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The Role of Political Institutions in Emergencies

The winter of discontent and the summer which led to a fall 8. The evolution of crisis response during the Roman Republic. Source : Cambridge University Press. Mot de passe.

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Se souvenir de moi. Golden, Crisis Management during the Roman Republic.

Recevoir du HTML? In such instances, who receives government support will likely emerge as a political issue in subsequent years. His dissertation examined the economic and political circumstances of the formation of substantive private law during the late Roman republic and early Roman empire. In addition to his dissertation topic, he studies law and political economy across a range of periods and places. Skip to main content. Main Menu Utility Menu Search. Nevertheless its ideological force is impressive.

This type of social commentary had a long history at Rome by this point, and it included such figures at Cato the Elder to BCE and Gaius Lucilius c.

Seneca the Younger 4 BCE to 65 CE would later come to be the most famous critic of many Roman social tendencies during the early empire. Tacitus recounts the crisis at Annals book 6, chapters 16— Woodman, Tacitus, The Annals. Translated with Introduction and Notes Hackett, stands out among the many translations of the text. Tchernia, The Romans and Trade Oxford, , pp.

To give a sense of the sums involved, Augustus had increased the property qualification of senators from , to 1,, sestertii , and in doing so rendered a number of men ineligible to be senators; he then gave them the funds to make up these shortfalls, presenting the act as one of magnanimity. In addition to Tacitus c.

Journal of Roman Studies 105 (2015)

Our earliest reliable account of the sources of law during the Roman empire, that of the jurist Gaius found at Institutes book 1 section 2, was written just over a century after the events of interest here, but it seems that we can apply his description to 33 as well. Contra B. Paulson, On the Brink Hachette, We do not have indication of how this difficulty was handled in Bernanke, The Courage to Act Norton, This and related concerns pervade other accounts of the crisis as well, especially those of Timothy Geithner and Mervyn King.

His handling of the crisis, as well as the political circumstances of its creation, bear some striking similarities to what we witnessed in the years surrounding Image credit: Tiberius, Emperor of Rome. Line engraving, after A. Sadeler after Titian , detail. Bakewell, Thomas Publisher , active approximately ?

Emperors and empresses of Rome. Emperors; no. Wellcome Library no. Map of the Roman empire under Tiberius, emperor from 14 to 37 CE. Image credit: L'impero di Tiberio dal 14 al 37 A. Wikimedia Commons, author: Cristiano64, 30 September Tiberius and other emperors minted coins of different denominations, and varied the inscriptions and imagery on their coins throughout their reigns. The image on the obverse of this sestertius is a temple wherein sits the goddess Concordia, who is surrounded by several other deities. Harvard Art Museums, object number: See also: History , December Or Can We?

Only the comitia centuriata could declare war and ratify the results of a census. It also served as the highest court of appeal in certain judicial cases. The assembly of the tribes, the comitia tributa , was presided over by a consul, and was composed of 35 tribes. The tribes were not ethnic or kinship groups, but rather geographical subdivisions. While it did not pass many laws, the comitia tributa did elect quaestors, curule aediles, and military tribunes.

The Plebeian Council was identical to the assembly of the tribes, but excluded the patricians.

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They elected their own officers, plebeian tribunes, and plebeian aediles. Usually a plebeian tribune would preside over the assembly. This assembly passed most laws, and could also act as a court of appeal. Since the tribunes were considered to be the embodiment of the plebeians, they were sacrosanct. Their sacrosanctness was enforced by a pledge, taken by the plebeians, to kill any person who harmed or interfered with a tribune during his term of office.

As such, it was considered a capital offense to harm a tribune, to disregard his veto, or to interfere with his actions. In times of military emergency, a dictator would be appointed for a term of six months.

Crisis Management during the Roman Republic :The Role of Political Institutions in Emergencies

The constitutional government would be dissolved, and the dictator would be the absolute master of the state. Magistrates were the elected officials of the Roman republic. Each magistrate was vested with a degree of power, and the dictator, when there was one, had the highest level of power.

Below the dictator was the censor when they existed , and the consuls, the highest ranking ordinary magistrates. Two were elected every year and wielded supreme power in both civil and military powers. The ranking among both consuls flipped every month, with one outranking the other. Below the consuls were the praetors, who administered civil law, presided over the courts, and commanded provincial armies.

Censors conducted the Roman census, during which time they could appoint people to the Senate. Curule aediles were officers elected to conduct domestic affairs in Rome, who were vested with powers over the markets, public games, and shows. Finally, at the bottom of magistrate rankings were the quaestors, who usually assisted the consuls in Rome and the governors in the provinces with financial tasks. Plebeian tribunes and plebeian aediles were considered representatives of the people, and acted as a popular check over the Senate through use of their veto powers, thus safeguarding the civil liberties of all Roman citizens.

Each magistrate could only veto an action that was taken by an equal or lower ranked magistrate. The most significant constitutional power a magistrate could hold was that of imperium or command, which was held only by consuls and praetors. This gave the magistrate in question the constitutional authority to issue commands, military or otherwise. Election to a magisterial office resulted in automatic membership in the Senate for life, unless impeached. Occasionally, however, a magistrate would have his command powers extended through prorogation, which effectively allowed him to retain the powers of his office as a promagistrate.

The bulk of Roman politics prior to the 1st century BCE focused on inequalities among the orders. Describe the relationship between the government and the people in the time of the Roman Republic.


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In the first few centuries of the Roman Republic, a number of developments affected the relationship between the government and the Roman people, particularly in regard to how that relationship differed across the separate strata of society. One of the biggest changes that occurred as a result was the establishment of two chief magistrates, called consuls, who were elected by the citizens of Rome for an annual term.

This stood in stark contrast to the previous system, in which a king was elected by senators, for life. Built in to the consul system were checks on authority, since each consul could provide balance to the decisions made by his colleague. Their limited terms of office also opened them up to the possibility of prosecution in the event of abuses of power.

However, when consuls exercised their political powers in tandem, the magnitude and influence they wielded was hardly different from that of the old kings. In BCE, Rome was at war with two neighboring tribes, and plebeian soldiers refused to march against the enemy, instead seceding to the Aventine Hill. There, the plebeian soldiers took advantage of the situation to demand the right to elect their own officials. The patricians assented to their demands, and the plebeian soldiers returned to battle. In the early years of the republic, plebeians were not permitted to hold magisterial office.

Tribunes and aediles were technically not magistrates, since they were only elected by fellow plebeians, as opposed to the unified population of plebeians and patricians. Although plebeian tribunes regularly attempted to block legislation they considered unfavorable, patricians could still override their veto with the support of one or more other tribunes.

Crisis Management during the Roman Republic : Gregory K. Golden :

Tension over this imbalance of power led to the passage of Lex Trebonia, which forbade the co-opting of colleagues to fill vacant positions on tribunes in order to sway voting in favor of one or another bloc. Throughout the 4th century BCE, a series of reforms were passed that required all laws passed by the plebeian council to have equal force over the entire population, regardless of status as patrician or plebeian. This gave the plebeian tribunes a positive political impact over the entire population for the first time in Roman history.