History 204: Unit 1

Ancient Rome, Winter 2020-19

Part I: The Rise of Rome

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

1. Introduction: "Are We Rome?"

Read in class "As the Romans Did," The Atlantic, June 2007.

QF: History repeats itself--watch out, US!

2. The Beginnings of Rome, and its Geography

READ: John Lewis Gaddis, "Structure and Process"; Tingay & Badcock (T&B), These Were the Romans, 1-5; Livy excerpts, 33-37 (Romulus and Remus).

MAPS: Vox's 40 Roman Maps, #1, 2, 22.

Before you read, survey the assigned pages of readings and look at the following questions. What does Gaddis teach us about the study of history? How is his article useful as we begin our study of Ancient Rome? How would you tell the story of the founding of Rome? Is it accurate to say that legends "are not history?" (T&B, 4) Do they play any part in understanding the past? Where in the reading will you be able to find the answer to these questions. Now read and try to find the answers.

3. The Roman Republic: Early Expansion

READ: T&B, 6-18; Livy, 98-104 (the Rape of Lucretia), 117-120 ("Horatius at the Bridge").

MAPS: Vox's Roman Maps, #5 & 6

Survey the readings and try to develop your own questions, using the following question provokers, aka, Question Foci (QF): An alien visitor to Rome in these early days would never have predicted it's success. Women clearly had nothing to do with Rome's success.

4. Rome and the Barbarians

READ: The excerpt from Against the Grain by James Scott (If you can't find it, let me know and I'll send it to you.); and Ammianus Marcellinus, Personal Traits and Characteristics of the Gauls.

Watch this video, “Human Population through Time.” Etruscans, Gauls, Samnites, Ligurians--these are some of the names of peoples the Roman's encountered as they came to rule over Italy. What light does today's reading shed on these peoples?

5. The Republic: Patricians and Plebeians

READ: T&B, 18-20 (stop at Patricians and Plebians"); In the Documents book (from now on, DOCS): David M. Gwynn, The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction, 18-24; The Twelve Tables.

Come to class prepared to write a brief description of how Roman society under the Republic was organized. Was it really a republic? Was the republican system a just form of government? What was the purpose of the Twelve Tables?

6. The Punic Wars: Origins of the Conflict

READ DOCS: P. Gordon B. Stillman, Roman Rulers and Rebels, 2-13.

MAPS: Vox's 40 Roman Maps, #7, 12.

In your opinion was war between Carthage and Rome "inevitable" as Stillman claims on page 4? Was this war justified? Did Rome's expansion "demand" commercial privileges as Stillman states on page 8? Which side was to blame for the conflict—Rome or Carthage? What do you think about Stillman's description of Rome's republican system of government, and his comparison with Carthage's government?

7. The Punic Wars: Hannibal

READ DOCS: Stillman, 13-26; Livy "How the Romans Greeted Varo"; and Adrian Goldsworthy, The Punic Wars, 155-56.

MAPS: Vox's 40 Roman Maps, #8.

How do you account for Rome's victory in this very long war? How would you assess the quality of Hannibal's leadership? Is it important for us to study Hannibal (who was not Roman himself) in a class about Roman history?

8. Roman Honor and Conquering the Greeks

READ DOCS: Gwynn, 25-31, 60-70.

What characteristics defined the "ideal Roman"? How did the concepts of dignitas and gloria shape Roman culture and leadership? Why did the Romans declare war on Macedon? Were the Romans overreaching in their attempts to conquer Greece? Do you agree with Gwynn's description of Rome as an "aggressive imperial power"?

9. The Significance of the Punic Wars

READ DOCS: T&B, 44-46 (stop at "The Reformers"); Stillman, 29-36; and Goldsworthy, 70-72.

Were the results of the Punic Wars good or bad for Rome? Was Polybius right that "Rome owed her success [in the wars] to the way in which the separate elements in her constitution balanced and combined with each other" (T&B, 44)? What should the Roman response have been to the problems resulting from the wars?

Enjoy your holiday break!

10. Paper #1 is due.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4