Government: Voting in Ancient Rome


Voting in Ancient Rome was very different when compared to modern day voting. In Ancient Rome, male citizens were allowed to vote when they became adults. Non-Roman citizens were not allowed to vote, keeping true to the idea of having Romans running and ruling Ancient Rome. Women and slaves were not allowed to vote in Ancient Rome and had no political rights. Additionally, a voter had to own land to have a say in Ancient Roman Society. As time went on, citizens and voting rights varied; however women were never allowed to participate in voting, but freed slaves could attain citizenship in some cases and vote.

Voting was done by Ancient Romans who elected the magistrates. These magistrates made the laws of Ancient Rome and made major decisions. The Ancient Romans prided themselves on being a free republic. This is before the Empire where emperors took power.

Once the first emperor of Ancient Rome had died, voting had disappeared. After the emperor Augustus died, power switched to the imperial palace. Prior to his death, power was in the Republican forum. It was presumed that after the emperor’s death, power would be carried on by his heirs. This imperial government structure would be carried out for the next four centuries.

To read more on Ancient Roman voting and Civic Duty, click the link below.

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