AN02b_New Directions in Government and Society: Roman Origins
Timeline: 10th – 6th C. BCE FS: Geography, Mythology, & a belief in “Destiny” Shape Rome’s Development and World View.
Like many of the civilized societies before and since, ancient Roman civilization was impacted by ‘context’. Interaction with other cultures and the environment helped shape what was to become the classical model for Western civilization. Therefore, if we can acquire an appreciation of the temporal and physical circumstances of Rome’s founding and development then we may understand why it is a “Mother” civilization for ‘Western’ cultures.
A. Tiber River, Western coast of Italian peninsula. B. 8th C. BCE – 5th C. CE C. Impact on ‘Western World’
A. Myth of Romulus & Remus (1) B. Roman town layout & Roman fasces (Refer to Pr02b)
II. Location, Location, Location
A. Centrally located in Mediterranean B. Centrally located or Peninsula C. Near to Sea D. On the bank of Tiber River E. Western Italy = rolling hills, fertile soil, wooded
III. Cultural Development & Diffusion (2)
For a long period the Romans were culturally influenced and even ruled by the Etruscans, their neighbors across the Tiber River. Before and after that period, however, the people of Rome were interacting and ‘diffusing’ with other local peoples (e.g. Latins) as well as foreign colonizers (e.g. Greeks). Until the late 300’s BCE, Rome was largely an agricultural state with little semblance of what it would become.
A. Latins (After 1000 BCE): Settlements on the banks of the Tiber River and the area around the Palatine Hill. B. Etruscans (1200 – 800 BCE): Civilized society with lasting cultural (religious) impact on the yet to develop Roman republican society. C. Greeks (750 – 600 BCE): ‘Magna Graecia’, Hellenization of Latins and Etruscans via Greek colonization of Mediterranean basin and commercial contact.
1. http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/mythology/instructors_resources/harrispt1ch18.pdf (13 Jan.03)
[Our myth document offers a variation to the following reference of the Romulus & Remus myth.] “The early history of Rome is from the myth of Romulus and Remus. It was believed that Romulus and Remus, who were sons of the war god Mars, were set afloat to drown in the Tiber River. They were rescued by a she-wolf and a woodpecker, which are both sacred to Mars, and raised by a herdsman and his wife. They grew up and became the leaders of a gang, and eventually founded the city of Rome on the same banks that they were rescued from. The story takes a turn for the worst here because it is said that when Remus jumped over the city’s wall, breaking one of the first rules made, his brother Romulus killed him. Romulus continued to rule his city, which he named Rome, until one day he mysteriously disappeared in a storm. The Romans believed that their leader had been turned into a god and started worshiping him. A bronze statue of a she-wolf was made in remembrance of the tale in early 5th century BC and is known as one of the greatest masterpieces of the time. Later, in 1509, two infants were put under the statue to signify Romulus and Remus. This history, however, may have been “invented” by the romantic propaganda of a world-state in the first century B.C. and the first century A.D. out of a combination of legend, tradition, and the desire to provide a suitable pedigree for the new rulers of the world.” emuseum.mnsu.edu/archaeology/sites/europe/rome.html (Written by: Dana Mattson, Accessed by Mr.V Jan. 2003)
2. “Modern analysis of the history of Rome, based on extensive archaeological research, indicates that the Romans were a local group of the Latins, one of the many Indo-European tribes who entered Italy shortly after 1000 B.C. These particular tribes are known collectively as the Italic peoples. The Romans were the inhabitants of a town that had a potentially advantageous location on the Tiber River at the last point upstream navigable by seagoing vessels.” http://www.emuseum.mnsu.edu/archaeology/sites/europe/rome.html (Written by: Dana Mattson, Accessed by Mr.V Jan. 2003)
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