ancient roman republic


This stage through which Rome went through was characterized by presenting a republican government system, thus beginning the Roman Republic, an event that occurred in the year 509 BC. This happens just when the era of monarchies ends and Rome gets rid of the last king: Lucius Tarquinius “the proud”.

The political transition that Rome was going through at that time was accompanied by strong violence and social confrontations that the only thing they achieved was that the neighboring peoples took advantage of it through the reduction of the territorial power of Rome and thus be able to achieve for it to disappear completely.

The beginnings of the Republic were immersed in absolute uncertainty, given the prevailing political chaos at that time. However, it managed to establish itself little by little, guided by a somewhat complex constitution, which sought to focus on the principles of independence of powers, balances of power and governmental domains. The development of the republic of Rome was strongly influenced by the conflicts between the aristocrats, the Romans who were wealthy but not of the nobility, and the patricians.

Since the republic was established, the state of Rome was described with the acronym SPQR (Cenatas Populusque Romanus) which in Spanish means: “the Senate and the Roman People”. This republic implanted a system that did not allow abuses of power by dividing executive and legislative functions and converting positions into elective and temporary ones. However, since nothing is perfect, an oligarchic model was maintained, where in order to access basic institutions, they had to belong to the patrician sector. The plebeians, seeing themselves excluded, expressed their discontent with a series of social confrontations that ended up decreeing equality between patricians and plebeians in the 3rd century BC.

The Senate, for its part, was present during the monarchy and continued to be during the republic, maintaining all its powers and emphasizing itself definitively as an entity that provides guidance and advice to the government of Rome, controlling internal order.

Life in the Republic of Rome was characterized by the following:

  • In order to govern, a series of laws were created that integrated what is Roman law.
  • This right eventually becomes the principle of law throughout the Western world.
  • The presence of two totally different sectors of society: the patricians (the rich and owners of most of the land) and the plebeians who were represented by the poor people of Rome.
  • Only the patricians could have access to political and religious positions.

Unfortunately, the Republic of Rome begins to enter a stage of crisis that increases when a civil war begins that confronts military leaders with rebellious slaves. The only thing that caused this crisis was that the military had a greater place within the government.

Finally the Republic of Rome disappears, thanks to the fact that the Senate encompassed all political power except for the executive power. This caused the Senate to entrust executive power to someone who was not a politician. In short, the strengthening of the personalistic character ended up sinking the Republic, giving way to the birth of a new system of government: the Empire.