By Seth Kendall
Among ninety one and seventy seven BCE a sequence of wars have been fought in Italy which left the Roman commonwealth in shambles and eventually caused its cave in. normally, experiences of those conflicts and their leaders have tended to target occasions and members individually, even if there's a thread which binds all of them jointly: all of those wars indirectly concerned efforts at the a part of Rome s non-citizen Italian Allies first to procure the rights of Roman citizenship, after which to augment and protect these rights as soon as obtained. by way of re-examining the turbulent decade of the 80s BCE from the point of view of the Italians, their fight for the citizenship, and the Roman response to it, there emerges a better figuring out of a interval which in a different way seems to be a disjointed choice of random, violent episodes.
This quantity makes an attempt to supply one of these survey. It first investigates the character of the matter through ascertaining why it's the Italian Allies sought after the citizenship. subsequent, it narrates how Rome s reluctance to offer it ended in a warfare so devastating that Rome prolonged a kind of partial citizenship to safe peace. The Allies weren't content material with this concession for lengthy, even if, and their dissatisfaction was once utilized by Roman politicians to additional their very own ends. Such use can also be tested, as is the violence which resulted from it. ultimately, it's going to discover how this violence culminated in a full-fledged civil warfare, one on whose battlefields the Italians performed a wide half and which shook and at last shook aside the principles of the Roman Republic.
Front conceal: Roman ruins in what used to be the traditional urban of Corfinium (modern Corfinio), used because the base of operations by means of the Italians in the course of the Allied warfare from ninety one to 88 BCE.
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Extra resources for The Struggle for Roman Citizenship: Romans, Allies, and the Wars of 91–77 BCE
26 ROMANS, ALLIES, AND THE STRUGGLE BCE. It was a factor, almost certainly the principal one, in the participation of the socii in first the Allied War, when they fought Rome to gain the franchise, and then in the Civil War, when they supported the Mariani against Sulla out of fear that Sulla would take away the rights they had gained. Therefore, the aim of the present essay is to describe this struggle for the Roman citizenship undertaken by the Allies, how and why it came into being, and its impact on the 80s.
Cornelius Cinna, C. Marius, and their successors in the tense years following 88. Moreover, the Italians would later prove to be equally willing to defend what they had been given, or had at last finally taken, from those who they had reason to suspect would attempt to wrest it away from them again. Such a person was L. Cornelius Sulla, for whom there seems to have existed a robust loathing amongst the Allies which was apparently enthusiastically returned. Many Allies therefore resumed their weapons against Sulla upon his return from the East, and as events would turn out, the suspicions which led them to do so were amply justified: despite the assertion that Sulla actually made good on his promise to “respect all the concessions the Italians had won”, as one scholar puts it, the facts bear out that Sulla intentionally and actively re-engineered the Roman political structure to make sure many Italians—save those he handpicked—would never attain equal political rights with the cives veteres.
Yet neither of these men would have had the “obvious political interest portraying the Italian élite ... as worthy members of Roman society” that Mouritsen claims Cicero did. Indeed, Sulla would certainly have had very little desire to massage the feelings of the Italian domi nobiles, for whom the Dictator’s actions suggest nothing but loathing, as events will show. Mouritsen does not consider this necessity, although it is difficult to see how an invented “desire for the citizenship” could replace the true “desire for independence” so thoroughly in the later sources if Sulla and Sisenna had told the truth and identified independence as Allied goal.