Do you get excited by a trip to the office supply store? Is The Home Edit your favourite show on Netflix? Then this is the episode for you! The Romans are in an organisation frenzy. Grab your red tape, post-its, a sword, and we’re off to 443 BCE. Expect some bureaucracy and civil war in Ardea.
Episode 125 - Big Trouble in Little Ardea
Struggle of the Orders? Or Struggle to find some Order?
Last episode, there was a major shift with the introduction of military tribunes with consular authority. Our major narrative sources, Livy and Dionysius, would have us believe that this was all part of the so called ‘Struggle of the Orders’, a way for plebeians to have access to consular power with tarnishing the office of consul with their gross cooties. However, it seems that Rome might have been restructuring the state to better address their needs. They were living in a 440s world and needed a state structure to match.
The Censor is Born
In 443 BCE, the focus was on the census. The census had first been carried out by King Servius Tullius. Since then, a few have been carried out during the early republic. But 443 BCE was a turning point. Everyone could see the need for a census. Gotta have that data! The consuls were not keen to take on this additional task. Acquiring enormous amounts of personal details takes time and effort. Just ask Google! It was also not exactly illustrious work. The consuls would much rather be charging off into battle or parading around the Forum in a fancy toga than crunching numbers.
As a result, it was proposed that a new magistracy should be established. The censor and his band of assistants were officially in charge of regulating the census. Hopefully, there would not be any more large gaps in between censuses.
A map the region with Ardea and Rome highlighted.Source: Omnis Rereum Romanitatum
Ardea Brings the Drama
Ardea has been a theme over the last few episodes. Ever since the Roman people decided to seize some of their territory, Ardea has been a sore point. The Romans don’t usually feel this much guilt! They are very keen to help out when a civil war starts raging in the city.
The domestic tension in Ardea began with a smoking hot plebeian girl. Isn’t it always the way? This nameless woman attracted the attention of a plebeian and patrician man. Her family disagreed about which man she should marry. The escalated quickly beyond a family dispute into total civil war in Ardea. Yep, that tracks. It's Big Trouble in Little Ardea.
Will the Romans be able to prevent Ardea from total destruction? Tune in to find out!
* M. Geganius M. f. – n. Macerinus (Pat.) – Cos. 447, 437* T. Quinctius L. f. L. n. Capitolinus Barbatus (Pat.) – Cos. 471, 468, 465, 446, 449
* L. Papirius – f. – n. Mugillanus (Pat.) – Cos. Suff. 444* L. Sempronius A. f. – n. Atratinus (Pat.) – Cos. Suff. 444
* Dr G reads Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 11.63.* Dr Rad reads Livy ab Urbe Condita 4.8-10.* Broughton, T. R. S., Patterson, M. L. 1951. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic Volume 1: 509 B.C. – 100 B.C. (The American Philological Association)* Cornell, T. J. 1995. The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-264 BC) (Taylor & Francis)* Forsyt...
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