POLITICS: THEORY & PRACTICE

Status & Hierarchy

slave freedman free

    citizen   non-citizen

 plebeian   patrician

Elite Identity

Family (gens): extended clan

Office-holding: old families vs. novi homines

Money (land vs. business)

Patronage system (clientela)

Clientship (clientela)

Mutually supportive relationship between patron & dependent client


1) Patron (patronus)

2) Clients (clientes) The Political System (Early Republic)

Laws, but no written constitution

1. Magistrates

a) Annual Magistrates (used for dating)

b) 2 Censors 2. Senate (± 300) 3. Assembly: Comitia Centuriata Reforms & Developments.

1) "Struggle of the Orders"

Secessions of Plebs, *494; *449; c. 287
 ---> 5-10 Tribunes of the Plebs
XII Tables, 450
Lex Licinia (Licinian Law), 367/6

New Assemblies

2) New Subsidiary Offices ---> Larger senate (300 > 600 > 900)

3) Older Offices Discarded

The Practice of Politics

Senatorial class vs. Equites ("knights")

Factions (not Political Parties!):

Cursus honorum: ladder of offices
     quaestor -> praetor -> consul

Sources of gratia ("favor, goodwill" = political clout)

Politics by other means
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