The Roman Republic Is Highly Praised For Its Innovation, Influence And Expansion

The Roman Republic Is Highly Praised For Its Innovation, Influence And Expansion

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The Roman Republic is highly praised for its innovation, influence and expansion. In a period of expansion, there was a setting of constitutional precedent for the future late Republic and Roman Empire. The Roman Republic can also be viewed from the perspective of internal balances of power. That being said, although the Republic was not a full democracy, as stated by Polybius, it did provide some political power to the people. Although the Roman people played a significant role in politics and had some power, said power was limited through checks of the Senate and Consul, and most positions of power were very concentrated in the hands of Patricians and aristocrats. The powers that all citizens inherently possessed did however play a significant role, as can be seen through the institution of assemblies such as the Centuriate Assembly, and some citizens were even able to get power without being born into wealth. Through a variety of primary sources, specifically, Polybius’ History, Livy’s From the Founding of the City, the Scipionic Elogia and Plutarch’s Life of Cato, the nature of the people’s role in politics can be observed and analyzed.
According to Polybius, the Roman system of government is based on three building blocks: aristocracy, monarchy and democracy (Polybius 6.11). That being said, he argues that the people have an important role to play in said government (Polybius 6.14). Although the people do not make decisions such as presenting bills, ordering allies as they please, or convening assemblies as the consul, who has the most power in the system, does (Polybius 6.12), they have other such important duties. According to Polybius, said duties include assigning office, such as voting on consuls, deciding penalties for...


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...en were individuals who came into public notice and power through their own achievements, without family distinction (Plutarch 1). Although this was possible, typically those who were aristocrats and those with family glory, as stated above, held most high offices.
The Roman people did play a significant role in the highly praised Roman Middle Republic, but under various limitations and checks. Through the primary sources discussed above, one can identify that the people did posses a large role given the importance of the Centuriate Assembly, but the people typically had to act in the best interest of those on top of them. Further, it can be identified that although some men were able to rise up and hold high political office through their own glory, high offices and glory was typically concentrated in the hands of aristocrats and passed down through family lineage.

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