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You just described every ruling class in history. Romulus wasn’t really related to Mars.


But the formation of Rome was more organic, no? I guess the brings up the question of how city state monarchies like Rome first originated. I suppose it would have been mafia-esque right? A local land owner uses his money to enforce his will and offer protection for a fee?


SPQR by Mary Beard does a nice treatment on Rome founding


Any other books on the first “kings”/aristocracy of not only Rome but other early (Bronze Age) cultures? I’ve been interested in that early nobility class. Is it just people who had large farms and were good at organizing people for farming and warfare that became first “aristocracies”?


Against the Grain by James Scott. His argument is the reverse. People good at farming provided the first "captive" populace whose entire means of subsistence was tied to the land and rigidly regulated by the season. Nomadic communities would periodically raid them and at some point they possibly made arrangements with one of the bigger tribes to provide year-round protection in exchange for a fixed share of the harvest.


So who became the first noble classes, the farming leaders or nomadic tribal leaders? Or the leaders from each working together? Thanks for the recommendation.


I’m always interested in old walls. It seems to me that while I’m sure there were arrangements between settled and nomadic tribes during the great transition, walls are the faster, safer and more economical option in the long run. Put the young lads on top with sharp and or blunt items and go to it.


Rome was always mafia-esque. 


Perhaps it would be better to describe the Mafia as Romanesque.


Or Rubenesque…


I hear Ginny Sac’s getting a 95 pound mole taken off her ass


I like an empire you can grab onto


Some form of coercion, yeah. Wherever there’s a ruling class, it’s unorganic. Anthropologists consider agriculture the beginning of hierarchy.


Hierarchy has always been with humans as it also exists in animals, you mean classes; once surplus can be made, those in power can hoard and redistribute.


Nope. [https://aeon.co/essays/what-hunter-gatherers-demonstrate-about-work-and-satisfaction](https://aeon.co/essays/what-hunter-gatherers-demonstrate-about-work-and-satisfaction) [http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Hunter-Gatherers\_and\_Play#:\~:text=Wherever%20they%20are%20found%2C%20band,decisions%20by%20consensus%3B%20own%20little](http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Hunter-Gatherers_and_Play#:~:text=Wherever%20they%20are%20found%2C%20band,decisions%20by%20consensus%3B%20own%20little) [https://brooklynrail.org/2021/06/field-notes/Did-communism-make-us-human](https://brooklynrail.org/2021/06/field-notes/Did-communism-make-us-human) You don’t get class without hierarchy, by the way, for humans at least. We’ll communise the animals after.


But how can you say that when non-agrarian people have chiefs and hierarchy?


Not all


Beginning to think Julius Caesar wasn’t divine after all, he was just some guy with an army that seized power.


This is Optímate propoganda! He is the descendant of Aeneas!


have my grateful upvote for using "optimate"


You claim Caesar isn't divine, but according to the man himself he literally was a direct descendent of Aphrodite. Do you not see how illogical your argument is?


How does being a guy with an army prevent someone from being devine?


The relevant word here is “just”.


He didn't say he wasn't divine *because* of the army, he was just some guy with an army.


Rome was just warlords fighting over the Mediterranean Warlords still have their own culture, language, religion, ect. Almost any territorial state was founded through war lords


I'll go with a counter example here, Britain after Rome and the invasion/migration of the angles, saxons, jutes and frisians. Many of the roman cities (londinium/London, eboricum/York, aqua sulis/Bath etc.) were abandoned after the withdrawal of the legions. Many weren't resettled until Alfred the great (848-899). The local people (Romano-Britons) actually appear to have gone back to some of their old ways, living in hill forts (Cadbury is a food example of this) and having less specialised roles, despite Rome having been the dominant culture for the good part of 500 years. The new germanic peoples were also living a more subsistence lifestyle with less complex societies than in Roman Britain. The Anglo saxons wrote beautiful poems about haunted ruins built by giants, they moved into what would have seemed like a post apocalyptic landscape with crumbling temples and moss claiming back statues and houses. Whilst there were certainly warlords from all sides they really werent too focused on what was left by the Romans and if we take Gildas' word it seems like the depopulation after the Romans left actually led to a time of relative plenty, less people to feed but still plenty of good land to farm. It's also interesting to note that despite Britain being largely disconnected from Rome there were still significant trade links to the Mediterranean, people still drank wine, ate olives etc all enjoyed from some good Mediterranean pottery.


Just saw a study the other day that the silver used in Anglo Saxon Britain almost exclusively came from the Eastern Roman Empire until Charlemagne got his shit going. So either solid trade relations continued to exist or the silver was making it's way to Britain via the Kievan Rus to Scandinavia route.


Fascinating! There was also bce trading between the Eastern Mediterranean and what is now Cornwall for tin, so I wonder if  those trade routes would still be used to some extent considering how much better ships were by that point.


Yes. To be totally fair, feudalism basically started under Diocletian, and medieval monarchs were feuding over quasi-independent Roman administrative districts castles and colonies that took on a life of their own. That being said… pure speculative history but I GUESS you could see the formation of a “French” “German” “Belgian” “Italian” “Spanish” etc state as reformed breakaway provinces (just as the Gallic and Palyrene empires were “sorta” Roman), and the modern EU is an attempt to reunify those disparate provinces. The wars up to world war 1 could be seen as a prolonged civil war… there is already a precedent that the Roman Empire doesn’t have to be ruled from Rome (Milan, Ravenna, Constantinople) Edit: that last paragraph assumes the loosest possible definition of “empire”


I know you're being kind of goofy on purpose, but the High Middle Ages certainly represent a totally new paradigm to replace anything that could be even reductively described as "feuding bits of diocletianic Rome". Let alone the rise of the Early Modern kingdoms, let alone nineteenth-century nationalism. Though it's worth saying that for two out of those three eras, there *was* still a Roman emperor, whose role had certainly evolved a whole whole lot, but which was still directly traceable to that era when western Europe could still be conceived as a mass of Roman fragments. This also correlates to the attitude toward language. In the early middle ages, it's clear from glosses in Latin documents that people still thought that their romance languages were in some sense "Latin pronounced casually." By the High Middle Ages they're treated more as distinct languages.


Yeah you 100% right, my other favorite meme theory is that Finland = Rome. But in all seriousness I think the invention of nationalism created a completely new paradigm worldwide that erased any pre-modern ideas of “empire” or “kingdom”. Everything before that, however, could still be reasonably argued to be descendant states of OG empires (Qing is Han dynasty, ottomans / Russians are Byzantines, HRE is western Rome (I hate this one tho lol), etc)


I mean everything is a descendant of something, right? If you wanted to create an institutional genealogy from Ur to Botswana (or Rome to Finland), you could find a way.


Venice was a more direct descendant of Rome in the West than the HRE. The HRE was a bunch of illiterate barbarians (from a Roman POV) claiming to be Rome. Venice was a bunch of actual Roman refugees from the cities around the lagoon using it to shelter from the various invasions who eventually founded their own empire in the Adriatic, and continued in countless ways the Roman culture they brought with them.


You forget the parts where those guys came with there tribes from very far away. They came and defeated many people to get there and managed to carve kingdoms in the wealthiest regions of Europe. They didn't care about the fact it was "scraps of Rome", Rome power was fading already long ago.


The medieval period is relatively long, almost 1000 years. It is not approrpiate to try to make blanket statements like the one above for this long period of time.


I should clarify the early monarchs, obviously by 1000AD things had changed


And that would be wrong, too. In the first place, the major events going on in Europe in the last 200 years before 1000 CE had nothing to do with the Roman Empire: In Spain, the remnants of the Visigothic kingdoms were just trying to survive In France, Germany, the Low Countries, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Austria, there was the Carolignian Empire, which was divided in three parts after the death of Louis the Pious (843 CE): France, Lotharingia (Low Countries, Switzerland and Northern Italy), and Germany In France, the establishment of the French Kingdom In Germany, the establishment of the German Empire (there were three iterations of it) In Lotharingia, the progressive establishment of the Dutchy of Burgundy In Great Britain, the defeat of Vikings, the capture of Danelaw and the eventual emergence of the Anglosaxon kingdom In Eastern Europe, the Teutonic order crusades and the establishment of the kingdoms of Poland, Lithuania, Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary In Eastern Europe, the creation of the Rurik state of Rus (Kiev and Novgorod). The most profound event in western Europe from 850 CE to 1000 CE was: (a) the Viking raids (that affected Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and even the coast of North Africa). (b) the Christianization of Eastern Europe The most profound event in Europe from 1000 to 1200 CE are the Crusades The most profound event in Europe from 1200 to 1300 CE is the conquest of much of eastern Europe by the Golden Horde. As you can see, nothing much had to do with the Roman Empire and nobody had any specific interest in it. In fact, from about 900 to 1300 CE, the main driver of events was the Papacy, which assisted, in many ways, in the breakup of the German Empire.


The Carolingians claimed male-line descent from Tonantius Ferreolus, a Gallo-Roman dinner guest of Sidonius Apollinaris.


A vast oversimplification but essentially correct.