Early Roman Republican Government

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Roman Republic flag

The Romans established a republic in 509 B.C. The quasi-representative form of government during the Republic era was comprised of a bicameral legislature with: 1) a “ comitia” , an assembly of representatives made up of elected male citizens, many of them military men; and 2) "the Senate and the People of Rome,” made up of representatives elected to one-year terms. Most of the Senate members were patricians, members of upper classes. The seat of the government was in the "capitol." The Republican form of government endured for 460 years (509 to 49 B.C) until Julius Caesar absolved it.

The Romans had an unwritten constitution. Starting in the third century B.C., the Senate was the most powerful political body in Rome and it stayed that way for 150 years until Caesar seized control in 48B.C. and established himself as a dictatorial emperor, a trend that continued until Rome fell.

During the third and fourth centuries B.C. politics was a gentlemanly affair. There were also people's assemblies that passed legislation and administered jurisdictions. Later these popular assemblies "fell into disuse" and power was centered in the Senate. [Source: Lionel Casson, Smithsonian]

The Romans never had a written constitution, but their form of their government, especially from the time of the passage of the lex Hortensia (287 B.C.), roughly parallels the modern American division of executive, legislative, and judical branches, although the senate doesn't neatly fit any of these categories. What follows is a fairly traditional, Mommsenian reconstruction, though at this level of detail most of the facts (if not the significance of, e.g., the patrician/plebian distinction) are not too controversial. One should be aware, however, of the difficulties surrounding the understanding of forms of government (as well as most other issues) during the first two centuries of the Republic. [For a mid-second century B.C. outsider's account of the Roman government see John Porter's translation of Polybius 6.11-18.] [Source: University of Texas at Austin ==]

Criminal prosecution: originally major crimes against the state tried before centuriate assembly, but by late Republic (after Sulla) most cases prosecuted before one of the quaestiones perpetuae ("standing jury courts"), each with a specific jurisdiction, e.g., treason (maiestas), electoral corruption (ambitus), extortion in the provinces (repetundae), embezzlement of public funds, murder and poisoning, forgery, violence (vis), etc. Juries were large (c. 50-75 members), composed of senators and (after the tribunate of C. Gracchus in 122) knights, and were empanelled from an annual list of eligible jurors (briefly restricted to the senate again by Sulla). ==

The first plebeian consul was in 366 B.C., the first plebeian dictator was in 356 B.C. , the first plebeian censor was in 351 B.C. and first plebeian praetor was in 336 B.C.. The many priestly colleges (flamines, augures, pontifex maximus, etc.) were also state offices, held mostly by patricians. Imperium is the power of magistrates to command armies and (within limits) to coerce citizens. ==

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; Lacus Curtius penelope.uchicago.edu; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Roman Senate and Head of State


The Senate consisted of hundreds of members who served for life. It was sort of like the House of Lords in the British Parliament and senators were required by law to have a large fortune. "Not unexpectedly," wrote historian Lionel Casson, "they traditionally came from a circumscribed number of famous old families. For centuries this narrow circle of wealthy aristocrats was the establishment, Elections simply determined which among them would fill the higher offices and whose sons would get the lower."

The Senate was originally an advisory board composed of the heads of patrician families, came to be an assembly of former magistrates (ex-consuls, -praetors, and -questors, though the last appear to have had relatively little influence); the most powerful organ of Republican government and the only body of state that could develop consistent long-term policy. 1) It enacted "decrees of the senate" (senatus consulta), which apparenly had not formal authority, but often in practice decided matters. 2) It took cognizance of virtually all public matters, but most important areas of competence were in foreign policy (including the conduct of war) and financial administration. [Source: University of Texas at Austin ==]

The senate was led by a consul (the equivalent of a president). The consulship was the highest Roman office in the Republic. The main difference between the Roman senate and its modern American counterpart was that the Roman senate was led by two consuls, not just one, and each was elected for one term and had to wait ten years before running again.

The Senate ordered public works and called in magistrates to administer their construction. Legislation was first passed by the comitia and then approved by the Senate and then issued in the name of the senate and the people of Rome. When Roman soldiers marched to the battle field they carried guidons with the initials SPQR that stood for “senatus populusque Romanus” (the senate and the people of Rome).

Early Roman Government

In the early days or Rome, each of the tribes had its own chief, council of elders, and general assembly. When the tribes on the Palatine and Quirinal hills united and became one people, their governments were also united and became one government. For example, their two chiefs were replaced by one king chosen alternately from each tribe. Their two councils of one hundred members each were united in a single council of two hundred members. Their two assemblies, each one of which was made up of ten curiae, were combined into a single assembly of twenty curiae. And when the third tribe is added, we have a single king, a council of elders made up of three hundred members, and an assembly of the people composed of thirty curiae. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~]

Roman Senate

The Roman king was the chief of the whole people. He was elected by all the people in their common assembly and inaugurated under the approval of the gods. He was in a sense the father of the whole nation. He was the chief priest of the national religion. He was the military commander of the people, whom he called to arms in time of war. He administered law and justice, and like the father of the household had the power of life and death over all his subjects. \~\

The Roman Senate: The council of elders for the united city was called the senate (from senex, an old man). It was composed of the chief men of the gentes, chosen by the king to assist him with their advice. It comprised at first one hundred members, then two hundred, and finally three hundred—the original number having been doubled and tripled, with the addition of the second and third tribes. The senate at first had no power to make laws, only the power to give advice, which the king might accept or not, as he pleased. \~\

The Comitia Curiata: All the people of the thirty curiae, capable of bearing arms, formed a general assembly of the united city, called the comitia curiata. In this assembly each curia had a single vote, and the will of the assembly was determined by a majority of such votes. In a certain sense the comitia curiata was the ultimate authority in the state. It elected the king and passed a law conferring upon him his power. It ratified or rejected the most important proposals of the king regarding peace and war. The early city-state of Rome may then be described as a democratic monarchy, in which the power of the king was based upon the will of the people. \~\ The oldest Roman government was based upon the patrician class. Over time the separation between the patricians and the plebeians was gradually broken down, with old patrician aristocracy passing away, and Rome becoming in theory, a democratic republic. Everyone who was enrolled in the thirty-five tribes was a full Roman citizen, and had a share in the government. But we must remember that not all the persons who were under the Roman authority were full Roman citizens. The inhabitants of the Latin colonies were not full Roman citizens. They could not hold office, and only under certain conditions could they vote. The Italian allies were not citizens at all, and could neither vote nor hold office. And now the conquests had added millions of people to those who were not citizens. The Roman world was, in fact, governed by the comparatively few people who lived in and about the city of Rome. But even within this class of citizens at Rome, there had gradually grown up a smaller body of persons, who became the real holders of political power. Later, this small body formed a new nobility—the optimates. All who had held the office of consul, praetor, or curule aedile—that is, a “curule office”—were regarded as nobles (nobiles), and their families were distinguished by the right of setting up the ancestral images in their homes (ius imaginis). Any citizen might, it is true, be elected to the curule offices; but the noble families were able, by their wealth, to influence the elections, so as practically to retain these offices in their own hands. \~\

Executive Branch of the Early Roman Republican Government

Roman Consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus

Collegiality: With the exception of the dictatorship, all offices were collegial, that is, held by at least two men. All members of a college were of equal rank and could veto acts of other members; higher magistrates could veto acts of lower magistrates. The name of each office listed below is followed (in parentheses) by the number of office-holders; note that in several cases the number changes over time (normally increasing). [Source: University of Texas at Austin ==]

Annual tenure: With the exception of the dictatorship (6 months) and the censorship (18 months), the term of office was limited to one year. The rules for holding office for multiple or sucessive terms were a matter of considerable contention over time. ==

Consuls (2): chief civil and military magistrates; invested with imperium (consular imperium was considered maius ("greater") than that of praetors); convened senate and curiate and centuriate assemblies. ==

Praetors (2-8): had imperium; main functions (1) military commands (governors) (2) administered civil law at Rome. ==

Aediles (2): plebian (plebian only) and curule (plebian or patrician); in charge of religious festivals, public games, temples, upkeep of city, regulation of marketplaces, grain supply. ==

Quaestors (2-40): financial officers and administrative assistants (civil and military); in charge of state treasury at Rome; in field, served as quartermasters and seconds- in-command. == Tribunes (2-10): charged with protection of lives and property of plebians; their persons were inviolable (sacrosanct); had power of veto (Lat. "I forbid") over elections, laws, decrees of the senate, and the acts of all other magistrates (except dictator); convened tribal assembly and elicited plebiscites, which after 287 B.C. (lex Hortensia) had force of law. ==

Censors (2): elected every 5 years to conduct census, enroll new citizens, review roll of senate; controlled public morals and supervised leasing of public contracts; in protocol ranked below praetors and above aediles, but in practice, the pinnacle of a senatorial career (ex- consuls only) -- — enormous prestige and influence (auctoritas). ==

Dictator (1): in times of military emergency appointed by consuls; dictator appointed a Master of the Horse to lead cavalry; tenure limited to 6 months or duration of crisis, whichever was shorter; not subject to veto. ==

Consuls in the Early Republican Government

The Two Consuls: When the kingdom came to an end, the power of the kings was put into the hands of two consuls (at first called praetors), elected by the people. The consular power, though derived from the old kingly power, was yet different from it in many respects. In the first place, the power of the king had been a lifelong power; but the power of the consuls was limited to one year. Again, the royal power had been held by one person; but the consular power was held by two persons, so that each was a restraint upon the other. Moreover, the power of the king had been absolute, that is, it had extended to life and death over all citizens at all times; the power of the consuls, on the other hand, was limited, since they could not exercise the power of life and death, except outside of the city and over the army in the field. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~]

Counsul with two lictores

The consuls retained the old insignia of the king; but when in the city, the ax was withdrawn from the fasces. In this way the chief authority, which was placed in the hands of the consuls, was shorn of its worst features. It must also be noted that the priestly power of the king was not given to the consuls, but to a special officer, called king of the sacrifices (rex sacrorum); and the management of the finances was put in charge of two quaestors elected by the people.

The Dictatorship: The Romans were wise enough to see that in times of great danger the power of the consuls might not be strong enough to protect the state. To meet such an emergency a dictator was appointed, who was a sort of temporary king. He had entire control of the city and the army. He was even given the power of life and death over citizens; and his lictors retained the ax in the fasces. But this extraordinary power could be held for only six months, after which time the consuls resumed their regular authority as chief magistrates. With the dictator there was generally appointed another officer, who was second in authority, called the master of horse; but over him, as over everyone else, the dictator was supreme. \~\ Notes on Consuls

A. Monarchic power (imperium) devolves upon them.
1. Symbols of monarchic power: purple border, fasces, lictors, curule chair.
B. Originally only patricians were consuls?
1. Fasti seem to controvert this, but solve by positing either:
a. Transitio ad plebem (conversion from patrician to plebeian), or
b. Patrician and plebeian branches of the same family.
2. Or that the whole patrician/plebeian distinction is a false one. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

C. Interruption of consuls in the aftermath of the Twelve Tables passage.
1. 444-367 B.C., 55 of 77 years saw tribuni militum consulari potestate.
2. Powers of the consuls divide between censors and military tribunes.
a. Later military tribunes are just junior officers in the Roman army.
3. But censors are institutionalized as one of the highest offices in the state.
a. Two censors at a time with five year terms.
b. They control citizenship, assignment to tribes and centuries, admission to Senate.
c. Typically only those who have held a curule magistracy (consul or praetor).
d. Unclear at what date the censors acquire power of appointment to the Senate (Lex Ovinia).
1. Variously placed in 5th and 4th centuries B.C.

D. Licinio-Sextian Law (376 B.C.) propose to permit or demand one plebeian consul.
1. Implementation seems not to be immediate?
2. It took ten years to pass; passes in 367 B.C.
3. But thereafter we do get years with two patricians (7 of 24 to 342 B.C.).
4. Praetors a spin-off of this reform - originally patrician only.
a. That lasts until 337, when Q. Publilius Philo becomes praetor.
b. A major duty is publication of edicts (legal guidelines).
c. Praetors preside over the courts and other municipal matters.
E. Consulship is pinnacle of political career for most politicians.
1. Consulars could go on to become censor or dictator.
2. Increasingly, consulship is occupied with military duties.
3. Possibility of extension of command by the Senate (prorogatio).
a. Rare in the 4th century, this becomes very important later on.


Assemblies and the Senate in the New Republican Government

The New Senators: When the consuls were elected, it is said that one of their first acts was to fill up the senate to the number of three hundred members. The last king had practically ruled without the senate, and he had no reason to fill the vacancies when they occurred. But the new consuls wished the help of the senate, and therefore desired to keep its numbers complete. The new senators who were enrolled were called conscripti; and the whole body of senators became known as patres conscripti. \~\

The Popular Assemblies: With the establishment of the republic, the two assemblies with which we are already acquainted, the comitia curiata and the comitia centuriata, both remained. But the former lost a great deal of its old power, which became transferred to the latter. The assembly of the centuries was therefore the body in which the people generally expressed their will. Here they elected the officers, and passed the most important laws. It was this assembly which became the chief legislative body during the early republic. \~\

The Laws of Valerius Poplicola: It is said that after the death of Brutus, his colleague Valerius (who had succeeded Collatinus) did not call an assembly to elect another consul. This aroused the fear that Valerius wished to make himself king. But it was soon found that instead of aiming to be king, he was preparing a set of laws which would prevent any one from becoming king, and would also protect the people from the arbitrary power of their magistrates. One of these laws declared that any person who assumed the chief power without the people’s consent should be condemned as a traitor. Another law granted to every citizen the right of an appeal to the people, in case he was condemned for a crime. These laws, known as the Valerian laws, may be called the “first charter of Roman liberty,” because they protected the people from the exercise of arbitrary power. So highly honored was Valerius that he was surnamed Poplicola, or the People’s Friend. \~\

Comitia: Legislative Branch of the Early Roman Republic

The three citizen assemblies of the Roman Republic (not including the Senate, see above): 1) All 3 assemblies included the entire electorate, but each had a different internal organization (and therefore differences in the weight of an individual citizen's vote). 2) All 3 assemblies made up of voting units; the single vote of each voting unit determined by a majority of the voters in that unit; measures passed by a simple majority of the units. 3) They were -called comitia. specifically the comitia curiata, comitia centuriata, and comitia plebis tributa (also the concilium plebis or comitia populi tributa). [Source: University of Texas at Austin ==]

Curiate Assembly: oldest (early Rome); units of organization: the 30 curiae (sing: curia) of the early city (10 for each of the early, "Romulan" tribes), based on clan and family associations; became obsolete as a legislative body but preserved functions of endowing senior magistrates with imperium and witnessing religious affairs. The head of each curia ages at least 50 and elected for life; assembly effectively controled by patricians, partially through clientela). ==

Centuriate Assembly: most important; units of organization: 193 centuries, based on wealth and age; originally military units with membership based on capability to furnish armed men in groups of 100 (convened outside pomerium); elected censors and magistrates with imperium (consuls and praetors); proper body for declaring war; passed some laws (leges, sing. lex); served as highest court of appeal in cases involving capital punishment. 118 centuries controlled by top 3 of 9 "classes" (minimum property qualifications for third class in first cent. B.C.-HS 75,000); assembly controlled by landed aristocracy. ==

Tribal Assembly: originally for election of tribunes and deliberation of plebeians; units of organization: the urban and 31 rural tribes, based on place of residence until 241 B.C., thereafter local significance largely lost; elected lower magistrates (tribunes, aediles, quaestors); since simpler to convene and register 35 tribes than 193 centuries, more frequently used to pass legislation (plebiscites). Voting in favor of 31 less densely populated rural tribes; presence in Rome require to cast ballot: assembly controlled by landed aristocracy (villa owners). Eventually became chief law-making body. Civil litigation: chief official-Praetor. The praetor did not try cases but presided only in preliminary stages; determined nature of suit and issued a "formula" precisely defining the legal point(s) at issue, then assigned case to be tried before a delegated judge (iudex) or board of arbiters (3-5 recuperatores for minor cases, one of the four panels of "The one hundred men" (centumviri) for causes célèbres (inheritances and financial affairs of the rich)). Judge or arbiters heard case, rendered judgment, and imposed fine. ==

Notes on Roman Assemblies and the Senate

II. Roman Assemblies in the Republic
A. Four (or five?) different names, but only two different groups.
Comitia Curiata, Comitia Centuriata, Comitia (Populi) Tributa, Concilium Plebis
II. The Comitia Curiata (earliest Roman popular assembly).
A. Non-exlusive membership; reflects "Servian" tribes based on location, not family?
B. Earliest function is to confirm choice of king (assume voting by acclamation at earliest stages). [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

C. Later passes resolutions (plebiscita).
1. Some functions subsumed with change to tribal voting procedure.
2. This same assembly, voting by tribes, is the Comitia Tributa.
3. Some distinguish a Comitia Populi Tributa and a Comitia Plebis Tributa.
D. Plebiscites get the force of law, 287 B.C. (lex Hortensia, Sourcebook 42).
1. Comitia Curiata falls into disuse after 287, Comitia Centuriata passes leges and plebiscites.
2. Comitia Curiata continues ceremonial duties (rubber stamp for consuls, praetors).
3. Confirms imperium of magistrates, has jurisdiction over adoptions and wills. ^*^

IX. Senate
A. Function for the early period is hard to define. Much power, little of it statutory.
B. Before the censors it is not clear what were the qualifications for membership.
C. Membership comes to be awarded upon completion of magistracies.
1. First only for curule magistracies (consul, praetor, curule aedile).
2. Later extended to include plebeian aediles, tribunes, and finally quaestors.
D. Without formal legislative power, the Senate still ran the Roman Republic (more so in the late Republic).
1. Syme: The Roman Republican government was a "senatorial oligarchy". ^*^

Comitia Centuriata

III. The Comitia Centuriata (DH 7. 59, cf. Sourcebook 27). A. Date of Origin
1. Even if Servius Tullius is too early, it exists by 450 B.C. (mention in 12 Tables).
2. Supposedly invented to make the Roman assembly more plutocratic.
B. Original functions
1. As criminal court for capital cases.
a. Procedurally, this always involved an appeal from the magistrate's decision (provocatio)?
b. Provocatio in 509 B.C. may be a retrojection either from the lex Valeria of 449 or 300 B.C.
c. But provocatio in 449 looks secure as part of the Valerio-Horatian Laws?
Romans knew it was a Valerius, not sure if it was Publius or Marcus (SB 24).
d. Twelve Tables enshrine jurisdiction of comitia centuriata for capital cases (IX. 2).
e. See Cicero, de Domo Suo 17.45; also Sourcebook 33. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

  1. Election (originally just approval?) of consuls.
    a. Later praetors, censors, aediles [except Plebeian], quaestors.
    b. Elections are real, but from candidates proposed by the Senate.
    c. And subject to influence wielded under the patron/client system.
    3. Digression on Patron/Client system.
    a. Cicero (Rep. 2.16) believed the system was as old as Romulus.
    b. J-C Richard sees it as key to the Servian tribal reforms.
    c. Example of the Fabii on the war with Veii illustrates its pervasiveness and power.
    Quote from Livy 2.48-49.

  2. Procedure.
    a. No speeches or proposals from the floor.
    b. Preliminary discussions is groups (contiones) during the preceding weeks.
    C. Original Composition and Structure
    1. Six classes by wealth, the sixth being the capite censi Òhead countÓ.
    1st Class: 98 centuries
    2nd Class: 22 centuries (20 plus 2 of engineers)
    3rd Class: 20 centuries
    4th Class: 22 centuries (20 plus 2 of trumpeters)
    5th Class: 30 centuries
    Head Count: 1 century
    2. The centuries polled from the top down.
    3. Voting ended when 97 (or 98?) of 193 centuries were in agreement.
    4. Plutocratic character possibly undermined after reforms c. 240, cf. DH 4. 21. 1-3.
    D. Legislative Functions.
    1. Originally passes laws subject to confirmation by the Senate (patrum auctoritas).
    2. 339 B.C., Senate power changes to probouleutic (approves laws in advance).
    3. Remains the body for elections, appeals, declaration of war.
    4. But in the later Republic the Comitia Tributa is the main legislative assembly.

republican government

Concilium Plebis and Comitia Tributa

V. The Concilium Plebis and Tribunes of the Plebs.
A. Origin of the concilium plebis is unclear. No trace of it in the regal period.
1. Begins as an informal gathering? Tied to struggle of orders Q.
2. Supposedly arose informally, affirmed in 471 by Lex Publilia.
3. It elects the tribunes of the people and the plebeian aediles.
4. It legislates broadly with the blessing of the Senate, mostly on prescribed measures.
5. Plebiscites get the force of law in 287. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

B. Tribunes of the Plebs
1. Traditionally created as part of the settlement of the first secessio (strike) in 494.
a. But the first secessio is a canard (a doublet of the secession of 450).
b. Tribunate probably achieves recognition with Lex Publilia in 471.
c. Proceeds from the arrests of the consuls Manlius and Furius by the tribunes.
1. This is unlikely to have happened. Tribunes had no such authority (Livy 2.56).
2. Coercitio (power of arrest) belongs only to magistrates with imperium.
3. But tribunes seem to get it after the Valerio-Horatian laws of 449.
d. This leads to the assassination of the tribune Genucius.
f. A near riot spurs the senate to elect Appius Claudius, who precipitates another riot ...
1. Which ends with the Senate recognizing the tribunes.

  1. Perhaps more important than what the tribunes actually did in the conflict of orders is that the Romans believed that they had been the champions of the common people against the abuses of the nobles.
    a. That perception is most important for later famous tribunes (Gracchi, Saturninus, Augustus).
    3. Not magistrates, they have no imperium.
    4. Their power proceeds from the inviolability of their person (sacrosanctitas).
    5. Two major rights:
    a. An original right of rescuing a constituent from seizure by a patrician.
    1. An ancient version of habeas corpus.
    b. A later right of near universal veto (intercessio), even (in theory) of senatorial decisions.
    c. This develops by extension of right to intervene to prevent unlawful arrests.
    2. Not to be confused with military tribunes.

IV. The Comitia Tributa (Populi)
A. Overlaps with Concilium Plebis or is confused with it in many sources.
B. Main Differences.
1. Open to all citizens.
2. Presided over by consul or praetor, not tribune.
C. Main Similarities
1. Voting is by the 35 tribes, 4 urban and 31 rural.
a. All poor and ex-slaves are in the urban tribes.
b. Number of tribes rises from 25 in the 4th century to 35 by 240 B.C.
2. Legislates broadly including criminal laws. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

D. Example of confusion: under 471, Livy says Òtribunes first elected in the Comitia Tributa Plebis.Ó (2.58)
1. He probably should have said the Concilium Plebis.
a. Lack of tribunician authority before 471 should stem from election by the Concilium Plebis.
b. Annalists before Livy had had tribunes elected by the Comitia Curiata. Reject this.
2. Livy is thinking of the Comitia Populi Tributa or just Comitia Tributa.
3. Less plutocratic than the Comitia Centuriata.
a. But do not accept that it elected the plebeian magistrates.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons except government diagram, Quora.com

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) forumromanum.org |+|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); “History of Warfare” by John Keegan (Vintage Books); “History of Art” by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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