Athenian democracy—as the direct self-government of an entire community—did not set an example that later societies would seek to emulate; Roman republicanism—a form of balanced or mixed government in which public opinion had only a restricted role and in which power was divided among different assemblies, with an aristocratic senate the most important—did provide such a model. Although the republic was succeeded by an imperial monarchy, it provided a source book for republican government that was to be carefully examined centuries later, when monarchy came under attack and opponents sought a practical alternative.