chapter  XV
18 Pages

Roman Policy and the Government

The real government of Rome during the second century was the Senate, the instrument of the nobility, whose power rested on custom and not on law. We must fi rst consider what policy this governing authority pursued in home affairs, towards the old Confederacy; and secondly, its foreign policy and provincial administration. Then we must examine the basis of the power of this senatorial oligarchy, its control of all branches of public life, the cliques into which it was divided, and the tendencies which these represented.