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At the present time malaria is endemic in Greece and Rome. That is, it is always there, and is looked upon as one of the necessary diseases of childhood, much as we look upon the measles. Sir Ronald Ross of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is responsible for the statement that nearly half the people of Greece have suffered genuine injury from malaria, and in Italy the case is scarcely better. Up to the age of puberty children are attacked by it every autumn. They grow weak and sallow, their spleens are permanently enlarged, and their vitality is lowered for life. No one who has suffered from malaria will question the severity of its results and the length of time which elapses before they are eradicated even in the case of adults. In spite of quinine, which has come to our aid in modern days, it is one of the most insidious of diseases. Every traveller who has seen much of the Orient knows how the sufferers from malaria lie and groan for days, and later have no energy for months, but go languidly to the necessary tasks, and as soon as possible sit down to rest with open, stupid mouths. Physicians agree that it is impossible to expect much initiative or energy from a nation in which for centuries almost half of every generation has been devitalized by this baneful disease.
From a painstaking study of classical authors Mr. W. H. S. Jones has concluded that up to about 400 B. C. in Greece and 200 B. C. in Rome, malaria was almost unknown." Then it appeared, and during the succeeding century or two became common. At first it attacked adults, which shows that it was a relatively new disease, which was still epidemic and not endemic, or else, we would add, that Greece was on the very border of its habitat. Later it became permanently located in the respective countries and attacked chiefly children, the older people having become immune after suffering in childhood. It is noticeable that the introduction of malaria coincides with the beginning of the weakening of Greece and Rome, and the time when it became endemic, in Greece at least, is synchronous with the epoch when the lustre of the ancient names became irretrievably dimmed.
Ross and Jones are of the opinion that, along with various other factors, malaria was one of the important causes of the fall of Greece and Rome. The growing effeminacy and lightness of the Greeks and the brutality of the Romans, are just the effects which they think would be produced upon people of the respective temperaments of the two races. The case is so strong that one can scarcely resist the conclusion that this pathological factor may have
5 W. H. S. Jones, Malaria: a Neglected Factor in the History of Greece and Rome (Cambridge, England, 1907).
played an important part in the psychological changes which appear to have accompanied the decline of civilization and of population in both Greece and Rome. In the present state of knowledge it would be rash to assert that the increase in the amount and severity of malaria was due to climatic changes. Other influences, such as contact with Egypt and the introduction of slaves, may have been equally effective. Nevertheless it is noteworthy that the spread of the disease in both Greece and Rome seems to have proceeded most rapidly during and after the time when a change of climate appears: to have rendered the topography of the valleys and the behavior of the streams more favorable than hitherto to the propagation of the anopheles mosquito.
In conclusion let me call attention to one more way in which the change from relatively moist, stormy, cool conditions to those of aridity may have affected the Greek, Roman, and other races. In the opinion of many scholars one of the most important factors in the greatness of these powers was the presence of a race of northern invaders. Take the case of Greece. These northern Achaeans came into the country about 1200 B. C. and their coming may have had some connection with the dry period of which we find evidence both in America and Asia. After their arrival the climate on the whole, although with some fluctuations, appears to have become more propitious, so far as our meagre data afford any indications. Up to the middle of the third century it continued to be favorable. Then it became more arid. It is well known that races are very sensitive to climatic environment. The negro would apparently die out in the northern United States were he not replenished from the South. The Scandinavian does not seem to prosper greatly in the dry, sunny portions of the United States; he is there subject to diseases of the skin and nerves which appear seriously to deplete his numbers in a few generations; whereas in the rainy northwest, which resembles his native habitat, he thrives greatly both in body and estate. It may have been the same with the northern invaders in Greece. So long as the climate was propitious they flourished and lent strength to the country. Then, when conditions became less favorable, the unseen ravages of malaria and other diseases may have attacked them with especial severity, so that in the course of centuries they gradually disappeared, thus weakening the Greek people to so great a degree that there has been no recovery.
It would be possible to go on with other and equally important ways in which changes of climate may perhaps have co-operated with other factors in causing the decline of nations, or in stimulating
them at times when the changes were favorable. We must leave the matter here, however, with the hope that it may be investigated more thoroughly by historians, who alone possess the necessary information to carry the matter to its full conclusion. Enough has been said to show, in the first place, that the theory of pulsatory changes of climate appears to be firmly grounded. The conclusions here presented as to the dates and degree of changes may be modified, but the general conclusion does not seem likely to be upset. In the second place we have shown that there are many and important ways in which it is possible that climatic pulsations, directly or indirectly, may have modified the course of history. Only when their true. effect is thoroughly understood shall we be sure that we are rightly estimating the importance of the other factors with which they combine to produce the complex results of history.
MERCANTILISM AND ROME'S FOREIGN POLICY
THE territorial expansion of the Roman Republic has been explained in various ways by the historians of modern times, the explanations usually bearing the tone of the age in which they originate. In conformity to the historical tendencies of the last half-century there has been, since the appearance of Mommsen's history, an ever-increasing emphasis upon economic factors which has reached its climax in the widely read work of Ferrero. These new theories1 have not grown directly out of a solid body of facts furnished by original ancient sources, though exploiting of course all possible economic data found in classical authorities. They have rather sprung from a consideration of present-day political movements. When critics have objected that modern industrialism has created so many new factors in international politics that it is wholly unsafe to draw a priori inferences regarding the ancient situation from modern conditions, the writer of the economic school has been prone to fall back upon seventeenth- and eighteenth-century mercantilism for his parallels. In those centuries, he will say, we find a civilization which was not materially unlike that of Rome in her best days, and he will insist that, even though no publicist existed to write them down for the enlightenment of posterity, he finds certain political practices in the Roman Republic which imply a line of reasoning not unlike that of Davenant and Sir Josiah Child.
Now it would be interesting to compare the economic and political conditions of the Ciceronian period with those of the aggressive European nations of the seventeenth century in an effort to learn whether the causes which led to modern mercantilism were actually in force in Rome. This has not been done, and before it can be done we must confine ourselves more patiently to sifting and comprehending the facts that can be obtained bearing upon the premises of the problem. For this reason I here propose the simple task of examining the ancient references upon which a sort of loose mercantile theory has been erected, and of reviewing the significant facts that we have regarding the extent of Rome's foreign commerce and business during the republic, attempting to determine from this
'A typical instance is Mahaffy's judgment: "It was of course the commercial monopolist, and not old Cato and his figs who destroyed Carthage." For the commonly accepted point of view, see Mommsen, Roman History (Eng. transl., 1900), III. 238, 274, 295, 415, 421; Colin, Rome et la Grèce, passim; Ferrero, The Greatness and Decline of Rome, I. 20 ff. and 38; Heitland, The Roman Republic, II. 156-157; Speck, Handelsgeschichte des Altertums, passim.
investigation when and to what degree commercialism and capitalism became the mainsprings of territorial expansion.
In the first place, we may note that the reasons for assuming an extensive Roman maritime commerce during the early republic do not bear examination. They are usually based upon Livy's statement that in the seventh century B. C. a maritime colony was planted at Ostia to serve as a Roman port, and upon inferences drawn from Rome's early commercial treaties with Carthage. historian should have been warned by the nature of Ostia's position, its government, and its cults that it could not have been as old as Livy would have it; as a matter of fact, the excavator2 is proving that its earliest remains do not date before the third century B. C. Now we know that the Tiber does and did so load its lower course with silt that transmarine merchandise bound for Rome had to be transferred from the larger ships into barges or warehouses at the mouth of the river and for this a well-equipped harbor was necessary. The establishment of a late date for the Ostian port, therefore, compels us to revise our conception of Rome's shipping.
The usual inferences drawn from the Carthaginian treaties3 also need revision. The date and substance of the first treaty are still under dispute, but the second, dating from the latter part of the fourth century B. C., can safely be used. It reads as follows:
There shall be friendship between the Romans and their allies, and the Carthaginians, Tyrians, and township of Utica, on these terms: The Romans shall not maraud, nor traffic, nor found a city east of the Fair Promontory [twenty miles north of Carthage], Mastia, Tarseium. If the Carthaginians take any city in Latium which is not subject to Rome, they may keep the prisoners and the goods, but shall deliver up the town.
In Sardinia and Libya no Roman shall traffic nor found a city; he shall do no more than take in provisions and refit his ship. If a storm drive him upon those coasts, he shall depart within five days.
In the Carthaginian province of Sicily and in Carthage he may transact business and sell whatsoever it is lawful for a citizen to do. In like manner also may a Carthaginian at Rome.
Is it not apparent that the treaty is one-sided, that it secures full privileges for the Punic trader while limiting the Roman, that, in other words, it was drawn up by Carthage, an old trading state, to her own advantage and accepted by the then insignificant Roman
2 Taylor, Cults of Ostia (Bryn Mawr College Monographs, vol. XI.), introductory chapter.
3 Polybius, III. 22-24. Polybius dates the first treaty at 509, but most historians place it in the fourth century. The second one (III. 24) is probably the one which Diodorus places at 348 B. C. I use Shuckburgh's translation (London, 1889).