The History And Characteristics Of The Roman Tribune

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A Roman tribune can be defined as, “An officer or magistrate chosen by the people, to

protect them from the oppression of the patricians, or nobles, and to defend their liberties against

any attempts that might be made upon them by the senate and consuls.”(Alchin). The Roman

tribune were distinguished by their clothing, ranking, and their importance to society in ancient

history. The Roman tribune was a powerful and important group in society. They were also

known as military tribunes.

“The Roman tribunes were distinguished by their dress from the common soldier.” (Alchin).

They had similar clothing and equipment, but it appears as if the higher ranked tribunes had

more armor and “were more decorated” (Alchin). The Roman tribunes
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“These breastplates were often molded to form

‘anatomical’ cuirasses or breastplates. 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.” (Alchin). They wore

different colors to the skirt, usually red was worn. They wore different sizes of cloaks. “The

large rectangular cloak was called the paludamentum and was typically pinned or fixed to the

right shoulder, so as not to impede the movement of the right arm.” (Alchin). “Putting this on,

was a ceremonial act when setting out for war.” (Alchin).

The Roman tribune were ranked and identified in different titles. The lowest rank was the

“Primus Pilus.” (Alchin). “These were six assistants to a legion (“A military unit of the ancient

Roman army made up of infantry with supporting cavalry, numbering some three to six thousand

men”) commander, usually a young senator learning the basics for his career.” (Alchin). Next in

rank would be “Tribune Cohortis: Commander of a Cohort military unit.” ( The last

in rank, also the highest rank would be “Tribunus Cohortis Urbanae, which is the urban cohort

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These characteristics are not the best to be identified as when you are going to rule

over Rome. Since Marullus and Flavius needed to do what was best for Rome, they worried

about Caesar. Caesar isn 't exactly who they wanted to take over Rome.

The people of Rome who didn’t appreciate Caesar had to be worried. The first reason to

be worried about Caesar would be because he is heartless. In Act one , Scene two, we find more

about Caesar and who he really is. Caesar has forgotten the people who cared for him and had

even saved his life. If Caesar can’t care for his close friends and loved ones, he surely would not

care for the people in Rome. Many could starve. Many could die. I would assume Caesar would

be uncaring towards them. Until he himself is living in poverty, there might be a change. This is

a possibility of why Marullus and Flavius are worried about Caesar taking over Rome.

Marullus and Flavius could be worried about Caesar having people killed. Caesar should

know he is disliked by some. He killed Pompey. “Caesar wants to be surrounded by people who

he can trust and aren’t watching him, or planning against him.” (Caesar). If he wanted to, he

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