In constitution and administration the several communities not only remained independent and sovereign, so far as the federal obligations did not interfere, but, what was of more importance, the league of the thirty communities as such retained its autonomy in contradistinction to Rome. When we are assured that the position of Alba towards the federal communities was a position superior to that of Rome, and that on the fall of Alba these communities attained autonomy, this may well have been the case, in so far as Alba was essentially a member of the league, while Rome from the first had rather the position of a separate state confronting the league than of a member included in it; but, just as the states of the confederation of the Rhine were formally sovereign, while those of the German empire had a master, the presidency of Alba may have been in reality an honorary right(9) like that of the German emperors, and the protectorate of Rome from the first a supremacy like that of Napoleon. In fact Alba appears to have exercised the right of presiding in the federal council, while Rome allowed the Latin deputies to hold their consultations by themselves under the guidance, as it appears, of a president selected from their own number, and contented herself with the honorary presidency at the federal festival where sacrifice was offered for Rome and Latium, and with the erection of a second federal sanctuary in Rome—the temple of Diana on the Aventine—so that thenceforth sacrifice was offered both on Roman soil for Rome and Latium, and on Latin soil for Latium and Rome. With equal deference to the interests of the league the Romans in the treaty with Latium bound themselves not to enter into a separate alliance with any Latin community—a stipulation which very clearly reveals the apprehensions entertained, doubtless not without reason, by the confederacy with reference to the powerful community taking the lead. The position of Rome not within, but alongside of Latium, is most clearly apparent in the arrangements for warfare. The fighting force of the league was composed, as the later mode of making the levy incontrovertibly shows, of two masses of equal strength, a Roman and a Latin. The supreme command lay once for all with the Roman generals; year by year the Latin contingent had to appear before the gates of Rome, and there saluted the elected commander by acclamation as its general, after the Romans commissioned by the Latin federal council to take the auspices had thereby assured themselves of the contentment of the gods with the choice that had been made. Whatever land or property was acquired in the wars of the league was apportioned among its members according to the judgment of the Romans. That the Romano-Latin federation was represented as regards its external relations solely by Rome, cannot with certainty be maintained. The federal agreement did not prohibit either Rome or Latium from undertaking an aggressive war on their own behoof; and if a war was waged by the league, whether pursuant to a resolution of its own or in consequence of a hostile attack, the Latin federal council may have been legally entitled to take part in the conduct as well as in the termination of the war. Practically indeed Rome must have possessed the hegemony even then, for, wherever a single state and a federation enter into a permanent connection with each other, the preponderance usually falls to the side of the former.
Extension of the Roman Territory after the Fall of Alba—Hernici—Rutulli and Volscii
The steps by which after the fall of Alba Rome—now mistress of a territory comparatively considerable, and presumably the leading power in the Latin confederacy—extended still further her direct and indirect dominion, can no longer be traced. There was no lack of feuds with the Etruscans and with the Veientes in particular, chiefly respecting the possession of Fidenae; but it does not appear that the Romans were successful in acquiring permanent mastery over that Etruscan outpost, which was situated on the Latin bank of the river not much more than five miles from Rome, or in dislodging the Veientes from that formidable basis of offensive operations. On the other hand they maintained apparently undisputed possession of the Janiculum and of both banks of the mouth of the Tiber. As regards the Sabines and Aequi Rome appears in a more advantageous position; the connection which afterwards became so intimate with the more distant Hernici must have had at least its beginning under the monarchy, and the united Latins and Hernici enclosed on two sides and held in check their eastern neighbours. But on the south frontier the territory of the Rutuli and still more that of the Volsci were scenes of perpetual war. The earliest extension of the Latin land took place in this direction, and it is here that we first encounter those communities founded by Rome and Latium on the enemy's soil and constituted as autonomous members of the Latin confederacy—the Latin colonies, as they were called—the oldest of which appear to reach back to the regal period. How far, however, the territory reduced under the power of the Romans extended at the close of the monarchy, can by no means be determined. Of feuds with the neighbouring Latin and Volscian communities the Roman annals of the regal period recount more than enough; but only a few detached notices, such as that perhaps of the capture of Suessa in the Pomptine plain, can be held to contain a nucleus of historical fact. That the regal period laid not only the political foundations of Rome, but the foundations also of her external power, cannot be doubted; the position of the city of Rome as contradistinguished from, rather than forming part of, the league of Latin states is already decidedly marked at the beginning of the republic, and enables us to perceive that an energetic development of external power must have taken place in Rome during the time of the kings. Certainly great deeds, uncommon achievements have in this case passed into oblivion; but the splendour of them lingers over the regal period of Rome, especially over the royal house of the Tarquins, like a distant evening twilight in which outlines disappear.
Enlargement of the City of Rome—Servian Wall
While the Latin stock was thus tending towards union under the leadership of Rome and was at the same time extending its territory on the east and south, Rome itself, by the favour of fortune and the energy of its citizens, had been converted from a stirring commercial and rural town into the powerful capital of a flourishing country. The remodelling of the Roman military system and the political reform of which it contained the germ, known to us by the name of the Servian constitution, stand in intimate connection with this internal change in the character of the Roman community. But externally also the character of the city cannot but have changed with the influx of ampler resources, with the rising requirements of its position, and with the extension of its political horizon. The amalgamation of the adjoining community on the Quirinal with that on the Palatine must have been already accomplished when the Servian reform, as it is called, took place; and after this reform had united and consolidated the military strength of the community, the burgesses could no longer rest content with entrenching the several hills, as one after another they were filled with buildings, and with possibly also keeping the island in the Tiber and the height on the opposite bank occupied so that they might command the course of the river. The capital of Latium required another and more complete system of defence; they proceeded to construct the Servian wall. The new continuous city-wall began at the river below the Aventine, and included that hill, on which there have been brought to light recently (1855) at two different places, the one on the western slope towards the river, the other on the opposite eastern slope, colossal remains of those primitive fortifications—portions of wall as high as the walls of Alatri and Ferentino, built of large square hewn blocks of tufo in courses of unequal height—emerging as it were from the tomb to testify to the might of an epoch, whose buildings subsist imperishably in these walls of rock, and whose intellectual achievements will continue to exercise an influence more lasting even than these. The ring-wall further embraced the Caelian and the whole space of the Esquiline, Viminal, and Quirinal, where a structure likewise but recently brought to light on a great scale (1862)—on the outside composed of blocks of peperino and protected by a moat in front, on the inside forming a huge earthen rampart sloped towards the city and imposing even at the present day—supplied the want of natural means of defence. From thence it ran to the Capitoline, the steep declivity of which towards the Campus Martius served as part of the city-wall, and it again abutted on the river above the island in the Tiber. The Tiber island with the bridge of piles and the Janiculum did not belong strictly to the city, but the latter height was probably a fortified outwork. Hitherto the Palatine had been the stronghold, but now this hill was left open to be built upon by the growing city; and on the other hand upon the Tarpeian Hill, standing free on every side, and from its moderate extent easily defensible, there was constructed the new "stronghold" (-arx-, -capitolium-(10)), containing the stronghold-spring, the carefully enclosed "well-house" (-tullianum-), the treasury (-aerarium-), the prison, and the most ancient place of assemblage for the burgesses (-area Capitolina-), where still in after times the regular announcements of the changes of the moon continued to be made. Private dwellings of a permanent kind, on the other hand, were not tolerated in earlier times on the stronghold-hill;(11) and the space between the two summits of the hill, the sanctuary of the evil god (-Ve-diovis-), or as it was termed in the later Hellenizing epoch, the Asylum, was covered with wood and presumably intended for the reception of the husbandmen and their herds, when inundation or war drove them from the plain. The Capitol was in reality as well as in name the Acropolis of Rome, an independent castle capable of being defended even after the city had fallen: its gate lay probably towards what was afterwards the Forum.(12) The Aventine seems to have been fortified in a similar style, although less strongly, and to have been preserved free from permanent occupation. With this is connected the fact, that for purposes strictly urban, such as the distribution of the introduced water, the inhabitants of Rome were divided into the inhabitants of the city proper (-montani-), and those of the districts situated within the general ring-wall, but yet not reckoned as strictly belonging to the city (-pagani Aventinensis-, -Ianiculenses-, -collegia Capitolinorum et Mercurialium-).(13) The space enclosed by the new city wall thus embraced, in addition to the former Palatine and Quirinal cities, the two federal strongholds of the Capitol and the Aventine, and also the Janiculum;(14) the Palatine, as the oldest and proper city, was enclosed by the other heights along which the wall was carried, as if encircled with a wreath, and the two castles occupied the middle.
The work, however, was not complete so long as the ground, protected by so laborious exertions from outward foes, was not also reclaimed from the dominion of the water, which permanently occupied the valley between the Palatine and the Capitol, so that there was perhaps even a ferry there, and which converted the valleys between the Capitol and the Velia and between the Palatine and the Aventine into marshes. The subterranean drains still existing at the present day, composed of magnificent square blocks, which excited the astonishment of posterity as a marvellous work of regal Rome, must rather be reckoned to belong to the following epoch, for travertine is the material employed and we have many accounts of new structures of the kind in the times of the republic; but the scheme itself belongs beyond doubt to the regal period, although presumably to a later epoch than the designing of the Servian wall and the Capitoline stronghold. The spots thus drained or dried supplied large open spaces such as were needed by the new enlarged city. The assembling-place of the community, which had hitherto been the Area Capitolina at the stronghold itself, was now transferred to the flat space, where the ground fell from the stronghold towards the city (-comitium-), and which stretched thence between the Palatine and the Carinae, in the direction of the Velia. At that side of the -comitium- which adjoined the stronghold, and upon the stronghold-wall which arose above the -comitium- in the fashion of a balcony, the members of the senate and the guests of the city had the place of honour assigned to them on occasion of festivals and assemblies of the people; and at the place of assembly itself was erected the senate-house, which afterwards bore the name of the Curia Hostilia. The platform for the judgment-seat (-tribunal-), and the stage whence the burgesses were addressed (the later rostra), were likewise erected on the -comitium- itself. Its prolongation in the direction of the Velia became the new market (-forum Romanum-). At the end of the latter, beneath the Palatine, rose the community-house, which included the official dwelling of the king (-regia-) and the common hearth of the city, the rotunda forming the temple of Vesta; at no great distance, on the south side of the Forum, there was erected a second round building connected with the former, the store-room of the community or temple of the Penates, which still stands at the present day as the porch of the church Santi Cosma e Damiano. It is a feature significant of the new city now united in a way very different from the settlement of the "seven mounts," that, over and above the hearths of the thirty curies which the Palatine Rome had been content with associating in one building, the Servian Rome presented this general and single hearth for the city at large.(15) Along the two longer sides of the Forum butchers' shops and other traders' stalls were arranged. In the valley between the Palatine and Aventine a "ring" was staked off for races; this became the Circus. The cattle-market was laid out immediately adjoining the river, and this soon became one of the most densely peopled quarters of Rome. Temples and sanctuaries arose on all the summits, above all the federal sanctuary of Diana on the Aventine,(16) and on the summit of the stronghold the far-seen temple of Father Diovis, who had given to his people all this glory, and who now, when the Romans were triumphing over the surrounding nations, triumphed along with them over the subject gods of the vanquished.
The names of the men, at whose bidding these great buildings of the city arose, are almost as completely lost in oblivion as those of the leaders in the earliest battles and victories of Rome. Tradition indeed assigns the different works to different kings—the senate-house to Tullus Hostilius, the Janiculum and the wooden bridge to Ancus Marcius, the great Cloaca, the Circus, and the temple of Jupiter to the elder Tarquinius, the temple of Diana and the ring-wall to Servius Tullius. Some of these statements may perhaps be correct; and it is apparently not the result of accident that the building of the new ring-wall is associated both as to date and author with the new organization of the army, which in fact bore special reference to the regular defence of the city walls. But upon the whole we must be content to learn from this tradition—what is indeed evident of itself—that this second creation of Rome stood in intimate connection with the commencement of her hegemony over Latium and with the remodelling of her burgess-army, and that, while it originated in one and the same great conception, its execution was not the work either of a single man or of a single generation. It is impossible to doubt that Hellenic influences exercised a powerful effect on this remodelling of the Roman community, but it is equally impossible to demonstrate the mode or the degree of their operation. It has already been observed that the Servian military constitution is essentially of an Hellenic type;(17) and it will be afterwards shown that the games of the Circus were organized on an Hellenic model. The new -regia-with the city hearth was quite a Greek —prytaneion—, and the round temple of Vesta, looking towards the east and not so much as consecrated by the augurs, was constructed in no respect according to Italian, but wholly in accordance with Hellenic, ritual. With these facts before us, the statement of tradition appears not at all incredible that the Ionian confederacy in Asia Minor to some extent served as a model for the Romano-Latin league, and that the new federal sanctuary on the Aventine was for that reason constructed in imitation of the Artemision at Ephesus.
Notes for Book I Chapter VII
1. I. IV. Earliest Limits of the Roman Territory
2. The formulae of accursing for Gabii and Fidenae are quite as characteristic (Macrob. Sat. iii. 9). It cannot, however, be proved and is extremely improbable that, as respects these towns, there was an actual historical accursing of the ground on which they were built, such as really took place at Veii, Carthage, and Fregellae. It may be conjectured that old accursing formularies were applied to those two hated towns, and were considered by later antiquaries as historical documents.
3. But there seems to be no good ground for the doubt recently expressed in a quarter deserving of respect as to the destruction of Alba having really been the act of Rome. It is true, indeed, that the account of the destruction of Alba is in its details a series of improbabilities and impossibilities; but that is true of every historical fact inwoven into legend. To the question as to the attitude of the rest of Latium towards the struggle between Rome and Alba, we are unable to give an answer; but the question itself rests on a false assumption, for it is not proved that the constitution of the Latin league absolutely prohibited a separate war between two Latin communities (I. III. The Latin League). Still less is the fact that a number of Alban families were received into the burgess-union of Rome inconsistent with the destruction of Alba by the Romans. Why may there not have been a Roman party in Alba just as there was in Capua? The circumstance, however, of Rome claiming to be in a religious and political point of view the heir-at-law of Alba may be regarded as decisive of the matter; for such a claim could not be based on the migration of individual clans to Rome, but could only be based, as it actually was, on the conquest of the town.
4. I. VI. Amalgamation of the Palatine and Quirinal Cities
5. Hence was developed the conception, in political law, of the maritime colony or colony of burgesses (-colonia civium Romanorum-), that is, of a community separate in fact, but not independent or possessing a will of its own in law; a community which merged in the capital as the -peculium- of the son merged in the property of the father, and which as a standing garrison was exempt from serving in the legion.
6. To this the enactment of the Twelve Tables undoubtedly has reference: -Nex[i mancipiique] forti sanatique idem ius esto-, that is, in dealings of private law the "sound" and the "recovered" shall be on a footing of equality. The Latin allies cannot be here referred to, because their legal position was defined by federal treaties, and the law of the Twelve Tables treated only of the law of Rome. The -sanates- were the -Latini prisci cives Romani-, or in other words, the communities of Latium compelled by the Romans to enter the plebeiate.
7. The community of Bovillae appears even to have been formed out of part of the Alban domain, and to have been admitted in room of Alba among the autonomous Latin towns. Its Alban origin is attested by its having been the seat of worship for the Julian gens and by the name -Albani Longani Bovillenses- (Orelli-Henzen, 119, 2252, 6019); its autonomy by Dionysius, v. 61, and Cicero, pro Plancio, 9, 23.
8. I. III. The Latin League
9. I. III. The Latin League
10. Both names, although afterwards employed as local names (-capitolium- being applied to the summit of the stronghold-hill that lay next to the river, -arx- to that next to the Quirinal), were originally appellatives, corresponding exactly to the Greek —akra— and —koruphei— every Latin town had its -capitolium-as well as Rome. The local name of the Roman stronghold-hill was -mons Tarpeius-.
11. The enactment -ne quis patricius in arce aut capitolio habitaret-probably prohibited only the conversion of the ground into private property, not the construction of dwelling-houses. Comp. Becker, Top. p. 386.
12. For the chief thoroughfare, the -Via Sacra-, led from that quarter to the stronghold; and the bending in towards the gate may still be clearly recognized in the turn which this makes to the left at the arch of Severus. The gate itself must have disappeared under the huge structures which were raised in after ages on the Clivus. The so-called gate at the steepest part of the Capitoline Mount, which is known by the name of Janualis or Saturnia, or the "open," and which had to stand always open in times of war, evidently had merely a religious significance, and never was a real gate.
13. Four such guilds are mentioned (1) the -Capitolini- (Cicero, ad Q. fr. ii. 5, 2), with -magistri- of their own (Henzen, 6010, 6011), and annual games (Liv. v. 50; comp. Corp. Inscr. Lat. i. n. 805); (2) the -Mercuriales- (Liv. ii. 27; Cicero, l. c.; Preller, Myth. p. 597) likewise with -magistri- (Henzen, 6010), the guild from the valley of the Circus, where the temple of Mercury stood; (3) the -pagani Aventinenses- likewise with -magistri- (Henzen, 6010); and (4) the -pagani pagi Ianiculensis- likewise with -magistri- (C. I. L. i. n. 801, 802). It is certainly not accidental that these four guilds, the only ones of the sort that occur in Rome, belong to the very two hills excluded from the four local tribes but enclosed by the Servian wall, the Capitol and the Aventine, and the Janiculum belonging to the same fortification; and connected with this is the further fact that the expression -montani paganive- is employed as a designation of the whole inhabitants in connection with the city (comp. besides the well-known passage, Cic. de Domo, 28, 74, especially the law as to the city aqueducts in Festus, v. sifus, p. 340; [-mon]tani paganive si[fis aquam dividunto-]). The -montani-, properly the inhabitants of the three regions of the Palatine town (iv. The Hill-Romans On the Quirinal), appear to be here put -a potiori- for the whole population of the four regions of the city proper. The -pagani- are, undoubtedly, the residents of the Aventine and Janiculum not included in the tribes, and the analogous -collegia- of the Capitol and the Circus valley.
14. The "Seven-hill-city" in the proper and religious sense was and continued to be the narrower Old-Rome of the Palatine (iv. The Palatine City). Certainly the Servian Rome also regarded itself, at least as early as the time of Cicero (comp. e. g. Cic. ad Att. vi. 5, 2; Plutarch, Q. Rom. 69), as "Seven-hill-city," probably because the festival of the Septimontium, which was celebrated with great zeal even under the Empire, began to be regarded as a festival for the city generally; but there was hardly any definite agreement reached as to which of the heights embraced by the Servian ring-wall belonged to the "seven." The enumeration of the Seven Mounts familiar to us, viz. Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, Capitoline, is not given by any ancient author. It is put together from the traditional narrative of the gradual rise of the city (Jordan, Topographie, ii. 206 seq.), and the Janiculum is passed over in it, simply because otherwise the number would come out as eight. The earliest authority that enumerates the Seven Mounts (-montes-) of Rome is the description of the city from the age of Constantine the Great. It names as such the Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Tarpeian, Vatican, and Janiculum,—where the Quirinal and Viminal are, evidently as -colles-, omitted, and in their stead two "-montes-" are introduced from the right bank of the Tiber, including even the Vatican which lay outside of the Servian wall. Other still later lists are given by Servius (ad Aen. vi. 783), the Berne Scholia to Virgil's Georgics (ii. 535), and Lydus (de Mens. p. 118, Bekker).
15. Both the situation of the two temples, and the express testimony of Dionysius, ii. 65, that the temple of Vesta lay outside of the Roma quadrata, prove that these structures were connected with the foundation not of the Palatine, but of the second (Servian) city. Posterity reckoned this -regia- with the temple of Vesta as a scheme of Numa; but the cause which gave rise to that hypothesis is too manifest to allow of our attaching any weight to it.
16. I. VII. Relation of Rome to Latium
17. I. VI. Time and Occasion of the Reform
The Umbro-Sabellian Stocks—Beginnings of the Samnites
The migration of the Umbrian stocks appears to have begun at a period later than that of the Latins. Like the Latin, it moved in a southerly direction, but it kept more in the centre of the peninsula and towards the east coast. It is painful to speak of it; for our information regarding it comes to us like the sound of bells from a town that has been sunk in the sea. The Umbrian people extended according to Herodotus as far as the Alps, and it is not improbable that in very ancient times they occupied the whole of Northern Italy, to the point where the settlements of the Illyrian stocks began on the east, and those of the Ligurians on the west. As to the latter, there are traditions of their conflicts with the Umbrians, and we may perhaps draw an inference regarding their extension in very early times towards the south from isolated names, such as that of the island of Ilva (Elba) compared with the Ligurian Ilvates. To this period of Umbrian greatness the evidently Italian names of the most ancient settlements in the valley of the Po, Atria (black-town), and Spina (thorn-town), probably owe their origin, as well as the numerous traces of Umbrians in southern Etruria (such as the river Umbro, Camars the old name of Clusium, Castrum Amerinum). Such indications of an Italian population having preceded the Etruscan especially occur in the most southern portion of Etruria, the district between the Ciminian Forest (below Viterbo) and the Tiber. In Falerii, the town of Etruria nearest to the frontier of Umbria and the Sabine country, according to the testimony of Strabo a language was spoken different from the Etruscan, and inscriptions bearing out that statement have recently been brought to light there, the alphabet and language of which, while presenting points of contact with the Etruscan, exhibit a general resemblance to the Latin.(1) The local worship also presents traces of a Sabellian character; and a similar inference is suggested by the primitive relations subsisting in sacred as well as other matters between Caere and Rome. It is probable that the Etruscans wrested those southern districts from the Umbrians at a period considerably subsequent to their occupation of the country on the north of the Ciminian Forest, and that an Umbrian population maintained itself there even after the Tuscan conquest. In this fact we may presumably find the ultimate explanation of the surprising rapidity with which the southern portion of Etruria became Latinized, as compared with the tenacious retention of the Etruscan language and manners in northern Etruria, after the Roman conquest. That the Umbrians were after obstinate struggles driven back from the north and west into the narrow mountainous country between the two arms of the Apennines which they subsequently held, is clearly indicated by the very fact of their geographical position, just as the position of the inhabitants of the Grisons and that of the Basques at the present day indicates the similar fate that has befallen them. Tradition also has to report that the Tuscans wrested from the Umbrians three hundred towns; and, what is of more importance as evidence, in the national prayers of the Umbrian Iguvini, which we still possess, along with other stocks the Tuscans especially are cursed as public foes.
In consequence, as may be presumed, of this pressure exerted upon them from the north, the Umbrians advanced towards the south, keeping in general upon the heights, because they found the plains already occupied by Latin stocks, but beyond doubt frequently making inroads and encroachments on the territory of the kindred race, and intermingling with them the more readily, that the distinction in language and habits could not have been at all so marked then as we find it afterwards. To the class of such inroads belongs the tradition of the irruption of the Reatini and Sabines into Latium and their conflicts with the Romans; similar phenomena were probably repeated all along the west coast. Upon the whole the Sabines maintained their footing in the mountains, as in the district bordering on Latium which has since been called by their name, and so too in the Volscian land, presumably because the Latin population did not extend thither or was there less dense; while on the other hand the well-peopled plains were better able to offer resistance to the invaders, although they were not in all cases able or desirous to prevent isolated bands from gaining a footing, such as the Tities and afterwards the Claudii in Rome.(2) In this way the stocks here became variously mingled, a state of things which serves to explain the numerous relations that subsisted between the Volscians and Latins, and how it happened that their district, as well as Sabina, afterwards became so early and speedily Latinized.
The chief branch, however, of the Umbrian stock threw itself eastward from Sabina into the mountains of the Abruzzi, and the adjacent hill-country to the south of them. Here, as on the west coast, they occupied the mountainous districts, whose thinly scattered population gave way before the immigrants or submitted to their yoke; while in the plain along the Apulian coast the ancient native population, the Iapygians, upon the whole maintained their ground, although involved in constant feuds, especially on the northern frontier about Luceria and Arpi. When these migrations took place, cannot of course be determined; but it was presumably about the time when kings ruled in Rome. Tradition reports that the Sabines, pressed by the Umbrians, vowed a -ver sacrum-, that is, swore that they would give up and send beyond their bounds the sons and daughters born in the year of war, so soon as these should reach maturity, that the gods might at their pleasure destroy them or bestow upon them new abodes in other lands. One band was led by the ox of Mars; these were the Safini or Samnites, who in the first instance established themselves on the mountains adjoining the river Sagrus, and at a later period proceeded to occupy the beautiful plain on the east of the Matese chain, near the sources of the Tifernus. Both in their old and in their new territory they named their place of public assembly—which in the one case was situated near Agnone, in the other near Bojano—from the ox which led them Bovianum. A second band was led by the woodpecker of Mars; these were the Picentes, "the woodpecker-people," who took possession of what is now the March of Ancona. A third band was led by the wolf (-hirpus-) into the region of Beneventum; these were the Hirpini. In a similar manner the other small tribes branched off from the common stock—the Praetuttii near Teramo; the Vestini on the Gran Sasso; the Marrucini near Chieti; the Frentani on the frontier of Apulia; the Paeligni on the Majella mountains; and lastly the Marsi on the Fucine lake, coming in contact with the Volscians and Latins. All of these tribes retained, as these legends clearly show, a vivid sense of their relationship and of their having come forth from the Sabine land. While the Umbrians succumbed in the unequal struggle and the western offshoots of the same stock became amalgamated with the Latin or Hellenic population, the Sabellian tribes prospered in the seclusion of their distant mountain land, equally remote from collision with the Etruscans, the Latins, and the Greeks. There was little or no development of an urban life amongst them; their geographical position almost wholly precluded them from engaging in commercial intercourse, and the mountain-tops and strongholds sufficed for the necessities of defence, while the husbandmen continued to dwell in open hamlets or wherever each found the well-spring and the forest or pasture that he desired. In such circumstances their constitution remained stationary; like the similarly situated Arcadians in Greece, their communities never became incorporated into a single state; at the utmost they only formed confederacies more or less loosely connected. In the Abruzzi especially, the strict seclusion of the mountain valleys seems to have debarred the several cantons from intercourse either with each other or with the outer world. They maintained but little connection with each other and continued to live in complete isolation from the rest of Italy; and in consequence, notwithstanding the bravery of their inhabitants, they exercised less influence than any other portion of the Italian nation on the development of the history of the peninsula.
Their Political Development
On the other hand the Samnite people decidedly exhibited the highest political development among the eastern Italian stock, as the Latin nation did among the western. From an early period, perhaps from its first immigration, a comparatively strong political bond held together the Samnite nation, and gave to it the strength which subsequently enabled it to contend with Rome on equal terms for the first place in Italy. We are as ignorant of the time and manner of the formation of the bond, as we are of its federal constitution; but it is clear that in Samnium no single community was preponderant, and still less was there any town to serve as a central rallying point and bond of union for the Samnite stock, such as Rome was for the Latins. The strength of the land lay in its -communes- of husbandmen, and authority was vested in the assembly formed of their representatives; it was this assembly which in case of need nominated a federal commander-in-chief. In consequence of its constitution the policy of this confederacy was not aggressive like the Roman, but was limited to the defence of its own bounds; only where the state forms a unity is power so concentrated and passion so strong, that the extension of territory can be systematically pursued. Accordingly the whole history of the two nations is prefigured in their diametrically opposite systems of colonization. Whatever the Romans gained, was a gain to the state: the conquests of the Samnites were achieved by bands of volunteers who went forth in search of plunder and, whether they prospered or were unfortunate, were left to their own resources by their native home. The conquests, however, which the Samnites made on the coasts of the Tyrrhenian and Ionic seas, belong to a later age; during the regal period in Rome they seem to have been only gaining possession of the settlements in which we afterwards find them. As a single incident in the series of movements among the neighbouring peoples caused by this Samnite settlement may be mentioned the surprise of Cumae by Tyrrhenians from the Upper Sea, Umbrians, and Daunians in the year 230. If we may give credit to the accounts of the matter which present certainly a considerable colouring of romance, it would appear that in this instance, as was often the case in such expeditions, the intruders and those whom they supplanted combined to form one army, the Etruscans joining with their Umbrian enemies, and these again joined by the Iapygians whom the Umbrian settlers had driven towards the south. Nevertheless the undertaking proved a failure: on this occasion at least the Hellenic superiority in the art of war, and the bravery of the tyrant Aristodemus, succeeded in repelling the barbarian assault on the beautiful seaport.
Notes for Book I Chapter VIII
1. In the alphabet the -"id:r" especially deserves notice, being of the Latin (-"id:R") and not of the Etruscan form (-"id:D"), and also the -"id:z" (—"id:XI"); it can only be derived from the primitive Latin, and must very faithfully represent it. The language likewise has close affinity with the oldest Latin; -Marci Acarcelini he cupa-, that is, -Marcius Acarcelinius heic cubat-: -Menerva A. Cotena La. f...zenatuo sentem..dedet cuando..cuncaptum-, that is, -Minervae A(ulus?) Cotena La(rtis) f(ilius) de senatus sententia dedit quando (perhaps=olim) conceptum-. At the same time with these and similar inscriptions there have been found some others in a different character and language, undoubtedly Etruscan.
2. I. IV. Tities, Luceres
The Etruscan people, or Ras,(1) as they called themselves, present a most striking contrast to the Latin and Sabellian Italians as well as to the Greeks. They were distinguished from these nations by their very bodily structure: instead of the slender and symmetrical proportions of the Greeks and Italians, the sculptures of the Etruscans exhibit only short sturdy figures with large head and thick arms. Their manners and customs also, so far as we are acquainted with them, point to a deep and original diversity from the Graeco-Italian stocks. The religion of the Tuscans in particular, presenting a gloomy fantastic character and delighting in the mystical handling of numbers and in wild and horrible speculations and practices, is equally remote from the clear rationalism of the Romans and the genial image-worship of the Hellenes. The conclusion which these facts suggest is confirmed by the most important and authoritative evidence of nationality, the evidence of language. The remains of the Etruscan tongue which have reached us, numerous as they are and presenting as they do various data to aid in deciphering it, occupy a position of isolation so complete, that not only has no one hitherto succeeded in interpreting these remains, but no one has been able even to determine precisely the place of Etruscan in the classification of languages. Two periods in the development of the language may be clearly distinguished. In the older period the vocalization of the language was completely carried out, and the collision of two consonants was almost without exception avoided.(2) By throwing off the vocal and consonantal terminations, and by the weakening or rejection of the vowels, this soft and melodious language was gradually changed in character, and became intolerably harsh and rugged.(3) They changed for example -ramu*af- into -ram*a-, Tarquinius into -Tarchnaf-, Minerva into -Menrva-, Menelaos, Polydeukes, Alexandros, into -Menle-, -Pultuke-, -Elchsentre-. The indistinct and rugged nature of their pronunciation is shown most clearly by the fact that at a very early period the Etruscans made no distinction of -o from -u, -b from -p, -c from -g, -d from -t. At the same time the accent was, as in Latin and in the more rugged Greek dialects, uniformly thrown back upon the initial syllable. The aspirate consonants were treated in a similar fashion; while the Italians rejected them with the exception of the aspirated -b or the -f, and the Greeks, reversing the case, rejected this sound and retained the others —theta, —phi, —chi, the Etruscans allowed the softest and most pleasing of them, the —phi, to drop entirely except in words borrowed from other languages, but made use of the other three to an extraordinary extent, even where they had no proper place; Thetis for example became -Thethis-, Telephus -Thelaphe-, Odysseus -Utuze- or -Uthuze-. Of the few terminations and words, whose meaning has been ascertained, the greater part are far remote from all Graeco-Italian analogies; such as, all the numerals; the termination -al employed as a designation of descent, frequently of descent from the mother, e. g. -Cania-, which on a bilingual inscription of Chiusi is translated by -Cainnia natus-; and the termination -sa in the names of women, used to indicate the clan into which they have married, e. g. -Lecnesa- denoting the spouse of a -Licinius-. So -cela- or -clan- with the inflection -clensi- means son; -se(—chi)- daughter; -ril- year; the god Hermes becomes -Turms-, Aphrodite -Turan-, Hephaestos -Sethlans-, Bakchos -Fufluns-. Alongside of these strange forms and sounds there certainly occur isolated analogies between the Etruscan and the Italian languages. Proper names are formed, substantially, after the general Italian system. The frequent gentile termination -enas or -ena(4) recurs in the termination -enus which is likewise of frequent occurrence in Italian, especially in Sabellian clan-names; thus the Etruscan names -Maecenas- and -Spurinna- correspond closely to the Roman -Maecius-and -Spurius-. A number of names of divinities, which occur as Etruscan on Etruscan monuments or in authors, have in their roots, and to some extent even in their terminations, a form so thoroughly Latin, that, if these names were really originally Etruscan, the two languages must have been closely related; such as -Usil- (sun and dawn, connected with -ausum-, -aurum-, -aurora-, -sol-), -Minerva-(-menervare-) -Lasa- (-lascivus-), -Neptunus-, -Voltumna-. As these analogies, however, may have had their origin only in the subsequent political and religious relations between the Etruscans and Latins, and in the accommodations and borrowings to which these relations gave rise, they do not invalidate the conclusion to which we are led by the other observed phenomena, that the Tuscan language differed at least as widely from all the Graeco-Italian dialects as did the language of the Celts or of the Slavonians. So at least it sounded to the Roman ear; "Tuscan and Gallic" were the languages of barbarians, "Oscan and Volscian" were but rustic dialects.
But, while the Etruscans differed thus widely from the Graeco-Italian family of languages, no one has yet succeeded in connecting them with any other known race. All sorts of dialects have been examined with a view to discover affinity with the Etruscan, sometimes by simple interrogation, sometimes by torture, but all without exception in vain. The geographical position of the Basque nation would naturally suggest it for comparison; but even in the Basque language no analogies of a decisive character have been brought forward. As little do the scanty remains of the Ligurian language which have reached our time, consisting of local and personal names, indicate any connection with the Tuscans. Even the extinct nation which has constructed those enigmatical sepulchral towers, called -Nuraghe-, by thousands in the islands of the Tuscan Sea, especially in Sardinia, cannot well be connected with the Etruscans, for not a single structure of the same character is to be met with in Etruscan territory. The utmost we can say is that several traces, that seem tolerably trustworthy, point to the conclusion that the Etruscans may be on the whole numbered with the Indo-Germans. Thus -mi- in the beginning of many of the older inscriptions is certainly —emi—, —eimi—, and the genitive form of consonantal stems veneruf -rafuvuf-is exactly reproduced in old Latin, corresponding to the old Sanscrit termination -as. In like manner the name of the Etruscan Zeus, -Tina-or -Tinia-, is probably connected with the Sanscrit -dina-, meaning day, as —Zan— is connected with the synonymous -diwan-. But, even granting this, the Etruscan people appears withal scarcely less isolated "The Etruscans," Dionysius said long ago, "are like no other nation in language and manners;" and we have nothing to add to his statement.
Home of the Etruscans
It is equally difficult to determine from what quarter the Etruscans migrated into Italy; nor is much lost through our inability to answer the question, for this migration belonged at any rate to the infancy of the people, and their historical development began and ended in Italy. No question, however, has been handled with greater zeal than this, in accordance with the principle which induces antiquaries especially to inquire into what is neither capable of being known nor worth the knowing—to inquire "who was Hecuba's mother," as the emperor Tiberius professed to do. As the oldest and most important Etruscan towns lay far inland—in fact we find not a single Etruscan town of any note immediately on the coast except Populonia, which we know for certain was not one of the old twelve cities— and the movement of the Etruscans in historical times was from north to south, it seems probable that they migrated into the peninsula by land. Indeed the low stage of civilization, in which we find them at first, would ill accord with the hypothesis of immigration by sea. Nations even in the earliest times crossed a strait as they would a stream; but to land on the west coast of Italy was a very different matter. We must therefore seek for the earlier home of the Etruscans to the west or north of Italy. It is not wholly improbable that the Etruscans may have come into Italy over the Raetian Alps; for the oldest traceable settlers in the Grisons and Tyrol, the Raeti, spoke Etruscan down to historical times, and their name sounds similar to that of the Ras. These may no doubt have been a remnant of the Etruscan settlements on the Po; but it is at least quite as likely that they may have been a portion of the people which remained behind in its earlier abode.
Story of Their Lydian Origin
In glaring contradiction to this simple and natural view stands the story that the Etruscans were Lydians who had emigrated from Asia. It is very ancient: it occurs even in Herodotus; and it reappears in later writers with innumerable changes and additions, although several intelligent inquirers, such as Dionysius, emphatically declared their disbelief in it, and pointed to the fact that there was not the slightest apparent similarity between the Lydians and Etruscans in religion, laws, manners, or language. It is possible that an isolated band of pirates from Asia Minor may have reached Etruria, and that their adventure may have given rise to such tales; but more probably the whole story rests on a mere verbal mistake. The Italian Etruscans or the -Turs-ennae- (for this appears to be the original form and the basis of the Greek —Turs-einnoi—, —Turreinoi—, of the Umbrian -Turs-ci-, and of the two Roman forms -Tusci-, -Etrusci-) nearly coincide in name with the Lydian people of the —Torreiboi— or perhaps also —Turr-einoi—, so named from the town —Turra—, This manifestly accidental resemblance in name seems to be in reality the only foundation for that hypothesis—not rendered more trustworthy by its great antiquity—and for all the pile of crude historical speculations that has been reared upon it. By connecting the ancient maritime commerce of the Etruscans with the piracy of the Lydians, and then by confounding (Thucydides is the first who has demonstrably done so) the Torrhebian pirates, whether rightly or wrongly, with the bucaneering Pelasgians who roamed and plundered on every sea, there has been produced one of the most mischievous complications of historical tradition. The term Tyrrhenians denotes sometimes the Lydian Torrhebi—as is the case in the earliest sources, such as the Homeric hymns; sometimes under the form Tyrrheno-Pelasgians or simply that of Tyrrhenians, the Pelasgian nation; sometimes, in fine, the Italian Etruscans, although the latter never came into lasting contact with the Pelasgians or Torrhebians, or were at all connected with them by common descent.
Settlements of the Etruscans in Italy
It is, on the other hand, a matter of historical interest to determine what were the oldest traceable abodes of the Etruscans, and what were their further movements when they issued thence. Various circumstances attest that before the great Celtic invasion they dwelt in the district to the north of the Po, being conterminous on the east along the Adige with the Veneti of Illyrian (Albanian?) descent, on the west with the Ligurians. This is proved in particular by the already-mentioned rugged Etruscan dialect, which was still spoken in the time of Livy by the inhabitants of the Raetian Alps, and by the fact that Mantua remained Tuscan down to a late period. To the south of the Po and at the mouths of that river Etruscans and Umbrians were mingled, the former as the dominant, the latter as the older race, which had founded the old commercial towns of Atria and Spina, while the Tuscans appear to have been the founders of Felsina (Bologna) and Ravenna. A long time elapsed ere the Celts crossed the Po; hence the Etruscans and Umbrians left deeper traces of their existence on the right bank of the river than they had done on the left, which they had to abandon at an early period. All the regions, however, to the north of the Apennines passed too rapidly out of the hands of one nation into those of another to permit the formation of any continuous national development there.
Far more important in an historical point of view was the great settlement of the Tuscans in the land which still bears their name. Although Ligurians or Umbrians were probably at one time(5) settled there, the traces of them have been almost wholly effaced by the Etruscan occupation and civilization. In this region, which extends along the coast from Pisae to Tarquinii and is shut in on the east by the Apennines, the Etruscan nationality found its permanent abode and maintained itself with great tenacity down to the time of the empire. The northern boundary of the proper Tuscan territory was formed by the Arnus; the region north from the Arnus as far as the mouth of the Macra and the Apennines was a debateable border land in the possession sometimes of Ligurians, sometimes of Etruscans, and for this reason larger settlements were not successful there. The southern boundary was probably formed at first by the Ciminian Forest, a chain of hills south of Viterbo, and at a later period by the Tiber. We have already(6) noticed the fact that the territory between the Ciminian range and the Tiber with the towns of Sutrium, Nepete, Falerii, Veii, and Caere appears not to have been taken possession of by the Etruscans till a period considerably later than the more northern districts, possibly not earlier than in the second century of Rome, and that the original Italian population must have maintained its ground in this region, especially in Falerii, although in a relation of dependence.
Relations of the Etruscans to Latium
From the time at which the river Tiber became the line of demarcation between Etruria on the one side and Umbria and Latium on the other, peaceful relations probably upon the whole prevailed in that quarter, and no essential change seems to have taken place in the boundary line, at least so far as concerned the Latin frontier. Vividly as the Romans were impressed by the feeling that the Etruscan was a foreigner, while the Latin was their countryman, they yet seem to have stood in much less fear of attack or of danger from the right bank of the river than, for example, from their kinsmen in Gabii and Alba; and this was natural, for they were protected in that direction not merely by the broad stream which formed a natural boundary, but also by the circumstance, so momentous in its bearing on the mercantile and political development of Rome, that none of the more powerful Etruscan towns lay immediately on the river, as did Rome on the Latin bank. The Veientes were the nearest to the Tiber, and it was with them that Rome and Latium came most frequently into serious conflict, especially for the possession of Fidenae, which served the Veientes as a sort of -tete de pont- on the left bank just as the Janiculum served the Romans on the right, and which was sometimes in the hands of the Latins, sometimes in those of the Etruscans. The relations of Rome with the somewhat more distant Caere were on the whole far more peaceful and friendly than those which we usually find subsisting between neighbours in early times. There are doubtless vague legends, reaching back to times of distant antiquity, about conflicts between Latium and Caere; Mezentius the king of Caere, for instance, is asserted to have obtained great victories over the Latins, and to have imposed upon them a wine-tax; but evidence much more definite than that which attests a former state of feud is supplied by tradition as to an especially close connection between the two ancient centres of commercial and maritime intercourse in Latium and Etruria. Sure traces of any advance of the Etruscans beyond the Tiber, by land, are altogether wanting. It is true that Etruscans are named in the first ranks of the great barbarian host, which Aristodemus annihilated in 230 under the walls of Cumae;(7) but, even if we regard this account as deserving credit in all its details, it only shows that the Etruscans had taken part in a great plundering expedition. It is far more important to observe that south of the Tiber no Etruscan settlement can be pointed out as having owed its origin to founders who came by land; and that no indication whatever is discernible of any serious pressure by the Etruscans upon the Latin nation. The possession of the Janiculum and of both banks of the mouth of the Tiber remained, so far as we can see, undisputed in the hands of the Romans. As to the migrations of bodies of Etruscans to Rome, we find an isolated statement drawn from Tuscan annals, that a Tuscan band, led by Caelius Vivenna of Volsinii and after his death by his faithful companion Mastarna, was conducted by the latter to Rome. This may be trustworthy, although the derivation of the name of the Caelian Mount from this Caelius is evidently a philological invention, and even the addition that this Mastarna became king in Rome under the name of Servius Tullius is certainly nothing but an improbable conjecture of the archaeologists who busied themselves with legendary parallels. The name of the "Tuscan quarter" at the foot of the Palatine(8) points further to Etruscan settlements in Rome.
It can hardly, moreover, be doubted that the last regal family which ruled over Rome, that of the Tarquins, was of Etruscan origin, whether it belonged to Tarquinii, as the legend asserts, or to Caere, where the family tomb of the Tarchnas has recently been discovered. The female name Tanaquil or Tanchvil interwoven with the legend, while it is not Latin, is common in Etruria. But the traditional story—according to which Tarquin was the son of a Greek who had migrated from Corinth to Tarquinii, and came to settle in Rome as a —metoikos— is neither history nor legend, and the historical chain of events is manifestly in this instance not confused merely, but completely torn asunder. If anything more can be deduced from this tradition beyond the bare and at bottom indifferent fact that at last a family of Tuscan descent swayed the regal sceptre in Rome, it can only be held as implying that this dominion of a man of Tuscan origin ought not to be viewed either as a dominion of the Tuscans or of any one Tuscan community over Rome, or conversely as the dominion of Rome over southern Etruria. There is, in fact, no sufficient ground either for the one hypothesis or for the other. The history of the Tarquins had its arena in Latium, not in Etruria; and Etruria, so far as we can see, during the whole regal period exercised no influence of any essential moment on either the language or customs of Rome, and did not at all interrupt the regular development of the Roman state or of the Latin league.
The cause of this comparatively passive attitude of Etruria towards the neighbouring land of Latium is probably to be sought partly in the struggles of the Etruscans with the Celts on the Po, which presumably the Celts did not cross until after the expulsion of the kings from Rome, and partly in the tendency of the Etruscan people towards seafaring and the acquisition of supremacy on the sea and seaboard—a tendency decidedly exhibited in their settlements in Campania, and of which we shall speak more fully in the next chapter.
The Etruscan Constitution
The Tuscan constitution, like the Greek and Latin, was based on the gradual transition of the community to an urban life. The early direction of the national energies towards navigation, trade, and manufactures appears to have called into existence urban commonwealths, in the strict sense of the term, earlier in Etruria than elsewhere in Italy. Caere is the first of all the Italian towns that is mentioned in Greek records. On the other hand we find that the Etruscans had on the whole less of the ability and the disposition for war than the Romans and Sabellians: the un-Italian custom of employing mercenaries for fighting occurs among the Etruscans at a very early period. The oldest constitution of the communities must in its general outlines have resembled that of Rome. Kings or Lucumones ruled, possessing similar insignia and probably therefore a similar plenitude of power with the Roman kings. A strict line of demarcation separated the nobles from the common people. The resemblance in the clan-organization is attested by the analogy of the system of names; only, among the Etruscans, descent on the mother's side received much more consideration than in Roman law. The constitution of their league appears to have been very lax. It did not embrace the whole nation; the northern and the Campanian Etruscans were associated in confederacies of their own, just in the same way as the communities of Etruria proper. Each of these leagues consisted of twelve communities, which recognized a metropolis, especially for purposes of worship, and a federal head or rather a high priest, but appear to have been substantially equal in respect of rights; while some of them at least were so powerful that neither could a hegemony establish itself, nor could the central authority attain consolidation. In Etruria proper Volsinii was the metropolis; of the rest of its twelve towns we know by trustworthy tradition only Perusia, Vetulonium, Volci, and Tarquinii. It was, however, quite as unusual for the Etruscans really to act in concert, as it was for the Latin confederacy to do otherwise. Wars were ordinarily carried on by a single community, which endeavoured to interest in its cause such of its neighbours as it could; and when an exceptional case occurred in which war was resolved on by the league, individual towns very frequently kept aloof from it. The Etruscan confederations appear to have been from the first—still more than the other Italian leagues formed on a similar basis of national affinity—deficient in a firm and paramount central authority.
Notes for Book I Chapter IX
1. -Ras-ennac-, with the gentile termination mentioned below.
2. To this period belong e. g. inscriptions on the clay vases of
umaramlisia(—"id:theta")ipurenaie(—"id:theta")eeraisieepanamine (—"id:theta")unastavhelefu- or -mi ramu(—"id:theta")af kaiufinaia-.
3. We may form some idea of the sound which the language now had from the commencement of the great inscription of Perusia; -eulat tanna laresul ameva(—"id:chi")r lautn vel(—"id:theta")inase stlaafunas slele(—"id:theta")caru-.
4. Such as Maecenas, Porsena, Vivenna, Caecina, Spurinna. The vowel in the penult is originally long, but in consequence of the throwing back of the accent upon the initial syllable is frequently shortened and even rejected. Thus we find Porse(n)na as well as Porsena, and Ceicne as well as Caecina.
5. I. VIII. Umbro-Sabellian Migration
6. I. VIII. Their Political Development
7. I. VIII. Their Political Development
8. I. IV. Oldest Settlements in the Palatine and Suburan Regions
The Hellenes in Italy—Maritime Supremacy of the Tuscans and Carthaginians
Relations of Italy with Other Lands
In the history of the nations of antiquity a gradual dawn ushered in the day; and in their case too the dawn was in the east. While the Italian peninsula still lay enveloped in the dim twilight of morning, the regions of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean had already emerged into the full light of a varied and richly developed civilization. It falls to the lot of most nations in the early stages of their development to be taught and trained by some rival sister-nation; and such was destined to be in an eminent degree the lot of the peoples of Italy. The circumstances of its geographical position, however, prevented this influence from being brought to bear upon the peninsula by land. No trace is to be found of any resort in early times to the difficult route by land between Italy and Greece. There were in all probability from time immemorial tracks for purposes of traffic, leading from Italy to the lands beyond the Alps; the oldest route of the amber trade from the Baltic joined the Mediterranean at the mouth of the Po—on which account the delta of the Po appears in Greek legend as the home of amber—and this route was joined by another leading across the peninsula over the Apennines to Pisae; but from these regions no elements of civilization could come to the Italians. It was the seafaring nations of the east that brought to Italy whatever foreign culture reached it in early times.
Phoenicians in Italy
The oldest civilized nation on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Egyptians, were not a seafaring people, and therefore exercised no influence on Italy. But the same may be with almost equal truth affirmed of the Phoenicians. It is true that, issuing from their narrow home on the extreme eastern verge of the Mediterranean, they were the first of all known races to venture forth in floating houses on the bosom of the deep, at first for the purpose of fishing and dredging, but soon also for the prosecution of trade. They were the first to open up maritime commerce; and at an incredibly early period they traversed the Mediterranean even to its furthest extremity in the west. Maritime stations of the Phoenicians appear on almost all its coasts earlier than those of the Hellenes: in Hellas itself, in Crete and Cyprus, in Egypt, Libya, and Spain, and likewise on the western Italian main. Thucydides tells us that all around Sicily, before the Greeks came thither or at least before they had established themselves there in any considerable numbers, the Phoenicians had set up their factories on the headlands and islets, not with a view to gain territory, but for the sake of trading with the natives. But it was otherwise in the case of continental Italy. No sure proof has hitherto been given of the existence of any Phoenician settlement there excepting one, a Punic factory at Caere, the memory of which has been preserved partly by the appellation -Punicum- given to a little village on the Caerite coast, partly by the other name of the town of Caere itself, -Agylla-, which is not, as idle fiction asserts, of Pelasgic origin, but is a Phoenician word signifying the "round town"—precisely the appearance which Caere presents when seen from the sea. That this station and any similar establishments which may have elsewhere existed on the coasts of Italy were neither of much importance nor of long standing, is evident from their having disappeared almost without leaving a trace. We have not the smallest reason to think them older than the Hellenic settlements of a similar kind on the same coasts. An evidence of no slight weight that Latium at least first became acquainted with the men of Canaan through the medium of the Hellenes is furnished by the Latin appellation "Poeni," which is borrowed from the Greek. All the oldest relations, indeed, of the Italians to the civilization of the east point decidedly towards Greece; and the rise of the Phoenician factory at Caere may be very well explained, without resorting to the pre-Hellenic period, by the subsequent well-known relations between the commercial state of Caere and Carthage. In fact, when we recall the circumstance that the earliest navigation was and continued to be essentially of a coasting character, it is plain that scarcely any country on the Mediterranean lay so remote from the Phoenicians as the Italian mainland. They could only reach it either from the west coast of Greece or from Sicily; and it may well be believed that the seamanship of the Hellenes became developed early enough to anticipate the Phoenicians in braving the dangers of the Adriatic and of the Tyrrhene seas. There is no ground therefore for the assumption that any direct influence was originally exercised by the Phoenicians over the Italians. To the subsequent relations between the Phoenicians holding the supremacy of the western Mediterranean and the Italians inhabiting the shores of the Tyrrhene sea our narrative will return in the sequel.
Greeks in Italy—Home of the Greek Immigrants
To all appearance, therefore, the Hellenic mariners were the first among the inhabitants of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean to navigate the coasts of Italy. Of the important questions however as to the region from which, and as to the period at which, the Greek seafarers came thither, only the former admits of being answered with some degree of precision and fulness. The Aeolian and Ionian coast of Asia Minor was the region where Hellenic maritime traffic first became developed on a large scale, and whence issued the Greeks who explored the interior of the Black Sea on the one hand and the coasts of Italy on the other. The name of the Ionian Sea, which was retained by the waters intervening between Epirus and Sicily, and that of the Ionian gulf, the term by which the Greeks in earlier times designated the Adriatic Sea, are memorials of the fact that the southern and eastern coasts of Italy were once discovered by seafarers from Ionia. The oldest Greek settlement in Italy, Kyme, was, as its name and legend tell, founded by the town of the same name on the Anatolian coast. According to trustworthy Hellenic tradition, the Phocaeans of Asia Minor were the first of the Hellenes to traverse the more remote western sea. Other Greeks soon followed in the paths which those of Asia Minor had opened up; lonians from Naxos and from Chalcis in Euboea, Achaeans, Locrians, Rhodians, Corinthians, Megarians, Messenians, Spartans. After the discovery of America the civilized nations of Europe vied with one another in sending out expeditions and forming settlements there; and the new settlers when located amidst barbarians recognized their common character and common interests as civilized Europeans more strongly than they had done in their former home. So it was with the new discovery of the Greeks. The privilege of navigating the western waters and settling on the western land was not the exclusive property of a single Greek province or of a single Greek stock, but a common good for the whole Hellenic nation; and, just as in the formation of the new North American world, English and French, Dutch and German settlements became mingled and blended, Greek Sicily and "Great Greece" became peopled by a mixture of all sorts of Hellenic races often so amalgamated as to be no longer distinguishable. Leaving out of account some settlements occupying a more isolated position—such as that of the Locrians with its offsets Hipponium and Medama, and the settlement of the Phocaeans which was not founded till towards the close of this period, Hyele (Velia, Elea)—we may distinguish in a general view three leading groups. The original Ionian group, comprehended under the name of the Chalcidian towns, included in Italy Cumae with the other Greek settlements at Vesuvius and Rhegium, and in Sicily Zankle (afterwards Messana), Naxos, Catana, Leontini, and Himera. The Achaean group embraced Sybaris and the greater part of the cities of Magna Graecia. The Dorian group comprehended Syracuse, Gela, Agrigentum, and the majority of the Sicilian colonies, while in Italy nothing belonged to it but Taras (Tarentum) and its offset Heraclea. On the whole the preponderance lay with the immigrants who belonged to the more ancient Hellenic influx, that of the lonians and the stocks settled in the Peloponnesus before the Doric immigration. Among the Dorians only the communities with a mixed population, such as Corinth and Megara, took a special part, whereas the purely Doric provinces had but a subordinate share in the movement. This result was naturally to be expected, for the lonians were from ancient times a trading and sea-faring people, while it was only at a comparatively late period that the Dorian stocks descended from their inland mountains to the seaboard, and they always kept aloof from maritime commerce. The different groups of immigrants are very clearly distinguishable, especially by their monetary standards. The Phocaean settlers coined according to the Babylonian standard which prevailed in Asia. The Chalcidian towns followed in the earliest times the Aeginetan, in other words, that which originally prevailed throughout all European Greece, and more especially the modification of it which is found occurring in Euboea. The Achaean communities coined by the Corinthian standard; and lastly the Doric colonies followed that which Solon introduced in Attica in the year of Rome 160, with the exception of Tarentum and Heraclea, which in their principal pieces adopted rather the standard of their Achaean neighbours than that of the Dorians in Sicily.
Time of the Greek Immigration
The dates of the earlier voyages and settlements will probably always remain enveloped in darkness. We may still, however, distinctly recognize a certain order of sequence. In the oldest Greek document, which belongs, like the earliest intercourse with the west, to the lonians of Asia Minor—the Homeric poems—the horizon scarcely extends beyond the eastern basin of the Mediterranean. Sailors driven by storms into the western sea might have brought to Asia Minor accounts of the existence of a western land and possibly also of its whirlpools and island-mountains vomiting fire: but in the age of the Homeric poetry there was an utter want of trustworthy information respecting Sicily and Italy, even in that Greek land which was the earliest to enter into intercourse with the west; and the story-tellers and poets of the east could without fear of contradiction fill the vacant realms of the west, as those of the west in their turn filled the fabulous east, with their castles in the air. In the poems of Hesiod the outlines of Italy and Sicily appear better defined; there is some acquaintance with the native names of tribes, mountains, and cities in both countries; but Italy is still regarded as a group of islands. On the other hand, in all the literature subsequent to Hesiod, Sicily and even the whole coast of Italy appear as known, at least in a general sense, to the Hellenes. The order of succession of the Greek settlements may in like manner be ascertained with some degree of precision. Thucydides evidently regarded Cumae as the earliest settlement of note in the west; and certainly he was not mistaken. It is true that many a landing-place lay nearer at hand for the Greek mariner, but none were so well protected from storms and from barbarians as the island of Ischia, upon which the town was originally situated; and that such were the prevailing considerations that led to this settlement, is evident from the very position which was subsequently selected for it on the mainland—the steep but well-protected cliff, which still bears to the present day the venerable name of the Anatolian mother-city. Nowhere in Italy, accordingly, were the scenes of the legends of Asia Minor so vividly and tenaciously localized as in the district of Cumae, where the earliest voyagers to the west, full of those legends of western wonders, first stepped upon the fabled land and left the traces of that world of story, which they believed that they were treading, in the rocks of the Sirens and the lake of Avernus leading to the lower world. On the supposition, moreover, that it was in Cumae that the Greeks first became the neighbours of the Italians, it is easy to explain why the name of that Italian stock which was settled immediately around Cumae, the name of Opicans, came to be employed by them for centuries afterwards to designate the Italians collectively. There is a further credible tradition, that a considerable interval elapsed between the settlement at Cumae and the main Hellenic immigration into Lower Italy and Sicily, and that in this immigration Ionians from Chalcis and from Naxos took the lead. Naxos in Sicily is said to have been the oldest of all the Greek towns founded by strict colonization in Italy or Sicily; the Achaean and Dorian colonizations followed, but not until a later period.
It appears, however, to be quite impossible to fix the dates of this series of events with even approximate accuracy. The founding of the Achaean city of Sybaris in 33, and that of the Dorian city Tarentum in 46, are probably the most ancient dates in Italian history, the correctness, or at least approximation to correctness, of which may be looked upon as established. But how far beyond that epoch the sending forth of the earlier Ionian colonies reached back, is quite as uncertain as is the age which gave birth to the poems of Hesiod or even of Homer. If Herodotus is correct in the period which he assigns to Homer, the Greeks were still unacquainted with Italy a century before the foundation of Rome. The date thus assigned however, like all other statements respecting the Homeric age, is matter not of testimony, but of inference; and any one who carefully weighs the history of the Italian alphabets as well as the remarkable fact that the Italians had become acquainted with the Greek people before the name "Hellenes" had emerged for the race, and the Italians borrowed their designation for the Hellenes from the stock of the -Grai- or -Graeci- that early fell into abeyance in Hellas,(1) will be inclined to carry back the earliest intercourse of the Italians with the Greeks to an age considerably mere remote.
Character of the Greek Immigration
The history of the Italian and Sicilian Greeks forms no part of the history of Italy; the Hellenic colonists of the west always retained the closest connection with their original home and participated in the national festivals and privileges of Hellenes. But it is of importance even as bearing on Italy, that we should indicate the diversities of character that prevailed in the Greek settlements there, and at least exhibit some of the leading features which enabled the Greek colonization to exercise so varied an influence on Italy.
The League of the Achaen Cities
Of all the Greek settlements, that which retained most thoroughly its distinctive character and was least affected by influences from without was the settlement which gave birth to the league of the Achaean cities, composed of the towns of Siris, Pandosia, Metabus or Metapontum, Sybaris with its offsets Posidonia and Laus, Croton, Caulonia, Temesa, Terina, and Pyxus. These colonists, taken as a whole, belonged to a Greek stock which steadfastly adhered to its own peculiar dialect, having closest affinity with the Doric, and for long retained no less steadfastly the old national Hellenic mode of writing, instead of adopting the more recent alphabet which had elsewhere come into general use; and which preserved its own nationality, as distinguished alike from the barbarians and from other Greeks, by the firm bond of a federal constitution. The language of Polybius regarding the Achaean symmachy in the Peloponnesus may be applied also to these Italian Achaeans; "Not only did they live in federal and friendly communion, but they made use of like laws, like weights, measures, and coins, as well as of the same magistrates, councillors, and judges."
This league of the Achaean cities was strictly a colonization. The cities had no harbours—Croton alone had a paltry roadstead—and they had no commerce of their own; the Sybarite prided himself on growing gray between the bridges of his lagoon-city, and Milesians and Etruscans bought and sold for him. These Achaean Greeks, however, were not merely in possession of a narrow belt along the coast, but ruled from sea to sea in the "land of wine" and "of oxen" (—Oinotria—, —Italia—) or the "great Hellas;" the native agricultural population was compelled to farm their lands and to pay to them tribute in the character of clients or even of serfs. Sybaris—in its time the largest city in Italy—exercised dominion over four barbarian tribes and five-and-twenty townships, and was able to found Laus and Posidonia on the other sea. The exceedingly fertile low grounds of the Crathis and Bradanus yielded a superabundant produce to the Sybarites and Metapontines—it was there perhaps that grain was first cultivated for exportation. The height of prosperity which these states in an incredibly short time attained is strikingly attested by the only surviving works of art of these Italian Achaeans, their coins of chaste antiquely beautiful workmanship—the earliest monuments of art and writing in Italy which we possess, as it can be shown that they had already begun to be coined in 174. These coins show that the Achaeans of the west did not simply participate in the noble development of plastic art that was at this very time taking place in the motherland, but were even superior in technical skill. For, while the silver pieces which were in use about that time in Greece proper and among the Dorians in Italy were thick, often stamped only on one side, and in general without inscription, the Italian Achaeans with great and independent skill struck from two similar dies partly cut in relief, partly sunk, large thin silver coins always furnished with inscriptions, and displaying the advanced organization of a civilized state in the mode of impression, by which they were carefully protected from the process of counterfeiting usual in that age—the plating of inferior metal with thin silver-foil.
Nevertheless this rapid bloom bore no fruit. Even Greeks speedily lost all elasticity of body and of mind in a life of indolence, in which their energies were never tried either by vigorous resistance on the part of the natives or by hard labour of their own. None of the brilliant names in Greek art or literature shed glory on the Italian Achaeans, while Sicily could claim ever so many of them, and even in Italy the Chalcidian Rhegium could produce its Ibycus and the Doric Tarentum its Archytas. With this people, among whom the spit was for ever turning on the hearth, nothing flourished from the outset but boxing. The rigid aristocracy which early gained the helm in the several communities, and which found in case of need a sure reserve of support in the federal power, prevented the rise of tyrants; but the danger to be apprehended was that the government of the best might be converted into a government of the few, especially if the privileged families in the different communities should combine to assist each other in carrying out their designs. Such was the predominant aim in the combination of mutually pledged "friends" which bore the name of Pythagoras. It enjoined the principle that the ruling class should be "honoured like gods," and that the subject class should be "held in subservience like beasts," and by such theory and practice provoked a formidable reaction, which terminated in the annihilation of the Pythagorean "friends" and the renewal of the ancient federal constitution. But frantic party feuds, insurrections en masse of the slaves, social abuses of all sorts, attempts to supply in practice an impracticable state-philosophy, in short, all the evils of demoralized civilization never ceased to rage in the Achaean communities, till under the accumulated pressure their political power utterly broke down.
It is no matter of wonder therefore that the Achaeans settled in Italy exercised less influence on its civilization than the other Greek settlements. An agricultural people, they had less occasion than those engaged in commerce to extend their influence beyond their political bounds. Within their own dominions they enslaved the native population and crushed the germs of their national development as Italians, while they refused to open up to them by means of complete Hellenization a new career. In this way the Greek characteristics, which were able elsewhere to retain a vigorous vitality notwithstanding all political misfortunes, disappeared more rapidly, more completely, and more ingloriously in Sybaris and Metapontum, in Croton and Posidonia, than in any other region; and the bilingual mongrel peoples, that arose in subsequent times out of the remains of the native Italians and Achaeans and the more recent immigrants of Sabellian descent, never attained any real prosperity. This catastrophe, however, belongs in point of time to the succeeding period.
The settlements of the other Greeks were of a different character, and exercised a very different effect upon Italy. They by no means despised agriculture and the acquisition of territory; it was not the wont of the Hellenes, at least when they had reached their full vigour, to rest content after the manner of the Phoenicians with a fortified factory in the midst of a barbarian land. But all their cities were founded primarily and especially for the sake of trade, and accordingly, altogether differing from those of the Achaeans, they were uniformly established beside the best harbours and lading-places. These cities were very various in their origin and in the occasion and period of their respective foundations; but there subsisted between them a certain fellowship, as in the common use by all of these towns of certain modern forms of the alphabet,(2) and in the very Dorism of their language, which made its way at an early date even into those towns that, like Cumae for example,(3) originally spoke the soft Ionic dialect. These settlements were of very various degrees of importance in their bearing on the development of Italy: it is sufficient at present to mention those which exercised a decided influence over the destinies of the Italian races, the Doric Tarentum and the Ionic Cumae.