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HUM 111 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC Chronology: Etruscans: 900-509 BC, beginning of Roman Republic Roman Republic: 509-31 BC, Battle of Actium (or 27BC “Augustus”) Roman Empire: 31BC-476AD, Odoacer became Emperor of Rome Age of Augustus: 31 BC-14AD (the “Golden Age of Rome”) Etruscans: 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 Roman Republic: 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 empire 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 of power 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. Patricians 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) Plebeians
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Everybody else… early on many of the plebeians became quite wealthy, and they began to assert themselves for more rights because the patricians had all the power, and the plebeians wanted more of that power, so they asked the patricians to write down the law… Law of Twelve Tables (450 BC) Wrote down what they thought the laws could be, but it gave the patricians the right to make up all the laws. This document, although written down, was not good. It said that the
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