Western Civilization

How Democratic Was the Roman Republic?

Panel Debate


The laws and institutions created by the Roman Respublica created a system of government that would last for nearly 500 years.  Was the Roman Republic meant to proctect all citizens of Rome, or only the Patrician class' interests?  Are the Plebeians a rabble that should be trusted, or does each class have its proper place in society (rich and poor)?


Using the links below, your ROMA book, textbook, or other resources argue your study group's assigned perspective for this debate.  You DO NOT need to complete any written work for this assignment, but will be evaluated on your participation.  It is recommended that you prepare some debate notes, but it is not required.

     ⦿ How Democratic was the Roman Republic?

     ⦿ The Roman Republic (Debate Materials)

     ⦿ The Laws of the Twelve Tables

Debate Perspectives

PATRICIANS -- The Laws and Institutions of Rome justifiably protect the Patrician Class, which is the only class of citizens who can be entrusted with the rule of government, and the Plebs cannot be trusted and do not deserve rights of citizenship or the protection of the Tribunes

PLEBEIANS -- The Laws and Instutions of Rome do not do enough to serve the Plebs but only serves to protect the selfish desires of the Patricians.  Intermarriage, the Office of Tribune, and a system open to talent and not birth should be created and upheld to promote greater democracy of opportunity for all of Rome's citizens.

          • Machiavellians - PATRICIANS

          • Jacobins - PLEBEIANS

          • Praetorians - PLEBEIANS

          • Stosstruppen - PATRICIANS

          • Cavaliers - PATRICIANS

          • Conquistadors - PLEBEIANS