Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Robert L. Dise (Jr.)


Tribunus plebis--History; Rome--History--Republic, 510-265 B.C. Rome--History--Kings, 753-510 B.C.


The establishment of the Roman Republic and the rise of the plebeian tribunate are crucial to our understanding of the Roman commonwealth during the earlier centuries of Roman history. This narrative will argue that the plebeian tribunate was officially established for the purpose of providing disenfranchised plebeian soldiers in the middle socio-economic property classes with political representation. However, the existence of plebeian heterogeneity in the Roman society indicated that the plebeian tribunate could not represent all political interests of the plebeian classes, and therefore secretly promoted the interests of the plebeian elite by exploiting the plebeian masses, who had been marginalized by the ruling aristocratic class, known as the patricians. With the existence of the patron-client system in the Roman commonwealth, the plebeian tribunate and patriciate competed for plebeian clientelae for the purpose of acquiring greater political influence over the implementation of government policy. Ultimately, the exclusive interests of the plebeian tribunate resulted in relatively little social, economic, and political advancement among the common citizenry.

Year of Submission



Department of History

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (124 pages)



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