The Romans' Struggle Of Orders

The Romans' Struggle Of Orders

The clash between the social classes in Rome erupted into a historical divide.
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The Struggle of Orders was a social conflict between the Roman aristocracy (patricians) and the Roman commoners (plebeians). The clash between social classes began due to the plebeians' desire to have greater political representation in government and protection from avaricious aristocrats. The problem stemmed from economic troubles the commoners faced as wheat farmers. Wheat farming on the same land every year led to the depletion of soil nutrients, and thus, the farmers had to move to new land to replant the crops in fresh soil until eventually, the soil worsened over time. The farmers' income sharply declined over a short period of time whereas Rome as a whole was still experiencing a population boom — hence the disparity in population size and lack of resources threw the plebeians into a panic. Over time, the farmers borrowed money from the patricians to continue producing enough food to last until the next planting season, but the dying nature of farm work prevented the commoners from paying back their debts. The result was that nearly all the farmers of Rome were in debt to the Roman aristocracy.

The patricians chose to regain their wealth by condemning the plebeians into “nexum” — debt slavery.

Commoners were appalled by the punishment they’d have to pay for their debts, so they gave careful thought to the circumstances Rome was in before making their next move. In the midst of the Struggle of Orders, Rome was also preoccupied in a conflict of sorts with their neighbors, the Etruscans. The patricians required the protection of the commoners who not only labored as farmers but also served as the backbone of the Roman army. The plebeian foot soldiers realized the physical power they held in their hands and chose to walk away from the problem — literally. The foot soldiers marched outside of Rome, refused to shield the aristocrats and demanded political and economic reformation in exchange for Rome’s protection. The strike terrified the vulnerable patricians who immediately agreed to the plebeians’ request. Thus, began Rome’s reform.

The Struggle of Order continued well into the 400s as the commoner class fought and won numerous victories in the tussle for legislative equality between the social classes.

For instance, in 471 B.C.E., the plebeians attained their very own assembly which issued regulations pertaining only to the lower class. The law, in itself, was still unknown to the majority of the commoners who understood that they would need to grasp the workings of the government and its judicial system if the commoner class were to obtain any rights. Consequently, the laws were written down onto 12 tablets in 449 B.C.E. which lessened the aristocrats’ control over legal matters. Now, in court cases, the accuser would have to cite which statue they were accusing the defendant by, and the accused would have the right to know. A lawyer was still required in order to navigate the legal system, but this systematic move ensured the protection of the plebeian rights in court.

Yet another issue the plebeians faced was their exclusion from the Roman Senate.

In response, an association known as the office of tribune was established with the legislative branch of Rome. The tribune office was entrusted with the power to veto any legislation the senate declared that would hurt the commoner class in any way. The office was also given the power to call the senate to order and allow plebeians to meet with the tribunes at any given time to express complaints. Although the tribune office lacked any legislative power itself, this aspect was later reformed as well. Furthermore, despite the fact that the tribunes were part of the wealthiest class the plebeians had, they were unable to run as senators.

To be a senator, the individual would have to be a member of the upper class — an impossible occurrence for plebeians because the law did not permit commoners to intermarry with patricians. The law was changed, but social prejudice further encouraged legislation to rule that plebeians who had married into the upper class could not serve as senators. The year 367 B.C.E. brought another victory for the commoner class. Chief magistrates who were originally composed of individuals from the upper class now required at least one of their members to be a commoner. The following years produced more councils governed by plebeians. Finally, in 267 B.C.E., the ultimate triumph of the lower class was achieved through the Lex Hortensia, which acknowledged all Romans — plebeian or patrician — equal under the law.

All rulings issued by the plebeian assembly would now hold power over both the lower and upper class.

It became the new elite governing force which marked the end of the Struggle of Orders as Rome became a unified force. Rome’s social unionization strengthened their power in their conflict against the Italian peninsula. Rome met the series of external threats as the prevailing victor. The Samnian and Oskan folk both eventually came under the rule of Rome, and the alliances gave Rome a greater hold on the lands around them. The Romans’ series of victories were brought to a halt by the Greeks, but the Greeks — having faced a severe loss of men and supplies — chose to go back home rather than conquer the defeated force.

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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Saying "No" Is OK

It is okay to put yourself first and do what's best for you

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It's that time of year again when your days are filled with nothing but class, work, assignments, clubs, extracurricular activities and much more. Your time and brain are going in every possible direction. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if letting go, actually gave you something back? That's right, I am talking about the word no and all it can do for you.

I too, fall into the trap of doing more is better. Having all my time devoted to activities or work is good for me. Taking nineteen plus credits hours somehow makes me a better person, even smarter person. Well, I hate to break it you, and me, that this thought process is extremely detrimental.

There are no rules that say we must do everything and anything. If there are, they are wrong. And that's why saying no is so important.

Currently, I am taking nineteen credit hours. Soon, I am going to make sure that it is sixteen. After the first week of classes, I discovered I was in a class that would provide me with a wonderful education, but it was not counting towards my major. After thinking about it long and hard, I decided that it would be best to say no to this particular class.

Before this year, I would have said, it's okay (even if it wasn't) and muster through the class. To the old me, dropping a class would be like quitting, but I cannot even begin to tell you, and me, how far from the truth that is.

Saying no is brave. Saying no is the right thing to do. Saying no allows you to excel in other areas. Because I have decided to say no, I am opening two more hours in my day. I am relieving myself of work and projects that would add to my already hectic schedule. I am doing what is best for me.

However, there is a part two to this no phenomenon. Continuing with my example, I now have two open hours in my week. The overachiever in me would try to find something to fill it. Maybe another club or activity. Maybe more hours at work or a place to volunteer. And while none of these are bad things to do or have in your life, you are just replacing a time taker with another. When you say no, mean it and don't fill it.

This is your year to say no. Not because you are lazy. Not because you aren't smart enough. Not because you can't. Say no because it is best for you. Say no because it frees you. Say no because you can!

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