How was the ancient Greek political structure different from the ancient Roman political structure?
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One of the most important differences between ancient Greek democracy and ancient Roman Republicanism was institutional. Both ancient Greeks and Roman thinkers conceived of society as containing two permanently distinct and mutually antagonistic groups: the few (the rich) and the many (the poor). Greek democracy and Roman republicanism dealt with this fact in different ways. For Greek thinkers, democracy was simply the rule of the many over the few, whereas aristocracy or oligarchy was the rule of the few over the many. Power could only be held by the masses or by the elite.
In contrast to Greek democracy, the Roman republic had a more complex institutional arrangement. Instead of a set of institutions through which one single group exercised power, the Roman republic contained multiple institutions that allowed both the few and the many to take part in political rule. In Rome, the few, or the patrician class, were represented by the senate, an exclusively aristocratic institution. The masses, or the plebeians, had their own institutional source of power in the councils and the popular assemblies. In this way, Roman political thinkers hoped to achieve stability by giving both the masses and the elites some institutional stake in political power.