The Constitution of the Roman Republic

The Constitution of the Roman Republic

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In The Constitution of the Roman Republic, Polybius gives an interpretation of what he believed be a successful political system. Using his analytical skills, he sought to find reason regarding why the Romans became so prosperous. Let’s discover in what ways this assessment came to be.
When one takes a closer look into the lives of the Romans, government and all, it would be safe to assume that the life of the Romans were much like the life that is seen in the United States today. The United States has several attributes in comparison to Rome but unlike many other areas around the world. The people of Rome were not oppressed, had a say in certain aspects of the government, had a mighty military and the economy seemed to flourish. All in all it would seem that the life of the Roman Republic was a rather appealing and pleasant one.
Upon reading the excerpt, it could be said that the power of the consul could have possibly been the mightiest of the three. There was the consul, the Senate and the People. Yet, how interesting it is that without the People, the consul and the senate would cease to exist. Just as a house finds it’s stabilization on a foundation build on rock, the consul and senate find their strength standing upon the power of the people of their nation living their ordinary everyday lives. However in the same regard, the Senate needed the People just as much as the People needed the senate. The relationships between these two were very much a give and take and communication was essential. Polybius stated that the People had what seemed like the most important role, for the reason that they themselves were the decision makers of those under the law. They were the jury, the ultimate say. Polybius wrote, “As a result of all of these factors, the Senate fears the masses and is ever mindful of the People.” (Porter, 1995) It is optimistic to say that this type of government, with this type of constitution in place was a rather successful one.
Around 323 B.C., Greece moved away from a theocratic government, and in Athens democracy would be born. Granted it took a bit for the Greek polis to move towards the democratic government, but what matters is that it finally got there.

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However, this was not without the partial aristocratic politics. In a similar way, The Roman Republic also dealt with a government with several governing styles, such as the aristocratic, the monarchic and democratic styles. Nonetheless, the Romans made the intermingling of the different types of government work for their republic, and in this assessment, Polybius verbalized the success of the Roman Republic.
The laws in the Roman Constitution were the variety of laws that could not be completed or asserted without the authority of one another. It is not unreasonable to say that the Senate may have had a greater rule than the People, but the People were the ones who placed those officials in office, and without them, the government as it was known would have ceased to exist.

Works Cited

Perry, M., Chase, M., Jacob, J.R., Jacob, M.C. & Von Laue, T.H. (2009). Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society
(9th ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Polybius, Polybius 6.11.11-6.18.3: The Constitution of the Roman Republic, trans. John Porter (University of Saskatchewan 1995)
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