HUM 111 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC
900-509 BC, beginning of Roman Republic
509-31 BC, Battle of Actium (or 27BC “Augustus”)
31BC-476AD, Odoacer became Emperor of Rome
Age of Augustus:
31 BC-14AD (the “Golden Age of Rome”)
Precursors of the Romans
Individuals who were in italy before the romans, and who, when the latin speaking people we
call the romans came into italy, were conquered by and intermarried with the romans
Legacy to Rome
Position of women, arch, toga, sense of action, divination, superstition, modesty, portraits,
realism, kinds of temples
Last king overthrown in 509 BC, founding of Rome
There are two main time periods in the thousand year history of rome: the republic, and the
They overthrew the last latin king, and rome was founded, or it might have been the last
Etruscan king. They are finished with monarchy and begin their form of democracy in the
form of the republic
Their constitution was not a written constitution, it was an understanding between the people
Government had three levels:
At the head were the two counsels- civil leader, and military leader (they had some
checks and balances). These positions were elected annually. This wasn’t the most
effective way to do things, but was a way to turn over power so no one man could get
too much power.
Senate: a group of older men, 300 of them, they were advisory only, they did not vote.
But they were usually from the oldest, wealthiest, most powerful family, so their word
did carry a lot of clout, people listened to them and deferred to them. They were
elected for life and were very politically conservative, they didn’t change the old
ways. They didn’t tend to be progressive. This turned out to be beneficial because the
main bodies were…
Assemblies. These were the younger men (all male citizens), and they always wanted
to go for their own ideas, so the senate provided a good system of checks and balances
for the assemblies so that rome didn’t advance too fast and get it out of control
Struggle of the Orders
The two groups were the patricians and plebeians, and the two groups were called the orders.
The struggle of the orders was the struggle between the patricians and the plebeians for
power, as the patricians had the power and the plebeians wanted it.
In the early early age, it was based on wealth.
These were the people who could trace their ancestry back to the founders of rome, 5-7% of
the population. (in the beginning they were the wealthy ones)