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Greek arrivals in Rome. Chronos and Dionysos 2. Demeratos and the house of the Tarquins 3. Etruscan Augury. Saturnus. Kronos (Chronos) = Time – 2 nd generation gods Saturnus Greek myth: Kronos tried to swallow his children, thrown into Tartarus

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Greek arrivals in Rome

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greek arrivals in rome

Greek arrivals in Rome

Chronos and Dionysos 2. Demeratos and the house of the Tarquins

3. Etruscan Augury

  • Kronos (Chronos) = Time – 2nd generation gods
  • Saturnus
  • Greek myth: Kronos tried to swallow his children, thrown into Tartarus
  • Roman myth: Saturnus flees from Jupiter and the place he lies hidden (latebas) = Latium
  • Saturnus both bringer of civilization (associated with sowing)
  • And symbol of time before civilization - dangerous = statue in temple shackled
  • Hercules abolished human sacrifice to Saturnus
  • One version of story explains tossing of straw figures of Argives replaced real sacrifice
  • Saturn’s temple also treasury - associated with introduction of coinage
dionysos arrival
Dionysos’ Arrival
  • Hercules at Tiber with cattle responds to cries for help from Ino with a baby son Melikertes, chased by Bacchantes (followers of Dionysos)
  • Hercules became a god - apotheosis
  • Ino, daughter of Kadmus, king of Thebes, sister of Semele who was mother of Dionysos (son of Zeus) – Ino took care of baby Dionysos
  • Ino became goddess Leukothea (Greek) Matuta (Latin), her son god Palaemon (Greek), Portunus (Latin)
  • Story – aitiology for Dionysos’ arrival
  • Dionysos = Liber
  • Introduced Italians (and earlier the Greeks) to viticulture
  • Falernian Wine – famous wine in antiquity
the greek heros hero
the Greek heros (hero)

The hero in Poetry - the great Greek heroes of myth (i.e. Achilles, Odysseus), they are noble, well-born and alive – also self-centred, out for personal glory and honour

The cult hero - is dead!

hero of worship = denotes a human being who continues to exert power after death and has to be propitiated through prayers and offerings.

A hero commonly has a divine and a human parent and is mortal

Traditionally heroes are founders of cities, races (Aeneas), families (iulus, Nautes) etc.,

Hero more important in Greek mythology and religion than in Roman; Greeks have 5 mythological ages of man, including the age of heroes, Romans only 4; Most important hero in Greek myth – Heracles – appears in Roman myth but not as prominent

Heroes symbolize uncivilized aspect but also are bringers of civilization

Romans dropped age of Heroes when they adopted Greek mythological tradition

hero in cult
Hero in Cult
  • Most were anonymous
  • chthonic powers (dwelt under the earth)
  • Heroon – (Latin tumuli) large burial mound (at end of Greek dark ages new settlers found them and believed that they belonged to mythological heroes); tumuli – also recorded in Italy
  • Cult involved a tomb (heroon);
  • sacrifices to chthonic powers were poured onto ground (not burned on altar)
  • These dead heroes were considered to be intermediaries between gods and humans
  • Offered protection while they could harm at the same time - needed to be appeased
the seven kings of rome
The Seven Kings of Rome
  • Romulus
  • Numa Pompilius
  • Tullus Hostilius
  • Ancus Marcius
  • Tarquinius Priscus
  • Servius Tullius
  • Tarquinius Superbus
demeratos of corinth and the tarquins
Demeratos of Corinth and the Tarquins
  • Corinth at Isthmus – connecting Greek mainland with Peloponnese
  • Extremely wealthy city
  • Cult of Poseidon Hippios
  • Isthmian Games (biannual festival)
  • Leading family the Bacchiadai, disposed of in 657 BC,
  • One member of family, Demeratos, wealthy from trade with Etruscans, went with followers to Etruria and settled at Tarquinii, married women from local nobility
  • one source claims became king
  • Had a son Locumo (= king in Etruscan), married local aristocrat Tanaquil
  • Could not get the high position in Etruscan society, packed up his wife and wealth and left ,
  • On road at Janiculum, gods sent him sign - - eagle snatched his hat off, Tanaqui read the omen, settled at Rome, used Demaratos’ treasure, became fifth king of Rome
  • Locumo of Tarquinii – latinized as Lucius Tarquinius
  • Their son Tarquinius Superbus – last king at Rome
tarquinius priscus
Tarquinius (Priscus)
  • Introduced Corinthian cult of Poseidon Hippios as Latin Neptunus Equester,
  • identified with local deity Consus (common to identify local deity with imported god/cult)
  • Introduced Roman form of Isthmian Games in honour of Poseidon/Neptune (biennual games – part of Panhellenic game circuit)
  • Circus named after Circe, daughter of sun god Helios, the other patron of Corinth
  • Corinthian cult of Aphrodite – in Greek myth came ashore naked, where she landed, myrtles grew as to protect from satyrs
  • On slope of Aventine hill – myrtle grove site of cult of Fortuna Virilis (Fortune of Men)
  • Cult required married women to be available to their husbands on first day of April (months of Aphrodite), like the earlier temple prostitutes
  • Corinthian connection important in story about house of Tarquinii
rome s openness
Rome’s Openness

Livy, ab urbe condita 1.34

“The Etruscans looked down upon Locumo as the son of a foreign refugee; she [Tanaquil] could not brook this indignity, and forgetting all ties of patriotism if only she could see her husband honoured, resolved to emigrate from Tarquinii. Rome seemed the most suitable place for her purpose. She felt that among a young nation where all nobility is a thing of recent growth and won by personal merit, there would be room for a man of courage and energy. She remembered that the Sabine Tatius had reigned there, that Numa had been summoned from Cures to fill the throne, that Ancus himself was sprung from a Sabine mother….

etruscan arts augury
Etruscan Arts (augury)


“They had got as far as the Janiculum when a hovering eagle swooped gently down and took off his cap as he was sitting by his wife’s side in the carriage, then circling round the vehicle with loud cries, as though commissioned by heaven for this service, replaced it carefully upon his head and soared away. It is said that Tanaquil, who like most Etruscans, was expert in interpreting celestial prodigies, was delighted at the omen.”

the role of augury
The role of augury


“now as Romulus had acted under the sanction of the auspices, Attius Navius, a celebrated augur at that time, insisted that no change could be made, nothing new introduced, unless the birds gave a favourable omen. The king’s anger was roused, and in mockery of the augur’s skill he is reported to have said,” come, you diviner, find out by your augury whether what I am now contemplating can be done.” Attius, after consulting the omens, declared that it could. “Well,” the king replied, “I had in my mind that you should cut a whetstone with a razor. Take these, and perform the feat which your birds portend can be done.” It is said that without the slightest hesitation he cut it through. …At all events, auguries and the college of augurs were held in such honour that nothing was undertaken in peace or war without their sanction: the curies, the assembly of the centuries, matters of the highest importance, were suspended or broken if the omen of the birds was unfavourable.

the first tarquin
The First Tarquin

1.34 “During the reign of Ancus a wealthy and ambitious man named Lucumo removed to Rome, mainly with the hope and desire of winning high distinction, for which no opportunity had existed in Tarquinii, since there he was also an alien. …

1.35 Ancus reigned twenty-four years, unsurpassed by any of his predecessors in ability and reputation, both in the field and at home. His sons had now almost reached manhood. Tarquin was all the more anxious for the election of the new king to be held as soon as possible. At the time fixed for it he sent the boys out of the way on a hunting expedition. ….

Though in all other respects an excellent man, his ambition, which impelled him to seek the crown, followed him on to the throne; with the design of strengthening himself quite as much as of increasing the State, he made a hundred new senators. These were afterwards called “The Lesser Houses” and formed a body of uncompromising supporters of the king, though whose kindness they had entered the senate.”

titus livius livy and early roman history
Titus Livius (Livy) and Early Roman History

The historian Livy ( 64 or 59 B.C. – A.D. 17)

Work: ab urbe condita ( from the founding of Rome) an enormous history of Rome from its foundation to his own time, contains many traditional stories about early Roman history that are not historical facts

Stories reflect traditional Roman ideals and values, not necessarily those of the early Romans, but rather of later periods and of Livy’s own period.

Important: history reflects Roman vision of the past

Stories provide many exempla (examples) of exemplary Roman men and women who act according to Roman values, and examples of those who do not.

livy s sources
Livy’s sources

Early books, no reliable sources

Used previous writers; some archaeological evidence such as monuments and statues around – tries to link some legends to surviving monuments

After 390 BCE more sources available

Relies on many Greek writers and Roman annalists,

As more sources available he is able to differentiate and argues in favour of one or the other

Early history - traditional legends – selected from several earlier versions. His version of the regal period only ¼ of length of that by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 70 – 7 BCE)

livy s prologue
Livy’s prologue

“Events before the city was founded or planned, which have been handed down more as pleasing poetic fictions than as reliable records of historical events, I intend neither to affirm nor to refute. To antiquity we grant the indulgence of making the origins of cities more impressive by commingling the human with the divine, and if any people should be permitted to sanctify its inception and reckon the gods as its founders, surely the glory of the Roman people in war such that, when it boasts Mars in particular as its parent and the parent of its founder, the nations of the world would as easily acquiesce in this claim as they do in our rule.”

the nature of the traditional stories from rome s early history
The nature of the Traditional stories from Rome’s early history

Not factual accounts, but how Romans of later periods viewed their past;

Stories are anachronistic - they reflect not so much values 6th to 4th centuries of the city but values of later periods shared by Livy’s own contemporaries.

Stories are also an illustration of how the Roman themselves envisioned the history of their state.