Introduction Class.docx

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
Kelly Olson

INTRODUCTION ; ROMAN SOCIAL STRUCTURE Reading: P&P page numbers 1-5, 357-358, and passage numbers 1.13-1.21, 1.23-1.34, 1.35-1.150. Angela pp. 19-21, 65-67, 129-131, 137-139 Outline of Roman History (on Sakai) History of Rome • Regal period 753-510 BCE (ruled by kings) • Republic 510-27 BCE • Imperial Period/Empire 27 BCE – 476 CE Political Organization • All political positions were unpaid therefore most were held by men in the upper class. The Republic The Consuls: • 2 people were elected annually. • Chief magistrates of the Roman Republic. • Had to abdicate at the year’s end. • Power to veto prevented the abuse of power by either. • Imperium (‘the power to command’armed forces). Dictator: • Appointed only in times of emergency. • Replaces the consuls. • 6-month limit. • Supreme military authority. The Senate: • Acouncil of elders recruited from ex-magistrates. • 300-600 members. • The most powerful force in Republican Rome (even though the consuls are the highest-ranking authority. In the imperial period, the highest-ranking man was the emperor. Roman Class System 1. The Senatorial Ordo • Ordo: Latin word meaning division or class. • First and highest class in ancient Rome. • Senatorial Order. • Most prestigious class. • Small circle of families with high birth, excellence, wealth. • Property requirement: 1 million HS (sesterces). • Not a hereditary aristocracy. • Two separate division within the Senatorial Ordo: Patricians & Nobilis. A. Patricians: • Families of great antiquity, prominent during the Republic (influential in Roman Histo
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