Long after Cinderella’s time, kings still continue to play an important role in some places in the world. The government of ancient Rome is divided into three time periods, namely, the era of the kings, the era of the republic, and the era of the empire.
It was said that ancient Rome was ruled by kings in the earliest centuries. The population was allegedly classified into three tribes; the Ramnensi or Romans, Tizienzi or Sabines, and Luceri. The entire population also consisted of foreigners, although they were not made a part of any of the three tribes. These politically-inferior non-locals were not given rights and had to be enslaved by patricians, or the upper class, in order to survive. The king was considered as the head in several areas; state, religion, war and peace, and army. The king was also the ultimate judge of the capital punishments. His authority was not inherited, but was acquired through an election from amongst a list made by the Senate. In turn, the Senate, or Council of the Elders was composed of 200 members (100 Romans and 100 Sabines), all of whom were elected into office. The earliest government of ancient Rome can be best described as an elective monarchy, with its supremacy divided among the king, the Senate, and the “Comitia Curatie” with its thirty consitutents.
The second government of ancient Rome, the era of the Republic, was dependent on the Senate, judges, and popular Assemblies. The Senate, with its three hundred members, was elected from among the top leaders like former magistrates. It basically managed public administration and was responsible for making laws. The magistrates or judges were elected to prevent crimes. They were divided into several groups to carry out different functions that were all equally important. Likewise, the popular Assemblies were also grouped according to the tasks they performed.
The era of the Empire went through several stages before it ended five centuries after. This was by far the most stable form of government of ancient Rome. This era has paved the way for the “market” to flourish. Control over all things was left to the discretion of a single person – the Emperor. The magistrates were appointed and were also stripped of their position by the Emperor. He was considered as the head of the army which classified this form of government of ancient Rome under military dictatorship.
Learning about the government of ancient Rome will probably make some people realize how lucky they are to have the independence that some Romans never had in the past. We have been too caught up in our own worlds to pay attention to the little things that matter – freedom.