Talk:Battle of Lake Regillus

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Totally unsat[edit]

This article is practically off the wall, a tenth rate hash of grade B secondary source guesses and lies. For example, lake regillus was for the most part not a volcanic crater and certainly was not dry in the 4th century BC. Why should it be dry? Volcanic lakes do not just dry up a propos of nothing in a few short years and if it was dry how could the classical Romans run aquaducts from it? The location is no longer in doubt. The springs that fed it are currently in use for the water supply of Rome; otherwise, the lake would still be there. See under Gabii, with which I am not done yet. The article says nothing of Gabii, the major settlement on the lake. Just about everything else is baloney as well. We need some expertise added here. I'll be getting to it eventually. You know how Wikipedia is, you go looking for supporting material and mainly what you find are kluged-up pieces of junk sporting templates waiting for their first real editor, so you jump from junk-yard to junk-yard trying to dodge the neurotic shadows of the great collective id. Three million "articles"? Sure. Among these few million opportunities to do an article it is easy to get sidetracked but I will eventually get to the battle. Feel free to do it yourself; meanwhile, don't take it too seriously and don't delude yourself into thinking it says anything much. It's an opportunity, and that can be a good thing, but not yet a serious article.Dave (talk) 10:02, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to merge with First Latin War[edit]

There's currently a discussion under "Second Latin War" about the recent move of "Latin War" to that title, and creation of "First Latin War" by the same editor, largely duplicating information in this article, and adding some dubious inferences (such as that the war dragged on until 493, when Spurius Cassius concluded a treaty with the Latins, or that Cassius was somehow "the" Roman leader during the war, despite a lack of mention of any other battles against the Latins led by Cassius, or any other battles against the Latins after Lake Regillus). Ancient authorities don't seem to consider this "the First Latin War", and there were certainly other conflicts between Rome and Latin towns or alliances between this and the "Second" Latin War (usually just called "The Latin War") that would have better merited the label. So it looks as if "Second Latin War" will be going back to "Latin War," and "First Latin War" will be going away. Whatever needs to be merged into this article from that one can be done when that discussion is over. I'll be glad to work on this when the time comes. P Aculeius (talk) 02:48, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Was the 'first Latin war' even a single event, or simply a series of related events? Livy (2:22) seems to imply that the Latins and Romans had achieved peace by 495 BC, and he mentions the Cassian treaty in 493 as an apparently separate event. To describe the war as a single episode in those circumstances seems incorrect. --Urg writer (talk) 22:27, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Year of battle[edit]

The article says the battle is usually said to have occurred in 498 BC. But neither Livy nor Dionysius (being the two principal primary sources for this period) place the battle in that year. Livy says it was 499 or alternatively 496. Dionysius says it was 496. How then can it be correct to say the battle 'usually said' to have occurred in 498 BC? 496 seems to be the more commonly accepted year, with 499 and 493 (the date of the subsequent treaty) being other alternatives. 498 BC should be deleted unless there are real sources to support it. --Urg writer (talk) 22:13, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Neither Livy nor Dionysius say any such thing. They didn't use those dates. In Book ii, sections 19 and 20, Livy describes the events leading to the battle, and the battle itself, immediately after the events occurring in the consulship of Titus Aebutius and Gaius Vetusius (499), and follows the account in section 21 by listing the consuls who followed Quintus Cloelius and Titus Lartius (498). This seems to imply that the battle occurred in 498, but it's ambiguous enough that one could interpret it as occurring in 499.
Dionysius at Book vi, section 2, places the battle in the consulship of Postumius and Titus Verginius (496), but also states that Postumius was nominated dictator by his colleague. A different section of Dionysius mentions Postumius' dictatorship in a passage discussing the events of the consulship of Spurius Cassius in 493. That might explain why some sources give a date as late as 493, but that ignores the complete lack of chronological references for Postumius' dictatorship in the passage.
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology follows Livy, placing the battle in 498. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic also follows Livy, but places the battle in 499, on the assumption that it occurred the before rather than during the consulship of Cloelius and Lartius. This seems to be a matter of interpretation, as Broughton doesn't attribute this to any other sources. The Oxford Classical Dictionary (2nd Edition) barely mentions the battle, but follows Dionysius, qualifying the date as circa 496. There don't seem to be any other sources for the dating of the battle, so it's basically a choice between Livy and Dionysius. Livy stated that there was some uncertainty as to the dating, but he followed the sources he considered more reliable. Dionysius probably looked at the same sources and drew a different conclusion. P Aculeius (talk) 03:43, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, that is helpful. In relation to Livy, his consistent format is to state in each consular year (15 March until 14 March in the following year) the names of the consul elected, and then to describe the events of that year. The description of the battle of Lake Regillus fits the usual mould. First the consuls (in 499) are said to have been elected. Various events are described as occurring in the year of their consulship, then in the same sentence Livy says the war with the Latins "now" (latin: 'iam') broke out. After describing the battle, Livy then in the following paragraph goes on to say that in the "next" three years (latin: deinde - translates as afterwards)(ie. 498-496) there was neither settled peace nor open war, and goes on the state the names of the consuls "then" elected in 498 (latin: inde - translates as then or thereafter). Clearly that chronological sequence puts the battle in the consulship of 499 (subject to his later comments about the possibility the battle occurred in 496). No interpretation of Livy's text puts the battle in 498, and there is therefore no support of which I am aware for putting the battle in that year. Unless there is some third source, the reference to 498 BC should be deleted. --Urg writer (talk) 05:54, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

You're making a lot of unjustified assumptions about Livy's style in order to justify your interpretation. The paragraph beginning section 21 implies that the consulship of Cloelius and Lartius was the same year as the battle, because he never introduces them; only their successors. Moreover, the way that the events occurring in the consulship of Aebutius and Vetusius are described seems to indicate that the consuls were able to see out their year without additional help. Nowhere does Livy state or imply that the Battle of Lake Regillus occurred the same year. He just proceeds from the events of 499, which are ascribed to the consuls of that year, to the battle, and from there to the successors of Cloelius and Lartius, without describing their consulship or any events associated with it. That certainly justifies the conclusion that the battle occurred in 498, even if there's enough ambiguity to argue that it could perhaps have been 499. P Aculeius (talk) 13:02, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not making assumptions about Livy's style. The structure of Livy's writing is well known. Take a look at any commentator on Livy's work, and you will find a description of Livy's structure which begins with an announcement of the names of the consuls for the year, and then a description of events in that year: Ab_urbe_condita_(book)#Style. This structure makes sense given that the Romans, during the republic, named each year after the elected consuls. Hence the need for Livy to state the names of the consuls before describing the events of that year. The first time Cloelius and Lartius are mentioned as consuls is after the description of the battle. Given all this, the article shouldn't state so decisively that the battle took place in 498 (with 499 and 496 as alternatives). It should state that the battle took place in 499 or 496 (and you could add 498 if you believe there is any support for it). Given Dionysius, 496 seems to be the more widely accepted date. Using a bit of common sense, I am sure we can work out a form of words that offends neither of our views.--Urg writer (talk) 22:38, 7 July 2013 (UTC)