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Extra resources for A Short History of Europe: From the Greeks and Romans to the Present Day

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Accordingly the western imperial insignia were sent to the eastern Emperor, Zeno, who was recognized as the sole ruler of 'the one and indivisible Empire'. 22 The Empire was theoretically one again, but in fact this was not to be. Truth to say, the end of the western Roman Empire was an event that was hardly noticed. There was no sudden collapse of Roman resistance against external barbarians. The barbarians had long Rome: Republic and Empire 31 been providing the army ~ Alaric's main opponent in the Balkans and Italy had been Stilicho, a Vandal (the Vandals were a Germanic tribe then in today's Hungary), so why should they not assume the real authority as well?

It was from the ranks of the Senate that the Republic's chief magistrates or executive officers, Consuls and Praetors, were chosen. There were two Consuls, chosen annually, who administered the government by joint decision and commanded the armies. The Praetors administered justice. The Senate was not, however, a legislative body. What it did do was to give advice to the Consuls and Praetors, advice which was not lighdy to be disregarded. There were also a number of popular assemblies. One, the Comitia Centuriata, the people organised in army units, actually elected the Consuls; another, the Comitia Tributa, was the people organised by areas of domicile and would later develop into the Assembly of the People.

Its . cultur al aXIs. 12 firom ch angmg It was in 27Bc that the Senate conferred on Octavian the title of Augustus by which he is better known. For someone who was to be the first Roman emperor Augustus was careful to have himself seen merely as the 'first citizen' of the state, seeking to maintain republican institutions and ensuring that the powers that he received were approved by them. But these powers were considerable and laid the foundation for the change not only to imperial but even to divine status.

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