The roman republic and empire roman vs. Greek values, beliefs



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THE ROMAN REPUBLIC AND EMPIRE




Roman vs. Greek values, beliefs


Romans: Concerned with real world, what is, not what could be or should be; Greeks concerned with ideal situations. Doryphoros (Text, p. 202) vs. Hadrian’s bust (head and shoulders, text, p. 297, or picture of Pompey, put on overhead). Romans’ realism in busts, even of emperors, include warts and wrinkles. Romans build roads, bridges, aqueducts; Greeks build philosophical systems, discuss poetry. Rome: Land power, struggles shaped character, loyalty to home, family, no mercy to vanquished, willing to kill or be killed, endurance, discipline, being practical necessary for battlefield success, etc.
Greeks create; Romans happy to copy, better at portraits, historical narrative. “Does it do what it is supposed to do?” vs. “Is it beautiful?” Romans good at problem solving, engineering.
Greek education, more balanced than Roman, emphasized imagination, creativity, higher level philosophy and math. Develop whole person/man ideal. Sports part of balance, strong body and mind ideal.

Rome: learn 3R’s to be better citizen. Conformity, obedience, less educated even ideally, obey elders, and state, have endurance devotion.


Greek Olympiads: honor, truce from war, grace/how done, not just speed, winning, fair play requirement.

Roman spectacles: mass entertainment, crudeness, brutality, effective, perfuming done event, gifts handed out, Coloseum seated 50,000. Rome’s population 1.2 million 2nd century A.D.


Cincinnatus (c. 519-439 b.c.): Roman general, statesman. Model of patriotism, loyalty to Rome. Modesty, gave up power voluntarily. Senate in 458 b.c. gave him power to run army in order to save another Roman army. 439 b.c., got absolute power from Senate, but kept it only 21 days. Went back to plowing!


T.R. Glover, classicist: “Rome is famed for its drains; Greece for its brains.”
Vergil: “Captive Greece had begun to take her rude conqueror captive.” Like Mongols and Manchus in China.
Cato the Elder: Never kissed wife but during thunder. Felt slaves mere machines, treated them cruely, get rid of when useless and old. Yet never struck wife or son. Tutored own son. Lived and ate on own farm. Wrote De Agricultura, practical book on farming.

Incorruptible: Took no bribes, didn’t use office or military victories to become rich. As censor in 184 b.c., demoted senators, knights for morals; cut public water pipes going to private homes. Contracts put out at lowest prices, collected maximum taxes.

Opposed luxury, cultivation of arts, extravagance; emphasized simplicity. Valued the ability to endure hardship, honesty, courage, strict sexual morality, loyalty to Rome.

Sumptuary law against luxury: 30% tax on clothing, jewelry, furniture, dishes/plates over $6,000 to $12,000 in today’s prices.

Hated Greek culture, wanted laws against Greek philosophers visiting Rome. Says it undermines sturdy Republican morals.

Imperialistic: Wanted to promote Rome’s glory, greatness, end justifies means. “Carthage must be destroyed.”


Etruscans: We can’t read their writing well. Main knowledge of from tombs, text, p. 283 example. Civilized Romans. Non-indo-European language. Herodotus said from Lydia in W. Turkey/Asia Minor. Art, religious practices eastern—Divination using animals’ livers, Romans pickup. Romans dislike their luxurious living, elaborate tombs, high position of their women (carvings of them drinking with men).

Like Sumeria, Mycenaeans, had strong independent city-states in 8th century b.c. Each city independent, like Greeks, why weak ultimately, despite high level of culture. Fairly equal treatment of women, it seems. In 7th-6th century took Rome. Had a powerful navy (like which Greek city-state? (Athens)), unlike Rome, like Carthage.

Tyrrhenian Sea (part of Mediterranean Sea) named for their legend. Lydian king’s son, Tyrrhenus, leads migration.

Civilized Romans: Lictors, Triumphs, augurs, Roman alphabet, arch, triads of gods, temple design. Emperor Claudius: wrote 20 books on.


Legendary Founding (text, p. 233): Romulus and Remus, sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia, daughter of King Numitor. Amulius, evil great uncle, had twins put in basket in Tiber River. Rescued by wolf, killed Amulius as adults, restored Numitor to throne. Romulus killed Remus (too light-hearted) for ridiculing the building of Rome’s walls. Romulus raised army, supplied with Sabine wives (mass rape). 753 b.c. date of founding, basis for chronology, A.U.C., “from the founding of the city.”
Virgil, Aenid: Aeneas (Uh/NEE/us) founder, Rome founded by Trojans in exile (notice anti-Greek aspect), fleeing Troy’s fall, lead by Aeneas. Duty to press onwards after stop (by storm forcing them) in Carthage. Met Quen Diedo (DI-do), she falls in love with him. Aeneas rejects her, feels he has to do his duty, she kills herself because of unrequited love. He sails on to Sicily, Tiber’s banks.
2nd century b.c.: Italy had 1,000,000 Roman citizens, 4 million Italians, 1,000,000 slaves.
75,000 slaves taken in 1st (264-241 b.c.) and 2nd (218-202 b.c.) Punic Wars. 100,000’s taken in 2nd century. b.c. Rome won: key result: Medieval Europe had a Indo-European culture, not Semitic.
“Bread and circuses,” the Republic’s decline. Dole of grain to Rome’s poor. Gaius Grachus’s innovation (subsidized price). Money up, duty down, corruption up, old total authority of the father down. Would judge some of the rich guilty, took their property, for that reason alone.

Verres, governor of Sicily, example: Boasted his objective was to make three fortunes, one to pay off debts, one with which to bribe the jurors in Rome, and one to keep.

Roman public, no taste for tragedy, only crudest comedies, stock plots, same 5 characters.



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