Beyond the Rubicon: Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy by J. H. C. Williams

By J. H. C. Williams

In the course of the center and past due Republican sessions (fourth to first centuries BC) the Romans lived in worry and loathing of the Gauls of northern Italy, triggered basically by way of their collective historic reminiscence of the destruction of town of Rome via Gauls in 387 BC. via analyzing the literary proof with regards to the historic, ethnographic, and geographic writings of Greeks and Romans of the interval focussing on invasion and clash, this publication makes an attempt to respond to the questions how and why the Gauls turned the lethal enemy of the Romans. Dr. Williams additionally examines the difficult inspiration of the Gauls as 'Celts' which has been so influential in historic and archaeological bills of northern Italy within the past due pre-Roman Iron Age via sleek students. The booklet concludes that historic literary proof and smooth ethnic presumptions approximately 'Celts' aren't a valid foundation for reconstructing both the heritage of the Romans' interplay with the peoples of northern Italy or for studying the fabric proof.

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Additional info for Beyond the Rubicon: Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy (Oxford Classical Monographs)

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43 Cf. Posidonius FGH 87f15–18, 31–3, 55–6; and Edelstein and Kidd 1989, frr. 67–9, 272–6 for the fragments of his accounts of Celtic ethnography and the Cimbric invasion; with Tierney 1960. 44 There being no similar development in the West, the expansion of literary interest in the region was commensurately less. 45 In the late third century  Sotion of Alexandria wrote something about barbarian philosophers among the Celts, called druides and semnotheoi, but little seems to have been known about them.

Greeks did not cease to explore the world they knew after they themselves had ceased to be 54 Pol. 2. 35. Pol. 1. 3. 9. 56 Pol. 3. 59. 4. 57 Cf. Said 1978 on Orientalism in modern European academic and political thought. 55 34 The Discovery of Celtic Italy its, or even their own, masters. Their motivation in the Roman period must therefore rather have been scientific curiosity and academic competition rather than politically or culturally rooted strategies of power and domination over their foreign objects of inquiry.

Is it possible, then, to characterize the Romans’ interest in and knowledge of foreign peoples and places in this period if it was not to read or write learned treatises about them? There is sufficient evidence to show that Romans were not entirely self-absorbed in this period, and that their own extensive and long-standing contacts with a wide variety of different kinds of alien peoples and places produced a certain amount of literary reflection on their histories and different customs, as well as a good deal of triumphal art and epigraphy detailing the succession of Roman victories over them.

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