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The Rise and Fall of the Decemvirs - Assignment Example

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In the paper “The Rise and Fall of the Decemvirs” the author discusses the ancient Romans, who went through a number of different forms of government in a relatively short span of time following its founding. It is commonly believed that the Romans transitioned to a more Republican form of government…
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The Rise and Fall of the Decemvirs
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Download file to see previous pages Within about 60 years of the founding of the Roman Republic, the city-nation was already beginning to splinter from within, held together only because of the need to unite frequently in opposition to foreign enemies. Frequent wars with their neighbors often caused the Romans to put aside their differences in order to protect their lands and uphold their treaties. However, times of peace had the plebians, or common people, frequently at odds with the patricians (upper class) over disputes regarding losses suffered because of lengthy service in Rome’s army. In the middle of the fifth century BC, the Republic put aside its traditional structure of two consuls overseeing the senate to establish what was termed the decemviri, a ruling body of ten men which might have survived more than its three years had it not been for the rise of Appius Claudius as it is presented by Livy.
There was some precedent for establishing a body of ten men as a ruling body for the people in the period immediately following the monarchy known as the Interregnum. When the last king of Rome was deposed and sent into exile, the ancients had a crisis of position. While they all understood the concept of a monarchy, it was the only form of effective government they had known, they remained reluctant to provide one individual with the supreme power they had just removed from another man’s hands. However, threats from the neighboring states, seeing Rome without a head, began preparing again for war. The monarchy had already established a senate with 100 appointed senators, so this group finally determined to divide itself into ten ‘security’, from which one member was selected to represent the group. “ ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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