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Roman. It was an old custom in Italy to send out colonies for the purpose of securing new conquests. The Romans, accordingly, having no standing army, used to plant bodies of their own citizens in conquered towns as a kind of garrison. These bodies would consist partly of Roman citizens, usually to the number of three hundred, partly of members of the Latin confederacy, in larger numbers. The third part of the conquered territory was handed over to the settlers. The colonioe civium Romanorum (colonies of Roman citizens) were specially intended to secure the two sea-coasts of Italy, and were hence called colonioe maritimoe. The colonioe Latinoe of which there was a far greater number, served the same purpose for the mainland. The duty of leading the colonists and founding the settlement was entrusted to a commission usually consisting of three members, and elected by the people. These men continued to stand in the relation of patrons (patroni ) to the colony after its foundation. The colonists entered the conquered city in military array, preceded by banners, and the foundation was celebrated with special solemnities. The colonioe were free from taxes, and had their own constitution, a copy of the Roman, electing from their own body their senate and other officers of state. To this constitution the original inhabitants had to submit. The colonioe civium Romanorum retained the Roman citizenship, and were free from military service, their position as out-posts being regarded as an equivalent. The members of the colonioe Latinoe served among the socii, and possessed the so-called ius Latinum (see LATINI). This secured to them the right of acquiring property (commercium) and settlement in Rome, and, under certain conditions, the power of becoming Roman citizens; though in course of time these rights underwent many limitations. From the time of the Gracchi the colonies lost their military character. Colonization came to be regarded as a means of providing for the poorest class of the Roman populace. After the time of Sulla it was adopted as a way of granting land to veteran soldiers. The right of founding colonies was taken way from the people by Caesar, and passed into the hands of the emperors, who used it (mainly in the provinces) for the exclusive purpose of establishing military settlements, partly with the old idea of securing conquered territory. It was only in exceptional cases that the provincial colonies enjoyed the immunity from taxation which was granted to those in Italy.
Type: Standard
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