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Early Roman Republic
Note Entry #24
• From 900-500 BC they ruled northern Italy
– No one knows where they came from
– They borrowed the alphabet from the Greeks
but they didn’t speak Greek
– They had a hierarchical social structure
– They were eventually over thrown by the
lower classes (including the Latins)
Rise of Rome
• 753 BC Romulus and Remus start to build
• 620 BC the Tarquins provided kings to
rule Rome
– They taught the Romans to
• Build houses
• Drain wetlands
--build the Forum
--lay streets
• 509 BC the Roman patricians in Rome
drove off the tarquins.
• The social classes of Rome were set up
under the Etruscans
– Patrician: nobles, ruling class
• were those who held priesthoods before the
Republic was set up
– Plebeians: other citizens, could not hold
public office
• plebeians were excluded from religious colleges
and being judges
• the law of the Twelve Tables did not allow
• They served in the army and could become military
• When the patricians drove out the
Etruscans and set up a republic that had 2
– Executive—consuls ran the daily business of
• These were 2 men elected to a one year term and
they had to reach consensus for any decisions for
the city
• The primary criteria for consul was military skill and
• Legislativeorginally made-up of the
Assembly of Centuries and the Senate
– Assembly of Centuries
• Elected officials to the executive branch
• 193 men representing all of Rome
– Senate
• 300 men who served for life
• Had more power than the Assembly
• Both classes were made up of only
• The plebeians disliked their lack of power
– In 449 BC they went on strike
• The patricians agreed to recognize the tribunes
– Plebeians got the right of veto
– The Assembly of Tribes was recognized
– In 441 BC the plebeians forced the patricians
to display the Twelve Tables at the Forum
– In 257BC plebeians won the right to make
laws for the republic
Debt slavery was ended and marriage between
classes was also allowed.