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Thread: Political Party Trait

  1. #1

    Default Political Party Trait

    At what age do family members (Romani) get their political party trait?

    After always rushing to get the Marion reforms ASAP in my previous campaigns, I decided to play my current campaign at a much slower pace and try to time the reforms to 107 B.C., not picking up my 45th settlement until 109 B.C.

    Turns out, now I have so much money that most of my family members have bad traits, and the few S/C/V I do have are all Optimas. I recently picked up three young family members with S/C/V, and I'd like to groom at least one of them so I can get the reforms before 14 A.D. Trouble is, they are not yet affiliated with any party. When does this generally occur? And is it true sticking them in a settlement with a temple of Ceres will help them get the Popularis trait? Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Yes, worshipping Ceres makes them more likely to become Populares. However, I don't think this is age-related.

    For the record: the Roman political system had no such thing as political parties, and the popularis and optimate referred to a style of presentation more than an actual agenda.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Thanks Ludens.

    A young man of great potential in Rome finally received the required trait today. Now off to war to get some command stars!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Africanus View Post
    Thanks Ludens.

    A young man of great potential in Rome finally received the required trait today. Now off to war to get some command stars!
    Happy hunting friend, i'dd say that the Romani is one of the hardest to get command stars with IMHO :)

    but, im sorry i cant bring the neccesary help to bare, because most of my FM's are comming of age with a "Party"
    Last edited by The_Blacksmith; 12-18-2010 at 23:07.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    Yes, worshipping Ceres makes them more likely to become Populares. However, I don't think this is age-related.

    For the record: the Roman political system had no such thing as political parties, and the popularis and optimate referred to a style of presentation more than an actual agenda.
    I always felt that "Optimates" and "Populares" do more to confuse the issue than to explain it. Although there were some issues of the day that could be used to highlight the difference between these "factions" (like ager publicus, debt relief and tribune powers), Roman politics revolved around powerful men rather than political agendas and they had nothing resembling political parties of today.
    Nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecunia possit.
    Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero

  6. #6
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    Yes, worshipping Ceres makes them more likely to become Populares. However, I don't think this is age-related.

    For the record: the Roman political system had no such thing as political parties, and the popularis and optimate referred to a style of presentation more than an actual agenda.
    so worshipping Ceres turns one into a communist?

    so let me get this straight: basically, the Optimates tried to sell their ideas to the upper class, and the populares the lower class, regardless of the ideas? or do I misunderstand?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Blacksmith View Post
    Happy hunting friend, i'dd say that the Romani is one of the hardest to get command stars with IMHO :)
    the Roman army was like the Russian army back in the age of line battles: the soldiers are block-like and stubborn, and so have no need of competent commanders
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 12-27-2010 at 21:28.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
    so worshipping Ceres turns one into a communist?

    so let me get this straight: basically, the Optimates tried to sell their ideas to the upper class, and the populares the lower class, regardless of the ideas? or do I misunderstand?
    Not really.

    The Roman society was divided by ancestry into two groups: the patricians and the plebs. The patricians were the descendants of the hundred senators that according to legend Romulus chose from the most distinguished citizens to serve in the Senate and the plebs were everyone else. At first, only the patricians could hold offices and priesthoods but shortly after a class conflict started and the plebeians gained more and more power until they gained almost equal political power to the patricians during the 'secessions of the plebs'. 'Novus homo' or 'new man' was a term for someone who was the first in their line to hold the office of consul, and after the plebeians gained the right to be consuls, all newly elected plebeian consuls were 'novi homines' or new men. All their descendants became 'nobiles' or noblemen, basically the aristocracy of the plebs.

    By the time of the late Republic, being a patrician or pleb lost the meaning it once had, as the noblemen and some of the old patrician families were again firmly entrenched in power.

    "The optimates" (most of the time) represented those patricians and noblemen. They sought to limit the power of the popular assemblies, increase the power of the Senate, maintain the tradition in Roman society (mos maiorum) and prevent new men from coming to power (One thing they were especially good at: Cicero, for example, was the first novus homo in decades). The populares were (most of the time) rich and/or popular men who got left out of the deal and sought to gain power, mainly through the popular assemblies, bypassing the Senate.

    Since the Roman system was so designed that votes in the comitia centuriata (that voted in the high magistrates) from wealthy citizens counted much more than the vote of the poor, to be elected one actually needed the vote of the wealthy citizens. As long as the richest citizens of Rome wanted to elect the same people those people would get elected and as long as they were all on the same page they could keep whoever they wanted out of office. Their votes were secured through patronage (which I won't explain here), bribes, promises of business opportunities (as all rich men were businessmen of some sort if they weren't senators) and so on. On the other hand, one plebeian tribune (and there were ten of them) was enough to veto ("forbid") the action of any magistrate, and the plebeian assembly (which had no patricians) had legislative power, it could pass plebiscites which had the power of laws. So both "factions" sought to secure the votes of the wealthy citizens on one hand and the support of the plebs on the other. The latter was mainly done by securing (read: buying) the services of a plebeian tribune that could propose laws that they wanted, make a good political speech in its support and veto everything they didn't want. Getting to a high political office was very, very expensive in the late Republic.

    The main difference between the two groups is that the "optimates" sought to prevent any reforms to preserve the status quo and the "populares" supported those reforms (such as land redistribution and debt relief) when it suited them, in order to undermine the oligarchy, and that they used the plebeian assembly to pass laws that they wanted, bypassing the Senate and the patricians. The catch was that although the Senate was supposedly the central part of government, in practice it controlled the treasury and foreign policy and it directed domestic policy (which was actually handled by the assemblies). It gave senatus consulta (decrees) which were followed by the magistrates but couldn't override laws voted in by the legislative assemblies. Since the comitia populi tributa (the plebeian assembly) had legislative power but had no patricians (unlike the comitia centuriata) it was easier to pass laws that the patricians didn't want in the plebeian assembly, and the populares utilized that.

    The issue of who is who is further confused by the fact that some noblemen were populares (like the Gracchi brothers) and 'new men' could be optimates (like Cicero). Ceasar was from one of the most distinguished patrician families but was one of the populares, and Pompeius Magnus (who formed the first triumvriate with Ceasar) later got into a deal with the optimates. Political loyalties were constantly shifting in the late Republic, and personal ambition, family ties and the patron/client relationships were more important than any issue. That's why the terms "optimates" and "populares" do nothing to explain the politics of the age, only confuse it further.

    If I oversimplified something, it was so that I could keep it as short as possible.
    Last edited by mmiki; 12-28-2010 at 05:46.
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  8. #8
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Political Party Trait



    that is pretty confusing indeed.
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    mmiki, I think you did a very, very good job of describing a very complex situation. I don't think that you have oversimplified; all that I would add is that I think it is reasonable to suggest that not all Roman politicians were necessarily cynical in their affiliations and pursuits of ideas. Many were, undoubtedly, but with some - I think - it can be argued that there was real principle in their agendas. The Gracchi, for instance, were looking to the longer term interests of the Republic (they could see a shortfall in eligible Roman citizenry with regard to levying armies, not to mention the poverty and disenfranchisement of those fellow Romans). Cato the younger was, I think, genuinely of the opinion that the moral fibre of Rome was undermined by the naked ambition of such as Caesar (and Pompey)...that only the nobility of Rome could bring it back from the brink.

    What muddies the waters somewhat is that some of the same reforms as were attempted by (for instance) the Gracchi were also pursued by such as Drusus.... which lead to the Social Wars. Whether Drusus was trying to reform Roman citizenship across Italy because he understood that Rome was being unprincipled in its dealings with the other Italian cities (in the same way that Athens used the wealth of the Delian League for its own enrichment), whether it was because he could foresee trouble with those allies, or whether it was simply that he was a client of rich Italian noblemen, is difficult to establish.

    In short, I think it is wrong to dismiss all Roman politicians as being cynical and ultimately self-interested. I don't think that's what you were implying, but just thought I'd add what I have to the picture.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    when adressing cesar and the late republic one should remember that they had a precedent to draw uppon with scared the upper classes tremendously wich was the sulla dictatorship

    altough sulla´s laws where mainly passed on to try and protect the senate and the upper classes it was also the upper classes who suffered the most by sulla´s persecution wich costed the lives of many patricians and made many others poorer

    so when people see cesar reaching to power they fear he might become a new sulla while men as pompey wich weren´t of noble birth (was instead a selfmade man) could reach those powers since they would not use to to persecute the nobles but instead use that power to get accepted into their circle (pompey´s marriage to julia and later on to another high ranking roman woman)

    also cesar had already promissed lands to his legions and the lands he had his eyes on where public lands that several senators where using for their own benefit (or so i heard in a romance novel) so those senators where not interested in cesars triumph or they risked loosing their source of income (wich again gave points to the populares because of miss apropriation of public resources again by the patricians like it had happened so many times where patricians had stolen wealth from roman allies or subjagated lands)

    also cicero was the only nuovo homi of the republic for decades because he was instrumental in stopping the catalinian revolt where once again a man of noble birth tryed to take over because he was denied his acess to places

    this time in history is amazing cause you can see a very large amount of great thinkers playing their chess games to try and get the upper hand using all sorts of plans (altough in the end, as always, it was the dude with the best army who won)
    Last edited by moonburn; 12-31-2010 at 01:53.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Political Party Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by moonburn View Post
    when adressing cesar and the late republic one should remember that they had a precedent to draw uppon with scared the upper classes tremendously wich was the sulla dictatorship

    altough sulla´s laws where mainly passed on to try and protect the senate and the upper classes it was also the upper classes who suffered the most by sulla´s persecution wich costed the lives of many patricians and made many others poorer

    so when people see cesar reaching to power they fear he might become a new sulla while men as pompey wich weren´t of noble birth (was instead a selfmade man) could reach those powers since they would not use to to persecute the nobles but instead use that power to get accepted into their circle (pompey´s marriage to julia and later on to another high ranking roman woman)

    also cesar had already promissed lands to his legions and the lands he had his eyes on where public lands that several senators where using for their own benefit (or so i heard in a romance novel) so those senators where not interested in cesars triumph or they risked loosing their source of income (wich again gave points to the populares because of miss apropriation of public resources again by the patricians like it had happened so many times where patricians had stolen wealth from roman allies or subjagated lands)

    also cicero was the only nuovo homi of the republic for decades because he was instrumental in stopping the catalinian revolt where once again a man of noble birth tryed to take over because he was denied his acess to places

    this time in history is amazing cause you can see a very large amount of great thinkers playing their chess games to try and get the upper hand using all sorts of plans (altough in the end, as always, it was the dude with the best army who won)
    And....all these things are intimately linked. As Rome progressed out of Italy (after defeating Carthage) the armies were on campaign for longer; their lands were not worked by them. Their families either went bust or were forced to sell their small-holdings in order to survive. Landed aristocracy became richer, gaining huge tracts of land - and encroaching upon public land which they had no legal right to. They started to use slave labour to work the fields, and so even the prospect of working the land for the landed aristocracy was denied the landless men of Rome.

    The Roman army at this time wasn't a paid, standing army, it was made up of citizens, based upon their wealth. As more and more families were thrown off their land there were fewer and fewer men wealthy enough to serve in the army. Various schemes were attempted in order to retain Rome's military strength; the limit on wealth required was lessened, for example. What Tiberius Gracchus saw was the underlying problem - the huge, slave-worked conglomerate farms of the wealthy aristocracy. So he attempted to re-distribute land, including some of that public land encroached upon (illegally) by the aristocracy. That aristocracy, however, made up the majority of the Senate, and they were not about to agree to giving up their profits. So, Tiberius used the gambit of the Plebian assemblies and his powers as Tribune to force through those changes.

    The power of the wealthy enators was too much, however, for these land reforms to work and so Marius introduced a new way of paying armies; the General would pay them - through plunder and with land at the end of the soldier's tour of duty; a 'pension scheme' if you like. Of course, that meant that the soldiers in any General's army had more stake in the General's success than in any wider notion of Rome's success. Sulla's army was devoted to Sulla, for it was Sulla - not the Roman state - upon whose benefaction their prosperity relied. It should be noted also, that when Sulla first marched against Rome there is a strong likelihood that a number of his soldiers had recently been fighting against Rome in the Social Wars. What Marius did, quite without thinking it through I believe, was introduce the client relationship that he so detested within the political institutions of Rome (hence his narrowing of the voting passages, to stop intimidation of voters) into the establishment of the armies of Rome.

    Had Marius's reforms of the army been just a little different (such that the State of Rome was responsible for re-settling the soldiers, eg) then Sulla, Caesar, Augustus may never have come about.

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