Early Rome

Rome: Beginnings
Neolithic Settlements
• Migration of Latins over the Alps, c.
• Originally the Latins shared the peninsula
with others, e.g. the Etruscans.
• Small farming village on the Tiber river
grew into empire that spanned most of
known world
Myths of beginnings
• Escape of Aeneas from fall of Troy to
establish Rome (Greek origins)
• Brothers Romulus and Remus abandoned
by mother on banks of Tiber river, nursed
by She-wolf
• Romulus went on to found Rome
Early Latin culture
Agricultural & Pastoral
– Land ownership the essential symbol of
– Close, Patriarchal nuclear families
– Idea of Patriarchy, paterfamilias
Auctoritas – “authority”
Tribal gods -- Venus, Neptune, Jupiter, etc.
Animism – forces called “numina”
Early Latin Culture
Sacrifices of foodstuffs
--Pax Decorum (peace of the gods) had to
be maintained
-- Later absorbed Greek gods as their own
-- Frequently defended Rome against
Etruscan invasion to independence
(750 -- 500 BCE)
750 BCE -- Captured by Etruscans, more
Romans absorbed technology/culture:
Building construction, roads, city walls
Metal weapons
New military tactics
Necropolis at Caere 600-500BCE
Etruscan fortifications & Chariot
Tomb of the Reliefs -- Etruscan
End of Etruscan rule
• 500 BCE -- Romans drove out Etruscans
and established Res Publica
• Etruscan technology, military techniques,
and architecture adopted
– Alphabet
– Chariot Warfare
– The Arch