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Roman Republican Government:. SPQR “The Senate and the People Are Rome” 6.2. Roman Government. 2 Classes Patricians & Plebeians Why were many plebeians dissatisfied with Roman government in the early years? Reforms? How did they get them?.

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Roman Republican Government:


“The Senate and the People Are Rome”


Roman Government

2 Classes Patricians



Why were many plebeians dissatisfied with Roman government in the early years?

Reforms? How did they get them?

Reenactors remember the Romans in England…

A tortoise manuever

Army Reading:

1. How did the Roman government win support from conquered peoples?

2. What was army life like?

Ancient relief sculpture of a Roman Triumph: A Parade of Victory

Who fought?

What privileges do veterans get?

Why was the legion more lethal than the Greek phallanx?

How did the typical legionnaire live?



Rome’s Legions

2 Consuls

Led 5-25 legions

Legate – led one legion

A legion was 50-60 centuries

A Centurion commanded one century

80-100 legionairesmade up a century

Between 494-287 BC thousands of plebeians refused to fight in expanding Rome unless patricians agreed to reforms

Enslavement for debt was eliminated

Marriage between the classes allowed

AND it was chiseled in stone as written law…in 451BC

- hung in the forum

How were the Twelve Tables as a set of laws? Review problems

The Tarpeian RockWorse…for traitors and special shame

The Forum and the Curia buildingwhere the Senate met at the height of empire …


Proportion and Balance were important…*



All 4 of these virtues in

architectural balance: the bottom three support Justice



Plato and


*Developed by Greek philosophers…

Why did the Romans ultimately consider their government balanced?


or Executive Branch

2 Consuls

And other officials…

Censors – Population, Elections

Praetors - Courts

Aediles – City Order, Construction

Questors - Treasury


Must serve 20 years in the Army;

Patrician only at first, later Plebeian OK.


Advises Consuls, who must obey this advice

300 most powerful men

Later 600

Former magistrates can automatically enter the Senate w/ approval of censors.

Originally had to be patricians, later plebeians can enter, first as Tribunes, then as influential or wealthy men

SPQR: Balanced Government



No debate took place:

just yes/no votes on laws

and votes on electing magistrates & tribunes

The People

10 Tribunes

- Can veto laws of Assembly


For 6 months only

The “unimportant” detailed version…


“…Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was appointed by universal consent. It is worthwhile for those persons who despise all things human in comparison with riches, and who suppose that there is no room either for exalted honour, or for virtue, except where riches abound in great profusion, to listen to the following [story of Cincinnatus]…

Livy, Roman historian

458 BC – a former consul is called to serve…

(Statue in Cincinnati, Ohio)

Cincinnatus: a good Dictator

Three phases of the Republic

  • 509 – 265BC

    • Rome ConquersItaly

  • 264-146BC

    • Rome Fights Carthage in 3 Punic Wars

  • 145-44BC

    • Several Roman military leaders threaten to ruin the government in the Republic…

Rome’s Expansion on the Boot!

  • 390BC Rome sacked by marauding Gauls.

    • In response, larger, longer and stronger walls

    • Won’t happen again for 800 years

  • 282 BC - Greek colonists seek help from Greece General Pyrrhus wins a “pyrrhic victory”, which is: _____________________________________

  • 275 BC –Independent Greeks driven out of Italy

What were the Punic Wars?

Before the First Punic War


Before the 2nd Punic War,

Hannibal and the Battle of Zama

After the Punic Wars: Expansion by 44 BC

Expansion to the Eastern Mediterranean

  • Why do the Greeks celebrate the Roman’s arrival at first?

  • Why did their attitudes change?

  • At the Greek city-state of Corinth: What happened and why?

The (3) Punic Wars:

Roman versus Carthaginian

Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare (BBC Miniseries)

Pt 1 Meet Hannibal

and 2 Battle of Cannae

And 3 The End of Hannibal

(by Titus Labienus)

How they got the elephants ready for battle

Click on links above to begin

Battle of Zama ends the 2nd Punic War- 202BC

Battle of Zama, 1597 drawing

Battle of Zama

CarthageRoman Republic

HannibalScipio Africanus

  • Strength

    Almost 50,000 infantry 4,000 cavalry80 war elephants34,000 Roman infantry3,000 Roman cavalry6,000 African allied cavalry


    20,000 killed,1,500 killed,

    11,000 wounded,4,000 wounded

    15,000 captured

Do you agree? Why or why not?

  • “Hannibal was a very effective general.”

The thesis must present an argument.

  • Can I reasonably argue the opposite?

  • 1. No3. Yes

    2. “Hannibal was a very effective general.”

    Although 1, 2 because of 3.

?True or False?

  • “The Carthaginian loss in the 2nd Punic War due more to Roman skill than Hannibal’s mistakes or ineffectiveness.”

The thesis must present an argument.

  • Can I reasonably argue the opposite?

  • 1. No3. Yes

    2. “The Carthaginian loss in the 2nd Punic War due more to Roman skill.”

    Although 1, 2 because of 3.

753BC 703 509 494 458 451 390 282 275 265 - 146 82 73 49BC

Rome founded

Etruscan kings took control

Republic founded

Plebieans begin strugggle for more rights

Cincinattus: ideal dictator12 tables Written

Gauls sack Rome

Gen Pyrrhus beats the Romans

Greeks driven out of Italy

3 Punic Wars: 2nd: Hannibal / Scipio

Sulla abolishes 6 mo. dictat. term

Spartacus leads rebellion

Caesar starts Civil War

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