Roman Power and Influence: From Pompeii to Gaul
This article explores the expansion of Roman power and influence from Pompeii in Italy to Gaul in middle Europe. It describes the renovations and additions made to Pompeii, the siege by Sulla, and the town’s transformation into a Roman colonia. It also discusses the dominance of Latin, the decline of local languages, and professional grammarians who developed pure Latin. The article explains the influence of Roman history on Niccolò Machiavelli’s political theories and the significance of events like the killing of Tiberius Gracchus and Rome’s expansion in the East. Finally, it explores the incorporation of Gaul into the Roman empire and the geographical and societal developments in middle Europe.
Table of Contents:
- The Transformation of Pompeii into a Roman Colonia
- Latin Dominance and Professional Grammarians
- The Significance of Roman History on Niccolò Machiavelli’s Political Theories
- Rome’s Expansion in the East
- Gaul’s Incorporation into the Roman Empire and Developments in Middle Europe
The Transformation of Pompeii into a Roman Colonia
- What were the renovations and additions made to Pompeii? Wealthy gifts and luxuries from Rome allowed Pompeii to undergo significant renovations and additions, including the construction of a temple of Apollo and the prominent “House of the Faun” owned by a wealthy family.
- How did Pompeii become a Roman colony? After joining the rebels during the Social War, Pompeii endured a siege by Sulla in 89 BC. Sulla later settled ex-soldiers in Pompeii, causing tension with the original inhabitants. In 80 BC, Pompeii officially became a Roman colonia, with Latin becoming the official language and Oscan declining.
Latin Dominance and Professional Grammarians
- How did Latin become the official language of Italy? After Pompeii became a Roman colony, Latin became the official language of Italy without any official policy to stamp out local languages or cultural diversity.
- What was the role of professional grammarians in developing Latin? Professional grammarians developed a pure form of Latin, with the goal of creating a standardized language devoid of regional variations and vulgar expressions. Local languages gradually declined as Latin became the dominant language.
The Significance of Roman History on Niccolò Machiavelli’s Political Theories
- How did Roman history influence Niccolò Machiavelli’s political theories? Niccolò Machiavelli drew upon lessons from Roman history in his works, The Prince and Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy, to explore both autocracy and republicanism. He studied the actions of individual politicians in the context of their justifications based on the past.
- What were some of the important events in Roman history that shaped Machiavelli’s theories? The killing of Tiberius Gracchus and Rome’s expansion in the East, particularly in Asia Minor, were among the important events that shaped Machiavelli’s political theories.
Rome’s Expansion in the East
- What led to Rome’s annexation of the Hellenistic kingdom of Seleucids, Syria, and Judaea? Allegations claiming that Tiberius Gracchus had accepted royal attire from the Attalid kingdom were made following the bequeathment of the kingdom to Rome in 133 BC. This led to further expansion of Roman interests in the East, including action against Cilician pirates and Mithradates Eupator’s kingdom on the north coast of Asia Minor. Ultimately, Rome defeated Mithradates and annexed the Hellenistic kingdom of Seleucids, Syria, and Judaea, cementing its dominance in the East.
- How was Mithradates seen by the Greeks of Asia? Mithradates presented himself as a liberator fighting for the freedom of the Greeks of Asia, drawing upon both Persian and Greek heritage.
Gaul’s Incorporation into the Roman Empire and Developments in Middle Europe
- What was the significance of Julius Caesar’s Gallic campaigns? Julius Caesar’s Gallic campaigns were phenomenally successful, leading to the incorporation of Gaul and the beginning of a fundamental shift northwards in the balance of the Roman empire.
- How did the inhabitants of the new Roman province in southern France adapt to the new Roman order? The Celts in the new province lived in nucleated hilltop settlements that were modest in size and protected by stone ramparts. The inhabitants appeared to have learned about urban life from the Greek town of Massilia, adapting readily to the new Roman order.
Roman power and influence spread from Pompeii in Italy to Gaul in middle Europe. Along the way, significant developments occurred, including the transformation of Pompeii into a Roman colonia, the dominance of Latin and the professional development of pure Latin, the influence of Roman history on Niccolò Machiavelli’s political theories, and Rome’s expansion in the East. Julius Caesar’s Gallic campaigns were phenomenally successful, leading to the incorporation of Gaul and the beginning of a fundamental shift northwards in the balance of the Roman empire. The Celts in the new province of southern France adapted readily to the new Roman order, and geographical and societal developments occurred in middle Europe.