Novus homo

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Novus homo (Latin for "new man"; plural novi homines) was the term in ancient Rome for a man who was the first in his family to serve in the Roman Senate or, more specifically, to be elected as consul.

[edit] History

According to tradition, both Senate membership and the consulship were restricted to patricians. When plebeians gained the right to this office during the Conflict of the Orders, all newly-elected plebeians were naturally novi homines. As time went by, novi homines became more and more rare as some plebeian families became as entrenched in the Senate as their patrician colleagues. By the time of the First Punic War, it was already a sensation that novi homines were elected in two consecutive years (Gaius Fundanius Fundulus in 243 BC and Gaius Lutatius Catulus in 242 BC). In 63 BC, Cicero became the first novus homo in more than 30 years.

In the late Roman Republic period, the distinction between the classes became less important. The consuls came from a new elite, the noblemen, an artificial aristocracy of all families, patrician or plebeian, that had produced a consul created to reduce the distinction between patricians and plebeians.

[edit] List of novi homines

ru:Новый человек zh:新人

Novus homo

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