The king is sole authority and has a dual role: a civil one and a military one. Relating himself more or less directly with the divinities lent power and prestige to his position. The Senate is a council of elders coming directly from the nobility. Increasing time at war means having to create a priesthood (also out of the nobility) which can take over religious and legal affairs. Laws were loosely written at best and as in many "third world" societies the priesthood doubled up as court and judges. Not very good and transparent for the Plebeian class of course.
Continued success at war brings wealth which is largely taken by the Patrician noble class and the king: a good recipe for revolt and revolt they did!
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