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Italy and Empire
Roman Empire from 200-130 BCE: conquests
Strategic goals for the Romans
1.
Conquest of the East
Greece - source of admiration: roman culture intersects with Greek culture, from
which they borrow social, political, religious structures
168 conquest of macedonia after the battle of Pydna - annexation as
province
146 conquest of the rest of Greece after the battle of Corinth - annexation
as province
2.
Conquest of the West and the North
Spain - source of silver from the mines, by end of the 2nd century-divided into 2
provinces: nearer spain and further spain
Spain is strategically located, neighboring Africa and the Atlantic ocean - end of
known world
3rd Carthaginian War (149-146 BCE)
In 146 BCE - Romans annex Greece as a province and destroy Carthage, also annexing
it as the province of Africa
“Carthage must be destroyed” Cato the Elder
War waged by Scipio Aemilianus
City leveled, “plowed and sowed with salt”
Power and Wealth
Governors appointed to govern the provinces
Proconsuls or proprietors were assigned to the provinces; proconsuls is a former praetor
who functions as a governor (in the place of a consul)
Eventually ex-consuls want to govern provinces upon completing office term
because it is a lucrative business
Bacchanalian Scandal
Festival in honor of the wind god - Bacchus - celebrated in Italy
In italy, it spread as a secret cult among women and a place where conspiracies were
organized - esp at night
Excessive Wealth and Problems
Rome conquered many lands which are now incorporated into a huge territory by
confiscation
How is the territory divided? - they conquered lands were incorporated and dubbed
“Public land” - and was usually rented out to rich people in return for money
This money was never collected because the local authorities were very corrupt and
ready to collaborate with the rich
Vast territories were called latifundia (large estates and were depending on slave labor)
Almost all of northern africa would be owned by just 6 landlords


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Became difficult to distinguish between PUBLIC and PRIVATE lands - wealthy claimed
public land as their own
Poor owners of small parcels of land were forced out by being bought by the big estates
and so they were seeking refuge in the big cities - could not find a job, therefore they
were a source of instability and threat
Large number of slaves was also threatening - have slave revolts arising everywhere
The Brothers Gracchi
Tiberius Gracchus
Tiberius - eldest son and becomes Tribune of the People
Tiberius realized the problem is land ownership


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