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This webpage reproduces an article in
Vol. 11, (Dec. 1911), pp367-381.

Tenney Frank died in 1939: the text is in the public domain.

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 p367  On Rome's Conquest of Sabinum, Picenum and Etruria

By Tenney Frank


The generally accepted view of Rome's method of subjugating and disposing of the Sabines in the third century B.C. is now, apparently, the one given by Mommsen in CIL IX, p396. To outline briefly, Mommsen holds that in 290 B.C. the Romans devastated the Sabine country, driving out most of the natives (plurimos exterminarunt); they then assigned a part of the conquered territory to their own citizens, without the formality of colonization, sold some of it, but kept the greater part as public land for the sake of revenue. A few natives were left in undisturbed possession of their lands, and given Roman citizen­ship: — half rights, immediately, and full rights in 268.

If one examines all the trustworthy evidence now available, however, I think one must arrive at quite a different conclusion, namely, that the native Sabines were left in the possession of most of their land, being by degrees admitted into full citizen­ship, and that, though a part of their territory was taken as war indemnity, we are not justified in assuming that Rome assigned any of the Sabine land to her own citizens with or without colonization, nor sold any part of it at that time.

We need not trouble ourselves to prove that the inhabitants of Sabinum were Roman citizens at least after 225 B.C.1 The fact is generally acknowledged. The question is whether or not those citizens were native Sabines. The documentary evidence is as follows: Velleius I.14 says explicitly: M'. Curio et Rufino Cornelio consulibus (290) Sabinis sine suffragio data civitas, . . . Sempronio Sopho et Appio consulibus (268), suffragii ferendi ius Sabinis datum. Cicero says on two different occasions (De Off. I.35, and Pro Balb. 31) that citizen­ship was early given to the Sabines, and Livy (XL.46.12 and XLII.34.2) relates incidents that contain the same information by implication. This combined testimony of independent sources not only makes it clear that at least some portions of the Sabine people were early given Roman citizen­ship but it leaves a  p368 strong presumption that in the first century B.C. the belief was prevalent that the Sabines as a whole were left in possession of their country and granted Roman rights.

In support of these explicit affirmations we may add a number of less direct, nevertheless noteworthy considerations.

1) Strabo for instance has no idea that the original inhabitants were supplanted by Romans, as is apparent from his words in Bk. V.228 ἔστι δὲ καὶ παλαιότατον γένος οἱ Σαβῖνοι καὶ αὐτόχθονες . . . ἀντέσχον μέχρι πρὸς τὸν παρόντα χρόνον. He apparently includes as the cities of this stock all the well-known municipalities of the Sabine region.

2) Livy XXVIII.45.19, by recording the offers of volunteers from the Nursini, Reatini et Amiternini Sabinusque omnis ager among those of the Umbrian and other Sabellic peoples, implies at least that these are of non‑Roman stock, otherwise the offer would hardly have seemed worthy of special note.

3) Evidence of a different nature may be gathered from Schulten's studies of some Italic names as presented in KlioII and III. From his list, it is apparent that the percentage of peculiarly Sabellic names in (i)edius and idius is nearly as large for inscriptions from Sabinum as for those of the neighboring tribes whose native stock unquestionably remained undisturbed. If the percentage is not quite as large, the explanation lies in the fact that this district was so near Rome that it attracted a considerable immigration from the city. Conway's list of personal names (It. Dial. p367) will in convenient form furnish material for additional linguistic proof.

4) The political organization of Sabinum also lends support to our contention.​2 Festus (M. 233) includes Reate and Nursia in a list of prefectures, all of which, with one late exception, consisted of native Italic peoples who had early been given half citizen­ship by Rome. Furthermore, inscriptions show that the Sabine towns of Amiternum, Nursia, Trebula and Interamnia Praetuttiorum employed the peculiar magistracy of the octovirate,​3 a fact that is more easily explained on the assumption that it was a survival of a native form of government in that region than  p369 that it was of Roman invention, since it does not seem to occur in municipalities organized by the Romans at this time.

5) Finally, I would point to the strong probability that Rome did not thus early so disregard her treaty obligations with her Italic allies as to take land in Italy for her own use, whether for assignation to individual citizens, for sale, or for the Roman public domain. This point has not been made before, I think, and it cannot even be established absolutely, but a survey of Roman policy so far as it can be determined for the century following the Latin war will at least establish a probability that during that period Rome fairly divided the fruits of war with her allies, reserving for herself — and doubtless by explicit stipulation — only the special privilege of planting small maritime colonies of 300 trustworthy citizens at critical coastal points.

The full discussion of this statement must rest at present, with only an indication of the chief evidence. We know for instance that the allies, at least during the third century, shared not only as individual soldiers in the military donatives, but also as communities in the apportionment of booty to the municipal treasuries (Beloch, It. Bund, 217; Mommsen St. R. III.680). Now the most important material fruit of a war was a portion of the land taken, according to an old Italic practice, by way of war indemnity. Many incidental references naturally lead to the conclusion that the allies also shared fairly in the distribution of this form of booty. The evidence​4 is well known, and should, I think, satisfactorily prove that the clause relating to the booty in the so‑called foedus Cassianum5 was also incorporated in the new treaties signed with the Latins and Campanians about 340‑38, and probably in most of the Italic treaties made before the Pyrrhic war.

The reason why this apparently logical conclusion has not long ago been accepted seems to be that the annals contained so much regarding the distribution of Roman public lands to poor citizens that the historian seemed compelled to assume some source for the acquisition of so much land. Most of these references, however, can now be disregarded as anachronistic (Niese, Hermes 23 p410). A brief examination of Rome's method of disposing of captured land during the century following 340 will prove that she must have been obeying some such regulation as we have assumed. A few new tribus of Roman citizens were, to be sure, formed, but in such a way as to betray the fact that Rome had not a free hand. The Maecian and Scaptian tribes (332 B.C.), whether settled by new assignments, or, as is more likely, simply organized for the reception of  p370 newly incorporated municipalities like Lanuvium, came into existence with, and not subsequent to, the new alliances. The Falerna and Oufentina, though settled as late as 318, were also established on land that accrued to the state prior to or with the settlement of 338. The Aniensis and Teretina apparently grew out of a resettlement with the Hernici of a foedus that antedated, and was therefore independent of, the new alliances of 338. Obviously 338 marks a change in Rome's method of creating tribes. The same date to be sure introduces the citizen-colony for coastal defence, but here too there is an arbitrary limit binding the number of participants down to 300 colonists, and only nine such colonies were founded during the century. Surely these limitations are due to some clause by which Rome bound herself not to take land for her own use. This becomes the more probable when we find that during the century twenty‑one large Latin colonies covering an area of about three and a half million iugera were opened for the common settlement of allies and Romans together. The bearing of this conclusion upon the Sabine question is at once patent. If Rome bound herself by the Italic treaties following the Latin war to share lands as well as other booty with her allies, and if she is found in general adhering to such a rule at least well into the third century, it is then not likely that the Sabine lands were disposed of on a very different principle. This point having been established, it follows that the people who, according to Velleius, received citizen­ship in 290 and 268 were no other than the native Sabines, who had in fact been left in undisturbed possession of most of their country.

The foregoing is, I think, a summary of the most reliable evidence upon the main question of what Rome did with the native Sabines after the conquest in 290; and it seems to me far to outweigh the contradictory citations upon which the more prevalent view is based, namely that the native Sabines were largely driven out. These citations, all late and from an inferior annalistic tradition center about several anecdotes regarding M'Curius Dentatus. The substance is found in Orosius III.22; Florus I.10; Val. Max. IV.3.5; Vir. ill. 33.14; Frontinus Strat. IV.3.12; Plut. Rom. Apoth. I; and Colum. praef. I.14. According to the anecdotes found here, Curius after the conquest of Sabinum — some add Samnium and Pyrrhus — in reporting his victory to the senate said that the territory captured was so great that he could not adequately express the extent of it. A part of this territory (Sabinum is specifically mentioned by some) he divided among the citizens viritim (Frontinus says soldiers) giving seven jugera to each man (Vir. ill. says fourteen) himself accepting one share, upon which he later lived in all simplicity.

Now it is evident that this material comes from encomiastic biographical reworkings of confused annalistic sources which were quite oblivious to the requirements of historical accuracy. In fact the semi-legendary  p371 character of Curius Dentatus was particularly inviting to the moralizing biographer as well as to the miracle-monger (cf. Pauly-Wissowa IV.184).

The story does not bear critical scrutiny. When the biographer (e.g. Plut. l.c.) represents Curius as assigning a part of the land to Roman citizens but determining that the main portion shall be left as public domain, he pictures him in the role of a Caesar or at least a Sulla who assumes both legislative and censorial functions, and he forgets the constitutional impossibility of such an act in the third century. Nor is the story of Curius accurate in chronological details. Mommsen has already remarked (Röm. F. II.372) that Livy and the Fasti are so erroneous as to place the conquest of the ager Gallicus of 284 in the first consul­ship of Curius, that is, in the same year as his victory over Samnium and the Sabines. It is probable in fact that it was this error of the annalists which misled the biographers, and that the vast territory said to have been brought into the public domain — if indeed the story has a kernel of truth — was that very ager Gallicus. Or the story may in the beginning even have referred to the conquest of Samnium in 290 and the colonization of Hadria in the Praetuttian territory in 289, for it is a well-known fact that the annalists often confused the Samnites (who called themselves Safini, and who were also called Sabelli by the Romans) with the Sabini6 and further that Sabinum was often conceived of as extending to the Adriatic coast (cf. Florus I.10, and Pliny N. H. III.115). These stories therefore belong to late moralizing fiction and cannot safely be used by the historian; certainly they have little weight against the firmer authorities which they contradict.

As for the extent of the ager publicus in Sabinum we have fairly trustworthy evidence as follows. Siculus​7 Flaccus (Feldm. 136‑7) says that in the region of Reate there was some public land called the montes Romani, the rental of which accrued to the public treasury, furthermore that a part of the Sabine land was called ager​8 quaestorius, being divided into fifty-jugera lots and leased by the quaestor. Hyginus (ibid. 114)  p372 bears out the first part of this in a fragmentary line: nam et regione Reatina sunt loca p. R. Frontinus (ibid. 21) may refer to the same region in the words silvas quas ad populum Romanum pertinere, for he locates the woods ex proximo in Sabinis in Monte Mutela. This is the sum total​9 of the evidence outside of the annalistic anecdotes, and it is fairly uniform in pointing to a limited wooded district in the region of Reate as belonging to the public domain.​10 How extensive the above-mentioned ager quaestorius was we cannot determine, but if either this or the other public domain in Sabinum had been as extensive as Plutarch's anecdote supposes, we should certainly have heard of it in the century of civil wars when every factional leader was searching for state-lands with which to reward his troops and partizans.

In so far as we have tried to revise the prevalent view, we may sum up the story of the Sabine conquest and settlement thus. M'Curius Dentatus after ending the Samnite war in 290, invaded the country of the Sabines and Praetuttii for some offense not now known, forced them quickly into submission, taking by way of indemnity a strip of coast-land from the latter and at least a strip near the western border from the former. The coastal strip was at once settled by the combined allies as a Latin colony in accordance with the regular practice of the time. The portion at the west end was, perhaps under the stress of other business, left unassigned for the time being. Later, when Rome became more negligent of the claims of the allies, she undertook to administer this tract as her own public domain, perhaps compensating the allies in some measure by the means indicated in the lex Agr. 1.29, and Cic. de Rep. III.41. A part, especially the timber land, was rented by the censor in the usual manner, a part was administered as ager quaestorius under long-term leases. The native Sabines as a whole were at first made citizens without right of suffrage, being for administrative purposes divided into​11 prefectures as were the Volsci and Hernici. Soon however, in 268 (considerably  p373 sooner than those tribes), they were given full citizen­ship. The natives of the nearest regions, about Cures and Trebula, were probably assigned at once to the old ward, the Sergia (Nissen, l.c. p479), while a new ward, the Quirina, was later (241) created for the remainder, in fact as soon as the end of the gruelling Punic war gave the Romans time to consider questions of internal administration. As for the remaining history of this region Mommsen CIL IX p396 may be followed.


In suggesting some slight revision of Picentine history, I would beg leave to refer as a basis for discussion to Beloch, It. Bund p55; Mommsen in CIL IX p480 ff., and Nissen It. Landesk. II.1, p410. My main criticism is that, as in the case of Sabinum, a marked tendency prevails to over-state the change that Roman occupation brought.​12 Strong emphasis is often laid upon the import of the title of Flaminius' agrarian law which was apparently called: de agro Piceno et Gallico viritim dividendo, Cic. Brut. 57, and Cato 11. The implication of this title is generally taken to be that Picenum had largely been cleared of its native​13 population in the same way as the old ager Gallicus from which the Senones had been driven in the year 290. That this inference is erroneous is proved by the very explicit phraseology of Polybius, who writes that the so‑called Picentine territory which was allotted by the Flaminian law was situated in the Gallic country: κατεκληρούχησαν ἐν Γαλατίᾳ τὴν Πικεντίνην προσαγορευομένην χώραν, ἐξ ἧς νικήσαντες ἐξέβαλον τοὺς Σήνωνας. II.21.7. The region for some reason, probably because of previous Picentine owner­ship, was called by the name of that tribe, but as a matter of fact it lay between the Aesis and the Rubico. That Polybius was not misusing the word Picentine is proved by several other occurrences of it in the same sense. Cicero e.g. (Cat. II.5, and 26) refers to this same territory as the ager Picenus et Gallicus during the Catilinarian conspiracy, and by a curious coincidence, Sallust, in reporting the very acts to which Cicero refers, repeatedly calls the region Picenum (Sall. Cat. 27, 30, 42, 57). Yet it is clear that both are referring to the region near Ariminum where the northern army corps was regularly stationed, and not to the country south of the Aesis. Even Livy, depending upon old sources writes: Coloniae deductae Ariminum in Piceno, etc. (Ep. XV.) It is evident therefore that the agrarian law of Flaminius had reference to the territory north of the Aesis, and that its title may not be called upon for evidence regarding the disposition of Picenum proper.

 p374  I would next suggest, though with some hesitation, that Strabo has been accepted too trustingly when he says (V.251) that the Picentines who dwelt near Salerno had been transferred to that place by the Romans when they conquered Picenum on the Adriatic in 268. When the Romans nearly a century later transferred a Ligurian tribe to certain public lands in southern Samnium it was after fifty years of incessant struggle to subdue them and under the pressing need of securing safety for a land-route to Spain. The work also proved to be very expensive (Livy 40.38). In Picenum on the other hand victory had come quickly, the people were of Italic stock and had never caused much trouble, besides Rome had no intention of building roads there. Why should she have undertaken the expense of so useless a piece of work? It must be admitted too that the evidence is not very strong. Our sources for the conquest of Picenum — Livy Ep. XV; Flor. I.14; Eutr. II.16, unfortunately very meager — say nothing about this transfer; and Strabo, our only authority, is known not to hesitate at times to insert his own hypotheses in order to explain his geography. Would it not be more reasonable to admit the conjecture that the Picentines living near Salerno, if indeed they were related to the Adriatic group, may have emigrated from their homes in some ver sacrum as so many of the Sabellic tribes had done?

If now the above-mentioned passages do not refer to history of Picenum, we have not a great deal of definite information left. We apparently know only that Picenum was conquered in 268 B.C., that the city of Asculum became an independent ally (besides of course the Greek city of Ancona) remaining so till the Social war, and that some territory was taken upon the coast and immediately assigned for use as the Latin colony of Firmum (Vell. I.14). This being the extent of our data, it is apparent that there is no basis for the statement that "one‑half of the Picentine territory was appropriated" at the victory. One‑tenth would be a far more reasonable estimate. Nor has any one the right to assume that "Rome took the richer portion for herself." There is no shred of proof that she took any portion whatsoever for herself, whether for viritary assignments to her citizens or for unassigned public domain. When we said in the early part of this discussion regarding Roman policy at this time would rather indicate that nothing of either kind was even thought of. The colony of Firmum therefore probably covers the extent of appropriated territory in 268.14

On the other hand the supposition frequently made that the native Picentines who remained were, with the exception of Asculum, immediately made Roman half-citizens and soon full citizens is probably correct. The fact that there were several prefectures in the region (Caes.  p375 B. C. I.15),º and that the tribe Velina, instituted together with the Quirina in 241, is a Picentine ward, later at least covering the whole region with the exception of Asculum and Ancona, makes the supposition reasonable.

We have now gained a point of view from which we shall be able to understand an apparent contradiction in Roman administrative methods during the third century. It will be remembered that in Umbria Rome made her alliances with the individual cities and not with the tribes as a whole, while on the other hand her treaties with the Vestini, Marrucini, Paeligni, Marsi, and Frentani were signed with the governments of the whole tribal league. The Sabines and Picentines were treated in neither fashion. Their countries were subjected to a rapid raid, a strip of land was taken upon which a Latin colony was planted, the whole tribe was incorporated into the citizen-body of Rome, at first with half-rights during which time prefectures were created, and later with full rights. The meaning of this diversity of procedure seems to lie in the difference of social and political status in which these three classes of tribes appear at the time when Rome first had to deal with them.

Umbria, for instance, was no longer a united people. The tribe had once spread over the greater part of northern Italy during which time it had disintegrated into diverse groups because of the wide geographical distribution, some of these groups later merging into city-states with the increase of wealth that had come with expansion. They were later driven back into the narrower bounds by the Etruscans, but they also gained a strong impulse from the example of their enemy toward the further development of their separatistic urban governments. How far the evolution had proceeded by the fourth century B.C. can be seen by a reference to the strange curse contained in the sacred tablets of Iguvium (VI B, 58) which anathemizes the neighboring Umbrian city of Tuder as heartily as it does the Etruscans. Here was a condition most favorable to Roman expansion. The individual cities of Umbria came quickly, one by one, into the Roman alliance, apparently at very little cost and on excellent terms.

The tribes of the second class, the Marsi,​15 Vestini, etc., are in a wholly different state of civilization. Even in Strabo's day they lived largely in villages. When Rome met them during the early days of the Samnite war, no cities seem to have emerged to claim preponderance in the tribe or to create separate polities for themselves. They had kept the primitive tribal governments, which however were compact and thoroughly capable of making agreements with a foreign power and of holding their individual members strictly to the observance of the tribal agreements. Now Rome may have preferred not to encourage such racial  p376 unities; she may have preferred to sign her treaties with individual cities as in Umbria, but the history​16 of these Sabellic tribes shows that if only there was a responsible government with which she could deal in good faith and which could hold its members to the observance of the obligations that a treaty involved, Rome was satisfied and made no effort to dissolve the tribal organization.

Now Picenum, Sabinum, and we may include the Aequi, lay halfway between the representatives of these two classes. Sabinum near the Umbrian and Roman border and Picenum along the coast seem to have begun evolving respectable cities, but the process had probably gone just far enough to weaken the former tribal coherence without creating adequate substitutes in the new urban forms. More or less political confusion resulted. It is easy to understand what must have occurred during the heavy strain of the Samnite war. The Sabines, Aequi, and Picentines were officially allied to Rome, but when their governments no longer were respected by the members, individual adventurers must constantly have volunteered for the Samnite army, and whenever a war was over, Rome invariably found a number of citizens of these supposedly friendly tribes among her captives. This is why Rome took the shortest way toward dissolving the native governments of these three tribes. It was not land that was wanted — that charge proves to be anachronistic —, it was a stable and responsible government which could hold its individual citizens answerable to the promises of the state. Since these peoples would not act together as did the eastern Sabellic peoples, and had not yet developed responsible city-states within the tribe, Rome simply swept away their crumbling governments, incorporated them into her citizen-body and divided them into prefectures through which to act in her administration of Italian affairs. She found them, when thus organized, excellent individuals, and therefore gave them full citizen­ship early, and later, as their cities grew, shifted the local government more and more upon their own municipal organizations.


In commenting upon the history of the Roman occupation of Etruria, I would first suggest that our historians have gone too far in assuming  p377 the grant of Roman​17 citizen­ship to Etruscans. Tarquinii is frequently credited with the privilege before the Hannibalic war, with, what seems to me, a misreading of the evidence. This evidence is not absolutely explicit, but, so far as it goes, it quite consistently bears out the view that the city was a Roman ally. Livy 28.45.14, has the following under date of 205 B.C.: Scipio — tenuit — quia impensae negaverat rei publicae futuram classem ut quae ab sociis darentur ad novas fabricandas naves acciperet. Now the cities that are immediately enumerated as contributing under this heading for naval supplies are eight cities of Etruria including Tarquinii. There cannot be any doubt that Livy believes them all to be socii. I suppose that the reason why the passage has not been so taken is because Caere also occurs in the list and that is now usually classed as a civitas sine suffragio. This classification may or may not be correct, but that has less bearing upon the question than Livy's opinion upon Caere's status.18

Turning to Livy 7.20.8, the last previous mention of Caere's polity, one finds the following: pax populo Caeritium data, indutiasque in centum annos factas. That is, Livy at least, and perhaps rightly, seems to consider Caere an ally; and in the passage under discussion he evidently means that all the eight cities are socii since he calls them so.

Turning next to the passage that is usually relied upon to prove Tarquinii as a part of the Roman domain, we read (Livy 26.3.12) of Fulvius who was about to be tried before the assembled people for cowardice: postquam dies comitiorum aderat, Cn. Fulvius exulatum Tarquinios abiit. Id ei iustum exilium esse scivit plebs. This is taken to mean that exile to Tarquinii required a special dispensation, i.e. that the city must have been within the Roman domain. However, the phrase id ei iustum etc., has no reference to the status of Tarquinii. It simply explains  p378 that the necessary legal action was taken by the properly qualified body when the matter came up in due process of law (as explained in Mommsen, Strafrecht p73), and that in this case exile was pronounced as the legal punishment. In fact, if the passage proves anything it proves that Tarquinii was an allied state, since Fulvius, who of course knew the law, chose the city as a suitable place of exile before the day of the trial.

The similar assumption (cf. Nissen, l.c. p364) that Falerii was incorporated into the Roman domain with half-rights in 241 is without good foundation. It probably was a federated city until the Social war. Her care to build a strong wall​19 about her new city after 241, and her retention of her native language for a long time after in official inscriptions would naturally indicate that she was independent. The strongest indication however lies in the fact that her municipal magistrates in the second century were praetors (cf. CIL XI.3081 and 3156a) while later they were those which usually occur in towns reorganized according to the Julian law. If Falerii had had the civitas sine suffragio in 241 she would doubtless have obtained full citizen­ship before 90 as did apparently all municipalities of this rank, and no reorganization would have resulted in the year 90.

A further commentary upon the status of both of these cities is the fact that in 210 the Campanian exiles, when ordered to settle in Etruria, were commanded not to go beyond the territory of Veii, Sutrium, and Nepet (Livy 26.34.10), an indication, it would seem, that this was the limit of inland Romanized territory beyond the Tiber at that time.

If we have thus far read the evidence aright, it follows that we have no reason for supposing that any Etruscans excepting the Caerites obtained Roman citizen­ship in any form before the social war.

The second suggestion I would offer is that the disposal of territory taken in Etruria after the treaties of 338 is, so far as we know, consistent with the principle which we found Rome following elsewhere for several decades after that date (p369). That is, Rome seems here also, at least till after the war with Pyrrhus, to consider the captured territory as belong to all the allies, and does not allow herself the privilege of withholding any of it as her own public domain or of distributing it to her own citizens alone, except, as aforesaid, to a few small groups who served as maritime garrisons.

Most of the Etruscan cities came into the Roman alliance soon after 284 B.C., if not before, on rather favorable terms and at little cost in territory. This was not due to any good-will on the part of the Romans, but rather to the fact that the Etruscans had been too disunited to raise  p379 such opposition as called for heavy penalties, and furthermore that the treaties were made at a critical time when Etruscan friendship was particularly desirable as raising a barrier against the incessant Gallic invasions.

When, therefore, we have no mention of public lands in the northern parts of Etruria, it is safest to refrain from assuming its existence there.​20 In the southern part we know on good authority that several cities gave up land, and we possess some evidence regarding its disposal. Volci seems to have been deprived of some possessions in 280 (cf. Fasti Triumph.), for, a few years later (273) the Latin colony of Cosa was settled upon Volcian territory (Pliny N. H. III.51, Vell. I.14). When about 273 Caere was threatened with war she bought peace, according to Dio (fr. 33, Bois.), by the surrender of half her territory. This seems to have been used for maritime forts, which were nowhere planted so thickly as in this region. Servius says of Pyrgi, one of these forts: hoc castellum nobilissimum fuit eo tempore quo Tusci piraticam exercuerunt (on Aen. X.184). It was therefore against the Etruscan pirates and, if we may take a hint from some of the dates, against possible Punic invasion that this coastland was held and fortified by the sovereign state. The next to suffer is Tarquinii. In 308 this city had signed a treaty with Rome for forty years (Diod. XX.44). The resettlement therefore fell in the eventful year of 268 when Rome was so active in organizing her interests throughout Italy. It was apparently in that year that Tarquinii surrendered​21 some coastlands to Rome and entered into a permanent alliance. After this we have reports of revolts in Volsinii in 264 (Flor. I.16, Zon. VIII.7) and in Falerii in 241 (Pol. I.65). In both cases, considering the severity of the punishment, we may assume that a substantial land indemnity was required. The citizen-colony of Saturnia (183) and the nearby prefecture Statoniensis, (Vitruv. II.9) seem to lie in what was formerly Volsinian domain. The Forum Subertanum, a prefecture, may have its origin in a viritary assignment to citizens of a part of Falerii's domain, made perhaps in the days of the Gracchi.

If we may judge from this data, it seems probable that in 273, when the Latin colony of Cosa was planted, Rome was still observing the rule that the territory taken by booty was to be shared with the allies. The beginning of the accumulation of unassigned domain in Etruria seems to date from the Pyrrhic war and after, when the state secured extensive tracts from Caere and Tarquinii, and apparently also from Volsinii and Falerii. Doubtless Rome intended at first to share these tracts also, but  p380 the extensive addition to the public domain during the following Punic and Gallic wars, when at the same time the peasants were actually diminishing in number through the heavy war‑levies, glutted for a time all demand for land; and Rome, in place of the old strict practice, devised rules by which the superfluous land could be occupied upon lenient terms by any one who could make use of it, whether Roman or ally.22

Finally with this data in view I would observe that Rome's treatment of the Etruscans was so peculiar that one must always guard against generalizing regarding Rome's policy from instances drawn from this region. The complete annihilation of Veii begins a history that must have been tainted with racial prejudice. The Romans were always impatient in their dealings with this people which was οὔτε ὁμόγλωσσον οὔτε ὁμοδίαιτον. Gracchus touched a deep vein of feeling when he shouted at the Etruscan haruspices: vos Tusci ac barbari! It is due to this feeling that the history of Etruria varies between tales of severity and of neglect. On the one hand Rome wasted Veii, took the half of Caere's territory, and moved Volsinii and Falerii​23 out of their native cities when neither could have been in the least dangerous. On the other hand she apparently kept aloof from central and northern Etruria, seeming not quite readily to understand the needs of the land when it was going to waste (Plut. Tib. Gracch. 8). The road-building through Etruria progressed very slowly. Though the Clanis valley, the route of the Gallic and Carthaginian invaders, furnished a much shorter route to Liguria and Gaul, the circuitous road via Ariminum was long adhered to, and Arretium was reached by road from Bologna a half century before it was placed in direct communication with Rome. In harmony with this fact is the slow progress of the Latin language in Etruria, of citizen colonization, and, above all, of the grant of Roman citizen­ship to the natives as we have tried to show above. The Eastern Sabellic tribes had been taken into the  p381 Roman alliance by whole states without any loss of territory, so far as we know. The Umbrian cities came into the alliance singly and without apparent loss after the early deprivation sustained in the south. Even the Sabines and Picentes whose crumbling organizations had to be dissolved, could at least be trusted as members of the body politic, and ultimately proved to be in their very incorporation the most fortunate of the Italians. But the Etruscans, except for the cities that made overtures at the most favorable time, suffered severe losses, were treated with harsh impatience when suspected of misdeeds, and in fact never came to be looked upon as agreeable candidates for citizen­ship. When finally the Social war brought them equality, several of their cities immediately fell under the ban of Sulla who confiscated their territory for the use of his partizans.

The Author's Notes:

1 Niese, R. G.4 p71, on the strength of Pol. II.24, assumes that the Sabines were still allies in 225. Considering however that Polybius probably includes the Picentes and Praetuttii under the term Sabini, and that at best their number is exceedingly small, this one passage alone can hardly bear the burden he places upon it.

2 Since Niese has proved that the Campanian cities were foederata and not incorporated into the Roman domain before 210 B.C., it follows that we must also bring down the date of the Campanian prefectures to 210. If we now examine Festus' lists from this point of view, we find that the distinction between his two classes may fundamentally have been a chronological one, since the second group, with one peculiar exception, dates before 290, while the firsthand dates after 210. If this difference actually points to a historical change, there is further significance in the presence of the Sabine prefectures here.

3 Plestia in Umbria is so near the Sabine country that the presence of octoviri there may point to a Sabine origin of the town.

4 See Serv. Aen. I.12; Liv. 42.4; 34.42; 33.24, Lex agr. l. 29 etc., also Mommsen St. R. II.636.

5 Dating the treaty after 390, but considering it otherwise in the main as an authentic document.

6 Cf. Beloch in Riv. Stor. Ant. IX, p269; Sonnenschein in Conway, It. Dial. p683; Niese, Hist. Zeit. 1888, p503.

7 This passage of Flaccus can safely be used only in so far as it indicates conditions existing in his day. The main statement is meant to be a general introductory summary and not necessarily accurate as to chronological sequence. Mommsen utterly changes the purport of the whole passage by his brackets in CIL IX, p396.

8 One cannot conclude from Flaccus that Rome immediately appropriated the land and began to lease it. It may have been undisposed of for a long period, and later when Rome began to use such unassigned lands for the benefit of the treasury she may have converted it into ager quaestorius.

The portion here referred to cannot be assigned to the city of Cures on the strength of lib. col. II.253, as is done in CIL IX p396, for that passage is proved false by the inscriptions of Cures. Mommsen has elsewhere said: Der sogenannte lib. col. II . . . ist so durch und durch gefälscht, dass es nicht der Mühe lohnt dabei zu verweilen, Ges. Schr. V p215.

9 Perhaps the famous bed of the lake Velinus near Reate should be included in the list, since Curius is credited as having drained it (Cic. ad Att. IV.15.5), but there is no evidence on this point. Cicero's reference seems to prove that the municipality of Reate and not the Roman treasury-department was the responsible administrator of the region in his day. See also Tac. Ann. I.79.

10 This land may of course have been some subseciva dating from one of the many imperial land distributions.

11 Besides Reate and Nursia, mentioned by Festus, we can, on the evidence of CIL IX.9187 add Amiternum; and since Livy 28.45 mentions the ager Sabinus together with these three as offering volunteers in 205, we may probably with Nissen (It. Landesk. II, p479) include this as a fourth.

12 Nissen, l.c. says: Der erste (Krieg) endigte mit dem Verlust des halben Gebiets und der Verpflanzung von dessen Einwohnern an den Golf von Salerno.

13 Add Conway, It. Dial. p449, who says: The Roman occupation which spared only Asculum was completed by the lex Flaminia of 232 B.C.

14 A century later the two citizen-colonies of Auximum and Potentia were established here, but then of course the region was properly a part of the Roman state.

15 Strabo (V.241) says of the Vestini, Marsi, Paeligni, Marrucini, and Frentani: τὰ μὲν οὖν ἄλλα κωμηδὸν ζῶσιν, ἔχουσιν δὲ καὶ πόλεις.

16 For the Roman treaties with these tribes, see Diod. XX.101 and Livy IX.45–X.3. For the tribal organizations, see the following: Vestini, Pol. II.24; Liv. 44.40, tribal coins, Conway 249. Marrucini, Pol. II.24;º Liv. 44.40; totai maroucai Conway 243. Paeligni, Diod. XX.101. Possibly Rome later dealt with the individual cities here. The evidence is late and unreliable. Marsi, Pol. II.24; Liv. 44.40; pro le(gio)nibus Martses Conway 267. Frentani, Pol. II.24; Kenszur Conway 190; tribal coins, Conway 196 (Larinum had a separate treaty. Coins, Conway 195).

17 See Beloch, It. Bund., p60; Bormann in CIL XI.1, p465 and 516, and Nissen It. Landesk. II.1, p364.

18 Gellius, 16.13.7 attempts to explain the origin of the phrase tabulae Caerites by saying that Caere was the first city that obtained half-citizenship. The event is usually dated at 353 when, according to Livy 7.20, the city attacked Rome. However, the Livian passage implies that some form of alliance was continued. Next a fragment of Dio dating from about 273 (Bois. 33) tells how Caere warded off war by surrendering half of her territory. Some have concluded that this later event led to the grant of citizen­ship. Even this interpretation would not satisfy the requirements of Gellius, for there were other such grants before 273. As a matter of fact the cited statement of Gellius proves on examination to be so erroneous in other respects that it would be better to abandon it entirely. Taking into consideration the history of censorial power, as well as the harshness of Rome's behavior towards Etruscans in general, it is probable that tabulae Caerites became a mock phrase somewhat later, and only because Caere was kept in half-citizenship later than all other cities. The important point when one treats the Gellian passage as it deserves is that we do not know when Caere was incorporated into the Roman state.

19 The wall cannot possibly be attributed to Rome's initiative since Rome's frontier forts were already several hundred miles beyond.

20 Throughout this discussion we have advisedly refrained from drawing any conclusions regarding the extent of Roman domain from the reports of prodigia. They involve too many chances to deserve attention as fundamental evidence.

21 Livy 40.29. Graviscae for instance was established in 181 in agrum de Tarquiniis quondam captum.

22 Cic. de Rep. III.29, and leg. agr. l.29, 31, prove that the allies also had "squatter-rights". Some cities were even given portions of captured territory to use for municipal revenue. cf. Cic. ad Fam. XIII.1 and 7. I have assumed throughout on the basis of Niese's discussion (Herm. vol. 23) that there was little if any public land before 290 B.C., and that the pre‑Gracchan law which defined 500 jugera as the limit for the occupation of public land, was passed long after the Licinian laws. However I would add that the law was not primarily a restrictive measure, and that the limiting clause was only incidental. The main purpose of the law, I doubt not, was to encourage the occupation of lands that were in danger of going to waste. It was not devised to check the evil of over-occupation, as though that were then serious. When one considers how the citizen-body diminished while the public domain increased during the great wars, and furthermore how simple were the financial needs of Romans, even during Cato's day, one finds it necessary not only to redate the law with Niese but also thus to reinterpret its import.

23 Falerii possessed a Tuscan civilization, acted with the Tuscans politically and received the same treatment from Rome as the rest of the cities north of the Tiber.

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