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Encyclopedia > Optimates

Optimates ('Good Men') were the aristocratic faction of the later Roman Republic. They wished to limit the power of the popular assemblies and the Tribunes of the Plebs, and to extend the power to the Senate, which was viewed as more stable and more dedicated to the well-being of Rome. In particular, they were concerned with the the rise of individual generals who, using the tribunate, the assemblies, and the brute force of their own soldiers could overpower the Senate iteslf. See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ... The Roman Republic (Latin: Res Publica Romanorum) vested formal governmental powers in four separate peoples assemblies — the Comitia Curiata, the Comitia Centuriata, the Comitia Tributa, and the Concilium Plebis. ... The Roman office of tribune of the people (tribunus plebis) was established in 494 BC, about 15 years after the foundation of the Roman Republic in 509. ... The Roman Senate (Latin, Senatus) was a deliberative body which was important in the government of both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. ...


The optimates favored the nobiles (noble families) and opposed the ascension of 'new men' (plebeians, usually provincials, whose family had no former political experience) into Roman politics. Ironically, Cicero, perhaps the best known optimate, was himself a 'Novus Homo' (new man), being the first in his family to enter the Senate. Nobiles Nobles. ... In Ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of Roman citizens, distinct from the privileged class of the patricians. ... Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA: ;) (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was an orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin orator and prose stylist. ...


In addition to their political aims, the optimates opposed the extension of Roman citizenship. They generally favored high interest rates, opposed the expansion of Hellenistic culture into Roman society, and worked hard to provide land for discharged soldiers (since they believed that happy soldiers were less likely to rise up in support of rebelling generals). The term Hellenistic (established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen) in the history of the ancient world is used to refer to the shift from a culture dominated by ethnic Greeks, however scattered geographically, to a culture dominated by Greek-speakers of whatever ethnicity, and from the political dominance...


The optimate cause reached its peak under the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (81 BC79 BC). During his reign, the Assemblies were stripped of nearly all power, the Senate membership was raised from 300 to 600, thousands of soldiers were settled in northern Italy, and an equally large number of populares were executed via proscription lists. However, after Sulla's resignation and subsequent death, many of their policies were gradually reversed. Dictator was a political office of the Roman Republic. ... This page is about the Roman dictator Sulla, for the Brythonic goddess sometimes called Sulla, see Sul. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC - 80s BC - 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC Years: 86 BC 85 BC 84 BC 83 BC 82 BC - 81 BC - 80 BC 79 BC 78... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC - 70s BC - 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC Years: 84 BC 83 BC 82 BC 81 BC 80 BC - 79 BC - 78 BC 77 BC 76... Populares (Favoring the people, singular popularis) were aristocratic leaders in the late Roman Republic who tended to use the peoples assemblies in an effort to break the stranglehold of the nobiles and optimates on political power. ... Proscription (French: proscriptio) is the public identification and official condemnation of enemies of the state. ...


Besides Cicero and Sulla, notable optimates included Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger, Titus Annius Milo, Marcus Junius Brutus and (generally excluding his Triumvirate), Lucius Appuleius Saturninus and Pompey. Marcus Porcius Cato (Latin: M·PORCIVS·M·F·CATO¹) (234 BC, Tusculum — 149 BC) was a Roman statesman, surnamed The Censor, Sapiens, Priscus, or Major (the Elder), to distinguish him from Cato the Younger (his great-grandson). ... Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis (95 BC–46 BC), known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather Cato the Elder, was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy. ... Titus Annius Milo Papianus was a Roman political agitator, the son of C. Papius Celsus, but adopted by his mothers father, T. Annius Luscus. ... Marcus Junius Brutus. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, Roman demagogue. ... Marble bust of Pompey the Great For the ancient Roman city, see Pompeii. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Optimates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (324 words)
The optimates favored the nobiles (noble families) and opposed the ascension of 'new men' (plebeians, usually provincials, whose family had no former political experience) into Roman politics.
The optimate cause reached its peak under the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (81 BC–79 BC).
Besides Cicero and Sulla, notable optimates included Cato the Elder and Cato the Younger, Titus Annius Milo, Marcus Junius Brutus and (generally excluding his Triumvirate), Lucius Appuleius Saturninus and Pompey.
Roman civiliation, Roman history (4472 words)
Many of their number, however, were simply interested in preserving the power the constitution afforded members of their class and exploiting the popularity their "conservative" positions achieved to obtain a position of political superiority over other members of the elite.
Optimates considered his acquittal to be the legal vindication of the senatus consultus ultimum.
These measures were very unpopular with the optimates and small scale riots ensued when they attempted to have their tribunes veto the laws.
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