Ancient History: Rome : Transition to Republicanism

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Rome

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Transition To Republicanism

In 509 BCE, the Romans overthrew rule by the _____________, marking the start of their new republic.

Possible Answers:

Visigoths

Vandals

Carthaginians

Etruscans

Greeks

Correct answer:

Etruscans

Explanation:

The Romans overthrew rule by the Etruscans during the Roman-Estruscan Wars. This victory was monumental in the formulation of the Roman Republic. The Etruscans supported the deposed king Lucius Tarquinus Superbus with a military showing, but were thoroughly defeated by Roman Republic forces at the Battle of Silva Arsia. The other answers are incorrect because these groups posed threats at later times in Roman history.

Example Question #2 : Transition To Republicanism

The plebeian tribunes first gained political power through the ability to __________.

Possible Answers:

veto the decisions of consuls and magistrates

appoint dictators

organize religious festivals

declare war

amend the constitution

Correct answer:

veto the decisions of consuls and magistrates

Explanation:

Plebeian tribunes were the primary representation of the common people of Rome in the government of the Roman Republic. Plebeian tribunes were appointed to represent the interests of the plebeian class and wielded a considerable amount of political power, particularly towards the end of the history of the Roman Republic. The most significant, and first, political power of the plebeian tribunes was the ability to veto decisions made by consuls and magistrates. This was a significant check that the plebeians had on the power of the patricians.

Example Question #3 : Transition To Republicanism

Which of these statements about consuls in the Roman Republic is inaccurate?

Possible Answers:

They were most likely to be patricians.

They had dictatorial levels of power.

Two consuls were appointed at one time.

They were elected for one-year terms.

They led the armies of the Roman Republic.

Correct answer:

They had dictatorial levels of power.

Explanation:

Consuls were the highest elected officials in the Roman Republic. Two consuls were appointed at one time to serve concurrently for terms of one year. They had numerous responsibilities, including leading the armies of the Roman Republic in times of war. They were more likely to be patricians (noblemen) than plebeians. They did not, however, generally have dictatorial levels of power. Rome sometimes did require temporary dictators, in times of war or chaos, but these dictators were distinct from consuls.

Example Question #4 : Transition To Republicanism

The Tribune of the Plebs was created __________.

Possible Answers:

shortly before the decline of the Roman Republic

in the early years of the Roman Republic

after centuries of struggle between the patricians and the plebeians

during the waning years of the Roman monarchy

after the defeat of Carthage in the Second Punic War

Correct answer:

in the early years of the Roman Republic

Explanation:

The Tribune of the Plebs was created in the early years of the Roman Republic, around 495 BCE. It was the result of class tensions between the ruling patricians and the relatively powerless plebeians. These class tensions would continue for at least another two centuries (and essentially throughout the entire history of the Roman Republic), but the Tribune of the Plebs was in existence for almost all of these struggles. The Tribune of the Plebs was capable of taking legislative action, but initially only the plebeians were obligated to follow these “plebiscites.”

Example Question #5 : Transition To Republicanism

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus are renowned for their attempts to __________.

Possible Answers:

improve the lives of poor plebeians in the Roman Republic

provide the city of Rome with an adequate sewage system

undermine the dictatorship of Julius Caesar

undermine the dictatorship of Octavian and Mark Antony

assassinate Hannibal during the Second Punic War

Correct answer:

improve the lives of poor plebeians in the Roman Republic

Explanation:

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were brothers who served as plebeian tribunes in the second century BCE. They were both populares, which means they achieved political power through the support of the common people and the assemblies. They are both remembered for their attempts to improve the lives of poor plebeians in the Roman Republic. Tiberius tried to accomplish this by taking land away from the richest members of society and redistributing it to the poor. Gaius went even further than his brother in his attempted reforms, but his actions eventually led to the outbreak of the Social War and civil war in the Roman Republic.

Example Question #6 : Transition To Republicanism

The Conflict of Orders was __________.

Possible Answers:

a struggle between competing pagan religions in the Roman Republic

a slave revolt that took place in the waning years of the Roman Republic

a prolonged war between Carthage, the Roman Republic, and Magna Graecia

a slave revolt that took place in the nascent years of the Roman Republic

a class struggle between the patricians and the plebeians

Correct answer:

a class struggle between the patricians and the plebeians

Explanation:

The Conflict of Orders is the name given to a prolonged class struggle between the "patricians" (aristocrats) and plebeians (common people) in the Roman Republic. It began in the early years of the Roman Republic when the plebeians, feeling excluded from the political process and persecuted, rebelled against the authority of the patricians. Over a period of time lasting more than a century, the plebeians would slowly gain more and more rights for themselves and eventually gained access to political participation and government.

Example Question #7 : Transition To Republicanism

The Centuriate Assembly was __________.

Possible Answers:

disbanded by the Marian Reforms

politically impotent throughout most of the history of the Roman Republic

disbanded after the decline of the Roman monarchy

exclusively composed of former legionaries and generals

the most powerful assembly for most of the history of the Roman Republic

Correct answer:

the most powerful assembly for most of the history of the Roman Republic

Explanation:

The Centuriate Assembly was one of the governing bodies of the Roman Republic. The Centuriate Assembly is so named because it divided the Roman population into one hundred groups, each with their own representative in the assembly. The Centuriate Assembly was the most powerful assembly for most of the history of the Roman Republic. The Centuriate Assembly was responsible for declaring war and was the only governing body which could elect magistrates like praetors, consuls, and quaestors.

Example Question #8 : Transition To Republicanism

The Tribal Assembly was comprised of __________.

Possible Answers:

praetors, proconsuls, and tribunes

all barbarian people under the control of the Roman Republic

a small number of urban tribes and a large number of rural tribes

a large number of urban tribes and a small number of rural tribes

all non-citizens under the control of the Roman Republic

Correct answer:

a small number of urban tribes and a large number of rural tribes

Explanation:

The Tribal Assembly was one of the democratic governing bodies of the Roman Republic. It was comprised of a small number of urban “tribes” and a large number of rural “tribes.” These “tribes” were groups of citizens organized on the basis of where they lived. The Tribal Assembly had the power to vote on certain legislative issues, appoint lower ranking magistrates, and try certain judicial cases.

Example Question #9 : Transition To Republicanism

Which of these best fits this description: A legislative resolution passed by a specific governing body of the Roman Republic?

Possible Answers:

imperium

praetor

plebiscite

interregnum

cursus honorum

Correct answer:

plebiscite

Explanation:

A plebiscite was a law enacted by the Council of Plebeians in the Roman Republic. Generally, the law applied only to common people — the plebeians — and was not applicable to the aristocratic class, the patricians.

Example Question #10 : Transition To Republicanism

Which of these best matches this description: an appointed official chosen to carry out administrative duties in the Roman Republic?

Possible Answers:

magistrate

proconsul

patrician

plebeian

legionnaire

Correct answer:

magistrate

Explanation:

Magistrates were elected or appointed officials in the Roman Republic, who were chosen to carry out specific functions of the Roman government. Examples of magistrates in the Roman Republic include censors, quaestors, praetors, aediles, and consuls.

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