BECK index

Roman Expansion to 133 BC

Roman and Etruscan Kings
Republic of Rome 509-343 BC
Rome's Conquest of Italy 343-264 BC
Rome at War with Carthage 264-201 BC
Republican Rome's Imperialism 201-133 BC

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Flint axes indicate that humans lived in the Italian peninsula as early as 200,000 years ago, and skulls of the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon people have also been found. Farming began about 5,000 BC, and bronze was developed there about 1800 BC. The Mycenaeans seem to have established trade at Tarentum in southern Italy about 1400 BC though it only lasted about two centuries before Mycenaean power collapsed. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus three generations before the Trojan War, prolonged warfare between the aborigines and the Sicels eventually drove the latter to the island of Sicily, which is named after them. Human sacrifice seems to have been practiced in Italy as well as by the Celts and at Carthage, and sending youths away instead stimulated conflicts with other peoples such as the Sicels. Livy and Dionysius recounted the story that had been circulating for several centuries that the Trojan hero Aeneas founded a city called Lavinium, where later Rome was to be, but this is considered legend not history; settlers using bronze had already been there for about three centuries.

Roman and Etruscan Kings

Etruscan culture developed during the iron age, and its confederation of twelve city states flourished during the seventh and sixth centuries BC. Corinthian pottery indicates active trading and the immigration of artisans, such as Demaratus about 655 BC. Artistic expression and strong religious beliefs using divination methods suggest likely influences from Asia. Herodotus reported that Lydians led by prince Tyrrhenus, who were called Tyrrhenians, emigrated to Etruria, and Thucydides' belief that Tyrrhenians had lived on the island of Lemnos has been backed up by written inscriptions found there. Ancient Etruscans themselves believed their ancestors had come from Lydia. Greek settlers seem to have introduced into Italy the cultivation of olives, figs, and grapes. Etruscan religion demanded human sacrifices, and public duels were organized. Their kings wore purple and a golden crown, carried a scepter, sat on an ivory throne, and were protected by guards with an ax in a bundle of rods (fasces), a symbol of their authority to punish. A wealthy class of nobles apparently exploited the labor of serfs and slaves.

Traditional Roman history dates from 753 BC when it was believed that Romulus defeated his brother Remus, moving from Alba to build the city of Rome. The birth of the twins and the death of Romulus are shrouded in legend and mystery, but he is credited with establishing the patrician class from the one hundred fathers (patres) elected to the senate. These aristocrats were considered patrons of the client plebeians who supported them. Duties of the patrician patrons were to explain the laws to their clients, take care of them, and bring suits for them. The clients were expected to help provide dowries for their daughters, pay ransoms if the patricians were captured, and even pay fines for them. Patrons often got their clients to vote their way. However, in contrast to the Lycurgan customs of Sparta, the nobles were both soldiers and farmers or artisans.

The society was strongly patriarchal, as fathers had complete power over their children until they died; the wife was expected to be virtuous and obey her husband although she could be as much mistress of the house as he was master. Romulus favored capital punishment for women who committed adultery or drank wine, which he believed led to adultery. At a festival the new Roman men seized virgin Sabines and carried them off to forced marriages. The Sabines and other tribes complained to the Sabine king Tatius, but the other tribes attacked Rome separately and were defeated. The large armies of the Romans and Sabines fought to a standstill after a Tarpeian girl betrayed the citadel to the latter. Finally the young Sabine women, most of whom had become mothers, intervened between their fathers and husbands to facilitate a peace settlement. The two tribes were unified into one state, and the number of senators was doubled.

When some Laurentian envoys were murdered by Sabines, Tatius did not punish them and was murdered in revenge. Romulus decided that the murders canceled each other out and refused to go to war with Lavinium. However, wars with the Etruscan Fidenates and Veii increased the size and power of Rome as the Romans began their practice of incorporating conquered peoples into their state. The disappearance of Romulus after a reign of 37 years led to an interregnum in which senators alternated as leader every five days. Finally a compromise was reached by which the older Roman senators chose a new king, who came from the Sabines.

The Sabine Numa Pompilius was not even a senator but was selected because of his reputation for virtue and piety. Romulus had greatly increased the army and territory of Rome, but Numa was said to have brought peace throughout his reign based on law and religion. A temple of Janus was built, and its doors were not opened for war until after Numa Pompilius died; they were only closed for peace once after that until the empire of Augustus began in 30 BC. Numa gave the people much to think about besides war during his 44 years as king. Religious ceremonies involved flour and wine instead of bloody sacrifices, as violence became sacrilegious. Numa promoted agriculture to do away with poverty and crime. The law of Romulus that fathers could sell their children into slavery was amended to forbid the practice after the son was married.

One of the eight sacred institutions established by Numa Pompilius was the college of the fetiales, who served for life as heralds to prevent conflicts from developing into war. Numa instituted this, after the Fidenae had ravaged their territory, in order to resolve the problem peacefully. The duty of the fetiales involved not allowing Rome to enter an unjust war. They went as ambassadors to other states to demand justice; only if justice was refused could war begin. Also other states might bring complaints of Roman injustice to them for resolution. They were to make sure that treaties did not violate holy laws and were religiously observed, and they investigated and corrected generals.

When Numa Pompilius died about 672 BC, Tullus Hostilius, the grandson of a war hero, was elected king. According to Dionysius, he inherited much agricultural land from Numa as king and divided it equally among the poor so that they could work their own land. Cattle raids on both sides between the Albans and Romans led to negotiations by the fetiales. An agreement was made that the three Horatii brothers would fight for the Romans against the three Curiati brothers of the Albans for dominion. One Horatius survived the contest; but when his sister mourned the death of her betrothed Curiatus, he killed her. His patriotic father condoned the killing, and a trial by the people also acquitted Horatius.

Tullus Hostilius allowed the Alban government to continue as before, made the Albans Roman citizens, and expanded the senate; but after Mettius conspired with the Fidenae and Veii, holding back his troops to see which side won, Tullus cleverly won the battle and after a trial had Mettius' body torn apart by chariots. The town of Alba was leveled except for the temples, and the Albans moved to Rome. The Caelian hill was opened to build houses for those who had none, and Tullus had his palace built there. He also declared war on the Sabines and invaded. Continuing war with the Latin cities was blamed for a plague, which eventually infected and broke the spirit of Tullus. After reigning 32 years Tullus Hostilius was killed in a fire said to have been caused by lightning from an angry Jupiter, but others blamed his successor Marcius for having him killed.

Ancus Marcius was the maternal grandson of Numa Pompilius. When the Latins abandoned the treaty they had made with Tullus and raided Roman territory, according to Livy, Marcius went through the fetiales process, declared war, assaulted Politorium, took much plunder, and removed its inhabitants to Rome. During his reign the port of Ostia was built for trade and to safeguard the essential salt works. After reigning 24 years Marcius was succeeded by an Etruscan whose name meant Tarquin king (r. 616-579 BC); he was said to be the son of the Corinthian Demaratus and a Tarquinian aristocrat. According to Livy, Tarquin was the first to canvass the people personally for votes. Tarquin encouraged the immigration of Etruscans, added more senators, and conquered many Latin cities, celebrating his triumphs with public games in the newly built Circus Maximus. The Sabines were also forced to sue for peace, and building projects included a stone wall.

The story of Servius Tullius is that his mother was a war captive in the palace; but after a brightness around his head appeared like flames, he was educated like a prince and married Tarquin's daughter. When the sons of Marcius had Tarquin assassinated with an ax, his queen told the people he was still alive and that Servius Tullius would act as regent, while the sons of Marcius went into exile. Eventually a funeral was held for Tarquin, and Servius was accepted as king. The Roman Emperor Claudius in encouraging Romans to accept foreigners announced in 48 CE that he had discovered that Servius Tullius had been an Etruscan named Mastarna and that his rule had been beneficial.

Servius originated the census and established a class structure that demanded military service from citizens in proportion to their wealth but also gave them comparable political power. Eighty centuries were formed from those whose property was worth more than 100,000 asses (an as being a bronze coin); the second, third, and fourth classes were divided every 25,000 asses below this and had twenty centuries each. The fifth class having 11,000 asses comprised 34 centuries, and all the remaining poor with less than that made up only one century, although they were not required to contribute to the military. Above all these was an elite 18 centuries of knights, whose horses were subsidized. Voting on proposed measures began with the knights and the first class and proceeded until a majority was gained. Since the knights and the wealthy class had 98 out of 193 centuries, most votes were determined by the wealthiest classes, and the chance of the poor ever voting to break a tie was next to impossible. According to the ancient historians 80,000 men were capable of bearing arms at this time. Each class provided their own arms from the heavy bronze armor of the first class down to the slings and stones of the fifth class.

Eventually Servius did get the people to elect him as king, although the senate was never asked to concur, since they disapproved of his distributing land. According to Dionysius, Servius persuaded the Romans to make it easier for slaves to gain their freedom. Servius had no sons, but his two daughters married the grandsons of Tarquin. The story is that the ambitious daughter and son-in-law murdered their unambitious spouses so that they could marry each other. One day the young Tarquin sat on the throne criticizing Servius as a slave who had usurped the throne; when Servius arrived and would not give up the kingship to him, Tarquin threw his aged father-in-law down the steps of the capitol. Then his assassins killed Servius in the street, and his ruthless daughter was even said to have driven her carriage over his dead body. Livy called the 44-year reign of Servius Tullus good.

Tarquin became known as the Proud (Superbus) and displayed the bad attributes of a tyrant. He was never elected, employed a bodyguard, executed leading senators and the wealthy for their property, and did not consult with the senate. He wooed the Latin leaders by marrying his daughter to Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum and called a conference at Ferentina but failed to appear himself, for which he was criticized by Turnus. Tarquin Superbus bribed the servants of Turnus to hide weapons in his house, accused him of treason, and when the weapons were found, had him executed before he could defend himself. Tarquin brought in Latin troops in equal numbers but put them under Roman centurions. He sent his son Sextus as a spy to the Gabii pretending to be a rebel; after he had gained their confidence by raiding and killing Tarquin's Roman enemies, Sextus arranged for leading Gabii to be executed, bribing support with their confiscated property; finally he betrayed the Gabii to Rome.

Tarquin Superbus' ambitious building plans included a new temple, extending the circus, and the great sewer. Settlers were also sent out to expand Roman territory. However, an assault on Ardea failed, and a long siege resulted. A rape of the noble Lucretia by Sextus Tarquin brought her father Lucretius and husband Tarquin Collatinus with Publius Valerius to Brutus, who witnessing the suicide of Lucretia, vowed to overcome the proud Tarquin and his family. Brutus had been pretending to be dull-witted so that he would not be murdered like his father and older brother. Suddenly Brutus was eloquently telling the story of Lucretia's rape, the crimes of the Tarquins, and persuading Romans to overthrow the tyrants and set up a republic in which two men would be elected each year to rule. The army was won over, and about 509 BC the Tarquins went into exile. Brutus and Tarquin Collatinus were the first two consuls elected.

Republic of Rome 509-343 BC

Brutus began by having the people swear never to allow a king in Rome again and got laws passed to prevent this. He brought more leading men into the equestrian rank and the senate back up to 300. Fear of Collatinus as a Tarquin persuaded him to resign and voluntarily go into exile with his property; Valerius was elected consul in his place. Tarquin Superbus sent envoys to Rome, and the senate debated whether to return his property. A slave named Vindicius discovered a conspiracy of young aristocrats to put Tarquin back on the throne, and their letters to him proved their guilt. Two of them were sons of Brutus, and after a brief trial he ordered and witnessed impassively his sons' execution. The people were allowed to plunder Tarquin's property. Tarquin appealed to the Etruscan Veii and Tarquinii. In a battle Brutus and Tarquin's son Arruns killed each other. Although the Romans had barely won the battle, the Veii and Tarquinii went home.

Publius Valerius became known as Publicola, the people's friend, by proposing measures that gave individuals the right of appeal to the people, made it a capital crime to usurp any magistracy without the people's consent, and relieved the poor of taxes. Criticized for not holding an election for the other consulship after Brutus was killed and for building his house on a hill overlooking the forum, he held the election and moved his house to the bottom of the hill.

Tarquin had fled to Porsena, the king of Clusium, who invaded Roman territory. As the Roman farmers moved into the city, the senate sent to the Greek colony of Cumae and the Volscians to purchase grain; the salt monopoly was taken over by the state; and the commons were exempted from tolls and taxes. After Mucius Scaevola tried to assassinate Porsena, this king agreed to withdraw, exchange prisoners, and eventually even the Roman hostages were returned. Tarquin turned to his son-in-law Mamilius in Tusculum, while the Romans battled the Sabines. The Sabine Appius Claudius, who led a party opposing the war with Rome, fled to Rome and was soon made a senator. The Romans led by Valerius defeated the Sabines. Although he was the most prominent Roman when he died, Valerius Publicola did not have the resources for a funeral, which was provided by the state.

Battles with Latin cities continued as Mamilius tried to organize an alliance against Rome. In this crisis the senate appointed the first dictator of Rome with supreme power but only for six months. In the battle of Lake Regillus Mamilius was killed, and the dictator Postumius returned to Rome in triumph with 5,500 captives. Tarquin finally died in Cumae. The Volscians tried to incite the Latin cities to rebellion, but they had had enough and turned the Volscian envoys over to Rome, which in gratitude returned nearly 6,000 Latin prisoners of war. Meanwhile the debtors complained that their fighting had made them worse off at home. When an impoverished war veteran reduced to slavery appeared at the forum, an angry crowd demanded the senate act. As the Volscian army approached, the poor were ready to let the patricians, who profit from the wars, do the fighting. However, when a law was passed prohibiting seizing or selling property of any soldier on active service, the debtors enrolled in the army, and the Volscians were defeated.

Appius Claudius, now a consul, gave harsh judgments for the recovery of debts; when the people saw debtors being hauled off to court, they set upon the creditors. This time the Sabines were invading, but people refused to enroll in the army by not answering to their names; when the consul ordered the lictor to arrest one man, the people intervened without using violence. After the appointment of a moderate dictator, the brother of the late Valerius, people enlisted, and the Romans managed to fight off their enemies without having to arm the Latins. However, the senate still refused to satisfy the debtors' grievances; so Manlius Valerius resigned. The senate ordered the soldiers to march on the pretext that the Aequians were hostile, but instead they camped out on the Sacred Mount. Menenius Agrippa was sent, and he told them the fable of the parts of the body, which stopped eating because the belly was always taking until they realized that this central organ by distribution nourished them also. After negotiations in 494 BC it was agreed that five tribunes would be elected by the people to protect the commons (plebeians) against abuses by the consuls. Patricians were not allowed to hold this office.

For his courageous role in helping to take the Volscian town of Corioli, Caius Marcius, declining to accept one-tenth of the spoils, was named Coriolanus. The secession of the plebeians for several months during which farming was neglected had led to a famine, which was relieved by a gift of grain from Gelon of Sicily. Angry at the plebeians after not being elected consul, the aristocratic Coriolanus opposed low grain prices unless the plebeians would restore the patricians' privileges; his haughty speech allowed them little choice but starvation or slavery. Led by Sicinius and the oratory of Lucius Junius, who was called Brutus, the plebeians had passed a law protecting the speech of the tribunes and providing for trials by the people. Tribunes representing the anger of the people ordered Coriolanus arrested, but he resisted and was protected by the senate. Eventually a trial was held before the tribes of the people on the charge that he had attempted tyranny and specifically for distributing the spoils of war to his friends instead of turning them over to the state; he was banished for life.

Coriolanus went into exile to the Volscians, where he planned his revenge with the Volscian Rome-hater Attius Tullius. Volscian resentment against Rome was stirred up, and these two men were appointed commanders in the war. They took back several towns including Corioli, expelled Roman settlers, and marched on Rome. The plebeians persuaded the senate to attempt a diplomatic solution, but Coriolanus was inflexible. However, when his mother and wife criticized him for attacking their country and pleaded with him, he withdrew his army. According to Dionysius, as Coriolanus attempted to speak in his defense in the Volscian forum, the faction of Attius Tullius stoned him to death. The alliance between the Volscians and Aequians broke into violent conflict when the latter refused to serve under Attius Tullius.

Consul Spurius Cassius tried to distribute public land that was illegally being kept in private hands but was blocked by the senate. Cassius also failed when his proposal to repay the money people paid for the grain was interpreted as an attempt to gain power. Because he proposed distributing two-thirds of the land to the conquered Latins and Hernicans, after his term of office Cassius was tried, condemned, and thrown off the Tarpeian precipice. Two more attempts to refuse military service failed when most of the tribunes supported the consuls, as Appius Claudius claimed that the tribune power could thus be easily overridden. The Fabius clan, which dominated the consulship for many years, attempted to fight as a private army for Rome with 4,000 supporters; they established a fortress at Cremera and raided the surrounding country, but eventually all 306 of the Fabius clan were lured into an ambush chasing cattle and were killed.

People were holding meetings complaining, because the consuls refused to do anything about the distribution of the land. So the consuls tried to enroll them in the army, using the forays of robbers in neighboring lands as an excuse; but the people refused to enroll until they realized that if they did not, their enemy Appius would be appointed dictator. On the next occasion the people refused to join the army, the consuls enrolled troops just outside the city limits, where the tribunes had no power; those who refused were fined or had their property taken or destroyed. Roman forces led by Servilius after a reckless attack defeated the Etruscans, and Rome made a forty years' truce with the Veii, who agreed to pay an indemnity and supply Rome with grain.

The famine was over, but the tribunes put on trial after their consulships Menenius, who was fined, and Servilius, who noted that the Romans prefer war to peace, because in war they hurt their enemies, but in peace they hurt their friends. Servilius escaped condemnation; but when the next two ex-consuls were summoned and complained they were being led to the sacrifice, a tribune was found dead at home. Tribunes did not defend the centurion Volero when he refused to be enrolled as a common soldier, as the lictors tried to arrest him; but Volero fought back, and the people broke the rods of the lictors. Volero became a tribune in the next election and proposed that plebeian magistrates should be elected by the tribal assembly. The patricians countered by electing as consul Appius Claudius, the son of Appius. Despite his resistance the senate passed the law allowing tribune election by the tribal assembly. Yet land reform was still delayed, though Appius Claudius was indicted and either committed suicide or died of illness awaiting trial.

After Antium was taken from the Aequians and garrisoned, the senate opened the town to settlers; but apparently few wanted to leave Rome. Those who did go to Antium were won over by the Aequians. After Rome recovered from a plague, the Volscians were severely defeated with 13,470 killed. The tribune Terentillus proposed that a commission be appointed to codify laws that would limit the power of the consuls and grant more equality, but this was resisted by the patricians. When war was declared against the Antiates, an attempt to enroll people into the army caused a riot. The crisis became worse when a Sabine named Herdonius led 2500 slaves and exiles in taking over the fortress on the capitol hill, killing every man there who refused to join them. While Rome suffered its internal conflicts, a contingent from their ally Tusculum marched to the capitol. Valerius, because of his family's history of supporting the people and his promise to continue to do so, was able to raise a force to aid the Tusculans in taking back the capitol; Herdonius was killed, but so was Valerius. The senate did not fulfill the promise of Valerius, as battles with the Aequians and Volscians continued. When the army of consul Minucius was surrounded by the Aequians, Quinctius Cincinnatus was appointed dictator, left his farm, raised an army, defeated the Aequians, and resigned after only fifteen days.

The tribunes got the senate to increase the number of tribunes to ten, though two had to be from each of the five classes. When the Aequians invaded Tusculan territory, they were again defeated and lost 7,000 men. After a commission to study Greek laws returned, a board of ten (decemvirs), who were beyond appeal, was appointed to draw up a written code while they each alternately acted as chief magistrate too. Their laws of the Ten Tables were adopted. However, the election of another ten to add some more laws was controlled by a young Appius, who had turned demagogue. Suddenly the new decemvirs appeared each with twelve lictors armed with fasces containing axes and with power beyond appeal. Two more tables of laws were added; but after their terms ended, these decemvirs stayed in power, making biased judgments for themselves and their friends and using the rods for beatings and executions. The Sabines invaded Roman territory and drove off cattle with impunity; the Aequians occupied Algidus and threatened Tusculum. Reluctantly troops were raised but fought poorly for the tyrannical decemvirs.

After Siccius suggested the soldiers elect tribunes and refuse service, he was ordered murdered by other soldiers; the story that he and those he killed defending himself were killed by the enemy was not believed. When Appius lusted after beautiful Verginia, her betrothed Icilius defended her; but in the trial Appius declared her a slave. Rather than let her be raped by Appius, her father Verginius stabbed her in the heart with a butcher knife. The younger Valerius and Horatius stopped the lictors from arresting Icilius, arguing that they had no authority from Appius and the decemvirs, whose terms had expired. Bloody Verginius went to the army and roused them to march to the Aventine hill, where they appointed ten military tribunes. When the army left Rome and was joined by many civilians on the Sacred Mount, Rome appeared empty.

In 449 BC the senate adopted most of the people's demands, replacing the decemvirs with newly elected tribunes and consuls. Measures brought by the tribunes and passed by the tribal assembly were to be binding on all the people. They made it a crime even to advocate electing a magistrate who is beyond appeal. The Twelve Tables of the law probably modified by these Valerio-Horatian laws were enshrined in bronze. The important obligation of patrons to their clients was affirmed by making it a capital crime for a patron to cheat his client. Women at the age of 25 were allowed to retain their own property, and a wife could free herself from her husband's legal control by living at least three nights each year away from his house. Appius was put in jail, where he killed himself before his trial. Feeling safer and protected from abuse, the people were persuaded by Quinctius to wage wars against Rome's enemies.

The tribune Canuleius proposed legalizing marriages between the patricians and plebeians and also a bill allowing plebeians to be elected consul. Ardea was complaining about the land the Romans had taken from them; the Veii were raiding the frontier; and as usual the Volscians and Aequians were preparing for battle. Eventually the ban on intermarriage was removed, and military tribunes with consular power were elected, though no plebeians were elected for 44 years. For the first time censors were appointed to take the census and regulate social proprieties. The wealthy Maelius gained popularity by giving away grain; but he was killed resisting arrest after trying to make himself king. Tolumnius, the king of the Veii, ordered four Roman envoys murdered and was later killed by Roman cavalry officer Cossus for this violation of the human contract and law of nations. After the Roman army defeated the Aequians and sacked Labici, the senate approved sending a settlement; 1500 settlers were given grants of one and a half acres each. Patrician consuls were elected, but three out of four quaestors (treasury officials) elected were plebeians. The senate issued a decree that now the soldiers were to be paid by the state instead of having to provide their own expenses.

Wars with Etruscan Veii led to the regular election of military tribunes that now included a few plebeians. After a reported ten-year siege that made the soldiers serve in winter as well as summer, the prosperous city of Veii was sacked in 396 BC; the dictator Camillus ordered its free citizens sold into slavery. Anti-government agitation led to the sending of 3,000 settlers into Volscian territory, where commissioners assigned two acres to each family. When Camillus was besieging the Falerii, a schoolmaster brought out sons of the nobles, expecting to be rewarded; but Camillus had him whipped for his treachery as the boys escorted him back into the town. According to Livy this stimulated the Falerii to submit to Roman honor, and Camillus asked from them only tribute to pay the army's expenses for the year in order to relieve the Romans from their war taxes. The senate granted three and a half acres to free plebeians wanting to move to Veii. Camillus become unpopular by depriving his soldiers of the Falerian plunder and for resisting migration to Veii; he was prosecuted by a tribune for forgetting about the ten percent of the plunder taken from Veii he swore to give to Apollo. Facing a large fine, Camillus chose to go into exile to Ardea, even though his friends offered to pay the fine.

When news of a large migration of Gauls reached Rome, three Fabii were sent as envoys. The Celtic Gauls asked for land and threatened war if they did not get it. The argument turned into a fight, and Quintus Fabius killed a Gallic chieftain. The Gallic envoys demanded that the three Fabii envoys be surrendered; but instead the Romans elected them military tribunes. So the Gauls marched on Rome and turned the Roman army to flight at the Allia River; those not killed or drowned fled to Veii or retreated into the Capitoline citadel in Rome. The Gauls marched into Rome and besieged the citadel for seven months until the starving Romans agreed to provide a large quantity of gold. According to Roman historians, Camillus took command of the Roman army in Veii, attacked the Gauls in the countryside, and defeated their army after they burned and left Rome. He then gave a patriotic speech urging his countrymen to rebuild Rome rather than abandon it for Veii. Camillus was again appointed dictator, and according to Livy he laid waste the Volscian territory and after seventy years of warfare forced the Volscians to surrender.

Marcus Manlius, who had heroically saved the Capitoline citadel when the geese warned him that the Gauls were climbing up the precipice, took the side of the suffering debtors, paying off their fines and accusing the patricians of hiding gold they had taken back from the Gauls. Manlius accused the patricians of using the pretense of war to appoint a dictator to champion the money-lenders and attack the plebeians and him; he was charged with falsely accusing the senate of theft and put in prison when the plebeians would not challenge the dictator. Noting resentment of the dictator's triumph, the senate assigned about two acres each to 2,000 Roman colonists to Satricum. When a crowd threatened to break into the prison, the senate released Manlius, who asked the people to stand by him and stop the legal proceedings on debts. The senate put Manlius on trial; even though he produced nearly 400 men he had lent money free of interest, he was convicted; then the tribunes threw him off the Tarpeian Rock, the very place of his earlier heroism. Many blamed the plague and famine that followed on this sacrilege.

In a battle against the Volscians the Romans captured some Tusculans; but when the Romans attacked their city, the Tusculans acted so peacefully by simply going about their business unarmed that the Romans granted them their freedom. As continual wars were being used to distract the plebeians from gaining debt relief, they refused to enroll in the army once more. The Praenestines advanced on Rome but fled when a dictator was appointed.

Finally the tribunes Licinius and Sextius, who had been in office for nine years in a row, demanded three things: first, that all interest paid should be subtracted from the capital owed and the remaining debt be paid in three years without interest; second, no one should be allowed to own more land than 300 acres; and third, one of the two consuls should be a plebeian. They argued that several patricians had been brought to justice after their military tribuneships but never a plebeian. Worried, the patricians appointed Camillus dictator, but the tribunes summoned the tribes to an assembly. The senate threatened a veto, and Camillus was replaced by another dictator before the people voted for the first two proposals but rejected the third. In their tenth elections Licinius and Sextius demanded all three, which were finally won in 366 BC when Sextius was the first plebeian elected consul, though the patricians were mollified with the new office of praetor.

In 358 BC a law against bribery proposed by a tribune was authorized by the senate, and the people voted enthusiastically for a reduction of the interest rate to one-twelfth. The senate proposed a tax on manumitted slaves of one-twentieth to raise revenue, and this was passed by soldiers in their camp voting in tribes. Concerned about the precedent, the tribunes made it a capital offense to hold a people's assembly outside of Rome. An Etruscan uprising brought the appointment of the first plebeian dictator, Rutulus, who won a people's triumph by capturing 8,000 and driving the rest out of Roman territory. The patricians reacted by electing two of their own as consuls. Rome revenged the Tarquins' killing of 307 of their soldiers by beheading 358 Tarquins in the forum. The Samnites made a treaty of alliance with Rome, and Caere was given a hundred-year truce. Conflicts between patricians and plebeians led to brawls protesting increasing interest payments until debts were paid by the treasury while the debtors' property was fairly valuated. By 348 BC social harmony was reflected in a reduction of interest to 1/24 and remission of taxes and conscription; in a treaty Carthage agreed not to capture slaves from Roman towns, while Rome restricted their maritime trade only to Carthaginians.

Rome's Conquest of Italy 343-264 BC

Livy noted that the war with the Samnites marked the beginning of more serious wars in remoter areas. The Samnites had attacked the Sidicini, who turned to the prosperous Campanians. The Campanians, defeated by the Samnites, asked for aid from Rome. The senate decided to help but first sent envoys to the Samnites asking them not to injure the Campanians. When the Samnites raided Campanian territory, the Roman senate sent the fetial priests to demand redress and, not getting it, declared war. The Romans killed as many as 30,000 Samnites in a single battle in their initial victories. At the request of the Campanians garrisons were sent to protect them all year round. Observing the prosperous Campanian life-style and discontent with conditions in Rome, the Roman soldiers organized a mutiny, kidnapped Quinctius as a commander, and marched toward Rome; but Marcus Valerius was named dictator and managed to resolve the crisis peacefully. Historians disagreed on the details, but apparently several innovative plebiscites were passed prohibiting interest and individuals from holding the same office within ten years or more than one office at a time and allowing both consuls to be plebeians.

The truce Rome made with the Samnites in 341 BC was to last sixteen years. However, Latin demands to be represented by one consul and half the senate were scornfully rejected by the Romans, who defeated them in battle and settled plebeians in their territory and in Campania. When Publilius was dictator, the plebeians got the people's decrees made binding on every Roman citizen and the assurance at least one of the censors must be a plebeian. Eventually most of the Latin townships were given citizenship, though some of the rebellious ones lost territory given to colonists; Campanians were citizens but could not vote. After the Romans defeated Privernum in 329 BC, their envoy was asked by the senate what punishment they deserved. He replied what those who think themselves worthy of freedom. When asked what kind of peace the Romans could expect with them, he said, "If you grant us a good one, it will be loyally kept and permanent. If a bad one, it will not last long."1 The senate decided that people who value such freedom deserved citizenship.

After a young man flogged for his debt complained in the street, imprisonment and slavery for debt were outlawed in Rome. Those in bondage for debt were freed, and from then on a debtor's property could be seized but not one's person. The dictator Papirius, who wanted to punish with death his master of horse (second in command) for disobeying orders, was persuaded by the people not to do so. The Samnites were disturbed when the Romans planted a colony in their territory at Fregellae. Violence on the plain of Campania was to determine whether the Samnites or the Romans were to dominate Italy. The Romans defeated the Samnites, who tried to expiate their guilt for breaking the treaty by returning all the prisoners and plunder and their commander, who committed suicide.

When the Samnites trapped a Roman army in the Caudine Forks, their general sent to his father Herennius Pontius for advice, which was to send the Romans away unharmed as soon as possible. When this was rejected, he suggested killing them to the last man, later explaining that the best policy would be to establish peace with a powerful people; but the second was to postpone war as long as possible. Instead the Samnites humiliated the Romans by demanding their weapons, taking their knights as hostages, and making the other 20,000 pass under the yoke. The naked army was welcomed and aided by the city of Capua in Campania. At Rome it was eventually decided to return the officers, who had guaranteed this humiliating treaty; but the Samnite general Pontius did not accept the surrender of the leaders alone as valid and let them depart. Before the next battle envoys from Tarentum asked each side to desist from war and promised to join the side that was attacked. The Romans rejected the Tarentine offer, but the Samnites did not. However, the Romans won the battle and were only restrained from slaughtering their enemy out of fear their imprisoned knights might be executed. Luceria was besieged and its vast plunder captured; 7,000 Samnite soldiers passed under the yoke, and the Roman cavalry was released in 314 BC.

The Capuans were given laws by Roman praetor Lucius Furius, and prefects were sent there. Antium also requested such laws, and the senate sent patrons to the colony. When Sora killed its Roman colonists and went over to the Samnites, the Romans defeated them and beheaded 225 of its leaders in the forum before cheering people. The Romans also massacred the Ausonian people even though they may not have been guilty of revolt. However, the senate voted to spare the inhabitants of Luceria and sent 2500 colonists instead. The Romans continued to defeat the Samnites, killing and capturing as many as 30,000. Colonies were established at Suessa, Pontiae, and Interamna Sucasina.

In 312 BC censor Appius Claudius got the landless population distributed throughout the tribes, the sons of freedman admitted into the senate, the first aqueduct built to bring water nine miles from Gabii to the Circus Maximus, and the Appian Way paved for the 115 miles from Rome to Capua. After the Roman garrison at Cluviae was starved into surrender and put to death, the town was stormed and all its men killed. The wealthy city of Bovianum was captured by the Romans for its plunder. While the Romans were killing another 20,000 Samnites, the Etruscans attacked and besieged Sutrium. Eventually a Roman army defeated the Etruscans, killing many thousands. The Roman army entered the Ciminian forest; after killing and capturing 60,000, a truce for thirty years was made with the Etruscans in 310 BC.

War with the Samnites continued, as 7,000 of their allies were sold into slavery. A revolt by the Umbrians resulted in their surrender, as did one by the Hernici. Rome's treaty with Carthage was renewed in 306 BC. The Samnites finally sent envoys to end the war; but the Romans told them that peace negotiations could have proceeded if they had not been preparing for war. After the Roman army found Samnium peaceful, the treaty was restored. Having helped Rome's enemies after nearly a century of truce and concerned about how the Hernici were treated, the Aequians found themselves at war with Rome and retreated into their cities, many of which were destroyed, stimulating the Marrucini, Marsi, Paeligni, and Frentani to make peace with the Romans. 6,000 settlers were sent to Alba Fucens in Aequian territory and 4,000 to Sora in Volscian land that had been occupied by Samnites. The Marsi forcibly resisted a colony being placed at Carseoli, but Rome appointed a dictator, defeated the Marsi, and confiscated some of their territory before renewing the treaty.

Eight more years of war with the Samnites began in 298 BC. Samnium allied itself with the Etruscans, who hired Gauls to fight; but the Romans raised enough soldiers by conscripting older men and freed men to triumph once again. In the battle at Sentinum 25,000 of Rome's enemies were killed while 8,000 were taken prisoner; the Romans had 8700 casualties, and their consul Decius Mus was killed. This was followed by a battle against the Etruscans in which 4500 Perusini were killed and another battle in which 16,300 Samnites were killed and 2700 captured, while the Roman army lost 2700 men. Heavy casualties in these wars continued, and at Aquilonia 20,340 Samnites were killed and 3870 captured, followed by a battle at Cominium in which 4880 died and 11,400 surrendered. Both Aquilonia and Cominium were burned to the ground on the same day. The Romans killed another 10,000 in three more towns and then took 2,533,000 pounds of bronze and 1830 pounds of silver, all of which went into the Roman treasury, causing resentment among the soldiers.

In 287 BC the problem of debt led to the appointment of Hortensius as dictator, and from then on plebiscites passed by the plebeian council had the force of law on everyone and did not have to be approved by the assembly, the classes of centuries, or the senate. Gauls invaded Etruria again in 283 BC and in violation of their treaty were aiding the Etruscans against the Romans. Roman envoys sent to the Celtic Senones were murdered by Britomaris, and so consul Cornelius turned his army from the Etruscans to destroy all the Senones men, enslaving their women and children; the Boii, attempting to retaliate for their Senones kinsmen, with the Etruscans were defeated by the other consul's army and made peace.

The next year the Romans sent Cornelius with a force south to relieve Greek Thurii from Lucanian attacks; but the Tarentines, who had their own army of 25,000, destroyed the Roman fleet killing its admiral and driving the garrison out of Thurii. Next Tarentum called in from Epirus in Greece king Pyrrhus, who battled Romans at Heraclea on the Gulf of Otranto with 20,000 men. This first of his costly "Pyrrhic" victories won over to the Greek cause the Lucanians and Samnites, doubling his forces. Pyrrhus had a diplomat named Cineas, who had failed to persuade his king to enjoy his own possessions rather than try to rule the world. Cineas was sent to Rome with presents to make peace by releasing all Roman captives without ransom and reducing Pyrrhus' demands to freedom for the Greeks and a guarantee for his Oscan allies; but old and blind Appius Claudius persuaded the Roman senate not to negotiate with Pyrrhus as long as he had forces in Italy.

Pyrrhus marched toward Rome; but the Latin cities closed their gates to him, and he spent the winter at Tarentum. Rome had made peace with the Etruscans and sent Fabricius to Pyrrhus to try to get the Roman prisoners released. Pyrrhus offered Fabricius gifts and a top position with him, but the humble Fabricius declined the bribe and chided the king for being so poor that he had to leave his dominions to reach out for more. Unable to persuade the captured Romans to join him, Pyrrhus released them at the Saturnalia on their honor. Elephants helped Pyrrhus "win" again against the Romans at Asculum, but he admitted to a soldier who congratulated him that one more victory over the Romans like that would completely destroy him. After Fabricius informed him of a plot to assassinate him, Pyrrhus once again released Roman prisoners without ransom.

Hicetas ruled Syracuse for nine years after the death of Agathocles; but in 279 BC he was replaced by Thoenon and Sosistratus, who fought each other, and both invited to Sicily Pyrrhus, who had previously married Agathocles' daughter. Concerned about Sicily, the Carthaginians had offered Rome naval and financial aid and blockaded Syracuse with a hundred ships, while 50,000 men wasted the surrounding territory. However, Carthaginian ships allowed Pyrrhus to sail into the harbor and take over the island Ortygia from Thoenon and the city of Syracuse from Sosistratus, reconciling the two. Pyrrhus now had a fleet of two hundred ships, and Leontini and other Sicilian cities cooperated with him as he took over Acragas and thirty cities from Sosistratus.

Pyrrhus took away the estates of Agathocles' friends and relatives, assigning as magistrates his own officers, whose greed became burdensome to the cities. As the people became hostile, Pyrrhus introduced garrisons, arresting and executing many prominent men including Thoenon. He attacked the Carthaginians with 30,000 soldiers. After Carthaginian reinforcements arrived from Africa, Pyrrhus' forces became bogged down in Sicily and went back to Italy, where after stealing treasure from the temple of Persephone at Locri they were defeated at Beneventum. After six years Pyrrhus returned to Greece, where he was killed in 272 BC, the year Tarentum accepted a Roman alliance and the Roman armies completed their subjugation of the Samnites, Lucanians, and Bruttians and the year after Ptolemy II of Egypt entered into a formal friendship with Rome.

Latin colonies settled in Cosa in 273, Ariminum in 268, and Firnum in 264 BC, the year Rome captured the Etruscan town of Volsinii to complete its conquest of the Italian peninsula south of Cisalpine Gaul. Rome had made treaties of alliance with 150 Italian communities, which required them to supply military aid to Rome; after 338 BC the allied forces outnumbered the Roman soldiers. Rome tended to support the aristocratic class in these cities, as it intervened on their behalf at Arretium in 302, Lucania in 296, and at Volsinii in 264 BC. In addition to material plunder Roman wars also captured land that was colonized by the Latins and their allies. Between 334 and 263 BC nineteen colonies were settled by about 70,000 men and their dependents. The Roman silver coin denarius was minted in 268 BC.

Rome at War with Carthage 264-201 BC

Having entertained Etruscans, Samnites, and Campanians, in 264 BC the first gladiatorial contests were held in the city of Rome. Carthage, founded a half millennium before as a Phoenician colony from Tyre on the Tunisian peninsula, now had a population three times that of Rome's with whom they came into conflict in Sicily. In Syracuse the general Hiero by reforming the army and eliminating mercenaries had risen to become king in 270 BC and besieged for years at Messena the Mars-worshiping Mamertines, who finally got the aid of a Carthaginian fleet in 264 BC. After Hiero II left, the Mamertines turned to the Romans to rid them of the Carthaginians. The senate hesitated, but greed for plunder tipped the balance of the Roman assembly toward intervention. The Carthaginians were persuaded by Roman threats and misrepresentations to withdraw from Messena, for which the commander was crucified by the Carthaginians, who then sent an expedition of its usual Numidian troops under Carthaginian officers, enlisting the support of Hiero. Messena was under siege when Roman consul Manius Valerius' army arrived and chased Hiero back to Syracuse, which the Romans besieged. Hiero came to terms in a 15-year alliance with Rome that allowed him thirty miles of territory.

Carthage next sent 50,000 Ligurian, Celtic, and Iberian mercenaries to Agrigentum. The Roman armies besieged Agrigentum and although blockaded by sea, stormed and sacked the city; 25,000 Agrigentines were sold into slavery. To expel the Carthaginians from Sicily the Romans built a fleet of a hundred quinqueremes and twenty triremes, designing boarding platforms for hand-to-hand combat, and at Mylae the usually superior Carthaginian navy was defeated, losing fifty ships. Hamilcar's forces killed 4,000 Romans in Sicily, but a Hannibal lost so many ships at Sardinia that the Carthaginians crucified him. In 256 BC the navies of Rome and Carthage met each other with 350 ships on each side; the Romans captured 64 Carthaginian ships and their crews but had no ships taken. Romans landed in Libya, took Aspis and Tunis, and captured 20,000 slaves. A revolt by the Numidians was driving Carthaginians into the city. However, a Spartan general named Xanthippus revived their army, defeating and capturing Rome's Regulus. The Roman navy captured another 114 Carthaginian crews, but a storm off Palinurus reduced their over-confident fleet of 364 to 80. Rome re-built its navy and took Panormus (Palermo) in Sicily.

Romans besieged Lilybaeum in 250 BC, and the next year consul Publius Claudius attacked the last Carthaginian hold-out in Sicily at Drepana; but he was defeated as 93 Roman ships were captured with their crews. Hamilcar Barca raided the Italian coast; but with both economies exhausted by war in 242 BC wealthy Romans paid for 200 more quinqueremes to defeat the Carthaginians, who sued for peace, agreeing to evacuate Sicily, give up all Roman prisoners without ransom, and pay Rome 3200 talents of silver within ten years. All together in the war the Romans had lost 700 of the large quinqueremes and the Carthaginians 500. Except for Syracuse, Rome annexed Sicily as its first overseas province, adopting Hiero's taxation system of taking one-tenth of the crops.

Unable to pay their mercenaries what they were demanding, Carthage faced a "truceless war" led by the runaway Roman slave Spendius and a Libyan named Mathos and a throng of foreign soldiers, who stoned anyone attempting to speak against them. The war had taken half the agricultural produce and doubled the tribute of the towns; Utica and Hippo Zarytus, the two cities which refused to join the revolt, were besieged. Eventually Hamilcar Barca raised an army of 10,000 Carthaginian citizens, broke the siege of Utica, and with Rome's cooperation finally annihilated the mercenary army. A mutiny also occurred on Sardinia; the Carthaginians led by Hanno deserted, and Hanno was crucified. Rome sent a force and, refusing arbitration, declared war. Thus Carthage lost Sardinia and Corsica and had to pay another 1200 talents to Rome. This injustice was resented by the Carthaginians, providing seeds for more war. Rome made Sardinia and Corsica a second province, but it took a century to pacify the people in the mountains.

In 238 BC Hamilcar took an army into Iberia (Spain) and spent nine years there conquering the tribes, exploiting the mines, and conscripting troops before he was killed and succeeded in command by his son-in-law Hasdrubal. After they stopped the Gallic Boii at Ariminum, the Romans actually had a brief peace during which they closed the temple of Janus. Pillaging raids sponsored by Queen Teuta in Illyria stimulated Romans in 230 BC to offer military protection to Corcyra and other coastal towns. Plebeian power now depended on a few nobles, though tribune Flaminius managed to get land from the Ager Gallicus distributed despite protests by the senate that it would cause conflicts with Gallic tribes. In 225 BC Celtic Gauls crossed the alps with an army of 150,000 infantry and 20,000 horse and chariots. They were met by a Roman army of 130,000 of which 6,000 fell; but when a Roman army returning from Sardinia came up behind them, the Gauls caught in between had 40,000 killed and 10,000 captured. The Roman consuls of 222 BC would not grant peace to the Insubres Gauls until they completely submitted to Rome. The next year Hasdrubal was assassinated in Iberia, and the young Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, was elected commander by the army. Across the Adriatic Sea in 219 BC a Roman navy defeated the piratical Demetrius of Pharos, who fled to the Macedonian court of Philip V.

Hasdrubal had promised the Romans the Carthaginians would not cross north of the Ebro River, and south of that river Saguntum asked for Roman protection. Roman envoys warned Hannibal to leave Saguntum alone; but Hannibal, who had promised his father eternal hatred toward Rome, besieged it for eight months and took it, ordering all the men of military age killed. So Rome sent diplomats to Carthage asking them to arrest Hannibal for this crime; the Carthaginians chose war instead. Roman delegations sent to Iberia to gain friends found that the example of Saguntum had lost their trust; nor were they able to persuade the Gauls to take their side, since most resented how the Romans had expelled Gauls from Italy or demanded tribute from them, and many were bought off by Hannibal's gold. Some Roman envoys were even seized by Gallic chiefs to exchange for hostages. Starting with about 100,000 men, Hannibal crossed the Pyrenees mountains, the Rhone River in spite of Gallic opposition, climbed over the Alps, and lost more men and animals sliding down the icy slopes.

With a quarter of his forces left, Hannibal led a cavalry skirmish, which wounded Roman consul Cornelius Scipio. Some Celtic Gauls eager to plunder Roman Italy now joined Hannibal, who trapped at the Trebia River 40,000 Roman soldiers, of which only 10,000 were left to withdraw from northern Italy. Fabius Maximus was appointed dictator but was then criticized for not engaging the enemy fully, though his self-restraint proved a better strategy. Roman forces captured the island of Malta and auctioned Carthaginian prisoners of war at Lilybaeum. The Roman navy defeated Hasdrubal, capturing 25 of his 40 ships, and more than 120 Spanish tribes gave hostages and submitted to Roman authority. In Italy the Romans lost another 15,000 troops and their impulsive consul Flaminius at the battle of Lake Trasimene; Hannibal distributed the Roman prisoners to his companies but released the captured allies to their own countries. However, no towns in Roman territory opened their gates to Hannibal; so his forces plundered Umbria and Picenum, as he ordered all adults in their way killed.

The Roman senate decided to double their army to eight legions. At Cannae in August 216 BC Hannibal had 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry; but losing only 8,000 men, the Carthaginian army wiped out about 50,000 of the Roman forces and captured several thousand in their camp; these the Roman senate refused to ransom, using their funds to arm 8,000 slaves instead. Most of the Samnites and Greeks went over to the Carthaginians, who now controlled most of what the Latins called Magna Graecia in southern Italy. A few days later some Celts in Gaul ambushed a Roman praetor and annihilated his army by felling trees on them. In 214 BC Romans led by Fabius Maximus killed or captured 25,000 Caudini as the territory was devastated.

In the senate at Carthage Hanno again spoke about the folly of the war and again was outvoted. If Hannibal had won such victories, he asked, why was he still asking for reinforcements and more money and grain? In addition to the slaves, who won their freedom fighting at Beneventum, Rome enlisted 6,000 debtors from prison. Marcellus took Nola and after an inquiry executed seventy traitors. Hannibal spent the winter at luxurious Capua, which Livy believed corrupted his men. Philip V of Macedonia sent envoys to make an alliance with the winning Hannibal, while Hiero II of Syracuse supplied the Romans with 200,000 measures of wheat and 100,000 of barley. On Sardinia victorious Romans killed 12,000 and captured 3700, and in Spain according to Livy only 16,000 Romans killed about half of their enemy's army of 60,000, as nearly all the Spanish tribes came over to the Romans. Hiero II died after ruling Syracuse as a Roman ally for 54 years and was succeeded by his grandson Hieronymus, who sided with Hannibal and was assassinated. Various intrigues, coups, and murders resulted in Syracuse being besieged by Marcellus and the Romans, but it was well defended by the engineering genius of Archimedes. After the Roman massacre of the sacred city of Henna, many Sicilians went over to the Carthaginians.

By 212 BC Rome by borrowing money had raised 25 legions, and troops were going without pay. A Roman centurion put in command of an army lost most of his recruits at Lucania. Volunteer-slaves deserted when their leader Gracchus was killed. The Romans lost another 16,000 men to Hannibal's veterans at Herdonea. Finally the Romans stormed Syracuse at night after a drunken festival, and Archimedes was killed during the plundering; Marcellus ordered Roman deserters beheaded and shipped much Sicilian art to Rome. In Spain the Celtiberians were persuaded to abandon the Romans and go home, resulting in the defeat of two armies and the death of both the Scipio brothers; but Lucius Marcius took command of what was left and defeated the Carthaginians. In Campania after a long siege by the Romans, during which Hannibal approached Rome and seventy Numidians pretending to be deserters had their hands cut off by the Romans for spying, Capua was starved into surrender. Fifty-three Capuan senators who did not commit suicide were executed after bringing out 2,070 pounds of gold and 31,200 pounds of silver. The rest of the Capuans were sold into slavery, as Rome took over the government of the city.

Rome also oversaw the future of Syracuse and allied itself with the Greek Aetolians in opposition to Philip V of Macedonia. The Roman aristocrats were drained by taxation and had most of their lands stripped, many of their houses burnt, and their slaves stolen, impressed as oarsmen, or bought cheap for military service. Now their precious metals were contributed to build ships in order to keep the Macedonians out of Italy. Hannibal captured Tarentum except for the Roman garrison in the citadel, which held out for three years until their compatriots retook the city. The fall of Agrigentum soon brought most of Sicily over to the Romans.

Publius Cornelius Scipio was sent to Spain to replace his father and uncle even though at 25 he was too young for the office. In 209 BC his army captured New Carthage, where he took over their mines and had workers supply his army with the better Spanish swords. Scipio won over Iberians by restoring hostages to their families. The next year at Metaurus they defeated Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal, who then took his troops across the Alps, gaining Celtic allies on his way to Italy. At Ilipa Scipio's strategy decisively defeated the Carthaginian army, which in 205 BC surrendered Spain at Gades on the Atlantic coast, as Mago's remaining forces departed in ships. The Romans required military service from the Iberians and silver tribute from their first province on the continent. The town of Iliturgi was destroyed and all its people massacred for having killed Romans during the war. Scipio dealt with a mutiny by deceptively arresting and then executing 35 of its leaders, but he bought back the allegiance of the army by paying their wages.

In Rome envoys from twelve Latin colonies told the consuls that they could no longer supply men or money for the war, though the other eighteen colonies continued their support. Many Bruttians, who betrayed the city to the Romans, were killed along with the Carthaginians and Tarentines when Tarentum was retaken by Roman soldiers; 3,080 pounds of gold went into the Roman treasury, and 30,000 Tarentines were sold into slavery. The two Roman consuls joined their armies to wipe out Hasdrubal and his army at the Metaurus River, though Livius restrained his men from killing the fleeing Gauls so that they would tell people what happened. Seeing now the fate of Carthage, Hannibal retreated to Bruttium at the southern end of the Italian peninsula. In 204 BC the Asian cult of the mother goddess Cybele was brought to Rome.

Laevinus led a Roman fleet to Africa and raided around Utica and Carthage; they defeated a Carthaginian squadron of seventy ships and now controlled the shipping of grain. Scipio made treaties with Numidian kings Masinissa and Syphax in Africa before returning to Rome, where he prepared to invade Carthage. Fabius Maximus argued that there should be peace and safety in Italy before war was taken to Africa. Scipio was elected consul, given the army in Sicily, and allowed to recruit volunteers. Mago, also a brother of Hannibal, raised troops in the Balearic Islands, then captured and destroyed Genoa. A Spanish uprising resulted in the killing of 13,000 of them by the Romans before peace was restored. The twelve Latin colonies that had stopped their support were now required to provide twice their quota of soldiers, as Roman men between the ages of 18 and 46 continued to serve an average of seven years in the army.

In Africa the Carthaginians gained the alliance of Numidian king Syphax when another Hasdrubal gave his daughter to him in marriage, while Scipio lied to his men about it. Masinissa survived defeats by the army of Syphax and eventually showed up with 6,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to join the Romans. Scipio's soldiers set fire to the wooden and thatched huts in the camps of the Carthaginians and Syphax's Numidians, then attacked them, killing 40,000 and capturing 5,000 prisoners and 2,700 Numidian horses. Carthage won a naval victory but then was defeated by the Romans along with the large army of Syphax in a battle dominated by cavalry. Carthage agreed to terms with Scipio and sent some young envoys to Rome, while Hannibal and Mago were recalled from Italy. Unable to negotiate an agreement, in 201 BC Hannibal's forces met Scipio's at Zama near Carthage. The cavalry of Masinissa turned the battle, as 20,000 of the Carthaginians and their allies were killed.

Hannibal told the senate of Carthage to accept the terms of Scipio. Carthage was allowed to live under their own laws while giving up all deserters, runaway slaves, prisoners of war, warships (except ten), and elephants. They lost all claims outside of Africa and were not allowed to make war except in Africa and only with Rome's permission. They made a treaty with Masinissa, who gained the city of Cirta and the lands of Syphax. Carthage had to supply grain and wages for the Roman soldiers and pay 10,000 talents over fifty years, giving 100 hostages. When a member of Carthage's minority peace party was asked by the Roman senate what gods would sanction this treaty when they had forsworn the previous one, he replied, "The same gods, since their hostility to treaty-breakers is now proved."2 Hannibal had spent fifteen years fighting in Italy and was said to have killed 300,000 in battles alone and destroyed 400 towns, accomplishing little if any good; even though he had no mutinies, the mercenaries hired by the Carthaginians were ultimately no match for the continued efforts of Roman soldiers and their Latin allies.

Republican Rome's Imperialism 201-133 BC

Soon after the war with Carthage ended, Rome turned its attention to other conflicts. In Gaul the Boii, Insubres, and Cenomani led by Carthaginian Hamilcar destroyed Placentia and were attacking Cremona in 200 BC, but two years later they had 35,000 slain (including Hamilcar) by the Roman army and eventually lost half their territory, which was given to colonists. Envoys from Rhodes and Pergamum's King Attalus complained that the Macedonians were harassing cities in Asia Minor; Athenians also asked for help. At first the Roman people, tired of war, voted against it; but the senate and consul posed the choice as sending legions to Macedonia or suffering their invasion of Italy. They argued that allowing King Philip V to take Athens would repeat the mistake when they let Hannibal take Saguntum. The people were won over, and the fetial priests declared war on Philip's Macedonia. At the Aetolian congress Rome declared its imperialist policy that the fate of any nation would depend on its services or disservices to Rome.

Philip's forces suffered two cavalry defeats from the Romans, and at a funeral his men saw how the Romans' Spanish swords had inflicted such terrible wounds. The Aetolians once again formed an alliance with Rome against Philip. Two thousand war-weary Roman soldiers moving from Africa to Sicily to Macedonia mutinied but waited, while the consul wrote to the senate about their discharge. When King Attalus asked Rome for aid against a threatened attack by Seleucid king Antiochus III, who was an ally of Rome, the senate declared its policy that their allies should keep peace among themselves. Attalus could call his troops home, and Rome sent envoys to persuade Antiochus to keep away from Attalus' Pergamum. At the Aous River the Roman consul Flamininus asked Philip V to withdraw his garrisons from Greek cities, restore their plundered property, and pay for the injuries to Attalus and Rhodes; but Philip, insisting on keeping possessions he had inherited, broke up the conference over Thessaly. The Romans attacked and destroyed Phaloria, causing Metropolis and Cierium to surrender. The fleets of Rome, Rhodes, and Attalus combined to capture Eretria.

The council of the Achaeans decided to join this alliance against Philip V, who had inflicted greater injuries on the Aetolians when they were his ally than as enemies. Now Philip was forcing Thessalians to leave their homes as he destroyed their cities before retreating; both Polybius and Livy contrasted this policy to that of Alexander and his successors, who tended to spare cities not only of allies but of enemies. Negotiations failed again, and Philip handed over Argos to the Spartan tyrant Nabis. Roman consul Titus Flamininus brought the Boeotians into their alliance also, though he connived at the murder of Boeotarch Brachyllas because he was pro-Macedonian. In 198 BC Carthaginians interned in the Latin fortress at Setia and African slaves had revolted but were betrayed; 500 were put to death. Two years later slaves in Etruria rebelled and were put down.

The Macedonian phalanx met the Roman legions in 197 BC at the battle of Cynocephalae, where the rough territory gave the advantage to the more flexible legions. The Macedonians had 8,000 killed and 5,000 captured, while the Romans lost only 700; Philip fled to Tempe and sued for peace. All 35 tribes in Rome voted for the peace treaty in which Philip V agreed to allow all the Greek cities in Europe and Asia to be free with their own laws; his army was to be limited to 5,000, and he was not allowed to make war outside Macedonia without the senate's permission; also he had to pay 1,000 talents to Rome. Everyone accepted the treaty except the Aetolians, who complained that Rome was garrisoning the key locations of Acrocorinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias that Philip had called and used as the "shackles of Greece."

At the Isthmian games at Corinth and the Nemean games at Argos in 196 BC Titus Flamininus announced to grateful audiences the liberation of Greece, as he traveled from city to city urging the Greeks to practice obedience to law, justice, unity, and friendship with each other. Many democracies and even kings asked to have their states protected by Rome. Envoys warned Antiochus III to keep his hands off the free Greek cities too, but he was claiming what his great great grandfather Seleucus I had conquered from Lysimachus in Thrace as well as in Asia. Meanwhile Hannibal as praetor in Carthage was reforming their judicial system by making judges, who had served for life, only eligible to be elected for one year at a time; this and other reforms to remove peculation and government waste made him political enemies among the aristocracy. About to be indicted for plotting war with Antiochus III, Hannibal went and joined him at Ephesus.

In Rome tribunes proposed repealing the lex Oppia, passed twenty years before, that limited the jewelry, colored clothing, and carriage-riding of Roman women. When many women lobbied officials, consul Marcus Cato spoke against repeal, arguing that the husband's authority over his wife prevents trouble with women. Known for renouncing luxuries, Cato warned against this mass movement and compared it to the secession of the plebeians in 494 BC. He asked if the men could endure equality with women and suggested that once equality was granted, women would be superior. Cato cautioned that excessive spending led to the vices of extravagance and avarice, which destroy empires. He pitied the husbands, who would be entreated by their wives for money whether they yield or refuse. Tribune Lucius Valerius argued that women benefited Rome in the past and should not have to suffer this war-time measure in peace-time, believing women's finery should be controlled by husbands and fathers, not by the law; greater power requires greater moderation. A crowd of women besieged the doors of those who intended to veto the tribunes' proposal until they relented; then the tribes voted for the repeal.

The Roman senate declared war on the Spartan tyrant Nabis, who complained of being called a tyrant and felt he was being persecuted by the wealthy for having freed slaves and helped the poor get land. The Romans accused him of capturing their ally Messena and of attacking their ships off the coast of Malea; they demanded he give up Argos and listed numerous conditions for peace. Cornered, Nabis finally capitulated; but some Romans asked why a tyrant had been allowed to live and rule in liberated Greece. Flamininus' answer was that they would have had to destroy Sparta to remove him. In 194 BC the Romans showed the Aetolians they were keeping their word by removing their garrisons from Acrocorinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias. At the same time their armies left Greece they insisted that all Roman citizens who had been enslaved (many because Rome had refused to ransom them in the war against Hannibal) in Greece be freed. In Thessaly, which had never known an election, Flamininus appointed a senate and officials based on property.

In reply to Antiochus III, Titus Flamininus warned that if the Seleucid king wished Rome to stay out of Asia he had better stay away from Europe; but if he crossed into Europe, Rome would protect her allies in Asia. In Spain Roman forces killed 12,000 rebelling Lusitanians with few losses; but in Liguria the Romans lost 5,000 while destroying 14,000 Boii, and Lucius Flamininus executed with his own hands one of their leaders to please his boyfriend. In Greece the Aetolians resented their limited share of the spoils from the Macedonian war and appealed to Antiochus III to liberate Greeks from Roman domination. In 192 BC Antiochus brought his Seleucid forces across the Hellespont, and the Aetolians took Demetrias in Thessaly, where the Seleucids arrived with only 10,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, and six elephants. The Aetolians gave Antiochus command, but the Chalcidians, Athenians and Achaeans found no need for military aid against absent Romans with whom they were enjoying freedom and peace. The war began when Antiochus took Chalcis on Euboea, coming into conflict with small contingents of Achaeans, Romans, and Pergamenes that had been sent for protection. Rome sent commissioners to buy grain from Carthage and Numidia but refused to accept gifts from them or Egypt's Ptolemy V.

As Antiochus and the Aetolians controlled Thessaly and Euboea, Rome sent Marcus Acilius with 20,000 troops, who defeated the Seleucid-Aetolian alliance at Thermopylae; Antiochus fled across the Aegean with only 500 men. When the Romans captured Heraclea, the Aetolians asked for peace, refusing the consul Lucius Scipio's option of paying a thousand talents and opting to entrust themselves to the "good faith of the Roman people." Yet when the Romans demanded certain leaders, who had induced their revolt, the Aetolian leader Phaeneas balked. So Acilius marched Romans down to attack Naupactus, while the Messenians surrendered to the Romans after refusing to join the Achaean league, which had to restore the island of Zacynthus to the Romans. The Aetolians arranged a truce for six months through the famous Scipio Africanus, raising the siege of Amphissa, while Philip V escorted the Roman army through Macedonia and Thrace to the Hellespont. A letter from the Scipio brothers to Bithynian king Prusias persuaded him that Rome did not deprive friendly kings of their thrones, and he came over to their side.

The Seleucid navy was defeated by the Roman fleet at Corycus. Seleucus, the son of Antiochus III, attacked Pergamum while its king Eumenes II was fighting in alliance with Rome and Rhodes on the Lycian coast, and Antiochus ravaged the countryside. The navy of Antiochus III was beaten again at Myonessus with the loss of 42 ships, and he withdrew his garrison from Lysimachia, retreating to Asia and even allowing the Roman army to cross the Hellespont without opposition. Aemilius Regillus tried to control the Romans pillaging Phocaea. Antiochus offered to pay half of Rome's war expenses in exchange for peace; but now that they had crossed into Asia, the Romans demanded he pay the whole expense and vacate Asia to the Taurus mountains, since he had started the war. Antiochus decided this was worse than risking a battle, but at Magnesia he lost about 50,000 men, fleeing with a few friends to Sardis and then Apamea. As Romans took Sardis, his envoys asked for magnanimity from Rome, whose victory now made them "masters of the world."

Scipio Africanus offered Antiochus the same terms previously made as equals to equals: that he stay out of Europe, withdraw from Asia to the other side of the Taurus mountains, pay 15,000 talents over twelve years, compensate Eumenes with 400 talents, give twenty hostages, and surrender Hannibal, the Aetolian Thoas, and three others who incited the war. The Asian territory was divided between Eumenes of Pergamum and Rhodes, which got Lycia and Caria south of the Meander. Those who had previously paid tribute to Attalus of Pergamum now had to pay Eumenes, but those who had paid Antiochus were liberated. Cappadocian king Ariarathes, who had sided with Antiochus, was able to buy peace from Rome for 600 talents.

Meanwhile the Aetolians moved against the Amphilochians, and the Epirotes persuaded the Roman consul to besiege Ambracia. When they heard of Antiochus' defeat, the Aetolians made peace with the Romans, agreeing to pay 500 talents and turning over Ambracia; consul Fulvius Nobilior was later prosecuted for sacking the city after it capitulated, but instead of being punished he was given a triumph. The Gauls in Asian Galatia were punished for their warriors' raids by Roman forces led by consul Manlius Vulso; this was more appreciated by the allies than the defeat of Antiochus. Although Manlius was criticized for fighting these battles without a senatorial declaration of war, Rome was pleased with the immense loot that was obtained. Charges of peculation were brought against Scipio Africanus and his brother Lucius Scipio; but Africanus became ill and died, and eventually the ill will toward the Scipios recoiled against their prosecutors, as even their adversary Sempronius Gracchus defended them. Yet this showed that not even the greatest Roman hero could be considered above the law.

The spread of a Bacchic cult celebrating licentious Bacchanalian orgies at night in which young people were initiated came to the attention of the Roman consuls, and these "criminal gatherings" were broken up; many were imprisoned or executed, while condemned women were turned over to their families for private punishment. Bacchic shrines were destroyed in Rome and throughout Italy. Historians may have confused the killing of 7,000 shepherd slaves in an upheaval in Apulia with the execution of fleeing bacchanals.3

Many complaints came to Rome about Macedonian violations in Thrace and Thessaly. Roman commissioners were sent to a conference at Tempe in Thessaly; some were afraid that their cities would be despoiled by Philip V if he had to give them back. Macedonian garrisons were withdrawn, and Philip was restricted to Macedonia. Thracian problems were taken up at Thessalonica. Philip noted that he had constructed roads, built bridges, and provided supplies for the Roman army's recent passage to Asia, and he complained that Eumenes was trying to despoil him. Eumenes II accused Philip of sending aid to Bithynian king Prusias. The commission confirmed the status quo between Macedonia and Pergamum and referred disputed cities to the Roman senate, though insisting garrisons should be withdrawn from them. Upset, Philip told Onomastus to send Cassander to punish Maronea, where many were killed, causing the head of the commission to request that these two men be questioned by the senate, though Philip only sent Cassander.

As governor of Sardinia, Marcus Cato had greatly reduced government expenditures by his simple living. Although most candidates for censor, whose duty was to watch, regulate, and punish any licentious behavior, campaigned promising leniency, in 184 BC Cato and Lucius Valerius were elected censors by promising drastic purification like the strenuous treatment of a physician; their inexorable administration of justice made Roman authority greatly feared and respected. In attacking extravagance Cato asked how could a city be saved where people pay more for pickled fish than for an ox. Taxes on luxuries valued over 1500 drachmas were increased tenfold. Cato said, "A man who beats his wife or child is laying sacrilegious hands on the most sacred thing in the world."4 Cato owned many slaves he bought as prisoners of war; they could earn their freedom, and a man could pay a price to sleep with one of the women and no other; but those found guilty of a capital crime in his formal trial, he executed. Though he said that he would rather have people ask why there is not a statue of him than why there is one, a statue was erected in his honor in the temple of Hygieia with the following inscription:

When the Roman state was sinking into decay,
he became censor and through his wise leadership,
sober discipline and sound principles restored its strength.5

Suspicious of Eumenes II, Cato described a king as an animal that lives on human flesh. He said that he would rather do what was right and go unrewarded than do wrong and be unpunished, and he was prepared to forgive everyone's mistakes except his own. He noted that the wise learn from the mistakes of fools; but fools do not imitate the wise. Cato undertook numerous prosecutions and caused Lucius Scipio to pay a heavy fine, but 44 impeachments were brought against Cato himself. In Spain he defeated rebellions by giving his army little opportunity to flee from battle. In less than a year he captured 400 cities in Spain, and his soldiers received a pound of silver each, which he said was better than having the pockets of a few filled with gold. Succeeded early in Spain by his adversary Scipio Africanus, Cato on his march to Rome subdued the Lacetani and executed 600 deserters they handed over to him. Cato was the first to publish his speeches and wrote other works such as histories; his only extant book, On Agriculture, is the oldest Latin book we have. Full of practical advice he described the duties of the overseer as the following:

He must show good management. The feast days must be observed. He must withhold his hands from another's goods and diligently preserve his own. He must settle disputes among the slaves; and if anyone commits an offense he must punish him properly in proportion to the fault. He must see that the servants are well provided for, and that they do not suffer from cold or hunger. Let him keep them busy with their work - he will more easily keep them from wrongdoing and meddling. If the overseer set his face against wrongdoing, they will not do it; if he allows it, the master must not let him go unpunished. He must express his appreciation of good work, so that others may take pleasure in well-doing.6

In Arcadia a Roman commission took up Achaean-Spartan conflicts and decided that the Spartan exiles should be forgiven and restored, though Sparta was to remain in the Achaean league. Philip reluctantly complied with the commission's requests and sent his younger son Demetrius to Rome as his ambassador. Demetrius, who had been a hostage in Rome, became very friendly with Romans such as Flamininus; this was resented by his father and older brother Perseus, who eventually accused Demetrius of trying to kill him. Demetrius was able to defend himself verbally; but Perseus used a forged letter from Flamininus to accuse his brother again, and Demetrius was poisoned and killed, probably by Philip's order in 181 BC. Romans killed 15,000 Ligurians in a battle; peace was made, and 40,000 Ligurians were moved to Samnium land, though occasional revolts continued in Liguria. In a series of revolts in Spain by the Celtiberians more than a hundred thousand of them were killed before they were pacified to accept Roman rule. Sempronius Gracchus received the surrender of more than a hundred towns in Spain, carrying off much of the population into slavery.

Censors like Marcus Cato had brought some reforms and large public projects, such as an improved sewer system to Rome. Two feuding censors elected in 179 BC were urged to end their quarrel by Caecilius Metellus, who quoted the proverb that "our friendships should be immortal, but our enmities should be mortal."7 Overwhelmed by grief and remorse over the death of his son Demetrius, Philip V died and was succeeded by Perseus, who ordered the man Philip had come to prefer, Antigonus, put to death. In 177 BC Roman forces led by consul Sempronius Gracchus killed or captured 80,000 Sardinians. The Achaeans had banned Macedonians, which resulted in runaway slaves fleeing safely to Macedonia. Some in the Achaean council wanted this policy changed, but Callicrates accused Perseus of preparing for war against Rome, of turning the northern Bastarnae tribes loose on the Dardanians, and of subduing Dolopia by force; so the matter was delayed.

Carthaginians complained to the Roman senate that Masinissa's Numidians had taken over by force more than seventy towns in their territory. In Liguria in 173 BC Roman consul Popillius Laenas subjugated the Statielli; after they capitulated and were disarmed, he destroyed their town and sold them as slaves and their property. The senate ordered him to release the prisoners and restore their property; but Laenas, escaping punishment himself, kept many as slaves, and the rest were deported north of the Po River. The same year two Epicurean philosophers were expelled from Rome. Three Roman officials accused of extortion in Spain were given perfunctory trials and avoided punishment by fleeing. Similar charges against Roman praetors in Chalcis came to trial; Lucretius Gallus was fined a million asses, but Hortensius went on to exploit and abuse Abdera in Thrace the next year and was again reprimanded by the senate and forced to liberate the free citizens he had enslaved.

When Eumenes II complained he was attacked at Delphi by assassins sent by Perseus, the Roman senate declared war on Macedonia and mobilized against Perseus' army of 43,000. Perseus lost possible allies, such as the Gauls, because of his reluctance to give them money. Eventually King Gentius in Illyria, having received ten of a promised 300 talents, arrested the Roman envoys. According to Polybius, Perseus offered Eumenes 500 talents to abstain from helping the Romans or 1500 talents to end the war, but his failure to make a payment ended the deal. It took the Roman armies about three years before the forces led by Aemilius Paulus in 168 BC finally met and defeated the Macedonian army at Pydna, killing about 20,000 and capturing 11,000. Once again the steel of Rome's Spanish swords proved superior to the iron Macedonian pikes. Within two days of the battle all of Macedonia had submitted. Aemilius Paulus advised his officers to show moderation in their good fortune, noting that fools only learn by their own misfortunes, the wise learn from those of others. The Illyrian army was defeated, and Gentius was captured.

In Rome the senate decided that Macedonia and Illyria should be allowed to be free to show that Romans did not enslave but liberated people. Macedonia was divided into four governing districts, but half the tribute they had been paying to their king was now to go to Rome. Illyria received similar treatment and was divided into three districts. Envoys from Rhodes, feeling imperiled because they had tried to get both sides in the war to make peace, argued their case in Rome, which ordered Rhodian governors be withdrawn from Lycia and Caria. Making Delos a free port punished Rhodes and rewarded Athens. Towns such as Aeginium, Agassae and the city of the Aenii, which had opposed Rome, were sacked. In Epirus 150,000 Molossians were sold into slavery, and seventy cities were plundered so that each Roman soldier could receive 200 denarii (a denarius equaling a day's wage). So much gold and silver came to Rome from this war that the land tax on Roman citizens was eliminated for more than a century. A thousand prominent Achaeans, including the historian Polybius, were taken to Italy and were detained there as prisoners without trial; 700 died there, and the rest were released after seventeen years.

Analysis of Rome's institutions by Polybius noted that the senate controlled the most important spending on public buildings by the censors and the investigation of the crimes of treason, conspiracy, and murder. Foreign affairs and the imposing of penalties or rewards on other nations were also the prerogative of the senate. Nonetheless the people were responsible for conferring honors and punishment, bestowing of offices, passing or repealing laws, declaring war or peace, and ratifying treaties. Tribunes could still veto decrees of the senate and could even prevent them from meeting. By this time the rise of "new men" to the consulship from the plebeians ennobled their families so that now there were many noble plebeian families and more plebeians in the senate than patricians. The senate usurped more power by nullifying new laws that did not give due regard to existing laws and by appointing judicial commissions with unlimited punitive power. According to Polybius all citizens were supposed to serve at least ten years in the army except for the poorest, who served in the navy, and no one could hold office before completing ten years of military service.

When Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Egypt and besieged Alexandria in 168 BC, Rome's envoy Popillius Laenas handed Antiochus a decree from the senate, drew a circle around him, and demanded his answer before he moved out of the circle. Antiochus withdrew his army to Syria, and the Roman commissioners confirmed the reign of Ptolemy VI in Egypt and Ptolemy VII in Cyrene. Having restored order in Alexandria, Popillius next ejected the Seleucid navy from the island of Cypress, which was transferred to Ptolemy VII.

Attalus was welcomed in Rome as a friend; but his brother King Eumenes II, who had wavered during the war, was excluded by a new law prohibiting any king from visiting Rome. By obeying the senate and condemning to death those hostile to Rome, Rhodes eventually secured an alliance with the dominant power. A Roman commissioner named Octavius was killed in Syria during a riot after zealously burning Seleucid ships and killing their elephants to enforce their treaty of Apamea; but when his murderer Leptines was sent to Rome, the senate refused to punish him. The summary of Livy's lost books claims that when Cappadocian king Ariarathes was deprived of his kingdom by Seleucid king Demetrius, the senate restored it to him, and the Dalmatians were punished by Roman legions for encroaching on the Illyrians.

Cato attempted to lessen the impact of Greek philosophy on Rome in 155 BC when he got the three philosophers representing Athens as diplomats dismissed, because he feared their effect on ancient Roman discipline. In 154 BC, five years after Eumenes II died, Rome sided with his brother Attalus II and made Bithynia's Prusias II pay 500 talents in war damages and give twenty ships to Pergamum. Prusias was hated for his cruelty, and Roman envoys' feeble attempts to restrain Attalus from supporting the rebellion of Prusias' son Nicomedes did not stop the murder of Prusias in the temple of Zeus; Nicomedes was confirmed as king by the Roman senate. In 139 BC astrologers and Jews were expelled from Rome. After ruling Pergamum for five years Attalus III died in 133 BC and left his kingdom to Rome in his will, stipulating that Pergamum and the Greek cities should be exempt from tribute.

Cato visited Carthage and began ending every speech with the imperative that Carthage must be destroyed. Rome's bias toward Numidian king Masinissa in his conflicts with Carthage, his frequent encroachments, and his standing army of 50,000 led to war between these African states in 150 BC. He besieged Oroscopa, and 25,000 Carthaginians led by Hasdrubal marched against the Numidians and were joined by many more. According to Appian 110,000 engaged in the battle, and most of the 58,000 disarmed men returning to Carthage were slain by order of Masinissa's son Gulassa after the surrender. Utica asked for Rome's protection; accusing Carthage of violating its treaty, Rome declared its third and last Punic war, mobilizing an army of 80,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. Carthage asked for peace, sent 300 hostages to Rome via Lilybaeum, and surrendered arms for 200,000 men and 2,000 catapults; but when the Romans demanded that the mercantile Carthaginians all move ten miles inland, they refused and began making more weapons. At Nepheris as many as 70,000 African soldiers and civilians were killed, while 10,000 were captured and only 4,000 escaped. Carthage held out under siege for three years until they were starved into surrender; 50,000 were sold as slaves, and Carthage was burned to the ground in 146 BC. Rome annexed the Tunisian peninsula as the province of Africa.

In Greece Andriscus, claiming to be a son of Perseus, raised an army that ravaged Thessaly in 149 BC; but the next year a Roman army led by Caecilius Metellus chased him out of Macedonia into Thrace, and the senate decided to annex Macedonia as a province that included Thessaly and Epirus. Roman attempts to break up the Achaean league stimulated a proletarian revolution led by Critolaus, who was appointed dictator by Corinth; this was also squelched by the legions of Metellus. Corinth, having beaten up Roman envoys, was also razed to the ground in 146 BC, and its inhabitants were sold into slavery. The Roman army broke down the walls and took the armaments of every city that had resisted Rome before sending the advisory commission, which then ended the democracies and established governments based on property qualifications. The national leagues of the Achaeans, Phocians, and Boeotians were all broken up. The governor of Macedonia was authorized to settle any conflicts between the isolated city states, now mostly ruled by the wealthy class.

Not finding trustworthy native leaders and wanting their mineral wealth, the provinces Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior were ruled by two Roman praetors. Sempronius Gracchus founded Gracchuris, and after many wars Spain had a quarter century of peace until 154 BC when Roman oppression stimulated revolts by the Celtiberians and invasion by Lusitanians. In spite of the senate's wishes, Marcellus conciliated the Spaniards for eight more years in Hispania Citerior. In 151 BC so many men resisted conscription into the army that the tribunes even arrested the consuls for refusing to grant exemptions; the same thing happened again thirteen years later. Greedy for fame and money, Lucullus invaded the Vaccaei with a Roman army without any provocation or authorization by the senate. After a battle with losses on both sides, the Vaccaei retreated into their city and asked for a settlement. Two thousand Roman soldiers were allowed in to garrison the city; but they began killing all the men there, and very few of the 20,000 escaped. Lucullus also attacked other Celtiberians, who turned out not to have any gold or silver, and he was never held to account for his crimes.

Lusitanian leader Viriathus won several victories over five Roman commanders and even survived the massacre of three groups by governor Galba after they had surrendered their arms. The wealthy Galba distributed some of the plunder to his soldiers and kept the rest for himself; he was eventually prosecuted but avoided punishment by an emotional plea for mercy. In 149 BC the tribune Calpurnius Piso proposed establishing a permanent court of senators for cases of extortion, and its judgments could not be appealed to the people or the tribunes. Viriathus, who considered self-sufficiency his greatest wealth, freedom his country, and eminence won by bravery his securest possession, made a treaty with Fabius Servilianus and the senate which was broken by his brother Caepio and the senate; though Viriathus had been declared a friend of the Romans, he was assassinated while sleeping. Numantia, the central city of Spain, defied Roman authority for nine years until Rome broke another treaty and then sent Scipio Aemilianus with 60,000 soldiers, who built a wall around the city, while he disciplined the lax troops and expelled 2,000 prostitutes from the camp. Numantia was destroyed, and the inhabitants were sold into slavery in 133 BC.

After the lex Claudia of 218 BC prohibited patricians from participating in shipping commerce and Hannibal's ravaging Italy and the conscription of so many farmers into the army of about 100,000, small landholders were replaced by larger farms with vineyards and olive groves and cattle ranches in the second century BC, as aristocratic estates expanded and slave labor increased. The war with Hannibal had produced 75,000 slaves, and many were imported from Asia after the war with Antiochus. Greek slaves brought their culture and education as teachers, physicians, and artisans, and these, as in Greece, might earn their freedom; but increasing numbers of slaves working on plantations or in the mines had little chance of gaining freedom.

In Sicily a revolt inspired by a psychic Syrian slave named Eunus in 135 BC took over the city of Enna and declared him King Antiochus, stimulating the Cilician Cleon to raise an army and overrun Acragas. The two armies of liberated slaves joined, and the revolt lasted three years; as their numbers grew to about 70,000, they also controlled Agrigentum, Tauromenium, and Catana. They killed slave owners but spared those who had been kind to slaves. Diodorus noted, "Even among slaves human nature needs no instructor in regard to just repayment, whether of gratitude or revenge."8 Other slave outbreaks occurred then in Italy, Attica, and at Delos, the center of the slave trade. The empire of republican Rome now stretched from the Atlantic coast of Spain to Asia Minor, but the increased militarism and social inequities were beginning to erupt in what would be a century of revolution and civil wars.

Roman Revolution and Civil Wars


1. Livy 8:21 tr. Betty Radice.
2. Livy 30:42 tr. Aubrey de Selincourt.
3. See Toynbee, Hannibal's Legacy, Vol. 2, p. 320-321.
4. Plutarch, Cato the Elder 20 tr. Ian Scott-Kilvert.
5. Ibid., 19.
6. Cato, On Agriculture 5:1-2 tr. William Davis Hooper.
7. Livy 40:46 tr. Henry Bettenson.
8. Diodorus Siculus 34/35:2:40 tr. Francis R. Walton.

Copyright © 1998-2004 by Sanderson Beck

This chapter has been published in the book Greece & Rome to 30 BC. For ordering information please click here.


Greek Culture to 500 BC
Greek Politics and Wars 500-360 BC
Greek Theatre
Socrates, Xenophon, and Plato
Isocrates, Aristotle, and Diogenes
Philip, Demosthenes, and Alexander
Hellenistic Era
Roman Expansion to 133 BC
Roman Revolution and Civil Wars
Plautus, Terence, and Cicero
Summary and Evaluation


World Chronology to 30 BC
Chronology of Europe to 1400

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