Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Basic Roman Republic Government Offices


Senate and the People of Rome

For centuries, the Roman Republic's power was shared (but not evenly) between the Patricians who were the Social Upper Class of Rome and the Plebeians who were the Common People.  In a simplified form, here are the main offices of the Republic:

Consul (x2) –were the Chief Magistrates who were similar to a president or prime minister.

             Dictator (1) -was a temporary position with total power appointed for six month in time of crisis.

Pontifex Maximus (1)  –Chief Priest of the state religion, this was both a religious and political post (as Pontifex Maximus, Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar which is the basis of the current Gregorian calendar).

Censor (x2) –were in charge of the census (list of citizens) and  public morality.
Aedile (x4) –were in charge of public works.
Praetor (x8) –were law officers like judges similar the Supreme Court.
Tribunes (x10) –had the power to veto laws of the senate, Tribunes were elected plebeians.
             Veto -”I say no,” the power to cancel a law.
Quaestor (x20) –were treasury officers/tax collectors.
Senate –was the main law making body of Rome of three hundred Patricians.
Plebian Assemblies –were open to the common citizens (Plebeians) they were not as powerful as the Senate but did have an effect on daily life. These are the various assemblies:

Comitia Curiatia  -dealt with Roman life and religion as a forum for discussions.
Comitia Centuriata -military assembly that dealt with elections, war and was the highest court of appeal.
Concilium Plebuis -plebeian assembly that elected the Tribunes.
Comitia Tributa -tribal assembly that elected lower government officials.

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