Latin War (498–493 BC)

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First Latin War
Part of the Latin Wars
BattleOfLakeRegillus.jpg
Depiction of the Battle of Lake Regillus, the most well known battle of the war.
Date 498 BC - 493 BC
Location Latium
Result Roman victory
Belligerents
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Roman Republic Latin League
Commanders and leaders
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Spurius Cassius Viscellinus
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Titus Largius
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis
Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Titus Aebutius Elva
Octavius Mamilius
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

The Latin War was a war fought between the Roman Republic and the Latin League from 498 BC to 493 BC.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Historical Context[edit]

According to the historical chronicles[a],[7] the beginnings of this war between the Romans and Latins can be seen as early as 501 BC, though the root causes date back much farther. In 501 BC, the Romans elected Titus Lartius as dictator with Spurius Cassius Viscellinus as his Master of the Horse, an overt indication of the expectation of conflict.[8] There were two major incidents in 501 BC that likely provoked the Romans to elect a dictator. First, an incident arose between the Romans and the Sabines in which a group of Sabines ironically abducted a number of Roman women during a festival being held in Rome. This relatively trivial action led to a violent altercation which threatened to nearly bring the two cities to war even though Rome had decisively defeated the Sabines very recently sometime between 505-503 BC.[9][10] The other and more significant cause for the appointment of a dictator was the agitation of the rest of the Latin League, a group of around 30 different Latin city-states which were situated throughout Latium,[11][12] and what Rome correctly perceived to be their mobilization towards a war footing. Soon after the appointment of Titus Largius to the dictatorship, the Sabines sued for a quick peace, leaving Largius to concentrate the brunt of his attention on the rest of the Latin League. The growing might of Rome in Latium had begun to upset the balance of power in Latium. As a result, Octavius Mamilius, the leader of Tusculum began agitating the cities of the Latin League in a common cause against Rome. Mamilius was the son in law of the ex-Roman King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus who had gone into exile at Tusculum following his defeat at the Battle of Silva Arsia with the Etruscans and his failure to again capture Rome with the support of Clusium immediately after that.[13][14]

The War[edit]

The major decisive battle of this war was the Battle of Lake Regillus which was fought in 496 BC near Frascati. The Roman victory is largely attributed to decisive action on the part of the patrician cavalry units. According to Roman legends, Castor and Pollux are supposed to have fought on the Roman side of this battle as members of the famed cavalry units.

Aftermath[edit]

The war ended with the Foedus Cassianum (English: Treaty of Cassius) which ended the war and formed a treaty of alliance between the Romans and the members of the Latin League. The treaty was named after the contemporary Roman Consul, Spurius Cassius Viscellinus. This conflict marked the turning point where Rome became the dominant power in Latium although it still recognized the autonomy and independent rights of the various Latin city states and did not annex any of the cities to its banners. The treaty stipulated that the Latins were to provide military assistance in the event of external threats and that any armies raised in this manner were to be under Roman command. The treaty further legalized marriage between Roman citizens and Latins which had been a previous point of contention, and reinstated all trade between the cities.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ After the sack of Rome in 390 BC by the Gauls, almost all of the historical records the Romans had previously kept were destroyed. As such, any Roman history dating prior to 390 BC may not be the most objective source.

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Brien, Patrick K. (2002). Oxford Atlas of World History (illustrated, reprint ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 54 and 296. ISBN 9780195219210. 
  2. ^ "From City to Empire". TACITUS.NU. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Rickard, J (18 November 2009). "Latin War, 340-338 BC". History of War. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rome". Ancient History Encyclopedia. with timeline. AHE. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Rome Timeline". Ancient History Encyclopedia. with timeline. AHE. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Forrest, Glen C. (2011). The Illustrated Timeline of Military History - History Timelines Series (illustrated ed.). The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 35. ISBN 9781448847945. 
  7. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1991). Asimov's Chronology of the World. New York: Harper Collins. p. 69. ISBN 0062700367. 
  8. ^ Livius, Titus. "18". Ab Urbe Condita Libri [The History of Rome] (in Latin and English). Book II, Ch 18. Rome. 
  9. ^ Livius, Titus. "18". Ab Urbe Condita Libri [The History of Rome] (in Latin and English). Book II, Ch 18. Rome. 
  10. ^ Livius, Titus. "16". Ab Urbe Condita Libri [The History of Rome] (in Latin and English). Book II, Ch 16. Rome. 
  11. ^ Cornell, Tim (1995). The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars. Routledge. p. 293. 
  12. ^ Liou-Gille, Bernadette (1996). Naissance de la Ligue Latine : Mythe et Culte de Fondation [The Birth of the Latin League: The Myths of Foundation]. Revue Belge de Philologie et D'Histoire (in French) (1 ed.). pp. 73–97. 
  13. ^ Cornell, Tim (1995). The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars. Routledge. pp. 215–17. ISBN 978-0-415-01596-7. 
  14. ^ Livius, Titus. "9-15". Ab Urbe Condita Libri [The History of Rome] (in Latin and English). Book II, Ch 9-15. Rome. 

Bibliography[edit]