When Senators are Silent

When The 500 Year Old Roman Republic Became an Empire

“He had absolute control of the provinces, too, and power to appoint the provincial governors-general, together with the command of the armies and the right of levying troops and of making peace or war. In Rome he was voted the life-office of People’s Protector, which secured him against all interference with his authority, gave him the power of vetoing the decisions of other office-holders and carried with it the inviolability of his person…

“He also had the Censorship, which gave him authority over the two leading social orders, those of Senators and Knights…

“He had control of the Public Treasury: he was supposed to render periodic accounts, but nobody was ever bold enough to demand an audit…

“…his influence on the Senate was such that they voted whatever he suggested to them–the control of public finances, the control of social behavior, and inviolacy of person…

“The Senate were anxious to vote him whatever title he would accept, short of King…”

Robert Graves, I, CLAUDIUS, (Vintage Intl., 1989) p. 26.

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