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Why did the social war between Rome and her Italian allies break out in 90 BC - Essay Example

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The republic existed in the period of ancient Roman civilization and the government was operating as a republic. Crawford (1992) argues that the republic started around 508 BC after the Roman monarchy had been…
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Why did the social war between Rome and her Italian allies break out in 90 BC
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Download file to see previous pages The crisis eventually culminated into a social war in 90 BC. It is called the social war because it was between Rome and its allies. According to Salmon (1958), the social war between Rome and her Italian allies was waged between 91 and 88 BC; it was mainly between several cities in Italy and the Roman Republic (162).
Before the war, the Italian cities had been Roman allies for many centuries. Fundamentally, the ancient Rome’s Italian allies who were against the Roman franchise had waged the war. Previously, the allies in southern and central Italy had fought with Rome in various wars and therefore they had grown restive under the autocratic rule in Rome. Their allies were interested in gaining the Roman citizenship and the privileges that come along with it (Ogilvie, 1980, 18). In 91 BC, in a bid to pursue this interest, Marcus Drusus, the Roman tribune, attempted to solve this problem through a legislation proposal that would have ensured that all Italians are admitted to citizenship. This proposal led to a furious debate in the Senate; those opposed to it were so bitter that they assassinated Drusus. As a result, the Italian allies were frustrated and rose into revolt (Brunt 1971, 13).
It is important to first understand the situation between Rome and Italian alliances prior to the war. Gabba (1976) observes that the Early Italian campaigns of between 458 and 396 BC saw the conquest of Italy by the Romans thus resulting into a collection of alliances between the Italian communities, cities, and Rome. The alliances collection was on favourable terms influenced by whether a certain city had been defeated in war or if its alliance with Rome was voluntary. Theoretically, these cities were independent but in practice, Rome had authority over them as it had the right the right to demand tribute money from them, and their desirable number of soldiers. Two centuries later, two- thirds of Roman soldiers were from the Italian allies. This meant that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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