PLEASE READ CAREFULLY, DO NOT SUMMARY:
In preparation for the next narrative account, please read through 12.1-12.3 and write a response that touches on each of these short texts, identifying connections where evident.
As we’ve already seen, Romans defined themselves and their values in war and in its conduct. Recall also the principle of justified war and inevitable reconciliation — the Romans believed that no matter how vicious and brutal a confrontation, their conquered foes would eventually come around to appreciate what Rome offered. Hence there was rarely, if ever, a sense that enemies were hopelessly uncivilized savages or effeminate/submissive losers (contrast Athenian attitudes toward Spartans and Persians). In 12.1.1 and 12.1.2, then, the historians Diodorus and Livy laud the severe courage and bravery of Gauls and Samnites. Gruesome practices are reported, but do you get the sense that the Roman authors disapprove? In 12.2, a Roman matches the enemy’s ferocity in a very Roman manner…which you can compare to a Roman response to a battlefield reversal in 12.3. Step back at some point and determine how this neat narrative serves to compare Romans with their enemies, not distinguish nor exoticize the latter.