Augustus and the Senate and his relationship with the freemen and the plebs

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Augustus and the Senate and his relationship with the freemen and the plebs
2014-06-10 09:52:34
Classics Augustus

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  1. What 3 factors influenced Augutsus' relationship with the Senate?
    • His own experiences with Julius Ceasar
    • His own conservative views
    • His need for help in the running of the empire
  2. What qualities did Augustus want to restore to the Senate
    • Dignity
    • Worthiness
    • Traditional desire
    • Competition (hence the 6 month consulships)
  3. Name 3 things the Senate could do under Augustus
    • They controlled the treasury
    • They administered the more peaceful provinces
    • They could vote honours to Augustus
  4. What did Augutsus share with the Senate and what did he not share?
    Work but not power
  5. How does Augustus tackle the problem of "tone" in the Senate
    He removed a large number of disreputable characters
  6. How does suetonius refer to the less salubrious members of the senate
    A "coarse and ungainly crowd"
  7. How many times does suetonius say Augustus revised the senatorial role
    Twice (although there is some dispute about this)
  8. How many senators does suetonius say there was
  9. Who had previous sorted out corruption in the Senate
  10. What are the "trappings of senatorial order" that 50 men who resigned were able to keep
    They got to keep the stripe on their toga and watch public shows from the orchestra seats
  11. How many senators did Augutsus reduce the Senate to
    600 and so reversed sulla's lex annalis which had increased it to 1000
  12. What does suetonius tell us about augustus and the sons of senators
    • When they came of age they were able to attend Senate meetings
    • Got to wear the tunic with the broad purple stripe
    • They should familiarise themselves with administration
  13. Which class did Augustus permit to join the Senate
    The equites
  14. What was the monetary qualification laid down by suetonius for entry into the Senate
    1.2 million secertes
  15. How did augustus help some senators without capital remain within the class - quote
    "he made up the deficit from the privy purse"
  16. What does suetonius tell us senators did before taking their places
    Had to offer wine and incense
  17. How does Augustus refer to the plebs according to suetonius
    "a pack of shameless rascals"
  18. What else does Augustus do for the plebs
    • The building program (provided employment)
    • He ensured their loyalty as he gave himself the tribunician power (he spoke for them)
  19. Name 2 advantages of the status of freedmen in augustan rome
    • They got quasi citizenship rights and their sons got the full citizenship
    • They could make money
  20. Name 2 disadvantages of the status of freedmen in augustan rome
    • There was a tax on freedom (ie upon their release)
    • Augustus passed legislation to make it harder to free slaves
  21. What did Augutsus do about non-attendance of senators
    He increased the fines and forbade them from leaving Italy without permission
  22. Instead of taking it in turns to talk how were they nominated to speak
    Augustus chose them at random
  23. How many sessions of the senate a month were there according to suetonius
  24. Who prepared business to be submitted to the Senate
  25. What extra things did ex consuls do under Augustus
    • They had Proconsulships in the provinces
    • They directed administrative boards
  26. How long did Augutsus reduce the length of consulship to
    • 6 months in 5BCE
    • He also opened it up to new men : they would then think kindly of him and support him
  27. What extra things did preators do under Augustus
    • There were 2 managing the state treasury
    • 3 ex preators were in charge of the military treasury
    • They took over from the aediles in organising games and festivals
    • They were also still in charge of urban jurisdiction
  28. What did the aediles lose under Augustus which the queastors then gained
    • 22BCE lost control of the games and festivals (queastors didn't gain this though the preators did)
    • 22BCE lost control of the corn supply
    • 11BCE water supply
    • AD 6 fire control
  29. What became of the role of the tribune under Augustus
    • Became pointless / ceased to be of importance
    • Augustus wanted all the power and so they lost the power to veto
  30. In helping the equites by giving them extra duties what did Augustus create
    The civil service
  31. What did equestrians have to do before embarking in an administrative career
    Military service
  32. Qualifications for membership of the equestrian order
    • Be of honorable character
    • Have a census rating of at least 400,000
    • Be approved by augustus
  33. What did augustus do sort out the plebs
    Cash donations and he provided grain from his own granary
  34. What did membership of the equestrian order allow men to do/have
    • To sir on the juries
    • Have a toga with a narrow purple stripe
    • Gold ring
  35. Where in the res gestae does augustus mention his involvement with the plebs
    Paragraph 15
  36. What does suetonius say Augustus made the donations for
    It wasn't to make himself popular but to improve public health
  37. What did Augutsus learn from Caesar's experience with the senate
    • Ceasar (towards the end) had shown quite open disdain for the senate and had blocked the ambitions of prominent men by holding so many top positions himself
    • Augustus realised that the traditional desires of members of the senatorial order to compete had to be allowed
  38. What roles and powers did the senate retain under Augustus
    • Retained control of the treasury
    • Administered the more peaceful provinces
    • Still held the chief military positions
    • Voted honours to Augustus
  39. How did the senators help with the running of the empire
    They helped by dividing legislative, executive and judiciary functions between them
  40. Main point on Augustus and the senate
    • Augustus alone had control of the armed forces and he was able to influence most areas of administration that were controlled by the senate anyway
    • Augustus was only pseudo traditional: He still had all the power
  41. Why was the queastorship important
    It provided an opportunity for young members of the senatorial order to gain experience in administration since 6 queastors served in the provinces, whilst the rest assisted Augustus himself
  42. How many times was he consul and when
    • 13 times, as he states in the RG
    • 43, 33, 31-23, 5 and 2 BCE
  43. What was he granted in 23
    Granted tribunician power for life without a colleage unless he chose to
  44. What did tribunician powers give Augustus
    • Gave him the right to legislate in the assembly, to summon the senate and put motions to it
    • He could veto
    • He could officially help citizens who were suppressed by magistrates
    • These tribunician potestas came to be regarded as the legal basis of his power and this is confirmed in para 10 RG
  45. 22-19 BCE
    • He was offered and refused the dictatorship and the consulship for life, as in paragraph 5
    • It was directly related to the corn shortage as when he was consul he had issued corn at hid own cost and the people had become agitated that this was no longer an occurrence
    • The senate was pretty much forced to offer the positon
  46. RG quote on Augustus giving up his powers in 27
    "I transferred the republic from my power to the dominion of the senate and the people of Rome" (34)
  47. What were Augustus' real powers
    • Maius Imperium and pro consular imperium
    • But these are not emphasised in the res gestae whilst his tribunician powers are
    • He wanted to be seen to adhere to tradition and not be a dictator
  48. What did the senate have no control over
    • Foreign affairs, all they did was occasionally sign stuff
    • Augustus had the real power to negotiate with client kings and sign treaties
  49. Comparison of the minting of coins
    • The senate had the right to mint copper and bronze coins
    • Only augustus had the authority to mint gold and silver coins
  50. The senate and the provinces...
    • They controlled the more peaceful provinces
    • But augustus could still interfere by virtue of his maius imperium
  51. What the major problem for plebs
    • Food shortages
    • During Augustus' time about two thirds of the urban plebs were recipients of the grain dole
  52. What do Augustus' donations of grain coincide with
    Important events in his career such as the introduction of his "sons" to the senate