as well as for the murder of the citizens of Rhegium and of the garrison of Croton. In this instance Rome, while vindicating her own rights vindicated the general cause of the Hellenes against the barbarians. Hiero, the new ruler of Syracuse, accordingly supported the Romans before Rhegium by sending supplies and a contingent, and in combination with the Roman expedition against the garrison of Rhegium he made an attack upon their fellow-countrymen and fellow-criminals, the Mamertines of Messana. The siege of the latter town was long protracted. On the other hand Rhegium, although the mutineers resisted long and obstinately, was stormed by the Romans in 484; the survivors of the garrison were scourged and beheaded in the public market at Rome, while the old inhabitants were recalled and, as far as possible, reinstated in their possessions. Thus all Italy was, in 484, reduced to subjection. The Samnites alone, the most obstinate antagonists of Rome, still in spite of the official conclusion of peace continued the struggle as "robbers," so that in 485 both consuls had to be once more despatched against them. But even the most high-spirited national courage—the bravery of despair—comes to an end; the sword and the gibbet at length carried quiet even into the mountains of Samnium.

Construction of New Fortresses and Roads

For the securing of these immense acquisitions a new series of colonies was instituted: Paestum and Cosa in Lucania (481); Beneventum (486), and Aesernia (about 491) to hold Samnium in check; and, as outposts against the Gauls, Ariminum (486), Firmum in Picenum (about 490), and the burgess colony of Castrum Novum. Preparations were made for the continuation of the great southern highway—which acquired in the fortress of Beneventum a new station intermediate between Capua and Venusia—as far as the seaports of Tarentum and Brundisium, and for the colonization of the latter seaport, which Roman policy had selected as the rival and successor of the Tarentine emporium. The construction of the new fortresses and roads gave rise to some further wars with the small tribes, whose territory was thereby curtailed: with the Picentes (485, 486), a number of whom were transplanted to the district of Salernum; with the Sallentines about Brundisium (487, 488); and with the Umbrian Sassinates (487, 488), who seem to have occupied the territory of Ariminum after the expulsion of the Senones. By these establishments the dominion of Rome was extended over the interior of Lower Italy, and over the whole Italian east coast from the Ionian sea to the Celtic frontier.

Maritime Relations

Before we describe the political organization under which the Italy which was thus united was governed on the part of Rome, it remains that we should glance at the maritime relations that subsisted in the fourth and fifth centuries. At this period Syracuse and Carthage were the main competitors for the dominion of the western waters. On the whole, notwithstanding the great temporary successes which Dionysius (348-389), Agathocles (437-465), and Pyrrhus (476-478) obtained at sea, Carthage had the preponderance and Syracuse sank more and more into a naval power of the second rank. The maritime importance of Etruria was wholly gone;(6) the hitherto Etruscan island of Corsica, if it did not quite pass into the possession, fell under the maritime supremacy, of the Carthaginians. Tarentum, which for a time had played a considerable part, had its power broken by the Roman occupation. The brave Massiliots maintained their ground in their own waters; but they exercised no material influence over the course of events in those of Italy. The other maritime cities hardly came as yet into serious account.

Decline of the Roman Naval Power

Rome itself was not exempt from a similar fate; its own waters were likewise commanded by foreign fleets. It was indeed from the first a maritime city, and in the period of its vigour never was so untrue to its ancient traditions as wholly to neglect its war marine or so foolish as to desire to be a mere continental power. Latium furnished the finest timber for ship-building, far surpassing the famed growths of Lower Italy; and the very docks constantly maintained in Rome are enough to show that the Romans never abandoned the idea of possessing a fleet of their own. During the perilous crises, however, which the expulsion of the kings, the internal disturbances in the Romano-Latin confederacy, and the unhappy wars with the Etruscans and Celts brought upon Rome, the Romans could take but little interest in the state of matters in the Mediterranean; and, in consequence of the policy of Rome directing itself more and more decidedly to the subjugation of the Italian continent, the growth of its naval power was arrested. There is hardly any mention of Latin vessels of war up to the end of the fourth century, except that the votive offering from the Veientine spoil was sent to Delphi in a Roman vessel (360). The Antiates indeed continued to prosecute their commerce with armed vessels and thus, as occasion offered, to practise the trade of piracy also, and the "Tyrrhene corsair" Postumius, whom Timoleon captured about 415, may certainly have been an Antiate; but the Antiates were scarcely to be reckoned among the naval powers of that period, and, had they been so, the fact must from the attitude of Antium towards Rome have been anything but an advantage to the latter. The extent to which the Roman naval power had declined about the year 400 is shown by the plundering of the Latin coasts by a Greek, presumably a Sicilian, war fleet in 405, while at the same time Celtic hordes were traversing and devastating the Latin land.(7) In the following year (406), and beyond doubt under the immediate impression produced by these serious events, the Roman community and the Phoenicians of Carthage, acting respectively for themselves and for their dependent allies, concluded a treaty of commerce and navigation— the oldest Roman document of which the text has reached us, although only in a Greek translation.(8) In that treaty the Romans had to come under obligation not to navigate the Libyan coast to the west of the Fair Promontory (Cape Bon) excepting in cases of necessity. On the other hand they obtained the privilege of freely trading, like the natives, in Sicily, so far as it was Carthaginian; and in Africa and Sardinia they obtained at least the right to dispose of their merchandise at a price fixed with the concurrence of the Carthaginian officials and guaranteed by the Carthaginian community. The privilege of free trading seems to have been granted to the Carthaginians at least in Rome, perhaps in all Latium; only they bound themselves neither to do violence to the subject Latin communities,(9) nor, if they should set foot as enemies on Latin soil, to take up their quarters for a night on shore—in other words, not to extend their piratical inroads into the interior—nor to construct any fortresses in the Latin land.

We may probably assign to the same period the already mentioned(10) treaty between Rome and Tarentum, respecting the date of which we are only told that it was concluded a considerable time before 472. By it the Romans bound themselves—for what concessions on the part of Tarentum is not stated—not to navigate the waters to the east of the Lacinian promontory; a stipulation by which they were thus wholly excluded from the eastern basin of the Mediterranean.

Roman Fortification of the Coast

These were disasters no less than the defeat on the Allia, and the Roman senate seems to have felt them as such and to have made use of the favourable turn, which the Italian relations assumed soon after the conclusion of the humiliating treaties with Carthage and Tarentum, with all energy to improve its depressed maritime position. The most important of the coast towns were furnished with Roman colonies: Pyrgi the seaport of Caere, the colonization of which probably falls within this period; along the west coast, Antium in 415,(11) Tarracina in 425,(12) the island of Pontia in 441,(13) so that, as Ardea and Circeii had previously received colonists, all the Latin seaports of consequence in the territory of the Rutuli and Volsci had now become Latin or burgess colonies; further, in the territory of the Aurunci, Minturnae and Sinuessa in 459;(14) in that of the Lucanians, Paestum and Cosa in 481;(15) and, on the coast of the Adriatic, Sena Gallica and Castrum Novum about 471,(16) and Ariminum in 486;(17) to which falls to be added the occupation of Brundisium, which took place immediately after the close of the Pyrrhic war. In the greater part of these places—the burgess or maritime colonies(18)—the young men were exempted from serving in the legions and destined solely for the watching of the coasts. The well judged preference given at the same time to the Greeks of Lower Italy over their Sabellian neighbours, particularly to the considerable communities of Neapolis, Rhegium, Locri, Thurii, and Heraclea, and their similar exemption under the like conditions from furnishing contingents to the land army, completed the network drawn by Rome around the coasts of Italy.

But with a statesmanlike sagacity, from which the succeeding generations might have drawn a lesson, the leading men of the Roman commonwealth perceived that all these coast fortifications and coast garrisons could not but prove inadequate, unless the war marine of the state were again placed on a footing that should command respect. Some sort of nucleus for this purpose was already furnished on the subjugation of Antium (416) by the serviceable war-galleys which were carried off to the Roman docks; but the enactment at the same time, that the Antiates should abstain from all maritime traffic,(19) is a very clear and distinct indication how weak the Romans then felt themselves at sea, and how completely their maritime policy was still summed up in the occupation of places on the coast. Thereafter, when the Greek cities of southern Italy, Neapolis leading the way in 428, were admitted to the clientship of Rome, the war-vessels, which each of these cities bound itself to furnish as a war contribution under the alliance to the Romans, formed at least a renewed nucleus for a Roman fleet. In 443, moreover, two fleet-masters (-duoviri navales-) were nominated in consequence of a resolution of the burgesses specially passed to that effect, and this Roman naval force co-operated in the Samnite war at the siege of Nuceria.(20) Perhaps even the remarkable mission of a Roman fleet of twenty-five sail to found a colony in Corsica, which Theophrastus mentions in his "History of Plants" written about 446, belongs to this period. But how little was immediately accomplished with all this preparation, is shown by the renewed treaty with Carthage in 448. While the stipulations of the treaty of 406 relating to Italy and Sicily(21) remained unchanged, the Romans were now prohibited not only from the navigation of the eastern waters, but also from that of the Atlantic Ocean which was previously permitted, as well as debarred from holding commercial intercourse with the subjects of Carthage in Sardinia and Africa, and also, in all probability, from effecting a settlement in Corsica;(22) so that only Carthaginian Sicily and Carthage itself remained open to their traffic. We recognize here the jealousy of the dominant maritime power, gradually increasing with the extension of the Roman dominion along the coasts. Carthage compelled the Romans to acquiesce in her prohibitive system, to submit to be excluded from the seats of production in the west and east (connected with which exclusion is the story of a public reward bestowed on the Phoenician mariner who at the sacrifice of his own ship decoyed a Roman vessel, steering after him into the Atlantic Ocean, to perish on a sand-bank), and to restrict their navigation under the treaty to the narrow space of the western Mediterranean—and all this for the mere purpose of averting pillage from their coasts and of securing their ancient and important trading connection with Sicily. The Romans were obliged to yield to these terms; but they did not desist from their efforts to rescue their marine from its condition of impotence.

Quaestors of the Fleet— Variance between Rome and Carthage

A comprehensive measure with that view was the institution of four quaestors of the fleet (-quaestores classici-) in 487: of whom the first was stationed at Ostia the port of Rome; the second, stationed at Cales then the capital of Roman Campania, had to superintend the ports of Campania and Magna Graecia; the third, stationed at Ariminum, superintended the ports on the other side of the Apennines; the district assigned to the fourth is not known. These new standing officials were intended to exercise not the sole, but a conjoint, guardianship of the coasts, and to form a war marine for their protection. The objects of the Roman senate—to recover their independence by sea, to cut off the maritime communications of Tarentum, to close the Adriatic against fleets coming from Epirus, and to emancipate themselves from Carthaginian supremacy—were very obvious. Their already explained relations with Carthage during the last Italian war discover traces of such views. King Pyrrhus indeed compelled the two great cities once more—it was for the last time —to conclude an offensive alliance; but the lukewarmness and faithlessness of that alliance, the attempts of the Carthaginians to establish themselves in Rhegium and Tarentum, and the immediate occupation of Brundisium by the Romans after the termination of the war, show clearly how much their respective interests already came into collision.

Rome and the Greek Naval Powers

Rome very naturally sought to find support against Carthage from the Hellenic maritime states. Her old and close relations of amity with Massilia continued uninterrupted. The votive offering sent by Rome to Delphi, after the conquest of Veii, was preserved there in the treasury of the Massiliots. After the capture of Rome by the Celts there was a collection in Massilia for the sufferers by the fire, in which the city chest took the lead; in return the Roman senate granted commercial advantages to the Massiliot merchants, and, at the celebration of the games in the Forum assigned a position of honour (-Graecostasis-) to the Massiliots by the side of the platform for the senators. To the same category belong the treaties of commerce and amity concluded by the Romans about 448 with Rhodes and not long after with Apollonia, a considerable mercantile town on the Epirot coast, and especially the closer relation, so fraught with danger for Carthage, which immediately after the end of the Pyrrhic war sprang up between Rome and Syracuse.(23)

While the Roman power by sea was thus very far from keeping pace with the immense development of their power by land, and the war marine belonging to the Romans in particular was by no means such as from the geographical and commercial position of the city it ought to have been, yet it began gradually to emerge out of the complete nullity to which it had been reduced about the year 400; and, considering the great resources of Italy, the Phoenicians might well follow its efforts with anxious eyes.

The crisis in reference to the supremacy of the Italian waters was approaching; by land the contest was decided. For the first time Italy was united into one state under the sovereignty of the Roman community. What political prerogatives the Roman community on this occasion withdrew from all the other Italian communities and took into its own sole keeping, or in other words, what conception in state-law is to be associated with this sovereignty of Rome, we are nowhere expressly informed, and—a significant circumstance, indicating prudent calculation—there does not even exist any generally current expression for that conception.(24) The only privileges that demonstrably belonged to it were the rights of making war, of concluding treaties, and of coining money. No Italian community could declare war against any foreign state, or even negotiate with it, or coin money for circulation. On the other hand every declaration of war made by the Roman people and every state-treaty resolved upon by it were binding in law on all the other Italian communities, and the silver money of Rome was legally current throughout all Italy. It is probable that the formulated prerogatives of the leading community extended no further. But to these there were necessarily attached rights of sovereignty that practically went far beyond them.

The Full Roman Franchise

The relations, which the Italians sustained to the leading community, exhibited in detail great inequalities. In this point of view, in addition to the full burgesses of Rome, there were three different classes of subjects to be distinguished. The full franchise itself, in the first place, was extended as far as was possible, without wholly abandoning the idea of an urban commonwealth as applied to the Roman commune. The old burgess-domain had hitherto been enlarged chiefly by individual assignation in such a way that southern Etruria as far as towards Caere and Falerii,(25) the districts taken from the Hernici on the Sacco and on the Anio(26) the largest part of the Sabine country(27) and large tracts of the territory formerly Volscian, especially the Pomptine plain(28) were converted into land for Roman farmers, and new burgess-districts were instituted mostly for their inhabitants. The same course had even already been taken with the Falernian district on the Volturnus ceded by Capua.(29) All these burgesses domiciled outside of Rome were without a commonwealth and an administration of their own; on the assigned territory there arose at the most market-villages (-fora et conciliabula-). In a position not greatly different were placed the burgesses sent out to the so-called maritime colonies mentioned above, who were likewise left in possession of the full burgess-rights of Rome, and whose self-administration was of little moment. Towards the close of this period the Roman community appears to have begun to grant full burgess-rights to the adjoining communities of passive burgesses who were of like or closely kindred nationality; this was probably done first for Tusculum,(30) and so, presumably, also for the other communities of passive burgesses in Latium proper, then at the end of this period (486) was extended to the Sabine towns, which doubtless were even then essentially Latinized and had given sufficient proof of their fidelity in the last severe war. These towns retained the restricted self-administration, which under their earlier legal position belonged to them, even after their admission into the Roman burgess-union; it was they more than the maritime colonies that furnished the model for the special commonwealths subsisting within the body of Roman full burgesses and so, in the course of time, for the Roman municipal organization. Accordingly the range of the full Roman burgesses must at the end of this epoch have extended northward as far as the vicinity of Caere, eastward as far as the Apennines, and southward as far as Tarracina; although in this case indeed we cannot speak of boundary in a strict sense, partly because a number of federal towns with Latin rights, such as Tibur, Praeneste, Signia, Norba, Circeii, were found within these bounds, partly because beyond them the inhabitants of Minturnae, Sinuessa, of the Falernian territory, of the town Sena Gallica and some other townships, likewise possessed the full franchise, and families of Roman farmers were presumably to be even now found scattered throughout Italy, either isolated or united in villages.

Subject Communities

Among the subject communities the passive burgesses (-cives sine suffragio-) apart from the privilege of electing and being elected, stood on an equality of rights and duties with the full burgesses. Their legal position was regulated by the decrees of the Roman comitia and the rules issued for them by the Roman praetor, which, however, were doubtless based essentially on the previous arrangements. Justice was administered for them by the Roman praetor or his deputies (-praefecti-) annually sent to the individual communities. Those of them in a better position, such as the city of Capua,(31) retained self-administration and along with it the continued use of the native language, and had officials of their own who took charge of the levy and the census. The communities of inferior rights such as Caere(32) were deprived even of self-administration, and this was doubtless the most oppressive among the different forms of subjection. However, as was above remarked, there is already apparent at the close of this period an effort to incorporate these communities, at least so far as they were -de facto- Latinized, among the full burgesses.


Among the subject communities the most privileged and most important class was that of the Latin towns, which obtained accessions equally numerous and important in the autonomous communities founded by Rome within and even beyond Italy—the Latin colonies, as they were called —and was always increasing in consequence of new settlements of the same nature. These new urban communities of Roman origin, but with Latin rights, became more and more the real buttresses of the Roman rule over Italy. These Latins, however, were by no means those with whom the battles of the lake Regillus and Trifanum had been fought. They were not those old members of the Alban league, who reckoned themselves originally equal to, if not better than, the community of Rome, and who felt the dominion of Rome to be an oppressive yoke, as the fearfully rigorous measures of security taken against Praeneste at the beginning of the war with Pyrrhus, and the collisions that evidently long continued to occur with the Praenestines in particular, show. This old Latium had essentially either perished or become merged in Rome, and it now numbered but few communities politically self-subsisting, and these, with the exception of Tibur and Praeneste, throughout insignificant. The Latium of the later times of the republic, on the contrary, consisted almost exclusively of communities, which from the beginning had honoured Rome as their capital and parent city; which, settled amidst regions of alien language and of alien habits, were attached to Rome by community of language, of law, and of manners; which, as the petty tyrants of the surrounding districts, were obliged doubtless to lean on Rome for their very existence, like advanced posts leaning upon the main army; and which, in fine, in consequence of the increasing material advantages of Roman citizenship, were ever deriving very considerable benefit from their equality of rights with the Romans, limited though it was. A portion of the Roman domain, for instance, was usually assigned to them for their separate use, and participation in the state leases and contracts was open to them as to the Roman burgess. Certainly in their case also the consequences of the self-subsistence granted to them did not wholly fail to appear. Venusian inscriptions of the time of the Roman republic, and Beneventane inscriptions recently brought to light,(33) show that Venusia as well as Rome had its plebs and its tribunes of the people, and that the chief magistrates of Beneventum bore the title of consul at least about the time of the Hannibalic war. Both communities are among the most recent of the Latin colonies with older rights: we perceive what pretensions were stirring in them about the middle of the fifth century. These so-called Latins, issuing from the Roman burgess-body and feeling themselves in every respect on a level with it, already began to view with displeasure their subordinate federal rights and to strive after full equalization. Accordingly the senate had exerted itself to curtail these Latin communities—however important they were for Rome—as far as possible, in their rights and privileges, and to convert their position from that of allies to that of subjects, so far as this could be done without removing the wall of partition between them and the non-Latin communities of Italy. We have already described the abolition of the league of the Latin communities itself as well as of their former complete equality of rights, and the loss of the most important political privileges belonging to them. On the complete subjugation of Italy a further step was taken, and a beginning was made towards the restriction of the personal rights—that had not hitherto been touched—of the individual Latin, especially the important right of freedom of settlement. In the case of Ariminum founded in 486 and of all the autonomous communities constituted afterwards, the advantage enjoyed by them, as compared with other subjects, was restricted to their equalization with burgesses of the Roman community so far as regarded private rights —those of traffic and barter as well as those of inheritance.(34) Presumably about the same time the full right of free migration allowed to the Latin communities hitherto established—the title of every one of their burgesses to gain by transmigration to Rome full burgess-rights there—was, for the Latin colonies of later erection, restricted to those persons who had attained to the highest office of the community in their native home; these alone were allowed to exchange their colonial burgess-rights for the Roman. This clearly shows the complete revolution in the position of Rome. So long as Rome was still but one among the many urban communities of Italy, although that one might be the first, admission even to the unrestricted Roman franchise was universally regarded as a gain for the admitting community, and the acquisition of that franchise by non-burgesses was facilitated in every way, and was in fact often imposed on them as a punishment. But after the Roman community became sole sovereign and all the others were its servants, the state of matters changed. The Roman community began jealously to guard its franchise, and accordingly put an end in the first instance to the old full liberty of migration; although the statesmen of that period were wise enough still to keep admission to the Roman franchise legally open at least to the men of eminence and of capacity in the highest class of subject communities. The Latins were thus made to feel that Rome, after having subjugated Italy mainly by their aid, had now no longer need of them as before.

Non-Latin Allied Communities

Lastly, the relations of the non-Latin allied communities were subject, as a matter of course, to very various rules, just as each particular treaty of alliance had defined them. Several of these perpetual alliances, such as that with the Hernican communities,(35) passed over to a footing of complete equalization with the Latin. Others, in which this was not the case, such as those with Neapolis(36), Nola(37), and Heraclea(38), granted rights comparatively comprehensive; while others, such as the Tarentine and Samnite treaties, may have approximated to despotism.

Dissolution of National Leagues— Furnishing of Contingents

As a general rule, it may be taken for granted that not only the Latin and Hernican national confederations—as to which the fact is expressly stated—but all such confederations subsisting in Italy, and the Samnite and Lucanian leagues in particular, were legally dissolved or at any rate reduced to insignificance, and that in general no Italian community was allowed the right of acquiring property or of intermarriage, or even the right of joint consultation and resolution, with any other. Further, provision must have been made, under different forms, for placing the military and financial resources of all the Italian communities at the disposal of the leading community. Although the burgess militia on the one hand, and the contingents of the "Latin name" on the other, were still regarded as the main and integral constituents of the Roman army, and in that way its national character was on the whole preserved, the Roman -cives sine suffragio- were called forth to join its ranks, and not only so, but beyond doubt the non-Latin federate communities also were either bound to furnish ships of war, as was the case with the Greek cities, or were placed on the roll of contingent-furnishing Italians (-formula togatorum-), as must have been ordained at once or gradually in the case of the Apulians, Sabellians, and Etruscans. In general this contingent, like that of the Latin communities, appears to have had its numbers definitely fixed, although, in case of necessity, the leading community was not precluded from making a larger requisition. This at the same time involved an indirect taxation, as every community was bound itself to equip and to pay its own contingent. Accordingly it was not without design that the supply of the most costly requisites for war devolved chiefly on the Latin, or non-Latin federate communities; that the war marine was for the most part kept up by the Greek cities; and that in the cavalry service the allies, at least subsequently, were called upon to furnish a proportion thrice as numerous as the Roman burgesses, while in the infantry the old principle, that the contingent of the allies should not be more numerous than the burgess army, still remained in force for a long time at least as the rule.

System of Government— Division and Classification of the Subjects

The system, on which this fabric was constructed and kept together, can no longer be ascertained in detail from the few notices that have reached us. Even the numerical proportions of the three classes of subjects relatively to each other and to the full burgesses, can no longer be determined even approximately;(39) and in like manner the geographical distribution of the several categories over Italy is but imperfectly known. The leading ideas on which the structure was based, on the other hand, are so obvious that it is scarcely necessary specially to set them forth. First of all, as we have already said, the immediate circle of the ruling community was extended—partly by the settlement of full burgesses, partly by the conferring of passive burgess-rights—as far as was possible without completely decentralizing the Roman community, which was an urban one and was intended to remain so. When the system of incorporation was extended up to and perhaps even beyond its natural limits, the communities that were subsequently added had to submit to a position of subjection; for a pure hegemony as a permanent relation was intrinsically impossible. Thus not through any arbitrary monopolizing of sovereignty, but through the inevitable force of circumstances, by the side of the class of ruling burgesses a second class of subjects took its place. It was one of the primary expedients of Roman rule to subdivide the governed by breaking up the Italian confederacies and instituting as large a number as possible of comparatively small communities, and to graduate the pressure of that rule according to the different categories of subjects. As Cato in the government of his household took care that the slaves should not be on too good terms with one another, and designedly fomented variances and factions among them, so the Roman community acted on a great scale. The expedient was not generous, but it was effectual.

Aristocratic Remodelling of the Constitutions of the Italian Communities

It was but a wider application of the same expedient, when in each dependent community the constitution was remodelled after the Roman pattern and a government of the wealthy and respectable families was installed, which was naturally more or less keenly opposed to the multitude and was induced by its material interests and by its wish for local power to lean on Roman support. The most remarkable instance of this sort is furnished by the treatment of Capua, which appears to have been from the first treated with suspicious precaution as the only Italian city that could come into possible rivalry with Rome. The Campanian nobility received a privileged jurisdiction, separate places of assembly, and in every respect a distinctive position; indeed they even obtained not inconsiderable pensions —sixteen hundred of them at 450 -stateres- (about 30 pounds) annually—charged on the Campanian exchequer. It was these Campanian equites, whose refusal to take part in the great Latino-Campanian insurrection of 414 mainly contributed to its failure, and whose brave swords decided the day in favour of the Romans at Sentinum in 459;(40) whereas the Campanian infantry at Rhegium was the first body of troops that in the war with Pyrrhus revolted from Rome.(41) Another remarkable instance of the Roman practice of turning to account for their own interest the variances between the orders in the dependent communities by favouring the aristocracy, is furnished by the treatment which Volsinii met with in 489. There, just as in Rome, the old and new burgesses must have stood opposed to one another, and the latter must have attained by legal means equality of political rights. In consequence of this the old burgesses of Volsinii resorted to the Roman senate with a request for the restoration of their old constitution—a step which the ruling party in the city naturally viewed as high treason, and inflicted legal punishment accordingly on the petitioners. The Roman senate, however, took part with the old burgesses, and, when the city showed no disposition to submit, not only destroyed by military violence the communal constitution of Volsinii which was In recognized operation, but also, by razing the old capital of Etruria, exhibited to the Italians a fearfully palpable proof of the mastery of Rome.

Moderation of the Government

But the Roman senate had the wisdom not to overlook the fact, that the only means of giving permanence to despotism is moderation on the part of the despots. On that account there was left with, or conferred on, the dependent communities an autonomy, which included a shadow of independence, a special share in the military and political successes of Rome, and above all a free communal constitution—so far as the Italian confederacy extended, there existed no community of Helots. On that account also Rome from the very first, with a clear-sightedness and magnanimity perhaps unparalleled in history, waived the most dangerous of all the rights of government, the right of taxing her subjects. At the most tribute was perhaps imposed on the dependent Celtic cantons: so far as the Italian confederacy extended, there was no tributary community. On that account, lastly, while the duty of bearing arms was partially devolved on the subjects, the ruling burgesses were by no means exempt from it; it is probable that the latter were proportionally far more numerous than the body of the allies; and in that body, again, probably the Latins as a whole were liable to far greater demands upon them than the non-Latin allied communities. There was thus a certain reasonableness in the appropriation by which Rome ranked first, and the Latins next to her, in the distribution of the spoil acquired in war.

Intermediate Functionaries— Valuation of the Empire

The central administration at Rome solved the difficult problem of preserving its supervision and control over the mass of the Italian communities liable to furnish contingents, partly by means of the four Italian quaestorships, partly by the extension of the Roman censorship over the whole of the dependent communities. The quaestors of the fleet,(42) along with their more immediate duty, had to raise the revenues from the newly acquired domains and to control the contingents of the new allies; they were the first Roman functionaries to whom a residence and district out of Rome were assigned by law, and they formed the necessary intermediate authority between the Roman senate and the Italian communities. Moreover, as is shown by the later municipal constitution, the chief functionaries in every Italian community,(43) whatever might be their title, had to undertake a valuation every fourth or fifth year—an institution, the suggestion of which must necessarily have emanated from Rome, and which can only have been intended to furnish the senate with a view of the resources in men and money of the whole of Italy, corresponding to the census in Rome.

Italy and the Italians

Lastly, with this military administrative union of the whole peoples dwelling to the south of the Apennines, as far as the Iapygian promontory and the straits of Rhegium, was connected the rise of a new name common to them all—that of "the men of the toga" (-togati-), which was their oldest designation in Roman state law, or that of the "Italians," which was the appellation originally in use among the Greeks and thence became universally current. The various nations inhabiting those lands were probably first led to feel and own their unity, partly through their common contrast to the Greeks, partly and mainly through their common resistance to the Celts; for, although an Italian community may now and then have made common cause with the Celts against Rome and employed the opportunity to recover independence, yet in the long run sound national feeling necessarily prevailed. As the "Gallic field" down to a late period stood contrasted in law with the Italian, so the "men of the toga" were thus named in contrast to the Celtic "men of the hose" (-braccati-); and it is probable that the repelling of the Celtic invasions played an important diplomatic part as a reason or pretext for centralizing the military resources of Italy in the hands of the Romans. Inasmuch as the Romans on the one hand took the lead in the great national struggle and on the other hand compelled the Etruscans, Latins, Sabellians, Apulians, and Hellenes (within the bounds to be immediately described) alike to fight under their standards, that unity, which hitherto had been undefined and latent rather than expressed, obtained firm consolidation and recognition in state law; and the name -Italia-, which originally and even in the Greek authors of the fifth century—in Aristotle for instance—pertained only to the modern Calabria, was transferred to the whole land of these wearers of the toga.

Earliest Boundaries of the Italian Confederacy

The earliest boundaries of this great armed confederacy led by Rome, or of the new Italy, reached on the western coast as far as the district of Leghorn south of the Arnus,(44) on the east as far as the Aesis north of Ancona. The townships colonized by Italians, lying beyond these limits, such as Sena Gallica and Ariminum beyond the Apennines, and Messana in Sicily, were reckoned geographically as situated out of Italy—even when, like Ariminum, they were members of the confederacy or even, like Sena, were Roman burgess communities. Still less could the Celtic cantons beyond the Apennines be reckoned among the -togati-, although perhaps some of them were already among the clients of Rome.

First Steps towards the Latininzing of Italy— New Position of Rome as a Great Power

The new Italy had thus become a political unity; it was also in the course of becoming a national unity. Already the ruling Latin nationality had assimilated to itself the Sabines and Volscians and had scattered isolated Latin communities over all Italy; these germs were merely developed, when subsequently the Latin language became the mother-tongue of every one entitled to wear the Latin toga. That the Romans already clearly recognized this as their aim, is shown by the familiar extension of the Latin name to the whole body of contingent-furnishing Italian allies.(45) Whatever can still be recognized of this grand political structure testifies to the great political sagacity of its nameless architects; and the singular cohesion, which that confederation composed of so many and so diversified ingredients subsequently exhibited under the severest shocks, stamped their great work with the seal of success. From the time when the threads of this net drawn as skilfully as firmly around Italy were concentrated in the hands of the Roman community, it was a great power, and took its place in the system of the Mediterranean states in the room of Tarentum, Lucania, and other intermediate and minor states erased by the last wars from the list of political powers. Rome received, as it were, an official recognition of its new position by means of the two solemn embassies, which in 481 were sent from Alexandria to Rome and from Rome to Alexandria, and which, though primarily they regulated only commercial relations, beyond doubt prepared the way for a political alliance. As Carthage was contending with the Egyptian government regarding Cyrene and was soon to contend with that of Rome regarding Sicily, so Macedonia was contending with the former for the predominant influence in Greece, with the latter proximately for the dominion of the Adriatic coasts. The new struggles, which were preparing on all sides, could not but influence each other, and Rome, as mistress of Italy, could not fail to be drawn into the wide arena which the victories and projects of Alexander the Great had marked out as the field of conflict for his successors.

Notes for Book II Chapter VII

1. The story that the Romans also sent envoys to Alexander at Babylon on the testimony of Clitarchus (Plin. Hist. Nat. iii. 5, 57), from whom the other authorities who mention this fact (Aristus and Asclepiades, ap. Arrian, vii. 15, 5; Memnon, c. 25) doubtless derived it. Clitarchus certainly was contemporary with these events; nevertheless, his Life of Alexander was decidedly a historical romance rather than a history; and, looking to the silence of the trustworthy biographers (Arrian, l. c.; Liv. ix. 18) and the utterly romantic details of the account—which represents the Romans, for instance, as delivering to Alexander a chaplet of gold, and the latter as prophesying the future greatness of Rome—we cannot but set down this story as one of the many embellishments which Clitarchus introduced into the history.

2. II. VI. Last Struggles of Samnium

3. Near the modern Anglona; not to be confounded with the better known town of the same name in the district of Cosenza.

4. These numbers appear credible. The Roman account assigns, probably in dead and wounded, 15,000 to each side; a later one even specifies 5000 as dead on the Roman, and 20,000 on the Greek side. These accounts may be mentioned here for the purpose of exhibiting, in one of the few instances where it is possible to check the statement, the untrustworthiness—almost without exception—of the reports of numbers, which are swelled by the unscrupulous invention of the annalists with avalanche-like rapidity.

5. The later Romans, and the moderns following them, give a version of the league, as if the Romans had designedly avoided accepting the Carthaginian help in Italy. This would have been irrational, and the facts pronounce against it. The circumstance that Mago did not land at Ostia is to be explained not by any such foresight, but simply by the fact that Latium was not at all threatened by Pyrrhus and so did not need Carthaginian aid; and the Carthaginians certainly fought for Rome in front of Rhegium.

6. II. IV. Victories of Salamis and Himera, and Their Effects

7. II. IV. Fruitlessness of the Celtic Victory

8. The grounds for assigning the document given in Polybius (iii. 22) not to 245, but to 406, are set forth in my Rom. Chronologie, p. 320 f. [translated in the Appendix to this volume].

9. II. V. Domination of the Romans; Exasperation of the Latins

10. II. VII. Breach between Rome and Tarentum

11. II. V. Colonization of the Volsci

12. II. V. Colonization of the Volsci

13. II. VI. New Fortresses in Apulia and Campania

14. II. VI. Last Struggles of Samnium

15. II. VII. Construction of New Fortresses and Roads

16. II. VII. The Boii

17. II. VII. Construction of New Fortresses and Roads

18. These were Pyrgi, Ostia, Antium, Tarracina, Minturnae, Sinuessa Sena Gallica, and Castrum Novum.

19. This statement is quite as distinct (Liv. viii. 14; -interdictum mari Antiati populo est-) as it is intrinsically credible; for Antium was inhabited not merely by colonists, but also by its former citizens who had been nursed in enmity to Rome (II. V. Colonizations in The Land Of The Volsci). This view is, no doubt, inconsistent with the Greek accounts, which assert that Alexander the Great (431) and Demetrius Poliorcetes (471) lodged complaints at Rome regarding Antiate pirates. The former statement is of the same stamp, and perhaps from the same source, with that regarding the Roman embassy to Babylon (II. VII. Relations Between The East and West). It seems more likely that Demetrius Poliorcetes may have tried by edict to put down piracy in the Tyrrhene sea which he had never set eyes upon, and it is not at all inconceivable that the Antiates may have even as Roman citizens, in defiance of the prohibition, continued for a time their old trade in an underhand fashion: much dependence must not however, be placed even on the second story.

20. II. VI. Last Campaigns in Samnium

21. II. VII. Decline of the Roman Naval Power

22. According to Servius (in Aen. iv. 628) it was stipulated in the Romano-Carthaginian treaties, that no Roman should set foot on (or rather occupy) Carthaginian, and no Carthaginian on Roman, soil, but Corsica was to remain in a neutral position between them (-ut neque Romani ad litora Carthaginiensium accederent neque Carthaginienses ad litora Romanorum.....Corsica esset media inter Romanos et Carthaginienses-). This appears to refer to our present period, and the colonization of Corsica seems to have been prevented by this very treaty.

23. II. VII. Submission of Lower Italy

24. The clause, by which a dependent people binds itself "to uphold in a friendly manner the sovereignty of that of Rome" (-maiestatem populi Romani comiter conservare-), is certainly the technical appellation of that mildest form of subjection, but it probably did not come into use till a considerably later period (Cic. pro Balbo, 16, 35). The appellation of clientship derived from private law, aptly as in its very indefiniteness it denotes the relation (Dig. xlix. 15, 7, i), was scarcely applied to it officially in earlier times.

25. II. IV. South Etruria Roman

26. II. VI. Consolidation of the Roman Rule in Central Italy

27. II. VI. Last Struggles of Samnium

28. II. V. Complete Submission of the Volscian and Campanian Provinces

29. II. V. Complete Submission of the Volscian and Campanian Provinces

30. That Tusculum as it was the first to obtain passive burgess-rights (II. V. Crises within the Romano-Latin League) was also the first to exchange these for the rights of full burgesses, is probable in itself and presumably it is in the latter and not in the former respect that the town is named by Cicero (pro Mur. 8, 19) -municipium antiquissimum-.

31. II. V. Complete Submission of the Volscian and Campanian Provinces

32. II. IV. South Etruria Roman

33. -V. Cervio A. f. cosol dedicavit- and -lunonei Quiritri sacra. C. Falcilius L. f. consol dedicavit-.

34. According to the testimony of Cicero (pro Caec. 35) Sulla gave to the Volaterrans the former -ius- of Ariminum, that is—adds the orator—the -ius- of the "twelve colonies" which had not the Roman -civitas- but had full -commercium- with the Romans. Few things have been so much discussed as the question to what places this -ius- of the twelve towns refers; and yet the answer is not far to seek. There were in Italy and Cisalpine Gaul—laying aside some places that soon disappeared again—thirty-four Latin colonies established in all. The twelve most recent of these—Ariminum, Beneventum, Firmum, Aesernia, Brundisium, Spoletium, Cremona, Placentia, Copia, Valentia, Bononia, and Aquileia—are those here referred to; and because Ariminum was the oldest of these and the town for which this new organization was primarily established, partly perhaps also because it was the first Roman colony founded beyond Italy, the -ius- of these colonies rightly took its name from Ariminum. This at the same time demonstrates the truth of the view—which already had on other grounds very high probability—that all the colonies established in Italy (in the wider sense of the term) after the founding of Aquileia belonged to the class of burgess-colonies.

We cannot fully determine the extent to which the curtailment of the rights of the more recent Latin towns was carried, as compared with the earlier. If intermarriage, as is not improbable but is in fact anything but definitely established (i. 132; Diodor. p. 590, 62, fr. Vat. p. 130, Dind.), formed a constituent element of the original federal equality of rights, it was, at any rate, no longer conceded to the Latin colonies of more recent origin.

35. II. V. League with the Hernici

36. II. VI. Pacification of Campania

37. II. VI. Victory of the Romans

38. II. VII. The War in Italy Flags

39. It is to be regretted that we are unable to give satisfactory information as to the proportional numbers. We may estimate the number of Roman burgesses capable of bearing arms in the later regal period as about 20,000. (I. VI. Time and Occasion of the Reform) Now from the fall of Alba to the conquest of Veii the immediate territory of Rome received no material extension; in perfect accordance with which we find that from the first institution of the twenty-one tribes about 259, (II. II. Coriolanus) which involved no, or at any rate no considerable, extension of the Roman bounds, no new tribes were instituted till 367. However abundant allowance we make for increase by the excess of births over deaths, by immigration, and by manumissions, it is absolutely impossible to reconcile with the narrow limits of a territory of hardly 650 square miles the traditional numbers of the census, according to which the number of Roman burgesses capable of bearing arms in the second half of the third century varied between 104,000 and 150,000, and in 362, regarding which a special statement is extant, amounted to 152,573. These numbers must rather stand on a parallel with the 84,700 burgesses of the Servian census; and in general the whole earlier census-lists, carried back to the four lustres of Servius Tullius and furnished with copious numbers, must belong to the class of those apparently documentary traditions which delight in, and betray themselves by the very fact of, such numerical details.

It was only with the second half of the fourth century that the large extensions of territory, which must have suddenly and considerably augmented the burgess roll, began. It is reported on trustworthy authority and is intrinsically credible, that about 416 the Roman burgesses numbered 165,000; which very well agrees with the statement that ten years previously, when the whole militia was called out against Latium and the Gauls, the first levy amounted to ten legions, that is, to 50,000 men. Subsequently to the great extensions of territory in Etruria, Latium, and Campania, in the fifth century the effective burgesses numbered, on an average, 250,000; immediately before the first Punic war, 280,000 to 290,000. These numbers are certain enough, but they are not quite available historically for another reason, namely, that in them probably the Roman full burgesses and the "burgesses without vote" not serving, like the Campanians, in legions of their own, —such, e. g., as the Caerites, —are included together in the reckoning, while the latter must at any rate -de facto- be counted among the subjects (Rom. Forsch. ii. 396).

40. II. VI. Battle of Sentinum

41. II. VII. Commencement of the Conflict in Lower Italy

42. II. VII. Quaestors of the Fleet

43. Not merely in every Latin one; for the censorship or so-called -quinquennalitas- occurs, as is well known, also among communities whose constitution was not formed according to the Latin scheme.

44. This earliest boundary is probably indicated by the two small townships -Ad fines-, of which one lay north of Arezzo on the road to Florence, the second on the coast not far from Leghorn. Somewhat further to the south of the latter, the brook and valley of Vada are still called -Fiume della fine-, -Valle della fine- (Targioni Tozzetti, Viaggj, iv. 430).

45. In strict official language, indeed, this was not the case. The fullest designation of the Italians occurs in the agrarian law of 643, line 21; -[ceivis] Romanus sociumve nominisve Latini, quibus ex formula togatorum [milites in terra Italia imperare solent]-; in like manner at the 29th line of the same -peregrinus- is distinguished from the -Latinus-, and in the decree of the senate as to the Bacchanalia in 568 the expression is used: -ne quis ceivis Romanus neve nominis Latini neve socium quisquam-. But in common use very frequently the second or third of these three subdivisions is omitted, and along with the Romans sometimes only those Latini nominis are mentioned, sometimes only the -socii- (Weissenborn on Liv. xxii. 50, 6), while there is no difference in the meaning. The designation -homines nominis Latini ac socii Italici- (Sallust. Jug. 40), correct as it is in itself, is foreign to the official -usus loquendi, which knows -Italia-, but not -Italici-.


Law, Religion, Military System, Economic Condition, Nationality

Development of Law

In the development which law underwent during this period within the Roman community, probably the most important material innovation was that peculiar control which the community itself, and in a subordinate degree its office-bearers, began to exercise over the manners and habits of the individual burgesses. The germ of it is to be sought in the right of the magistrate to inflict property-fines (-multae-) for offences against order.(1) In the case of all fines of more than two sheep and thirty oxen or, after the cattle-fines had been by the decree of the people in 324 commuted into money, of more than 3020 libral -asses- (30 pounds), the decision soon after the expulsion of the kings passed by way of appeal into the hands of the community;(2) and thus procedure by fine acquired an importance which it was far from originally possessing. Under the vague category of offences against order men might include any accusations they pleased, and by the higher grades in the scale of fines they might accomplish whatever they desired. The dangerous character of such arbitrary procedure was brought to light rather than obviated by the mitigating proviso, that these property-fines, where they were not fixed by law at a definite sum, should not amount to half the estate belonging to the person fined. To this class belonged the police-laws, which from the earliest times were especially abundant in the Roman community. Such were those enactments of the Twelve Tables, which prohibited the anointing of a dead body by persons hired for the purpose, the dressing it out with more than one cushion or more than three purple-edged coverings, the decorating it with gold or gaudy chaplets, the use of dressed wood for the funeral pile, and the perfuming or sprinkling of the pyre with frankincense or myrrh-wine; which limited the number of flute-players in the funeral procession to ten at most; and which forbade wailing women and funeral banquets—in a certain measure the earliest Roman legislation against luxury. Such also were the laws—originating in the conflicts of the orders—directed against usury as well as against an undue use of the common pasture and a disproportionate appropriation of the occupiable domain-land. But far more fraught with danger than these and similar fining-laws, which at any rate formulated once for all the trespass and often also the measure of punishment, was the general prerogative of every magistrate who exercised jurisdiction to inflict a fine for an offence against order, and, if the fine reached the amount necessary to found an appeal and the person fined did not submit to the penalty, to bring the case before the community. Already in the course of the fifth century quasi-criminal proceedings had been in this way instituted against immorality of life both in men and women, against the forestalling of grain, witchcraft, and similar matters. Closely akin to this was the quasi-jurisdiction of the censors, which likewise sprang up at this period. They were invested with authority to adjust the Roman budget and the burgess-roll, and they availed themselves of it, partly to impose of their own accord taxes on luxury which differed only in form from penalties on it, partly to abridge or withdraw the political privileges of the burgess who was reported to have been guilty of any infamous action.(3) The extent to which this surveillance was already carried is shown by the fact that penalties of this nature were inflicted for the negligent cultivation of a man's own land, and that such a man as Publius Cornelius Rufinus (consul in 464, 477) was struck off the list of senators by the censors of 479, because he possessed silver plate to the value of 3360 sesterces (34 pounds). No doubt, according to the rule generally applicable to the edicts of magistrates,(4) the sentences of the censors had legal force only during their censorship, that is on an average for the next five years, and might be renewed or not by the next censors at pleasure. Nevertheless this censorial prerogative was of so immense importance, that in virtue of it the censorship, originally a subordinate magistracy, became in rank and consideration the first of all.(5) The government of the senate rested essentially on this twofold police control supreme and subordinate, vested in the community and its officials, and furnished with powers as extensive as they were arbitrary. Like every such arbitrary government, it was productive of much good and much evil, and we do not mean to combat the view of those who hold that the evil preponderated. But we must not forget that—amidst the morality external certainly but stern and energetic, and the powerful enkindling of public spirit, that were the genuine characteristics of this period—these institutions remained exempt as yet from any really base misuse; and if they were the chief instruments in repressing individual freedom, they were also the means by which the public spirit and the good old manners and order of the Roman community were with might and main upheld.

Modifications in the Laws

Along with these changes a humanizing and modernizing tendency showed itself slowly, but yet clearly enough, in the development of Roman law. Most of the enactmerits of the Twelve Tables, which coincide with the laws of Solon and therefore may with reason be considered as in substance innovations, bear this character; such as the securing the right of free association and the autonomy of the societies that originated under it; the enactment that forbade the ploughing up of boundary-balks; and the mitigation of the punishment of theft, so that a thief not caught in the act might henceforth release himself from the plaintiff's suit by payment of double compensation. The law of debt was modified in a similar sense, but not till upwards of a century afterwards, by the Poetelian law.(6) The right freely to dispose of property, which according to the earliest Roman law was accorded to the owner in his lifetime but in the case of death had hitherto been conditional on the consent of the community, was liberated from this restriction, inasmuch as the law of the Twelve Tables or its interpretation assigned to the private testament the same force as pertained to that confirmed in the curies. This was an important step towards the breaking up of the clanships, and towards the full carrying out of individual liberty in the disposal of property. The fearfully absolute paternal power was restricted by the enactment, that a son thrice sold by his father should not relapse into his power, but should thenceforth be free; to which—by a legal inference that, strictly viewed, was no doubt absurd—was soon attached the possibility that a father might voluntarily divest himself of dominion over his son by emancipation. In the law of marriage civil marriage was permitted;(7) and although the full marital power was associated as necessarily with a true civil as with a true religious marriage, yet the permission of a connection instead of marriage,(8) formed without that power, constituted a first step towards relaxation of the full power of the husband. The first step towards a legal enforcement of married life was the tax on old bachelors (-aes uxorium-) with the introduction of which Camillus began his public career as censor in 351.

Administration of Justice— Code of Common Law— New Judicial Functionaries

Changes more comprehensive than those effected in the law itself were introduced into—what was more important in a political point of view, and more easily admitted of alteration—the system of judicial administration. First of all came the important limitation of the supreme judicial power by the embodiment of the common law in a written code, and the obligation of the magistrate thenceforth to decide no longer according to varying usage, but according to the written letter, in civil as well as in criminal procedure (303, 304). The appointment of a supreme magistrate in Rome exclusively for the administration of justice in 387,(9) and the establishment of separate police functionaries which took place contemporaneously in Rome, and was imitated under Roman influence in all the Latin communities,(10) secured greater speed and precision of justice. These police-magistrates or aediles had, of course, a certain jurisdiction at the same time assigned to them. On the one hand, they were the ordinary civil judges for sales concluded in open market, for the cattle and slave markets in particular; and on the other hand, they ordinarily acted in processes of fines and amercements as judges of first instance or—which was in Roman law the same thing—as public prosecutors. In consequence of this the administration of the laws imposing fines, and the equally indefinite and politically important right of fining in general, were vested mainly in them. Similar but subordinate functions, having especial reference to the poorer classes, pertained to the three night—or blood-masters (-tres viri nocturni- or -capitales-), first nominated in 465; they were entrusted with the duties of nocturnal police as regards fire and the public safety and with the superintendence of executions, with which a certain summary jurisdiction was very soon, perhaps even from the outset, associated.(11) Lastly from the increasing extent of the Roman community it became necessary, out of regard to the convenience of litigants, to station in the more remote townships special judges competent to deal at least with minor civil causes. This arrangement was the rule for the communities of burgesses -sine suffragio-,(12) and was perhaps even extended to the more remote communities of full burgesses,(13)—the first germs of a Romano-municipal jurisdiction developing itself by the side of that which was strictly Roman.

Changes in Procedure

In civil procedure (which, however, according to the ideas of that period included most of the crimes committed against fellow-citizens) the division of a process into the settlement of the question of law before the magistrate (-ius-), and the decision of the question of fact by a private person nominated by the magistrate (-iudicium-) —a division doubtless customary even in earlier times—was on the abolition of the monarchy prescribed by law;(14) and to that separation the private law of Rome was mainly indebted for its logical clearness and practical precision.(15) In actions regarding property, the decision as to what constituted possession, which hitherto had been left to the arbitrary caprice of the magistrate, was subjected gradually to legal rules; and, alongside of the law of property, a law of possession was developed—another step, by which the magisterial authority lost an important part of its powers. In criminal processes, the tribunal of the people, which hitherto had exercised the prerogative of mercy, became a court of legally secured appeal. If the accused after hearing (-quaestio-) was condemned by the magistrate and appealed to the burgesses, the magistrate proceeded in presence of these to the further hearing (-anquisitio-) and, when he after three times discussing the matter before the community had repeated his decision, in the fourth diet the sentence was confirmed or rejected by the burgesses. Modification was not allowed. A similar republican spirit breathed in the principles, that the house protected the burgess, and that an arrest could only take place out of doors; that imprisonment during investigation was to be avoided; and that it was allowable for every accused and not yet condemned burgess by renouncing his citizenship to withdraw from the consequences of condemnation, so far as they affected not his property but his person-principles, which certainly were not embodied in formal laws and accordingly did not legally bind the prosecuting magistrate, but yet were by their moral weight of the greatest influence, particularly in limiting capital punishment. But, if the Roman criminal law furnishes a remarkable testimony to the strong public spirit and to the increasing humanity of this epoch, it on the other hand suffered in its practical working from the struggles between the orders, which in this respect were specially baneful. The co-ordinate primary jurisdiction of all the public magistrates in criminal cases, that arose out of these conflicts,(16) led to the result, that there was no longer any fixed authority for giving instructions, or any serious preliminary investigation, in Roman criminal procedure. And, as the ultimate criminal jurisdiction was exercised in the forms and by the organs of legislation, and never disowned its origin from the prerogative of mercy; as, moreover, the treatment of police fines had an injurious reaction on the criminal procedure which was externally very similar; the decision in criminal causes was pronounced—and that not so much by way of abuse, as in some degree by virtue of the constitution—not according to fixed law, but according to the arbitrary pleasure of the judges. In this way the Roman criminal procedure was completely void of principle, and was degraded into the sport and instrument of political parties; which can the less be excused, seeing that this procedure, while especially applied to political crimes proper, was applicable also to others, such as murder and arson. The evil was aggravated by the clumsiness of that procedure, which, in concert with the haughty republican contempt for non-burgesses, gave rise to a growing custom of tolerating, side by side with the more formal process, a summary criminal, or rather police, procedure against slaves and common people. Here too the passionate strife regarding political processes overstepped natural limits, and introduced institutions which materially contributed to estrange the Romans step by step from the idea of a fixed moral order in the administration of justice.

Religion— New Gods

We are less able to trace the progress of the religious conceptions of the Romans during this epoch. In general they adhered with simplicity to the simple piety of their ancestors, and kept equally aloof from superstition and from unbelief. How vividly the idea of spiritualizing all earthly objects, on which the Roman religion was based, still prevailed at the close of this epoch, is shown by the new "God of silver" (-Argentinus-), who presumably came into existence only in consequence of the introduction of the silver currency in 485, and who naturally was the son of the older "God of copper" (-Aesculanus-).

The relations to foreign lands were the same as heretofore; but here, and here especially, Hellenic influences were on the increase. It was only now that temples began to rise in Rome itself in honour of the Hellenic gods. The oldest was the temple of Castor and Pollux, which had been vowed in the battle at lake Regillus(17) and was consecrated on 15th July 269. The legend associated with it, that two youths of superhuman size and beauty had been seen fighting on the battle-field in the ranks of the Romans and immediately after the battle watering their foaming steeds in the Roman Forum at the fountain of luturna, and announcing the great victory, bears a stamp thoroughly un-Roman, and was beyond doubt at a very early period modelled on the appearance of the Dioscuri—similar down to its very details—in the famous battle fought about a century before between the Crotoniates and Locrians at the river Sagras. The Delphic Apollo too was not only consulted—as was usual with all peoples that felt the influence of Grecian culture—and presented moreover after special successes, such as the capture of Veii, with a tenth of the spoil (360), but also had a temple built for him in the city (323, renewed 401). The same honour was towards the close of this period accorded to Aphrodite (459), who was in some enigmatical way identified with the old Roman garden goddess, Venus;(18) and to Asklapios or Aesculapius, who was obtained by special request from Epidaurus in the Peloponnesus and solemnly conducted to Rome (463). Isolated complaints were heard in serious emergencies as to the intrusion of foreign superstition, presumably the art of the Etruscan -haruspices- (as in 326); but in such cases the police did not fail to take proper cognisance of the matter.

In Etruria on the other hand, while the nation stagnated and decayed in political nullity and indolent opulence, the theological monopoly of the nobility, stupid fatalism, wild and meaningless mysticism, the system of soothsaying and of mendicant prophecy gradually developed themselves, till they reached the height at which we afterwards find them.

Sacerdotal System

In the sacerdotal system no comprehensive changes, so far as we know, took place. The more stringent enactments, that were made about 465 regarding the collection of the process-fines destined to defray the cost of public worship, point to an increase in the ritual budget of the state—a necessary result of the increase in the number of its gods and its temples. It has already been mentioned as one of the evil effects of the dissensions between the orders that an illegitimate influence began to be conceded to the colleges of men of lore, and that they were employed for the annulling of political acts(19)—a course by which on the one hand the faith of the people was shaken, and on the other hand the priests were permitted to exercise a very injurious influence on public affairs.

Military System— Manipular Legion— Entrenchment of Camp— Cavalry— Officers— Military Discipline— Training and Classes of Soldiers— Military Value of the Manipular Legion

A complete revolution occurred during this epoch in the military system. The primitive Graeco-Italian military organization, which was probably based, like the Homeric, on the selection of the most distinguished and effective warriors—who ordinarily fought on horseback—to form a special vanguard, had in the later regal period been superseded by the -legio—the old Dorian phalanx of hoplites, probably eight file deep.(20) This phalanx thenceforth undertook the chief burden of the battle, while the cavalry were stationed on the flanks, and, mounted or dismounted according to circumstances, were chiefly employed as a reserve. From this arrangement there were developed nearly at the same time the phalanx of -sarrissae-in Macedonia and the manipular arrangement in Italy, the former formed by closing and deepening, the latter by breaking up and multiplying, the ranks, in the first instance by the division of the old -legio- of 8400 into two -legiones- of 4200 men each. The old Doric phalanx had been wholly adapted to close combat with the sword and especially with the spear, and only an accessory and subordinate position in the order of battle was assigned to missile weapons. In the manipular legion the thrusting-lance was confined to the third division, and instead of it the first two were furnished with a new and peculiar Italian missile weapon, the -pilum- a square or round piece of wood, four and a half feet long, with a triangular or quadrangular iron point—which had been originally perhaps invented for the defence of the ramparts of the camp, but was soon transferred from the rear to the front ranks, and was hurled by the advancing line into the ranks of the enemy at a distance of from ten to twenty paces. At the same time the sword acquired far greater importance than the short knife of the phalangite could ever have had; for the volley of javelins was intended in the first instance merely to prepare the way for an attack sword in hand. While, moreover, the phalanx had, as if it were a single mighty lance, to be hurled at once upon the enemy, in the new Italian legion the smaller units, which existed also in the phalanx system but were in the order of battle firmly and indissolubly united, were tactically separated from each other. Not merely was the close square divided, as we have said, into two equally strong halves, but each of these was separated in the direction of its depth into the three divisions of the -hastati-, - principes-, and -triarii-, each of a moderate depth probably amounting in ordinary cases to only four files; and was broken up along the front into ten bands (-manipuli-), in such a way that between every two divisions and every two maniples there was left a perceptible interval. It was a mere continuation of the same process of individualizing, by which the collective mode of fighting was discouraged even in the diminished tactical unit and the single combat became prominent, as is evident from the (already mentioned) decisive part played by hand-to-hand encounters and combats with the sword. The system of entrenching the camp underwent also a peculiar development. The place where the army encamped, even were it only for a single night, was invariably provided with a regular circumvallation and as it were converted into a fortress. Little change took place on the other hand in the cavalry, which in the manipular legion retained the secondary part which it had occupied by the side of the phalanx. The system of officering the army also continued in the main unchanged; only now over each of the two legions of the regular army there were set just as many war-tribunes as had hitherto commanded the whole army, and the number of staff-officers was thus doubled. It was at this period probably that the clear line of demarcation became established between the subaltern officers, who as common soldiers had to gain their place at the head of the maniples by the sword and passed by regular promotion from the lower to the higher maniples, and the military tribunes placed at the head of whole legions—six to each—in whose case there was no regular promotion, and for whom men of the better class were usually taken. In this respect it must have become a matter of importance that, while previously the subaltern as well as the staff-officers had been uniformly nominated by the general, after 392 some of the latter posts were filled up through election by the burgesses.(21) Lastly, the old, fearfully strict, military discipline remained unaltered. Still, as formerly, the general was at liberty to behead any man serving in his camp, and to scourge with rods the staff-officer as well as the common soldier; nor were such punishments inflicted merely on account of common crimes, but also when an officer had allowed himself to deviate from the orders which he had received, or when a division had allowed itself to be surprised or had fled from the field of battle. On the other hand, the new military organization necessitated a far more serious and prolonged military training than the previous phalanx system, in which the solidity of the mass kept even the inexperienced in their ranks. If nevertheless no special soldier-class sprang up, but on the contrary the army still remained, as before, a burgess army, this object was chiefly attained by abandoning the former mode of ranking the soldiers according to property(22) and arranging them according to length of service. The Roman recruit now entered among the light-armed "skirmishers" (-rorarii-), who fought outside of the line and especially with stone slings, and he advanced from this step by step to the first and then to the second division, till at length the soldiers of long service and experience were associated together in the corps of the -triarii-, which was numerically the weakest but imparted its tone and spirit to the whole army.

The excellence of this military organization, which became the primary cause of the superior political position of the Roman community, chiefly depended on the three great military principles of maintaining a reserve, of combining the close and distant modes of fighting, and of combining the offensive and the defensive. The system of a reserve was already foreshadowed in the earlier employment of the cavalry, but it was now completely developed by the partition of the army into three divisions and the reservation of the flower of the veterans for the last and decisive shock. While the Hellenic phalanx had developed the close, and the Oriental squadrons of horse armed with bows and light missile spears the distant, modes of fighting respectively, the Roman combination of the heavy javelin with the sword produced results similar, as has justly been remarked, to those attained in modern warfare by the introduction of bayonet-muskets; the volley of javelins prepared the way for the sword encounter, exactly in the same way as a volley of musketry now precedes a charge with the bayonet. Lastly, the elaborate system of encampment allowed the Romans to combine the advantages of defensive and offensive war and to decline or give battle according to circumstances, and in the latter case to fight under the ramparts of their camp just as under the walls of a fortress—the Roman, says a Roman proverb, conquers by sitting still.

Origin of the Manipular Legion

That this new military organization was in the main a Roman, or at any rate Italian, remodelling and improvement of the old Hellenic tactics of the phalanx, is plain. If some germs of the system of reserve and of the individualizing of the smaller subdivisions of the army are found to occur among the later Greek strategists, especially Xenophon, this only shows that they felt the defectiveness of the old system, but were not well able to obviate it. The manipular legion appears fully developed in the war with Pyrrhus; when and under what circumstances it arose, whether at once or gradually, can no longer be ascertained. The first tactical system which the Romans encountered, fundamentally different from the earlier Italo-Hellenic system, was the Celtic sword-phalanx. It is not impossible that the subdivision of the army and the intervals between the maniples in front were arranged with a view to resist, as they did resist, its first and only dangerous charge; and it accords with this hypothesis that Marcus Furius Camillus, the most celebrated Roman general of the Gallic epoch, is presented in various detached notices as the reformer of the Roman military system. The further traditions associated with the Samnite and Pyrrhic wars are neither sufficiently accredited, nor can they with certainty be duly arranged;(23) although it is in itself probable that the prolonged Samnite mountain warfare exercised a lasting influence on the individual development of the Roman soldier, and that the struggle with one of the first masters of the art of war, belonging to the school of the great Alexander, effected an improvement in the technical features of the Roman military system.

National Economy— The Farmers— Farming of Estates

In the national economy agriculture was, and continued to be, the social and political basis both of the Roman community and of the new Italian state. The common assembly and the army consisted of Roman farmers; what as soldiers they had acquired by the sword, they secured as colonists by the plough. The insolvency of the middle class of landholders gave rise to the formidable internal crises of the third and fourth centuries, amidst which it seemed as if the young republic could not but be destroyed. The revival of the Latin farmer-class, which was produced during the fifth century partly by the large assignations of land and incorporations, partly by the fall in the rate of interest and the increase of the Roman population, was at once the effect and the cause of the mighty development of Roman power. The acute soldier's eye of Pyrrhus justly discerned the cause of the political and military ascendency of the Romans in the flourishing condition of the Roman farms. But the rise also of husbandry on a large scale among the Romans appears to fall within this period. In earlier times indeed there existed landed estates of—at least comparatively—large size; but their management was not farming on a large scale, it was simply a husbandry of numerous small parcels.(24) On the other hand the enactment in the law of 387, not incompatible indeed with the earlier mode of management but yet far more appropriate to the later, viz. that the landholder should be bound to employ along with his slaves a proportional number of free persons,(25) may well be regarded as the oldest trace of the later centralized farming of estates;(26) and it deserves notice that even here at its first emergence it essentially rests on slave-holding. How it arose, must remain an undecided point; possibly the Carthaginian plantations in Sicily served as models to the oldest Roman landholders, and perhaps even the appearance of wheat in husbandry by the side of spelt,(27) which Varro places about the period of the decemvirs, was connected with that altered style of management. Still less can we ascertain how far this method of husbandry had already during this period spread; but the history of the wars with Hannibal leaves no doubt that it cannot yet have become the rule, nor can it have yet absorbed the Italian farmer class. Where it did come into vogue, however, it annihilated the older clientship based on the -precarium-; just as the modern system of large farms has been formed in great part by the suppression of petty holdings and the conversion of hides into farm-fields. It admits of no doubt that the restriction of this agricultural clientship very materially contributed towards the distress of the class of small cultivators.

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