Pompeii- Politcal Life

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Pompeii, as a typical Roman colony provincial towns, was self-administrating in local matters, but subject to imperial decree from Rome. However, the emperor rarely interfered except where the empire’s security or local order was threatened. After the revolt in the amphitheatre between Pompeians and Nucerians in AD 59 the emperor, Nero, dismissed the two chief magistrates, had two more elected and appointed a law-giving prefect to supervise them. The inhabitants did not rail against such interference and constantly demonstrated their loyalty to the imperial family by constructing dedicatory statues, shrines, arches and buildings. The actual government, the executive body, consisted of two duumviri and two aediles, annually elected by the comitium, the people’s assembly of which all adult male citizens were members. The Duumviri were the two chief magistrates of each town and were placed the highest in political life. During their years of office, the Duumviri wore a toga with a thick purple boarder and would enjoy the best seats at the public games or at the theatre. Because they were endowed with the power to revise the Council Roll, the ‘Quinquennales’ commanded the greatest respect. The annual election of these four magistrates was the comitium’s only function, and the elections did not fail to generate a fair deal of passion and excitement which can be seen in Source A which is showing graffiti of a political matter drawn on a wall to notify the people of Pompeii about the political event occurring. Of the four magistrates, the two aediles were in charge of public buildings, including temples such as the Temple of Isis, which can be seen in source B. The Temple of Isis In Pompeii, only freeborn male citizens over 25 with good moral character could vote. Housing blocks or districts constituted electoral areas. The Senatorial and the Equestrian classes represented and served the Roman Emperor. For senators, it was a hereditary position, with the requirement...
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