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date: 12 July 2020

senate 

Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World
Author(s):
John RobertsJohn Roberts

In the time of the Gracchi (c.133–121 bc) the senate was a body of c.300 rich men of aristocratic birth, most of them ex‐magistrates. Although the sources tend to assume that this state of affairs had always existed, it was in fact the product of historical development and change. Since in the early republic there were very few magistrates, and iteration of office was common, it follows that there was a time when either most senators had never held a magistracy, or their number was considerably less than 300. Probably both conclusions are true for the 5th cent.... ...

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