SPQR - what does abbreviation mean?
Abbreviation S.P.Q.R. directly related to the history of ancient Rome. At different times, it was used for political purposes or as a symbol of the Renaissance. A vivid example is the period of government. What does S.P.Q.R. mean, what importance did it give at different times, you can understand by touching on the history, which is stored monuments of architecture and sculpture, writing and oral folk art, applied art, as well as household items.
Linguistic scholars, historians did not reach a final opinion on deciphering this abbreviation. It is safe to say that modern translation is only approximate, such as researchers understand it on the basis of the knowledge that modern science has. It is worth noting that far from always in deciphering some of the mysteries, the principles of the scientific nature of statements are observed.
What does S.P.Q.R mean? Senatus Populus Quiritium Romanus. The literal translation from Latin is "the Senate and the citizens of Rome." There is a very high probability that a phrase can be constructed differently.For example, "the Senate and the free people of Rome." The first two letters S and P were unanimously recognized as abbreviations of the words: S - senatus ("senate"), P - populous ("people"). With the fourth, last, also no problems. Surely this is R (romanus - "Roman"). The main controversy revolved around the meaning of the letter Q. It can be translated as que - “and”. And you can substitute the value Quirites, or kvirit, meaning "citizen." In ancient Rome, the concept of "citizen" and "free people" are not identical. This is perfectly evident if we take a closer look at the question of what gave Roman citizenship.
What does SPQR mean in Rome
On the territory of the Roman Empire there were two rights: Roman and Latin. Initially, Latin law was given to the indigenous population - Italics, later it even extended to the allies of the barbarians. Although the Latins were personally free, they were not considered full citizens. They had no right to vote, to serve in the legion.
There was another distinctive feature of the Roman citizens, which remained the memory of the winged expressions of the Latin language. Noli me tangere. Civis Romanus sum ("Do not touch me. I am a Roman citizen"). Even the most recent beggar, lying on the sidewalk, was proud of his Roman citizenship. It guaranteed him deliverance from whipping, torture and many other troubles.Moreover, this right ensured immunity outside Rome. Therefore, great importance was attached to citizenship; therefore, the letter Q most likely means quirites, or citizens. If we take this version as a basis, then it explains in the best possible way what S.P.Q.R.
Roman society with its patriarchal structure gave even slaves the right to property. Often they redeemed their freedom for fabulous money, later becoming even richer than their former owners, but did not enjoy full status in society.
Civil rights during military service
Another convincing argument in favor of the version of "about citizens" can be considered the legal status of the soldiers of the Legion. Service was the honorable duty of the Romans, a prerequisite for advancing a career in the public service field. The citizen received the necessary armament at his own expense, so when recruiting there was a certain property price. Evasion of military service was punishable by death or slavery.
What does SPQR mean for Roman troops? On their standards, it is a symbol of state exclusivity.The conquerors did not just go to conquer peoples, robbing everyone in their path. They carried their culture, a new order, a way of life, a law. Welded by harsh discipline, a general corporate spirit in the face of danger, these warriors belonged to one of the most powerful armies in Antiquity.
Getting into the service, they lost some of their civil rights. At the time of service were not full members of Roman society. Now they could be subjected to executions, even executed depending on the committed military crime. If they started their families on long hikes, their children were not considered real citizens. This once again underlines how the ancient Romans focused on human status.
During the Renaissance, this abbreviation was resorted to more than once. It has found its application in other cities of Italy, however, having changed somewhat. For example, S.P.Q.V. - the slogan of Venice, or S.P.Q.S. - Appeal of Siena, who borrowed the idea from Rome, introducing it, taking into account the local color. But, returning to the symbol of Rome, it is necessary to note an interesting fact. To the question "what does S.P.Q.R." at different times, commensurate with the setting,answered differently. Here are the most popular ones: "Saint Peter rests in Rome" or "A wise people love Rome."
The Eternal City has preserved many monuments of its glorious past. These mysterious 4 letters will always be associated with it. What the SPQR meant for Roman citizens, by and large, we can only guess when interpreting the meaning, using our knowledge and ideas about the structure of society at that time.