EARLY ROMAN REPUBLIC: ITS FOUNDING, EXPANSION AND THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN PLEBEIANS AND PATRICIANS

EARLY ROMAN REPUBLIC


At first Rome was ruled by chiefs, then by kings. As it grew larger it absorbed members of other tribes who fought using Greek tactics but claimed to be Etruscan. After a series of struggles with outsiders the kingship was ended.

The Romans established a republic in 509 B.C. The quasi-representative form of government during the Republic era was comprised of a bicameral legislature with: 1) a comitia , an assembly of representatives made up of elected male citizens, many of them military men; and 2) "the Senate and the People of Rome,” made up of representatives elected to one-year terms. Most of the Senate members were patricians, members of upper classes. The seat of the government was in the "capitol." The Republican form of government endured for 460 years (509 to 49 B.C) until Julius Caesar absolved it.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art: ““During the last three centuries of the Republic, Rome became a metropolis and the capital city of a vast expanse of territory acquired piecemeal through conquest and diplomacy. Administered territories (provinciae) outside Italy included: Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, Africa, Macedonia, Achaea, Asia, Cilicia, Gaul, Cyrene, Bithynia, Crete, Pontus, Syria, and Cyprus. The strains of governing an ever-expanding empire involving a major military commitment, and the widening gulf between those citizens who profited from Rome's new wealth and those who were impoverished, generated social breakdown, political turmoil, and the eventual collapse of the Republic. Rome experienced a long and bloody series of civil wars, political crises, and civil disturbances that culminated with the dictatorship of Julius Caesar and his assassination on March 15, 44 B.C. After Caesar's death, the task of reforming the Roman state and restoring peace and stability fell to his grandnephew, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, only eighteen years old, who purged all opposition to his complete control of the Roman empire and was granted the honorific title of Augustus in 27 B.C. [Source: Department of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2000, metmuseum.org \^/]

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; Lacus Curtius penelope.uchicago.edu; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Transition to the Roman Republic

The change from the Roman kingdom to the republic was due to the tyranny of the last Tarquin; so that the first struggle for Roman liberty was a struggle against the kingship. When the rule of Tarquinius Superbus became intolerable, he was expelled from Rome, with his whole family (510 B.C.). But with the aid of the Etruscans and Latins he tried to regain his lost power; and the first days of the republic were, therefore, days full of strife and trouble. The stories of this period tell us of many deeds of Roman virtue and patriotism. In them we see the heroic efforts made by a liberty-loving people to rid themselves of a despotic king, and to form a freer government. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art: “From its inauspicious beginnings as a small cluster of huts in the tenth century B.C., Rome developed into a city-state, first ruled by kings, then, from 509 B.C. onward, by a new form of government—the Republic.During the early Republic, power rested in the hands of the patricians, a privileged class of Roman citizens whose status was a birthright. The patricians had exclusive control over all religious offices and issued final assent (patrum auctoritas) to decisions made by the Roman popular assemblies. [Source: Department of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2000, metmuseum.org \^/]

“However, debts and an unfair distribution of public land prompted the poorer Roman citizens, known as the plebians, to withdraw from the city-state and form their own assembly, elect their own officers, and set up their own cults. Their principal demands were debt relief and a more equitable distribution of newly conquered territory in allotments to Roman citizens. Eventually, in 287 B.C., with the so-called Conflict of the Orders, wealthier, land-rich plebians achieved political equality with the patricians. The main political result was the birth of a noble ruling class consisting of both patricians and plebians, a unique power-sharing partnership that continued into the late first century B.C. \^/

Roman Rebellion Against the Etruscan Kings


Etruscan kings

Sometime in the 6th century B.C. the leading Roman families were able to overthrew the Etruscan monarchs that ruled over them. According to one story, the Romans overthrew the Etruscans in 509 B.C. when the Etruscan king Superbus raped a virtuous Roman lady and the Roman populace responded by revolting. According to another account Etruscans domination ended when they were defeated by the Romans in a battle at Aricia south of Rome in 506 B.C. In any case the Roman republic was formed in 509 B.C. and the Etruscan monarchy collapsed around that the time.

Dr Mike Ibeji wrote for the BBC: “In 509 B.C., so the story goes, the son of the Etruscan tyrant of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, fell in lust with a beautiful Roman bride called Lucretia. The young Superbus had no compunction in raping Lucretia and then casting her aside. In revenge, Lucretia’s family murdered the young Superbus and led the Romans in a rebellion against his father’s domination. They ousted the Etruscans and set up the Roman republic. [Source: Dr Mike Ibeji, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“The defining moment of this rebellion came when a hero called Horatius single-handedly held the bridge across the River Tiber against an Etruscan army as his fellows cut it down behind him. It doesn't matter that the mythology is at best exaggerated and at worst untrue. The rebel republic was saved and went on to defeat its old masters, conquering great tracts of Italy in defence of its new-found liberty.” |::|

Rape of Lucretia

On the Rape of Lucretia, Livy (59 B.C.- A.D. 17 ) wrote in “History of Rome” LVII-LIX: “One day when the young men were drinking at the house of Sextus Tarquinius, after a supper where they had dined with the son of Egerius, Tarquinius Conlatinus, they fell to talking about their wives, and each man fell to praising his wife to excess. Finally Tarquinius Conlatinus declared that there was no need to argue; they might all be sure that no one was more worthy than his Lucretia. "Young and vigorous as we are, why don't we go get out horses and go and see for ourselves what our wives are doing? And we will base our judgement on whatever we see them doing when their husbands arrive unannounced." Encouraged by the wine, "Yes, let's go!" they all cried, and they went on horseback to the city. Darkness was beginning to fall when they arrived and they went to the house of Conlatinus. There, they found Lucretia behaving quite differently from the daughters-in-law of the King, whom they had found with their friends before a grand feast, preparing to have a night of fun. Lucretia, even though it was night, was still working on her spinning, with her servants, in the middle of her house. They were all impressed by Lucretia's chaste honor. When her husband and the Tarquins arrived, she received them, and her husband, the winner, was obliged to invite the king's sons in. It was then that Sextus Tarquinius was seized by the desire to violate Lucretia's chastity, seduced both by her beauty and by her exemplary virtue. Finally, after a night of youthful games, they returned to the camp. [Source: Translated from the original in Jean Bayet, ed., Tite-Live: Histoire Romaine, Tome I, livre I. Paris: Societé d'Édition "les belles-lettres," 1954, pp. 92-95, translated to English by Belle Tuten]


Rape of Lucretia

“Several days passed. Sextus Tarquinius returned to the house of Conlatinus, with one of his companions. He was well received and given the hospitality of the house, and maddened with love, he waited until he was sure everyone else was asleep. Then he took up his sword and went to Lucretia's bedroom, and placing his sword against her left breast, he said, "Quiet, Lucretia; I am Sextus Tarquinius, and I have a sword in my hand. If you speak, you will die." Awakening from sleep, the poor woman realized that she was without help and very close to death. Sextus Tarquinius declared his love for her, begging and threatening her alternately, and attacked her soul in every way. Finally, before her steadfastness, which was not affected by the fear of death even after his intimidation, he added another menace. "When I have killed you, I will put next to you the body of a nude servant, and everyone will say that you were killed during a dishonorable act of adultery." With this menace, Sextus Tarquinius triumphed over her virtue, and when he had raped her he left, having taken away her honor. Lucretia, overcome with sorrow and shame, sent messengers both to her husband at Ardea and her father at Rome, asking them each to come "at once, with a good friend, because a very terrible thing had happened." Spurius Lucretius, her father, came with Publius Valerius, the son of Volesus, and Conlatinus came with Lucius Junius Brutus; they had just returned to Rome when they met Lucretia's messenger. They found Lucretia in her chamber, overpowered by grief. When she saw them she began to cry. "How are you?" her husband asked. "Very bad," she replied, "how can anothing go well for a woman who has lost her honor? There are the marks of another man in your bed, Conlatinus. My body is greatly soiled, though my heart is still pure, as my death will prove. But give me your right hand in faith that you will not allow the guilty to escape. It was Sextus Tarquinius who returned our hospitality with enmity last night. With his sword in his hand, he came to take his pleasure for my unhappiness, but it will also be his sorrow if you are real men." They promised her that they would pursue him, and they tried to appease her sorrow, saying that it was the soul that did wrong, and not the body, and because she had had no bad intention, she did no wrong. "It is your responsibility to see that he gets what he deserves," she said, "I will absolve myself of blame, and I will not free myself from punishment. No woman shall use Lucretia as her example in dishonor." Then she took up a knife which she had hidden beneath her robe, and plunged it into her heart, collapsing from her wound; she died there amid the cries of her husband and father.

“Brutus, leaving them in their grief, took the knife from Lucretia's wound, and holding it all covered with blood up in the aid, cried, "By this blood, which was so pure before the crime of the prince, I swear before you, O gods, to chase the King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, with his criminal wife and all their offspring, by fire, iron, and all the methods I have at my disposal, and never to tolerate Kings in Rome evermore, whether of that family of any other."

Brutus and Collatinus and the Effort to Restore the Etruscan Kings


Brutus and Colltinus with Lucretia

The legends first tell how the king was driven from Home. This was brought about by the efforts of two patriotic men, Brutus and Collatinus, who determined to avenge the dishonorable deeds of Tarquinius Superbus and his family. These patriots aroused the Roman people, and led them to pass a law to banish Tarquin and his corrupt household. The gates of the city were ordered to be closed against him. The soldiers saluted Brutus as the deliverer of their country. The people declared that the kingship should be abolished forever; and they elected Brutus and Collatinus to rule over them for a year. \~\ [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

The banished king then sent messengers to Rome to ask that his property be restored to him. While engaged on this mission, the messengers formed a plot to bring back the king to his throne; and the two sons of Brutus joined in the treacherous scheme. But a slave who happened to hear the plan of the conspirators exposed the whole affair. When Brutus found that his own sons were engaged in this act of treason, he did not allow his feelings as a father to prevent him from doing his duty as a patriot—but condemned them to death as traitors to their country. \~\

When the plot at Rome failed, Tarquinius appealed for help to the Etruscan cities of Veii and Tarquinii, which raised an army to assist him. In a fierce battle which followed, Brutus was slain by the king’s son. The battle, which had been long in doubt, was decided by the god Sylvanus, whose voice was heard in the forest proclaiming that the Romans had won. Tarquinius next appealed to Lars Porsenna, king of Clusium, and the most powerful prince of Etruria. Collecting his army, Porsenna suddenly seized the Janiculum, the hill just across the Tiber, and Rome was saved only by the heroism of Horatius Cocles, who, with two companions, withstood the whole Etruscan army while the wooden bridge was destroyed. Porsenna was thus prevented from entering the city. After ravaging the surrounding country he soon made peace with the Romans and gave no further aid to the Tarquins. \~\

The Tarquins then turned for aid to the Latins. The thirty Latin cities revolted and joined the cause of the banished king. The danger was so great that the Romans appointed a dictator to lead their armies into the field. Then was fought the noted battle of Lake Regillus, which, according to the old story, was decided by the aid of two gigantic youths, who rode upon snow-white horses in the Roman ranks, and whom the Romans recognized as the twin gods Castor and Pollux. A temple to these gods was built in the Forum in memory of this deliverance. \~\

While we cannot believe everything contained in these romantic stories, we can yet see in them the record of a great historical event. We can see that the government of the kings was overthrown. We can also see that this change was not a peaceful change, but was attended by a severe struggle. We can see, finally, that the Romans honored the heroic virtues of courage and patriotism; and that they believed their destiny was in the hands of the gods. \~\

The Loss of Roman Territory: We remember how extensive were the lands which were acquired by the Romans under the kings. But they had lost many of these lands during the struggles against the last Tarquin. They had lost their conquests in Etruria, and much of their land in Latium; and the thirty Latin cities had reasserted their independence. So that the authority of the new government was now reduced to a comparatively small strip of territory south of the Tiber, together with the Janiculum on the Etruscan side.

Timeline and Notes of Early Roman Republic

“Tarquinius Superbus, Lars Porsenna, and the Transition to the Republic
A. Rape of Lucretia legend (to characterize tyranny of the Tarquins).
B. Lars Porsenna (= Mastarna?) rules Rome briefly after the fall of the Tarquins.
1. But trad'n makes him an ally of Superbus who besieges the city in vain.
C. Dual consular system begins immediately?
1. So say the Fasti. Some scholars downdate.
[Source: Notes by David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]


Mucius Scaevola confronting King Porcenna

510 B.C. Glorious Foundation of the Roman Republic
509 B.C. Right of Provocatio Assured?
494 B.C. — 1st Secession of the Plebs? Creation of tribunate (first three, later ten)?
471 B.C. — Lex Publilia recognizes Plebeian Assembly (Concilium Plebis).
456 B.C. — Lex Icilia - Aventine land grant to plebs, 500 iugera limit??
454 B.C. — Lex Aternia-Tarpeia fixes size of fines imposed by imperium.^*^

451/0 B.C. — End of decemvirate, publication of 12 Tables.
449 B.C. — Valerio-Horatian Laws. Plebiscites ratified? Sacrosanctitas of tribunes guaranteed. Right of provocatio assured.
c 450 B.C. — Pottery imports decline and public building slows. Gjerstad's transition to Republic.
445 B.C. — Lex Canuleia permits intermarriage between plebs & patricians. ^*^

396 B.C. — Conquest of Veii alleviates land hunger.
??? Lex Ovinia gives censors power over appointments to senate.
367 B.C. — Licinio-Sextian rogations (laws first passed in 376). Guarantee of one plebeian consul.
500 B.C. — iugera limit on holding of ager publicus? Debt reform fixes interest rates?
339 B.C. — Patrum auctoritas formalized as probouleutic power.
326 B.C. — Lex Poetilia-Papiria abolishes nexum contracts.
304 B.C. — Publication of the calendar.
300 B.C. — Lex Valeria guarantees provocatio for citizen w/in pomerium. Lex Ogulnia opens some priesthoods to plebeians.
287 B.C. — Lex Hortensia gives plebiscites the force of law.
Grain shortages — 508, 496, 492, 486, 477, 456, 443, 440, 411. B.C. ^*^

Comitia Centuriata
1st Class: 98 centuries
2nd Class: 22 centuries (20 plus 2 of engineers)
3rd Class: 20 centuries
4th Class: 22 centuries (20 plus 2 of trumpeters)
5th Class: 30 centuries
Head Count: 1 century ^*^

Plebeians and Patricians


patricians and plebeians

The idea of citizenship first evolved in ancient Greece. Roman mythology claims that the Roman idea of citizenship was created by it legendary rulers but more likely the idea was imported at least in part from the Greeks. The Athenians had a form of citizenry that excluded a lot of people but did grant certain rights those who possessed citizenship.

In the early days of Rome, patricians were the ruling class. Only certain families were members of the patrician class and members had to be born patricians. The patricians were a very small percentage of the Roman population, but they held all the power. All the other people were Plebeians.

Over time the separation between the patricians and the plebeians was gradually broken down, with old patrician aristocracy passing away, and Rome becoming in theory, a democratic republic. Everyone who was enrolled in the thirty-five tribes was a full Roman citizen, and had a share in the government. But we must remember that not all the persons who were under the Roman authority were full Roman citizens. The inhabitants of the Latin colonies were not full Roman citizens. They could not hold office, and only under certain conditions could they vote. The Italian allies were not citizens at all, and could neither vote nor hold office. And now the conquests had added millions of people to those who were not citizens. The Roman world was, in fact, governed by the comparatively few people who lived in and about the city of Rome. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

“But even within this class of citizens at Rome, there had gradually grown up a smaller body of persons, who became the real holders of political power. Later, this small body formed a new nobility—the optimates. All who had held the office of consul, praetor, or curule aedile—that is, a “curule office”—were regarded as nobles (nobiles), and their families were distinguished by the right of setting up the ancestral images in their homes (ius imaginis). Any citizen might, it is true, be elected to the curule offices; but the noble families were able, by their wealth, to influence the elections, so as practically to retain these offices in their own hands. \~\

Powerful Patricians Versus Poor Plebeians

The patricians and plebeians had united in their efforts to drive out the kings; but when the struggle against the kingship was ended, the chief fruits of the victory fell to the patricians. The plebeians could, it is true, still vote in the comitia centuriata; but they could not hold any of the new offices, nor could they sit in the senate. Rome became a republic, but it was an aristocratic, and not a democratic republic; that is, the chief power rested not in the whole people, but in a particular class. The plebeians might perhaps have submitted to the government of the patricians, if it had not been exercised in a selfish and oppressive manner. But the patrician rule proved to be as despotic as that of the kings; and a long and fierce struggle ensued between the two orders. As the patricians were generally more wealthy than the plebeians, the conflict became at first a struggle between the rich and the poor, a contest for a more equal distribution of wealth. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

The late wars had left the plebeians in a very dependent and deplorable condition. The wealthy patricians, for the most part, lived in the city; and their property was protected by the city walls. But the homes of the plebeians were generally in the country. Accordingly, when they were serving in the army, their little farms were neglected, or ravaged by the enemy, their families were driven away, and their property was destroyed. In this way, while serving their country, they were deprived of their houses and fields, and of the means of subsistence, and so were reduced to a condition of poverty and great distress. \~\

The Unjust Law of Debt: The sorest burden which now rested upon the plebeians was the harsh law of debt. Having lost their property by the misfortunes of war, they were obliged to borrow money of the rich patricians; and they were thus reduced to the condition of a debtor class. But a debtor in the early days of Rome was especially wretched. If he could not pay his debt, he was liable to be arrested, thrown into a dungeon, and made the slave of his creditor. His lot was chains, stripes, and slavery. The law of debt was not only harsh in itself, but its effect was to keep the poor in a continual state of poverty, from which they could not easily escape. \~\

The Unequal Division of the Public Land: Another cause which kept the plebeians in a state of poverty was the unjust distribution of the public land (ager publicus) which had been acquired in war. This land properly belonged to all the people, and might have been used to relieve the distress of the poor. But the government was in the hands of the patricians, and they disposed of this land for their own benefit; they allowed it to be “occupied,” at a nominal rent, by members of their own order. As long as the land remained public, it could not be sold by the occupants; but the longer the rich patricians retained the occupation of this land, the more they would look upon it as their own property, and ignore the fact that it belonged to the whole Roman people. So that the common people were deprived of their just share of the land which they had helped to conquer. \~\


First Secession of the Plebeians


First Secession of the Plebeians and Reforms That Followed

It was the hard law of debt which first drove the plebeians to revolt. As there was no legal way to redress their wrongs, they decided that they would no longer serve in the army, but leave the patricians to fight their own battles. They therefore deserted their general, marched in full array to a hill beyond the Anio, which they called the Sacred Mount (Mons Sacer), and proposed to form an independent city (494 B.C.). The patricians saw that the loss of the plebeian army would be the destruction of Rome. They were therefore compelled to make a solemn compact to the effect that the debts of all persons who were insolvent should be canceled; and that those who had been imprisoned on account of debt should be released. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

The Tribunes of the People: But the most important result of the first secession was the creation of a new office, that of tribune of the people. In order to protect the plebeians from any further oppressive acts on the part of the patrician magistrate, it was agreed to appoint two tribunes from among the plebeians themselves. These new officers were given the power to “veto”—that is, to forbid—the act of any magistrate which bore unjustly upon any citizen. In order that the tribunes might exercise their authority without hindrance, their persons were made “inviolable,”—which means that they could not be arrested, and that anyone who interfered with them in the exercise of their lawful duty could be put to death. The tribunes were assisted by two aediles, who were also chosen from the plebeian body. \~\

The Plebeian Assembly: The meetings which the plebeians had occasionally held before this time now assumed the character of a permanent assembly (concilium plebis). This assembly could be called together by the tribunes, who were permitted to address the people in regard to their interests; and no magistrate was allowed to interrupt them while speaking or to disperse this assembly (lex Icilia, B.C. 492). The assembly could also pass resolutions (plebiscita), which were binding upon the plebeians, but not as yet upon the whole people. It was not many years before the plebeian assembly was given the right to elect their own tribunes and aediles (lex Publilia, B.C. 472). In this way the plebeians acquired a position in the state which they had never before held. \~\

The Agrarian Law of Spurius Cassius: The second great cause of complaint was, as we have seen, the unjust distribution of the public land. To remove this injustice was the effort of the consul Spurius Cassius. This man was both a patriot and a statesman. He loved the people, and he labored to protect their interests. In order to strengthen Rome against her foreign enemies, he first of all made a new treaty with the Latin towns, and also a treaty with the neighboring tribe of the Hernicans. \~\

But the most famous act of Sp. Cassius was the proposal of the first “agrarian law,” that is, a law intended to reform the division of the public land (486 B.C.). It was not his purpose to take away any private land which legally belonged to the patricians; but to make a more just distribution of the land which properly belonged to the whole state. When this law was brought forward, the patricians used their influence to prevent its passage. After his year of office had expired, Sp. Cassius was charged with treason and with the attempt to make himself king. He was tried, condemned, scourged, and beheaded; and thus one of Rome’s greatest patriots suffered the doom of a traitor. But the people remembered Sp. Cassius, and his name was inscribed upon a tablet and placed in the Forum, where it remained for many generations. \~\

Rise of the Plebeians in Rome


In early Rome, the plebeians had few rights. All of the government and religious positions were held by patricians. The patricians made the laws, owned the lands, and were the generals over the army. Plebeians couldn't hold public office and were not even allowed to marry patricians. Starting around 494 B.C., the plebeians began to fight against the rule of the patricians. This roughly 200-year struggle, called the "Conflict of the Orders", resulted in the plebeians gaining more rights, including the right to run for office and marry patricians. The Plebeians made their greatest gains by staging strikes: leaving the city for a while, refusing to work or fight in the army. The primary concessions that the plebeians obtained from the patricians was the Law of the Twelve Tables, which guaranteed basic rights of all Roman citizens regardless of their social class. [Source: Ducksters ^^]

According to Metropolitan Museum of Art: “During the early Republic, power rested in the hands of the patricians, a privileged class of Roman citizens whose status was a birthright. The patricians had exclusive control over all religious offices and issued final assent (patrum auctoritas) to decisions made by the Roman popular assemblies. “However, debts and an unfair distribution of public land prompted the poorer Roman citizens, known as the plebians, to withdraw from the city-state and form their own assembly, elect their own officers, and set up their own cults. Their principal demands were debt relief and a more equitable distribution of newly conquered territory in allotments to Roman citizens. Eventually, in 287 B.C., with the so-called Conflict of the Orders, wealthier, land-rich plebians achieved political equality with the patricians. The main political result was the birth of a noble ruling class consisting of both patricians and plebians, a unique power-sharing partnership that continued into the late first century B.C. [Source: Department of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2000, metmuseum.org \^/]

In the 5th century B.C., the tyranny of the decemvirs produced a more enlightened class of patricians, more sympathetic to Plebeian concerns. The passage new laws raised their hopes The Plebeians had already gained great successes, but there was still something else for them to obtain, in order to have full equality in the state, citizenship. At this time, plebeians already possessed the lowest right, the commercium; they could hold property and carry on trade just like any other Roman citizens. They had just just obtained the conubium, or the right of contracting a legal marriage with a patrician. They had also the suffragium, or the right of voting, in the assemblies of the centuries and of the tribes. As regards the honores, or the right of holding office, they could be elected to the lower offices, that is, could be chosen tribunes of the people and aediles; but could not be elected to the higher offices, that is, could not be chosen consuls and quaestors. What the plebeians now wanted was a share in the higher offices, especially in the consulship. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

Demand for Written Laws

Proposals of Terentilius Harsa (462 B.C.): The conflict between the two orders had been going on for nearly fifty years; and yet no real solution had been found for their difficulties. The plebeians were at a great disadvantage during all this time, because the law was administered solely by the patricians, who kept the knowledge of it to themselves, and who regarded it as a precious legacy from their ancestors, too sacred to be shared with the lowborn plebeians. The laws had never been written down or published. The patricians could therefore administer them as they saw fit. This was a great injustice to the lower classes. It was clear that there was not much hope for the plebeians until they were made equal before the law. It was also clear that they could not be equal before the law as long as they themselves had no knowledge of what the law was. Accordingly one of the tribunes, Gaius Terentilius Harsa, proposed that a commission be appointed to gather up the law, and to publish it to the whole people. This proposal, though both fair and just, was bitterly opposed by the patricians, and was followed by ten years of strife and dissension. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

Concessions to the Plebeians: To rescue the city from these troubles, the senate tried to conciliate the plebeians by making certain concessions to them. For example, the number of tribunes was increased from two to five, and then to ten. This was supposed to give them greater protection than they had had before. Then it was decided to give up to them the public land on the Aventine hill, and thus to atone for not carrying out the agrarian law of Sp. Cassius. Finally, the amount of fine which any magistrate could impose was limited to two sheep and thirty oxen. It was thought that such concessions would appease the discontented people and divert their minds from the main point of the controversy. \~\

Compromise between the Orders: But these concessions did not satisfy the plebeians, who still clung to their demand for equal rights before the law. The struggle over the proposal of Terentilius, which lasted for nearly ten years, was ended only by a compromise. It was finally agreed that a commission of ten men, called decemvirs, should be appointed to draw up the law, and that this law should be published and be binding upon patricians and plebeians alike. It was also agreed that the commissioners should all be patricians; and that they should have entire control of the government while compiling the laws. The patricians were thus to give up their consuls and quaestors; and the plebeians were to give up their tribunes and aediles. Both parties were to cease their quarreling, and await the work of the decemvirs. \~\

Development of the Twelve Tables and the Decemvirates


Putting up the Twelve Tables

The Commission to Greece: It is said that a commission of three men was sent to Greece, to consult the laws of Solon and other Greek codes. However true this story may be, it is not likely that the Romans intended to borrow the laws of another country by which to govern their own. The complaint of the plebeians was not that they did not have any laws, but that the laws which they had were unwritten and known only to the patricians. What they wanted was that the unwritten laws should be published; so that they could know what they were, and whether they were properly administered or not. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

Formation of the XII. Tables (450 B.C.): The first body of commissioners, or the First Decemvirate, entered upon the work assigned to it, gathered together the law which had hitherto been kept secret, and inscribed it on ten tables of brass. These tables were erected in the Forum, where they could be seen by everyone, and were declared binding on all the people. At the close of the year, a Second Decemvirate was appointed to complete the code, and two more tables were added. This whole body of law was called the Twelve Tables, and formed the basis of the most remarkable system of law that the world has ever seen. There was nothing strange, however, in the XII. Tables themselves. They contained nothing especially new. The old law of debt remained as it was, and the distinction between patricians and plebeians was not destroyed. The XII. Tables were important, because they put the law before the eyes of the people; and plebeians, as well as patricians, could know what were their rights. So highly valued was this code that it formed a part of Roman education, and the boys in school were obliged to commit it to memory. \~\

Tyranny of the Second Decemvirate: Although the second body of decemvirs had the honor of completing the XII. Tables, the way in which they exercised their power brought them into dishonor. With all their professed love of equal laws, they still hated the plebeians and used their authority in an oppressive manner. They appeared in the Forum each with twelve lictors, carrying the axes in the fasces as a sign that they claimed the power of life and death over every citizen. At the close of their year of office, they refused to resign, and continued their oppressive rule under the leadership of Appius Claudius. The story goes—whether true or not—that Appius Claudius attempted to gain possession of Virginia, who was the beautiful daughter of a plebeian soldier, and who was killed by her own father to save her from dishonor. The repeated acts of tyranny committed by the second body of decemvirs at last made their rule intolerable. \~\

Notes on The Twelve Tables
A. Codification of the laws in 451 and 450 by a board of ten (the decemviri).
1. Some high points.
a. Right of appeal in capital cases to the Comitia Centuriata (IX).
b. Limits on the patria potestas including emancipation for sons (IV).
c. Legal validity of wills and codification of intestate succession (V).
d. Prohibition against slander/casting of spells (mala carmina) (VIII).
e. Recognition of marriages wherein wife remains attached to father's household (VI).
a. Cum manu remains more popular than sine manu.
f. Forbidding of marriages between patricians and plebeians (XI).
1. But this was apparently short-lived, superseded in 445 B.C. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

Twelve Tables


reading the Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables (451-450 B.C.) is the earliest attempt by the Romans to create a code of law; it is also the earliest (surviving) piece of literature coming from the Romans. John Paul Adams of CSUn wrote: “In the midst of a perennial struggle for legal and social protection and civil rights between the privileged class (patricians) and the common people (plebeians) a commission of ten men (Decemviri) was appointed (ca. 455 B.C.) to draw up a code of law which would be binding on both parties and which the magistrates (the 2 consuls) would have to enforce impartially. [Source: “John Paul Adams, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) , June 10, 2009]

“The commission produced enough statutes (most of them were already `customary law' anyway) to fill TEN TABLETS, but this attempt seems not to have been entirely satisfactory--especially to the plebeians. A second commission of ten was therefore appointed (450 B.C.) and two additional tablets were drawn up. The originals, said to have been inscribed on bronze, were probably destroyed when the Gauls sacked and burned Rome in the invasion of 387 B.C.

“The Twelve Tables give the student of Roman culture a chance to look into the workings of a society which is still quite agrarian in outlook and operations, and in which the main bonds which hold the society together and allow it to operate are: the clan (genos, gens), patronage (patron/client), and the inherent (and inherited) right of the patricians to leadership (in war, religion, law, and government).

Cicero wrote in De Oratore, I.44: “Though all the world exclaim against me, I will say what I think: that single little book of the Twelve Tables, if anyone look to the fountains and sources of laws, seems to me, assuredly, to surpass the libraries of all the philosophers, both in weight of authority, and in plenitude of utility.”

TABLE I: Procedure: for courts and trials
TABLE II: Trials, continued
TABLE III: Debt
TABLE IV: Rights of fathers (paterfamilias) over the family
TABLE V: Legal guardianship and inheritance laws
TABLE VI: Acquisition and possession
TABLE VII: Land rights
TABLE VIII: Torts and delicts (Laws of injury)
TABLE IX: Public law
TABLE X: Sacred law
TABLE XI: Supplement I
TABLE XII: Supplement II

Twelve Tables Highlights


TABLE I: Procedure: for courts and trials
I.1"If he (plaintiff) summon him (defendant) into court, he shall go. If he does not go, (plaintiff) shall call witnesses. Then only he shall take him by force. If he refuses or flees, he (plaintiff) shall lay hands on him. If disease or age is an impediment, he shall grant him a team (of oxen). He shall not spread with cushions the covered carriage if he does not wish to.
TABLE II: Trials, continued
II.3 “Whoever is in need of evidence, he shall go on every third day to call out loud before the doorway of the witness."

TABLE III: Debt
III. 1"When a debt has been acknowledged or a judgment has been pronounced in court, 30 days must be the legitimate grace period. Thereafter, arrest of the debtor may be made by the laying on of hands. Bring him into court. If he does not satisfy the judgment (or no one in court offers himself as surety on his behalf) the creditor may take the debtor with him. He may bind him either in stocks or fetters, with a weight of no less than 15 lbs. (or more if he desires)." [After 60 days in custody, the case is returned to the court, and if the debt is not then paid, the debtor can be sold abroad as a slave, or put to death.]

TABLE IV: Rights of fathers (paterfamilias) over the family
IV. 1 "A dreadfully deformed child shall be killed."
IV. 2 "If a father surrender his son for sale three times, the son shall be free."
TABLE V: Legal guardianship and inheritance laws
V. 1 "Our ancestors saw fit that "females, by reason of levity of disposition, shall remain in guardianship, even when they have attained their majority."
V. 7 A spendthrift is forbidden to exercise administration over his own goods.
V. 8 The inheritance of a Roman citizen-freedman is made over to his patron, if the freedman has died intestate and has no natural successor.

TABLE VI: Acquisition and possession
VI. 1 When a party shall make bond or conveyance, what he has named by word-of-mouth that shall hold good.
VI. 2 Marriage by `usage' (usus): If a man and woman live together continuously for a year, they are considered to be married; the woman legally is treated as the man's daughter.
TABLE VII: Land rights
TABLE VIII: Torts and delicts (Laws of injury)
VIII. 1 "If any person has sung or composed against another person a SONG (carmen) such as was causing slander or insult.... he shall be clubbed to death."
VIII. 2 "If a person has maimed another's limb, let there be retaliation in kind, unless he agrees to make compensation with him." (Lex talionis)
VIII. 21 "If a patron shall defraud his client, he must be solemnly forfeited (`killed')."
VIII. 23 "Whoever is convicted of speaking false witness shall be flung from the Tarpeian Rock."
VIII. 26 "No person shall hold meetings in the City at night."

TABLE IX: Public law
IX. 3 "The penalty shall be capital punishment for a judge or arbiter legally appointed who has been found guilty of receiving a bribe for giving a decision."
IX. 6 "Putting to death... of any man who has not been convicted, whosoever he might be, is forbidden."
TABLE X: Sacred law
X. 4 "Women must not tear cheeks or hold chorus of `Alas!' on account of a funeral."
X. 6a "Anointing by slaves is abolished, and every kind of drinking bout....there shall be no costly sprinking, no long garlands, no incense boxes."
TABLE XI: Supplement I

XI. 1 "Marriage shall not take place between a patrician and a plebeian."
TABLE XII: Supplement II
XII. 5 "Whatever the People has last ordained shall be held as binding by law."
? "There are eight kinds of punishment: fine, fetters, flogging, retaliation in kind, civil disgrace, banishment, slavery, death."

Second Plebeian Secession and New Rights for Them

Second Secession of the Plebs: The tragic death of Virginia, it is said, aroused the people to vengeance. With his bloody knife in hand, Virginius rushed to the camp outside of the city and called upon the soldiers to resist the infamous power of the decemvirs. With the memory of the Sacred Mount still in mind, the army once more seceded from the city, and, followed by a multitude of citizens, took up their station again on this hill, determined no longer to fight in defense of tyranny. The Roman state seemed again on the point of ruin, and the decemvirs were forced to resign. The old government was restored. Two new consuls were elected, both of whom were friendly to the plebeians. These were Valerius and Horatius, names which the Roman people ever delighted to honor. \~\


Death of Virginia


The Valerio-Horatian Laws (448 B.C.): The second secession of the plebeians resulted in the overthrow of the decemvirate and the restoration of the consulship; but it also resulted in making the plebeians more respected than they had been before. The patricians were becoming more and more convinced that the plebeians were not only brave in fighting the enemies of Rome, but were also determined to defend their own liberties. The new consuls, Valerius and Horatius, came forward as their champions. Two of the rights of the people had been continually disregarded, namely, the right of appeal to the people, and the right of the tribunes to be sacredly protected in the exercise of their duties. These two rights were now solemnly reaffirmed. But what was quite as important, the assembly of the plebeians (concilium plebis) was now given power to make laws binding upon the whole people. It is supposed that this assembly had by this time been reorganized and based upon the tribal districts so as to include the patricians as well as the plebeians. This newly organized assembly came to be known as the comitia tributa, and we shall see it grow in influence and dignity, until it becomes the most important assembly of the republic. These laws of Valerius and Horatius we may call the “second charter of Roman liberty.”

The Right of Intermarriage: The patricians and plebeians had long lived side by side; but they had been kept socially distinct because it was not legal for them to intermarry. This prejudice was now passing away, as the plebeians were showing a spirit worthy of the patricians themselves. A great step toward equalizing the classes was now taken by the passage of a law (lex Canuleia, B.C. 445) which granted the right of intermarriage between the two orders. This insured their social and civil equality, and paved the way for their political equality, and finally their union into a harmonious people.

Successes of the Plebeians Rome

Never before had the cause of the plebeians seemed so hopeful as it did at this time. The tyranny of the decemvirs had brought to their aid the better class of patricians. And the passage of the recent laws led them to look forward to still greater victories. They had already gained great successes, but there was still something else for them to obtain, in order to have full equality in the state. We may, perhaps, better understand just what the plebeians had gained, and what was still to be gained, if we look at the following table, which contains a list of the various rights possessed by a full Roman citizen: [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

The plebeians already possessed the lowest right, the commercium; they could hold property and carry on trade just like any other Roman citizens. They had just now obtained the conubium, or the right of contracting a legal marriage with a patrician. They had also the suffragium, or the right of voting, in the assemblies of the centuries and of the tribes. As regards the honores, or the right of holding office, they could be elected to the lower offices, that is, could be chosen tribunes of the people and aediles; but could not be elected to the higher offices, that is, could not be chosen consuls and quaestors. What the plebeians now wanted was a share in the higher offices, especially in the consulship. \~\

The Military Tribunes, with Consular Power (444 B.C.): Instead of allowing the plebeians a direct share in the consulship, the patricians agreed to the appointment of certain new officers, something like the consuls, who could be elected from either the patricians or the plebeians. These new officers were called “military tribunes with consular power,” and were to be elected in the comitia centuriata, where the plebeians as well as the patricians were allowed to vote. But it was also provided that consuls might still be elected instead of the new military tribunes, if the senate thought such a course was best for the state. We can easily see how this plan would work. The patricians, who had control of the senate, could decide at any time that consuls were needed; or else they might control the election and choose the military tribunes from their own number. As a matter of fact, the senate, for some years after this, decided that consuls should be elected. But later the election of military tribunes became the rule, and the plebeians gradually grew in political influence and power. \~\


plebians


The Censorship and the New Quaestors: As the patricians saw that the plebeians were growing stronger, they resorted to a new plan to keep as much power as possible in their own hands. To do this, they created another new office, the censorship (443 B.C.), and transferred to the two censors some of the most important powers hitherto exercised by the consuls. The censors were to draw up the census, that is, to make an estimate of every man’s property, to assign each man to a proper class in the centuries, whether he belonged to the equites or the pedites, and to designate who was entitled to sit in the senate. The new censors were to be elected every five years, from the patrician class. But to offset this advantage, the patricians agreed that there should be two new quaestors (421 B.C.), to be elected from the plebeians. So it was that the period following the decemvirate was a period full of adroit schemes and compromises; but the plebeians were steadily gaining new rights and privileges. \~\

The Fate of Spurius Maelius: That the patricians were not entirely reconciled to the growing influence of the plebeians, is shown by the story told of Sp. Maelius. While a severe famine was raging in Rome, and many poor citizens sought relief in suicide, Sp. Maelius, a wealthy plebeian, purchased grain at his own expense and distributed it to the suffering poor. His generosity so won the hearts of the people, that the patricians felt alarmed at his popularity, and charged him with the design of making himself king. It was claimed that secret meetings were held at his house, and that the republic was in danger. Hence a dictator was demanded. The aged Cincinnatus, who had rescued the beleaguered army at Mt. Algidus, was selected; and Servilius Ahala was appointed his second in command, or master of horse. Maelius was then summoned to appear before the dictator, to answer the charge of treason. But foreseeing his danger, he implored the protection of the people; whereupon Servilius Ahala drew a dagger and stabbed him to the heart. The fate of Maelius at first terrified the people, but they were Soon excited to vengeance, and Servilius was driven into exile. The name of Sp. Maelius was thus associated with that of Sp. Cassius, the author of the first agrarian law. These men were accused of aiming to be king; and both suffered death as the reward of their generous deeds. \~\

Equalization of the Orders

Desire for Union: It became more and more evident that the power of Rome depended upon the union of her people; that harmony, and not discord, was the source of her strength. The two orders had begun to feel that their interests were one and the same. There had been of late little severity in the application of the law of debt; there had been a disposition even to give the plebeians some right in the conquered land; and some progress had been made in opening to them the public offices. But the great loss of property and the devastation resulting from the Gallic invasion were sorely felt by the poorer classes, and led once more to a general state of poverty and distress. The old grievances were revived, and a new set of reformers appeared. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

The Attempt of M. Manlius: The first attempt to relieve the distress of the poor was that of Marcus Manlius, the defender of the Capitol. It is said that he rescued more than four hundred of his fellow-citizens from imprisonment by lending them money without interest. He sold his estates and devoted the proceeds to the relief of debtors. But from being a philanthropist, Manlius soon became a social agitator, and by his harangues sought to inflame the people against the government. The patricians therefore sought to crush him. He was charged with conspiracy against the state, and was finally condemned to death. Although his motives and methods were not above reproach, his admirers placed him by the side of Sp. Cassius and Sp. Maelius as a friend of the people who was unjustly condemned on the charge of aspiring to be king. \~\

The Licinian Laws (367 B.C.): The continuation of distress among the lower classes showed how useless it was to try to abolish poverty by mere acts of charity, or by exciting the populace. A more thorough mode of reform was adopted under the able leadership of the two tribunes, C. Licinius Stolo and L. Sextius.l These men were able and broad-minded statesmen. It was not mere relief, but reformation, which they sought. \~\

In the first place, they saw that some relief must be given to the helpless debtor class. But instead of confiscating all debts, they proposed that the interest already paid upon debts should be deducted from the principal; and that for the payment of the rest of the principal three years’ time should be allowed. \~\

In the next place, they saw that some definite regulation should be made in the distribution of the public land, which by right belonged to the plebeians as well as to the patricians. They therefore provided that the occupation of the public land should be thrown open equally to all classes; that no person should receive and hold more than five hundred iugera (about three hundred acres); and that the number of slaves employed on estates should be limited, thus giving an opportunity for the poor freemen to earn something for themselves. \~\

Finally, they saw that the plebeians could not receive full justice until they were admitted to the highest offices of the state. They provided that the new “military tribunate” (p. 64) should be done away with, and that consuls should hereafter always be elected, one of whom must be a plebeian. \~\

It was natural that such an important scheme of legislation as this should meet with much opposition, but after a few years of strife, these proposals became laws. This noble body of law may be called the “third charter of Roman liberty.”

The Praetor and Curule Aediles: The patricians were yet loath to lose everything; and so the judicial power was taken away from the consuls and given to a new officer, called the praetor (367 B.C.), who must still be a patrician; also it was provided that there should be two patrician aediles (called curule aediles), to police the city, and to offset the plebeian aediles. Although complete equality was not even yet reached, the struggle was practically ended; and the great Camillus, who had been appointed dictator and had done much to reconcile the people, consecrated a temple to Concord. \~\

Final Equality of the Orders: After the passage of the Licinian laws, there were a few offices which still remained in the possession of the patricians. These were the dictatorship, the censorship, the praetorship, and the curule aedileship. But it was not many years before these offices also were open to the plebeians,2 and the last barrier between the two orders was thus broken down. There was then no longer any civil or political distinction between the patrician and the plebeian. The old Roman aristocracy, which depended upon family relationship, passed away with the Licinian legislation and the laws which soon followed it. The union of patricians and plebeians into one compact body of citizens was a triumph for Rome greater than the conquest of Veii, or any other foreign victory. By it she conquered herself. She destroyed for a time the elements of discord within her own borders, and prepared herself to become the ruler of the world.


plebians find a home in the Roman military


Roman Military System

Roman Army: Every citizen between the ages of seventeen and forty-five was obliged to serve in the army, when the public service required it. In early times the wars lasted only for a short period, and consisted in ravaging the fields of the enemy; and the soldier’s reward was the booty which he was able to capture. But after the siege of Veii, the term of service became longer, and it became necessary to give to the soldiers regular pay. This pay, with the prospect of plunder and of a share in the allotment of conquered land; furnished a strong motive to render faithful service. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

Divisions of the Army: In case of war it was customary to raise four legions, two for each consul. Each legion was composed of thirty maniples, or companies, of heavy-armed troops,—twenty maniples consisting of one hundred and twenty men each, and ten maniples of sixty men each,—making in all three thousand heavy-armed troops. There were also twelve hundred light-armed troops, not organized in maniples. The whole number of men in a legion was therefore forty-two hundred. To each legion was usually joined a body of cavalry, numbering three hundred men. After the reduction of Latium and Italy, the allied cities were also obliged to furnish a certain number of men, according to the terms of the treaty. \~\

Military Rewards and Honors: The Romans encouraged the soldiers with rewards for their bravery. These were bestowed by the general in the presence of the whole army. The highest individual reward was the “civic crown,” made of oak leaves, given to him who had saved the life of a fellow-citizen on the battlefield. Other suitable rewards, such as golden crowns, banners of different colors, and ornaments, were bestowed for singular bravery. When a general slew the general of the enemy, the captured spoils (spolia opima) were hung up in the temple of Jupiter Feretrius. The highest military honor which the Roman state could bestow was a triumph,—a solemn procession, decreed by the senate, in which the victorious general, with his army, marched through the city to the Capitol, bearing in his train the trophies of war. \~\

Plebeians Allowed to Elect Government Officials

Eventually the plebeians were allowed to elect their own government officials. They elected "tribunes" who represented the plebeians and fought for their rights. They had the power to veto new laws from the Roman senate. As time went on, the legal differences between the plebeians and the patricians diminished. The plebeians could be elected to the senate and even be consuls. Plebeians and patricians could also get married. Wealthy plebeians became part of the Roman nobility. However, despite changes in the laws, the patricians always held a majority of the wealth and power in Ancient Rome. [Source: Ducksters ^^]

The three citizen assemblies of the Roman Republic (not including the Senate): 1) All 3 assemblies included the entire electorate, but each had a different internal organization (and therefore differences in the weight of an individual citizen's vote). 2) All 3 assemblies made up of voting units; the single vote of each voting unit determined by a majority of the voters in that unit; measures passed by a simple majority of the units. 3) They were -called comitia. specifically the comitia curiata, comitia centuriata, and comitia plebis tributa (also the concilium plebis or comitia populi tributa). [Source: University of Texas at Austin ==]

Curiate Assembly: oldest (early Rome); units of organization: the 30 curiae (sing: curia) of the early city (10 for each of the early, "Romulan" tribes), based on clan and family associations; became obsolete as a legislative body but preserved functions of endowing senior magistrates with imperium and witnessing religious affairs. The head of each curia ages at least 50 and elected for life; assembly effectively controled by patricians, partially through clientela). ==

Centuriate Assembly: most important; units of organization: 193 centuries, based on wealth and age; originally military units with membership based on capability to furnish armed men in groups of 100 (convened outside pomerium); elected censors and magistrates with imperium (consuls and praetors); proper body for declaring war; passed some laws (leges, sing. lex); served as highest court of appeal in cases involving capital punishment. 118 centuries controlled by top 3 of 9 "classes" (minimum property qualifications for third class in first cent. B.C.-HS 75,000); assembly controlled by landed aristocracy. ==

Timeline of major events: 353 B.C.: Caere granted civitas sine suffragio (citizenship w/o vote or eligibility for office)
340 B.C.: Latin allies demand full voting rights, Roman citizenship?
Livy makes the Latins demand full citizenship and voting rights -- no more ius Latinum.
300 B.C.: Lex Valeria guarantees provocatio for citizen w/in pomerium. Lex Ogulnia opens some priesthoods to plebeians.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) forumromanum.org |+|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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