The Roman Republic, Empire And It's Fall

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by StuBoy, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Don't want to derail the Ivic thread with Roman Empire chat, so decided to create a new independent thread if any one is interested. I'm looking at you @Smudger @Since63 ...

    I'm currently reading (and almost done with) Rome: A History in Seven Sackings by Matthew Kneale, which I have found very interesting. Planning on moving onto the Fate of Rome next as per Smudger's recommendation. I also must try and finish reading Meditation by Marcus Aurelius, but I have to be in the right mood for that one.

    I used to be really into the fall of the Republic and early Empire, but recently have started getting a fascination with the fall of the Empire (starting from the crisis of the third century), and how Rome itself as a city went from 1 million inhabitants down to only 20,000 in a few centuries. I'm particularly interested in the disabitato areas of Rome and how it fell into ruin.

    In terms of Emperors, Julian the Apostate is someone who I find very interesting; however, I'll always have a soft spot for Gaius Octavius or Augustus as everyone knows him as!
     
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  2. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Yes, Octavius, the parvenu of all parvenus. The master of spin; "primus inter pares" & all that.
    Were the Gracchi heroes or villains? Was Sulla a blood-crazed old dinosaur? Was assassinating Julius Caesar the worst thing the "defenders of res publica" could possibly have done? Was calling Pompeius "Magnus" actually a piece of satire?

    I assume you've read Syme's "Roman Revolution"?

    As time went on, to what extent could Africa be viewed as the most important part of the Empire?
     
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  3. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

  4. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Fair comment.
     
  5. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    No I haven't read that but will add it to the list.

    Regarding Africa, are you referring to any part in particular or basically the whole northern coastline? This is like getting an exam question...I'd say as long as the grain was following, then it could be viewed as one of the most important parts of the empire. That's just the very short answer though. There were certainly a lot of issues when the Vandals took over the Carthage area in the 400's and stopped shipments.
     
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  6. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Exactly the point...the disruption of the wealth flow from North Africa caused by the Vandal ‘settlement’ fully demonstrates the vital nature of its resources. And good old Septimius Severus was from there; maybe the last of the ‘good emperors’ after the interlude of Commodus.
     
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  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There is this theory in a book I read a long while ago as a young adult. Sadly I cannot remember the title as it was a University library book although I was studying various sciences( I was asked by Mr.Allchorn at the old alma mater to study History at uni instead). How the disruption of north to south shipments of what used to be our lake heavily disrupted the economy of the entire Empire and that the failure to maintain the fleets at Tarentum and other bases for long periods was a serious error of judgement. Majorian knew that the key to the future revival of the western Empire depended on the rich provinces of Africa. Britannia in it's various divisions was more buffered and consequently became a power base for various usurpers that led to administrative changes to try and stop the phenomenon. What we now see as a marginal habitat was plentiful in produce, minerals and exotic goods. The limes extended far inland in a far greener province from Mauretania to Egypt.

    The eastern Empire relied more on Anatolia which was also far more fertile then and the Chersonese not to mention a great deal of top notch soldiery. It's eventual loss dealt the death blow to the ERE.

    One of the sad things the Empire did and Republic was denude North Africa and the Middle East of many apex predator species. Unique races of elephant, lion, cheetah for instance. It is shocking to see the numbers killed in games across the entire Roman lands.

    I am also interested in seeing how some limitanei the poor relations of the field armies managed to carry on deep into the fourth century winning the odd success here and then despite the machinery supplying them having collapsed and the role of various senior officers in vacated provinces in repelling incursions in Britannia and Armorica. It's a very sketchy period in terms of documentation.
     
  8. K9 Hornet

    K9 Hornet Border Collie Dog

    I have a soft spot for Sulla. Barking full-on loon :)
     
  9. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    There's some good stuff here, but some posters seem to be more knowledgeable about the Roman Empire than about the use of apostrophes.

    There, that's killed it. Ignore me, I like this thread.
     
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  10. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    One of the reasons Britannia was a petri-dish for usurpers was that the number of troops stationed there relative to its area was very high, so a combination of concentrated military forces led by generals with opportunities to win ‘victories’ & distance from Rome and difficult communications, resulted in a disproportionate number being ‘called to the purple’ by their troops. Not all of the generals really wanted it, but if your army elected you, it was an offer you really could not refuse!
     
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  11. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    You said what we were all thinking.

    Should I start a thread on the basics of grammar? ;)
     
  12. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    Great thread!

    I love a bit of the Roman Empire. What a fascinating era.

    I actually did my dissertation at uni on the fall of Roman Britain, with special reference to Wroxeter and Verulamium I think it was. I can't remember what I wrote though mind you!
     
  13. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Dangerous ground, but yes please!
     
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  14. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    I would welcome discussion of the use, and abuse, of the Oxford comma.
     
  15. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    Agreed. First though, I think we will need to ask the mods to sticky the grammar thread and put a *please read* next to it.

    I would suggest that we cover the basics first, being their/there/they're and you're/your.

    The use of apostrophes would make a solid second lesson.
     
  16. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    If I might interject, surely the first aim should be to clarify the uses of ‘have’/‘of’?
     
  17. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Sounds interesting! Wish I could have done a dissertation like that. Mine was rather dull.

    I do find Roman Britain interesting. However, I’ve heard different scholars contradict themselves on the impact the Romans had on Britain. One said on a podcast I listened to the other day, that he didn’t think there was an impact at all. I strongly disagreed with that thought. Some historians think completely the opposite and the Romans had a great impact.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  18. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Romans.

    :D
     
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  19. GarethCritic

    GarethCritic Academy Graduate

    Delighted to see this thread. As a Latin teacher, I spend my days trying to pass this knowledge onto unenthusiastic teenagers, so it is great to know that some people are interested in it.
    I also do grammar, lots of grammar.
     
  20. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    "Roman's"?! Sheesh...
     
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  21. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    Great point. That seems to be the most consistent abuse of grammar on here. It makes my eyes water.
     
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  22. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    As a starter for 10 on all things Roman, I found the History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan extremely interesting. It took me about 6 months to listen to all the episodes though. Starting point is the foundation of Rome, with it ending in 476AD.
     
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  23. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    haha is there a fishing emoji? If so I caught one! I shall edit it though to avoid further wrath!
     
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  24. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    You have, at least, somewhat redeemed yourself there by deployment of the underused word ‘wrath’.
     
  25. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Its all getting to much these grammer and other general error’s in this thread.

    Its lucky we have member’s so we’ll versed in the English language!
     
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  26. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    As a Latin teacher, you would! I did O Level Latin & Greek, then Latin A Level for some reason...at least Catullus & Juvenal leavened the Cicero!
     
  27. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Maybe it depends at which stratum of society you look at...amongst the native elite there was certainly a high level of Romanisation as that was how they governed the empire...co-opt the interests of the empire into the interests of the local elites. Below that there may have been little real impact.
     
  28. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    What was your dissertation on?

    I'm surprised by that. I would have thought that the imapct the Romans had on Britain was pretty irrefutable. In terms of the ruling classes and general infrastructure, I'd say there is oberwhelming evidence.
     
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  29. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett First Year Pro

    It was amazing . I learnt at skool about the Romans and under floor heating , their roads etc etc
    and then we seemed to go backwards for centuries.
     
  30. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    This is very true. Once the Romans departed in or around 410, there is evidence that the elite or Romano-British tried, in vain, to maintain their Roman way of life.

    What I did find interesting, is the thought that in the 300’s when the Empire in general was struggling economically, Roman Britain was actually thriving.
     
  31. GarethCritic

    GarethCritic Academy Graduate

    I wonder whether the emphasis on Roman influence is the result of a modern identification with Empire during the nineteenth century?

    Dare I suggest that Boris' book on the Romans offers the establishment view of the Roman Empire? I am not recommending it except as an insight into the manipulation of history towards contemporary political concerns...
     
  32. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I’m no student of this at all, but is it right to say “the Romans departed in or around 410”? My understanding was that, long before that time, the Romans shouldn’t be considered as though they were an occupying force but that they and their culture were greatly integrated into the British population and that many generations had been born and raised here.
     
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  33. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie



    Sorry, needed posting.
     
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  34. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    The 410 date alludes to when after the last withdrawal of Roman troops had occurred in 406 by the usurper Constantine III, completing the process started by Magnus Maximus in 383, the Romano-British elites appealed to Emperor Honorius for help, to be told to look to their own defence. From that time Britannia fell out of any form of ‘Roman’ control & became subject to the rule of local Romano-British elites, who were themselves the result of almost total absorption of the original Celtic tribal aristocracies into the Roman system. Below that level & that of the urban elites below them there may not have been that much Romanisation....the peasants still paid their dues to their lords.
    Whatever, without the legions & the continuing (if weaker) common purpose they provided, these local leaders were unable to permanently withstand the increasing size & ferocity of the Germanic peoples, who eventually gained control of most of what is now England, and also Lothian & the South-East lowlands of what is now Scotland.
     
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  35. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Yet for all their engineering & technical ability, they had no symbol for ‘zero’ and their numeral system was extremely inflexible. These aspects limited further technical advances in many areas.
     
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