Long Fourth Century – Day 1, afternoon – notes

Live tweeting of this conference by others can be found here.

Palombi on Urbanism in Transition

paper read by Mignone

In literature portrayal changes from an Etruscan city to that of a Greek city, portrayal accepted by Romans

De-etruscanization closes with taking of Volsinii  and desolving of Etruscan decopolis; Greekness affirmed by admission to Isthmian games

Invention of tradition

Sparse archaeology supplemented by records in literary sources, buildings listed on slide by century (but not sources): “IV cent 7 temples, III 40 temples, II 20 temples, I seven temples” (but excludes temple of Diana Plancia!?!)

Interventions of the fourth century in comitia, square to circular shift.  New name Graecostatis

“explosion of the sacred” in the 3rd century

lacking confirmation of archaeology

“masochistic tendency to down date the use of Roman concrete”

Colonies “cities of great modernity” urban planning

Urban models used by Rome in 3rd and 4th century based on Latin models

“Rome did not Romanize Latium, but rather Latinized Italy”

“City of Tuff vs City of Limestone”

City walls restored through out Latium with gates (usually with arches) and bastions in 4th/3rd century

Extension to include new Road system, cf. Praeneste, Ariccia

Cora extension of terraces

Tusculum’s forum also shaped in this period because of terrace construction

Tusculum’s forum has a true Greek style portico already in 3rd Century

Cosa, Alba Fucens – colonies draw on models from Magna Graecia, cf. Paestum, Argigento for civic meeting spaces.

Wide spread use of votive offering found in Latium does not seem to have a parallel in Rome itself

Imposing terraces as defining characteristic of Latin cities, defining space, even before contact with Hellenistic building practices

Latin experimentation with urban planning is distinctive: a combination of substructures and hippodamian long blocks

Regularity valued in outlay of terraces in relationship to forums and sacred spaces:  Cf. Gabbi and Norba

Monumentalizing of the main functional feature of city

Must reject Romanocentric view and respect the separate history of Latium and its relationship with other communities, esp. Greek communities and its resistence of Roman hegemony.  Consider the network of Myths that connect Latin communities with the Greeks.

Roselaar – Land Tenure as Spoils of War

Begins by summarizing ideas of James Tan: Rome most interested in widing tax base, citizenship is not a reward, a mechanism of subjugation, tributum institution 406?  Land regularly distributed.  Allies supplied troops, but did not pay taxes, better off than citizens!

Latin war watershed in how land taken was treated, viritane distribution less common

Creations of new tribes resisted by elites to limit power of colleagues through creation of client base of the sponsoring member of the elite

Colonies become alternative to viritane distribution

Colonies must be independent from Rome to serve effectively as military outposts

Colonists exchanged citizenship for land, but retained ius commercii, ius conubii, ius migrationis (the last did NOT apply to their sons though, to ensure colony remained intact and functioned as military outposts)

Non-Romans Non-Latin allies not admitted to colonies at least not in 4th Century.

Ager Publicus present but not fully utilized or well controlled by State.  What was function of this land that was NOT distributed in colonization?  Some sold to fund war efforts in 2nd Punic War–> thus earlier the state had not distribute all the land available to it!

Ager Publicus known to be such would have been valued lower and not developed by private individuals because of insecurity of possession; it would be a bad investment.

2nd century period of fast economic growth, can it be a model for understanding late 4th century boom as discussed by De Haas in morning session.

Luceria’s position determined by its ability to control surrounding area.

Latin colonists have larger land grants, enough to provide for themselves and families (Roman colonies are different story).

Fregellae had big economic opportunities: wool and leather –> attracted greater population

Italian allies had been working ager publicus as if it was their private land.

Summary: New system of land tenure after Latin War: civitas sine suffragio and Latin colonies; The system ends when disputes over remain ager publicus comes to a head with Gracchi and in following period…

Varia from Question Period:

Bernard/Davies: 268 BCE = Temple of Tellus gets map of Italy

Roselaar: Does not believe Rome collects rents on ager publicus

Terrenato: disagrees, why take land not to do anything with it?

Tan: Different ‘theys’ one generation thinks confiscation and rent collection a good idea, next gen may see advantages in NOT doing so…

Mignone: Dion. Hal. reports land confiscations and compensation on Aventine.  Historical?  Compares Lex Thoria (suggesting date of 111 BCE).

Smith: Fretting about whether there is such a thing as a Latin Colony, worry stems from Dutch research, and Roselaar’s own research, and Terrenato’s new book–> foundations at the same time as these colonies that are not colonies.

Roselaar: colonies special for rights of individual colonists, but not necessarily economically different from other foundations, communities.

Ager Publicus is in areas where colonies are absent.

Audience member (?): in agrarian society land ownership is most important thing: more than symbolic. People take chances to be able to ‘own’, opportunism

Tan: 330s different treatment of upland and low land places.  Changes based on function of place.  Qualitative different in types of ager publicus, arable lands vs. pasture lands.

Roselaar: land close to Rome is key and is what is likely that sold in 2nd Punic War.

De Haas: asks about how we can validate picture through archaeological evidence… Settlement density?  Centuriation as a signal of the sale of ager publicus?

Smith: are there mutually beneficial relationships that mean binary ours/ theirs model is not valid.  (echoing Tan sentiments?)

Tan: ager publicus needed to make surrounding small plots actually self-suffient: shared resources.

De Angelis – Rome’s Visual Culture

338-241 BCE is his ‘fourth century’

Plut. Marc. 2.1-3 – bringing spoils from Syracuse, but before this all war trophies

Stereotype of warlike middle republic is used as counterpoint to more sophisticated late republic

Date of shift to luxury varies by author/rhetorical need

Anti-primitive middle Rome lead by Coarelli starting from Medio Repubblicana exhibition and publication

Most now believe that Rome was a major cultural center in the 4th century.

338 – equestrian statues in forum, a hundred years after previous datable reference to an honorific statue.

Capitoline ‘Brutus’ contrasted with Etruscan funeral portaits

It’s too good, fits too well with literary stereotypes.  Some even think it is a retrospective piece of early imperial period.

Cf. Mirrors, Cistae, Red Figure, Sarcophagi,

Rome plates:

2019-05-17 15.32.05-1

Paucity of Rome evidence, leads to looking towards visual cultures of surrounding Latin communities.  But do we then lose local specificity

Calenos LAMPS  [!!!!learn more about these and their epigraphy!!!}

Ficoroni Cista



This object is not an exceptional object: conforms with cista styles and quality of Praeneste and theme is known in other media both from Etruria and S. Italy.

The identity of Cneve Tarchunies as Roman is far less important than the way in which the whole tomb celebrates the bonds between brothers against various adversaries!


Davies – architecture’s  agency

Summarizes Flower on periodization based on governance, not warfare

Ideas of Agency, what can be an an actor

Concept of Object-Scapes and human acculturation

We cannot be too reductionist, humans are still required

Entanglements –> ‘Chicken/Egg’ –> must not underestimate either human or object agency

Monuments primary communicators of history in this period

Discussion of temple style and slide with maps from her recent book

348 – massive walls

Veii brings new material and thus specialization of labor (cites Bernard); but most labor still corvée labor

308 – Butchers give way to Bankers spaces with Samnite shields of dedication

305 – Temple of Victoria, first lateral columns in 100 years, elongated, and stone entablature, maybe IONIC order

ROmans of 4th Century experience different object-scapes, middle of century stable, but then vast changes.  Contracting, now replaces corveé labor.  So more of a service of the state rather than a burden on the citizens.

Things were NOW changable!  Object-scape allows new ways of thinking about permeability, accessibility, and expansiveness.

Shields, rosta embody foreign states

A new aesthetic in Rome representative of alterity

Plans underplay the radicalness of the shift, better seen in reconstructions of elevations

Then and NOW

Object agency is what she’s proposing

Cf. Her reading of Caesar’s Forum against Pompey’s theater complex: stark/all-business vs. luxury.

The past becomes more limited, austere, harder, unified, rigid, domineering, inward looking by CONTRAST by newer styles.

Did Romans perceive this shift? Possibly.

E.g. Updating of Temple of Castor (GREAT RECONSTRUCTIONS side by side)

Sulla’s on reconstructions focus nearly exclusively on regal and very earliest republic.  He is using the 4th century and before to signal conservative agenda.

Architecture more than index, but historical agent, by creating contrasts between present and past.

Bernard and Davies sidebar: ALL about how much of early temples Ionic

Question period

Feeney:  underscores Rostra and evocation of Sea and Antium

Audience Member: what was recognizable?

Davies: foreignness readable even if origins specifically are not.

Bernard: comments on who the craftspeople are and that these people are coming from ‘everywhere’

Peralta:  Human agency is beside the point…

De Angelis: would not be so radical… raises issue of Caleno artists identifying place or origin on the black-glaze ware…

Smith: Points back to Palombi paper and asks if these papers undermines the idea of Latin agency; Context makes the object, and the context defines the people as well, creates capacity to imagine oneself as different, but what is the ‘DIFFERENT’?  This is a period of great militarism, as well as artistic revolution.  What sort of new citizen is being created?

Davies:  Not so much an issue of foreign policy, but who has access to power… How they conceive power relations among themselves.  New types of sponsors of architecture, new funding streams, different people are speaking in the language of architecture, the most authoritative language that is available.

Smith: Palombi paper…

Davies:  I’m deliberately not answering that (laughing)

De Angelis: I wish Palombi was here I don’t fully understand… To what extent does knowledge of Etruscan temples effect these developments?

Davies: I’m most interested in how building in Rome effect Romans…

Rosenstein:  Who are these Romans you expect to be influenced by this architecture?  De-centralized population… Urban population doesn’t exceed 10% of whole…

Davies: That’s my point, its limited

Rosenstein: Hierarchy of Romanness…

[I said stuff about Minucian Column here]

Feeney:  reviews how many people were seeing this building, esp. in social-religious contexts, not just citizens, but non-citizens as well.

Cornell:  We many not be able to call anything Etruscan, but rather just old style…  Much of this stuff is being produced by Plebeians…A new ruling class is coming into being.

Davies: The architecture is propelling this new class.

Tan: Gaius Maenius may be key.  All following him.

Davies: Yeah, I wrote that in my book.





Long Fourth Century – Conference Notes (morning day 1)

For actual live-tweeting by others, esp. Sarah Johnson, see here.

Recommended Reading: Terrenato, Nicola. 2019. The Early Roman Expansion into Italy: Elite Negotiation and Family Agendas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108525190.

Are all centuries long?  What does the longness matter?

Where are the silences?  Following Michel-Rolph Trouillot line of thinking.  What more can we do?

Session #1:

Elliot – Cato, Origines

Did historical cultural practices as evinced by masks, epigraphy etc… provide influence on Cato’s self conception?

Written in retrospect by an old man reflecting on his struggle as a ‘new man’ – a self commemoration

Compare Or. 2-3 and Caes. BJ on ethnographic perspective – see Chassignet

Earning imagines versus inheriting them – later new men emphasize

Flower: active verbs associated with imagines, they are ACTORS

actions more important than status – Cf. Cato removing names of commanders but recording those of officers, the do-ers.

Cato like other Roman rhetoricians emphasize physicality of relevant individuals to oration: Cato thus emphasizes his own old age.  (seems to be constructing a kind of living imagines?)

Notice all the use of first person and second person in the Rhodian oration.  (Underlined on handout)

Quoted words of the past are treated as a form of authentic preservation.  (Cf. # 12)  Goes against (?!) other historians avoidance (?!) of quotation and transcription.

Bernard, S., C. Damon and C. Grey, 2014. ‘Rhetorics of land and power in the Polla inscription (C/L 12 638)’, Mnemosyne 67, 953- 85.

First person of Cato shares much with the first person of certain epigraphical use of First person:


Cornell – Timaeus

Life covers most of the 4th century, said to have live 96 years, exiled by Agathocles, 50 years in exile mostly in Athens.

Tyrants not called tyrants when heroicized

Reviewing extensively what we can and cannot know about his dates/life experience.

Accepts Polybius 12.25h.1 as proof that his exile started very early in life because of lack of military/political experience.

Suggests 240s for likely death date.

Work covers earliest times to death of Agathocles.

Seems to accept Jacoby’s reconstruction of the stucture of the work (what about Baron’s problematization of this view?!)

Emphasizes how Timaeus creates a Hellenized view of non Greek people and the integration of local myths with traditional Greek mythical structure.  Western Greek just as GREEK as mainland (and Aegean? Greeks).

Cornell’s Timaeus seems to have the same programmatic goals as Dionysius of Halicarnassus book 1.  Is this correct?  Or are we clouded in our interpretation by relying on Dionysius…

Gelon presented as a Hero, as was Dion and Timoleon.   (Is our view influenced by Plutarch transmission?!?)

The work on Pyrrhus put Rome at the center (inferred from Dionysius representation and Aulus Gellius passage).

Suggests Timaeus may have viewed all of Italy as Rome’s domain.

Is Timaeus reflecting something the ROMANS themselves said about the October Horse and its relationship to the fall of Troy?  Cornell thinks so.

Archaeological remains of “Heroon of Aeneas” believed to have been discovered at Lavinium (Practica di Mare)

How does Timaeus visiting and asking questions influence the creation and structuring of Romans’ own self reporting?  a both/and explanation of how narrative is created

On foundation date in Timaeus and Romans see Feeney.  Possible Timaeus used Punic sources (really?! evidence?)

Sychronizing of the two cities’ foundations (Carthage and Rome) puts them on the same footing and suggests a shared destiny.  What this means depends on dating of writing?

Are they twin enemies of the western Greeks? – Mazzarino

Or is Timaeus foreshadowing the great clash between the two?  – Vattuone

Polybius’ is jealous of Timaeus, because Romans considered him ‘one of their own’, and the influence of his account on Roman accounts of their own origins esp. Fabius Pictor etc…

336-240 suggested as dates and thus allows for influence of first Punic War on his perspective.

Why wait to come home?  Why extend exile?  Baron suggests not much to go back to.

Tindarion invitation to Pyrrhus may have been factor in Timaeus’ reluctance to return.  Whereas Heiron (and Romans) created the conditions that allowed his return.

Romans anti Tyrant and instead favored and promoted ‘timocratic’ rule, i.e. rule by property classes.  This aligns with Timaeus own views/priorities.

Question session:

(not a complete record – like rest, just what I’m hearing and thinking about)

Bernard: What sorts of societies promote these types of commemoration?  Points to the passage of the Origines on Lacedamonian commemoration of war commanders and how Cato lists things we might think of as Roman but makes them Greek and then rejects them, prioritizing his writing as the memorial.

Elliott: Cato is so good at having it both ways.  After reports of his statue and inscriptions, account also goes on to his rejection of a desire for statues.

Flower:  Can we separate the speeches from the orations of Cato?

Elliott:  Short answer: no.  Points to Cicero testimony.  Methodologically problems with using Gellius.  But, evidence seems to point to origines giving speeches in direct speech.  Cicero’s count of so many Cato speeches may be just flourish not actual ‘fact’, a rhetorical show.  Must be read in context of Brutus Dialogue in which Atticus interlocutor undercuts idea of Cato as rhetorical model. Cicero’s interest in Cato is very much later life when he’s doing ‘historical research’.

Audience member:  But the Scipio inscription couldn’t be seen…

Elliott: No one singular model, but instead this is the TYPE of voice of commemoration.

Audience member: Are really old Roman inscriptions legible to later audiences?

Elliott: Yes, texts become readily inaccessible.

Cornell: Example of Lapis Niger and Dion. Hal. beliefs that it is a res gestae of Romulus

Rosenstein: points to Polybius on difficulty but success! on reading early treaties with Carthage

Elliott responding to Mignone: Cato as influence on Cicero as a master of self representation.

Feeney: brings up as support fragment where he orders slave to recite his own early speech – he creates his own canon.

Cornell: points out account of Cato in Spain could derive from his own defense of his actions when brought up on charges.  Did his histories just use speeches as a pre-writing.  Gellius is defending Cato from Tullius Tiro’s criticism.  See passage 3 on Elliott’s handout.

Flower and Elliott: Livy’s assumption of accessibility of Cato to contemporary readers.

Smith/Cornell: [Follow up separately on Cornell’s views of Servius] Cornell believes Timaeus may be the favorable view of Servius and his timocratic constitution: cf. Miano, D. (2013), “Tychai of Timoleon and Servius Tullius. A hypothesis on the sources”,
ASNP class.lett., ser. V, 4.2: 365-378. Cornell’s Student.  Servius Rex NOT Servius Tullius

Smith: a Greek trying to figure out what a rex might be…

De Haas on Rural transformations

Great maps on slides

Focus on Suburbium, S. Etruria, Pontine region project –> Data integration as The Rome Hinterland Project

N. Suburbium:  Charts with settlement data, 1st half 4th many farms abandoned, increased numbers of ‘villas’ or elite holdings. (Carafa and Cappana 2019)

Villa known in 5th but much more in later 4th

S. Eturia: peak in settlement in 6th, drop off in 5th, increase in 4th and 3rd.

really great graphs

Sabina: similar pattern abandonment in 5th and early 4th and then increased settlement in later 4th and 3rd

S. Latium: increased settlement in later 4th and 3rd but in regions already earlier enhabited but now denser

movement from foothills to upland sites, increased use of terracing: wine possible, but more likely olive oil production. Commercial levels of production on this platform sites of the late 4th/3rd century.

Pontine Marsh: infamous as marginal and harsh landscape, via Appia major intrusion, perhaps taken from Priverium and given to Roman citizens.  Forum Appii 4th-3rd so also ad Media, central places for rural sites, NOT just traveller stop offs.  Rural sites have genucilia and petites estampiles.

Marsh lands needed to be reclaimed.  Centuriation in this region can be dated more firmly in this area than elsewhere.  Ecology used to dating.  Smaller ditches and canals.  Ditch fills can be dated by radio carbon.   Pollen etc point to grain cultivation: Emmer wheat.

Some local trajectories, but three main patterns:

Decline in 5th/4th, followed by recovery in 4th/3rd and more large estates ‘villas’, intensive use of landscapes not previously seen as desirable: uplands, marshes etc…

More complex rural settlement hierarchies

Population growth –> greater food demands

towns as hubs also grow and monumentalize

economic growth, inspired by state investment, private investments also exist (terraces for commercial levels of production targeting urban areas)

Growth creates manpower and resource surpluses thus fueling Roman ability for further expansion and militarism.

How do settlement patterns relate to land ownership?

Is centuriation a sign of allotments or commercial selling of lands?

What are the impact on landscape?  were there sustained explotiation strategies?  ecological research needed

Killgrove on Bioarchaelogy of Republican Italy

similar to forensic anthropology, but longer time scales and more interested in groups rather individuals

interdisciplinary but also housed in the us under anthropology within the ancient

Sex/age at death/height basic questions of Osteology

v nice chart of demography: Gabii, Casal Beertone, Castellaccio Europarco and Oplontis

Paleo-Pathology examples: healed broken nose from Gabii, calcified plaque on teeth says so much about diet!

metopic suture (skull plates not all the way fused) can tell us about population interaction and migration as inherited trait

Chemical analysis can tell us about diet, migration, familial relationships, and diseases.

Imperial Rome case study

neither history nor archaeology can answer all questions: great diagram of research model: ask for permission to include!

Chose a cemetery with burial style variation and more than one language in epigraphic record to hope find heterogeneous population, likely migrants.

Only 8 out of 100 tested people clearly migrants, not a lot but at least some.

how do we make sense of scatter plots?

Where are the skeletons from mid-Republican period?!

Imperial burials easier to date, partly because more grave goods, and better preserved, and just many more.

Very little on republican skeletons, but where to look:

FastiOnline – not so useful for this BUT VERY IMPORTANT DIGITAL RESOURCE!

So Killgrove used Castellaccio Europarco

4th-3rd – 28 inhumations

2nd-1st – 16 cremations

…16 other sites… missed publication ref on slide….

108 burials from the Republic found

IsoArch – Another really awesome database resource.

People ate wheat…maybe barley… and some sort of terrestrial protein.

MUCH more data from Apollonia Pontika, sites in Greece, and Gasfabrik from same era that could be used for comparison as new Italian data appears.

Research on cremations at being done at Pompeii

Every ancient cremation usually under 1000C – allows some information on Migration, Strontium survives [in teeth and connects to where individual was drinking water]

More can be done with collagen if temps under 300C

DNA not possible with Cremation

[What is Grey Literature?]

Questions that could be answered as more data emerges:

  • Who participated with Roman conquest of Italy?
  • What was the Family Like?
  • Was republican period different than Iron age or Imperial period?

Change through time starting to be seen in ancient diet, case study of Gabii: More seafood, more millet appear (not yet published research, in collaboration with MA student)

Currently working on Oplontis…  Find her work in a variety of locations: Forbes Column, twitter, facebook, and personal website.


Pistis epigraphic language

Follow up on SEG 42:1065 Capture.JPG

Thoughts on T. Morgan AAH lecture:

  • Fides as warrior in allegory, often also able to be a synonym for Christ.
  •  ‘Wisdom’ of Proverbs (not contemporary Judaism) possible model for Christian Fides.
  • Alma Fides: Cic. de Off. 3.29.104 quoting Ennius; CIL 9.60, Brindisi, BUT MOST alma fides references in epigraphy appear in later Christian period

Si non molestum est hospes consiste et lege / navibus velivolis magnum mare saepe cucurri / accessi terras conplures terminus hic{c} est / quem mihi nascenti quondam Parcae cecinere hic meas deposui / curas omnesque labores / sidera non timeo hic nec nimbos nec mare saev<u=O>m / nec metuo sumptus ni quaestum vincere possit / alma Fides tibi ago grates sanctiss<i=U>ma diva / fortuna infracta ter me fessum recreasti / tu digna es quam mortales optent sibi cuncti / hospes vive vale in sumptum superet tibi semper / qua non sprevisti hunc lapidem dignumq(ue) dicasti


Andriscus Overstrikes

In private correspondence de Callatay shared with me details of the five didrachm overstrikes of Phillip VI known to him, all in trade.  Of those, THREE are overstruck on RRC 217/1 and no other denarii.

There is nothing in the hoard evidence that suggests a special relationship between RRC 217 and Macedonia, and yet… there must be!

I want to think more about this soon….


Want to read this these as soon as time allows:

Visonà, Paolo. “Out of Africa: the movement of coins of Massinissa and his successors across the Mediterranean. 1.” Rivista Italiana di Numismatica e Scienze Affini 114 (2013): 119-149.

Visonà, Paolo. 2018. “Rethinking Early Carthaginian Coinage.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 31: 7–29. doi:10.1017/S1047759418001228.


Team led by Professor Kevin Butcher of the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick, awarded an ERC Advanced Grant of 2,484,832.00 euros for project ‘Rome and the Coinages of the Mediterranean, 200 BCE – 64 CE’.

Exceptionally exciting news!