The first two centuries of the Republic were characterised by a paradoxical situation of social unrest at home which was accentuated by continued military conquest abroad, first across Italy and then Carthage and the Mediterranean trade routes. While the Plebeian Tribunes regularly attempted to block legislation unfavorable to their order, the Patricians frequently tried to thwart them by gaining the support of one or another of the tribunes. Historians do know that the second group of decemvirs was forced to step down, and Rome was left with a set of 12 laws written on 12 separate tablets. The Roman Senate advised the consuls. They protested by going on strike.
The plebeians demanded that the patricians write down Rome's laws. They would leave the city for a while, refuse to work, or even refuse to fight in the army. The problem appears to have centered around widespread indebtedness, and the Plebeians quickly demanded relief. Before these laws were passed, Tribunes could only interpose the sacrosanctity of their person intercessio to veto acts of the senate, assemblies, or magistrates. The Plebs were the common citizens of Rome, freemen with a right to vote in the Consilia, the bodies thr … ough which the annual magistrates of the republic were elected.
Over more than 200 years of social conflict; the plebeians slowly but surely gained rights through constant agitation. The second group was very corrupt. Everyone else was considered a plebeian. They turned the Aventine Hill into their territory, with the plebeian tribune as the leader of this territory as well as the movement. This development is unique in the ancient world, although there are parallels in the towns of Medieval Italy and Germany. In any case, the distinction cannot have been based entirely on priority, because the Claudii did not arrive at Rome until after the expulsion of the kings. It is not known why, but this modification seems to have made the auctoritas patrum irrelevant.
These groupings may be based on status or how much money a person has. In the Laws of the twelve tables mid-fifth century , we find a prohibition of intermarriage between patricians and plebeians. The plebeians elected tribunes, who represented their order against any mistreatment by the consuls or the Senate. The old nobility existed through the force of law, because only Patricians were allowed to stand for high office, and it was ultimately overthrown after those laws were changed. The Kings had in fact brought wealth to Rome. The First Secession In 494 B.
Prior to the 1st secession the plebeians had no political voice, except for their agitations at the Forum in the previous year. However, despite changes in the laws, the patricians always held a majority of the wealth and power in Ancient Rome. This compromise was accepted by all Romans, and a temple was dedicated to the goddess Concordia. The Roman path was different. The dictator had complete control over Rome, but the dictator could serve for only six months. They replaced the year's consuls and tribunes, and were given additional powers. It should therefore not be viewed as the final triumph of democracy over aristocracy, since, through the Tribunes, the senate could still control the Plebeian Council.
All free adult males were citizens, no matter what their class. Neither Tribunes nor were technically magistrates, since they were both elected solely by the Plebeians, rather than by both the Plebeians and the Patricians. Several politicians, like Gaius Flaminius active between 230 and 217 , used the urban plebs to control the assemblies. During the second half of the fourth century, other offices were opened to the nouveaux riches, who could now embark upon regular careers. The plebeians were the merchants, farmers, and craft workers of Rome. The consuls served for only one year and could not be reelected. Some plebeians whose land had been sacked by the Gauls couldn't afford to rebuild, so they were forced to borrow.
The clear inequality between patricians and plebeians was the engine for important political changes, such as the emergence of the Tribunes of the Plebe and the creation of the Law of the Twelve Tables. Furthermore, the plebeians tended to be poor and this meant that time spent out at war was time spent away from work and hence a need to borrow and be subjected to horrific usury and even slavery. It was possible to be a richplebeian, and it was also possible to be a poor patrician. Although there was some opposition by e. The families of Caesar and Sulla are examples. During the regal period, the king nominated two to serve as his assistants, and after the overthrow of the monarchy, the Consuls retained this authority. The Conflict of the Orders was finally coming to an end, since the Plebeians had achieved political equality with the Patricians.
Neither consul could make a law without the consent of the other. The unified opposition was known as plebs and seems to have used the nickname as honorific title. Thus, the Plebeian Curiate Assembly became the Plebeian Tribal Assembly, and the Plebeians became politically independent. Millar, The Emperor in the Roman World, Duckworth, 1977, 1992. This marked the end of the plebs as a political power.
For a while, it was illegal for a pleb and patrician to marry. Without the plebeians, patricians feared that the army would be helpless if an enemy struck at Rome. The 12 tablets were an important move in the direction of what we would call equal rights for the plebeians, but there was still much to do. The kings of Rome also had priestly functions; they were also augurs performers of auspices. The plebeians had to protest by means of a work stoppage and an exodus from the city for a brief time. This was very important because religion regulated many aspects of private, public, political and military life.