Comparison of the Roman Republic and Classical Athens Societies
Democracy in classical Athens was one of the most advanced forms of government established. Ancient Rome differed qualitatively from Greece due to the reasons for the formation of the state. The Roman Republic arose due to the plebeians’ struggle with the patricians for equating the plebs in rights with the aristocrats. Nevertheless, both the Roman Republic and classical Athens had similarities and differences in functioning.
The main similarities of the states were in the field of economics and the governmental organization. The highest power belonged to the People’s Assembly, which consisted of citizens (Lane 2018). Officials were chosen for a certain period from citizens, regardless of their nobility and wealth. The government protected the interests of a minority of the population. Classical Athens protected civil society, which benefited from the exploitation of slaves and allies (Lane 2018). The Roman Republic defended aristocrats, who enjoyed the main benefits from wars and the exploitation of slaves.
Nevertheless, states had differences in the economic and governing processes. In classical Athens, the entire civil collective participated in the administration – any citizen had the right to propose a law. Most positions were paid from the state treasury; the People’s Assembly could remove any citizen from the office (Tridimas 2017). In the Roman Republic, the influence of low-income citizens was limited; only aristocrats had the right to propose new laws (Appleton 2018). Nothing was paid for running the office; the People’s Assembly had no right to remove a citizen from the office.
Classical Athens was born and died divided: the Greeks did not have the specific qualities of character and the practicality of behavior that allowed the Romans to create a state. One can state that there was no unanimity among the Greeks (“Classical Greek Society,” n.d.). All these features played a significant role in the development and then decline of classical Athens; thus, to avoid the state’s deterioration, Greeks could unite to prevent the end of the republic.
The Roman Republic has successfully united diverse lands, but it required enormous expenditures for the army’s maintenance to fight with Germania. This led to economic problems: inflation rose, and the gap between rich and poor reached significant proportions while the labor force became scarce (“Fall of the Roman Empire,” n.d.). The Roman Republic had to reassess its economic and political structures. It could have looked for new partners in Africa to overcome the challenges of military battles and scarcity of resources.
Appleton, S. 2018. Rome’s Transition from Republic to Empire. National Geographic Society. Web.
Classical Greek Society. n.d. Khan Academy. Web.
Fall of the Roman Empire. n.d. Rome.info. Web.
Lane, Melissa. 2018. Ancient Political Philosophy. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.
Tridimas, G. 2017. Constitutional Choice in Ancient Athens: The Evolution of the Frequency of Decision Making. Constitutional Political Economy, 28, 209–230. Web.