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Rome and the Latin Settlements of 338 Bc.

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:24 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 34.6 
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Rome was forged in violent struggle. Wedged between often hostile cities and civilizations from the Etruscans in the north, to Hellenistic cities of the south, Rome seemed to be forever tittering between conquest and destruction. Aristocrats of the late republican period lauded their ancestors for their military discipline and glory. The frugality and duty of Cincinnatus appointed dictator and invested with Imperium while plowing his field, was held in great esteem by Cicero in the first century before the Common Era . This nostalgic conception of early Rome may not be too far removed from actuality. Roman history was dominated by almost perpetual warfare, but Rome’s might came not from mere force of arms. Tactical alliances and integration of defeated enemies provided the manpower necessary for empire. This strategy, which established and perpetuated Roman hegemony, was in large part developed by the political settlements enforced after the Latin War of 340-338 BCE. These settlements therefore, offer insights into the Roman state of mind and their methods of Empire building.



Prior to the settlements of 338, Rome had fought the Latins in the aftermath of their aristocratic revolution. In 493, Spurius Cassius than Consul, signed a treaty with the Latin league which ushered in a period of peace between Rome and Latium . The terms of the Foedus Cassianum, or Treaty of Cassius, outline a defensive military coalition with stipulation on the equal division of booty and mechanisms for the resolution of commercial disputes between private individuals . This alliance allowed Rome and Latium to effectively fend off incursions from foreigners, and conduct relatively inexpensive campaigns due to the diffusion of resource requirements among many cities. Most significantly, Rome secured for herself a leadership role within the alliance, providing the commander for the allied army during campaign.



Roman military leadership eventually led to the...

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