Why Romans and not the Greeks Rule the World
An ancient Greek politician, Polybius, argues in “Why Romans and not the Greeks Governs the World” that the Romans were so well off during their time because of the perfect government they created by combining a kingship, an aristocracy, and a democracy. He argues that, separately, the three governments all had certain strengths, but all sooner or later fell. Polybius states that separately “regular” governments sooner or later fall either to disorder or tyranny. In an effort the avoid a cycle the Greeks faced of greatness followed by a rapid decline, the Romans sought to create a perfect constitution with the best aspects of the three other governments and at the same time created an effective form of checks and balances.
The reason why having a combination of different governments was because it prevented a select few to have an overwhelming amount of power. The government the Romans where so successful with was a mixture of a monarchy (one key ruler), an aristocracy (rule by few privileged individuals), and a democracy (rule by the people). The Consuls (monarchs) were there to make the important decisions and exercised their power over public affairs. The Senate (aristocracy) was there to settle internal civil disputes and settle foreign conflicts. The people (democracy) were there to decide what course the country would decide to take and what laws reflect the views of the country as a whole. Together, these three “branches” kept each other in check and one couldn’t do anything without the consent of the others. The ending result was union and balance in which every member of society had an important role I deciding the course of the country.
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