Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I have begun a new audio course, "The History of Ancient Rome" presented by Dr. Garrett Fagan. In my third lecture on ancient Rome, Dr. Fagan discusses the Etruscans and mentions that in recent years, Tim Cornell(http://www.art.man.ac.uk/clah/staff/cornell/home.htm) , in his work "The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (C. 1000-264 Bc) (Routledge History of the Ancient World )" - 1995, observes that there is little epigraphic evidence of the Etruscan presence in Latium (only Etruria and Compania). So there is now a contingent of scholars who think the Etruscans exercised only a "sphere of influence" over the early Romans but were never monarchs over them. So does this mean the Tarquinian kings could not have been Etruscans?

From my web research, I notice that in a recent paper produced as part of The Roman Middle Republic: Politics, Religion, and Historiography c. 400-133 B.C. Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, 2000. Pp. 310. ISBN 952-5323-00-5, Dr. Cornell "takes the notice in Festus on the lex Ovinia to mean that the Senate in the early Republic might change composition every year and that it was precisely this law that shifted the balance of power away from the consuls or military tribunes and towards the Senate as a corporate body. Cornell also dates the law to c.340 rather than 312 and draws attention to the strengthening of the position of the Senate just as Rome achieved political domination in Italy. The Senate was thus freed from the control of the consuls and grew over time in both numbers and prestige into the dominant body with which we are all familiar. "


I see Dr. Cornell is also leading "a project to produce a new edition of the fragmentary Roman Historians; that is, of the historical works of Romans -- writing in Greek as well as Latin from the earliest times to the second century AD -- whose works are lost, but which survive in part through quotations and allusions in other authors. "

Currently the standard critical edition of these "fragments" is that by Hermann W.G. Peter: the Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae 2 vols. (B.G. Teubner, Leipzig, 1870, 2nd ed. 1914-16), also available in a one-volume reduced edition, Historicorum Romanorum Fragmenta (1883) that, due to more recent studies, is now considered quite antiquated.