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Thought Process. Rome: The Turbulence of Empire Rome and its Enemies ( lots of them)

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Presentation on theme: "Thought Process. Rome: The Turbulence of Empire Rome and its Enemies ( lots of them)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Thought Process

2 Rome: The Turbulence of Empire Rome and its Enemies ( lots of them)

3 History and Myth of Progress Tonight’s Dimestore Philosphy  Progression and Retrogression as Simultaneous Dynamics –Traditional Historical Grand Narratives – what they reveal and what they hide – America as savior of the allies/Defender of the free world –1963-Present: Recovering lost voices –1970-Present: Postcolonial history and the fracturing of the Grand Narrative –1980-Present: The Call for Synthesis  Can Humpty Dumpty be put back together?

4 Popular Images of Rome Inspiration for Republicanism/ Defender of Damsel in Distress?

5 Hollywood Twofer: Rome and Egypt An analogy for the Cold War?

6 Sound Far-fetched? Consider we were defenders of Israel, but they had pushed all the way to the Suez Canal in the 54 war. The UK and France had threatened to invade to stop them; The USSR was courting Egypt to their side. We needed the Suez as much as our allies, but nuclear war was on the brink. Our analogy became Marc Antony (the US) taking Cleopatra (Egypt) as his lover, The play is from Shakespeare, and is set against the Plutarch's war from the assassination of Julius Caesar in 40 BCE until Antony's death in 30 BCE. Also consider the timing of the release – Less than a year and a half after the Cuban Missile Crisis and four months before the Dashing President JFK is assassinated. Does JFK = Antony and Dulles=Octavian? Is this an American reproduction of the Plutarch's civil war set against the Cold War? Ir's eerie anyway you look at it!

7 Periods of the Roman Empire  Founding of Rome (April 21, 753 BCE)  From City to Empire (755 BCE - 27 BCE)  Imperial Regime (27 BCE - 102 CE)  Imperial Peace (102 - 280 CE)  Troubled Century (192 - 280 CE)  Restoration and Fall (280 - 476 CE)

8 Romulus and Remus Mars, Rhea Silvius and the Legend of Rome In Latin, Lupa means “she-wolf” and “prostitute”

9 The Rise of Rome

10 The Roman Forum Public Space Writ Large

11 Circus Maximus Horse and Chariot Racing Help me in the Circus on 8 November. Bind every limb, every sinew, the shoulders, the ankles and the elbows of Olympus, Olympianus, Scortius and Juvencus, the charioteers of the Red. Torment their minds, their intelligence and their senses so that they may not know what they are doing, and knock out their eyes so that they may not see where they are going—neither they nor the horses they are going to drive. (translated by H. A. Harris, Sport in Greece and Rome, 235-36)

12 Coliseum or Colosseum Gladiatorial Combat The Venatio (wild animal hunts/also held at Circus Maximus) –Trajan had 5,000 Animals killed in one day at the opening of the coliseum in 80 CE Humiliores (Public Executions or lower class criminals)

13 The Peak of Empire, 120 CE


15 Why Empires Fall Occam’s Razor – Empires make enemies; the bigger and more brutal the empire, the more the enemies

16 King Shapur I and the Roman emperor Valerian (kneeling), 210-273 CE Shapur skinned Valerian and preserved him

17 Hannibal, Carthaginian general and political leader 247-182 BCE Punic wars (264-241 BCE, 218-201 BCE, and 149-146 BCE)

18 Extent of Carthaginian Empire

19 Elephants in the Alps

20 Wreaking Havoc In Italy

21 The “Servile Wars” Or why empire + slavery is an equation for social disaster First Servile War: 135 BC-132 BC on Sicily, led by Eunus, a former slave claiming be a prophet, and Cleon (Cilician). –Fought during the second Punic War –100,000 slaves militarily –led by Cleon – Second Servile War: 104 BC-103 BC on Sicily, led by Athenion and Tryphon. –Rerun of 1 st Sevile War on Sicily Third Servile War: 73 BC-71 BC in Italy, led by Spartacus. –Spartacus and Crixus, and 120,000 former slaves

22 Spartacus, Third Servile War, 73-71 BCE "he did not consider himself ready as yet for that kind of a fight, as his whole force was not suitably armed, for no city had joined him, but only slaves, deserters, and riff-raff"

23 72-71 BCE, Initiative to Spartacus

24 The Tide Turns, 72-71 BCE

25 Marcus Licinius Crassus and Pompey, 71-70 BCE 6,000 Slaves Crucified on the Road Between Capua and Rome

26 Wrapping up the Servile Wars  Fate of Spartacus Remains Unknown  Cilician Pirates Betray Spartacus’ Army and Back Out of a Deal to Take Them to Sicliy  Pompey Orders the Crucifixion of Survivors  Large Landholders turn to Sharecropping System  Senate Reforms Laws on Treatment of Slaves

27 Mithridates VI Eupator, King of Pontos, 120-63 BCE Spoke 22 Languages

28 Pontus and the Mithridatic War, 88-85 BCE Mithridates Conquers Anatolia Slaughters 80,000 Romans in Turkey Pompey Launches Expedition Against Mithradtes, 88-85 BCE

29 The Death of Mithridates Mithridates had tried to make away with himself, and after first removing his wives and remaining children by poison, he had swallowed all that was left; yet neither by that means nor by the sword was he able to perish by his own hands. For the poison, although deadly, did not prevail over him, since he had inured his constitution to it, taking precautionary antidotes in large doses every day; and the force of the sword blow was lessened on account of the weakness of his hand, caused by his age and present misfortunes, and as a result of taking the poison, whatever it was. When, therefore, he failed to take his life through his own efforts and seemed to linger beyond the proper time, those whom he had sent against his son fell upon him and hastened his end with their swords and spears. Thus Mithridates, who had experienced the most varied and remarkable fortune, had not even an ordinary end to his life. For he desired to die, albeit unwillingly, and though eager to kill himself was unable to do so; but partly by poison and partly by the sword he was at once self-slain and murdered by his foes.[4] (Book 37, chapter 13) – Dio Cassius, Roman History

30 More of Rome’s Enemies Arminius, ruler of the Cheruscans 19 BCE-19CE Alaric, leader of the Visigoths 360-411 CE Attila, King of the Huns 410-435 CE Varus, give me back my legions! – Augustus’ dying words

31 Boudicca and the Iceni Revolt


33 Rome’s Greatest Contributions (albeit a double-edged one): Roman Law and Latin  Justian’s Code + Roman Catholic Law = Modern Law  The Twelve Tables (more like a bill of rights crossed with the Code of Hummarabi) 449 BCE  Justinian’s Code (Corpus Juris Civilus) 530 CE –Basis or European Law (civil and criminal) –Codex of evolving Roman Law Hadrian, Trajan, Augustus Lost and Recovered in 1070 CE spurring the Gregorian Reforms by the Catholic Church

34 The Enemies Within: Family Values, Christianity and the Catholic Church Honistores, Humiliores and Slaves

35 The Beginning of the End of Patrimony – Changes in Marriage and Divorce Laws Changes under Trajan and Hadrian Pater Familias – The Absolute Power of the Male Head of Household Power over life and death of children and over wife as a daughter Wives not sequestered as in Greece/ Role as homemaker/entertainer Limited Political Roles Origins of the Nuclear Family

36 Changes in Family Dynamics 179-400 BCE Marriage expanded to the idea of affection and attraction as basis Inheritance laws liberalized to allow women to inherit husband’s estate Children not subject to arbitrary infanticide The rise of a “tyranny of the children?” –Did Rome decline because of spoiled children gone soft?

37 Christians and Rome

38 The Roman Production of Martyrs Crucifixion of Peter Third Servile War Jesus of Nazareth

39 Growth of the Christian Church in Rome, 180-284 CE The Stoics –philosophy as a kind of practice or exercise (askêsis) in the expertise concerning what is beneficial (Aetius, 26A) –only the sage is free while all others are slaves –emotions like fear or envy (or impassioned sexual attachments, or passionate love of anything whatsoever) either were, or arose from, false judgments The decline of Rome and the rise of new philosophies/religions: Neo-Platonism; Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity –Plotinus, Plocus and the end of Stoicism –Gnosticism, Manicheism

40 Early Christian Women And he took me unto another pit, and I stooped and looked and saw mire and worms welling up, and souls wallowing there, and a great gnashing of teeth was heard thence from them. And that man said unto me: These are the souls of women which forsook their husbands and committed adultery with others, and are brought into this torment. Another pit he showed me whereinto I stooped and looked and saw souls hanging, some by the tongue, some by the hair, some by the hands, and some head downward by the feet, and tormented (smoked) with smoke and brimstone; concerning whom that man that was with me answered me: The souls which are hanged by the tongue are slanderers, that uttered lying and shameful words, and were not ashamed, and they that are hanged by the hair are unblushing ones which had no modesty and went about in the world bareheaded (γυμνοκεφαλοι). –Gospel of Thomas

41 The Founding of the Catholic Church 313 CE: Edict of Milan: Rome neutral toward religion 325 CE: Council of Nicea February 27, 380 CE: Theodosius declares the Catholic Church the official church of Rome 382 CE: Pope Damascus I sets the Canon of the Bible 395 CEAugustine elevated to Bishop of Hippo

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