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The Republic. Plebeian Reforms. 509 BC. Romans drive out last king Leading families take power Rule as the Senate Model for our Senate. Consuls. Two senators were chosen as consuls 1 year term, each could veto the other Could not declare war by themselves

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the republic

The Republic

Plebeian Reforms

509 bc
509 BC
  • Romans drive out last king
  • Leading families take power
  • Rule as the Senate
  • Model for our Senate
  • Two senators were chosen as consuls
  • 1 year term, each could veto the other
  • Could not declare war by themselves
  • Responsible for public finances, justice and city administration
  • Horsemen
  • Cavalry
  • Claim leadership over other Romans
  • Change in fighting techniques added plebeian infantrymen
  • “common man” in combat became very important
  • Small-farmer, plebeian soldiers win the right to be elected military tribunes
debt slavery
Debt Slavery
  • If a plebeian owed money, the patricians could demand that a plebeian work off his debts
  • Plebeians rebel and peasant soldiers used force to protest this form of punishment
plebeian reforms
Plebeian Reforms
  • Go on strike (farms shut down, stores close)
  • Demand more land
  • Demand abolition of debt
military tribunes
Military Tribunes
  • Could veto laws
  • Could initiate legislation
  • Share authority with consuls when in battle
comitia plebus 471 bc
Comitia Plebus (471 BC)
  • Name of law that created plebeian assembly
  • Could meet and express their opinions to military tribunes
  • Assemblies met to vote, but not to initiate action
comitia centuriata 450
Comitia Centuriata (450)
  • Military assembly of Patricians and Plebeians
  • Met to elect consuls
  • Vote on legislation
  • Decide if Rome should go to war
  • Two censors
  • Took the census
  • Collect taxes and organize military duties
  • Censors determined how much property people had
  • This determined what kind of equipment they had to have for war
  • Class of plebeians who could afford to own a horse and equipment
three branches of gov t
Three branches of gov’t
  • Executive (Consuls)
  • Legislative branch (Senate and Assemblies)
  • Judiciary (Praetor and jurors)
  • In charge of judiciary branch of gov’t
  • Elected by military assembly
  • Jurors were expected to be honorable in their judgements
twelve tables 451 450
Twelve Tables (451-450)
  • Before this, laws were not written down
  • Laws connected to religious lore
  • Patricians interpreted the laws
  • Plebeians demanded laws be written down
twelve tables
Twelve Tables
  • Written on twelve bronze tablets
  • Open to legislative changes
  • 442 - intermarriage between plebeians and patricians
  • Q: Who could be a juror in ancient Rome?
  • A: Only aristocrats, as they had the leisure time
  • Q: Why were the laws written down?
  • A: Plebeians did not like how arbitrary the laws were
criminal transgressions
Criminal Transgressions
  • Q: How were you punished if you broke the laws?
  • Often punished by exile rather than death
  • Vestals and those who consorted with the enemy were killed
roman law
Roman Law
  • Recognized supremacy of the father
  • Sell children into slavery
  • Tell them who to marry and divorce
  • What are exemplary examples of vice or virtue?
  • When moderation is observed, all is well in Rome
  • If not, disaster abounds
problems in the republic
Problems in the Republic
  • Ambition of individuals
  • Patricians vs. Plebeians
  • Threat of outsiders
moderation is the key
Moderation is the key
  • Cincinnatus (Moderatio)
  • Quinctius Capitolinus (Moderatio)
  • Appius Claudius (Immoderatio)
  • From plow to dictatorship
  • Trial of son, Caeso
  • Forced to live in a hovel
  • Not afraid to tell senators that limited power of individuals is what Rome needs
speech of cincinnatus
Speech of Cincinnatus
  • “Sunk as you are in a morass of impiety and crime, yet you continue to assert that you will get the law through before the year is out”
  • Courage, constancy, all the virtues which in civil or military life, were the true glory of manhood, had followed his son Caeso into banishment
caeso son of cincinnatus
Caeso, son of Cincinnatus
  • Plea for tribunes to have the power to legislate what the consuls can do by Terentillus
  • Caeso “Anyone who dared cross him soon found himself the worse for wear, or with his clothes stripped from his back”
  • Capitol charge and trial
caeso s trial
Caeso’s Trial
  • Bail is set and Caeso is free until trial
  • Goes into exile
  • Father is forced to sell everything he owns and move across the river to live “like a banished man”
appius claudius
Appius Claudius
  • Abused his power as decemvir
  • Trial of Verginia
  • Father kills her to preserve her honor
  • Causes destruction of Verginia and himself
the decemvirs 451 bc
The Decemvirs (451 BC)
  • 10 men appointed to codify the laws
  • At first all patricians
  • Began to behave like tyrants
no less dreadful than rape of lucretia
No less dreadful than rape of Lucretia
  • Appius Claudius attempted to seduce Verginia and declared her his slave
  • If people suffer inside the walls of Rome the worst horrors of a captured town, then why fight to protect the city?
  • Let the master through, to take possession of his slave
quinctius capitolinus
Quinctius Capitolinus
  • Challenges Romans to live up to their ancestors
  • Scolds patricians (who want excessive power)
  • Scolds plebeians (who want unchecked liberty)
  • “Only tell me that you are sick at last of this state of affairs, that you are willing to go back to your old ways, like your fathers before you”
  • “I should like to please you, but I much prefer to save you”
results of speeches of cincinnatus and q capitolinus
Results of Speeches of Cincinnatus and Q. Capitolinus
  • Romans want to serve their country again
  • Each acts not for selfish reasons, but for good of his people
  • Sacrifice personal convenience for higher good