nation-state/empire/tribal

Dave Long dl@silcom.com
Wed, 10 Oct 2001 22:10:52 -0700


> Romans seemed much more pragmatic, and happily extended
> their vaunted citizenship to people of all races and
> religions, as long as they gave their due to Rome. Even
> their emporers could be German or African. But the
> central government wasn't just located at Rome. It *was*
> Rome. At least, until it was also Byzantium. This is an
> empire mentality, rather than a nation-state mentality.

"Happily extended" may be optimistic.

The republic is supposed to have been
established around 500 BC, and I would
argue it strongly resembled a tribal
government run by the senate families.
(think of the fasces)

Around 300 BC, the (Roman) plebeians
were finally admitted to the government,
but the other italians weren't granted
citizenship until about 100 BC.  Both
times, armed revolts helped press the
issue of citizenship.

I don't know at what point rich, latin
speaking?, non-italian subjects became 
eligible for citizenship, but by 50 BC
the republic was pretty much done for,
and monarchs/tyrants* ran the empire.

-Dave

* this was probably a personal power
mentality, not just an imperial one.
Greg mentioned Ozymandius as being
more apropos than Caesar for fleeting
glory, but Vespasian became emperor
in a year when there had been three
previous emperors.

Vespasian is also known for having
Jerusalem sacked, thus destroying
the second temple.  (who got rid
of the first temple? when?)