Political Legitimacy In Ancient Rome

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Political legitimacy holds varying criteria among different cultures. Political legitimacy essential is the acceptance of authority by the citizens of the government; without it there can be no functioning government, as the citizens will not obey the rulers. While trying to analyze the components that make up political legitimacy we have to first take into account the type of government a certain culture has. Only then can we compare the differences regarding political legitimacy each culture holds. The region of Greece specifically Athens having a direct democracy influenced its political legitimacy as legitimacy was decided by the Athenian citizens. Rome however was first a republic and then an empire oddly enough though to hold political…show more content…
This however was a false illusion used during the Principate to make the emperors the legitimate rulers. They forced the senate to pass a senatus consultum authorizing the consuls to nominate a dictator, in order to retain legitimacy and cultural tradition. By using the senatus consultum it appeared as if the senate chose him as the true protector of Rome. Preventing the Roman citizens from perceiving the dictator as a tyrant. Consequently it is apparent that the Roman Senate still held great significance even though they no longer held power. Octavius was given the name Augustus meaning the venerable by the Roman Senate3. This respect and need for the senate branches from the Roman’s disdain for kings. They are a power check for tyrants. Even though the consul during wartime held tremendous power there were limitations to prevent the abuse of power such as two consuls with equal power to counterbalance each other and one year terms to prevent an extended period of a man sitting as consul. Augustus justified his position by stating his war against Marc Anthony was to protect the republic4. This ideal of protecting the republic granted Augustus legitimacy as he was upholding Roman virtue of pietas by defending the republic from internal

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