History 104A, October 5: Dear Pres. Bush, the Younger:  The US is not Rome!


               Well, the numbers look a little smaller today.  I don't know if


          that's because of the exam and people decided to drop or because they


          figured they needed a break.  Those that were not here to get their


          exam back, you can drop next time.  I'm just kidding.  Those of you


          who were not here to get your exam back, you'll have to follow me to


          my office because that's where it is.  In going through Connie's


          transcript yesterday, I realized that I screwed up in one area.  I


          said that the she wolf had nine tits.  She only had seven.  I don't


          know -- I apologize for that.  I did change it.  It could have been


          wishful thinking, I'm not sure, but whatever.  And there are seven


          hills to Rome, not nine.  For whatever that's worth, minor stuff, but


          I don't like -- sometimes talking without notes, I talk too fast and


          forget what I'm saying, so I'm glad they're there at least to read and


          generally not too many mistakes.


               Rome was founded in 753.  I identified, I guess, pretty strongly


          an anti-Roman bias developing the concept in my mind that Rome was two


          faced in the context of the way we often use it, meaning they say one


          thing and mean something else.  And I went on to talk about the


          foundation of Rome based on war and rape at least even historically.


          It is true that the Romans were war-like, perhaps the most war-like


          people in the sense of training and development and organization.


          Well, I shouldn't say since but certainly similar to the Spartans.


          Coexisting, if we start in the area in 753, I mean there were some


          settlements found in the seven hills that go back to about 1,000.  The



          Italian peninsula does not have a lot of great ports.  It isn't like


          Greece where you've got all these built-in ports; and therefore,


          basically it's looking like a peninsula siting there, so you would


          think that they would be directing more to the sea, but they were


          really land wolves not sea foxes, if you will.


               Rome had phenomenal agricultural land far better than anything in


          Greece.  And so the Roman society was a conservative, basically land


          society.  It was similar to Sparta in that sense.  And of course we're


          going to get into, in a little while, the conflict the land power,


          Rome, had with the sea power, Carthage.  Carthage, as we indicated,


          coming from the settlement of the Phoenician; therefore, being sea


          oriented.  So once again, the theme of sea power versus land power is


          going to play away.  Although it is mountainous, it is easy to move


          through Italy.  It wasn't that the mountains made it difficult to


          cross from one area to the other.  And the Alps did not really serve


          as a barrier and protect the peninsula by any means.  And for that


          matter, neither did the sea with seafaring nations or city states like


          the Greeks settle, also all along the coast here and the Carthageans


          who settled here along Sicily and later Spain and France.


               Rome was subject to invasions and it did have diverse peoples,


          different culture, different languages, not like the Greek area where


          you had Greeks who spoke Greek, same language, and anybody who didn't


          speak it was outside the area called barbarians.


               Perhaps the most fascinating group of people for me -- I guess


          it's the mystery.  The Minoans were a bit mysterious too.  A bit north



          of the City of Rome as we know it were a group of people known as a


          Etruscans.  We don't know where they came from.  Their language still


          has not been translated.  They're another one of those mystery peoples


          of Europe.  We're not even sure when they got there.  If they came


          around the time of Rome, there were in there.  Somewhere between the


          sixth, seventh century, they began to solidify the air.  There's no


          doubt that they had a influence on the Roman development of


          civilization, and even more so, they actually conquered Rome or the


          area around Rome for a while and a Etruscan kings actually ruled Rome


          a few hundred or so years after its founding.  And the date that is


          traditionally given, 753 BCE.


               The Etruscans were phenomenal jewelry makers.  They were able the


          make little earrings and necklaces with these little beads and


          intricate detail of gold.  And perhaps that's one of the more


          interesting things to see about the Etruscans.  They also made these


          massive statues.  And they were famous in ancient history in many ways


          because they were one of the few societies that really showed absolute


          affection, interaction, and perhaps what we might call liberty for


          women.  The Etruscan women were always at the side of the men in the


          sculptors and elsewhere on the tombs.  They were buried with their


          husbands.  I'm not sure whether I'd want that or not.  Just kidding.


          They were shown leaning and resting.  And by the way, it was


          interesting the Romans did pick up that tendency to eat basically,


          what's the word when you're reclining, basically, sort of laying down


          eating.  I can't do that.  I don't know how people can lay down and



          eat.  It's like trying to sit down on the floor and eat like the


          Japanese do.  Do any of you lay down and eat?


          A    Sometimes.


               THE PROFESSOR:  You must be an Etruscan not a Swede.  Sorry, I


          get off into these weird things with my mind wondering how people can


          do certain things, I guess.


               And so to some extent, Roman women certainly were more involved


          in society, maybe not at the beginning, but later on then certainly


          any other of the early civilizations.  And as I indicated, Roman


          matrons, if you will, were very active in the political process.  We


          say most of the time behind the scenes, but often directly in front of


          the scenes as well.  We did not have any Roman women emperors like we


          had in Egypt with the pharaohs, but we certainly had Roman women who


          made the emperor and pushed their own children to become emperors and


          of course were very much involved in eliminating rivals, using one of


          the continuous elements of Roman women throughout history, right up


          through the middle ages and perhaps even today for all I know --


          poison.  The Roman women were great at mixing poisons and that was


          just part of whatever.


          A    There's a series that's on HBO right now that's called Rome.  And


          I watched it a couple of nights ago.  And it's dealing with this right


          now how influential the women were in politics.  And I guess just the


          family in general.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I don't get HBO.  There was one that was on, I


          think I was mentioning it earlier.  There was one on, I can't remember



          Showtime or some station, probably the history charges, but it dealt


          with the Roman period that nobody's interested in, which was about


          200-300 CEAD.  And it just dealt with the wars.  It really didn't deal


          with the culture.  That sounds good if they were actually touching on




          A    The history channel had a Rome week.  If you only got one night


          of it -- it had like the life of the people in the army, the life of


          the family, everything.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I must have missed that.  I taped about three of


          them and they all dealt with the general and the battles around the


          200 ADCE.


          A    There was a lot more than that.


               THE PROFESSOR:  More than that.  In any case, we're identifying


          Rome.  And I pointed out, Rome certainly has been a fashion nation as


          far as history is concerned.  And as I also identify, many people do


          identify the United States and its history with Rome.  And of course


          we play on that same theme.  Are we declining because, like Rome


          declined, because we're willing to have a supreme court justice who


          believes in gay rights.  That's one of the conservative criticisms of


          the new nominee, Harriet Miers.  That threw me for a while.


               But the sense of that development of Rome, in a sense, perhaps of


          the war-like element that I was mentioning -- let me go back to




               The Etruscans also contributed one of the most important things


          to the existence of Rome and that is aqueducts.  The aqueducts were



          those, well, first they were actually what do you call them, stones,


          rocks with pipes, clay pipes that brought water into the cities.  They


          brought it down from the mountains.  And when you have the city as


          Rome was with a million, some say almost 2 million people, the fact is


          that you need a lot of water.  That water flowed because of the


          aqueducts which, by the way, are still standing in parts of the area


          of Rome.  While of course they don't use them anymore, I might, now in


          case I forget, one of the arguments for the fall and decline of Rome


          were the pipes that used to bring the water in were made with clay


          that had loads of lead in it.  When there were lead on clay pipes, it


          gets into the pipes of men.  When it gets into male pipes, it creates


          impotency and destroys sperm.  And so they say that that lead from the


          water destroyed Rome.  Of course, again, the pipes have been flowing


          for 1,000 years.  But then again, perhaps that explains why many of


          the Roman legions and others were made up of foreigners because they


          had clean types.


               The aqueducts later were reinforced and developed by the Romans


          for one of their invention s -- I'm doing this a little out of context


          but as long as it pops into my mind.  Romans invented concrete.  And


          the aqueducts and many other buildings were reinforced with concrete.


          The aqueducts were also built with an Etruscan invention, the arch.


          That whole arch that was more or less the true arch was able to


          support the weight and development that weight better.  There is a


          whole room, it's a large room at the metropolitan museum of art in New


          York dedicated to Etruscan forgeries.  Because of the mysteries of the



          Etruscans and because there was a lot of wealth in selling Etruscan


          goods, many people 50-100 years ago began to create falsified Etruscan


          statues, jewelry, and artifacts.  And it was a big business.  Two of


          the sculptures there, which I had originally seen and thought they


          were real before I found out they were phony, were these massive,


          beautiful, Etruscan soldiers and they are weren't real.


               During the early period of Rome, again, what we had were


          basically farmer soldiers perhaps similar to the minutemen of the


          early American nation or pre-nation, if you will.  The Romans, as I


          said, had a military cult, if you will.  And perhaps part of that was


          the need for the defense in this open territory.  The Romans enjoyed


          war.  And often defended themselves, much like America defended itself


          against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  One of the issues that


          appeared in the American history recently was something that we didn't


          do quite as blatantly in what people might call our imperialism or


          not.  We used a preemptive strike.  We took over Iraq before Iraq


          could hit us.  And that usually has not been part of American history.


          Perhaps it's the best way to go.  Certainly the Israelis use it quite


          often.  But the argument is that it was against American tradition, by


          using the war before we need to go to war.  The Romans continue to use


          preemptive strikes.  And they use that as an excuse by saying they


          were being attacked and therefore, they moved into areas to prevent


          further destruction.  Again, as I deal with there are some


          similarities in the sense of the expansion, the ideas.


               One of the major differences I would say between Roman history



          and American history, besides the system of government, is this


          innovation.  Americans have been extremely creative in innovative


          means, technology and other factors.  We create inventions, the


          Edisons, the tinkerers, the New England tinkerers.  The Romans, while


          they develop some elements of technology, were more like many great


          empires.  They went in and they took it from other people.  They were


          re-engineered.  That meant they built beautifully on other people's


          creations.  And that has been very typical of many societies.  The


          Soviet Union built on what they got externally.  Japan has often been


          used of building -- although obviously in recent years they've been


          very procreative in development and technology and expansion.  But in


          the technological fields, the United States starts it out and they


          have been surpassed by other nations that have built on that


          traditionally.  The Romans were great re-engineers.  All roads lead to


          Rome, as the story goes, but it was done basically because of the


          power and strength of the empire.


               In 507, according to your book, in 509, according to other books,


          the Romans eliminated the monarchy that they had in the Etruscan


          overlords.  Under the leadership of the man named Brutus, which is no


          relationship to the Brutus that deals with Popeye.  Of course there


          was Bruto and then Brutus.  I don't know why there were two of them.


          But the other Brutus, of course, historically, is the Brutus who may


          be the son of Julius Ceasar, I don't know, although it's been claimed,


          who helped assassinate Ceasar on the Ides of March, March 15, in 44


          BCE.  The first Brutus is identified as the founder of the Roman



          republic.  The second Brutus kills Ceasar to preserve the republic but


          does not succeed.


               Also in this early founding of the Roman republic, there is at


          name that comes down to us historically, a man named Cincinnatus which


          gives us our city Cincinnati.  George Washington was known as the


          Cincinnatus of America, of the early republic.  Cincinnati was called


          upon to help defend against Roman invaders or invaders to Rome, again


          war.  And given the powers of the dictator, the dictatorial powers in


          Rome had to be handed back.  And Cincinnatus didn't want to deal with


          them either.  Once the war was over, once the battles were won, he


          turned back the power and returned to his farm to be, as many of our


          early founders were, a citizen farmer, a minuteman who went to war


          when necessary.  George Washington turned down the title of king to


          become the first president.  And after two terms, decided to step


          aside rather than be a permanent president believing that he had


          served his country well and went back to his Mount Vernon to continue


          his farming.  And the tradition of only two terms for the American


          president lasted until Franklin Delanor Roosevelt was elected a fourth


          term.  And after that, the United States Congress and the states


          passed an amendment to the Constitution, fearful of somebody


          dominating and dictating America and a lot of people disliking


          Roosevelt anyway.  And that was that now, our presidents can only


          serve for two terms.  There was a little mobility, but not a lot


          during Reagan's administration to extend it so he could serve again.


          He was 77 when he left the administration, so it didn't go very far.



               The early Roman republic had the development of a city state


          expanded out.  It had to deal with certain internal problems.  The


          basic founders of Rome, the descendents of Romulus and Remus, the


          descendant of the rape of the Sabine women, became the power of Rome.


          And they were known as the patricians, a patrician class.  We use the


          word patrician in English to refer to upper class.  However, the


          people who they took over, the people who they conquered, the people


          who they raped in the immediate area, become the working class.  And


          the term for these lower class underdogs was plebeians, meaning, the


          term used for underclassmen freshman at West Point, plebeians.  What


          we have right after this founding of Rome is a conflict between the


          patrician, wealthy, business class, wealthy farmers, who controlled


          the Senate and whose followers of the patrician class become the two


          councils.  Rome had two councils elected by the patrician class.  Rome


          became a republic.


               I need to clarify that the term republic simply means the absence


          of monarchy.  However, it also means representative government, but


          you can have representative government today as we have it in a


          monarchy.  Yet similar again to the framers of our country, our


          Constitution, the Roman patricians created a republic different than


          the republic today here in the United States.  We refer to our


          republic as a democracy.  We can argue back and forth whether it's a


          true democracy.  But when we elect representatives, we elect them


          under the principle that they will govern "for" us, they will make


          decisions based on our interests, that they will aid them, direct



          them, and tell them how to make those decisions so they're governing


          for us.  The original framers of the Roman republic believed that the


          Romans should be governed.  The framers of our Constitution believe


          that the American people should be governed.  What does that mean?  It


          means that originally we elected people who knew better than us what


          was good for us, that when we voted for somebody, it wasn't because


          they were going to listen to us, it was because we were going to


          listen to them.  Again, something that's difficult perhaps for us to


          understand based upon our own concept of what representative democracy


          is about.  That was the fundamental belief of the framers of our


          Constitution.  As I say, we've expanded into a different kind of a


          republic.  The framers of our Constitution attacked democracy.  They


          believed it was mobocracy, ruled by the masses.  In the early American


          republic, to participate, even to elect somebody that knew better than


          you, you needed to own property, because it was believed that if you


          owned property, you had a vested interest in the society.  And that


          existed through the American Constitution and basically in most states


          until 1820.  Thomas Paine, the great American revolutionary, once said


          in his writings, If you need to own property to vote, a man has a


          jackass and he's worth the jackass, $50.  The State of Virginia


          requires you to have $50 worth of property to vote, so you can vote.


          But then your jackass dies, and you can't vote, so who really voted,


          you or the jackass?  Of course many of our framers would say you were


          a jackass as well, so it goes.


               The top the Romans again, property was the foundation of the



          society.  And all soldiers came from the a property class.


          Translation, you actually weren't put in the military originally in


          the early Roman republic unless you came from somebody who really


          owned land.  Wouldn't it be nice if you couldn't be drafted today if


          you didn't own property?  Of course we don't have a draft so it's


          irrelevant.  Of course that creates a major problems when you think


          about it.  If you're continuously at war, when the hell are you going


          to go back and work your land?  And what happens to your land?  Well,


          it paid good dividends to the large property holders.  Somehow they


          got exempt -- surprise, surprise.  And as the people and as the war


          expanded and Romans took a lot of losses in their wars, like many


          early farming societies, they produced a lot of children.  They loved


          children.  They believed in family.  They believed in patria, the


          fatherland.  And it was important for the fatherland to survive.  And


          so they loved producing kids.  The Roman legions destroyed their


          enemies often through numbers.  What was often known as a pyrrhic


          victory, the way they defeated the Greeks.  They lost 100 times more


          men, but they just kept coming.  P-H-Y-R-I-C, I think, pyrrhic


          victory.  They just outnumbered the people.  But sooner or later, the


          patricians, the wealthy, began to buy up the farmland and they began


          to create what we called to agribusiness.


               And the Roman common people began to find that they were without


          land and they began to enter the cities.  Later on in the Roman


          republic, the Romans found a solution for that, bread and circuses or


          the dole, which we refer to as welfare for the people who came into



          the city and were unemployed.  They were given a handout.  They were


          given food, clothing and money to buy things with.  And to keep them


          busy since they had nothing to do during the day, they were


          entertained at the hippodrome and at the coliseums.  Translation,


          horse races, chariot races, gladiator fights and also in places like


          the coliseum itself they could flood them, the floor of those stadiums


          and they would actually have sea battles.  It sounds like a little


          fun.  And the people sit there and of course thumbs up, thumbs down,


          you've seen that.  We even have a whole planet that's based on the


          Romans, the Romulans, for whatever that's worth.


               In the fifth century, 400s, and third century, fourth century,


          400s oops.  Fifth century -- 300s BCE, plebeians repelled.  They had


          it.  They wanted equal say.  They did something that has historically


          not generally been overly successful.  And in this time in history it


          was, something that has been known as a general strike.  The plebeian


          class, the working class, left the City of Rome.  They marched out and


          said, we ain't coming back.  You people can eat your damn money until


          we're given political rights.  Two major general strikes brought on


          the creation of plebeian assemblies, not one, but a number of


          assemblies.  Remember that the second house of the State of


          California's government is called an assembly.  Translation, what we


          created were House of Representatives for the people.  Candidly, they


          didn't get very much power directly with it, meaning that the


          patrician class aided them in getting elected.  They bought them out.


          They paid for them.  They bribed them, and they continue to control



          them.  They did have at least one minor power that was elected by the


          plebeians.  And actually, generally, they elected a patrician, a John


          F Kennedy to be a people's representative.  And they got two tribunes.


          The tribunes had the right to stand outside the door of the Senate


          listening to the debate.  And if they didn't like what they heard,


          they yelled out "veto," meaning I forbid.  The tribunes did have a


          veto over any legislation that might be harmful, the plebeian class.


          Obviously again, it was often got around.


               That tradition of a veto, forgetting the way we see it in our


          government and the president's ability to veto, carried over into the


          education system throughout most of the world, except in the United


          States.  And perhaps we have a little better system in some ways.


          European universities and universities established along the lines of


          the European universities have a position elected by the students


          called a rector.  The rector is a full professor at the university who


          the students trust to defend their rights.  And the rectors at the


          universities speak for the students, and in some cases have a


          quote/unquote -- I'm exaggerating here -- a veto over the legislation


          created by the faculty senates in the university systems.  Have any of


          you ever heard of the rector positions before?  I say in the United


          States it's a little different.  We have created, in most


          universities, a vice president or dean for students.  And today, of


          course, going beyond the dean of students, who's supposed to look out


          for student interests, we have often, especially in public


          institutions where they had school boards of some sort, we have



          student representatives to the boards themselves.  They do not have a


          vote like at the Ohlone board, but they do have the right to speak for


          the students and request that the board vote one way for the other and


          perhaps even introduce issues to the board.  Here at Ohlone our


          student reps actually get paid the same amount of money as the board


          members.  And they actually also get, what's the word I'm looking


          for -- they also get health insurance from the board.  So if any of


          you want a job that's really boring and you want to listen to our


          board go on our hours, go on about nothing like which toilet paper to


          buy, at least you can get health insurance, which you'll probably need


          it afterwards.


               After the class wars in Rome, Rome began to expand out in their


          self defense, building and expanding their boarders until they


          controlled much of the area around Rome.  And by the fourth -- third


          century, they actually moved into southern Italy, defeating the Greek


          cities.  And as they encountered and moved into the Greek cities, they


          loved the Greek culture.  I'm not talking about some of the culture.


          I'm talking about the art and the Gods.  They identified many of their


          Gods and adapted the Greek Gods and gave their Gods very similar


          attributes.  So as we know, Jupiter became Zeus or the Zeus, Greek,


          Jupiter, the Roman.  Juno a God of the Earth for the Roman, the mother


          God became very much identified with the same characteristics of Hera.


          Now, in some sense, this worked because it brought the Greeks into


          Roman society.  The Romans and something the Greeks did not.


               As they expand out because of the diverse population, one of



          their brilliant elements and one of the great workings of the creation


          of Rome was the absorption of all peoples giving them citizenship.


          Citizenship became by the later on in Rome, anyone who was conquered


          was given a form of citizenship; but in early Rome, it was a little


          more difficult to be a citizen.  And they did something that we used


          to do and I'm sure if we still do it.  People who served in the armed


          forces, as the numbers began to decline of Romans, they introduced


          other peoples into the armed forces.  After they served 26 years, they


          were given Roman citizenship -- 26 years.  Can you imagine surviving


          in the military 26 years, being alive, literally, in the Roman


          battles?  Always amazing.  Ours was basically a two year service with


          the draft; or during World War II, people were brought in sometimes.


          I don't know if that's still the process.  I think it is if you serve.


          In any case, the Romans brought these people in, adapted their


          culture, and brought in holidays and Gods to make part of the Roman


          pantheon of Gods.  And so it made the people feel more a part of the


          society even more than the Persian empire who had allowed them to have


          a certain sense of self-rule.


               There was a danger that later appeared in Rome.  As they brought


          in these barbarians using the Greek word, they didn't necessarily use


          it.  As they allowed them to become part of the Roman legions and they


          trained them, these foreigners went home and taught their people the


          Roman techniques of battle and were able, at times, to create real


          dangers to the Roman legions.  In fact, one of the biggest dangers


          took place in the early years of -- well, not the early years, but in



          about 14 AD under Augustus, when one of the German Roman legionnaires,


          a leader who the Romans respected, unified the German tribes and


          defeated the Roman legions through all kinds of sneaky attacks.  And


          actually, with the emergence of Germany as an independent nation 150


          years ago in the 1870s, they built a major -- I think it was an


          85-foot statue to this individual whose name slipped my mind.  It


          begins with an A.  It will come to me for his greatness of attacking


          Rome.  There was that specific danger.


               Once the Romans had destroyed or controlled the peninsula of


          Italy, then the boot needed to kick Sicily.  And that, in a sense,


          created the conflict that was to take place that we know as the Punic


          wars, between the sea faring Carthage and the land based Romans.  The


          first Punic war broke out in 264 BCE.  The wars lasted for over a


          century, off and on, until 146 BCE.  There were three of them


          specifically we date.


               And during the first one, the Romans were having tremendous


          difficult defeating the Carthageans because the Carthageans controlled


          the sea.  However, the Romans decided that they could defeat the


          Carthageans by turning the sea battles into land battles.  What they


          did was, they created these boarding ramps on the ships.  They dropped


          platforms.  And the Romans would come up to the ships and the Roman


          legions would go fight on board the ships; in other words, landing


          parties on the ship.  And so in 24l BCE, mainly the Carthageans were


          defeated, but it was mainly around Sicily.  Rome really got control of


          Sicily, even though they had deceived Carthage.  It did not go very



          far.  Carthage did continue to control the area around Tunischur,


          which is Tunis is the modern city.


               The next war is more famous for many of you because of the


          individual who led the battles for the Carthageans, a man named


          Hannibal Lectur, no just Hannibal, the son of the king of Carthage.


          Carthage still controlled much of this area in Spain, decided to go


          across to Spain, his legions, and using and barges, brought across a


          fair number of elephants.  Elephants in north Africa was used sort of


          as tanks.  It sort of reminds me of --


               The Carthageans who let the elephants go ahead in battle.  The


          fears, the noise, the tusks, if they had them, would certainly


          frighten many of the people that they encountered.  And Hannibal's


          concept was to go down into Italy and hit them, rather than from the


          sea, in this case, from the land.  And we all know that he brought his


          elephants across the Alps.  And they did that by creating large


          trails.  And the way they did that, interestingly, was to build fires


          in the rocks.  They would find crevasses in the rocks and the fires


          would create explosions, and they were able to flatten out the rocks.


          They moved through Italy and defeated the Roman legions.  But the


          Roman continued using something known as Fabian tactics.  They burned


          the land.  They scorched the land.  They destroyed supply lines.


          Hannibal was far from home.  He needed food.  If there was no food


          here, he was running into trouble.  The Romans protected themselves


          behind their walls.  And so for 10 years Hannibal and his forces


          wandered in Italy not able to encounter major Roman legions.  And



          we'll pick up on Hannibal and whatever on Wednesday.