Sunday, May 21, 2023

A Roman Senator’s Day in Ancient Rome

 From The Collector:

The Senate was composed of elderly men, which is why the word for senate means “old man” in Latin (senex). The primary function of the Roman Senate was to debate decrees and create laws, any of which could be approved or declined (in Latin veto) by the consuls or leaders of the Senate.

Furthermore, it decided Rome’s external policy, managed expenses, and supervised religious matters. In matters of war, the Senate decided the number of troops necessary for a campaign, controlled the generals, and offered them honors. The final decision of the Senate on a matter was known as a Senatus Consultum, and every magistrate had to accept it. Their decisions were similar to decrees and functioned similarly to laws.

How did patricians become senators? First, They were not elected but appointed. Throughout much of the Roman Republican period, an elected official, the censor, appointed new senators. Later during the Roman Empire, the emperor controlled who could become a senator. Secondly, Senators were required to be of high moral character. They had to be wealthy because they were not offered payment for their jobs and had to spend their wealth on running the Roman state. They were not allowed to have other jobs, such as being a banker or a merchant, nor could they commit any crimes. (Read more.)

No comments: