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The Roman Republic
The Romans perhaps knew the Greeks best – after all, they inhabited the same Mediterranean world. But the Romans, always with an eye toward practicality and efficiency, were not apt to make the same mistakes as had the Greeks. So, they mixed their government, bound the lives of its citizenry to a living constitution, and made compromises to insure the future life and growth of the Republic. I suppose what all this boils down to is the general statement that whereas the Greeks were thinkers, the Romans were doers, and the proof would be the success of the Roman world itself, embodied in the grandeur of the Roman Empire.
By the 3rd century B.C., a new and larger class of patricians had been created. These are the individuals who would eventually dominate the Roman Senate because they held the highest positions of state and could pass their positions on to their descendants for posterity. It was also this nobility that controlled the state right down to the middle of the 1st century B.C. And although the plebeians gained the means to run the state as a democracy they chose not to do so. Their political involvement was always based on the needs of defense rather than offence.
The Romans also embarked on a path which would soon culminate in the establishment of the Roman Empire. Around 493 B.C., the Romans established the Latin League to protect themselves from rival neighbors such as the Etruscans. Rome was also an aggressive and imperialistic power. In 396 B.C., the Romans attacked and destroyed the Etruscan town of Veii. This was only one form of expansion. The Romans took the conquered and made them partners. In other words, they assimilated them into the Roman cosmopolis. This was far more efficient and, at least for the time being, there were fewer problems. This policy of compromise and assimilation continually built up the strength of the Roman Republic.
The conquered communities were organized by various degrees of privilege and responsibility. For instance, some communities were granted full Roman citizenship. Others were granted citizenship but could not vote in the Assembly. At a lower level, some states would simply receive Rome's support in the event of an invasion. This was the system of "confederating" states.
- Phraseological Units from Greek and Roman Mythology
- The Roman Republic
Word Formation of the English Language
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