Fall of the Roman Republic
World Civilization I
19 March 2009
A system where political officials were elected and advised by a wealthy aristocratic senate once prevailed in Rome. This system was known as the Republic of Rome (T&E 262). This passage will consist of information and contrasts made between the republic that once existed in Rome and information in the source passage, Tacitus on Corruption in the Early Roman Empire. Tacitus on Corruption in the Early Roman Empire refers to the dictatorship of Caesar Augustus (63 BC-14 AD) by aristocratic historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-120 AD) and their impact on the people and economy of Rome. The Roman Republic got its start when the last Etruscan king was abolished along with the monarchy in 509 B.C. (T&E 262). Although most of the republic was controlled by rich, aristocratic leaders, Rome still prospered from it, rather than the monarchy. That includes both wealthy nobles, and commoners alike, but in the republic they had other social labels. The patricians, or wealthy aristocrats, were the individuals who elected the consuls. The plebeians, or common people, made up more of the population, but still didn’t make up as much of the senate as the patricians, and this caused social conflict. The senate consisted of aristocrats that had a vast knowledge of politics. The senate made most of the crucial decisions with acknowledgement over the consuls (T&E 262). The Roman Constitution was written documentation of military and civil power given to two consuls that would serve one year terms. The Roman Constitution also entrusted a single individual to lead Rome as a dictator for six months when there was military tensions. Dictatorship will later be the downfall of the Rome. Even though there was still social conflict as mentioned earlier, the republic was still highly favored because it showed great public virtue (Waalkes’...
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