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During the republic, Roman government
was a well balanced consitution

Well balanced
Polybius describes in his Histories (6.15) the Roman government as:
Regal, aristocratic and democratic.

Regal
It was regal because the state is led by two consuls with absolute power. They were elected every year for one year. Their main task was to levy and command the Roman army.
Polybius (6.12):

When the consuls, invested with the power that has been mentioned, lead the armies into the field, though they seem, indeed, to hold such absolute authority as is sufficient for all purposes, yet are they in truth so dependent both on the senate and the people, that without their assistance they are by no means able to accomplish any design.

Aristocratical
The Roman government was >aristocratical because it was the senate that decided which funds, in money or goods were assigned to which consul. Polybius (6.13):

To the senate belongs, in the first place, the sole care and management of the public money. For all returns that are brought into the treasury, as well as all the payments that are issued from it, are directed by their orders.

Stability
Since the members of the senate were not elected, but  in principle appointed for life, the senate guaranteed  the  stability  of the government  of  Rome. The censor though had the power to exclude someone from the senate for misconduct.

Democratic
The Roman government was democratic because the public offices were held by elected men. Polybius (6.14):

To the people belongs the power of approving or rejecting laws and, which is still of greater importance, peace and war are likewise fixed by their deliberations. When any alliance is concluded, any war ended, or treaty made; to them the conditions are referred, and by them either annulled or ratified.

Indeed after the first Punic war, the people rejected the peace treaty because the terms weren't  favorable enough  for Rome.

Camous Martius
Model of the Campus Martius in Augustan time

The Comitia
Centuriata assembled at the Campus Martius to vote.
The voting system was not one man one vote. The population was divided into classes  by the taxing system based upon property, that was said to have been introduced by Servius Tullius. These classes had been divided into centuries.

In the third century this system had evolved to: 193 centuries.
The first class held 80 centuries + 18 for the knights and 2 for the engeniers
The second, third and fourth class each had 20 centuries
The fifth class 30 + 2 for the hornblowers
The proletariens were all squeezed into a single century
Every century had one vote. So only if there was disagreement in the first class, the second class could come to to vote, and so on.  Not too democratic though!! See also Dionysius of HalicarnassusDion(7.59)

Magistrates
Apart from the consuls the government consisted of other elected Roman magistrates. Most of them also for the term of one year. The militairy character of the Roman society is emphasized by the rule that one could only opt for a public function after having served at least ten campains in the Roman army.

Imperial times
In the imperial period nothing changed much, theoretically. The same structure remained, but of course the emperor ruled.


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