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The name in the Roman centuriate system (See CENTURIA) of those citizens who were placed in the lowest of the five property-classes, and who were exempt from military service and tribute. They took their name from the fact that they only benefited the State by their children (proles). Another name for them is capite censi, i.e. those who were classed in the list of citizens at the census solely in regard to their status as citizens (caput). Afterwards, the richer among them were taken to serve in the wars: these were then called proletarii; and those without any property at all, capite censi. In and after the time of Marius, when the levy of troops was no longer founded on the census, the Roman armies were recruited by preference from the last class.
Type: Standard
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