Many historians claim that the Roman form of government and legal system were its most valuable contributions to future civilizations. The Roman Empire was ruled as a republic, headed by the Senate and assorted assemblies. The Senate had numerous powers, such as responsibility for foreign policy, revenue collection and supervising religious affairs. The Senate originally was controlled by the patricians. The plebeians set up and ran the assembly, which became the main legislative body by 287 B.C. Legal safeguards were built into the government structure to prevent any one person from holding too much power.
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