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HISTORY OF ROME



A HISTORY OF ROME



TO THE DEATH OF C/ESAR



W. W. HpW, M.A.

FELLOW AND TUTOR OI'mEKTON COLLEGE, OXFORD



H. D. LEIGH, M.A.

FELLOW ANU TUTOH OK CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEciK, OXFORD




contohniate. drbs koma. and wolf with twuo
NE W IMPRESSION

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

NEW YORK AND BOMBAY

1901



All rights reserved



PREFACE

In writing this short history of Rome the authors' have
endeavoured to meet the requirements of the upper forms in
schools and of the pass examinations at the Universities.
With this object in view they have dwelt at some length on
the more important and eventful wars, and on the history of
the Roman army. Literature, which never at Rome reached
the heart of the people, they have designedly omitted. A
mere outline, which is all that space would allow, would have
been worse than useless, since it might have led to the neglect
of the separate histories of the subject. On the other hand
they have attempted to describe clearly, if briefly, the de-
velopment of a constitution, interesting to Englishmen both
from its likeness and its unlikeness to that of their own
country. In so doing they have derived assistance from the
researches of many scholars, both at home and abroad ; but
their deepest debt is due to the master of all modern his-
torians of Rome, Professor Mommsen. On constitutional
and antiquarian questions they have bowed to his paramount
authority, and even from his somewhat sweeping judgments
of parties and person:? they have never dissented without
hesitation. Like other Oxford students they owe much to
the lectures and articles of Professor Pelham ; they have also
drawn upon Mr. Warde Prowler's works, and Mr. Strachan
Davidson's Cicero and Polybius. From the latter, through
the kindness of the Clarendon Press, they have been allowed



viii PREFA CE

to take a plan of Cannae ; for other maps and plans they are
indebted to Kraner's " Ccesar," to Mr. R. Bosworth Smith, and
to Mr. R. F. Horton, who has been good enough to permit
them to revise the useful series appended to his History of the
Romans. It is needless to say that they are intended not to
supersede but only to supplement the classical atlas.

For the insertion of numerous illustrations the authors
have to thank Messrs. Longmans; for their selection they are
indebted to Mr. Cecil Smith of the British Museum. They
are in all cases derived from authentic archaeological sources,
and have been taken, so far as possible, from well-known and
accessible collections, above all from the British Museum. In
the list which follows references have been given to standard
works. The authors are not without hope that even scholars
and teachers not primarily interested in history may welcome
the appearance of trustworthy copies from many among the
coins and inscriptions which illustrate the art, language, and
writing of the Romans in the days of the Republic.

The authors have as a rule adopted modern improvements
in the spelling of Latin, but in accordance with English
custom they have retained the familiar forms of well-known
names, such as Pompey and Catiline, and in the Index
they have sacrificed scientific accuracy to convenience of
reference.



Oxford,

April 1896.



CONTENTS



CHAP. PAGE
I. THE LAND OF ITALY ...,....!

IL PEOPLES OK ITALY II

III. THE LEGENDS Ol' THE KLN'OS 20

IV. THE REGAL PERIOD 34

V. THE INSTITUTIONS OK THE NEW REPUBLIC ... 47

VI. THE FIRST STRUGGLES OK IHIC PLEBEIANS ... $2

VIL EARLY WARS AND ALLIANCES OK THE REI'UBLIC . . 58

VIII. THE DECEMVIRATE 65

IX. PROGRESS OF THE PLEBEIANS 72

X. W^ARS FROM THE DECEMVIRATE TO THE FALL OF VEII . 77

XI. THE GAULS 84

XII. THE LICINIAN LAWS AND THE E(jUALISATION OF THE

ORDERS 91

XIIL THE SUBJUGATION OF LATIUM AM) CAMPANIA . . 97

XIV. THE SECOND SAMNITE WAR I05

XV. THE CONQUEST OF THE ITALIANS II4

XVL THE WAR WITH TARENTUM AND PYKRHUS . . . I20

XVII. THE POSITION AND RESOURCES OF ROME AND CARTHAIJE IJI

XVIII. THE FIRST PUNIC WAR I49

XIX. THE EXTENSION OK ITALY TO ITS NATURAL BOUNDARIES 162

XX. HAMILCAR AND HANNIBAL 169

XXL THE SECOND PUNIC WAR UP TO THE BATTLE OF CANNA; 1 74

XXII. THE SECOND PUNIC WAR FROM CANN^ TO ZAMA . . I99

XXIII. FIFTY YEARS OF CONQUEST — THE WARS IN THE WEST . 234

XXIV. FIFTY YEARS OF CONQUEST — AFRICA .... 245
XXV. FIFTY YEARS OF CONQUEST^THE EASTERN STATES AND

THE SECOND MACEDONIAN WAR 253

XXVI. FIFTY YEARS OF CONQUEST — THE WAR WITH ANTIOCHUS 265

XXVII. FIFTY YEARS OF CONQUEST — ^THE FALL OF MACEDON AND

GREECE 273

ix



COyTEiYTS



CHAr.

XXVIIl.



XXXI.
XXXII.

XXXIII.
XXXIV.
XXXV.

XXXVI.

XXXVII.

XXXVIII.

XXXIX.

XL.

XLI.

XLII.

XLIII.

XLIV.

XLV.

XLVI.

XLVIl.

XLVIII.

XLIX.

I,.

LI.

LII.



INTERNAL HISTORY (266-I46 H.l . ;— RKLUJIOUS ANIJ CON-
.STITUTIONAI

INTERNAL HISTORY (266-I46 B.C.) — I'OLITICS AND AI>-
MINISTRATION

INTERNAL HISTORY (266-146 B.C.) — SOCIAL AND ECO-
NOMIC PROBLEMS

CAUSES OF THE FALL OF THE REPUBLIC

FOREIGN AND PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS (I46-I29 B.C.)

INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND TIBERIUS GRACCHUS (133 B.C.)

i;AIUS GRACCHUS

THE RESTORED OLIGARCHY AND THE WAR WITH
JUGURTHA

THE WARS IN THE NORTH

SATURNINUS, MARIUS, AND THEIR TIMES

THE LAWS OF DRUSUS ....

THE SOCIAL WAR

SULPICIUS, MARIUS, AND SULLA (8S B.C.)

THE FIRST MITHRADATIC WAR

THE CINNAN REVOLUTION AND THE CIVIL WAR

THE PROSCRIPTIONS AND THE NEW DICTATORSHIP

THE CONSTITUTION OF SULLA.

THE RULE OF THE SULLAN RESTORATION

THE WARS WITH THE PIRATES AND MITHKADAJ
POMPEY IN THE EAST ....

CICERO AND CATILINE

THE FORMATION OF THE FIRSl TRIUMVIRATE

THE CONQUEST OF GAUI

THE RULE OF THE TRIUMNIRATE AND ITS DISSOLUI

THE CIVIL WAR

THE RULE OF C/ESAR ....



APPENDIX I. — ASSEMBLIES AT ROME ....
APPENDIX II. — LIST OF THE MOST IMPORTANT" ROMAN
OF REPUBLICAN TIMES



INDEX



rioN



287



316
322
326

343

357
371
384
394
399
412
419
434
445
449
460

471
484
496

503
S16
526
539

553

555

557



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



Kiruacan Temple and Altar, re.sturcil (Semper, Der Slil, plate xiii.)

Frontispiece

Contorniate — Urbs Roma, ami Wulf with Twins (Sabalier, plate 14A)

Title-page
View of the Cami)agua, with Atjueduct .....
Model of a Primitive Etruscan House (Baumei.sler, tig. 146)
Wall and Gateway of Perugia, showing Etruscan Work .
Contorniate. .Eneas leaving Troy — Head of Trajan (Sabatier, plate

14-10)

Wolf with Romulus and Remus. Bronze in the Palace of the Con

servatori at Rome ........

Denarius of First Century B.C. — Titus Talius and the Rape of the

Sabines (Babelon, ii. 496, 7) ..... .

Wall of Servius Tullius (Baumeisttr, fig. 1591)

Roman Coin after 268 B.C. — Head of Rome ; Castor and l'ullu>

(Head, Coins of the Ancients, plate 44. 2) ...

Ficus Ruminalis, with Picus and Parra ; Urbs Ruma ; and Wolf

suckling Twins (Rom. Mitth., i. plate i, 1886) .
Wall on the Aventine (Parker, Historical Photographs of Rome)
Cloaca Maxima .........

(iround-Plan and Elevation of the Teni[)le of Vesta, restoretl

(Jordan, Tempel der Vesta, plate 4) .
Sella Curulis and Fasces (Menard, La Vie Privee des Aucien>, i. 482,
Etruscan Helmet (Dennis, Etruria, vol. ii. p. 103) .
Suovetaurilia. Sacrifice after the Numbering of the People (P

Bouillon, Musee des Antiques, tom. ii. 98)
Etruscan Helmet dedicated by Hiero I. after his Victory in 474 1;. 1;

(British Museum, Etruscan Saloon, c. 93) ...

Etruscan Terra-Cotta Sarcophagus from Clusium (British Museum)
Faliscan Vase in the British Museum, 4 feet 3 inches in height .
The Libral As {M.% Grave). From a Cast in the British Museum



10
14



-J

27



36
39
41

43
49
63

75

78
83
89
93



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

lAt.E

Romano-Campanian Coin, 338-317 B.C. (Head, op. cil., jilate 33. 5) 105
ChimEEra. Etruscan Bronze in iho ArchEcological Museum al

Florence. . . . . . . . . . -113

Tomb of L. Cornelius Scipio BarbaUis, now in the Vatican (Baunieister,

fig. 1621) 117

Faliscan Vase in the British Museum 121

Tetradrachm of Pyrrhus struck in Italy — Head of Zeus of Dodona,

and the Goddess Dione (Head, op. cit., plate 46. 27) . .127

King in Cliariot. Terra-Cotta of Punic Workmanship (Heuzey,
Les Figurines Antiques de Terre Cuite du Musee de Louvre,

plate V.) 132

Plan of Roman Camp (Seyfifert-Sandys, 117) 140

The Smaller Cisterns at Carthage (Bosworth Smith, Carthage) . 144

Siculo-Punic Tetradrachm — Head of Persephone, with Dolphins,

copied from Syracuse (Head, op. cit., plate 35. 38) , . . 145
Siculo-Punic Tetradrachm — Head of Persephone, with Dolphins,

copied from Syracuse (Head, op. cit., plate 35. 37) . . . 147

Siculo-Punic Tetradrachm — Head of Herakles (Melkarth), copied

from Alexander's Coins (Head, op. cit., plate 35. 36) . .149

The Cokimna Roslrata, restored (Fougere, fig. 60S) . , .153

Epitaph of Lucius Scipio (Ritschl, plate 38) . . . . -154
Denarius struck circa 133 B.C., to commemorate Victory of Panormus

(Babelon, i. 263) 1 58

Milestone of P. Claudius Pulcher and of C. Furius, ,'luliles (C. I. L. ,

X. 6838, and Rcim. Mitth., iv. 84, 1S89) 159

Remains of the Town of Eryx (Duruy, i. 490) ..... 161
Coin struck al Carthage — Head of Persephone (Head, op. cit., plate

35-35) • • -163

Denarius of circa 45 B.C. — Marcellus and Sjiolia Opima (Bal)elon,

i- 352) 16S

Roman in Toga (Statue in the British Museum) .... 173

Tombstone of Roman Horse-Soldier from Hexham (by kind per-
mission of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-on-Tyne,

from Bruce's Roman Wall, handbook, p. 78) .... 184

The Aufidus near Cannae ........ 195

Carthaginian Helmet found at Cannte (British Museum) . . . 198

Coin of Hiero H. of Syracuse (Head, op. cit., plate 46. 31) . . 205
Bust of Scipio Africanus, in the Capitoline Museum at Rome (Bei^

nouilli, Rom. Ikon., vol. i. plate i) . . . . . .216

Panoramic View of the Peninsula of Carthage . .... 227

Carthaginian Dodecadrachm- — Head of Persephone (Head, op. cit.,

47-42) 234



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

PACK

Decree of L. ^-Emilius PauUus, I'rx'tor of l*"urther Sixiin, regulating the
Position of a S]ianish Client-Community, 1S9 R.c. (C. I. L., ii.

5041) 241

Remains of Ancient Harbours at Carthage (Bosworth Smith) . . 246

Trilingual Inscription on an Altar dedicated to the God Eshmun, by 252

Cleon, an Officer of the Salt-Revenue, circ. 150 B.C. (Cast in

the British Museum) ........ 252

Tetradrachm of Philip V. — Athena Alkis hurling I"'ulnien (Head,

op. cit., 41. 8) 259

Gold Octadrachm of Antiochus HI. — .\pollo seatetl on Onijihalfjs

(Head, op. cit., 38. 19) 266

Cippus of a Roman Marine of late date (Schreiber-.Vnderson, xliii. 20) 269

Tetradrachm of Perseus (Head, op. cit., 54. 10) .... 275

Temple and Acropolis, Corinth ....... 284

Dedicatory Inscription of L. Mummius (Ritschl, 5 1 a) . . . 286

A Roman sacrificing (Baumeister, fig. 1304) ..... 289

Letter of the Consuls to Local Magistrates, containing the .Senatus

Consultum de Bacchanalibus (Ritschl, plate iS) . . . 292

E\tispicia (.Schreiber- Anderson, plate 17. 3) . . . . . 293
Epitaph of P. Cornelius .Scipio, Flamen Dialis, (?) .Son of Africanus,

who died young (Ritschl, plate 391O ..... 301

Roman in Toga (Baumeister, fig. 191 7) ...... 307

Roman Soldiers with Scutum, of a late period (.Schreiber- Anderson,

42. 8) 314

Lamp with Circus Scene (British Museum, Terra-Cotta Room,

Case C.) 319

Gladiators. From a Pompeian Wall-Painting (Les Ruines de Pompeii,

F. Mazois, vol. iv. plate 48) ....... 321

Milestone set up by P. Popillius Lcenas, in Lucania, as Consul,

132 B.C. (C. I. L., i. 551, Ritschl, plate 51B) .... 339
Termini set up by the Land Commission in the Land of the Ilirpini,

130-129 B.C. (Ritschl, plate 55C.n.) 344

Ruins of Aqueduct, Carthage ........ 348

A Camillus, or Attendant at .Sacrifice (Baumeister, fig. 1305) . . 355

View of Cirta (Delamare, Expedition .Scientifique d'Algerie) . . y:)"^
Plan and .Section of the Mamertine Prison. (Middleton, Ancient

Rome) ........... 370

Roman Soldier (Lindenschmidt, Tracht und Bewafifnung, plate i. 6) 376
Combat of Gladiators : the vanquished Combatant appealing to the

Audience. From a Pompeian Painting (Baumeister, fig. 2347) . 3S0
Denarius struck loi B.C. —Triumph of Marius the Goddess, Rome

(Babelon, i. 515) 383



xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

HAGK

Part nfa Statue of a Vestal (Museoalle Teniic, Knme) . . . 386
Denarius of the Confederates — Taking tlie ( )ath : and I lead of Tialia

(Head, op. cit., plate 6S. 14) ...... . 400

Denarius of Mutilus — Samnite Bull goring Wolf; Head of P.ac-

chante (Head, op. cit., plate 6S. 15) . . . . . 404

Sling-Bullets from Asculum (Duruy, ii. 570) ..... 409

Temple of P'ortuna (?) at Rome (so-called P'ortuna Virilis) . 415

Tetradrachm of Mithradates \T.[(Head, op. cit., plate 60. 2) . , 421
Tetradrachni struck by Sulla in Athens — Athena and thcO^l (Pritish

Museum) .......... 430

Etruscan Arch at Volaterra; ........ 444

Head of Pompey on a Coin struck circ. 38-36 B.C. (Bahclon, s. v.

Nasidius, ii. 251, 2) . . . . . . . . . 463

Gladiators — Combats of Secutor and Retiarius (IJaunieister, fig. 2352) 467

Helmet of a Gladiator (Baunieister, fig. 2346) ..... 469

Coin of Tigranes struck in Syria before 69 B.C. — (i) Head of

Tigranes ; (2) Anlioch sealed on a Rock (Head, op. cit., 61. 13) 473

Gold Stater of Mithradates VI. (Head, op. cit., 60. i) . . . 474
Tombs of the Kings of Pontus (Perrot, Exploration Arch, de la

Galatie) . . . . . . . . . . .481

Golden Gate of Temple at Jerusalem (Duruy, ii. S31) . . . 483

Bust of Cicero (Bernouilli, Rom. Ikon., i. jjlate 11), in the \'atican . 489

Sacrarium in a House at Pompeii (Overbeck, Pompeii, \. 299) . 498

Bust of Julius Coesar (Naples Museum) ...... 501

Stater of Philip I. of Macedon — (i ) Head of Apollo ; (2) Charioteer

(Head, op. cit., plate 22. 17) . . . . . . . 505

Gallic Imitation of Stater of Philip (Head, op. cit., plate 57. i) 505

Figure-head of Roman Ship (Torr, Ancient Ships, plate 8) . . 509
Roman Arch at S. Remy (France) . . . . . . -515

Head of Cleopatra (British Museum) ...... 537

Denarius struck 44 B.C. — (i) Head of Caesar ; (2) Venus with Victory

(Babelon, ii. 20. 21) 539

Bust of C. Octavius, afterwards Augustus (in the Vatican) . . 543

Bust of Brutus (in the Capitoline Museum at Rome) . . 549

Parody of a Scene in School (Rom. Mitlh., V. plate I. 1S90) . . 551



The Illustrations anil Plans engraved by Messrs. ]]'alker and Boutall.



MAPS AND PLANS



I. MAPS LITHOGRAPHED



Italia before the Roman Conquest

Urbs Roma, Republic (llorton, I list, of the

Romans) ....
Italia, showing the Colonies (Ilortnn, ^i^t

of the Romans) ....
Sicily (Bosworth .Smiili, Carthage)
The Carthaginian Em]iire (Bosworth Smith

Carthasie) . . . . .



Carthage and her Neighliourhooil (llosworth 1
Smith, Carthage) . . . . ■ \
Rome and her Neighbours (Horton)
Gallia (after Kiepert, in Kraner's CcEsar)
The Roman Empire ....



Before page I
Be/ween pages 38 aful 39

I Between pages 134 and 135

To face page 150

' Between pages 1 74 and 1 7 5



To face page 249

Between pages 402 and 403

,, 506 and 507

552 a;;./ 553



II. PLANS AND MAPS IN TEXT



Battle of Ecnomus (Bosworth Smith)

Battle of Lake Trasimene .

Battle of Cannn? (from Strachan Davidson, I'olybius)

Campania .......

The Harbours at Carthage (Bosworth Smith
The East when Rome began to interfere
Greece ......

The East, temp. Mithradates and Tigranes
Alesia (Kraner) ....

Ilerda (Kraner)

Macedonia and Greece (Kraner)
Battles near Dyrrhachium (Kraner) .



PAGE

• 155
. 189

• 197
. 208

• 250

■ 256

• 274

• 423

• 513

■ 530

• 532

• 533



ADDENDA AND CORRIGENDA

Page 37, line 8 from the bottom, " Roma Quadiata." The
meaning of this term is disputed. Lanciani, Ki/i>is of
Aucicnt Rome, p. 60, denies its application to the
Palatine city.

Page 44, line 3 from bottom. The original meaning and
derivation of the word '"'' tribus" is far from certain.

Pages 159, i6o,/^r "Calatinus" the Fasti ?ra^" Caiatinus,"
and similarly Mommsen prefers "Caiatia" to
"Calatia" on page 114, line 3,



HISTORY OF ROME

CHAPTER I

THE LAND OF ITALY

Rome and Italy. — The history of Rome is the history of Italy.
It has been much more ; it has never been much less. Her early
efforts aimed at predominance in Italy ; she wielded the strength
of Italy in her wars of defence and aggression, and if in her selfish
and centralising policy she merged the land in the city, and sacri-
ficed its population and prosperity to her own interests, she made
Italy mistress of the world, and stood to the end as the head and
representative of the Italian land. In her beginnings, and indeed
constitutionally throughout, she was but a city-state of the sole type
recognised by Pericles or Aristotle, as distinct and individual as
ancient Athens or mediaeval Florence : she became in later days
an imperial power, stamping' the civilised world with the unity of
the Roman name. But the Rome of Augustus is, equally with the
Rome of the Fabii, Italian in sentiment, interests, and policy. Her
youth was singularly free from non- Italian influences ; and, however
much her maturer age received and diffused an alien cultivation,
she remained rooted and grounded in Italy, as Italy was in that
West to which its face is turned. The struggle of Octavian and
Antony, of East and West, is typical of her history from first to
last. Hence to understand the place of Rome in history, we must
understand the place of Rome in Italy, and the place of Italy in
the Mediterranean basin. To comprehend the special character
of her own laws and institutions, and of the ideas and civilisation
which she implanted, we must comprehend the relation of Rome
to Italian peoples, and of the Italian country to its immediate
neighbours.

Historically, only those features of a country are important
which affect the power of a nation for offence or defence, which

A



2 HISTORY OF ROME

determine its splicre of action and the nature of its resources,
or wliicli influence its national character and type of life.

The work of Rome in liistory was twofold, — first and foremost to
create Italian unity, and then, with the power so gained, to solve
the problem her rivals could not solve, the maintenance of peace
and order in the Mediterranean, the civilisation of the ruder races
round its coasts, and the defence of that civilisation against the
barbarians of the East and North. The place of Rome in Italy
partly explains the union of Italy under Roman supremacy ; the
place of Italy in the Mediterranean is a still larger factor in the
extension of that supremacy over the civilised world.

Marked Features. — Italy, the central peninsula of the three
masses of land projecting into the southern sea, with the islands
that essentially belong to her, enjoys a position favourable to
independent development, and, in the hands of a strong people
with adequate sea-power, admirably adapted for the control of tlie
Mediterranean. Apart from the untrustworthy barriers of the Alps
and Po, her great depth and narrow front were a powerful aid to
her defences on the north ; by her central position she severed the
East from the West, and holding the inner lines, could meet with
security the combinations of Hannibal or Pompey.

She lay back to back with Greece, her more accessible coast
turned to the lands and waters of the West. The tip of her toe
touches Sicily, the meeting-place of Hellene, Phoenician, Sicel,
and Latin, and, through Sicily, touches upon the hump of Africa
which projects Carthage upon the Sicilian shores. To her front
lay Spain, the Eldorado of antiquity, blocked as yet by Phoenician
cruisers. To the north the Celtic and Germanic tribes swarmed
round and through the mountain-passes. In addition to these
points in her position which materially influenced the destinies of
Italy and Rome, the most striking features of the land are the
projecting boot-like shape, the peculiar mountain-system which is
its cause, the double length of coast which is its effect, and which
exposes both flanks to naval attack as much as it opens them to
friendly intercourse, and finally the marked contrast between the
northern plain of the Po and the central and southern hill-country.

Contrast with Greece and Spain. — Not only in position, but in
form and character, Italy stands intermediate between the striking
contrasts of Greece and Spain. Greece has no single definite
mountain-barrier ; Spain is abruptly severed from Europe by the
frowning lines of the Pyrenees ; the Alps partially protect, but do
not isolate, Italy. Italy, diversified by sweeping bays and fertile



MOUNTAINS OF TTAL V 3

coast-lands, by nortlicrn plain and sontliern slopes, remains one land,
the land of the Apennines ; Spain surrounds her vast and sinj^le
plateau with a rej^ular and little-broken coast ; Greece is split by
windiu",'- chains and deep indented gulfs into geographical and
political atoms. Greece, facing eastwards, expanded eastwards,
and early assimilated Oriental culture ; Spain, till Columbus the
western limit of the world, remained for centuries a barbarous
country fringed by factories ; Italy, expanding to the west, passed
on to Spain what she had received from Greece, and returned with
increased power to absorb the sources of her own culture.

Size. — The land of Italy lies roughly between parallels 37° and
46" of north latitude. Its greatest length, from N.W. to S.E., is a
little over 700 miles ; its average breadth hardly exceeds 100, though
from the western Alps to the head of the Adriatic it extends to
340 miles. The total area may be put at go,ooo square miles. In
size, therefore, though not in shape, Italy bears some resemblance
to Great Britain.

Mountains. — The frontier of the peninsula to the north is formed
by the wavering line of the Alps, which, stretching for 700 miles,
with abundant passes, forms a rampart more striking than formid-
able, and one that has never sufficed to shelter the sunny south
from the inroads of the cevetous north. Rising precipitously
enough from the Lombard plain, the Alps slope less steeply to the
north. A short march brings the enemy who has climbed the
less difficult ascent down at one swoop upon the plain. But the
Alps are not Italian as a matter of geography or history. For
centuries they remained beyond the sphere of Italian life. Not
till Augustus were their robber-tribes thoroughly tamed and their
passes paved with roads ; scarcely then did they cease to the true
Roman mind to be a dubious defence, a commercial barrier, and
a limit of Italian land and life.

The Apennines, on the contrary, are the backbone of the country.
Breaking off from the Maritime Alps above Savona, they stretch
away E. and S.E. from coast to coast, severing the great triangle
of Cisalpine Gaul from the true soil of Roman Italy. Above
Genoa the range reaches but a moderate height (3000-4000 feet) ;
rising rapidly to cover Etruria, it thrusts up higher peaks (5000-
7000 feet) both here and in northern Umbria, where it turns de-
finitely S.E. After a slight break in Lower Umbria comes the
massive quadrilateral of the Abruzzi, a group of lofty summits
(9000 feet), cleft by torrents into deep ravines, and breaking down
to pleasant upland vales. Such, too, but of lesser height, is the



4 HISTORY OF ROME

mountain s^irdlc of Samnium. Ilenccfortli tlic main mass clianges
direction to the south, runs down to form tlic projecting loe, and
jumping the narrow rift at Rhegium, spreads itself out into the
three corners of Sicily. Apart from their natural beauties, the
Apennines have exercised a decisive influence on the history of
the land and the character of its people. This single and continu-
ous backbone has given to Italy the regular conformation, which
contrasts so markedly with the complexity of outline stamped upon
Greece by its chaos of mountains. The difference, too, between
its eastern and western slopes determines the different character
of the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts. From the steep eastern
side run down short spurs and swift torrents, which seam the
narrow seaward strip with deep ravines. Scant room is left for
cultivation ; and until the mountains leave the coast and we reach
the good harbours of Brindisi and Otranto (Brundisium and



Online LibraryW. W. (Walter Wybergh) HowA history of Rome to the death of Caesar → online text (page 1 of 57)