Constitution of the Roman nation

The Greek-speaking Pelasgians, Arcadians, Lacedaemonians and Trojans who constituted the Roman Nation. The Italici who became Latins in 85 BC and Romans in 212 AD.

1. We use the name Greek-speaking peoples for those who made up the world of ancient Greek cultures and dialects and we call them Greeks as a group. Among the latter was not only that of Rome, but also whose Latin language was still a recognizable Greek dialect in the time of Augustus Caesar (27 BC-14 AD). Indeed at a latter time the rhetorician Quintilian (c. AD 35-95) regards the “Aeolic” Greek dialect as the closest to Latin.[ 5 ] This fact had been borne out earlier also in the time of Augustus Caesar by the Greek historian of “Roman Antiquities,” Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60 or 55 BC-c. 21 AD). He writes the following: “The language spoken by the Romans is neither utterly foreign (β�ρβαρον) nor perfectly Greek, but a mixture, as it were, of both, the greater part of which is “Aeolic”; and the only disadvantage they have experienced from their intermingling with these various nations is that they do not pronounce all their sounds correctly. But all other indications of a Greek origin they preserve beyond any other colonists.”[ 6 ]

2. As we shall see, the primitive Greek Latins, whose capital was of Alba Longa, were conquered by the Romans and absorbed into the Roman nation. Then in 85 BC the Romans gave the Latin name to those Italian tribes who had been allied to Rome and who were also serving in the Roman army. These Italians had revolted demanding Roman citizenship. Instead of giving them the ‘Roman name’ they were given the ‘Latin name.’ Finally these Italian Latins were given the ‘Roman name’ in 212 AD by Emperor Caracalla (211-217).

3. This name Latin had originally belonged to a new Greek-speaking tribe which came into existence South of the Tiber River after the Trojan War and whose capital was Alba Longa and whose citizens were called Albanians (�’�”βανοί). These primitive Latins were composed of the following tribes: a) Arcadian Greeks, called Aborigines by those who arrived later in the area. b) Pelasgian Greeks who were evidently expelled from the area of Greece by newer Greek tribes who came into Greece from the North with a branch of them going into Italy either directly from the North or who migrated from Greece. c) The Sabines who migrated to Italy from Lacedaemonia, Greece. d) The Trojans who were finally settled South of the Tiber River and united themselves to the Aborigines. These Greek-speaking Arcadians, Pelasgians, Lacedaemonians and Trojans constituted what became the Latin Nation of Alba Longa and Rome. The Trojans were refugees from the Trojan War headed by Aeneas. King Latinus of the Aborigines accepted these refugee Trojans into his tribe and gave his daughter Lavinia in marriage to Aeneas. Those peoples united by this marriage called their land Latium in honor of Latinus and themselves Latins and their capital Alba Longa. Then Rome was founded, according to one tradition, by the twin Albanian brothers Romulus and Romos (Remus) at which time some of the Lacedaemonian Sabines joined this new Roman nation.[ 7 ]

4. The very existence of these four primitive Greek-speaking tribes who united and branched off into Albanians and Romans, has been completely abolished by historians who continue to support Charlemagne’s Lie of 794 which inaugurated the historical dogma that the Roman language was and is non Greek Latin. This has remained so in spite of the Roman sources which describe Greek as the first language of the Latins from whom the Romans derived. It seems that Charlemagne’s Lie of 794 was based on hearsay and the need to cut off West Romans enslaved to the Franco-Latins from the free East Romans. Frankish Emperor Louis II (855-875) clearly supports Charlemagne’s Lie of 794 with the following words: In 871 he writes to Emperor of the Romans Basil I (867-885) that “_we have received the government of the Roman Empire for our orthodoxy. The Greeks have ceased to be emperors of the Romans for their cacodoxy. Not only have they deserted the city (of Rome) and the capital of the Empire, but they have also abandoned Roman nationality and even the Latin language. They have migrated to another capital city and taken up a completely different nationality and language.”[ 8 ]

5. A summary of a modern sophisticated version of Charlemagne’s Lie is supposedly based on the finds of modern archaeology according to which we do not know the origin of the Romans evidently because they had forgotten who their ancestors were. In a subchapter “2. The Early History of Latium. The inhabitants of ancient Latium, so goes this thesis, had no recollection of their immigration into the country. Roman writers, in a vain endeavor conciliate this native tradition[ 9 ] with the random speculations of Greek historians, made the Latins into a conglomerate of Aborigines, Ligurians and Sicels. In the light of modern research they appear as one of the youngest of Italian peoples.”[ 10 ]

6. Let us contrast this claim with Roman historical reality and the process by which Rome became the Empire of the whole Greek speaking world. The primitive Greek Romans were the result of the union of the Greek speaking tribes of Italy. These Greek tribes are the following: The Aborigines[ 11 ] who came to the area of Rome from Achaia, Greece many generations before the Trojan War.[ 12 ] These Aborigines had already accepted into their tribe what was left of the Greek Pelasgians of Italy who had been decimated by a mysterious sickness.[ 13 ] Porcius Cato’s inclusion of the history of the Pelasgians in Italy and their union with the Aborigines in his De Origines, repeated in detail by Dionysius, is the only mention of them that this writer is aware of. These combined Aborigines and Pelasgians united with some Trojans who migrated to their land and together they became the ancient Greek-speaking Latins whose capital was Alba Longa. A branch of these Greek speaking Latins of Alba Longa, led by the brothers Romulus and Romus, founded Rome on the Palatine and Capitoline Hills. They were joined by some of the Greek Sabines of Italy who had been settled on the adjacent Quirinal Hill. As we have already seen the Sabines had migrated to Italy from Lacedaemonia in Southern Greece.[ 14 ] The Romans continued the process of subduing and including the rest of the Greek Latins and Sabines into their political system.

7. Some of the Danubian Celts entered Northern Italy and began pressing upon the Etruscans who turned to Rome for help. But these Celts overran the Roman forces who tried to stop them and drove down toward Rome and defeated the main Roman army in battle and entered Rome in 390 BC. They occupied the whole of the city except the steep Capitoline Hill. The Romans had placed there all of their youth, treasures and records. The older population remained in their homes. After receiving a substantial ransom of gold the Celts withdrew. In order to better protect themselves the Romans subdued the rest of Northern Italy. The Romans also incorporated into their dominion the Greek Italians of Magna Graecia, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica This was the extent of Roman territories in 218 BC.

8. The Punic Wars under the leadership of Hamilcar and especially of Hannibal, became the biggest threat to Rome since the Celtic occupation. Hannibal invaded Italy itself with his famous elephants and with Macedon as an ally. Macedon had conquered Rome’s traditional Greek allies. Rome went as far as Spain to uproot Punic strongholds there and finally burned Carthage itself. The Romans had crossed over into Greece to liberate her Greek allies from Macedon and ended up conquering the Macedonian Empire and incorporating it into the Roman Empire. The Romans transformed Greek democracies into oligarchies. They also came to the aid of her Galatian and Cappadocian allies by liberating them from King Mithridates VI of Pontus (121/120-63 BC) which resulted in the incorporation of Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia into the Roman Empire which now reached almost to the Caspian Sea. In this way the Mediterranean Sea became the central lake of the Roman Empire.

9. It is to be noted that it was the Greek Romans of Italy who finally united all Greek speaking tribes into one nation which had become Latin speaking also.

From the “Introduction to Romanity, Romania, Roumeli” by the late Prof. John S. Romanides (USA). The whole text and the footnotes (in square brackets) are available in this link: [].

Μετάφραση του ανωτέρου αποσπάσματος καθώς και πολλά άλλα στοιχεία υπάρχουν στο βιβλίο του εκλειπόντος π. Ιωάννου Ρωμανίδου “Ρωμηωσύνη”, 2002.

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