In political terms

In political terms - In political terms, the changes can be...

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Unformatted text preview: In political terms, the changes can be best summed up as culminating a process of change from Republic to Principate to Dominate. The ideal of Roman society had always been a republic ruled by a senate that expressed the will of citizens by electing consuls whose tenures were limited. This was an ideal, in that only residents of Italy were counted as citizens, and equality was more between senators and consuls than among the populace as a whole. From the time of Julius Caesar (d. 44 BCE), however, the power of the individual leader had begun to increase in proportion to that of the Roman Senate. Ultimately, Octavian Augustus (r. 27 BCE-13 CE) established a Principate. Theoretically, the Princeps, or Emperor was close to being an equal to the Senate, or primus inter pares (first among equals). He and his successors for at least a century respected the Senate, reserved to it important fiscal, municipal, and appointive functions,...
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