287Bc Essay, Research Paper
Senate- The Senate was the true seat of power in Rome. Senators
were appointed for life, and voting was done by seniority. The Senators
were responsible for ratifying laws which the general assemblies had
passed, along with providing government appointments and
appropriating government funds. The Senate also voted on other
issues which concerned the city, and provided guidance. Because they
held their positions for life, the Senators held immense power, and the
other government leaders would pretty much do as they willed.
Consuls- The Romans elected two consuls as chief executives every
year who each had the ability to veto the other. These consuls were the
commanders of the army, acted as judges, and summoned and
proposed bills to the comitia centuriata.
Comitia Centuriata- The comitia centuriata was a popular assembly
which catered to the interested of the wealthy. Its system of voting
revolved around a class structure where the wealthiest of citizens
constituted a near majority, and the poorer classes rarely got an actual
vote. It had the power to appoint magistrates and pass legislation. the
comitia also served a judicial purpose.
Plebian Council- The Plebian council was also a council dominated by
wealthy landowners. The voting of the council was set up in tribes that
were divvied into city and rural, and the votes were distributed so that
the tribes of large landowners were given a much larger vote (31) than
there fellow citizens in the city (4). The Plebian council had the ability to
pass legislation, elect magistrates, and serve in judicial matters.
Censors-There were two censors who were elected every five years by
the comitia centuriata, and served for 18 months. They were
responsible for determining the tax liability, military eligibility, and tribe
assignments of the people. They could also add or remove people from
the Senate, and arrange public contracts and spend public funds.
Praetors- There were 2 or more praetors, and the office was open to
patricians. One praetor was in charge of judicial matters inside the city.
The other praetors were in charge of maintaining Roman authority in
The Plebian Aedileship- There were two Aediles. They were in charge
of things which would effect the daily life of an average citizen, such as
running the plebian?s treasury, policing the markets, administering
weights and measures, and monitoring food and water supplies.
Plebian Tribal Council- The tribal council reorganized the voting in the
Plebian council. It gave one vote to each tribe since not all farmers
could get into town to vote. This council was still slanted to the wealthy
aristocratic land owners.
Law of 12 Tables- The laws on the 12 tables, were codifications of the
common laws existing around 450 BC They were written down on the
tables by the decemvirs. The laws essentially gave in writing equality to
all citizens under the law.
Quaestors- There were four Quaestors. Two of the four Quaestors remained in
the city and kept up the public treasury and went after tax offenders. The other
two Quaestors followed the consuls to to the battlefield and were in charge of the
supplies and the soldiers pay.