2 BACKGROUND Founding of Rome The tale of Aeneas (The Aeneid by Vergil)Fleeing burning Troy with his father Anchises and son IulusDido at Carthage and other travels (like The Odyssey)Historical evidenceSettlements from 11th Century BC
3 Kingdom of Rome (753-509BC) Romulus and Remus Latin princess was Vestal virginRaped by Mars, bore twin boysOrdered killed by non-Latin kingSuckled by a she wolfGrew and founded a city (753BC)Romulus killed Remus for power.Historic EvidenceThe Etruscans conquered the Romans (non-Latin king)Romans eventually overthrew EtruscansRuins of home of king (Romulus?) date from 8th Century BCRegal periodRuled by 7 kings beginning with RomulusMostly a bad time of oppression by tyrantsRevolted in 510, and threw out the last king (Tarquin), and Etruscan influence
4 Republican Period (509-27BC) Republican rule replaced the monarchy, the Romans determined never again to tolerate a king’s ruleReplaced with a “res publica” = rule of the peopleThis combined balanced elements ofPEOPLE: Democracy - citizens rule (plebians)Assembly of the plebsSENATE: Aristocracy – nobles rule (patricians)the senate (elders)MAGISTRATES: Monarchy – rule of oneimperium legal authority (under certain conditions) to impose the law was held by several magistrates – especially the consulsVeto power to prevent any laws being passed either consul or tribunes of the plebsbut each balanced the power of the other.Magistrates such as consuls, praetors, tribunes of the plebs, censors etcAll this was held together by mainly unwritten codes of precedent or constitution called “the way of the elders” - mos maioram.
5 Republican Government avoided the greatest fear of the Romans – rule by a king Rome overthrew its last king (Tarquinius Superbus) in 509BCDeveloped a mostly unwritten constitution called the mos maiorum “the customs of the elders” to regulate rule by a senate (aristocrats) and the peopleSPQR= ‘Senatus Populus que Romanus’ = The Senate and the People of Rome
6 Republican Government Senate (originally Patricians – later also wealthy Plebians) elected 2 consuls (1 year)Finance, Foreign affairs and the militaryDirect access by the people to the consulPeople (plebs) organized by 35 tribes and they elected 10 tribunesGoverned local affairsHad veto power (individually) over even the senate & consulsThe Mos Maiorum ensured balance of political power.Veto (I forbid) of the Tribune of the Plebs protected commoners against the senate’s (aristocrats) lawsVeto of one consul against his co-consul ensured no ONE could act alone.fixed, limited term offices ensured power was spread around.sacrosanct tribunes, both their person, and their veto meant aristocrats couldn’t bully or persecute him to support them.Imperium (right to raise war, and capital punishment) limited to 3 officesNo army to be brought into the city walls (pomerium) meant individuals couldn’t use military might against the people and senateAlso involved customs of right regulation of civic and family life
7 Constitution (the elites) Senate (aristocrats)Originally 300 later 600 members of elite families.Dominated by small group patrician (consular) families.Never made laws but recommended them to the assembly of the plebs (Concilium Plebis)Had power to appoint a person to solve a specific problem (He was a "speaker" or "dictator” – a 6 months imperium)Appointed censors (vetted senatorial candidates, moral guardian/rank judge)Appointed governors to Rome’s Provinces (pro-consuls)Concerned with finance (so could block laws) & foreign affairs.Thus they came to dominate the whole government by their wealth and influence – an imbalance that caused the republic’s destruction.
8 Constitution (the Commons) PLEBIANSSeveral assemblies of Plebs existed, but with very limited power dominated by wealthy magistrates, without secret ballot, “gate-kept” by the senate consultum.Concilium plebis(Assembly of the plebs)Made all the laws (called plebiscita)Lead by 10 Tribunes of the plebsComitia TributaElected magistrates (administrators) and judgesComitia Curiata– Confirmed emporium (military power) holders.Comitia Centuriata – Wealthy elites– elected consuls and praetors (imperium offices).STATE RELIGIONSeveral state religious offices had influence for examplePontifex Maximus “great bridge builder”Chief priest of the city - office now held by..Vestal virgins- sacred female priest who cared for the “household” of Rome, and other treasures- had rights independent of the patriarchy (vote, etc)
9 Equites (knights) Later teens unlimited 10yrs Military Tribune 25 24 The CURSUS HONORUM (Latin: "course of honours") was the sequential order of public offices held by aspiring politicians in both the Roman Republic and the early Empire. It was designed for men of senatorial rank. The cursus honorum comprised a mixture of military and political administration posts. Membership of the senate came after serving as a Quaestor (1st rung on the cursus).OFFICEMin age Patrician, -2NumberTermServicePowersEquites (knights)Later teensunlimited10yrsService in the cavalry/militaryAn elite class in society.Military Tribune2524Commander in LegionQuaestor (1st rung)3020Financial admin in Rome or deputy-Governor in province. Organised games.Brought Senatorial membershipAedile (2nd rung)36?2 plebs2 patricians1yrSupervises of temples, food & water, supervised markets, games & public building (edifices)Praetor (3rd rung)396-81 yrJudge in Roman courts, cover for an absent consul. Followed by Propraetorship (provincial governor)Imperium(6 lictors).Veto in court cases for the chief Praetor
10 OFFICEMin age Patrcn, -2NumberTermServicePowersConsul(top rung)4221 yrten yr gap.Marius broke this rule.In charge of Political agenda. Commanders in chief & chairmen of senate month about.Followed by Proconsulship (gov’nor of important provinces)Could Veto each other. Imperium (12 Lictors).Could veto all offices except plebian tribunes.Censor18 monthsSaw to the numbers in tribes, and vetted candidates for senateTribune of the Plebs10Convene Plebs assembly, propose laws, protect the interests of plebs. Could exercise capital puishment, call senate together, and had to stay in or near Rome.Full veto.Sacrosanct.Dictator16 monthsTake control in rarest emergencies appointed by consuls or senate. Canceled all other offices except TribuneImperium. (24 Lictors)Lictors were guards & escorts for magistrates who possessed imperium (Praetors, Consuls, Dictators). They carried Fasces (rods and axe) as symbols of the power to beat, and execute that imperium holders possessed. The modern term Fascist refers to this power.
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