Key Points

The constitution of the roman Republic was a set of guidelines and also principles passed down, largely through precedent. The constitution was mostly unwritten and uncodified, and also evolved over time.Roman citizenship was avital prerequisite come possessing many important legit rights.The Senate happen decrees the were dubbed senatus consulta, ostensibly “advice” from the senate to a magistrate. The focus of the roman Senate to be usually international policy.There to be two varieties of legislature assemblies. The very first was the comitia (“committees”), which were assemblies the all roman citizens. The 2nd was the concilia (“councils”), which were assemblies of details groups the citizens.The comitia centuriata to be the assembly that the century (soldiers), and they elected magistrates who had actually imperium powers (consuls and praetors). The comitia tributa, or assembly the the people (the citizens of Rome), to be presided over by a consul and composed of 35 tribes. They chosen quaestors, curule aediles, and also military tribunes.Dictators were periodically elected throughout times of armed forces emergency, throughout which the constitutional federal government would be disbanded.

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A group of ruling class families in ancient Rome.


A basic body of totally free Roman citizens that were part of the lower strata of society.

Roman Senate

A political school in the old Roman Republic. The was not an chosen body, however one who members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors.

The structure of the roman inn Republic was a collection of guidelines and principles pass down, mainly through precedent. The structure was mainly unwritten and uncodified, and evolved over time. Rather than developing a government that was generally a democracy (as was old Athens), an aristocracy (as was old Sparta), or a monarchy (as was Rome before, and in numerous respects after, the Republic), the roman constitution blended these three aspects of administration into their in its entirety political system. The democratic aspect took the type of legislative branch assemblies; the aristocratic element took the type of the Senate; and the monarchical facet took the form of the countless term-limited consuls.

The roman inn SPQR Banner. “SPQR” (senatus populusque romanus) was the roman inn motto, i m sorry stood because that “the Senate and also people of Rome.”

The roman inn Senate

The Senate’s can be fried authority derived from the esteem and also prestige of the senators, and was based on both criterion and custom. The Senate happen decrees, i beg your pardon were referred to as senatus consulta, ostensibly “advice” handed down from the senate come a magistrate. In practice, the magistrates usually adhered to the senatus consulta. The emphasis of the roman Senate was usually international policy. However, the power of the Senate broadened over time as the strength of the legislative branch assemblies declined, and also eventually the Senate took a greater duty in polite law-making. Senators were usually appointed by roman censors, however during time of army emergency, such together the civil wars of the 1st century BCE, this practice became less prevalent, and also the roman dictator, triumvir, or the Senate itself would pick its members.

Curia Iulia—the roman Senate House. The Curia Julia in the roman Forum, the chair of the royal Senate.

Legislative Assemblies

Roman citizenship to be a critical prerequisite to possessing numerous important legal rights, such together the legal rights to trial and also appeal, marriage, suffrage, to organize office, to enter binding contracts, and also to reap special tax exemptions. An adult masculine citizen with full legal and also political legal rights was called optimo jure. The optimo jure chosen assemblies, and also the assemblies elected magistrates, spread legislation, presided end trials in funding cases, asserted war and peace, and also forged or dissolved treaties. There to be two species of legislature assemblies. The first was the comitia (“committees”), which were assemblies of every optimo jure. The second was the concilia (“councils”), which to be assemblies of specific groups the optimo jure.

Citizens on this assemblies were organized more on the basis of curiae (familial groupings), centuries (for armed forces purposes), and also tribes (for polite purposes), and each would certainly each gather into their own assemblies. The Curiate Assembly served only a symbolic function in the late Republic, despite the assembly was used to ratify the strength of newly elected magistrates by passing laws well-known as leges curiatae. The comitia centuriata was the assembly the the century (soldiers). The president of the comitia centuriata was normally a consul, and also the comitia centuriata would elect magistrates who had actually imperium powers (consuls and also praetors). It also elected censors. Only the comitia centuriata could declare war and ratify the results of a census. It likewise served as the highest possible court of very nice one in specific judicial cases.

The assembly the the tribes, the comitia tributa, was presided end by a consul, and was written of 35 tribes. The tribes were not ethnic or kinship groups, yet rather geography subdivisions. While the did not pass many laws, the comitia tributa did selected quaestors, curule aediles, and also military tribunes. The Plebeian the supervisory board was the same to the assembly the the tribes, however excluded the patricians. They chosen their very own officers, plebeian tribunes, and plebeian aediles. Typically a plebeian tribune would preside end the assembly. This assembly passed most laws, and also could likewise act as a court that appeal.

Since the tribunes were thought about to be the embodiment that the plebeians, they to be sacrosanct. Your sacrosanctness was applied by a pledge, take away by the plebeians, come kill any person that harmed or interfered v a tribune throughout his hatchet of office. As such, it was considered a funding offense to harm a tribune, to neglect his veto, or to interfere with his actions. In time of armed forces emergency, a dictator would certainly be appointed because that a ax of six months. The constitutional federal government would it is in dissolved, and the dictator would be the absolute master of the state. As soon as the dictator’s ax ended, constitutional federal government would be restored.

Executive Magistrates

Magistrates were the chosen officials of the roman inn republic. Each magistrate to be vested with a degree of power, and the dictator, when there to be one, had the highest possible level that power. Below the dictator was the censor (when castle existed), and the consuls, the highest ranking simple magistrates. 2 were elected every year and wielded supreme power in both civil and military powers. The ranking among both consuls flipped every month, v one outranking the other.

Below the consuls to be the praetors, who administered polite law, presided end the courts, and commanded provincial armies. Censors carried out the roman inn census, during which time they can appoint human being to the Senate. Curule aediles to be officers chosen to conduct domestic affairs in Rome, who were vested with powers over the markets, publicly games, and also shows. Finally, at the bottom the magistrate rankings were the quaestors, that usually aided the consuls in Rome and the governors in the provinces with gaue won tasks. Plebeian tribunes and also plebeian aediles were thought about representatives of the people, and acted as a popular inspect over the Senate v use of your veto powers, therefore safeguarding the polite liberties of all roman inn citizens.

Each magistrate could only veto an activity that to be taken by an same or lower ranked magistrate. The most far-reaching constitutional strength a magistrate could hold was the of imperium or command, which was held only by consuls and also praetors. This gave the magistrate in question the constitutional government to issue commands, armed forces or otherwise.

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Election to a magisterial office resulted in automatic membership in the Senate for life, uneven impeached. Once a magistrate’s annual term in office expired, he had to wait at the very least ten years prior to serving in that office again. Occasionally, however, a magistrate would have actually his command powers extended through prorogation, which effectively allowed him to retain the strength of his office as a promagistrate.