SPQR (Latin: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, "The Roman Senate and People", or more freely as "The Senate and People of Rome"; Classical Latin: [sɛˈnaː.tʊs pɔpʊˈlʊs.kᶣɛ roːˈmaː.nʊs]) refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. It appears on Roman currency, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, and in dedications of monuments and public works.

The phrase commonly appears in the Roman political, legal, and historical literature, such as the speeches of Cicero and Ab Urbe Condita Libri ("Books from the Founding of the City") of Livy.


SPQR: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus. In Latin, Senātus is a nominative singular noun meaning "Senate". Populusque is compounded from the nominative noun Populus, "the People", and -que, an enclitic particle meaning "and" which connects the two nominative nouns. The last word, Rōmānus ("Roman") is an adjective modifying the whole of Senātus Populusque: the "Roman Senate and People", taken as a whole. Thus, the phrase is translated literally as "The Roman Senate and People", or more freely as "The Senate and People of Rome".

Historical context

The title's date of establishment is unknown, but it first appears in inscriptions of the Late Republic, from c. 80 BC onwards. Previously, the official name of the Roman state, as evidenced on coins, was simply ROMA. The abbreviation last appears on coins of Constantine the Great (ruled 312–337 AD), the first Roman emperor to support Christianity.

The two legal entities mentioned, Senātus and the Populus Rōmānus, are sovereign when combined. However, where populus is sovereign alone, Senātus is not. Under the Roman Kingdom, neither entity was sovereign. The phrase, therefore, can be dated to no earlier than the foundation of the Republic.

This signature continued in use under the Roman Empire. The emperors were considered the de jure representatives of the people even though the senātūs consulta, or decrees of the Senate, were made at the de facto pleasure of the emperor.

Populus Rōmānus in Roman literature is a phrase meaning the government of the People. When the Romans named governments of other countries, they used populus in the singular or plural, such as populī Prīscōrum Latīnōrum, "the governments of the Old Latins". Rōmānus is the established adjective used to distinguish the Romans, as in cīvis Rōmānus, "Roman citizen".

The Roman people appear very often in law and history in such phrases as dignitās, maiestās, auctoritās, lībertās populī Rōmānī, the "dignity, majesty, authority, freedom of the Roman people". They were a populus līber, "a free people". There was an exercitus, imperium, iudicia, honorēs, consulēs, voluntās of this same populus: "the army, rule, judgments, offices, consuls and will of the Roman people". They appear in early Latin as Popolus and Poplus, so the habit of thinking of themselves as free and sovereign was quite ingrained.

The Romans believed that all authority came from the people. It could be said that similar language seen in more modern political and social revolutions directly comes from this usage. People in this sense meant the whole government. The latter, however, was essentially divided into the aristocratic Senate, whose will was executed by the consuls and praetors, and the comitia centuriāta, "committee of the centuries", whose will came to be safeguarded by the Tribunes.

One of the ways the emperor Commodus (180–192) paid for his donatives and mass entertainments was to tax the senatorial order, and on many inscriptions, the traditional order is provocatively reversed (Populus Senatusque...).

Beginning in 1184, the Commune of Rome struck coins in the name of the SENATVS P Q R. From 1414 until 1517, the Roman Senate struck coins with a shield inscribed SPQR.[1]

During the regime of Benito Mussolini, SPQR was emblazoned on a number of public buildings and manhole covers in an attempt to promote his dictatorship as a "New Roman Empire".

Modern use

Even in contemporary usage, SPQR is still used as the municipal symbol of the city of Rome.

Civic references

Romeinse vlag
A modern recreation of a Roman standard.

SPQx is sometimes used as an assertion of municipal pride and civic rights. The Italian town of Reggio Emilia, for instance, has SPQR in its coat of arms, standing for "Senatus Populusque Regiensis". There have been confirmed usages and reports of the deployment of the "SPQx" template in;

Use by white supremacists

Some members of white supremacist groups have been using the acronym SPQR on flags, on their person (such as tattoos) and other forms of identification.[28][29][30][31] The movement's enthusiasm for other symbols of republican Rome, such as the axe and bundled rods known as fasces, is documented, as well as their interest in some aspects of republican and imperial Rome.[32] That use was discussed on Stormfront's bulletin boards and was noticed at white supremacist demonstrations.[29] White supremacists tend to associate "SPQR" with the militaristic ethos of the Roman legions. There is in fact no evidence that the initialism appeared regularly on Roman military insignia and equipment, but it was heavily used by Mussolini's fascist regime.[30]

Popular culture

In the early twentieth century, the letters "SPQR" could sometimes be seen displayed on London market traders' stalls, meaning "Small Profits, Quick Returns".[33]

MPQN, standing for Metallica Populusque Nimus, appears on the cover of the Metallica live DVD Français Pour une Nuit, which was recorded in the Arena of Nîmes, a remodelled Roman amphiteatre.[34]

The Italians have long used a different and humorous expansion of this acronym, "Sono Pazzi Questi Romani" (literally: "They're crazy, these Romans").[35] In the Asterix and Obelix comics, Obelix often uses the French translation of this phrase, "Ils sont fous ces Romains", and in the Italian editions, the original phrase is used.[36]

S.P.Q.R. Records was an American popular music record label, a subsidiary of Legrand Records, which flourished in the 1960s and included Gary U.S. Bonds among its artists. The label was founded by Frank Guida, who is believed to have adopted the name in allusion to his Italian origins.[37]

The football team A.S. Roma wore special edition shirts with SPQR on the chest for their match against city rivals S.S. Lazio on 29 April 2017.[38]

S.P.Q.R. is the fourth song on the critically acclaimed experimental rock album Deceit by This Heat. The song talks about atomic destruction and human morals using symbols of Rome.[39]

In The Heroes of Olympus written by Rick Riordan, the Roman Camp Jupiter tattoos SPQR on legionnaires' arms.



The inscription in the Arch of Titus


Manhole cover in Rome with SPQR inscription

Stemma reggio emilia municipio

SPQR in the coat of arms of Reggio Emilia

3492 - Milano - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele - Stemma di Roma - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto, 22-June-2007

Detail from the mosaic floor in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

Wenceslas Hollar - Superiority of the warrior class (State 2)

"Superiority of the warrior class. State 2." Etching by Wenceslaus Hollar, (University of Toronto)

Arch of Septimius Severus Top Inscription

Arch of Septimius Severus top inscription

Fellini plaque, Via Veneto

Dedicatory plaque to Federico Fellini on Via Veneto

20080423 Rotterdam Stadhuis Burgerzaal Pricker SPQR1

Mural in the Burgerzaal of Rotterdam City Hall


  1. ^ Monete e Zecche Medievalli Italiane, Elio Biaggi, coins 2081 and 2141
  2. ^ Heraldic symbols of Amsterdam, Livius.org, 2 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Flickr.com". Flickr.com. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  4. ^ "brunnenfuehrer.ch". 1 January 2003. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Rome - Historical Flags (Italy)", CRWflags.com, 14 November 2003.
  6. ^ "Unesco.org" (PDF). Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  7. ^ "NGW.nl". NGW.nl. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Eupedia.com". Eupedia.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Franeker". www.gevelstenen.net.
  10. ^ Coinage of the European Continent, W. Carew Hazlitt, page 216.
  11. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in German) Nefershapiland.de
  12. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Gemeentearchief.nl
  13. ^ St George's HallBy Paul Coslett. "BBC.co.uk". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  14. ^ Cityoflondon.gov.uk Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Brunet, Alex. (2013). pp. 156-7. Regal Armorie of Great Britain. London: Forgotten Books. (Original work published 1839)
  16. ^ "Flickr.com". Flickr.com. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  17. ^ The Coinage of Milan, W.. J. Potter, page 19 coin 4.
  18. ^ it:File:Molfetta-Stemma.png
  19. ^ Italian Coinage Medieval to Modern, The Collection of Ercole Gnecchi, coin 3683
  20. ^ "Stadspomp, Oudenburg".
  21. ^ a b "Flickr.com". Flickr.com. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  22. ^ "Flickr.com". Flickr.com. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  23. ^ O. A. W. Dilke and Margaret S. Dilke (October 1961). "Terracina and the Pomptine Marshes". Greece & Rome. Cambridge University Press. II:8 (2): 172–178. ISSN 0017-3835. OCLC 51206579.
  24. ^ "Tibursuperbum.it". Tibursuperbum.it. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes". Cervantesvirtual.com. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  26. ^ http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3020/2927782582_9812c8d395_s.jpg
  27. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in French) Bestofverviers.be
  28. ^ Bond, Sarah E. (30 August 2018). "The misuse of an ancient Roman acronym by white nationalist groups". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  29. ^ a b Angell, Ben; et al. (27 July 2018). "Scholars Respond to SPQR and White Nationalism". Pharos. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  30. ^ a b Angell, Ben; et al. (15 June 2018). "SPQR and White Nationalism". Pharos. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Flags and Other Symbols Used By Far-Right Groups in Charlottesville". Southern Poverty Law Center. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  32. ^ Angell, Ben; et al. (11 December 2017). ""American Fascist Manifesto" begins with the Roman Republic". Pharos. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  33. ^ Fowler, H. W.; Fowler, F. G.; Crystal, David (2011) [1911]. The Concise Oxford Dictionary: The Classic First Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 748. ISBN 978-0-19-969612-3.
  34. ^ Cover of Français Pour Une Nuit - Live Aux Arènes De Nîmes 2009 at Discogs
  35. ^ See, e.g. von Hefner, Otto Titan (1861). Handbuch der theoretischen und praktischen Heraldik. Munich. p. 106.
  36. ^ Asterix around the world
  37. ^ "Biography – S.P.Q.R." 45cat.com. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  38. ^ "'SPQR' adds final touch to special derby kit". www.asroma.com.
  39. ^ "This Heat – S.P.Q.R."

Further reading

External links

A Point of Law

A Point of Law is a 2006 novel by John Maddox Roberts. It is the tenth volume of Roberts's SPQR series, featuring Senator Decius Metellus.


In graph theory, a branch of mathematics, a clique-sum is a way of combining two graphs by gluing them together at a clique, analogous to the connected sum operation in topology. If two graphs G and H each contain cliques of equal size, the clique-sum of G and H is formed from their disjoint union by identifying pairs of vertices in these two cliques to form a single shared clique, and then possibly deleting some of the clique edges. A k-clique-sum is a clique-sum in which both cliques have at most k vertices. One may also form clique-sums and k-clique-sums of more than two graphs, by repeated application of the two-graph clique-sum operation.

Different sources disagree on which edges should be removed as part of a clique-sum operation. In some contexts, such as the decomposition of chordal graphs or strangulated graphs, no edges should be removed. In other contexts, such as the SPQR-tree decomposition of graphs into their 3-vertex-connected components, all edges should be removed. And in yet other contexts, such as the graph structure theorem for minor-closed families of simple graphs, it is natural to allow the set of removed edges to be specified as part of the operation.

Decius Metellus

Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger is a fictional character created by author John Maddox Roberts, the protagonist of Roberts's SPQR series of historical mystery novels. A Roman Senator during the waning days of the Roman Republic, Decius solves mysteries, while at the same time working his way steadily up the cursus honorum.

The SPQR series takes the form of Decius's memoirs, written during the reign of Augustus Caesar, when he has outlived all his friends and enemies, and no longer cares whom he offends or what anyone might do to him.

John Maddox Roberts

John Maddox Roberts is an American author of science fiction and fantasy novels, including historical fiction, such as the SPQR series and Hannibal's Children.

List of Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area

This article contains a complete list of Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California since 2007. The San Francisco guide was the second North American city chosen to have its own Michelin Guide. Unlike the other US guides which focus mainly in the city proper, the San Francisco guide includes all the major cities in the Bay Area: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley, as well as Wine Country, which includes Napa and Sonoma. In 2019, the guide was expanded to cover the whole state of California.

Military of ancient Rome

The military of ancient Rome, according to Titus Livius, one of the more illustrious historians of Rome over the centuries, was a key element in the rise of Rome over “above seven hundred years” from a small settlement in Latium to the capital of an empire governing a wide region around the shores of the Mediterranean, or, as the Romans themselves said, ‘’mare nostrum’’, “our sea.” Livy asserts

”... if any people ought to be allowed to consecrate their origins and refer them to a divine source, so great is the military glory of the Roman People that when they profess that their Father and the Father of their Founder was none other than Mars, the nations of the earth may well submit to this also with as good a grace as they submit to Rome's dominion.”Titus Flavius Josephus, a contemporary historian, sometime high-ranking officer in the Roman army, and commander of the rebels in the Jewish revolt, describes the Roman people as if they were "born ready armed." At the time of the two historians, Roman society had already evolved an effective military and had used it to defend itself against the Etruscans, the Italics, the Greeks, the Gauls, the maritime empire of Carthage, and the Macedonian kingdoms. In each war it acquired more territory until, when civil war ended the Roman Republic, nothing was left for the first emperor, Augustus, to do except declare it an empire and defend it.

The role and structure of the military was then altered during the empire. It became less Roman, the duties of border protection and territorial administration being more and more taken by foreign mercenaries officered by Romans. When they divided at last into warring factions the empire fell, unable to keep out invading armies.

’’ - an agency designated by 'SPQR' on public inscriptions. Its main body was the senate, which met in a building still extant in the forum of Rome. Its decrees were handed off to the two chief officers of the state, the consuls. They could levy from the citizens whatever military force they judged was necessary to execute such decree. This conscription was executed through a draft of male citizens assembled by age class. The officers of the legion were tasked with selecting men for the ranks. The will of the SPQR was binding on the consuls and the men, with the death penalty often assigned for disobedience or failure. The men were under a rigorous code, known now for its punitive crucifixion.

The consular duties were of any type whatever: military defense, police work, public hygiene, assistance in civil disaster, health work, agriculture, and especially construction of public roads, bridges, aqueducts, buildings, and the maintenance of such. The soldiers were kept busy doing whatever service needed to be done: soldiering, manning vessels, carpentry, blacksmithing, clerking, etc. They were trained as required, but also previous skills, such as a trade, were exploited. They brought to the task and were protected by the authority of the state.

The military's campaign history stretched over 1300 years and saw Roman armies campaigning as far east as Parthia (modern-day Iran), as far south as Africa (modern-day Tunisia) and Aegyptus (modern-day Egypt) and as far north as Britannia (modern-day England, south Scotland, and Wales). The makeup of the Roman military changed substantially over its history, from its early history as an unsalaried citizen militia to a later professional force, the Imperial Roman army. The equipment used by the military altered greatly in type over time, though there were very few technological improvements in weapons manufacture, in common with the rest of the classical world. For much of its history, the vast majority of Rome's forces were maintained at or beyond the limits of its territory, in order to either expand Rome's domain, or protect its existing borders. Expansions were infrequent, as the emperors, adopting a strategy of fixed lines of defense, had determined to maintain existing borders. For that purpose they constructed extensive walls and created permanent stations that became cities.

Perry Criscitelli

Perry Criscitelli (born 1950) is a New York restaurant owner who is an alleged member of the Bonanno crime family. Criscitelli owns several restaurants and previously managed a popular city street festival.

In 1996, Criscitelli was selected as president of Figli di San Gennaro, the Feast of San Gennaro, an Italian street festival that takes place every September on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, Manhattan. In 1995, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had threatened to close the festival because it was controlled by the Genovese crime family. Instead, he chose Criscitelli to run it because Criscitelli was supposedly not associated with organized crime.

However, during the 2004 trial of Bonanno crime family boss Joe Massino, it was revealed in court that Criscitelli joined the Bonanno family in 2001 and was a major moneymaker for them. Mobster Richard Cantarella testified that he attended Criscitelli's induction ceremony, and that mob figures regularly discussed family business at one of Criscitelli's restaurants. While serving as acting boss of the Bonanno family, Vincent Basciano allegedly met with Criscitelli several times and briefed jailed Bonanno boss Joseph Massino on Criscitelli's activities. Criscitelli categorically denied any involvement with organized crime.

On July 27, 2004, Criscitelli resigned as head of the Feast of San Gennaro, citing the best interests of the festival. In recent years, Criscitelli sold his Italian restaurant on Staten Island, New York. However, his family still owns Da Nico in Little Italy, one of Giuliani's favorite eateries, along with Pellegrino’s, Novello, Il Palazzo, La Nonna and SPQR.


The Principate is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate.

The Principate is characterised by the reign of a single emperor (princeps) and an effort on the part of the early emperors, at least, to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance, in some aspects, of the Roman Republic.

Richard Berg

For the television producer see Dick Berg.

Richard H. Berg (born 1943 in Charleston, South Carolina) is a prolific wargame designer, and recipient of the Charles S. Roberts Hall of Fame Award in 1987.

SPQR (board game)

SPQR is a board wargame designed by Richard Berg and Mark Herman, and released in 1992 by GMT Games, as part of the Great Battles of History (GBoH) series of games on ancient warfare. SPQR deals with battles fought by the Roman Republic, and is designed to showcase the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman manipular legion.

There are two editions of the game, the second having changes in some rules.

SPQR won the 1992 Charles S. Roberts Award for Best Pre-World War II Boardgame, and Best Wargame Graphics for the map by Mark Simonitch; and an Origins Award for Best Pre-20th Century Boardgame of 1992.

SPQR series

The SPQR series is a collection of historical mystery stories by John Maddox Roberts, published between 1990 and 2010, and set in the time of the Roman Republic. SPQR (the original title of the first book, until the sequels came out) is a Latin initialism for Senatus Populusque Romanus ("The Roman Senate and People"), the official name of the Republic.

The stories are told in first-person form by Senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger (born c 91-95 BC), nephew of Metellus Pius and member of the powerful Caecilius Metellus family of the Roman Senate. The stories are told in flashback-form by the old Decius, writing during the reign of Augustus Caesar. The stories range from 70 BC (The King's Gambit) to 20 BC ("The King of Sacrifices").

Decius' companions include his slaves Cato, Cassandra, and Hermes; his friends, the Greek gladiatoral physician Asklepiodes and the gangster/politician Titus Annius Milo; and his staunch enemies, the siblings Clodia and Clodius. Along the way, he is often helped by his father, as well as by Cicero and a young Julius Caesar. In later books, Decius is betrothed and then married to the (fictional) niece of Caesar, Julia Caesaris. The dates are all listed at the end of each book in the ab urbe condita calendar system.

Currently, a German company is planning to adapt the series for TV.

SPQR tree

In graph theory, a branch of mathematics, the triconnected components of a biconnected graph are a system of smaller graphs that describe all of the 2-vertex cuts in the graph. An SPQR tree is a tree data structure used in computer science, and more specifically graph algorithms, to represent the triconnected components of a graph. The SPQR tree of a graph may be constructed in linear time and has several applications in dynamic graph algorithms and graph drawing.

The basic structures underlying the SPQR tree, the triconnected components of a graph, and the connection between this decomposition and the planar embeddings of a planar graph, were first investigated by Saunders Mac Lane (1937); these structures were used in efficient algorithms by several other researchers prior to their formalization as the SPQR tree by Di Battista and Tamassia (1989, 1990, 1996).

Small Payload Quick Return

Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR) is a NASA Ames Research Center concept to return small payloads from orbit.The system uses an Exo-Brake, a parachute-like drag device for use in the low-pressure exosphere of Low Earth Orbit. This is the first part of a three part return system, operating from 350 to 100 km.

Steve Perrin's Quest Rules

Steve Perrin's Quest Rules (SPQR) is a role-playing game system created and sold by Steve Perrin.


Suburra (usually spelled Subura in antiquity) was an area of the city of Rome, Italy located below the Murus Terreus on the Carinae. In ancient Roman times, it was a crowded lower-class area that was also notorious as a red-light district. It lies in the dip between the southern end of the Viminal and the western end of the Esquiline hills. Most of its inhabitants lived in insulae, tall apartment buildings with tabernae on the ground floor.

Julius Caesar lived in a family home (domus) in the Suburra district until he was elected pontifex maximus at the age of 37, as the Suburra had grown up around the property many years before his birth.

The district is featured in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome, Steven Saylor's Roman Blood, Martha Marks' Rubies of the Viper, SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts, and Netflix's first original motion picture in Italy, Suburra, and its prequel Suburra: Blood on Rome.


The Technology Education Satellite (TechEdSat) program is a series of CubeSats built by San Jose State University and University of Idaho students in partnership with NASA's Ames Research Center. These satellites have tested communication technology for smallsats, and have contributed to the development of the Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR) concept.

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