Fall of the Roman Republic
The moment Julius Caesar took power as Roman Dictator marked the end of Roman Republic run by the Senate. It all started with the first Triumvirate in which rule was evenly divided between three Roman consuls: Crassus, Pompey and of course Caesar. While Caesar was waging war against the Gauls, Crassus died and Pompey took the power within Rome. Pompey’s move posed a threat to Caesar so he had no option but to march with his 13th legion on the city of Rome – which was against law at the time. He eventually defeated Pompey and proclaimed himself a dictator.
Caesar’s assassination triggered the end of Roman Republic
Caesar gradually changed his status from dictator to consul in order to stay on power longer but also to satisfy the Senate. The Senate eventually became very unsatisfied with their new leader who didn’t have ambitions to step back from his throne. It all escalated with Caesar being assassinated in the Senate on 15th of March 44 BC (this date marked a famous Roman holiday, Ides of March). Senators thought that by removing Caesar they would return Republic to it’s old glory. They were wrong as 3 new consuls started fighting for domination within the Senate (Second Triumvirate). Consul Octavian, who was an adopted son of Julius Caesar proved most powerful of the three and eventually proclaimed himself a Roman Emperor Augustus in 27 BC, therefore ending the Republic for good.
This also marked the end of Senate’s power within Rome. Senate continued to exist but it’s political leverage decreased dramatically. Augustus reduced it’s size from 900 to 600 members which included the rule that allowed only the rich patricians to enter the Senate (ones with property worth of at least 1,000,000 sesterces.) Senators still enjoyed highest social class within the Empire, as they were first under the Emperor. Augustus understood this, so he kept the Senate running in order to make patricians happy. They still had some power over financial and administrative jobs, but foreign affairs were handled exclusively by the Emperor. This co-existence of Emperor and the Senate existed until the fall of the Western Empire.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the senate continued briefly under barbarian rule until 6th century AD. It also continued to exist in the Eastern Roman Empire’s capital Constantinople until it was conquered by the Turks in late 1453 AD.