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Structure of government in the ancient rome

6a. The Roman Republic

Ancient Rome experienced three different types of government: This means that Rome was under the power of a monarchy in its earliest period, which is a system of government that has one ruler. Evidence points to seven different kings ruling Rome at this time. However, sometime around 509 B.

Officials are elected, and the people all share the leadership. The Roman Republic, in many ways, set the standard for the future of many countries.

  • Later, the number of senators increased to 300 and subsequently to 600;
  • If one of the censors died during his term of office, another was chosen to replace him, just as with consuls;
  • The consuls also selected the new members of the Senate if a senator died;
  • The consuls had the most power and decided when to add new laws and when to go to war.

The people began to elect magistrates, who shared power and represented the citizens of Rome. Two of the magistrates were known as consuls.

The consuls had the most power and decided when to add new laws and when to go to war.

  1. However, after 202, the office of dictator fell out of use. It was Cineas who did most of the talking and negotiating with both friend and foe in Italy.
  2. Not all dictators of Rome would be as humble as Cincinnatus.
  3. A republic is quite different from a democracy, in which every citizen is expected to play an active role in governing the state.

Advertisement Consuls had to work closely with the Roman Senate when making decisions. The Senate consisted of men from wealthier families, and many senators held the position for life.

The Senate itself began as advisors to the consuls but gained power steadily throughout the years of the Republic. Initially the office of magistrate was only open to patricians, a group of elite Roman families. Eventually, though, even plebeians or common people could be elected, giving most Roman citizens a voice. Prefects were chosen to run various aspects of the city, sometimes acting as judges while also being similar to modern day police.

Ancient Roman Government Structure And The Twelve Tables

For example, these men helped to control the marketplaces. Tribunes were elected to represent the people, particularly the plebeians. Tribunes, like the magistrates, prefects, and even the senators, were elected by the Assembly, which was a group of people who represented each section of Rome.

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During the Republic, the Romans carved some of their more important laws into tablets, which became known as the Twelve Tables.

Some of the laws may seem odd to us today, but they offer a great glimpse into everyday life during the Republic. Interestingly, as Rome branched out and conquered other lands, the captured people were then invited to become Roman citizens themselves.

They received all the rights of a person born in Rome and had equal voices within the Republic system.

  • How did the word "Punic" become an adjective meaning "relating to the people of Carthage"?
  • Hannibal marched his elephants south into the Italian peninsula during the Second Punic War;
  • During the battle, the Romans were losing the battle, so Decuis Mus sacrificed himself by riding his horse directly into the enemy lines to inspire his troops.

Sulla assumed the title of dictator, giving him full control of the people and signaling the fall of the Roman Republic. Another leader, Julius Caesar, took control in 49 B. The Roman Empire kept the Senate and other positions in place, such as the consuls. However, the Emperor had ultimate control, and his word could not be denied, regardless of how his people felt or voted.

Having full control of the army, it was nearly impossible for an Emperor to be overthrown. The Roman Empire remained a powerful force for another 300 years before beginning to decline. Following the rule of Constantine, the Empire fell early in the fifth century. Many historians mark 476 as the year that the Empire ended and the Middle Ages began.

  • The Senate consisted of men from wealthier families, and many senators held the position for life;
  • The Gauls, or Celts, were considered barbarians by the Romans because the Gauls lived in villages rather than building cities, and could not read or write.