FIND in
<--prev V306 next-->
From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Was Rome Worth the Trouble?
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 12:45:37 +1000

Crush writes: [Some good stuff] ..

FWIW, I've been quickly brushing up on Roman "history" from the period, such
as it is. The main themes are struggles between the plebs and patricians
over agrarian reform and debt forgiveness, and conflict with the Etruscan
etc neighbors.

A context for Lucius & his comrades and what they would be doing so far
afield should be in here somewhere. Maybe something to do with the aftermath
of Coriolanus (about 490), who Livy thinks was exiled rather than executed
by the disappointed Volscians he commanded (as Plutarch says). Coriolanus =
Gnaeus Marcius, so not quite the "Marcus" whose death Latro laments in Ch
24, unfortunately. (The other name he mentions, "Umeri", doesn't look Roman
at all.)

Latro's vision of his home, with his aged father plowing the fields, doesn't
suggest a very patrician background, but on the other hand, he has a
patrician kind of name in Lucius (Lucius Brutus = foiunder of the republic,
in 509), so perhaps we are to think of an exiled patrician family in reduced
circumstances? And Latro & comrades taking up the mercenary profession
because there's not much else to do? Dunno.

Anyway, the picture painted in Livy is one of constant petty wars with
neighbors, and a very martial society. It sounds like Pausanias' description
of Greece in Mist - every little village sending its army out against its
neighbor - and I guess we're supposed to draw parallels between Sparta and
Rome. Pausanias thinks Sparta is destined to gather these villages into a
united state & lead it, but this was Rome's destiny. Pausanias is in the
process of being corrupted by looted Persian wealth, away from his Spartan
simplicity, in the same way the looted wealth of the east would corrupt
Rome. And so on.


<--prev V306 next-->