Jan. 16 – Roman Institutions
Res publica – public thing
− multiple assemblies, or legislative bodies
− distinguishes them from Athenians
− there is the institutionalization of the separation of powers
− theoretically meant to represent all of Rome
− practically different assemblies evolved to represent different interests
− tension between public good and particular interests in society
− how did these institutions harness particular interests?
− Romans not necessarily in shared commonalities in the way Athenians
− it's okay if there is dispute over particular issues, as long as
different groups have the ability to make their interests known
− thus, there is an element of disharmony in the Roman context—and
− consisted entirely of patricians (aristocratic land-owners)
− originally it was the assembly that conducted the majority of public
Gradually, political power migrates from the few to everyone
− eventually, the poor have some of the greatest political power
− all adult males member of this assembly
Individuals are divided by tribes (35), classes (6), and centuries (193) Of the tribes, only four are urban.
Of the classes, five are reserved for the patricians.
Votes are determined by tribes or classes.
− indirect, representative democracy, weighted to the wealthy