Roman Republican politicians were drawn largely from an ancient elite of wealthy families. These families, known as the nobility, dominated access to the consulships; between them they held over 80% of the consulships in the last century of the Republic. Active politics took place within this framework, and was characterised largely by personal and political feuds between individual members of the elite. Because this elite was defined by office holding (the nobility consisted of those descended
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showed last 75 words of 1538 total
through the holding of magistracies which had to be sought from the People. There were many factors which contributed to the outcome of this competition. Which politicians were able to advance depended on those with the best resources in wealth, birth, alliances, clients, military success and public repute. It was all of these factors, in varying degrees of importance with different personalities, circumstances, and eras, which were the secrets of political success under the Republic.