Sunday, March 4, 2012

58. The Roman Republic

After the death of Romulus
Six more kings came
Numa, who spoke to the gods.
Tullus, who saw the destruction of Alba Longa.
Ancus, who wrote down religion and ceremonies.
New gods were created.
Zeus became Jupiter.
Hera became Juno.
Athena became Minerva.
Ares became Mars.
Poseidon became Neptune.
Hades became Pluto.
So many others changed their names
New ones were added
From old Latium’s religion.
Lucius, who increased the senate.
Servius, who expanded the vote.
Tarquinius, who terrorized the people
Becoming a tyrant.
The rape and death of Lucretia
Was the last straw.
The tyrant was deposed
The government overthrown
By the faithful women of Rome.
Slowly they settled into a republic
As the social elite saw fit.
Orders struggled for two centuries and five decades
To get their government right.
Patricians were the elite.
Plebeians were on the bottom
But wanted their say.
For years both groups brought turmoil to their beloved city
Until an agreement was made.
The plebeians were granted assembly.
Then Twelve Tables were made
As people climbed the ladder of offices to the consulship.
The senate was reinstated
As judges decided on matters of the state.
Each piece of the republic fell into place
Balancing out government and freedom
Like intricate working cogs of a machine
If one failed
The rest went with it.

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