Of these populations the Romans in general did not propose a violent assimilation, nor did they try to impose their language, because rather the use of Latin as an official language they considered as the highest honor and as an object of gracious concession. Nor did the Romans hinder the different idioms of the Italic federates, since, on the contrary, by defending the minor nationalities against the appetites of the major ones, they ensured their languages a longer duration than perhaps, left to themselves, they would have had. However, Latin struggled for centuries before becoming popular in the cities of Magna Graecia, and its advance in central and northern Etruria was late.
The Latinization of the peninsula was preceded by the creation of a solidarity and unitary awareness among the federates, which the Romans hastened with highly effective means. With extraordinary skill, with shrewd monetary policy, they dominated the traffic and trade of the Italian peninsula; to the federates they recognized absolute economic equality on the markets opened by common weapons, and bestowed on them legal privileges in the provinces, so as to make any significant difference between a Roman citizen and a federate disappear abroad, whereby Romans and Italics came to constitute outside Italy those legally closed and privileged communities, of which there is so frequent a trace in the epigraphs. The Roman institutes penetrated into the Italian communes in slow stages, not by coercion, but by the force of expansion that derived from their superiority, until it resulted in the uniform municipal order of the imperial period. And the greatest melting pot of national fusion were the common armies, in which one was the supreme command, one the organization, one the order.
In this way the Romans unified around themselves, materially, economically and militarily the inhabitants of the peninsula before unifying them nationally, which is to say linguistically, and for a long enough period it seemed that the federal system could suffice for the historical tasks of Roman Italy. Only when in the developments of the century II a. C., the government of Rome darted towards an increasingly narrow and selfish oligarchy, and the federates felt every day more defenseless against the abuses and bullying of the central government, they desired, to remedy their inferiority, the acquisition of citizenship Roman and, after long travails, they obtained it with weapons in hand, during that social war in which it seemed that the abolition of Rome was convenient for the formation of an Italian nationality. But this, continuing to alternate the arts of politics with military force, he overcame the storm, and took advantage of it to proceed with the definitive Romanization of Italy, and thus confer upon it unity of language and nation. Once Roman citizenship was granted in a short time to all federated Italians, the Latin language spread everywhere, and along with the language, onomastics, calendars, Roman customs; all local privileges fell, private law institutes diverging from Roman law disappeared, municipal regulations were standardized. and, with the language, the onomastics, the calendar, the Roman customs; all local privileges fell, private law institutes diverging from Roman law disappeared, municipal regulations were standardized. and, with the language, the onomastics, the calendar, the Roman customs; all local privileges fell, private law institutes diverging from Roman law disappeared, municipal regulations were standardized.
The social war had considerable consequences also with respect to the Latinization of Cisalpine Gaul, in which the Roman hegemony severely compromised during the Second Punic War, had been, in the first decades of the century. II a. C., reaffirmed, deepened and enlarged, but this region had always remained clearly distinct from peninsular Italy. With the social war the Cispadana area, already largely Romanized before, came to the right of the city, while the Traspadani, by virtue of the lex Pompeia Strabonis they obtained the Latin, but then, in 49 a. C., Cesare granted them full citizenship, and after the battle of Philippi, Octavian, suppressed the provincial organization, which, apparently, Silla had introduced into the Cisalpina, fully incorporated it into Italy. Then the border of Italy, which is NE. already by Silla himself it seems to have been moved from Aesis to the Rubicon, to NO. from the Magra to the Varo, it was at the NE. pushed to the Formio, a small river that flows into the Adriatic south of Trieste, and to the north it reached the Alps in a line that almost matched the boundary of the future provinces of the Maritime Alps and the Cottian Alps, left out the Val d’Aosta, continued along the lakes , bordered the Valtellina to the south, included the upper valley of the Chiese and the Val di Non and touched the crests of the Venetian Alps.