century BC, contributed to the outbreak of the Social War in 91-88 BC.
Settlement patterns in Republican Italy were more complex than is often assumed.
Many Latin and Roman colonies, founded on former , show evidence for the presence of Italians, although I argue that these were not official colonists, but had moved in after the foundation of the colony.
Thus colonies served as an important point of contact between Romans and Italians, and played a crucial role in the integration of Republican Italy.
I would like to thank Audrey Bertrand and Yann Rivière for their kind invitation to the round table held at Rome, and their invitation to participate in the publication of the proceedings.
I would also like to thank Ed Bispham and Paul Erdkamp for sharing forthcoming work with me, and the participants of the OIKOS work-in-progress meeting in November 2011 for their comments, especially Olivier Hekster, Wim Jongman, and Onno van Nijf.
The role of Italians – by which I mean people from Italy who did not possess Roman citizenship, but were allies of Rome – in the local economy of Italy has been viewed in two mutually exclusive ways.
Firstly, it has been assumed that much land owned by Italians was confiscated by the Romans after the conquest of the respective Italian peoples and turned into As they subdued successive parts of Italy by war, the Romans confiscated a portion of the land and founded towns, or chose settlers from their own people to go to existing towns – this being the alternative they devised to garrisons.
Rents were also set for those who pastured larger and smaller beasts.
(...) The rich gained possession of most of the undistributed land and after a while were confident that no one would take it back from them.
They used persuasion or force to buy or seize property which adjoined their own, or any smallholdings belonging to poor men, and came to operate great ranches instead of single farms.
They employed slave hands and shepherds on these estates to avoid having free men dragged off the land to serve in the army, and they derived great profit from this form of ownership too, as the slaves had many children and no liability to military service and their number increased freely.
For these reasons the powerful were becoming extremely rich, and the number of slaves in the country was reaching large proportions, while the Italian people were suffering from depopulation and a shortage of men, worn down as they were by poverty and taxes and military service.