The Constitution of the Roman Republic by Andrew Lintott

By Andrew Lintott

There's no different released booklet in English learning the structure of the Roman Republic as a complete. but the Greek historian Polybius believed that the structure was once a basic reason for the exponential development of Rome's empire. wisdom of Rome's political associations is vital either for historical historians and if you examine the contribution of Rome to the republican culture of political notion from the center a long time to the revolutions encouraged by way of the Enlightenment.

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When he claims (6. 14. 6) that the people alone try for a capital penalty, even if, as I think we should, we supply 36 `those who have held the most distinguished offices' as the object of the verb, he is oversimplifying the position, as he himself shows (16. 2), where he attributes to the people the right to ratify investigations of political crimes entailing a capital penalty, which are undertaken by the senate. Although this confirms the ultimate sovereignty of the people over capital crimes, it shows that they do not try alone such crimes.

Any community which did not take measures to achieve this discrimination between those deserving honour and those deserving punishment was not able to handle properly anything subject to its authority. The people, he says, try men often for fines, whenever the amount is significant, and especially those who have held the highest offices, and it alone tries for the death-penalty (6. 14. 6). Here, in my view we must supply as object `those who have held the highest offices'. 18 After a brief digression on how defendants about to be condemned, `with only one tribe left to vote', can go into exile,19 Polybius talks briefly of the people's power over elections, the ratification and abrogation of laws, and decisions of war, peace, and alliance.

In spite of its problems, it is hard to abandon the picture of the beginning of the Republic as violent change. In the later Republic the political overtones of the word rex were close to those of the Greek word turannos. " The annals also contained three stories of men overthrown for aspiring to regnurn, even though they had not actually undertaken any violent coup (see below). On the other hand, the annals also give an impression of continuity. An assembly had been used to ratify the election of the kings.

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