The Role Of Democracy In Ancient Rome

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Democracy in Ancient Rome Ancient Rome is often portrayed as a highly democratic society for the ancient world. After all, the United States’ government is modeled after some parts of the Roman’s structure of government. But,was Rome as democratic as is is commonly thought to be? Contrary to what people may think Rome’s democracy wasn't exactly so democratic for all of its citizens. One example of Rome’s confusing concept of democracy can be found in The Histories, which was written by the Greek historian Polybius in 119 BCE. Polybius was captured by the Romans and taken back to Rome and later wrote The Histories after befriending high-ranking Roman officials. The main purpose of his work was to describe how Rome became the dominant world power.Polybius states that, “No one can say for sure whether the constitution is an aristocracy or democracy or despotism.” Polybius the goes on to say that the consuls had almost complete control over the government and were able to run the military and spend as much public money as …show more content…

“...all voting had to be conducted in Rome. Once Roman territory had expanded… it was mostly the well to do rural voters and their clients that could afford the time and expense to come to Rome to vote… only 2% of Roman citizens actually voted, which makes any notion of direct democracy meaningless…” Ward explains. Roman citizens not only, for the most part, did not vote but, they did not get to decide who they were voting for. “... The voters had no role in selecting candidates for office or in proposing legislation in any assembly. The magistrates and tribunes… were the only ones who could place legislation before the voters.” The small percent of citizens that actually did vote in Ancient Rome were spoon-fed their candidates by higher ups like the magistrates in

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