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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Chronos and Dionysos 2. Demeratos and the house of the Tarquins
3. Etruscan Augury
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
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….
“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.”
“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.
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.”
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.
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)
“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.”
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.