First-century BC Rome controlled the Mediterranean. This empire was achieved by a militaristic citizen body and an honour-seeking ruling class. A succession of offices qualified a man to sit in the Senate, govern territories, command armies. A politician sought status conferred by the electorate. Magistrates formed the executive in Rome and in the provinces. The Senate acted as an advisory council and a pool of executives. The Roman People, the citizen body, was theoretically sovereign. Men voted in elections and on bills. Women were citizens, though they could not vote or stand for office or serve in the army. In private law, paternal power was important. Marriages between two citizens were intended for the production of children and founded on consent. An upper-class woman would hold her own property, could inherit, and divorce, and remarry. As a group, upper-class women were visible. Like men, they sought reputation.
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