Rome: Birth of the Republic

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1 Rome: Birth of the Republic Geography of Italy Center of the Mediterranean basin Romans called it Mare Nostrum, Mountain barriers in the north running down the length of the Italian peninsula Moderately divided Travel was difficult but it offered a natural during Rome s early days Resources Rich land in the south Rich of copper, iron, and tin in the north Large base The Origins of the Roman State Prehistoric Rome Advantageous site: defensible hills at the Tiber ford Mixed burials:, Sabine, and other early settlers Rich, agricultural territory in the of Italy The Early State Early villages, once separate, joined together and chose a rex, or The heads of the old Latin families, the patres, constituted an advisory body, the (body of old men or elders) 1

2 The Mythical Origins of Rome Mythical founding of Rome was by Rome s first king Romulus allegedly the son of Mars, Roman god of war According to this myth there would be seven kings of Rome before the birth of the the last three kings were Etruscan Rulers of Rome Reign of Romulus BCE Numa Pompilius BCE Tullius Hostillius BCE Anchus Marcius BCE Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (Etruscan) BCE Servius Tullius (Etruscan) BCE Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (Etruscan) BCE Roman Revolt/Establishment of the Republic 509 BCE Troy and Italy: Virgil s Aeneid Virgil s Aeneid written between 29 and 19 BC Attempt to tie Roman legends Romulus and Evander - with the Homeric epics and Aeneas and the Trojans Legendary son of Venus (Aphrodite) and the Anchises Escaped the of Troy and migrated to Italy In Italy allied himself with the and became the ancestor of the Romans Rape of the Sabine Women Romulus city was settled by all The Sabines were invited to a festival and to bring their sisters and daughters At a given sign, the Romans (rapio) the women for their wives Later the Sabines declared war to get their womenfolk back The women, now mothers,, and the two groups founded one state This may explain the Latin-Sabine origins of the original settlement 2

3 Italy in 750 BCE In the mid-8 th century BCE the early Romans were surrounded by more cultures colonies spread their culture and influence in southern Italy The were the dominant naval power The ruled in the north of Italy It would be the Etruscans that would come to rule Rome, incorporating the small city into the greater kingdom of Etruria from c. The Etruscans BCE the Etruscans prospered in northern Italy, a land called Likely immigrated from the Eastern Called Etruscans by the Romans, Tyrrhenioi by the Greeks, called themselves the Like Greece, the Etruscans developed independent, fortified Small confederacies would form, in time leading to a The Etruscan would come to dominate the region By the 6 th century BCE, the Etruscan military had conquered much of the Italian peninsula, including Rome and the island of Etruscan Religion The Etruscans were believing in many gods Believed in that one s destiny was already determined Priests known as read signs in nature and gave prophecies on the future The Romans would hold many similar Etruscan influence on Rome Numerals Blood sports (i.e. ) Belief in and the underworld gods (foretelling the future through the appearance of natural phenomena) Excessive 3

4 Etruscans expelled from Rome According to the Roman historian Livy (c. 59 BCE to c. 17 CE) the last Etruscan king of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, was expelled by a popular rebellion in Rebellion had been sparked by the rape of the noble Roman woman Lucretia by the king s Sextus Lucius Junius Brutus led the rebellion and was the of the Roman Republic His (claimed) descendant Decimus Junius Brutus would be the most famous of Julius Caesar s another king in the making Reality It is more likely that there was a buildup of tensions between the wealthiest families and the kings who made concessions to the lower classes for a power base The tensions heightened because of depression, political decay, and Etruscan naval losses to Greeks and Carthaginians End of the monarchy may have been a process from 525 BCE to 474 BCE Patricians and Plebeians From its beginning, the Republic had been by class the two most important classes were the Patricians and the Plebeians Patricians elite wealthy families that owned most of the land and made up the of Rome They would control the republic through the senate and were principally concerned with gaining and Plebeians free born but often Roman citizens that made up the middle and lower classes of Roman society After various in government plebeians could become very wealthy but this was rare The for power between these two groups would define the Roman Republic during its first centuries Birth of the Roman Republic At the birth of the Republic the Romans created a political system that was a mix of a monarchical, aristocratic, and system The Romans did not want one or even a few men to make all the The Romans decided to balance the power of the government between three branches: The Branch Consuls and Magistrates The Branch Senate and Legislative Assemblies The Branch Councils and Courts Most western democracies are set up in this manner 4

5 Legislative Branch Assembly of the Centuries (Comitia Centuriata or "Army Assembly ) Probably created under king Servius for purposes Elected and other higher magistrates Accepted or rejected legislation made by magistrates and declarations of ; ratified treaties Assembly of the Tribes (Comitia Tributa) Open to all Roman and was the democratic assembly of the Roman Republic It could pass on behalf of all the people Plebeian Council (Concilium Plebis) Made up of only Elected 10 Passed plebiscita ( ) which had the force of law Senate Under the king, the Senate had only been an committee Slowly gained more in the Republic because they: Became a part of the government Had experience Had the dignity of, since it existed from earliest Roman state Were heads of the leading patrician in Rome and appointed first by the consuls and later by the censors Controlled the state s, except in war Gave official to magistrates Any proposal passed by the Senate could be vetoed by the though he would need to be present to do this A could be appointed by the Senate during an emergency After 202 BCE the Senate could respond to emergencies by passing the senatus consultum ultimum which civil government Executive Branch Consul most position in the Republic, there were always two Elected for just by the Assembly of the Centuries Only patricians could stand for consul initially but this changed after Plebeian Each consul had (Latin; I forbid ) power over the other no one man held too much power in the Republic 5

6 Consuls supervised the Senate and ordered the Roman during wars Consuls who were poor generals were often for the Republic therefore it seemed smart to elect good generals as consuls Consuls had many during peacetime which included administrative, legislative, and judicial roles There were high levels of at this time anyone, particularly a senator, who supported an individual in becoming consul could expect favors Mayors, city police, tax collectors all were members of the executive branch as they were charged with power Judicial Branch Six judges were every two years Decided the punishments that would receive Executive could include consuls, praetors, censors, aediles, quaestors, tribunes, and dictators Roman law was based on the twelve tables, a significant advancement in the history of the The Twelve Tables A major achievement of the early Roman Republic was the establishment of the Twelve Tables laws written down on twelve tablets that would apply to all Roman citizens The laws covered civic matters,, and the relations among citizens and family members Most importantly the laws confirmed the right of all free citizens to the of the law The Early Republic The government of the early Roman Republic was set up to keep power in the hands of the Over time reforms were needed to keep the Plebeians content they would often when they were not content, bringing Rome to a grinding halt as they made up the labor force Eventually this would lead to The Struggle of Orders which lasted from about BCE 6

7 The Struggle of the Orders The Patricians were highly and one could only be born into this class to reap the benefits Plebeians wanted for a variety of reasons: Wealthy plebeians wanted social, religious, and political Middle class plebeians were the backbone of the Poor plebeians needed relief from, particularly the practice of debt slavery Plebeian Advances 494 BCE: First Secession of the Plebs, the Plebeian Council was established along with the election of 450 BCE: Law of the Twelve Tables 445 BCE: patricians and plebeians could 367 BCE: plebeians could be elected Consul 342 BCE: mandatory that one was a plebeian 339 BCE: mandatory that one Censor was a plebeian 300 BCE: half the must be plebeian 287 BCE: Lex Hortensia all passed by Plebeian Council had the force of law throughout the Roman State 7

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