Treatment of Outlying Latium Towns During Roman Rule
Latium is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil on which resided the tribe of the Latins or Latians.Wikipedia
Why was the treatment of the outlying Latium towns so important to the Roman government?
A Treaty of Alliance
Latium, an area in the ancient Italy region, shared many connections with Rome throughout their history. Before the Etruscans’ withdrawal, the Etruscan civilization influenced both civilizations of Latium and Rome. After a series of events, in 358 BC, they entered a treaty of alliance for equality. Each party, in turn, nominated a dictator for their league.
But as Rome’s strength grew, a war led to the dissolution of the partnership 01.
In Morey’s words (1901), “the chief result of the great Latin war was the breaking up of the Latin confederacy, and the adoption of a more efficient method of governing the Latin towns.”
Rome noticed the danger of dealing with Latin towns united as a league that was repeatedly revolting. So they decided to introduce a policy of isolation and treated each city individually. Since not all Latin cities were equally qualified to gain Roman citizenship, the isolation policy was useful to grant citizenship and treat cities differently 02.
Different Citizenship Types
Many Latium towns fully incorporated into Rome and got full citizenship, which included all the rights such as the right to trade, vote, hold public office, or intermarry roman citizens 02.
However, most Latium towns were only partly incorporated. They received the Latin right, partial citizenship, which excluded the right to hold a public office or vote 02.
But, some Latium towns were not incorporated with Rome at all. Dependent allies, as Rome called them, these cities could keep their local government. However, they had to cede their public lands to Rome while also agreeing to support during war times 02.
According to Morey (1901), The isolation policy and different incorporation types cemented the Latin cities to Rome. It was the beginning of a critical system, which developed in Italy’s subsequent organization and of the Mediterranean world 02.
Hence, Hence treatment of outlying Latium towns during Roman rule became an interesting milestone in Rome’s civilization.
- Latium. Encyclopædia Britannica by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (May 11, 2009).
- Outlines of Roman history. Forum Romanum by Morey, W. C. (1901).
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