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A History of Rome to 565 A. D. by Boak

Unlike the Roman cives sine suffragio


*Rome

and Italy.* But although Italy was united under the Roman hegemony it by no means formed a single state. Rather it was an agglomerate of many states and many peoples, speaking different tongues and having different political institutions. The largest single element, however, was formed by the Roman citizens. These were to be found not only in the city of Rome and its immediate neighborhood, but also settled in the rural tribal districts (35 in number after 241) organized on conquered territory throughout the peninsula. In addition, groups of 300 citizens had been settled in various harbor towns as a sort of resident garrison to protect Roman interests. In all, down to 183 B. C., 22 of these maritime colonies were established, whose members in view of their special duties were excused from active service with the Roman legions. All these were full Roman citizens, but there were others who, while enjoying the private rights of Roman citizenship, lacked the right to vote or to hold office (_cives sine suffragio_). Such were the inhabitants of most of the old Latin communities and some others which had been absorbed in the Roman state. Such communities were called _municipia_ (municipalities). Some of these were permitted to retain their own magistrates and city organization: others lacked this privilege of local autonomy. Of the former class, Gabii, conquered during the monarchy, is said to have been the prototype. This municipal system had the advantage of providing for local administration
and at the same time reconciling the conquered city to the loss of its freedom. It was a distinctly Roman institution, and shows the wisdom of the early Roman statesmen who thus marked out the way for the complete absorption of the vanquished into the Roman citizen body, which was thus strengthened to meet its continually increasing military burdens. By 265, the Roman territory in Italy had an area of about 10,000 square miles. It extended along the west coast from the neighborhood of Caere southwards to the southern border of Campania, and from the latitude of Rome it stretched northeastwards through the territory of the Sabini to the Adriatic coast, where the lands of the Picentes and the Senones had been incorporated in the _ager Romanus_.

*The Latin colonies.* Of the non-Romans in Italy the people most closely bound to Rome by ties of blood and common interests were the Latin allies. Outside the few old Latin cities, that had not been absorbed by Rome in 338, these were the inhabitants of the Latin colonies, of which thirty-five were founded on Italian soil. Prior to the destruction of the Latin League seven of these colonies had been established, whose settlers had been drawn half from the Latin cities and half from Rome. After 338, these colonies remained in alliance with Rome, and those subsequently founded received the same status. But for these the colonists were all supplied by Rome. These colonists had to surrender their Roman citizenship and become Latins, but if any one of them left a son of military age in his place he had the right to return to Rome. Each colony had its own administration, usually modelled upon that of Rome, and enjoyed the rights of _commercium_ and _connubium_ both with Rome and with the other Latin colonies. These settlements were towns of considerable size, having 2,500, 4,000 or 6,000 colonists, each of whom received a grant of 30 or 50 _iugera_ (20 or 34 acres) of land. Founded at strategic points on conquered territory, they formed one of the strongest supports of the Roman authority: at the same time colonization of this character served to relieve over-population and satisfy land-hunger in Rome and Latium. In all their internal affairs the Latin cities were sovereign communities, possessing, in addition to their own laws and magistrates, the rights of coinage and census. Their inhabitants constituted the _nomen Latinum_, and, unlike the Roman _cives sine suffragio_, did not serve in the Roman legions but formed separate detachments of horse and foot.


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