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dnewhous

Plebes
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Everything posted by dnewhous

  1. dnewhous

    Who Was Responsible For Fall Of Republic

    Don't get condescending, jerk. Except for your book reference I already knew what you have written in this post. In an earlier post, you implied that the landless headcount of Rome were not plebians, but beneath them, which is something I had not heard before. You also state "there was no peasantry in the city of rome." Since peasantry is not a well-defined term in the Roman world (perhaps I shouldn't have used it) I'd like you to explain exactly what you mean by it. What you mean by "peasantry" and what I mean by "peasantry" might be different.
  2. dnewhous

    Who Was Responsible For Fall Of Republic

    Plebians - by this do you mean non-nobles who had their own land? I didn't know that the landless were not considered plebians. I haven't specified what I meant by "peasantry" but I can hardly imagine that there were no farmers who had their homes in the city of Rome. Like someone posted earlier, for some reason the land started to get bought up by the patricians and the equestrians and the family farmer started to disappear. Why did that happen? That is critical.
  3. dnewhous

    Who Was Responsible For Fall Of Republic

    I wasn't talking about racism at all. I am saying prisoners of war and people from conquered territories should never have been made slaves in the first place. I am well aware that slavery has been with mankind since the beginning, but it wasn't until I learned about the Marius reforms that I realized how devestating it was to the common people of Rome. My point is that if the peasantry was free - whether farmers, or paid, or even indentured servants, then letting common people into the army would not have been a problem. You can't have democracy (or a republic) when the majority of your people are landless poor. It doesn't work. Ever. The effects of this are a problem even now. Most people in England do not actually own the land upon which they have their home! Unlike what some Europe loving leftist economists think, private property is the cornerstone of prosperity and freedom.
  4. dnewhous

    Pro Or Anti Marius Reform.

    I thought that Rome had adopted a standing army after the Gaullic sack in 390 b.c. I suppose there must have been some reform of the army after 390 b.c., did anything interesting happen?
  5. dnewhous

    Who Was Responsible For Fall Of Republic

    After reading that I am reminded of a very fundamental problem with Roman society which is not in the poll and which makes the poll invalid. SLAVERY AND SERFDOM. Why pay people an honest wage for working your land when you can force slaves/serfs to do it for you?
  6. dnewhous

    Who Was Responsible For Fall Of Republic

    What exactly were the military reforms of Marius?
  7. dnewhous

    Long Term Effects Of Empire - Revisted

    The U.K. ought to be on there and Germany ought not to be on there. The Roman holdings corresponded to Austria and Hungary, not Germany. I'd like to see someone trace which noble families of Europe can trace their heredity back to the Roman patricians. Anyone in the UK House of Lords?
  8. dnewhous

    Greco-roman Philosophy

    And since Marcus Aurelius chose Commodus as his heir, his wisdom obviously has limitations.
  9. dnewhous

    About Octavian's Statue

    What were the numbers on both sides of that battle?
  10. dnewhous

    Octavian

    I remember reading part of a book on the first 12 emperors, and when Marc Antony made it known he wanted to be emperor following Caesar someone laughed at him. Julius was truly an extraordinary though mad individual. Marc Antony was just a lower measure of man. There's no way Marc Antony could have kept the empire together. What's amazing about the Roman empire is that so many of the emperors really were talented individuals - which was partially due to the nature of succession. To some extent, whoever was emperor was the man who could make himself emperor. Heredity was only loosely correlated with succession. In the Octavian/Marc Antony dispute I'm sure part of what happened was that the legionaires could plainly see who the better man was. The people of Egypt may have bought Cleopatra/Antony as gods, but Italy and Greece? Italians took Julius seriously because he proved himself on the battlefield. Poor Cleopatra, she probably just assumed the heir apparent would be the man to get power. She was trying to tie her nation's fate to the rising star of Rome. It's just that Roman politics were a bit complicated. I just thought of something - wasn't Marc Antony equestrian and not patrician?
  11. dnewhous

    Octavian

    I'm really interested in the opinion of those more knowledgeable - it seams to me that if it weren't for Octavian, that the Roman Empire would probably have fragmented into bits and pieces after the major exapansions of Julius Caesar, much like Alexander's conquests fragmented after his death. Octavian is the one man in the West who figured out how to govern that much territory under one government. And, unlike China, the emperor remained firmly in control of the governing bureacracy.
  12. dnewhous

    Octavian

    I meant, did Alexander take any generals from any of the other Greek city states? All Octavian had to do was rename himself and the people liked him? Wow, and we think the American public is ignorant and gullible...
  13. dnewhous

    Octavian

    What does Octavian have to do with the name "Caesar?" And were all of Alexander's generals Macedonian? I thought he conquered the world by finally uniting Greece.
  14. dnewhous

    Latin or Greek in Judea ca. 30 AD?

    The first thing the soldiers learned was "Where is the brothel?" Anyway, where was Pontius's wife from? I want to ascertain if he might have fallen back to Latin in his private moments. Greek was the language of culture and learning of the entire Mediterranean - but by the Englightenment European scientific papers were published in Latin. That't the language Newton published in.
  15. dnewhous

    Latin or Greek in Judea ca. 30 AD?

    His soldiers, however, probably didn't understand Greek, right?
  16. dnewhous

    Roman Military

    Counterintuitive. The closer to Rome you lived, the more likely you were to be on the beneficial end of the Empire. I suppose it's a lot like today where the more wealthy you are the more likely you are to protest the military and the less likely to serve... Which is why I think, incidentally, George Lucas is on to something with the droid and clone army ideas. As a society gets less and less willing to volunteer for military service and technology advances, I find his ideas quite plausible.
  17. Talking about the worst defeats in history, didn't the Persians lose 200,000 men invading Greece?
  18. In the days of the late republic the Roman legions were truly intimidating, very well trained and well disciplined in the Spartan tradition. They formed their shields in a wall and clanged their swords against them in unison. But Hannibal showed tactics and technology (elephants) could overcome that. It is not simply the ability to levy troops. The empire had far more resources at its command at the time of the battle of Adrianople than they did during the late republic, yet they couldn't recover from the defeat at the hand of the Goths. Hannibal's army was eventually defeated, though that was after he was forced to retreat to defend Carthage - I wonder if in his haste he had to give up some of his advantage (elephants). What I have been told is, that during the days of the republic, the people actually were willing to die for the republic and not so for the empire. The empire had become very exploitive economically. There was always slavery. Serfdom started when people sold themselves to patricians to protect them from the Roman tax collectors, and Rome issued edicts that a man had to follow the same profession as his father; I forget what institagated it, but Rome had regulated several professions into impofitability. The Roman legacy of strangling centralized regulation is with Europe today. I'm really curious how much of the nobility of dark age Europe was descended from Roman patricians. The social stratification of "knight" is an obvious Roman holdover. Was the Republic conquered, or did it fragment? Local prefects mustering what was left of the Roman military and becoming petty kings?
  19. dnewhous

    Latin or Greek in Judea ca. 30 AD?

    I just thought - where was Pontius Pilate born, raised, and educated? I have seen one web site that claims he was Scottish but the more conventional history is that he was Italian I think. This will tell us what Pilate's primary language was.
  20. A defeat might have done Roman history a lot of good. Wasn't it Caesar's decision (as Governor of Gaul) to conquer Gaul? Didn't the senate kind of not like the idea? Only this is a time in history when going out and conquering people just because you can made you very popular with the masses, at least the masses in your home country. Losing 45000 men might have set the Romans back for a long time in Europe but it wouldn't have devastated them. It wasn't like the waning years of the empire when losing 20000 men to the Goths left the empire defenseless.
  21. dnewhous

    The Common Peasant

    I had some thoughts last night or this morning that I think are intriguing. What was life like in the Roman Empire for the common man? Now, in Italy, Greece, and northern Egypt I have the impression life was amazingly civilized. Life for a middle class person in Republic or Imperial Rome probably wasn't equaled until the 19th or even 20th century from my loose impressions. What percent of the population (even in wealthy urban centers) constituted "middle class" is another question. It must be pointed out that much of the wealth of Rome was based on a horrible system of slave labor. Every wealthy Roman home had catacombs below where the slaves slept. The biggest fact that gives me an impression of such a high standard of living is the fact Rome had a working sewage system, and it wasn't until the 19th century the European cities had any. Like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail "He must be a king." "What makes you say that?" "Well, he hasn't got ***** all over him." or as one 19th century English parliamentarian put it (I don't remember the exact quote) "It began to dawn on the upper classes of England, that most of the nation's people were living in *****." But I haven't got to my main point yet. I have the impression that the vast majority of the Roman Empire was very much like "flyover country" in the United States today, only more so. I don't think that most Roman peasants had a standard of living much past neolithic standards, and I think commerce and wealth in the provinces were very sparse compared to Rome. The dark ages had the bright side of decentralizing power so much that many independent commercial centers were able to develop in Europe. This is why Europe was able to develop into the dominant continent in the 19th century, whilst more developed civilizations (China) were stifled by centralized, self interested bureacracy. I am wondering, about what century did life for a majority of people in Europe become as good as it was during the Pax Romana? I know it's hard to answer such an open ended question.
  22. dnewhous

    The Common Peasant

    What about Romanized "barbarians"? How was their standard of living?
  23. dnewhous

    The Common Peasant

    Primuspilus, I am not sure how exactly to interpret your terminology. One possible reading of what you have said is that Roman citizenship was given only to people living in the city and that people living in the countryside merely had "Latin" status, which was an important distinction in the days of the late Republic (from what I've read) but I don't really know if the distinction means anything in the empire. Also, how was sanitation in urban centers outside of Rome? Did any other city have a sewage system?
  24. dnewhous

    King Arthur?

    The word "Arthur" was never used as a person's name until the late 6th century. It is most likely a twisting of some word (I forget which language) for Lion which is something like "Arturus" which would have been used to describe someone who is militarily successful. It might have been a Legionary rank? My memory is fuzzy. What is more interesting than Arthur is the whole mythological concoction generated to make him the son of Uther Pendragon (who really did exist). Uther was the relative of a genuine Roman statemen (from Brittany) and for Arthur to seam more noble to the English the myth forced a relationship to the man who was the last vestige of Rome in Britain. People of the 5th and 6th centuries (before being displaced by the Anglo Saxons) still considered themselves to be Roman.
  25. dnewhous

    Roman Military

    The way you describe it, it seams as though auxillaries were not organized or funded by Rome? That makes their loyalty seam rather questionable to me.
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