My understanding of Livy’s version of things, was that in order to populate Rome with women, Romulus invited the neighboring peoples, the Sabines and the Latins (from Latium) to come and enjoy a religious festival . In the middle of the proceedings he gave the signal for his men to abduct the young women among the visitors and carry them off as their wives. Any mention of the story refers only to the Sabine women(I believe one version mentions 30) but I can’t find any mention of the Latin women. Is there any mention of Latin women being abducted/raped/carried off? I couldn’t find any.
I think your question is muddled. The Romans were Latins. In Livy’s version, the Sabines are invited along with neighbouring peoples, but the Latins aren’t specifically mentioned. The bit about the Circus Maximus comes from Plutarch’s version, but again he doesn’t mention the Latins as having been invited.
This following gives the impression that the Latins were a separate group from the Romans. After all the Latin were conquered by the Romans. Or have I misunderstood that?
"Though in battle Tarquin seems to have achieved much more than merely holding his ground. Tarquin’s many campaigns led to victories over the Sabines, Latins and Etruscans. According to Dionysius, it was a deputation of Etruscan cities defeated in battle which brought him the symbols of sovereignty: A gold crown, an ivory chain, an eagle headed scepter, a purple tunic and robe and twelve fasces (axes enclosed in bundles of rods).
Tarquin the Elder may have begun the construction of the great Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, but this is uncertain. The introduction of the Circus Games to Rome is ascribed King Tarquin the Elder. He is traditionally believed to have been the ruler who laid out the Circus Maximus. Tarquin is also credited with the initial drainage of the forum and the creation of the Cloaca Maxima. Though it must be added that what was eventually to become the main sewer of Rome, was at this early stage merely a large drainage ditch to make usable the marshy ground in the shallow between the hills of Rome. Later further drainage was added by his successors. "
First war with Rome
The Latins first went to war with Rome in the 7th century BC during the reign of the Roman king Ancus Marcius.
According to Livy the war was commenced by the Latins who anticipated Ancus would follow the pious pursuit of peace adopted by his grandfather, Numa Pompilius. The Latins initially made an incursion on Roman lands. When a Roman embassy sought restitution for the damage, the Latins gave a contemptuous reply. Ancus accordingly declared war on the Latins. The declaration is notable since, according to Livy, it was the first time that the Romans had declared war by means of the rites of the fetials.
Ancus Marcius marched from Rome with a newly levied army and took the Latin town of Politorium by storm. Its residents were removed to settle on the Aventine Hill in Rome as new citizens, following the Roman traditions from wars with the Sabines and Albans. When the other Latins subsequently occupied the empty town of Politorium, Ancus took the town again and demolished it. Further citizens were removed to Rome when Ancus conquered the Latin towns of Telleni and Ficana.
The war then focused on the Latin town of Medullia. The town had a strong garrison and was well fortified. Several engagements took place outside the town and the Romans were eventually victorious. Ancus returned to Rome with much booty. More Latins were brought to Rome as citizens and were settled at the foot of the Aventine near the Palatine Hill, by the temple of Murcia.
Romani are the people of Rome. Latinii are the people who speak Latin (which the Romani definitely were) or the people of Latium (ditto). Other tribes in very early Rome could have been Latini without being Romani, but the Romani were never not Latini, except possibily in their imagined version of their earliest history. For most of Roman history, including the time when Livy and Plutarch were writing, it’s a distinction without a difference.
Dr Drake, I agree with you a 100% that Romans are historically Latins. Where it gets confusing is how the Romans saw themselves. History and myth become blurred.
But for the record, Livy does mention Latins according to this book. And this confused me because the Latin are referred to as neighbors, making Romans out to be distinctive, something other than Latins. That’s how I understood it.
“SPQR” by Professor Mary Bear p. 60
“But in order to get women, so Livy’s story goes Romulus had to resort to a ruse-and to rape. He invited the neighboring peoples, the Sabines and the Latins, from the area around Rome, known as Latium, to come and enjoy a religious festival plus entertainments, families and all.”
On the subject of Roman founding myths involving people coming from elsewhere to settle in Rome( (Romulus and Remus or Aeneas)) in contrast to Greek founding myths.
“It is a paradox of national identity, which stands in glaring contrast to the foundation myths of many ancient Greek cities, such as Athens, which saw their original population as springing miraculously from the very soil of their native land.”
…"Rome had always been an ethnically fluid concept "
As far as I remember Livy and Virgil the Romans saw themselves as descendants of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Of course historically they were Latini just as the surrounding Latin tribes. Incidentally this myth inspired later nations to follow suit. The English, for instance, fancied themselves descended from Brut, a Trojan who with his followers had landed on the south coast of England after the Trojan War. (Hence, or so they theorized, the name Britain.)
You should take Mary Beard’s word over mine for basically anything to do with the ancient world. I think what she means is what I referred to above—people of very early Latium who weren’t part of the Aeneas / Alba Longa crowd. This is the same part of the text as the Sabine story, when Rome was just getting founded.
Looking throught book I.32 of Livy, I find this: Igitur Latini cum quibus Tullo regnante ictum foedus erat sustulerant animos, et cum incursionem in agrum Romanum fecissent repetentibus res Romanis superbe responsum reddunt, desidem Romanum regem inter sacella et aras acturum esse regnum rati.
Oliver Foster’s translation (Loeb): Hence the Latins, with whom a treaty had been made in the time of Tullus, plucked up courage, and raided Roman territory, and when called on by the Romans to make restitution, returned an arrogant answer, persuaded that the Roman king would spend his reign in inactivity amid shrines and altars.