Cicero, the Constitution and the Roman People

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This paper suggests that the idea of imposing essentially new and untraditional limits on the legislative competence of the assemblies with an avowed aim of restricting the power of the Roman People to “will and command” as it pleases would have been beyond the realm of political feasibility. The people were prepared to hear that their fundamental rights as Roman citizens and free men could not be taken away from any them even by a decree of the People as a whole; but political realities did not allow the Roman elite to use this potentially promising notion in order to further limit the people’s power of legislation. As long as the Republic lasted, the Roman people—with all the necessary qualifications that the use of this term requires, and without forgetting that we are not speaking about anything remotely resembling a modern democratic electorate—were, for the Roman ruling class, a force to reckon with.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)157-177
JournalAncient History Bulletin
StatePublished - 2015


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