A Companion to Roman Imperialism by Dexter Hoyos

By Dexter Hoyos

A spouse to Roman Imperialism , written by means of a individual physique of students, explores Romes upward push to empire, and its mammoth old influence on her topic peoples and, both momentous, at the Romans themselves, an impression nonetheless felt at the present time.

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A phenomenon of even greater interest was the incipient incorporation of the toga-wearing peoples (gentes togatae) into Rome. The unfriendly Italici of the Central Highlands were compelled to be Roman citizens without political rights (municipes sine suffragio), subject to confiscations and the plantation of Roman settlers and Latin colonies in their midst. And yet there was a glimmer of hope for the future, not only in a stable free-trade area, but in voting rights at Rome being conferred on peoples non-Latin by ethnicity and language.

The juncture held both opportunity and serious risk for Rome. The integration of Rome and Capua, two regional nuclei, would have pan-Italian the genesis of roman imperialism 29 implications. Not that Roman control of Italy was any more inevitable than Germany’s unification in the nineteenth century entailed German control of Europe. Although the immediate need was Capua’s and not vice versa, such a connection might swallow Rome up in an entity too large to be controlled. But leaving Capua to the Samnites was an even greater risk.

Rome undercut would-be overseas protectors of the Greeks by generous terms of alliance with Naples, a paradigm-case for her standing with the Greeks. Over two hundred years later some in Naples preferred their old treaty to Roman citizenship itself. A diplomatic reversal in Lucania removed all grounds for hostility between Tarentum and Rome for two generations: only in 280 did Pyrrhus, last of the Greek condottieri in Italy, challenge Rome and then Carthage to be protector of the western Greeks.

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