Faculty Advisor

Barry, William

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2011


The Late Roman Republic was a period of internal violence and social instability. In response to these crises, the Senate repeatedly passed the senatus consultum ultimum, the ultimate decree of the Senate. This decree empowered magistrates to protect the state through extralegal powers. This decree manifested itself during this period as a method to preserve the power of the traditional elite of the Roman Senate through casting social, political and economic problems as military threats, justifying violent resolution. Thus, the senatus consultum ultimum is a significant aspect of Late Republican politics and serves as a case-study for the symptoms of the decline of the Roman Republic.


University of Puget Sound