Roman Imperialism During The Great Latin War Essay

Roman Imperialism During The Great Latin War Essay

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Roman Imperialism
I feel we’ve only touched on Greece’s achievements, and now it’s off to Rome! It took me a while to figure out what this week’s Discussion Post question was asking and then I saw the answer at the end of chapter ten, in William Morey’s Outlines of Roman History. What he calls, “the pacification of Latium” (1901, p. 45).
Historical Background
Following the end of the Great Latin War (340-338 BCE), Latium came under the control of Rome. Unlike Greece’s approach to the subjugated, described by Steven Kries as one that “…sought to demolish the social institutions of conquered lands and to replace them with Greek institutions,” (2009, para. 15), Rome took a different approach, one that allowed the people Rome conquered to keep their culture and language. Cities and towns were allowed to keep their administrative structures. This allowed the populace to maintain some sense of self-leadership and their history. This is the subtle start of Roman Imperialism, a policy of assimilation into the Roman “Cosmopolis” (2009).
Rome dismantled the Latin confederacy by isolating each city from other Latium cities. Individually, each city was forced into a treaty with Rome, and were not allowed to enter into alliances with others, thus loosing autonomy. Rome furthered their policy of isolationism by disallowing intermarriage between Latin cities. Some Latin cities were fully incorporated into the Roman state. Citizens received the right to vote, hold public office, intermarry with Romans, and trade. (UNRV History, n.d.).
Morey suggest that most other Latin cities were only partly incorporated. They could trade and intermarry with Romans (what became known as the “Latin Right”), but could not vote or hold public office. In cities le...

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...e with a placated population.
Part of the Roman Cosmopolis, post 338 BCE

Map image with overlay (Ahenobarbus, 2013).
I feel the Rome’s success in managing Latium cities/towns was a result of what Rome had learned and achieved in the previous 170 years during its own struggle between the Patricians and the Plebeians. After repeated Plebeian uprisings, Rome’s aristocracy, the Patricians realized the benefit of partnering and doing so in a manner that allowed them to hold onto most of the cards in the preverbal deck.
One example is the Roman right to intermarry, that was granted to the Latiums. Once a contention between the Patricians and the Plebeians, Rome had acquiesced on the issue in 445 BCE. One hundred years later, this was probably a no brainer. Get Latium citizens to marry Romans makes for a wider, friendlier family, one with family obligations.

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