The Roman magistrates were elected officials in Ancient Rome. During the period of the Roman Kingdom, the King of Rome was the executive magistrate. His power, in practice, was absolute and he was the chief priest, lawgiver and the sole commander of the army. When the king died, his power reverted to the Roman Senate, during the transition from monarchy to republic, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the executive to the Roman Senate. When the Roman Republic was founded in 509 BC, the powers that had held by the king were transferred to the Roman consuls. Magistrates of the republic were elected by the people of Rome, Dictators had more major powers than any other magistrate, and after the Dictator was the censor, and the consul, and the praetor, and the curule aedile, and the quaestor. Any magistrate could obstruct an action that was being taken by a magistrate with an equal or lower degree of magisterial powers, during the transition from republic to empire, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the Roman Senate back to the executive.
Theoretically, the senate elected each new emperor, in practice each emperor chose his own successor, the powers of an emperor existed, in theory at least, by virtue of his legal standing. The two most significant components to an emperors imperium were the powers and the proconsular powers. In theory at least, the tribunician powers gave the authority over Romes civil government. While these distinctions were clearly defined during the empire, eventually they were lost. The traditional magistracies that survived the fall of the republic were the consulship, plebeian tribunate, aedileship and military tribunate. Mark Antony abolished the offices of Roman dictator and Master of the Horse during his Consulship in 44 BC, while the offices of Interrex, the executive magistrates of the Roman Kingdom were elected officials of the ancient Roman Kingdom. During the period of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman King was the executive magistrate. He was the executive, chief priest, chief lawgiver, chief judge.
His powers rested on law and legal precedent, and he could receive these powers through the political process of an election. In practice, he had no restrictions on his power. When war broke out, he had the power to organize and levy troops, to select leaders for the army
Gaius Marius was a Roman general and statesman. He held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career, Marius defeated the invading Germanic tribes, for which he was called the third founder of Rome. His life and career were significant in Romes transformation from Republic to Empire, Marius was born in 157 BC in the town of Arpinum in southern Latium. The town had been conquered by the Romans in the late 4th century BC and was given Roman citizenship without voting rights, only in 188 BC did the town receive full citizenship. The problems he faced in his career in Rome show the difficulties that faced a new man. Since eagles were considered sacred animals of Jupiter, the god of the Romans. Later, as consul, he decreed that the eagle would be the symbol of the Senate, in 134 BC, he was serving with the army at Numantia and his good services brought him to the attention of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Whether he arrived with Scipio Aemilianus or was already serving in the army that Scipio Aemilianus took over at Numantia is not clear.
According to Plutarch, during a conversation after dinner, when the conversation turned to generals, Aemilianus gently tapped on Marius shoulder, Perhaps this is the man. It would seem that even at this stage in his army career. He ran for election as one of the special military tribunes of the first four legions who were elected. Sallust tells us that he was unknown by sight to the electors but was returned by all the tribes on the basis of his accomplishments, next, he ran for the quaestorship after losing an election for local office in Arpinum. The military tribunate shows that he was interested in Roman politics before the quaestorship. Perhaps he simply ran for office as a means of gaining support back home. Nothing is known of his actions while quaestor, in 120 BC, Marius was returned as plebeian tribune for the following year. He won with the support of Quintus Caecilius Metellus, who was an inherited patronus, the Metelli, though neither ancient nor patrician, were one of the most powerful families in Rome at this time.
During his tribunate, Marius pursued a populares line and he passed a law that restricted the interference of the wealthy in elections. In the 130s voting by ballot had been introduced in elections for choosing magistrates, passing laws and deciding legal cases, in the passage of this law, Marius alienated the Metelli, who opposed it
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir)
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, was a Roman patrician who was triumvir with Octavian and Mark Antony, and the last Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Republic. Lepidus had previously been an ally of Julius Caesar. Though he was a military commander and proved a useful partisan of Caesar. He typically appears as a figure in depictions of the events of the era. While some scholars have endorsed this view, others argue that the evidence is insufficient to discount the distorting effects of propaganda by his opponents, principally Cicero and, Augustus. Lepidus was the son of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, his mother may have been a daughter of Lucius Appuleius Saturninus and his brother was Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus. His father was the first leader of the populares faction after the death of Sulla. Lepidus married Junia Secunda, sister of Marcus Junius Brutus and Junia Tertia and Junia Secunda had at least one child, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the Younger. Lepidus joined the College of Pontiffs as a child and he started his cursus honorum as triumvir monetalis, overseeing the minting of coins, from c.
Lepidus soon became one of Julius Caesars greatest supporters and he was appointed as a praetor in 49 BC, being placed in charge of Rome while Caesar defeated Pompey in Greece. He secured Caesars appointment as dictator, a position Caesar used to get elected as Consul. Lepidus was rewarded with the position of Proconsul in the Spanish province of Hispania Citerior, while in Spain Lepidus was called upon to act to quell a rebellion against Quintus Cassius Longinus, governor of neighbouring Hispania Ulterior. Lepidus refused to support Cassius, who had created opposition to Caesars regime by his corruption and he negotiated a deal with the rebel leader, quaestor Marcellus, and helped defeat an attack by the Mauretanian king Bogud. Cassius and his supporters were allowed to leave and order was restored and the Senate were sufficiently impressed by Lepdiuss judicial mixture of negotiation and surgical military action that they granted him a Triumph. Lepidus was rewarded with the consulship in 46 BC after the defeat of the Pompeians in the East, Caesar made Lepidus magister equitum, effectively his deputy.
Caesar appears to have had confidence in Lepidus than in Mark Antony to keep order in Rome. Lepidus appears to have been shocked when Antony provocatively offered Caesar a crown at the Lupercalia festival. When in February 44 BC Caesar was elected dictator for life by the senate, the brief alliance in power of Caesar and Lepidus came to a sudden end when Caesar was assassinated on March 1544 BC
Secessio plebis was an informal exercise of power by Romes plebeian citizens, similar to a general strike taken to the extreme. During a secessio plebis, the plebs would simply abandon the city en masse, therefore, a secessio meant that all shops and workshops would shut down and commercial transactions would largely cease. Authors report different numbers for how many there were. Cary & Scullard state there were five between 494 BC and 287 BC, as part of a negotiated resolution, the patricians freed some of the plebs from their debts and conceded some of their power by creating the office of the Tribune of the Plebs. This office was the first government position held by the plebs, plebeian Tribunes were made personally sacrosanct during their period in office. In 450 BC Rome decided to appoint the commission of the decemviri which was tasked with compiling a law code, the commission was given a term of one year, during which the offices of state were suspended. The decemviri were exempted from appeal, in 450 BC they issued a set of laws, but did not resign at the end of their term and became abusive.
They killed a soldier who had been a tribune and who criticised them. One of the decemviri, Appius Claudius Crassus, tried to force a woman, Verginia, to prevent this, her father stabbed her and cursed Appius Claudius Crassus. This sparked riots which started with the crowd witnessed the incident. The people went to the Aventine Hill, the senate tried to get the decemviri to resign, but they refused. The people decided to withdraw en masse to Mons Sacer like in the first secession, the senate blamed this on the decemviri and managed to force them to resign. It sent two senators, Lucius Valerus Potitus and Marcus Horatius Barbatus, to Mons Sacer to negotiate, the people demanded the restoration of the plebeian tribunes and the right to appeal, which had been suspended during the term of the decemviri. This was agreed and they returned to the Aventine Hill and elected their tribunes, Lucius Valerius Potitus and Marcus Horatius Barbatus became the consuls for 449 BC. They introduced new laws which strengthened the rights of the plebeians, after being passed, these laws had to receive the approval of the senate.
This meant that the senate could veto the laws passed by the plebeians, Lex Valeria Horatia de senatus consulta ordered that the senatus consulta had to be kept in the temple of Ceres by the plebeian aediles, the assistants of the plebeian tribunes. This meant that the tribunes and aediles had knowledge of these decrees. This put them in the public domain. Previously, the consuls had been in the habit of suppressing or altering them, the lex Valeria Horatia de provocatio forbade the creation of offices of state which not subject to appeal
Theatre of Pompey
The Theatre of Pompey was a structure in Ancient Rome built during the part of the Roman Republican era. Enclosed by the large columned porticos was a garden complex of fountains. Along the stretch of covered arcade were rooms dedicated to the exposition of art, on the opposite end of the garden complex was a curia for political meetings. The senate would often use this building along with a number of temples, the curia in the theatre is infamous as the place where Julius Caesar was murdered by the Liberatores of the Roman Senate and elite. The structures last recorded repairs were carried out in 507–511, following Romes populational decline during and after the Roman-Gothic wars of 535–554 there was no need for a large theater. The marble covering material was used to other buildings. Being located near the Tiber, the building was regularly flooded. The buildings concrete core remained standing in the 9th century, in the 11th century the ruins were converted into two churches and houses, with the theaters old plan remaining visible.
Around 1150 the powerful Orsini family bought all buildings on the site of the theater, in the Middle Ages the Campo de Fiori square was built and the remaining parts of the theater were quarried to supply stone for many newer buildings which still exist in modern Rome. Pompey paid for this theatre to gain popularity during his second consulship. The theatre was inspired by Pompeys visit in 62 BC to a Greek theatre in Mytilene, construction began around 61 BC and the theatre was dedicated in 55 BC. The theatre was dedicated in 52 BC, and during this event, clodius Aesopus, a renowned tragic actor, was brought out of retirement in order to act in the theatres opening show. The show was accompanied by gladiatorial matches featuring exotic animals. For forty years, the theatre was the permanent theatre located in Rome. Regardless, the Theatre of Pompey continued to be the location for plays. In fact, the site was considered the premiere theatre throughout its entire life. Seeking association with the theatre, many well-to-dos constructed their own versions in.
This led to the establishment of a theatre district, in the most literal sense
The Curia Julia is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC, when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sullas reconstructed Curia Cornelia, Caesar did so to redesign both spaces within the Comitium and the Roman forum. The alterations within the Comitium reduced the prominence of the senate, the work, was interrupted by Caesars assassination at the Theatre of Pompey, where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was finished by Caesars successor, Augustus Caesar. However, the roof, the elevations of the side walls. There were many curiae during the history of the Roman civilization, the Curia Julia is the third named curia within the comitium. Each structure was rebuilt a number of times but originated from a single Etruscan temple, when this original temple was destroyed, Tullus Hostilius rebuilt it and gave it his name. It lasted for a few hundred years until fire destroyed the curia. In fact, the now in the forum is the second incarnation of Caesars curia.
From 81 to 96, the Curia Julia was restored under Domitian, in 283, it was heavily damaged by a fire, at the time of Emperor Carinus. From 284 to 305, the Curia was rebuilt by Diocletian and it is the remnants of Diocletians building that stands today. In 412, the Curia was restored again, this time by Urban Prefect Annius Eucharius Epiphanius. On July 10,1923, the Italian government acquired the Curia Julia, the exterior of the Curia Julia features brick-faced concrete with a huge buttress at each angle. The lower part of the front wall was decorated with slabs of marble, the upper part was covered with stucco imitation of white marble blocks. A single flight of steps leads up the bronze doors, the current bronze doors are modern replicas, the original bronze doors were transferred to the Basilica of St. John Lateran by Pope Alexander VII in 1660. Interestingly enough, a coin was found within the doors during their transfer and that allowed archaeologists to date repairs made to the Senate House and the addition of the bronze doors to the reign of Emperor Domitian.
The original appearance of the Senate House is known from an Emperor Augustus denarius of 28 BC, the interior of the Curia Julia is fairly austere. The hall is 25.20 m long by 17.61 m wide, there are three broad steps that could have fitted five rows of chairs or a total of about 300 senators
The First Triumvirate is a term historians use for an informal political alliance between three prominent men of the late Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Marcus Licinius Crassus. Julius Caesar was a prominent popularis politician, Pompey was considered the greatest military commander of his time. This gave him great prestige and popularity, Crassus was a property speculator, the largest landlord and the richest man in Rome. Pompey and Crassus had extensive patronage networks, the three men formed an alliance with which they could gather sufficient popular support to counter the stranglehold the Roman Senate had over Roman politics. The senate had thwarted some bills these men had sponsored, with this alliance they aimed to overcome the senates resistance to these bills and to have them passed. The alliance had kept secret until Pompey and Crassus publicly supported a land law proposed by Caesar in 58 BC. According to Goldsworthy, the alliance was, not at heart a union of those with the political ideals and ambitions.
In the background of the formation of alliance were the frictions between two political factions of the Late Republic, the populares and optimates. The former drew support from the plebeians and it challenged the power the nobiles exerted over Roman politics through the senate, which was the body that represented its interests. The Optimes were a faction that favoured the nobiles. This faction wanted to limit the power of the plebeian tribunes, Julius Caesar was a leading figure of the populares. In 66 BC Catiline, the leader of the plot, presented his candidacy for the consulship and he received the support of many prominent men and he was acquitted through bribery. In 63 BC Catiline was a candidate for the consulship again and he presented himself as the champion of debtors. Catiline was defeated again and Marcus Tullius Cicero and Gaius Antonius Hybrida were elected and he plotted a coup détat together with a group of fellow aristocrats and disaffected veterans as a means of preserving his dignitas.
One the conspirators, Gaius Marius, assembled an army in Etruria, Catiline was to lead the conspiracy in Rome, which would have involved arson and the murder of senators. He was to join Manlius in a march on Rome, the plot was to start with the murder of Cicero. Cicero discovered this, exposed the conspiracy, and produced evidence for the arrest of five conspirators and he had them executed without trial with the backing of a final decree of the Senate – a decree the senate issued at times of emergency. This was done because it was feared that the men might be freed by other plotters
Roman naming conventions
The distinguishing feature of Roman nomenclature was the use of both personal names and regular surnames. Throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, other ancient civilizations distinguished individuals through the use of personal names. Consisting of two elements, or themes, these names allowed for hundreds or even thousands of possible combinations. But a markedly different system of nomenclature arose in Italy, where the name was joined by a hereditary surname. Over time, this binomial system expanded to include additional names, the most important of these names was the nomen gentilicium, or simply nomen, a hereditary surname that identified a person as a member of a distinct gens. This was preceded by the praenomen, or forename, a name that served to distinguish between the different members of a family. The origin of this system is lost in prehistory, but it appears to have been established in Latium. In written form, the nomen was usually followed by a filiation, indicating the name of an individuals father.
Toward the end of the Roman Republic, this was followed by the name of a citizens voting tribe, these elements could be followed by additional surnames, or cognomina, which could be either personal or hereditary, or a combination of both. The Roman grammarians came to regard the combination of praenomen, even then, not all Roman citizens bore cognomina, and until the end of the Republic the cognomen was regarded as somewhat less than an official name. Naming conventions for women varied from the concept of the tria nomina. By the end of the Republic, the majority of Roman women either did not have or did not use praenomina, most women were called by their nomen alone, or by a combination of nomen and cognomen. For a variety of reasons, the Roman nomenclature system broke down in the following the collapse of imperial authority in the west. The praenomen had already become scarce in written sources during the fourth century, over the course of the sixth century, as Roman institutions and social structures gradually fell away, the need to distinguish between nomina and cognomina likewise vanished.
By the end of the century, the people of Italy. But many of the names that had originated as part of the tria nomina were adapted to this usage, as in other cultures, the early peoples of Italy probably used a single name, which developed into the praenomen. Marcus Terentius Varro wrote that the earliest Italians used simple names, names of this type could be honorific or aspirational, or might refer to deities, physical peculiarities, or circumstances of birth. In this early period, the number of personal names must have quite large
The Curia Hostilia was one of the original senate houses or curia of the Roman Republic. It is believed to have begun as a temple where the warring tribes laid down their arms during the reign of Romulus, during the early monarchy, the temple was used by senators acting as council to the king. Tullus Hostilius is believed to have replaced the structure after fire destroyed the converted temple. It may have historic significance as the location of an Etruscan mundus. The Lapis Niger, a series of black marble slabs, was placed over the altar where a series of monuments was found opposite the Rostra. This curia was enlarged in 80 BC by Lucius Cornelius Sulla during his renovations of the comitium, the building burned down in 53 BC when the supporters of the murdered Publius Clodius Pulcher used it as a pyre to cremate his body. There has been a house for the people of Rome through most of Romes history. This one likely began as a temple, there may have been a small shrine to the god Vulcan from the earliest period, a stone altar with a marble stele inscribed with a dedication from a Latin King.
An Honorary column was among the tightly packed items and this spot was separated from the rest of the comitium with a low rising concrete fence to keep pedestrians from walking atop it. The Curia Hostilia architecture had changed a number of times, the structure was where all of Romes early political life centered. It is said that the public was allowed to stroll into the Curia Hostilia to listen to the senators debate. Relatively little is known about the Curia Hostilia, one feature of the Curia that is mentioned in almost all sources is the Tabula Valeria, a painting on the exterior of the Curia’s western wall. It depicted the victory of Manius Valerius Maximus Corvinus Messalla over Hiero, pliny says that the painting was the first such picture in Rome. Another detail that most sources agree on is that the Curia Hostilia was located on the side of the comitium. It is believed that the set of stairs of the Comitium. With regard to the Curia’s location, Stambaugh writes, he Curia Hostilia was built on rising ground so as to dominate the space of the Forum Romanum.
Given its prominent place in the Forum, it seems that the Curia Hostilia was a symbol of the strength of the Roman Republic, the original Etruscan Temple was probably used as the meeting place of the separate tribes of the seven hills. It may have had two columns and an open portico
The First and Third Samnite Wars were fought between the Roman Republic and the Samnites, who lived on a stretch of the Apennine Mountains to the south of Rome and the north of the Lucanians. The first of these wars was the result of Romes intervening to rescue the Campanian city of Capua from a Samnite attack. The second one was the result of Romes intervention in the politics of the city of Naples and developed into a contest over the control of much of central, the third war involved a struggle over the control of this part of Italy. The Samnites were one of early Romes most formidable rivals, by the time of the first of these wars, the southward expansion of Rome’s territory had reached the River Liris, which was the boundary between Latium and Campania. This river is now called Garigliano and it is the boundary between the regions of Lazio and Campania. In those days the name Campania referred to the plain between the coast and the Apennine Mountains which stretched from the River Liris down to the bays of Naples, the northern part of this area was inhabited by the Sidicini, the Aurunci and the Ausoni.
The central and southern part was inhabited by the Campanians, who were people who had migrated from Samnium and were related to the Samnites. The Samnites were a confederation of four tribes who lived on the mountains to the east of Campania and were the most powerful people in the area, the Samnites and Sidicini spoke Oscan languages. Their languages were part of the Osco-Umbrian linguistic family which included Umbrian, the Lucanians who lived to the south were Oscan speakers. Diodorus Siculus and Livy report that in 354 BC Rome and the Samnites concluded a treaty, modern historians have proposed that the treaty established the river Liris as the boundary between their spheres of influence, with Romes lying to its north and the Samnites to its south. This arrangement broke down when the Romans intervened south of the Liris to rescue the Campanian city of Capua from an attack by the Samnites. Livy is the only preserved source to give an account of the war which has become known in modern historiography as the First Samnite War.
In addition, the Fasti Triumphales records two Roman triumphs dating to this war and some of the described by Livy are mentioned by other ancient writers. According to Livy, the First Samnite War started not because of any enmity between Rome and the Samnites, but due to outside events, the spark came when the Samnites without provocation attacked the Sidicini, a tribe living north of Campania with their chief settlement at Teanum Sidicinum. Unable to stand against the Samnites, the Sidicini sought help from the Campanians, Livy continues, the Samnites defeated the Campanians in a battle in Sidicine territory and turned their attention toward Campania. First they seized the Tifata hills overlooking Capua and, having left a force to hold them. There they defeated the Campanians in a battle and drove them within their walls. This compelled the Campanians to ask Rome for help, at Rome, the Campanian ambassadors were admitted to an audience with the Senate
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
Citizenship in ancient Rome was a privileged political and legal status afforded to free individuals with respect to laws and governance. A citizen could, under certain circumstances, be deprived of his citizenship. Roman women had a form of citizenship. Though held in high regard they were not allowed to vote or stand for civil or public office, the rich might participate in public life by funding building projects or sponsoring religious ceremonies and other events. Women had the right to own property, to engage in business, and to obtain a divorce, marriages were an important form of political alliance during the Republic. Client state citizens and allies of Rome could receive a form of Roman citizenship such as the Latin Right. Such citizens could not vote or be elected in Roman elections, slaves were considered property and lacked legal personhood. Over time, they acquired a few protections under Roman law, some slaves were freed by manumission for services rendered, or through a testamentary provision when their master died.
Once free, they faced few barriers, beyond normal social snobbery, freedmen were former slaves who had gained their freedom. They were not automatically given citizenship and lacked some privileges such as running for executive magistracies, the children of freedmen and women were born as free citizens, for example, the father of the poet Horace was a freedman. The rights available to citizens of Rome varied over time, according to their place of origin. They varied under Roman law according to the classification of the individual within the state, various legal classes were defined by the various combinations of legal rights that each class enjoyed. However, the rights available to citizens with whom Roman law addressed were, Ius suffragiorum. Ius honorum, The right to stand for civil or public office, Ius commercii, The right to make legal contracts and to hold property as a Roman citizen. The rights afforded by the ius gentium were considered to be held by all persons, Ius migrationis, The right to preserve ones level of citizenship upon relocation to a polis of comparable status.
For example, members of the cives Romani maintained their full civitas when they migrated to a Roman colony with full rights under the law, latins had this right, and maintained their ius Latii if they relocated to a different Latin state or Latin colony. The right of immunity from taxes and other legal obligations, especially local rules. The right to sue in the courts and the right to be sued, the right to have a legal trial