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The Vitality Of Rome’s Loyal Allies For Expansion

1026 words - 5 pages

Ancient Rome in 338 BC had finally defeated the alliance between the Latin Cities, which then allowed her to gain control over Latium. From here she began forming alliances and conquered many states in Italy. Through the vital cooperation, attribution to military success by providing men for the Roman army, and protection that her allies offered, Rome’s boundaries were pushed further. Her expansion had spread from her immediate surrounding areas of the Mediterranean until her power stretched out both east, west and south of the actual city of Rome (149 BC). Therefore, Rome’s successful expansion is due to the loyalty of her allies.
The establishment of loyalty between Rome and her allies allowed her to conquer their territories while still maintaining cooperation between the two, thus allowing expansion. Rome’s first alliances were with the Saminites in order to overthrow the alliance of the Latin cities (338 BC). Once gaining control over Latium, though, she turned against the Saminites in order to conquer their land, Campania, in 321 BC. (Tingay and Badcock, 10-11) Therefore, by initially making these allies they gained additional territory together; by conquering her allies’ territory it also further expanded her own territory. And yet, the allied states cooperated with Rome due to the fair policies she instilled with them. In these policies Rome gave each of her allies “the status and degree that the situation required,” creating loyalty amongst the two. (Tingay and Badcock, 13) These policies also provided freedom and independence, which for most states was too irresistible to forfeit. As a result, these policies further strengthened the loyalty and cooperation between Rome and her allies. (Tingay and Badcock, 13) Hence, loyalty and cooperation—even after being conquered—prevented her allied states from turning against her, allowing expansion to occur.
Due to such loyalty and cooperation Rome’s allies held up their side of the alliance by providing men for the Roman army, attributing to Rome’s military success. (Tingay and Badcock, 13) Because both Roman citizens and men from allied countries composed the Roman army, the ancient historian Polybius states that fighting ‘for their country and children’ gave the army an advantage. (Tingay and Badcock, 43) For example, such selfless fighting can be observed during the First Punic War in 260 BC. Despite the fact that the Carthaginians had defeated the Romans twice in battle, “the Roman people by voluntary contributions built one last fleet.” (Stillman, 8) That “last fleet,” due to their loyalty to Rome, defeated the Carthaginians. (Stillman, 8) Having allies in this battle was important because they comprised a very large amount of the Roman army, so the pure willpower of this army during the final battle would not have been as powerful without them. From this victory Rome acquired the island of Sicily, which allowed her to dominate trade and expand over the Mediterranean. (Tingay and Badcock,...

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