Roman Tribunes Essay

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A Roman tribune is defined as a Roman official whose task was to protect people against

oppression. The word tribune comes from the Latin word Tribunes, which means a person who

upholds or defends the rights of the people. Roman tribunes came about in the fifth century when

the republicans were controlled by patricians, who were the rich people, which caused problems

with the plebeians, who were the poor people. In 490, these two groups came together and

demanded political justice and rights. From that point on, the rebellion was called the plebs


They created an act called the 'anti-magistracy ' of the tribunes. Its purpose was to defend

the rights of the non-patricians. The tribunes were also chairmen of the people
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These were usually young

men in their late twenties, who were a part of the Roman military (Lendering).

The Roman tribunes were distinguished by their dress from the other soldiers. Many

Tribunes were drawn from the upper social class. They wore the same basic equipment, though

the higher ranks had heavier armor. Their breastplate was defensive armor for the torso, worn

over a cloth, leather, or padded vest. The lower edge of the breastplate was curved and had one

or more rows of round or long tongue-shaped lappets which formed a skirt. There may have been

differences in the color of certain garments, for example, the garment of a Roman Tribune was

usually red. This large rectangular cloak was called the paludamentum and was usually pinned to

the right shoulder. The paludamentum was often draped or wrapped around the left arm. Putting

on the paludamentum was a ceremonial act on setting out for war (Roman Tribune).

Ultimately, the purpose of having a tribune was to have someone who represented their

order against any mistreatment by the consuls or the Senate. The main responsibility of a
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Flavius said this about Caesar which means if they take away Caesar’s support, he will have to

come back down to earth with everyone else (Crowther). If that doesn’t happen, his ego will be

too high and keep the rest of them being afraid of him. He is saying if they get the people to

realize how bad of a person Caesar is, then he will come back down with the rest of them and

stop thinking he is superior. It will be hard to dethrone Caesar because he has a great amount of

support, but once he is off the throne, the people will just follow the next strongest leader.

Flavius and Marullus are not just worried about Caesar, but also at how the citizens of

Rome celebrate his return. The Tribunes disapproved the people for encouraging Caesar when

they were just recently supporting Pompey. The people do not care for politics, but it seems like

they just cheer on whoever happens to be winning. The Roman republic means little to nothing

to them, and this makes the two tribunes worried. In my opinion, Flavius and Marullus are

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