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Vibius Tiberius Costa

A bunch of general questions

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Bam! I'm back to those who thought I was gone.

Anyway, more importantly I have a lot of questions for the ol' book. I'll number and break them up because there are quite a few. If anyone can answer thanks in advance. 153bc

 

Senate

s1. I have my own leading fictitious-ish senators but who do you think were the leading senators/orators in 153 bc - onwards say 4 years

s2. Who were the leading generals and what was their popularity within the senate and with the masses (metellus, scipio and mummius interest me here)

s3. The number of senators at this point is it 200ish

s4. The general consensus of the senate, arguing aside this is a strong period would it be to push forth in terms of the wars

s5. The senate's opinions of Carthage change I know in the coming years but as of early 153 what is the feel

s6. Is Rome rich?

s7. As this senatehouse is pre fires/destruction etc. was it different to the current one did they sit on stone arcs with the two consuls sitting centrally (I currently have made my own style but it does read like modern politics a bit)

 

People in Rome

p1. General views are always hard to say but along with the generals and senators aforementioned do we know of particularly fashionable Gods, curses and clothing.

p2. Is one area of Rome a little dodgy, I know the majority lived in Aventine but perhaps it is documented the Oppian hill has troubles 

p3. Can I assume everything Is bartered no ticket prices

p4. Can a few read/write

p5. Do senators live in the lesser regions still.

p6. Would it be fair to assume some people have never left the city

p7. Is Hannibal still a big talking point amongst the people (senate too)

 

Legion

l1. Were you paid in arrears monthly or some specific way

l2. Did/could you buy your equipment from the legion smithy

l3. Were fancy engravings common on armour or was most extremely similar

l4. Once levied did you have time to go home and pick up your things

l5. If levied in Rome were you trained en route to destination. As recruits did you stay in legionary contubernium tents while en route

l6. Were there barracks at most major cities for troops.

l7. Was chainmail a luxury

 

Miscellaneous

m1.  Beards and long hair, I'm under the impression both are frowned upon, beards are to Gallic and barbarian and long hair to Greek, yes?

m2.  Were there well documented popular wines - Vesuvian, Sicilian

m3. Were there higher alcohol level drink available like fortified wines, mead, non-grape

m4. Do we know what the curse-words or phrases beyond our usual ones are eg. Gods Below, Jupiter's Beard rather than cac

m5. Could I nickname someone by turning there name from Antonius to Antonio, Anto etc. (to many -ius' make it hard sometimes for readers to differentiate)

m6. The majority of slaves would have been from what nationalities

m7. Like Venus was sort of the symbol of the Julii, did the rest of the families have a defining symbol or stamp, like Octavian's sphinx

 

I've got stacks more but its 2am, they'll have to wait

 

Thanks again

 

vtc

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Senate

s1. I have my own leading fictitious-ish senators but who do you think were the leading senators/orators in 153 bc - onwards say 4 years

s2. Who were the leading generals and what was their popularity within the senate and with the masses (metellus, scipio and mummius interest me here)

s3. The number of senators at this point is it 200ish

s4. The general consensus of the senate, arguing aside this is a strong period would it be to push forth in terms of the wars

s5. The senate's opinions of Carthage change I know in the coming years but as of early 153 what is the feel

s6. Is Rome rich?

s7. As this senatehouse is pre fires/destruction etc. was it different to the current one did they sit on stone arcs with the two consuls sitting centrally (I currently have made my own style but it does read like modern politics a bit)


Reading Polybius will sort many of your answers, but in the short term, peruse this site...

http://www.attalus.org/bc2/year150.html

 

p1. General views are always hard to say but along with the generals and senators aforementioned do we know of particularly fashionable Gods, curses and clothing.
The toga was still de rigeur for formal occaisions. Loose tunics otherwise, and that didn't much change during the Republic.

p2. Is one area of Rome a little dodgy, I know the majority lived in Aventine but perhaps it is documented the Oppian hill has troubles
All areas of Rome are potentially dodgy in one way or another, especially at night, given that rich and poor lived in close proximity almost throughout the city.. However, the Subura distirct had a particularly sour reputation for poverty.

p3. Can I assume everything Is bartered no ticket prices
The Romans had discovered money - but they probably haggled over everything they couyld. "Let the buyer beware".

p4. Can a few read/write
yes. The wealthy get traditional schooling as children and literate slaves are at a premium.

p5. Do senators live in the lesser regions still.
Depending on wealth and fortune, yes.

p6. Would it be fair to assume some people have never left the city
Yes.

p7. Is Hannibal still a big talking point amongst the people (senate too)
Not big news any more, but since he was still at large, he would have been more or less thought of in the same way as Bin Laden was recently. Out there somewhere, possibly plotting...

 

Legion

l1. Were you paid in arrears monthly or some specific way
At a special parade, three times a year.in arrears, for 2 Obols a day, about a third of a Drachma/Denarius. Centurions received double pay.[/b]

2. Did/could you buy your equipment from the legion smithy
No. They weren't that organised back then. You either got what you wanted from civilian traders and artisans or obtained equipment by other means, though men were made to swear an oath not to steal from each other on campaign.

l3. Were fancy engravings common on armour or was most extremely similar
No, but painting mat have been.

4. Once levied did you have time to go home and pick up your things
That would depend on circumstance. However, if no-one brought any equipment, I imagine something might have to be done.

l5. If levied in Rome were you trained en route to destination. As recruits did you stay in legionary contubernium tents while en route
You were trained with the rest of the conscripts according to the desires of the leading officer. It was entirely plausible that in emergencies you didn't receive any training at all, but then, this was ancient Rome, and men were expected to be able to fight anyway.

l6. Were there barracks at most major cities for troops.
No.

l7. Was chainmail a luxury
An expensive but very desirable piece of protection.

m1.  Beards and long hair, I'm under the impression both are frowned upon, beards are to Gallic and barbarian and long hair to Greek, yes?
beards and long hair were unfashionable and denoted barbaric status.

m2.  Were there well documented popular wines - Vesuvian, Sicilian
Wine was considered a 'democratic' drink as it accounted for the primary refreshment for the majority of Roman people, rich or poor. However, greek wine was favoured in this period, with home grown vintages becoming established. There may have been spanish wine on the market - I'm not sure about that.

m3. Were there higher alcohol level drink available like fortified wines, mead, non-grape

Wine was normally mixed with water immediately before drinking, since the fermentation was not controlled and the alcohol grade was high. Wine was sometimes adjusted and "improved" by its makers: instructions survive for making white wine from red and vice versa, as well as for rescuing wine that is turning to vinegar. Wine was also variously flavored. For example, there was passum, a strong and sweet raisin wine, for which the earliest known recipe is of Carthaginian origin; mulsum, a freshly made mixture of wine and honey; and conditum, a mixture of wine, hod matured. One specific recipe, Conditum Paradoxum, is for a mixture of wine, honey, pepper, laurel, dates, mastic, and saffron, cooked and stored for later use. Another recipe called for the addition of seawater, pitch and rosin to the wine. A Greek traveler reported that the beverage was apparently an acquired taste.[28] Sour wine mixed with water and herbs (posca) was a popular drink for the lower classes and a staple part of the Roman soldier's ration.

Beer (cervisia) was known but considered vulgar, and was associated with barbarians.[29][30]
(Ancient Roman Cuisine (Wikipedia)

m4. Do we know what the curse-words or phrases beyond our usual ones are eg. Gods Below, Jupiter's Beard rather than cac
I don't know about this period, but typically the Romans hoped various misfortunes would fall the miscreant, and references to gods were kept personal and discrete (it wouldn't do to tempt fate, would it?)

m5. Could I nickname someone by turning there name from Antonius to Antonio, Anto etc. (to many -ius' make it hard sometimes for readers to differentiate)
Many Roman names were nicknames. Translation is hilarious - they sound like comic book twenties gangsters.

m6. The majority of slaves would have been from what nationalities
Greek and African I would have thought.

m7. Like Venus was sort of the symbol of the Julii, did the rest of the families have a defining symbol or stamp, like Octavian's sphinx
No, but a household would generally have a dedication to a particulaer diety for protection and fortune.

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m4. Do we know what the curse-words or phrases beyond our usual ones are eg. Gods Below, Jupiter's Beard rather than cac

I don't know about this period, but typically the Romans hoped various misfortunes would fall the miscreant, and references to gods were kept personal and discrete (it wouldn't do to tempt fate, would it?)

 

The notion of fate you're referring to is typically Greek, not Roman, and unlikely to be even widely known in Rome during this time frame, even though Stoicism was already at work. More so, I doubt that the Greek notion of fate would prevent many Greeks from cursing: I cannot recall anything specific right now, but commedy and short poetry is where you should look for, for both Romans and Greeks.

 

One last thing: Hannibal was dead in 153 BC, for good thirty years already. But he left a lasting impression on the Romans, comparable to the one from Alaric's sack of Rome in 410. After all, it was the deadliest menace faced by Rome at date, which nearly annihilated its very existence: Hannibal will be a lasting subject in popular and literary culture.

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The foremost general of the time was probably Marcus Claudius Marcellus, the son of the consul of 196 and censor of 189, and grandson of the conqueror of Syracuse and 5 time consul (both of the same name).  Marcellus was consul in 166 and 155 and triumphed over the Gauls in 166/5 and Ligurian Apuani in 155/4.  He was elected consul again in 152 (in violation of the Lex Villia Annalis which required a 10 year interval between iterations) to take charge of the war in Spain.

 

Other prominent senators included Cato who was still initiating prosecutions of senators who had exploited provincials, and M Aemilius Lepidus (cos187) the Pontifex Maximus and princeps senatus who died about 152. P Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum (cos 162) would succeed M Aemilius in his priesthood and had been censor in 159.   

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L Mummius was praetor in 153 and commanded in Further Spain that year, Q Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus wasn't praetor 'till 148 and fought the pretender Andriscus in Macedonia.  Scipio was probably quaestor in the mid 150's but there is no record in the sources, he went to Spain as a volunteer in 151. 

 

The censors, apparently tried to maintain the number of senators at about 300, but with many overseas with the army or on diplomatic missions and those superannuated, 200 is a feasible number. 

 

The senate did not always meet in the Curia Hostilia.  They could meet in any inaugurated space  (templum) and often used other venues such as the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (especially at the beginning of the consular year), the temple of Fides, or Concord et al.  Also at this period the consuls spent most of the year overseas campaigning and a praetor would often preside. It is likely (based on the design of the surviving building) that the senators sat in parallel rows on either side of the building with a raised dais for the presiding magistrate at one end.

Edited by Pompieus

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Bam! I'm back to those who thought I was gone.

Anyway, more importantly I have a lot of questions for the ol' book. I'll number and break them up because there are quite a few. If anyone can answer thanks in advance. 153bc

p3. Can I assume everything Is bartered no ticket prices

 

Coin from 154 BC:

 

post-3665-0-96200400-1375754784_thumb.jpg

 

C Scribonius Denarius. 154 BC. Roma right / Dioscuri galloping right, SCR below.

Scribonia 1, Syd 380.

 

http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s0079.html

 

Although many prices were probably haggled between individuals, there were probably "set prices" for many public activities: admission to a theater, sport events,  etc.

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

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Admissions to tjheatre and events were free. Public generosity was very important for senior Romans.

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Admissions to tjheatre and events were free. Public generosity was very important for senior Romans.

 

Thank you for reading my response.

 

I also thought about sponsorship by the rich elites (thus, free admission) to many public spectacles (including gladiatorial events). I agree that these would be free.

 

I think admission to the baths required a nominal fee. I also suspect that there was some non-sponsored events (sports and theatrical) that would have required some sort of fee

 

Although many things would have been subsidized by the state (e.g; grain) or sponsored by rich elites (gladiator fights), it's hard to believe that there weren't events or performances that required some sort of fee, however small. Remember, Rome had a million inhabitants. I don't think the rich elites could have payed for all the entertainment needs.

 

I also doubt much bartering was going on in brothels. Haggling, yes. Bartering, unlikely.

 

In answer to the original question:

 

p3. Can I assume everything Is bartered no ticket prices

 

 

Money, therefore, was an important means of exchange.

 

 

guy also known as gaius

 

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Edited by guy

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Remember that not everyone in Rome was wealthy and those that were often wanted their votes. In order to do that the Romans had a culture nof beneificence toward the public (as two faced as it was).. However there was a nminal fee charged for the baths. Technically anyone could go there but that's an inconsistency with normal Roman cuture which was deeply stratified (you could be arrested and tried before a magistrate for sitting in the wrong seat at public performances for instace). Although the very poor could go there, hints exist that they may not always have done so. Partly because of the fee charged (if you're poor, the baths are still a luxury you might not want to afford, and if your patron sees you enjoying the baths and hobnobbing with his rivals, what's he goin g to say the next you visit his house in the morning begging for money?), partly becuawse the poor aren't going to comnfortable socialising with the elite (and vice versa), and partly because the poor generally care less about hygiene anyway.

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