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ROME.-CONQUEST OF ITALY.

corporation, and from this fountain of power were dispensed the laws and mandates

by which the Roman world was governed.

Considering the society of this vast commonwealth, we find the state to be

composed of three classes of persons: First, Roman Citizens; second, Subjects;

and, third, Allies. The first class embraced the people of the thirty-three

governing tribes of Rome. These tribes were subdivided according to population

between the city and the country. The second class included all those persons

within the Roman territory who had no other than personal or private rights. From

them the rights of franchise were withheld, and the privileges of citizenship

restricted to the narrowest limits. To this rank belonged the inhabitants of most

of the Latin towns, and also the Hernicians, AEquians, and Sabines. After the

conquest of these people they came to hold nearly the same relations to the state

as had been held by the plebeians before their elevation to citizenship. These

so-called "subjects" of Rome were required to serve in the army and to bear the

usual burdens of Roman citizenship, but were denied a political status under the

Republic. In such communities the government was administered according to the

laws of Rome by a praefect sent out from the capital. The third class of

population, called the "allies," embraced the people of the older Latin towns,

such as Praeneste and Tibur; the inhabitants of three towns among the Hernicians,

and of the Latin colonies; and all those communities of Southern and Central

Italy which had recently been subjugated. The position of "ally of the Roman

people" had its advantages as well as disadvantages, and it is said that many of

the people so designated would not have willingly exchanged their rank for that

of full citizenship, with its graver responsibilities.

Like most of the ancient nations, Rome adopted the policy of colonization. Here

however, the motive was different, and withal more humane. Roman settlements were

established in distant parts, with the double purpose of disburdening the city of

her ever accumulating masses, and of peopling valuable districts naked from

primitive barbarism or devastated by war.

Another feature of the Roman administration most notable and salutary was the

system of military roads, by which the consular government sought to unite the

important points- even the outposts-of the Republic with the capital. This vast

enterprise was undertaken by Appius Claudius, the Censor, who, in B. C. 312,

after the conquest of Campania, projected a great thoroughfare from Rome to

Capua. The scheme resulted in the construction of a broad and straight highway,

paved with stone and built with such solidity and skill as to merit the praise

bestowed upon it by posterity as the finest military road in the world. This

great Appian Way was afterward extended to Brundusium by the way of Venusia and

Tarentum, thus uniting by a magnificent thoroughfare the whole of Southern Italy

with the capital of the Republic. The example of Appius was imitated by other

distinguished Romans. The Flaminian Way, extending from Rome to Ariminum by way

of Narnia and Fanum, was constructed in B. C. 220 by the censor Caius Flaminius,

from whom it received its name. From the terminus of this great road at Ariminum,

the Aemilian Way, the work of the Roman general Lucius AEmilius Paullus, was

constructed (B. C. 187) to Placentia by way of Bononia, Mutina, and Parma; while

another branch of the same road, known as the Cassian Way, was afterward extended

from Bononia to Arretium. The country of the Sabines and AEquians was joined to

Rome by the Valerian Way; while another thoroughfare, called the Latin Way, led

through the valley of the Liris to the town of AEsernia. It was over these broad

and stone-paved highways that the thundering legions of Rome went forth to

battle, and returned in triumph, laden with the spoils of the nations.