Roman Republic Anonymous, Rome, after 211 BC. Æ As
Roman Republic Anonymous, Rome, after 211 BC. Æ As (36mm, 42.30g, 6h). Laureate head of Janus. R/ Prow of galley r. Crawford 56/2; RBW 200-2. Green patina, near VF
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization, led by the Roman people, beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. During this period, Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.
Roman society under the Republic was primarily a cultural mix of Latin and Etruscan societies, as well as of Sabine, Oscan, and Greek cultural elements, which is especially visible in the Roman Pantheon. Its political organization developed at around the same time direct democracy did in Ancient Greece, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, legislative, judicial, military, and religious powers. Even though a small number of powerful families (called gentes) monopolised the main magistracies, the Roman Republic is generally considered one of the earliest examples of representative democracy. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.