At any rate on the whole they leave no doubt as to the deep degeneracy of the nation. It pervaded even its political condition. As far as our scanty information reaches, we find aristocratic tendencies prevailing, in the same way as they did at the same period in Rome, but more harshly and more perniciously. The abolition of royalty, which appears to have been carried out in all the cities of Etruria about the time of the siege of Veii, called into existence in the several cities a patrician government, which experienced but slight restraint from the laxity of the federal bond. That bond but seldom succeeded in combining all the Etruscan cities even for the defence of the land, and the nominal hegemony of Volsinii does not admit of the most remote comparison with the energetic vigour which the leadership of Rome communicated to the Latin nation. The struggle against the exclusive claim put forward by the old burgesses to all public offices and to all public usufructs, which must have destroyed even the Roman state, had not its external successes enabled it in some measure to satisfy the demands of the oppressed proletariate at the expense of foreign nations and to open up other paths to ambition--that struggle against the exclusive rule and (what was specially prominent in Etruria) the priestly monopoly of the clan-nobility--must have ruined Etruria politically, economically, and morally. Enormous wealth, particularly in landed property, became concentrated in the hands of a few nobles, while the masses were impoverished; the social revolutions which thence arose increased the distress which they sought to remedy; and, in consequence of the impotence of the central power, no course at last remained to the distressed aristocrats-- e. g. in Arretium in 453, and in Volsinii in 488--but to call in the aid of the Romans, who accordingly put an end to the disorder but at the same time extinguished the remnant of independence. The energies of the nation were broken from the day of Veii and Melpum. Earnest attempts were still once or twice made to escape from the Roman supremacy, but in such instances the stimulus was communicated to the Etruscans from without--from another Italian stock, the Samnites.
Notes For Book II Chapter IV
1. I. X. Phoenicians And Italians In Opposition To The Hellenes
2. --Fiaron o Deinomeneos kai toi Surakosioi toi Di Turan apo Kumas.--
3. I. X. Home Of The Greek Immigrants
4. Hecataeus (after 257 u. c.) and Herodotus also (270-after 345) only know Hatrias as the delta of the Po and the sea that washes its shores (O. Muller, Etrusker, i. p. 140; Geogr. Graeci min. ed. C. Muller, i. p. 23). The appellation of Adriatic sea, in its more extended sense, first occurs in the so-called Scylax about 418 U. C.
5. II. II. Coriolanus
6. -Pleraque Gallia duas res industriosissime persequitur: rem militarem et argute loqui- (Cato, Orig, l. ii. fr. 2. Jordan).
7. It has recently been maintained by expert philologists that there is a closer affinity between the Celts and Italians than there is even between the latter and the Hellenes. In other words they hold that the branch of the great tree, from which the peoples of Indo-Germanic extraction in the west and south of Europe have sprung, divided itself in the first instance into Greeks and Italo-Celts, and that the latter at a considerably later period became subdivided into Italians and Celts. This hypothesis commends itself much to acceptance in a geographical point of view, and the facts which history presents may perhaps be likewise brought into harmony with it, because what has hitherto been regarded as Graeco-Italian civilization may very well have been Graeco-Celto-Italian--in fact we know nothing of the earliest stage of Celtic culture. Linguistic investigation, however, seems not to have made as yet such progress as to warrant the insertion of its results in the primitive history of the peoples.
8. The legend is related by Livy, v. 34, and Justin, xxiv. 4, and Caesar also has had it in view (B. G. vi. 24). But the association of the migration of Bellovesus with the founding of Massilia, by which the former is chronologically fixed down to the middle of the second century of Rome, undoubtedly belongs not to the native legend, which of course did not specify dates, but to later chronologizing research; and it deserves no credit. Isolated incursions and immigrations may have taken place at a very early period; but the great overflowing of northern Italy by the Celts cannot be placed before the age of the decay of the Etruscan power, that is, not before the second half of the third century of the city.
In like manner, after the judicious investigations of Wickham and Cramer, we cannot doubt that the line of march of Bellovesus, like that of Hannibal, lay not over the Cottian Alps (Mont Genevre) and through the territory of the Taurini, but over the Graian Alps (the Little St. Bernard) and through the territory of the Salassi. The name of the mountain is given by Livy doubtless not on the authority of the legend, but on his own conjecture.
Whether the representation that the Italian Boii came through the more easterly pass of the Poenine Alps rested on the ground of a genuine legendary reminiscence, or only on the ground of an assumed connection with the Boii dwelling to the north of the Danube, is a question that must remain undecided.
9. This is according to the current computation 390 B. C.; but, in fact, the capture of Rome occurred in Ol. 98, 1 = 388 B. C., and has been thrown out of its proper place merely by the confusion of the Roman calendar.
10. I. XIV. Development Of Alphabets In Italy
Subjugation Of The Latins And Campanians By Rome
The Hegemony Of Rome Over Latium Shaken And Re-established
The great achievement of the regal period was the establishment of the sovereignty of Rome over Latium under the form of hegemony. It is in the nature of the case evident that the change in the constitution of Rome could not but powerfully affect both the relations of the Roman state towards Latium and the internal organization of the Latin communities themselves; and that it did so, is obvious from tradition. The fluctuations which the revolution in Rome occasioned in the Romano-Latin confederacy are attested by the legend, unusually vivid and various in its hues, of the victory at the lake Regillus, which the dictator or consul Aulus Postumius (255? 258?) is said to have gained over the Latins with the help of the Dioscuri, and still more definitely by the renewal of the perpetual league between Rome and Latium by Spurius Cassius in his second consulate (261).