ROMAN HISTORIOGRAPHY ABOUT THE INFLUENCE OF THE SOCIETY OVER THE HISTORICAL FACTS DURING THE PERIOD OF THE REPUBLIC
Abstract: The article reveals the ideas of some representatives’
historians of the Republican Roman period, concerning the relations between
society, state and the historical evolution. There are pointed out the
principles which aproach and differentiate the Greek and Roman societies and
also the historiographical conceptions appropiate to these cultures, the most
remarquable in the Ancient history of the
Key words: society, historiography, state, political relations, influence
The Roman history is an original combination between
people, facts and atitudes which provided a large field for the contemporary historiography.
The Roman historians came from the two political and social cathegories of
The first case is that of Coriolanus a great Roman
military who fought with courage for the glory of
The “sentimentalism” of Coriolanus stayed only in the historical books, because the ambition, the fights for power will influence the entire course of the Roman history.
The creation of a new social group, the knights (sons from marriages between members of the originary patrician and plebeian groups) will force the Senate to rezist on the position of the only guardian of the mos maiorum. Even the senators could not make business, they saw the opportunity to become landowners spoliating the small properties of the peasants, or renting the ager publicus (public soil territories conquered by Rome and being under Senate control n.n.) used in the military campaigns during the first wars of Rome on the principle bonus milites bonusque colonus (good military and good peasant).
The attempts of Gracchus brothers (nephews of great Cornelius Scipio) in 133-123 B.C. to offer land from the ager publicus were smashed by the Senate.
The necessity of a good and a permanent army in the
new conditions of external wars of
Marius, having a conflict with Sulla, his former lieutnenant from Africa (who vanquished Mithridates VI in the East) went in Africa and enterd in Rome with his veterans, opening the way of “Roman attacks on Rome ”, as the historiography registered under the name of “the civil wars”.
In the conflict between Marius and Sulla, the socii (Roman subjects from
The great uprisings of the slaves in
From 60 until 48 B.C.,
The assasination of Caesar did not solve the Problem, the republican
institutions being unable to controll the situation in
The Roman historiography was influenced by the Greeks.
The first contacts were established during the Macedonian wars (215-168 B.C.),
which conducted to teh occupation of a great part of the
The concluzion of his work is that of the
interdependence of the historical events. The historian might act with
responsibility and impartiality.
The first Roman
historian was Caius Iulius Caesar (100-44 B.C.). Born in
His main historical works are Commentarii de
These works are considered as being apologetic and tendencious, because they have as main and immediate purpose the political propaganda. He would to influence the public opinion for accepting and understanding his political strategy. Beside the litterary value, the plenty of data regarding the civilizations from the Roman frontiers, the military organization and tactics, the work of Caesar is important from the informations concerning the Roman society and politics at the end of the Republic.
The crisis of the Roman state was generated mainly by
the social-political structures of the Republic which were unable to provide an
unitary political frame of the conquered territories which formed de facto a large empire extended from
the Atlantic to the Southern Europe and from the
Caesar noted the essential facts and events, being interested by the action, facts, human will and hazard.
In the same historical period lived, created and took
part at the political life of
He will acomplish the senatorial magistracies of aedilis (69 B.C.) and praetor (66 B.C.) reaching the highest
magistracy from the cursus honorum,
that of consul, in 63 B.C. In this
quality, he will discover the conspiracy
of Lucius Sergius Catilina and will attack him in a master-piece of discourses,
In Catilinam orationes quattor. The crisis of the
As a Roman official
In the I-st century B.C., in the Roman historiography, we can note the existence of a special type of the historical discourse, the monography. Its main representant is considered Caius Sallustius Crispus (86-35 a.Chr.).
Acomplishing several tasks and magistracies (in 52 B.C. he was tribunus of the plebs), Sallustius is a homo novus, being appointed in the Roman Senate. He was accuzed by immorality and excluded from Senate in 50 B.C (in reality he was one of the supporters of Caesar, and the Senate was the Partisan of Pompeius Magnus n.n.). Caesar admmitted him in the Senate in 49 B.C.
From his rich historical work, we will insist on a monography, “De coniuratione Catilinae” (About the plot of Catilina), wrote in the period 43-41 B.C., and refering to the plot of Lucius Sergius Catilina (64-63 B.C.) .
In this monography, Sallustius presents Catilina, the exponent of the nobilitas as an expresion of the vice:
nobili genere natus, fuit magna vi et animi et corporis, sed ingenio malo
provoque. Huic ab adulescentia bella intestina, caedes, rapinae, discordia
civilis grata fuere, ibique iuven- tutem suam exercuit. Corpus patiens
inediae,algoris,vigiliae,supra quam cuiquam credible est. Animus audax,
subdolus, varius, cuius rei lubet simulator ac dissimulator; alieni appetens,
Catilina is presented as a powerfull and without fear fellow but having a bad and vicious character (ingenium malum pravoque). Also, Catilina is rezistant (patiens), courageous (audax) , but in the same time smart (subdolus), actor (simulator), an hypocrite (dissimulator) and without limits (profusus).
Sallustius considers the nobilitas responsible for the crisis of the
These are the main historiographical conceptions from
the republican history of
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