Known for being one of the most popular and successful governments the world has ever known, the Roman political structure was very efficient, yet elaborate. The Basic Roman political structure was different in some ways than the common governments of other civilizations at that time (â€œRomeâ€ 1). The Roman government got its start as a monarchy, but later developed into a republic, for which it is remembered. During the republic times of Rome, the majority of the officials were elected. Also, citizens had more power than they had ever experienced before (Dilke 39). The Roman Republic Political Structure included: Popular Assemblies, The Aristocracy- known as the Senate, and the Magistracy (or elected officials) who controlled the affairs of the assemblies (â€œRomeâ€ 1).
The Magistracy was the highest branch of government in the Roman political structure, almost equivalent to the Emperor. Today the Magistracy would be viewed as the Executive branch of government (â€œRomeâ€ 1-2). This branch of government consisted of six offices, three being the most important: Consuls, Praetors, and Tribunes in order of importance (McManus 2). .
The office of Consul was regarded as being the most important, except for that of the Emperor (Davis 341). Because of the importance of the consulship, the office was divided between two individuals each year (â€œRomeâ€ 2). Also, the office of Consul was reserved for Senators or those who have served as Praetors, because of the extreme responsibility of this position (Patterson 10). The Praetors had one of the more important positions of the magistracy. In fact, it was a single step down form the Consulship (McManus 2). This office, which was exclusively for senators, was established to ease the case load of the Consuls. A maximum of eight Roman Senators could hold this position, yearly (Patterson 8). The Roman who held the office of Tribune had to be Plebeian, because the office was established to protect the plebeian interests.