Greek polis cohesion
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Aristotelian categories: (1) National family (biological unity) (2) Single area, compact and self-contained (3) Unified culture, religion (4) Citizen body based on leisure to serve the common good. Wealthier class. Soldier = citizen. Greek polis cohesion.

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Greek polis cohesion

Aristotelian categories:

(1) National family (biological unity)

(2) Single area, compact and self-contained

(3) Unified culture, religion

(4) Citizen body based on leisure to serve the common good. Wealthier class. Soldier = citizen.

Greek polis cohesion

The roman contrast
The Roman Contrast

  • Rome has no “national family”

    Citizenship began with undesirables from other areas.

    Citizens added according to need and desirable qualities:

    -Sabine women

    -Men willing to serve as soldiers or auxiliaries

    -Service industries to army (food suppliers, leather workers, slavers, merchants, etc.)

    -Liberated slaves

Roman contrast
Roman Contrast

Rome has no recognized borders.

  • Constant war means constant expansion.

  • All borders are temporary.

  • Essential quality of an ambitious politician is to be successful in a war (prestige and money).

  • Success translates into votes at future elections.

  • Built-in imperialistic and acquisitive tendency.

Roman contrast1
Roman Contrast

Roman citizenship is a series of privileges, not a single entity. Roman citizenship is not based on class, occupation, religion, or ethnic similarity.

  • Right to hold office (ius honorum)

  • Right to vote (ius suffragii)

  • Right to marry and make a Roman will (ius matrimonii)

  • Right to use Roman court system

  • Right to do business in Roman markets (ius commercii)

What holds rome together
What holds Rome together?

  • (1) Nuclear family, in place of national family. The head of a family (pater familias) is supreme. He holds virtually dictatorial powers inside the family, and technically 'owns' all of the family property. “Family” includes wife, children, slaves and ex-slaves (manumitted freedmen).

What holds rome together1
What holds Rome together?

  • (2) Military discipline. Each citizen is theoretically liable to ten years of military service (stipendia). In the Regal Period and the Republic, armies were assembled for a campaign, usually an annual affair (from March to October). One's service did not need to be continuous.

    The number of citizens meant that service was almost always voluntary. Rome's liberal policy of granting citizenship gave it a very large base from which to draw soldiers. From 494 B.C. Soldiers were paid, in addition to bonuses from booty.

What holds rome together2
What holds Rome together?

  • (3) FIDES ('loyalty”). Roman society consists of a series of mutual relationships between individuals and groups. The relationships carry with them privileges and obligations. A father and son, for example, have fides between them. One is the 'patron', the other is the 'client'. The father has many privileges, a son few; but both have obligations. The relationships may be hereditary. When a slave is freed, (s)he remains a member of the familia, and is expected to appear for family events (funerals, weddings) and to vote as the head of the family dictates. Political associates may become allies (and they call themselves amici, 'friends'). Fides extends to interstate relationships between the Roman People and a foreign state. Once entered into, the relationship is difficult to get out of, except by formal declaration (which may lead to becoming enemies: inimicitia)

What holds rome together3
What holds Rome together?

  • (4) Roman Law. Rome's earliest 'literature' is legal in nature. The fragments of the “Twelve Tables of the Roman Law” show a basically agricultural society, which relies on personal ties to make the legal system work. One needs amici ('friends') to help get an opponent to court, to get witnesses to come, and to execute judgment. Even getting a court date may require a friend (an influential senator) to arrange it; one thus may become a 'client' to a senatorial 'patron', with long-lasting consequences. Roman law, however, did not permit lawyers to take fees for their services, and fraud is severely punished.

    As Rome expands, Roman law is extended to all the provinces by 'martial law'. This gives locals a second court system (often a more objective one) in which they can pursue the vindication of their rights. The provincial governor oversees this local system.