Episode 77 – The Troubles of 481 BCE

We dive back into the history of Rome from the founding of the city and end up right in the challenges of 481 BCE. This means that we’re in the hazy early period of the Republic where the conflict between the patricians and plebeians dominates the narratives offered by Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

How consulships are chosen seems to be getting a little more complicated. There are tussles over how elections should proceed. The use of the interrex to manage the electoral process comes into play suggesting the increasing political complexity in the system. Speaking about complexity, we discuss just how likely a struggle of the orders really is in this period of the republic by considering the names of consuls.

The Fabii continue to flourish!

482 BCE marks the consulships of Quintus Fabius (cos II) and Gaius Julius Iulus, but, as the title of the episode gives away, the events of 481 BCE, and the consulships of Caeso Fabius (cos II) and Spurius Furius take centre stage.

As domestic politics becomes more strained, Rome continues to (wait for it) have trouble with her neighbours…

The real trouble of 481 BCE

The tribune of the plebs Spurius Licinius draws attention to the failure of the movement on the agrarian policy to measure up the ager publicus (public land) and redistribute it to the citizens. The dramas of this continuing situation sets the scene for Rome’s problems with the people of Veii, the Aequians, the Tyrrhenians, and their own soldiers…

The Troubles of 481 BCE

 

481 BCE
Jean Germain Drouais 1785 ‘Dying Athlete or Wounded Roman Soldier’. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Drs R and G laugh and spar their way through the ancient Roman world!

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