Government of the Republic

The Republic is ruled on the principles of consent of the governed and a separation of powers.

The Consuls

Two Consuls jointly rule the Republic and the Imperium, elected for 10 year terms by the Roman Senate and with the consent of the Assemblies. By tradition, one consul would rule from Rome, handling domestic affairs, trade and commerce, and directing the development of the core provinces, while the other consul would direct military affairs, usually personally leading a set of legions to pacify the most active and challenging region of the Imperium’s frontier. The two consuls would often trade off in these responsibilities at regular intervals, as the progress of military campaigns and civil challenges dictated. At the founding of the Republic, only members of the aristocratic families known as Patricians could ascend to be Consuls. But in 490, the common Plebs demanded that a member of their class could become a Consul as well. An Assembly of the Centuries was called, and the Plebs voted to refuse to serve in the military of Rome unless their demands were met. With little choice, the Patricians in the Senate grudgingly consented, and ever sense, it is traditional for the Consuls to be drawn one each from the Patrician and Plebeian classes.

The Senate

The Roman Senate debates and propagates new laws and policies of the Imperium. Members are not elected, but are rather appointed by the consensus of the ruling Consuls, traditionally from members of the land-holding Patrician class. Appointments to the Senate were generally for life, although members could be removed from office by the Consuls or impeached by a popular vote of the Assemblies. Rarely, distinguished members of the Plebeian class would be promoted from magisterial positions to Senate membership, or would be named to the Senate after distinguished military service. The Senate had the power to nominate Consuls at the end of each decade long term of service, to declare war, enact matters of foreign affairs, change or levy taxes upon the provinces, and appoint provincial governors. Governance of individual cities and provinces was the responsibility of Provincial Governors and various Magistrates appointed by Assembly.

The Assemblies

The ultimate power and authority in Roman government derives from the people, however, specifically the Assemblies of the Centuries. All Roman citizens are organized into Centuries (or tribes). For large matters of state, including the declaration of war or the affirmation of a new Consular appointment, all citizens would be charged with assembling amongst their Centuries to debate the issue and cast lots, with assent or dissent reported for the Century as a whole, based on majority rule. The assent of a majority of Centuries would be required to sustain any Senatorial declaration of war or consular appointment or the like. For more local matters, such as the governance of an individual city or region, only the relevant local Centuries would assemble to decide matters, including the appointment of all local Magistrates (below the level of Consul or Provincial Governor) who would then be charged with carrying out the administration of law and order. Since members of the Plebeian class far outnumbered those of the landed Patricians, the Assemblies were the primary base of power for the Plebeians.

Government of the Republic

Battle for the Republic JDJenks