To what extent does the evidence provide us with a reliable view of the social effects of Roman Rule in the provinces? 50 marks.
Roman rule had much in the way of social effects on all the provinces of which it had control. Effects from Rome’s control can be seen in many respects but for this essay I shall consider the social effects as derived from the following themes: Revolts; Romanisation; The Imperial cult and Citizenship.
Firstly, revolts seem to be the most violent representations of the social effects of Roman rule. The gravity of Tacfarinas’ Revolt, in Africa, can be seen through the monument to Galbus, “Scipio commander of the IX legion Hispania was moved from Croatia to fight against Tacfarinas” If an entire legion needed to be moved to fight for one person’s cause, it is evident that the revolt must have had an enormous effect on the African province. Tacitus Annals 2.52-3.74 tells us the rest of the story; Tacfarinas continually retreats and maintains his revolt. His goal was to achieve “African independence from Roman Rule” hence the social effects were strong in that they roused an entire people against the empire to be free of their tyranny. As the revolt was under Tiberius, we have to consider that Tacitus as a source might be unreliable. He saw Tiberius as a precursor to Domitian and as he disliked that Emperor he demonises everything that Tiberius does in order to justify his opinion of the latter. Therefore his account of the revolt is inaccurate because he will have exaggerated Tacfarinas’ triumphs in order to show the emperor as more incompetent than he may have been.
The revolt of Vindex in Gaul also gives us an insight. Dio Cassius tells us that the revolt was due to taxation imposed by Nero to support his “Lavish lifestyle”. Vindex is said to have “hailed Galba as Emperor” and having the support of one of the commanders of a German legion. However in the confusion of seeing the legion march towards him, Vindex killed himself. This...