Roman Politics Essay

Submitted By nduff1
Words: 325
Pages: 2

We commonly hear the phrase, “History has a way of repeating itself.” In Barbara F. McManus’ Notes On Roman Politics, we are given a comparison of how our modern day politics correlates to that of the politics of BCE. To start off the article, McManus states that the senatorial class, which was primarily in charge of political affairs, was mainly composed of noble families. This was largely because running a campaign was a costly affair, much like it is today. The senatorial class was made up of two primary parties, the Populares and the Optimates. The Populares, meaning “party of the people,” most closely resembles that of today’s Democrats, and, in turn, the Optimates, meaning “the party of the best man,” relates more to today’s Republican party. Both of these parties were at a constant battle with each other, but both sides were subject to self-interest corruption. McManus states that on both ends of the political spectrum, campaigns were fueled by alliances and bribery. This reminded me much of today’s lobbyists, who use likes of alliances and bribery to sway today’s senators votes. Another similarity that I noticed in McManus’ review of the politics of BCE, is the role that the women played. Even though women of the Roman Empire could not participate in the actual act of voting, they did have a considerable amount of power. McManus states that upper-class women where able to influence votes with money and alliances, particularly through marriages. Although this