Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic

The political structure under the Roman Republic

The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic Rome was among the various settlements of Latin-speaking people in Italy. Latin forms a part of the broad Indo-European group of languages. within the period after c. 2000 BC several Indo-European tribes were settled in Italy and these intermingled with indigenous groups like the Etruscans. Both the Latins and therefore the Etruscans played a crucial role within the early phase of the history of Rome. Rome, located on the banks of the Tiber river within the central a part of Italy shortly from the western coast of the peninsula, was traditionally alleged to are founded in 753 BC. consistent with the normal history of the town , settlements on seven hills along the Tiber river were enclosed by a wall up 753 BC. The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic

This became the town of Rome. However, the historicity of this date has not been established. The archaeological evidence suggests that the town was first fortified at a way later date, c. 550 BC. it's around this point that the population of the settlements on the seven hills began to expand.

Our knowledge of the first history of Rome is quite sketchy. consistent with tradition Rome had become a republic by 510 BC. Monarchy was abolished. After this date the town was ruled by an oligarchy consisting of the rich Latin aristocracy of Rome. The Roman Empire was unique therein for nearly five centuries it had a republican sort of government and wasn't ruled by a monarchy. the govt was headed by two magistrates, called Consuls, who were elected annually. the most instrument of aristocratic power was the oligarchical council or Senate. The Senate was the supreme body of the Roman Republic .


The early Romans had kingship alongside the senate and assembly. The senate wielded many powers and there have been regular conflicts with the kings. In 510 BC monarchy came to an end at Rome and a republican state was established which lasted till 27 BC. At the start of the Republic political power was monopolized by the Roman aristocracy. Now, almost complete power was vested within the Senate an oligarchical council. Membership of the Senate was open only to the aristocracy

Social Orders and therefore the Senate

The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic Here one would really like to draw attention to a particular feature of Roman social organisation . Roman society was marked by a permanent division of the inhabitants (citizens) into two orders: the patrician order and therefore the plebeian order.

The patricians constituted alittle close-knit hereditary elite while the plebeians were the folk . However both the orders were included within the category of citizens. The division of the Romans into two orders features a few similarities with the Indian class structure . This division had a permanency which resembles the permanency of being born into a specific caste. A citizen was born a patrician or a plebeian.

A plebeian couldn't become a patrician just by acquiring wealth or political power. For an extended time intermarriage between the 2 orders was prohibited by law. The patricians were the economically, politically and socially dominant group in Roman society. Being born a patrician meant automatic access to wealth, political power and a high social and ritual status. Patricians had extensive control over Roman religion. Many of the important priesthoods remained closed to the plebeians almost till the top of the Republic.

Officials of the Republic

The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic  As mentioned earlier, the very best officials of the Republic were two annually elected magistrates referred to as Consuls. They presided over the Senate and performed executive, judicial and military functions. It should be noted that the Consuls were elected by an assembly of all the citizens (which included the plebeians) and not by the Senate. Consuls could seek re-election with none restrictions. Till 367 BC only patricians could become Consuls. In 367 BC, following a protracted struggle, one among the consulships was thrown hospitable the plebeians.

This provision remained a mere formality for an extended time because the patricians controlled the electoral process and will manipulate the selection of candidates. it had been only within the late Republic that plebeians actually started getting elected to the consulship. This was the sole way during which a plebeian could enter the Senate since a Consul was automatically made a senator. Towards the top of the Republic some privileged plebeians were thus ready to become members of the Senate. The Roman Republic had several other elected magistrates who taken care of various aspects of governance. there have been two very powerful magistrates called Censors

Struggle Between Patricians and Plebeians

 The history of the first Republic was marked by a continuing struggle between the landed aristocracy and therefore the folk . The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic While on the one hand the patricians tried to concentrate all political power in their hands, on the opposite hand the plebeians began to say themselves and demanded that they ought to even have a say within the political process. The system evolved by the patricians after the establishment of the Republic completely denied the plebeians any say within the government. The Political Structure Under the Roman Republic it's not difficult to ascertain why the peasantry couldn't be easily ignored.

The Roman aristocracy had to hunt the support of the peasantry for defending the town and subsequently for expansion in Italy. Roman military organization was heavily hooked in to the peasants who constituted the most fighting force. the military comprised unpaid soldiers who were primarily recruited from the peasantry. The soldiers had to provide their own fighting equipment.

All able-bodied male adults had to render military service. we've seen that this was the pattern of military organization in Greece also . As Rome began to expand, the necessity to possess the support of the peasant soldiers increased. Initially the peasantry derived some minor benefits from this expansion, but it had been the patrician aristocracy that was the most beneficiary of the empire. the expansion of the empire made the aristocracy fabulously wealthy and widened the gap between the rich and therefore the poor. The Political Structure Under The Roman Republic within the early phase of Roman expansion the peasantry was ready to extract major political concessions. Through these concessions alittle section of the plebeians (the peasants were invariably plebeians) got some share in political power.

Social Differentiation in Plebeians

At the start of the Republic most of the plebeians had been peasants. By the late Republic the plebeian order had become socially differentiated. At one end was a small elite among the plebeians. This elite had used political concessions to realize access to power and wealth. a couple of plebeian senatorial families came into existence which enjoyed almost an equivalent status because the patrician aristocracy. This small section of the plebeians had fully become a neighborhood of the ruling oligarchy of Rome by the late Republic.