Populares

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Populares

 

(Latin, from populus, “people”), an intellectual and political trend in the Roman Republic at the end of the second and beginning of the first century B.C. It reflected the interests of the plebeians, in particular their rural contingent, and was opposed to the optimates.

With rare exceptions, the leaders of the populares belonged to the nobilitas. The basic issues dividing the populares and the optimates were the agrarian question and democratization of the Roman state. The populares found their support in the popular assembly; the optimates, in the senate. The better known populares included the Gracchi, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, and G. Glaucia. Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar made extensive use of the political vocabulary and methods of the populares.

REFERENCES

Mashkin, N.A. “Rimskie politicheskie partii ν kon. 2 i nach. 1 vv. do n.e.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1947, no. 3.
Utchenko, S. L. Krizis i padenie Rimskoi respubliki. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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