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Centralized Government


    Executive Branch

CONSULS (2): chief civil and military magistrates; invested with imperium (consular imperium was considered maius ("greater") than that of praetors); convened senate and curiate and centuriate assemblies.

PRAETORS (2-8): had imperium; main functions (1) military commands (governors) (2) administered civil law at Rome.

AEDILES (2): plebian (plebian only) and curule (plebian or patrician); in charge of religious festivals, public games, temples, upkeep of city, regulation of marketplaces, grain supply.

QUAESTORS (2-40): financial officers and administrative assistants (civil and military); in charge of state treasury at Rome; in field, served as quartermasters and seconds- in-command.

TRIBUNES (2-10): charged with protection of lives and property of plebians; their persons were inviolable (sacrosanct); had power of veto (Lat. "I forbid") over elections, laws, decrees of the senate, and the acts of all other magistrates (except dictator); convened tribal assembly and elicited plebiscites, which after 287 B.C. (lex Hortensia) had force of law.

CENSORS (2): elected every 5 years to conduct census, enroll new citizens, review roll of senate; controlled public morals and supervised leasing of public contracts; in protocol ranked below praetors and above aediles, but in practice, the pinnacle of a senatorial career (ex- consuls only) -- enormous prestige and influence (auctoritas).

DICTATOR (1): in times of military emergency appointed by consuls; dictator appointed a Master of the Horse to lead cavalry; tenure limited to 6 months or duration of crisis, whichever was shorter; not subject to veto.


    -took cognizance of virtually all public matters, but most important areas of competence were in foreign policy (including the conduct of war) and financial administration.

-originally an advisory board composed of the heads of patrician families, came to be an assembly of former magistrates (ex-consuls, -praetors, and -questors, though the last appear to have had relatively little influence); the most powerful organ of Republican government and the only body of state that could develop consistent long-term policy.


"-all 3 assemblies included the entire electorate, but each had a different internal organization (and therefore differences in the weight of an individual citizen's vote).
-all 3 assemblies made up of voting units; the single vote of each voting unit determined by a majority of the voters in that unit; measures passed by a simple majority of the units." (The Roman Republican Constitution)
- The senete was made up of the Curiate the oldest had an organazation of 30. then was the Centuriate the most importentit had 193 people. The Tribal Assembly was for the election of tribuns, deliberation of plebians. They cast ballot and delt with criminal proacution.

The Roman Republican Constitution


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