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AUGURES 100.00%
[not probably, from avis, a bird, but from a lost word, aug-o, to tell; so "declarers" or "tellers"]. A priestly collegium at Rome, the establishment of which was traditionally ascribed to Romulus. Its members were in possession of the knowledge necessary to make the arrangements for taking the auspices, and for their interpretation when taken. Their assistance was called in on all those occasions on which the State had to assure itself, through auspices, of the approval of the gods. The collegium originally consisted of three Patricians, of whom the king was one. During the regal period the number was doubled; in B.C. 300 it was raised to nine (four Patricians and five Plebeians); and in the last century of the Republic, under Sulla, to fifteen, and finally by Julius Caesar to sixteen, a number which continued unaltered under the Empire. It can be shown that the college of augurs continued to exist until the end of the 4th century A.D. The office was, on account of its political importance, much sought after, and only filled by persons of high birth and distinguished merit. It was held for life, an augur not being precluded from holding other temporal or spiritual dignities. Vacancies in the collegium were originally filled up by cooptation; but after 104 B.C. the office was elective, the tribes choosing one of the candidates previously nominated. An augurium had to be taken before the augur entered upon his duties. In all probability the augurs ranked according to seniority, and the senior augur presided over the business of the collegium. The insignia of the office were the trabea, a state dress with a purple border, and the lituus, a staff without knots and curved at the top. The science of Roman augury was based chiefly on written tradition. This was contained partly in the Libri Augurales, the oldest manual of technical practice, partly in the Commentarii Augurales, a collection of answers given in certain cases to the enquiries of the senate. In ancient times the chief duty of the augurs was to observe, when commissioned by a magistrate do so, the omens given by birds, and to mark out the templum or consecrated space within which the observation took place. The proceeding was as follows. Immediately after midnight, or at the dawn of the day on which the official act was to take place, the augur, in the presence of the magistrate, selected an elevated spot with as wide a view as was obtainable. Taking his station here, he drew with his staff two straight lines cutting one another, the one from north to south, the other from east to west. Then to each of these straight lines he drew two parallel lines, thus forming a rectangular figure, which he consecrated according to a prescribed form of words. This space, as well as the space corresponding to it in the sky, was called a templum. At the point of intersection in the centre of the rectangle, was erected the tabernaculum. This was a square tent, with its entrance looking south. Here the augur sat down, asked the gods for a sign according to a prescribed formula, and waited for the answer. Complete quiet, a clear sky, and an absence of wind were necessary conditions of the observation. The least noise was sufficient to disturb it, unless indeed the noise was occasioned by omens of terror (diroe), supposing the augur to have observed them or to intend doing so. As he looked south, the augur had the east on his left, the west on his right. Accordingly, the Romans regarded signs on the left side as of prosperous omen, signs on the right side as unlucky; the east being deemed the region of light, the west that of darkness. The reverse was the case in ancient Greece, where the observer looked northwards. In his observation of birds, the augur did not confine himself to noticing their flight. The birds were distinguished as alites and oscines. The alites included birds like eagles and vultures, which gave signs by their manner of flying. The oscines were birds which gave signs by their cry as well as their flight, such as ravens, owls, and crows. There were also birds which were held sacred to particular gods, and the mere appearance of which was an omen of good or evil. The augur's report was expressed in the words aves admittunt, "the birds allow it"; or alio die, "on another day," i.e. "the augury is postponed." The magistrate was bound by this report. The science of augury included other kinds of auspices besides the observation of birds, a cumbrous process which had dropped out of use in the Ciceronian age. (See AUSPICIA.) The augurs always continued in possession of important functions. In certain places in the city, for instance on the arx, and at the meeting place of the comitia, there were permanent posts of observation for taking the regular auspices. These places were put under the care of the augurs. Their boundaries might not be altered, nor the view which they commanded interfered with. The augurs had authority to prevent the erection of buildings which would do this. They had also the power of consecrating priests, as well as of inaugurating a part of the localities intended for religious purposes, and the places where public business was carried on. They were always present at the comitia, and were authorized, if the signs which they saw or which were reported to them justified the proceeding, to announce the fact and postpone the business. If the constitutional character of a public act was called in question, the college of augurs had the exclusive power of deciding whether there was a flaw (vitium) in it, or not. If there were, the act was necessarily annulled. By the end of the republican period the augurs, and the whole business of the auspices, had ceased to be regarded as deserving serious attention.
LITUUS 88.16%
The Roman term for the augur's wand. It was a staff hooked at the upper end; with it the augur marked out the sacred region (templum) for the observation of birds (see cut and cp. AUGURES).
In general the word is applied to all prophecy or foretelling in the simplest sense of the word. Among the Romans prophecy was based, not on inspiration, as with the Greeks, but on the observation of definite signs, such as the omen (or voice), the prodigies and the auspices taken note of by the augurs (see AUGURES). The science of the haruspices (or the foretelling of events from the inspection of the carcases of sacrificial victims) was a later importation from Etruria. The ancient Romans were not familiar with the divinatio from sortes or lots, which was common in many parts of Italy. The Sibylline books threw no light on future events. (See SIBYLS.) Towards the end of the republican period the sciences of the augurs and haruspices lost their significance, and the Greek oracles, in the various forms of their craft, with the Chaldaean astrology, came into vogue, and carried the fashion in the society of the Empire. (Cp. MANTIC ART.)
The election of a new member by the members of a corporation to supply a vacant place. Among corpora- tions which filled their vacancies in this way may be mentioned the college of Pontifices and Augurs. The election was preceded by the nomination of a proper candidate by one of the members, and followed by his inauguration.
In its proper sense the word means the watching of signs given by birds. But it was also applied to other signs, the observation of which was not intended to obtain answers about future events, but only to ascertain whether a particular proceeding was or was not acceptable to the deity concerned. It must be remembered that, according to Roman ideas, Jupiter gave men signs of his approval or disapproval in every undertaking; signs which qualified persons could read and understand. Any private individual was free to ask for, and to interpret, such signs for his own needs. But to ask for signs on behalf of the State was only allowed to the representatives of the community. The auspicia publica populi Romani, or system of public auspicia, were under the superintendence of the college of augurs. (See AUGUR.) This body alone possessed the traditional knowledge of the ceremonial, and held the key to the correct interpretation of the signs. The signs from heaven might be asked for, or they might present themselves unasked. They fell into five classes: (1) Signs given by birds (signa ex avibus). These, as the name auspicia shows, were originally the commonest sort, but had become obsolete as early as the 1st century B.C. (For the ceremonial connected with them, see AUGUR.) (2) Signs in the sky (ex coelo). The most important and decisive were thunder and lightning. Lightning was a favourable omen if it appeared to the left of the augur, and flashed to the right; unfavourable, if it flashed from right to left. (See AUGUR.) In certain cases, as, for example, that of the assembling of the comitia, a storm was taken as an absolute prohibition of the meeting. (3) Signs from the behaviour of chickens while eating. It was a good omen if the chicken rushed eagerly out of its cage at its food and dropped a bit out of its beak; an unfavourable omen if it was unwilling, or refused altogether, to leave its cage, or flew away, or declined its food. This clear and simple method of getting omens was generally adopted by armies in the field, the chickens being taken about in charge of a special functionary (pullarius). (4) Signs given by the cries or motion of animals, as reptiles and quadrupeds, in their course over a given piece of ground (signa pedestria or ex quadrupedibus). (5) Signs given by phenomena of terror (signa ex diris). These might consist in disturbances of the act of auspicatio, such as the falling of an object, a noise, a stumble, a slip in the recitation of the formula; or a disturbance occurring in the course of public business, such as, for instance, an epileptic seizure taking place in the public assembly; an event which broke up the meeting. The two last-mentioned classes of signs were generally not asked for, because the former were usually, the latter always, unlucky. If they made their appearance unasked, they could not be passed over, if the observer saw them or wished to see them. Every official was expected to take auspices on entering upon his office, and on every occasion of performing an official act. Thus the words imperium and auspicium were often virtually synonymous. The auspicia were further divided, according to the dignity of the magistrate, into maxima ("greatest") and minora ("less"). The greatest auspicia were those which weretaken by the king, dictator, consuls, praetors, and censors; the lesser were taken by aediles and quaestors. If two magistrates, though collegoe (colleagues) were of unequal dignity-supposing, for instance, that a consul and praetor were in the same camp-the higher officer alone had the right of taking the auspices. If the collegoe were equal, the auspices passed from one to the other at stated times. No public act, whether of peace or war (crossing a river, for instance, or fighting a battle), could be undertaken without auspices. They were specially necessary at the election of all officials, the entry upon all offices, at all comitia, and at the departure of a general for war. They had, further, to be taken on the actual day and at the actual place of the given undertaking. The whole proceeding was so abused that in time it sank into a mere form. This remark applies even to the auspices taken from lightning, the most important sign of all. For the flash of lightning, which was in later times regularly supposed to appear when a magistrate entered upon office, was always (after the necessary formalities) set down as appearing on the left side. Moreover, the mere assertion of a magistrate who, had the right of auspicium that he had taken observations on a particular day, and seen a flash of lightning, was constitutionally unassailable; and was consequently often used to put off a meeting of the comitia fixed for the clay in question. Augustus, it is true, tried to rehabilitate, the auspicia, but their supposed religious foundation had been so thoroughly shaken, that they had lost all serious significance.
PRIESTS 23.94%
Roman. At Rome, the State religion was under the management of a number of priesthoods, which, by the order of the State, performed the regularly prescribed sacred rites or those specially decreed by the State on their recommendation. In the time of the kings the superintendence of the entire ritual belonged to the kings, among whom Numa, as the founder of an organized worship of the gods, holds a prominent place. The most important priesthoods which originated in the time of the kings were the Flamines, the Augures, the Vestales, the Salii, the Fetiales, the Pontifices, the Luperci, the Fratres Arvales, and the Curiones. Besides these, in course of time there arose the Rex Sacrorum to offer certain sacrifices originally offered by the king, the custodians of the Sibylline oracles, the Epulones to discharge a part of the pontifical duties, the priests of the new cults gradually introduced, and lastly the priests of the deified emperors, e.g. the Sodales Augustales. A number of State cults were handed over to individual clans (gentes) and associations. (See SODALITAS.) After the establishment of the Republic, a distinguished position was attained by the college of the pontifices, who, like the king in earlier times, superintended the entire ritual. They were the technical advisers of the Senate on any new questions that arose in regard to it. Next to them in importance were the augurs and the custodians of the Sibylline oracles. These priesthoods, together with that of the epulones, were styled the four great colleges (quattuor summa collegia), and an equal honour was afterwards given to that of the sodales Augustales. The appointment of the priests, for whom the same qualifications were required as among the Greeks, proceeded in various ways, by nomination, co-optation, and election. They entered on office by inauguration, an act in which the chief pontiff, acting through the augurs, inquired of the god concerned whether the new priest was acceptable to him. His reception into the college was accompanied by a banquet given by the new priest, which became proverbial for its luxury. When officially engaged all State priests (apart from their peculiar insignia ) wore the proetexta, the purple-edged robe of Roman magistrates. They also enjoyed the distinction of a seat of honour at festivals and games, and exemption from military service, from the duties of citizens, and from taxation. The great priesthoods were posts of honour, and, like the political offices, were without remuneration. On the other hand, some priests and riestesses (e.g. the Vestal Virgins and the augurs), besides the use of the sacred or public lands belonging to their temples, received a regular annual salary. The cost of the establishment was defrayed from several sources. The priests had under their management a fund which was maintained from landed property and current receipts (including fees for admission to the temple and for the offering of the sacrifice). They also had a claim to certain parts of the victim, and other perquisites; besides this, they all, especially the curiones (see CURIA), and those associations to which State cults were entrusted, received the necessary money from the public chest. The cost of repairing the temples and of all sacrifices and festivals especially ordered by the State was defrayed from the same source. Similarly the State provided the priests either with public slaves or with free and salaried servants, to wait upon them. (For a particular kind of priests' assistants, See CAMILLI.) All State temples did not have particular priests assigned them; temples without priests of their own were under the superintendence of a sacristan (oedituus); and it was usually only once in the year that sacrifice was offered at the great festival of such temples by a State priest specially appointed for the purpose. No priest could be called to account by any civil magistrate except the censor. The pontifex maximus had the power of punishing the other priests. The position of a priest of a cult not recognised by the State, but merely tolerated, was naturally different. With regard to their maintenance, they were themselves, like the sanctuaries they superintended, supported by the contributions of the votaries of their own cult.
TEMPLUM 17.71%
The Roman term for a space marked out by the augurs (see AUGURES) according to a certain fixed procedure. Its ground-plan was a square or rectangle, having its four sides turned to the different points of the compass; its front however, according to strict Roman custom, faced towards the west, so that any one entering the temple had his face turned towards the east. It was not until later that the front was frequently made to face the east. The building erected on this space, and corresponding to it in plan, did not become a fanum, or sanctuary of the gods, until it had been consecrated by the pontifices. (See DEDICATIO.) As, however, there were fana which were not templa, e.g. all circular buildings, so there were templa which were not fana. Of this sort were the places where public affairs were transacted, such as the rostra in the Forum, the places where the comitia met or the Senate assembled, and even the city of Rome itself. The sanctuaries of the gods were designed as templa if they were intended to serve for meetings of the Senate, and if the form of worship prescribed for such sanctuaries were appropriate to the definition of a templum.
The god of the river Tiber; according to tradition, an old king of the country, who is said to have been drowned while swimming across the river Albula, which thenceforth was named Tiber (Tiberis) after him. The Roman legends represented him as raising the mother of Romulus and Remus, Rhea Silvia, who had been thrown into the Tiber, to the position of his consort and of goddess of the stream. As the river was of great importance to Rome, the river-god was highly bonoured, and was invoked by the pontifices and augurs in their prayers for the welfare of the State. His shrine was on the island of the Tiber, where offerings were made to him on Dec. 8th. On June 7th fishermen celebrated special games in his honour (ludi piscatarii) on the opposite bank of the Tiber. Under the name of Volturnus, i.e. "the rolling stream," or "river" generally, he appears to have had a flamen (Volturnalis) and a feast, the Volturnalia, on Aug. 27th. Of extant representations of the god the finest is a colossal figure in the Louvre, representing him in a reclining posture, as a victor crowned with bay, holding in one band a rudder, and in the other a cornucopia, with the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus by his side.
A Roman writer, born about 40 A.D. He was one of the urban praetors under Vespasian, and consul for the first time in 74. After this be fought with distinction in Britain until 78, first under Petilius Cerealis, and then as his successor. Under Domitian he kept aloof from public life. He was recalled by Nerva, who in 97 appointed him to the important office of superintendent of the aqueducts (curator aquarum ). He was also made a second time consul, and a third time under Trajan, two years later (100). Under Trajan he was also made augur, and was succeeded in the office by the younger Pliny. He died in 103 or 104, much esteemed by his contemporaries. His surviving works are (1) a collection, in three books, of typical instances of military stratagems taken from Greek and Roman history. This was intended as an additional chapter to a lost work on military science, which he had written under Domitian. A fourth book has been rightly judged spurious, and the work of a later age. (2) Selections from a treatise on land-surveying in two books (De agrorum qualitate and De controversiis agrorum), likewise written under Domitian. (3) The interesting treatise on the aqueducts of Rome (De aquis urbis Romoe), in two books. The occasion of his writing this work was his tenure of the office of curator aquarum; but it was not published till the time of Trajan. It is a history and description of the water supply of Rome, containing also the laws affecting its use and maintenance.
the "king of sacrifice." The name given by the Romans to a priest who, after the abolition of the royal power, had to perform certain religious rites connected with the name of king. He resembles the archon basileus of the Athenian constitution. He was always a patrician, was elected for life by the pontifex maximus with the assistance of the whole pontifical college (of which he became a member), and was inaugurated by the augurs. Although he was externally of high rank and, like the pontifex maximus, had an official residence in the Regia, the royal castle of Numa, and took the chair at the feasts and other festivities of the pontifices, yet in his religious authority he ranked below the pontifex maximus, and was not allowed to hold any public office, or even to address the people in public. His wife (like the wives of the flamens) participated in the priesthood. Our information as to the details of the office is imperfect. Before the knowledge of the calendar became public property, it was the duty of the rex sacrorum to summon the people to the Capitol on the calends and nones of each month, and to announce the festivals for the month. On the calends he and the regina sacrificed, and at the same time invoked Janus. Of the other sacrifices known to us we may mention the regifugium on Feb. 24th, when the rex sacrorum sacrificed at the comitium, and then fled in haste. This has been erroneously explained as a commemoration of the fight of Tarquinius Superbus, the last of the Roman kings; but it is much more probably one of the customs handed down from the time of the kings themselves, and perhaps connected with the purificatory sacrifice from which the month of February derived its name. At the end of the Republic the office, owing to the political disability attaching to the holder, proved unattractive, and was sometimes left unfilled: but under Augustus it appears to have been restored to fresh dignity, and in imperial times it continued to exist, at any rate, as late as the 3rd century.
The Latin name for land-surveyors, otherwise called gromatici, from groma, their measuring instrument. This consisted of two dioptric rods crossing each other at right angles and fastened on an iron stand so as to turn horizontally; on the four arms stood four upright dioptrae, with threads stretched across the holes, and in taking observations the threads of two opposite dioptrae had to cover each other. The measuring was done on the same principle as the marking-out of a templum by the Augurs (q.v.), viz. by drawing in the centre of the piece of land two lines intersecting at right angles, one from north to south (cardo maximus), the other from east to west (decumanus maximus); the further division of the ground was effected by parallels to these lines (limites). It was not until the imperial period that land-surveying became a separate profession. Then surveyors were prepared in special schools and appointed by the State, both for quarter-master's duty in camp and for measurements under Government; they decided as judges in fixing boundaries, and were consulted as specialists in disputes affecting land. Thus a literature arose, half mathematical, half legal, the remains of which extend over the first six centuries A.D. The earliest of these gromatici, or writers on land-measurement, is Frontinus (q.v.), from whose work, written from 81-96 A.D. and dealing more with the legal side of the subject, extracts are preserved in the commentary of Aggenus Urbicus. Hyginus, Balbus, and probably Siculus Flaccus, flourished in the time of Trajan; later still, Nipsus, Innocentius, and Aggenus.
The Roman god of bounds, under whose special protection were the stones (termini) which marked boundaries. The regulations respecting these stones and the religious customs and institutions connected with them went back to the time of king Numa. At the setting of such a stone every one living near the boundary assembled; and in their presence the hole prepared for the reception of the stone was watered with the blood of a sacrificial animal; incense, field-produce, honey, and wine were sprinkled over it, and a victim sacrificed. The stone, anointed and decked with garlands and ribbons, was then placed upon the smouldering bones and pressed into the earth. Whoever pulled up the stone was cursed, together with his draught-cattle, and any one might kill him with impunity and without being defiled by his blood. In later times the punishment of fines was instituted instead. The festival of the Terminalia was celebrated in Rome and in the country on the 23rd of February. The neighbours on either side of any boundary gathered round the landmark, with their wives, children, and servants; and crowned it, each on his own side, with garlands, and offered cakes and bloodless sacrifices. In later times, however, a lamb, or sucking pig, was sometimes slain, and the stone sprinkled with the blood. Lastly, the whole neighbourhood joined in a general feast. A lamb was also sacrificed in the grove of Terminus, which was six Roman miles from Rome, near the ancient border of the town of Laurentum. On the Capitol there was a stone dedicated to Terminus, which had originally stood in the open air, but when the temple of Jupiter was founded by the last king, Tarquinius Superbus, it was inclosed within the building, as the augurs would not allow it to be removed.
CICERO 3.36%
Marcus Tullius Cicero. The celebrated Roman orator, born at Arpinum, January 3rd, 106 B.C. He was son of Marcus Tullius Cicero and Helvia, his family being of equestrian rank, but not yet ennobled by office. With his brother Quintus he received his education in Rome, where he soon had an opportunity of hearing and admiring the two most celebrated orators of the day, Crassus and Antonius. He took the toga virilis in 90 B.C., and, while practising rhetorical exercises, devoted himself with ardour to the study of law. In 89 he served on his first campaign in the Marsian War. After this he began his studies in philosophy, mainly under the guidance of the Academic philosopher, Philo of Larissa. The presence of the Rhodian rhetorician Molo in Rome, and afterwards the instruction in dialectic given him by the Stoic Dioduus, gave him the opportunity he desired for furthering his training as an orator. Having thus carefully prepared himself for his future vocation during the period of the civil disturbances, he started on his career as an orator under Sulla's dictatorship. He began with civil or private cases. One of his earliest speeches, the Pro Quinctio, still survives. This oration [in which he defends his client on the question of his conduct in a partnership] he delivered in 81 B.C., in his 26th year. In the following year he first appeared in a causa publica, and not on the side of the prosecution, the usual course for beginners, but on that of the defence. His client was Sextus Roscius of Ameria, accused of murdering his own father. This speech laid the foundation of Cicero's fame, and not only because it was successful. People admired the intrepidity with which Cicero stood up against Chrysogonus, the favourite, of the omnipotent dictator. In the following year, for the sake of his delicate health, Cicero started on a two years, tour in Greece and Asia, taking every opportunity of finishing his education as a philosopher and orator. For philosophy he had recourse to the most celebrated professors at Athens: for rhetoric he went to Rhodes, to his former instructor, Molo. In B.C. 77 he returned to Rome, his health restored, and his intellect matured. In this year he married Terentia. Hie career as an advocate he pursued with such success that he was unanimously elected quaestor in 76 B.C.. He was stationed at Lilybaeum, in Sicily, and administered his office unimpeachably. After his return he entered the senate, and developed an extraordinary activity as a speaker. In consequence he was elected to the curule aedileship in 70 B.C. It was in this year that the Sicilians, remembering the conscientiousness and unselfishness he had displayed in his quaestorship, begged him to lead the prosecution against Verres. For three years this man had, in the most infamous manner, ill-treated and plundered the province. Cicero had to contend with all kinds of hindrances thrown in his way by the aristocratic friends of Verres. By the Divinatio in Caecilium he had to make good his claims to prosecute against those of Caecilius Niger. The defence was led by the most famous orator of the day, Hertensins. But Cicero managed to collect such a mass of evidence, and to marshal it with such ability, that after the actio prima, or first hearing, Verres found it advisable to retire into voluntary exile. The unused material Cicero worked up into an actio secunda in five speeches. The whole proceeding made him so popular that, spoiled as the multitude was, no one complained of his economical expenditure on the games during his aedilesbip. He was unanimously elected praetor in 67 B.C. In this office he made his first political speech in 66, successfully defending the proposal of the tribune Manilius to give Pompeius the command in the Mithridatic war, with unprecedented and almost absolute power. In 64 B.C. he came forward as candidate for the consulship, and was successful, in spite of the efforts of his enemies. He owed his success to the support of the nobility, who had hitherto regarded him, as a homonovus, with disfavour, but had come to recognise him as a champion of the party of order. He obtained the office, as he had the rest, suo anno, that is in the first year in which his candidature was legally possible. The danger with which Catiline's agitation was threatening the State, determined Cicero to offer a vigorous opposition to everything likely to disturb public order. With this view he delivered three speeches, in which he frustrated the agrarian proposals of the tribune Servilius Rullus. He also led the defence of the aged Rabirius, whom the leaders of the democratic party, to excite the people against the senate, had prosecute for the murder of Saturninus thirty-six years before. To avoid the danger and excitement of a fresh consular election for 62, he undertook the defence of the consul designatus L. Murena, on the charge of bribery; and this, although the accusers of Murena numbered among them Cicero's best friends, and, indeed, rested their case upon the very law by which Cicero had himself proposed to increase the penalties for bribery. The conspiracy of Catiline gave Cicero an opportunity of displaying in the most brilliant light his acuteness, his energy, his patriotism, and even his power as an orator. He discovered the conspiracy, and helped largely to suppress it by the execution of the chief conspirators, who had remained behind in Rome. Cicero's consulship marks the climax of his career. He received, it is true, the honourable title of pater patriae; but, a few weeks later, he bad a clear warning of what he had to expect from the opposite party in the way of reward for his services. When laying down his office he was about to make a speech, giving an account of his administration. The tribune Metellus Nepos interrupted him, and insisted on his confining himself to the oath usual on the occasion. In the following year he had opportunities for displaying his eloquence in the defence of P. Cornelius Sulla and the poet Archias. But he was often attacked, and had, in particular, to meet a new danger in the hostility of Clodius Pulcher, whose mortal hatred only too soon hit upon a chance of sating itself. Cicero would not accede to the plans of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus, but offered them a strenuous resistance. He deceived himself as to his own political importance, and refused to quit the city except under compulsion. The triumvirs accordingly abandoned him to the vengeance of Clodius. Clodius was elected tribune of the plebs in 58 B.C. , and at once proposed that any person should be made an outlaw, who should have put Roman citizens to death without trial. Cicero met the charge by retiring into voluntary exile early in April, 58. He went to Thessalonica, and Macedonia, where he found a safe retreat at the house of the quaestor Plancius. The sentence was, however, pronounced against him; his house on the Palatine was burnt down, his country houses plundered and destroyed, and even his family maltreated. It is true that, as early as the next year, he was recalled with every mark of distinction, and welcomed in triumph by the people on his entrance into Rome at the beginning of September. But his political activity was crippled by the power of the triumvirs. His fear of Clodius forced him to comply with their commands as a means of keeping in their good graces. But all this only stimulated him to show greater energy as an orator. His chief efforts were put forth in defending his friends, when prosecuted by political antagonists, as, for instance, Publius Sestius in 56 B.C., Gnaeus Plancius in 54, Titus Annius Milo in 52. His defence of the latter, accused of the murder of Clodius, was unsuccessful. It was at this period that he began to apply himself to literature. In 53 B.C. he was elected augur; from July, 51, to July, 50, he administered the province of Cilicia as proconsul. In this capacity, his clemency, uprightness and unselfishness won for him the greatest respect. For his conduct in a campaign against the robber tribes of Mount Amanus he was honoured by the title of Imperator, a public thanksgiving, and the prospect of a triumph. He landed in Italy towards the end of November, B.C. 50, and found that a breach between Pompey and Caesar was inevitable. The civil war broke out in the next year, and, after long hesitation, Cicero finally decided for Pompey, and followed him to Greece. But after the battle of Pharsalus, in which ill-health prevented him from taking a part, he deserted his friends, and crossed to Brundisium. Here he had to wait a whole year before Caesar pardoned him, and gave him leave to return to Rome. Caesar treated him with distinction and kindness, but Cicero kept aloof from public life. Nothing short of the calls of friendship could induce him to appear in the courts, as he did for Marcellus, Ligarius and Deiotarus. The calamities of his country; his separation from his wife Terentia, in 46 B.C. , after a married life of thirty-three years; his hasty union with the young and wealthy Publilia, so soon to be dissolved; the unhappy marriage and death of his favourite daughter Tullia; all this was a heavy affliction for him. He found some consolation in studying philosophy, and applying himself with energy to literary work. The murder of Caesar on March 15th, 44 B.C., roused him from his retirement, though he had taken no actual part in the deed. His patriotism excited him once more to take an active part in public life, and his first aimwas to effect a reconciliation of parties. He succeeded so far as to secure the passing of a general amnesty. But it was not long before the intrigues and the hostility of the Caesarian party forced him again to leave Rome. He was on his way to Greece, when, at the end of August, he was recalled, by false rumours, to the Capitol. In a moment of deep irritation against Antonius, he delivered, on the 2nd of September, the first of his fourteen Philippic orations, so called after those of Demosthenes. The second Philippic was never spoken, but published as a pamphlet; the last was delivered on the 21st April, B.C. 43. On the retirement of Antonius from Rome, Cicero found himself again playing a prominent part in politics. All the efforts of his party to bring about a restoration of the ancient republican freedom centred in him. But,when Octavianus disappointed the hopes which he had excited, and attached himself to Antonius and Lepidus in the second triumvirate, Cicero, now the chief man in the senate, was declared an outlaw. Intending to fly to Macedonia, as he had done fifteen years before, he was overtaken by his pursuers near Caieta, and put to death on September 7th, 43 B.C. , shortly before he had completed his sixty-fourth year. His head and right hand were exposed on the rostra by Antonius. The literary labours of Cicero signalize an important advance in the development of Latin literature. It is not only that he is to be regarded as the creator of classical Latin prose. He was also the first writer who broke ground, to any great extent, in fields of literature which, before him, had remained almost untouched. He had insight enough to perceive that his vocation lay in the career of an orator. His industry, throughout his whole life, was untiring; he was never blinded by success; to educate himself, and perfect himself in his art, was the object which he never lost sight of. His speeches, accordingly, give brilliant testimony to his combination of genius with industry. Besides the fifty-sevon speeches which survive in a more or less complete shape, and the most important of which have been mentioned above, we have about twenty fragments of others, and the titles of thirty-five more. Cicero was justified in boasting that no orator had written so many speeches, and in such different styles, as himself [Orator, c. 29, 30]. These orations were partly political, partly forensic; the latter being mostly on the side of the defenee. Cicero was also the author of panegyrics, as that, for instance, upon Cato. With few exceptions, as the second actio against Verres, the Pro Milone, and the panegyrics, they were actually delivered, and published afterwards. Extending over thirty-eight years, they give an excellent idea of Cicero's steady progress in the mastery of his art. They are of unequal merit, but everywhere one feels the touch of the born and cultivated orator. A wealth of ideas and of wit, ready acuteness, the power of making an obscure subject clear and a dry subject interesting, mastery of pathos, a tendency to luxuriance of language, generally tempered by good taste to the right measure, an unsurpassed tact in the use of Latin idiom and expression, a wonderful feeling for the rhythm and structure of prose writing: these are Cicero's characteristics. With all the faults which his contemporaries and later critics had to find with his speeches, Cicero never lost his position as the most classical representative of Latin oratory, and he was judged the equal, or nearly the equal, of Demosthenes. The knowledge which he had acquired in his practice as a speaker he turned to account in his writings on Rhetoric. In these he set forth the technical rules of the Greek writers, applying to them the results of his own experience, and his sense of the requirements of Latin oratory. Besides the two books entitled Rhetorica or De Inventione, a boyish essay devoid of all originality, the most important of his works on this subject are: (1) The De Oratore, a treatise in three books, written 55 B.C. This work, the form and contents of which are alike striking, is written in the style of a dialogae. Its subject is the training necessary for an orator, the proper handling of his theme, the right style, and manner of delivery. (2) The Brutus, or De Claris Oratoribus, written in B.C. 46; a history of Latin oratory from the earliest period down to Cicero's own time. (3) The Orator, a sketch of the ideal orator, written in the same year as the Brutus. Cicero also devoted a large number of books to Greek philosophy, a subject which he was concerned to render accessible to his countrymen. His writings in this line lack depth and thoroughness; but it must be said at the same time that he has the great merit of being the first Latin writer who treated these questions with taste and in an intelligible form, and who created a philosophical language in Latin. The framework which he adopts is usually that of the Aristotelian dialogue, though he does not always consistently adhere to it. It was not until after his fiftieth year that he began to write on philosophy, and in the years B.C. 45 and 44, when almost entirely excluded from politics, he developed an extraordinary activity in this direction. The following philosophical works survive, either in whole or in part: (1) Fragments, amounting to about one-third of the work, of the six books, De Re Publica, written B.C. 54-51. (2) Three books of an unfinished treatise, De Legibus, written about 52. (3) Paradoxa Stoicorum, a short treatment of six Stoical texts, B.C. 46. (4) Five books on the greatest good and the greatest evil (De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum), B.C. 45. This is the best of his philosophical works. (5) The second book of the first edition, and the first book of the second edition, of the Academica,B.C.45. (6) The five books of the Tusculan Disputations, B.C. 44. In the same year appeared (7) the De Natura Deorum, in three, and (8) the De Divinatione, in two books. (9) A fragment on the Stoical doctrine of Fate. (10) The Cato Maior, or De Senectute. (11) Laellus, or De Amicitia . (12) De Officiis, or On Ethics, in three books. Besides these, a whole series of philosophical and other prose writings by Cicero are known to us only in fragments, or by their titles. The multifarious nature of Cicero's occupation as a statesman and an orator did not hinder him from keeping up a voluminous correspondence, from which 864 letters (including 90 addressed to Cicero, are preserved in four collections. These letters form an inexhaustible store of information, bearing upon Cicero's own life as well as upon contemporary history in all its aspects. We have (1) The Epistulae ad Familiares, in sixteen books, B.C. 63-43; (2) The Epistulce ad Atticum, in sixteen books, B.C. 68-43; (3) Three books of letters to his brother Quintus; (4) Two books of correspondence between Cicero and Brutus after the death of Caesar, the genuineness of which is [rightly] disputed. Cicero also made some attempts to write poetry, in his youth for practice, in his later life mainly from vanity. His youthful effort was a translation of Aratus, of which some fragments remain. After 63 B.C. he celebrated his own consulship in three books of verses. [He is a considerable metrist, but not a real poet.]
SENATE 3.19%
The Roman State council, consisting in the earliest times of one hundred members, but before the expulsion of the Tarquins increased to three hundred, which for a long time remained its normal number. Originally none but patricians (patres) were eligible for membership; but (if tradition may be trusted) in the time of the last kings, plebeians, especially those of equestrian rank, were admitted, and on this account the senators were called by the collective title of patres (et) conscripti. Under the Republic the plebeians were eligible for membership from the outset, though they only acquired by degrees the right to wear the distinguishng dress. The election of senators (lectio senatus) rested during the regal period as a rule with the king and the curiae; during the Republic, at first with the consuls, afterwards with the censors, who also had power to expel unworthy members; otherwise, the office was held for life. Admission to the Senate could be claimed by the curule magistrates, who, after laying down their office, possessed the right of expressing their opinion in the Senate (ius sententiae dicendae) until the next census, at which the censors could only pass them over on stating special grounds for so doing. Next to these were considered the claims of the plebeian aediles, the tribunes, and the quaestors, who lost this right with the expiration of their office, and the most wealthy class of citizens, the knights, who, however, if they had not; yet been elected to any office, took a lower rank under the name of pedarii, and were only entitled to express their assent to the opinion of others. When the quaestors also were regularly added to the Senate, the minimum age legally qualifying for membership was fixed at twenty-eight years. In course of time a legal claim to admission was gained by the tribunes and plebeian aediles, and finally also by the quaestors, through the enactment of Sulla, who increased the Senate by the number of three hundred knights elected by the people, and conferred on the quaestors, now increased to twenty, the right of admission to the Senate immediately after the expiration of their office. Caesar raised the number of senators to 900, and under the triumvirs it even rose beyond 1,000. Augustus, however, limited it to 600, fixed the senatorial age at twenty-five, and enacted as a necessary qualification the possession of property worth at least one million sesterces (£10,000). Under the Empire a yearly list of the senators was published by the emperor. Prominent Italians and provincials gradually obtained admission, though at a later time only on condition of investing a certain part of their property in land in Italy. The first rank among the senators was taken by those who had held a curule magistracy, the last by those who had never filled any office at all. The title of princeps senatus was bestowed on the member set by the censors at the head of the list, usually an ex-censor, and always, it would appear, a patrician. His only privilege was that he was the first to be asked by the presiding officer to declare his opinion. From Augustus onwards the emperor for the time being was princeps senatus [though the title of princeps was independent of this position]. The distinguishing dress of members of the Senate was the tunica laticlavia, an under-garment with a broad purple stripe, and a peculiar kind of shoe (see CALCEUS). Among various other privileges enjoyed by senators was the right to a front seat in the theatre and at the games. Besides the senators themselves, their wives and children had several special privileges and distinctions, particularly under the Empire. The right of summoning the Senate (vocatio) was in early times held by the king; at the beginning of the Republic, only by the consuls and the extraordinary magistrates, such as interrex, dictator, and magister equitum; later, by the tribunes of the people and the praetors also; later still, only with the consent or at the command of the consuls; but, under the Empire, this restriction was removed. The emperor also had power to summon the Senate. It was convened by the voice of a herald or by the issue of a public placard; but, under the Empire, when (after the time of Augustus) meetings were regularly held on the Kalends and Ides, such notice was only given in the case of extraordinary meetings. Every senator was bound to attend, or to give reason for his absence, under penalty of a fine. Under the Empire, senators of more than sixty years of age were excused from compulsory attendance. When important business was before the Senate, no senator was allowed to go to a distance from Rome; special leave had to be obtained for a sojourn out of Italy. There was no number fixed as the quorum necessary for passing a resolution. Augustus attempted to enforce the presence of two-thirds of the members, but without success. Under the later Empire seventy, and finally only fifty, formed a quorum. Meetings of the Senate were not subject to the distinction between dies fasti and nefasti. (See FASTI.) As a rule, they could be held on any day on which the presiding magistrates were not otherwise engaged. No valid resolution could be passed before sun-rise or after sun-set. The meetings always had to be held in some place consecrated by the augurs, called a templum. Originally the meeting-place was the Vulcanal, a place consecrated to Vulcan, above the comitium in the Forum; later, after the time of Tullus Hostilius, it was the Curia (q.v.). Meetings were also held, at the choice of the magistrates that summoned them, in other consecrated places as well, in particular, the temples of the gods; they were held outside the city, in the temple of Apollo and Bellona on the Campus Martius, when business was to be conducted with magistrates who were still in possession of the military command, and consequently were not allowed to enter the city, or with foreign ambassadors whom it was not wished to admit within the walls. Meetings were usually held with open doors. Admission without special leave was allowed to magistrates' servants, and, until the second Punic War, and later also after Augustus, to senators' sons over twelve years of age. The senators sat on benches, the officials summoning the meeting on a raised platform, the consuls and pmtors on their sella curulis, and the tribunes on their special benches. Before opening the assembly the official summoning it had to sacrifice a victim and take the auspices in his own house. Augustus introduced the custom of the senators offering prayer one by one at the altar of the god in whose temple the meeting took place. In the Curia Iulia [16 in plan underFORUM] there were an altar and statue of Victory set up for this purpose. Business was opened by the summoning official, who brought before the meeting the matter to be discussed. This was called relatio. When the business of the meeting had been duly settled, it was open to the other magistrates present to bring forward fresh matters for discussion. At regular meetings under the Empire, the consuls had precedence in bringing forward business, unless it was claimed by the emperor, who could also, at an extraordinary meeting, take precedence of the magistrate who convoked it. The emperor usually caused his address to be read for him in the form of a speech by the quaestor principis. At an audience of ambassadors their speeches were heard before the business was laid before the meeting. After this followed the " questioning " (rogatio) of the senators, called on one after another by name in order of their rank and seniority. Towards the end of the Republic and under the Empire, after the consular elections the consuls-designate came first. If the emperor himself was presiding, he called first on the consuls then in office. The senators so called upon either stood up in their place and delivered their opinions in a speech, in which they were able (as sometimes happened) to touch on other matters than the one in hand; or, without rising, declared their assent to some opinion already delivered. After the different opinions had been delivered, they were collected together by the president and arranged for voting on. The voting took place by discessio, or separation into groups, the suporters of the various views taking up their position together. A bare majority decided th question. If there was any doubt, the numbers were counted. After the division the president dismissed the Senate, in order, with the aid of a committee of senators, to draw up the resolution of the Senate (senatus consultum) on the lines of the minutes of the meeting, unless an objection to it was raised by any of the officials present. The resolution was headed with the names of the consuls, followed by the date and place of meeting, the names of the proposers and of the members of the committee for drawing up the resolution; last of all followed the resolution itself, drawn up in certain fixed forms, The resolutions of the Senate were communicated to those concerned by word of Mouth or by writing. Those that related to the nation were published by the magistrates at the popular assembly, or by means of wooden (or in special cases bronze) tablets publicly displayed. Of resolutions affecting international relations two copies on bronze were prepared, one of which was hung up in the temple of Fides at Rome, the other in a temple of the other nation concerned. Resolutious of the Senate were preserved in early times in the office of the plebeian aediles, later in the Aerarium, the office of the quaestors. Under the Monarchy the power of the Senate was very limited. Its most important privilege was the power of appointing an interrex after the death of it king for the purpose of carrying on business and nominating a now king. During the Republic it soon extended its influence, as it had to be consulted, and its advice followed, by the magistrates on all important measures of administration. At length the whole government of the State came practically into its hands, and the magistrates were only the instruments for carrying out its will. Its predominance found expression in its taking the first place in the well-known formula, senatus populusque Romanus, especially as this was employed even in cases where the Senate acted without the co-operation of the people. In the time of the Gracchi the power of the Senate suffered a deadly blow, which it had to a great extent brought upon itself, In particular, it became customary to affix to resolutions of the people a stipulation that within a few days the Senate should swear allegiance to them. The last century B.C. saw the complete downfall of the Senate's authority. Augustus attempted to raise it by every means at his disposal. But in spite of important privileges conferred upon it, the Senate only possessed the semblance of power in opposition to the military force, of the emperor. Afterwards it sank to a mere shadow, when, from the time of Hadrian onwards, a special imperial council, the consilium principis, was instituted to deal with matters of paramount importance. The principal duties of the Senate consisted in (1) the supervision of religion, which it retained even under the Empire. This included the maintenance of the State religion, the introduction of foreign worships, arranging for the consultation of the Sibylline books , the establishment of new festivals, games, festivals for prayer and thanksgiving, etc. (2) The supervision of the whole of the State property and finances, and control of expenditure (e.g. the colonization and allotment of State lands, the revenues for building and the maintenance of public gardens, for the army, for games, etc.). Under the Empire the Senate had also the nominal control of the State treasury, until this was amalgamated with the imperial fiscus. (3) In reference to foreign affairs, the Senate had considerable influence over the declaration of war, the nomination of commanders, the decisions for the levy of troops and wax taxes, the provinces, rewards (such as triumphs and others), and the conclusion of peace and the ratification of treaties. Furthermore, the Senate had supreme power in all matters of diplomacy, as it appointed ambassadors, received and gave audience to foreign ambassadors, and conferred such tokens of honour as the titles of confederates and friends of the Roman people. Over the subjects of the Roman people it exercised an almost sovereign authority, particularly in reference to the assigning of provinces. Under the Empire, it retained control of the senatorial provinces alone. It was still sometimes consulted about concluding peace and ratifying treatises, and about business with foreign allies, and also had the right of conferring such honours as those of apotheosis, or of statues and triumphs. On the other hand, its influence over military matters could no longer continue side by side with the military power of the emperor. (4) In legislation it exercised considerable influence during the Republic, as it prepared legislative proposals to be brought before the people by the magistrates, and had the right of annulling laws passed by the people in the event of their being defective in point of form. Its resolutions also, by virtue of a kind of prescription, had considerable statutory authority. Under the Empire, when the legislative power of the people was entirely abolished, they had authority completely equal to that of the laws themselves. They were, however, merely formal ratifications of the will of the emperor, who in every year exacted from the Senate on January 1st an oath of allegiance to his independent enactments. On the accession of a new emperor the Senate conferred on him the imperial power by an enactment termed lex regia; this, however, was a mere formality. (5) During republican age, the Senate possessed no judicial power of its own (apart from the fact that, until the time of the Gracchi, the judges all belonged to the senatorial order); but the magistrate only acted as adviser to the judges in criminal jurisdiction, i e. in cases of treason and perjury on the part of allies and subjects, and in serious cases of poisoning and murder such as endangered the public peace. Under the Empire, the Senate-possessed formal jurisdiction in cases of breach of contract, disturbance in Italy, malpractices in office and extortion of provincial governors, and especially all cases of high treason and offences of senators. From the 2nd century onward all this jurisdiction passed over to the imperial courts. (6) During the Republic, the elections were only indirectly under the influence of the Senate, by means of the presiding officials, and also owing to their right of annulling elections on the score of mistakes in form, and, lastly, by having the appointment of the days for the elections. Under the Empire, it gained from Tiberius the right of proposing all the magistrates with the exception of the consuls; this right, however, was rendered insignificant by the fact that the candidates were recommended by the emperor. The right also of nominating the emperor, which it claimed when the occupant of the throne was removed by violence, was, owing to the practical power of the army, as illusory as its pretended right of deposition.
The popular assemblies of the Romans, summoned and presided over by a magistratus. In the comitia the Roman people appeared as distributed into its political sections, for the purpose of deciding, in the exercise of its sovereign rights, upon the business brought before it by the presiding magistrate. The comitia must be distinguished from the contiones. The contiones were also summoned and presided over by a magistrate, but they did not assemble in their divisions, and they had nothing to do but to receive the communications of the magistrate. In all its assemblie at Rome, the people remained standing. The original place of meeting was the comitium, a part of the forum. There were three kinds of comitia, viz.: (1) The Comitia Curiata. This was the assembly of the patricians in their thirty curice, who, until the change of the constitution under Servius Tullius, constituted the whole populus Romanus. During the regal period they were summoned by the rex or interrex, who brought before them questions to be decided Aye or No. The voting was taken first in each curia by heads, and then according to curiae, in an order determined by lot. The business within the competence of this assembly was: (a) to elect a king proposed by the interrex; (b) to confer upon the king the imperium, by virtue of the lex curiata de imperio; (c) to decide on declarations of war, appeals, arrogationes (see ADOPTION), and the reception of foreign families into the body of the patricians. The Servian constitution transferred the riaht of declaring aggressive war, and the right of deciding appeals, to the Comitia Centuriata, which, from this time onward, represented the people, now composed of both patricians and plebeians. After the establishment of the Republic, the Comitia Curiata retained the right (a) of conferring, on the proposal of the senate, the imperium on the magistrates elected by the Comitia Centuriata, and on the dictator elected by the consuls; (b) of confirming, likewise on the proposal of the senate, the alterations in the constitution decided upon by the Comitia Centuriata, and Tributa. The extinction of the political difference between Patricians and Plebeians destroyed the political position of the Comitia Curiata, and the mere shadow of their rights survived. The assembly itself became an unreality, so much so that, in the end, the presence of the thirty lictores curiati, and three augurs, was sufficient to enable legal resolutions to be passed (see LICTORS). But the Comitia Curiata retained the powers affecting the reception of a non-patrician into the patrician order, and the powers affecting the proceeding of arrogatio, especially in cases where the transition of a patrician into a plebeian family was concerned. Evidence of the exercise of these functions on their part maybe traced down the imperial period. The Comitia Calata were also an assembly of the patrician curioe. They were so called because publicly summoned (calare). The pontifices presided, and the functions of the assembly were: (a) to inaugurate the flamines, the rex sacrorum, and indeed the king himself during the regal period. (b) The detestatio sacrorum, previous to an act of arrogatio. This was the formal release of a person passing by adoption into another family from the sacra of his former family (see ADOPTION). (c) The ratification of wills twice a year; but this applies only to an early period. (d) The announcement of the calendar of festivals on the first day of every month. (2) Comitia Centuriata. The assembly of the whole people, patrician as well as plebeian, arran ged according to the centurioe established by Servius Tullius. The original founder of the comitia centuriata transferred to them certain political rights which had previously been exercised by the comitia curiata. It was not, however, until the foundation of the Republic, when the sovereign power in the state was transferred to the body of citizens, that they attained their real political importance. They then became the assembly in which the people, collectively, expressed its will. The right of summoning the comitia centuriata originally belonged to the king. During the republican period it belonged, in its full extent, to the consuls and the dictator alone. The other magistrates possessed it only within certain limits. The interrex, for instance, could, in case of there being no consuls, summon the comitia centuriata to hold an election, but he could summon them for this purpose only. The censors could call them together only for the holding of the census and the lustrum; the praetors, it may be conjectured, only in the case of capital trials. In all other instances the consent of the consuls, or their authorisation, was indispensable. The duties of the comitia centuriata during the republican period were as follows: (a) To elect the higher magistrates, consuls, censors, and praetors. (b) To give judgment in all the capital trials in which appeal to the people was permitted from the sentence of the magistrate sitting in judgment. This popular jurisdiction was gradually limited to political trials, common offences being dealt with by the ordinary commissions. And in the later republican age the judicial assemblies of the comitia centuriata became, in general, rarer, especially after the formation of special standing commissions (quoestiones perpetuoe) for the trial of a number of offences regarded as political. (c) To decide on declaring a war of aggression; this on the proposal of the consuls, with the approval of the senate. (d) To pass laws proposed by the higher magistrates, with the approval of the senate. This right lost much of its value after 287 B.C., when the legislative powers of the comitia tributa were made equal to those of the comitia centuriata. After this time the legislative activity of the latter assembly gradually diminished. The comitia centuriata were originally a military assembly, and the citizens accordingly, in ancient times, attended them in arms. On the night before the meeting, the magistrate summoning the assembly took the auspices on the place of meeting, the Campus Martius. If the auspices were favourable, signals were given, before daybreak, from the walls and the citadel by the blowing of horns, summoning the citizens to a contio. The presiding magistrate offered sacrifice, and repeated a solemn prayer, and the assembly proceeded to consider the business which required its decision. Private individuals were not allowed to speak, except with the consent of the presiding magistrate. At his command the armed people divided themselves into their centurioe, and marched in this order to the Campus Martius, preceded by banners, and headed by the cavalry. Arrived at the Campus, they proceeded to the voting, the president having again put the proposal to the people in the form of a question ("Do you wish?" "Do you command?") While the voting was going on, a red flag stood on the Janiculum. The equites, who in ancient times used to begin the battles in war, opened the voting, and their eighteen centuries were therefore called proerogativoe. The result of their vote was immediately published, and, being taken as an omen for the voters who were to follow, was usually decisive. Then came the 175 centuries, 170 of which composed the five classes of infantry in their order. Each centuria counted as casting one vote; this vote was decided by a previous voting within the centuria, which was at first open, but in later times was taken by ballot. If the 18 centuries of equites, and the 80 centuries of the first class, with whom went the two centuries of mechanics (centuroe fabrum), were unanimous, the question was decided, as there would be a majority of 100 centuries to 93. If not, the voting went on until one side secured the votes of at least 97 centuries. The lower classes only voted in the rare cases where the votes of the higher classes were not united. The proceedings concluded with a formal announcement of the result on the part of the presiding magistrate, and the dismissal of the host. If no result was arrived at by sunset, or if unfavourable omens appeared during the proceedings, or while the voting was going on, the assembly was adjourned until the next convenient occasion. This form of voting gave the wealthier citizens a decided advantage over the poorer, and lent an aristocratic character to the comitia centuriata. In the 3rd century B.C. a change was introduced in the interest of the lower classes. Each of the thirtyfive tribus, or districts, into which the Roman territory was divided, included ten centurioe, five of iuniores and five of seniores. (For the five classes, see CENTURIA.) Thus each of the five classes included 70 centurioe, making 350 centurioe in all. To this number add the eighteen centurioe equitum, and the five centurioe not included in the propertied classes; namely, two of fabri (mechanics), two of tubicines (musicians), and one of proletarii and liberti (the very poor and the freedmen), and the whole number of centurioe amounts to 373. The centurioe, it must be remembered, had by this time quite lost their military character. Under this arrangement the 88 votes of the equites and the first classis were confronted with the 285 votes of the rest. Besides this, the right of voting first was taken from the equites and given to the centuria proerogativa chosen by lot from the first classis. The voting, it is true, was still taken in the order of the classes, but the classes were seldom unanimous as in former times; for the interests of the tribus, which were represented in each classis by two centurioe respectively, were generally divergent, and the centuries voted in the sense of their tribe. The consequence was that it was often necessary indeed, perhaps that it became the rule, at least at elections to take the votes of all the classes.[1] In old times the military arrangement was sufficient to secure the maintenance of order. But, after its disappearance, the classes were separated, and the centurioe kept apart by wooden barriers (soepta), from which the centurioe passed over bridges into an open inner space called ovile (sheep-fold). On the position of the comitia centuriata during the imperial age, see below. (3) Comitia Tributa. This was the collective assembly of the people arranged according to the local distribution of tribes (see TRIBUS). It must be distinguished from the concilium plebis, which was an assembly of the tribes under the presidency of plebeian magistrates, i.e., the tribuni and the oediles plebeii. As these magistrates had no right to summon patricians, the resolutions passed by a concilium plebis were (strictly speaking) only plebi scita. It was a lex centuriata of some earlier date than 462 B.C. that probably first made these resolutions binding on all the citizens, provided they received the approval of the senate. This approval was rendered unnecessary by the lex Hortensia of 287 B.C., and from that date onward the concilia plebis became the principal organ of legislation. The method of voting resembled that in the comitia curiata, and the regular place of meeting was the Comitium. No auspices were taken. From 471 B.C. the concilia plebis elected the tribuni and the oediles plebeii. Among the other functions of the concilia plebis were the following: (a) To give judicial decisions in all suits instituted by the tribunes and aediles of the plebs, for offences against the plebs or its representatives. In later times these suits were mostly instituted on the ground of bad or illegal administration. The tribunes and aediles had, in these cases, the power of inflicting pecuniary fines ranging up to a large amount. (b) To pass resolutions on proposals made by the tribunes of the plebs and the higher magistrates on foreign and domestic affairs, on the conclusion of peace, for instance, or the making of treaties. Their power was almost unlimited, and the more important because, strictly speaking, it was only the higher magistrates who required the authorization of the senate. Nor bad the senate more than the right of quashing a measure passed without due formalities. The comitia tributa, as distinguished from the concilia plebis, were presided over by the consuls, the praetors, and (in judicial cases) the curule aediles. Until the latter years of the Republic, the assembly usualy met upon the Capitol, and afterwards on the Campus Martius. The functions of the comitia tributa, gradually acquired, were as follows: (a) The election of all the lower magistrates, ordinary (as the tribuni plebis, tribuni militum, aediles plebis, aediles curules) and extraordinary, under the presidency partly of the tribunes, partly of the consuls or praetors. (b) The nomination of the pontifex maximus, and of the co-opted members of the religious collegia of the pontifices, augures, and decemviri sacrorum. This nomination was carried out by a committee of seventeen tribes chosen by lot. (c) The fines judicially inflicted by the concilia plebis required in all graver cases the sanction of the tribes. The comitia tributa were summoned at least seventeen days before the meeting, by the simple proclamation of a herald. As in the case of the comitia centuriata, business could neither be begun nor continued in the face of adverse auspices. Like the comitia centuriata too, the tribal assembly met at daybreak, and could not sit beyond sunset. If summoned by the tribunes, the comitia tributa could only meet in the city, or within the radius of a mile from it. The usual place of assembly was the Forum or the comitium (q.v.). If summoned by other authorities, the assembly met outside the city, most commonly in the Campus Martius. The proceedings opened with a prayer, unaccompanied by sacrifice. The business in hand was then discussed in a contio, (see above, p. 155a); and the proposal having been read out, the meeting was requested to arrange itself according to its thirty-five tribes in the soepta or wooden fences. Lots were drawn to decide which tribe should vote first. The tribe on which this duty fell was called principium. The result of this first vote was proclaimed, and the other tribes then proceeded to vote simultaneously, not successively. The votes given by each tribe were then announced in an order determined by lot. Finally, the general result of the voting was made known. The proposer of a measure was bound to put his proposal into due form, and publish it beforehand. When a measure came to the vote, it was accepted or rejected as a whole. It became law when the presiding magistrate announced that it had been accepted. The character of the comitia had begun to decline even in the later period of the Republic. Even the citizens of Rome took but little part in them, and this is still more true of the population of Italy, who had received the Roman citizenship in 89 B.C. The comitia tributa, in particular, sank gradually into a mere gathering of the city mob, strengthened on all sides by the influx of corrupt elements. The results of the voting came more and more to represent not the public interest, but the effects of direct or indirect corruption. Under the Empire the comitia centuriata and tributa continued to exist, in a shadowy form, it is true, down to the 3rd century A.D. Julius Caesar had deprived them of the right of deciding on war and peace. Under Augustus they lost the power of jurisdiction, and, practically, the power of legislation. The imperial measures were indeed laid before the comitia tributa for ratification, but this was all; and under the successors of Augustus even this proceeding became rarer. Since the time of Vespasian the emperors, at their accession, received their legislative and other powers from the comitia tributa; but this, like the rest, was a mere formality. The power of election was that which, in appearance at least, survived longest. Augustus, like Julius Caesar, allowed the comitia centuriata to confirm the nomination of two candidates for the consulship. He also left to the comitia centuriata and tributa the power of free election to half the other magistracies; the other half being filled by nominees of his own. Tiberius transferred the last remnant of free elective power to the senate, whose proposals, originating under imperial influence, were laid before the comitia for ratification. The formalities, the auspices, prayer, sacrifice, and proclamation, were now the important thing, and the measures proposed were carried, not by regular voting, but by acclamation.
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