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- History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD - 1/47 -






This compilation is designed to be a companion to the author's History of Greece. It is hoped that it may fill a want, now felt in many high schools and academies, of a short and clear statement of the rise and fall of Rome, with a biography of her chief men, and an outline of her institutions, manners, and religion.

For this new edition the book has been entirely rewritten, additional matter having been introduced whenever it has been found necessary to meet recent requirements.

The penults of proper names have been marked when long, both in the text and Index. The Examination Papers given are introduced to indicate the present range of requirement in leading colleges.

The maps and plans have been specially drawn and engraved for this book. The design has been to make them as clear and open as possible; consequently, names and places not mentioned in the text have, as a rule, been omitted.


[Illustration: GAIUS IULIUS CAESAR.]




Italy is a long, narrow peninsula in the southern part of Europe, between the 38th and 46th parallels of north latitude. It is 720 miles long from the Alps to its southern extremity, and 330 miles broad in its widest part, i.e. from the Little St. Bernard to the hills north of Trieste. It has an area of nearly 110,000 square miles, about that of the State of Nevada.

The Alps separate Italy on the north and northwest from the rest of Europe. The pass over these mountains which presents the least difficulties is through the Julian Alps on the east. It was over this pass that the Barbarians swept down in their invasions of the country. The Apennines, which are a continuation of the Alps, extend through the whole of the peninsula. Starting in the Maritime Alps, they extend easterly towards the Adriatic coast, and turn southeasterly hugging the coast through its whole extent. This conformation of the country causes the rivers of any size below the basin of the Po to flow into the Tyrrhenian (Tuscan) Sea, rather than into the Adriatic.

Northern Italy, between the Alps and the Apennines, is drained by the Padus (Po) and its tributaries. It was called GALLIA CISALPÍNA (Gaul this side of the Alps), and corresponds in general to modern Lombardy. The little river Athesis, north of the Padus, flows into the Adriatic. Of the tributaries of the Padus, the Ticínus on the north, and the Trebia on the south, are of historical interest.

The portion of Northern Italy bordering on the Mediterranean is a mountainous district, and was called LIGURIA. In this district on the coast were Genua and Nicaea. The district north of the Athesis, between the Alps and the Adriatic, was called VENETIA, from which comes the name Venice. Here were located Patavium (Padua), Aquileia, and Forum Julii.

Gallia Cisalpína contained many flourishing towns. North of the Padus were Veróna, Mediolánum (Milan), Cremóna, Mantua, Andes, and Vercellae, a noted battle-field. South of this river were Augusta Taurinórum (Turin), Placentia, Parma, Mutina, and Ravenna. The Rubicon, a little stream flowing into the Adriatic, bounded Gallia Cisalpína on the southeast. The Mucra, another little stream, was the southern boundary on the other side of Italy.

CENTRAL ITALY, _Italia Propria_, or Italy Proper, included all of the peninsula below these rivers as far down as Apulia and Lucania. In this division are the rivers Tiber, Arnus, Liris, and Volturnus, which empty into the Mediterranean, and the Metaurus, Aesis, and Aternus, which empty into the Adriatic.

The most important subdivision of Central Italy was LATIUM, bordering on the Tyrrhenian Sea. North of it on the same coast was ETRURIA, and to the south was CAMPANIA. On the Adriatic coast were UMBRIA, PICÉNUM, and SAMNIUM.

The cities of Latium were Rome, on the Tiber, and its seaport, Ostia, near the mouth of the same river. Ten miles northwest of Rome was Veii, an Etruscan city, and about the same distance southeast was Alba Longa. Nearly the same distance directly south of Rome, on the coast, was Lavinium, and east-northeast of Rome was Tibur. Neighboring to Alba Longa were Tusculum and the Alban Lake. The Pomptine Marshes were near the coast, in the southern part of Latium. Lake Regillus was near Rome.

In Etruria were Florentia, Faesulae, Pisae, Arretium, Volaterrae, Clusium, and Tarquinii; also Lake Trasiménus. In Campania were Capua, Neapolis (Naples), Cumae, Baiae, a watering place, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Caudium, Salernum, Casilínum, and Nola. The famous volcano of Vesuvius was here, and also Lake Avernus.

In Umbria, on the coast, were Ariminum and Pisaurum; in the interior were Sentinum and Camerínum. The river Metaurus, noted for the defeat of Hasdrubal, was likewise in Umbria.

In Picenum was Ancona. In Samnium were Cures and Beneventum.

SOUTHERN ITALY included APULIA and CALABRIA on the Adriatic, LUCANIA and BRUTTUM on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Apulia is the most level of the countries south of the Rubicon. Its only stream is the Aufidus, on the bank of which at Cannae was fought a famous battle. Arpi, Asculum, and Canusium are interior towns.

In Calabria (or Iapygia) were the cities of Brundisium and Tarentum.

The chief towns in Lucania and Bruttium were settled by the Greeks. Among them were Heracléa, Metapontum, Sybaris, and Thurii, in Lucania; and Croton, Locri, and Rhegium, in Bruttium.

The islands near Italy were important. SICILY, with an area of about 10,000 square miles, and triangular in shape, was often called by the poets TRINACRIA (with three promontories). The island contained many important cities, most of which were of Greek origin. Among these were Syracuse, Agrigentum, Messána, Catana, Camarína, Gela, Selínus, Egesta (or Segesta), Panormus, Leontíni, and Enna. There are many mountains, the chief of which is Aetna.

SARDINIA is nearly as large as Sicily. CORSICA is considerably smaller. ILVA (Elba) is between Corsica and the mainland. IGILIUM is off Etruria; CAPREAE is in the Bay of Naples; STRONGYLE (Strombóli) and LIPARA are north of Sicily, and the AEGÁTES INSULAE are west of it.



So far as we know, the early inhabitants of Italy were divided into three races, the IAPYGIAN, ETRUSCAN, and ITALIAN. The IAPYGIANS were the first to settle in Italy. They probably came from the north, and were pushed south by later immigrations, until they were crowded into the southeastern corner of the peninsula (Calabria). Here they were mostly absorbed by the Greeks, who settled in the eighth and seventh centuries all along the southern and southwestern coast, and who were more highly civilized. Besides the Iapygians, and distinct from the Etruscans and Italians, were the Venetians and the Ligurians, the former of whom settled in Venetia, the latter in Liguria.

The ETRUSCANS at the time when Roman history begins were a powerful and warlike race, superior to the Italians in civilization and the arts of life. They probably came from the north, and at first settled in the plain of the Po; but being afterwards dislodged by the invading Gauls, they moved farther south, into Etruria. Here they formed a confederation of twelve cities between the Arno and the Tiber. Of these cities the most noted were Volsinii, the head of the confederacy, Veii, Volaterrae, Caere, and Clusium. This people also formed scattering settlements in other parts of Italy, but gained no firm foothold. At one time, in the sixth century, they were in power at Rome. Corsica, too, was at this time under their control. Their commerce was considerable. Many well preserved monuments of their art have been discovered, but no one has yet been able to decipher any of the inscriptions upon them. The power of these people was gradually lessened by the Romans, and after the fall of Veii, in 396, became practically extinct.

The ITALIANS were of the same origin as the Hellénes, and belonged to the Aryan race, a people that lived in earliest times possibly in Scandinavia. While the Hellénes were settling in Greece, the Italians entered Italy.

At this time the Italians had made considerable progress in civilization. They understood, in a measure, the art of agriculture; the building of houses; the use of wagons and of boats; of fire in preparing food, and of salt in seasoning it. They could make various weapons and ornaments out of copper and silver; husband and wife were recognized, and the people were divided into clans (tribes).

History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD - 1/47

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