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Pompeii is famous as a Roman town yet it owes much to the influence of other civilisations. - is this a fair assessment of the development of Pompeii?

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Introduction

?Pompeii is famous as a Roman town yet it owes much to the influence of other civilisations.? - is this a fair assessment of the development of Pompeii? The fame and prosperity of Pompeii may be largely credited to the influence which the Romans had over it, by first making it an ally of theirs in 290BC and then a colony of their empire in 90BC. However, before the Romans had arrived in Pompeii it had been occupied by several other inhabitants, namely the Oscans, Greeks, Etruscans and the Samnites. By analysing what each of these civilisations contributed to the development of the city in comparison to Rome itself, I will be able to determine whether this is a fair assessment of Pompeii?s development. The Oscans were the first people to inhabit Pompeii, but the people themselves we know very little about. They created the first town between 800 and 750BC in regions VII and VIII; this was going to be the basis for all the other inhabitants to come. The site was chosen for settlement as it was in a good defensive position, due to being situated on a mountainside; the River Sarno allowed large ships to sail up it making it easy to trade as well as benefiting agriculturalists as the river was also used to water the fields and drain them. ...read more.

Middle

The Greeks left Pompeii with a much larger and more cultured town for the Samnites to take over. The Samnites were mountain dwellers from the Apennines (also known as the spine of Italy), they later became better known as the Campanis. The only major change the Samnites made to the already well-developed town was the replacement of the walls with stronger fortification. In addition they expanded the town and built blocks of houses. The Samnite control did not last long; however, as a result of the Samnite Wars (343-290VC, between Roman and the Samnites) the Roman themselves came to Campania. The Samnites did not leave much behind that helped with the development of Pompeii, so not much is owed to the Samnites when it comes to its influence on the town. The Romans captured Pompeii during the second Samnite War in the 4th century BC. After a failed attempt to gain control of Pompeii in 310BBC, when the Pompeians drove the Romans away, they eventually took over twenty years later when Pompeii?s people gave in. Later between 260-146BC the Punic Wars took place between Carthage and Rome, unlike the other Campanian towns, Pompeii stayed loyal to Rome as its leader. In 146BC Rome won and destroyed Carthage, these wars led to Pompeii expanding in an eastern direction. ...read more.

Conclusion

To make his mark on society a new building programme was enthralled in which a temple dedicated to Fortuna Augusta and an aqueduct was built. Pompeii owed a lot to the Romans as they developed the town an immense amount as well as expanding it. Not all is owed to the influence of other civilisations; the Romans did play a large part. I think Pompeii was perceived as a Roman town because it was publicised as a Roman town especially during its five years of trading. This may account for this prejudice of viewing Pompeii like this and proves that Pompeii owes much to other civilisations and not just Rome. Another reason may be that most of the Pompeii remains were actually Roman so this may have given the impression of Pompeii as a Roman-dominant town but it really was multicultural. Overall, I think Pompeii positively owes much to other civilisations even though the Romans overshadowed the developments of other civilisations due to their power and knowledge of utilising the town. Therefore, to say that Pompeii owes a lot to the influence of other civilisations is a very fair assessment, as although the town may be known as Roman, without the Oscans it may cease to exist and without the Greeks the town may not have become as cultured. I do not believe there is a particular civilisation that is owed the most because they all gave something towards the making of Pompeii. ...read more.

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