Pompeii and Herculaneum - ‘Describe the Political Life in Pompeii and Herculaneum’

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‘Describe the Political Life in Pompeii and Herculaneum’

Pompeii and Herculaneum, like all ancient Roman-styled towns, were self governing cities n local matters, but were subject to royal decrees from Rome by the Emperor. However, the ‘emperor’ rarely interfered except where the empires security or local order was at stake. After the revolt within the Amphitheatre between Pompeian’s and Nacerians in AD59, Emperor Nero dismissed and exiled the two chief magistrates, and had a law –governing prefect watch over the two newly elected ones.

Pompeii, as a typical Roman colony, was self-administrating and its local government followed the standard rules laid down by Julius Caesar {Lex Iulia Municpalis}. The law described how the Town Council, or ‘Ordo Decurionum’, would establish itself and also how to pick council members. Herculaneum was governed in much the same way as a ‘Municpium’, with its own Town Council and elected officials. The Duumviri were the two chief magistrates of each town and were placed the highest in political life. The small town equivalent to consuls at Rome, having no military powers, but solely concerned with local community government. They were responsible for public money, the calling together of the Town Council and residing over the proceedings of such meetings. During their year(s) 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. Holding office as a Duumvir Quinquennales was considered to be the, rather well fitting, culmination to a brilliant career in the localized government. Because they were endowed with the power to revise the Council Roll, the ‘Quinquennales’ commanded the greatest respect. The Aediles, however, being the two lower ranking magistrates of the two towns, were responsible for the everyday administration – the supervising of the markets and the taking care of the temples and the streets, were two of their main duties within each of

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