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PICTURE OF THE ROMAN SOCIETY BEFORE THE BIG CONQUESTS (II CENTURY B.C.)

In the course of the second century B.C., Rome conquered many lands and so it reached hegemonic power in the Mediterranean sea. These important military victories brought wealth to the state and the government structure got an important expansion. Rome could easily rule the Roman subjects, after this social, economical and cultural change.

cripto
Sirmione, Catullus' villa
Cryptoporticus

At that time society still had classic values, such as the famous latin virtus. In fact Sallustius in "De Coniuratione Catilinae" talked about a society in which every person tried to raise up his own ambition, longed to show his own qualities ( … se quisque magis extollere magisque ingenium in promptu habere … Sall. B. Cat.,7), in which there was a crazy desire and search for honourable fame (… tanta cupido gloriae incesserat… Sall. B. Cat.,7), in which the young man preffered war horses and weapons to feasts and prostitutes ( …magisque in decoris armis et militaribus equis quam in scortis atque conviviis lubidinem habebant… Sall.B.Cat.,9), in which the Latin 'virtus' was the only important thing and in which the citizens fought to conquer it (…virtus omnia domuerat … Sall. B. Cat.,7, …cives cum civibus de virtute certabant… Sall.B.Cat.,9 ). This society respected the religious cult, preferred actions to words and took care of itself and of the State with the daring citizens in war and with the fairness in peace (…in suppliciis deorum magnifici…Sall.B.Cat.,9, …optumus quisque facere quam dicere…malebant … Sall. B. Cat.,8, …duabus his artibus, audacia in bello, ubi pax evenerat aequitate, seque remque publicam curabant. Sall. B. Cat.,9), but the situation was changing.

 

Marco Bodini e Francesco Magalini