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CURIA 100.00%
The name of the thirty divisions into which the three tribus of the Roman patricians were divided for political and religious objects. Every curia contained a number of gentes, supposed to be exactly ten, and a president, curio, whose duty it was to look after its secular and religious business. At the head of all the curioe stood the Curio Maximus, who was charged with the notification of the common festivals Fordicidia and Fornacalia (see these words). The separate curiones were chosen by their respective curive, and the Curio Maximus was elected by the people in special comitia out of the number of curiones. For its special sacrifices every curia had its place of meeting, bearing the same name, with a hearth and dining-hall where the members met to feast and sacrifice. The plebeians seem to have been admitted to the sacrifices, which were offered on behalf of the whole people, and were paid for at the expense of the state (see further, COMITIA CURIATA). The term curia was also applied to certain houses intended for holding meetings, as, for instance, the official residence of the Salli on the Palatine, and especially the senate-house, Curia Hostilia, built by king Hostilius on the comitium, and burnt down 52 B.C. In its place Faustus Sulla, the son of the Dictator, erected the Curia Cornelia. Caesar interrupted the progress of this work to set up the Curia Iulia in its place. Then the senate met in the Curia Pompei, in the entrance-hall of Pompey's theatre, where Caesar was murdered. The Curia Iulia was not begun till 44 B.C., shortly before Caesar's death, and was consecrated in 29 by Augustus. (See plan of Roman Fora, under FORUM.)
A Roman festival held in February in honour of Fornax, the goddess of ovens. It was said to have been founded by Numa, and may be described as a thanksgiving for the earliest enjoyment of the newly gathered corn. It was held in the Forum by the Curiae, or ancient unions of kinsmen, under the superintendence of the Curio Maximus, or president of the masters of the curioe. Corn was baked in ovens in the ancient fashion. All who missed the festival were called fools (stulti), as being supposed not to know which was their curia, and had to make an offering at the so-called Feast of Fools (stultorum ferioe). on the 17th February, the day of the. Quirinalia.
The name of a small space in Rome, bounded on the north by the senate-house (see CURIA), and on the south by the rostra (see ROSTRA). Down to the 2nd century B.C. it was used for the meetings the assemblies and of the courts of law. After the removal of the rostra it became part of the Forum. See Plan under FORUM, No. 18.
NICE 33.59%
The Greek goddess of victory, according to Hesiod, daughter of Pallas and Styx, by whom she was brought to Zeus to assist him in his struggle with the Titans: thenceforward she remains always with Zeus on Olympus. Sculptors often represent her in connexion with divinities who grant victory: thus the Olympian Zeus and the Athene on the Acropolis at Athens held in one hand a statue of Nice. (See ZEUS, fig. 2; and, for another Nice, cp. PAeONIUS.) She was generally represented as winged and with a wreath and a palm-branch. As herald of victory she also has the wand of Hermes. This mode of representing her was adopted for the statues of the goddess specially revered by the Romans under the name Victoria. Vica Pota ("Victorious Issue") was an earlier designation of the same goddess. Such statues were erected chiefly on the Capitol by triumphant generals. The most famous was the statue [brought from Tarentum and therefore probably the work of a Greek artist] which Augustus dedicated to her in the Curia Iulia, in memory of his victory at Actium. When the Curia Iulia had been destroyed by fire in the reign of Titus and rebuilt by Domitian, the statue was Paced in the new building, and was adored as the guardian goddess of the senate until Christianity became the religion of the empire.
MINERVA 17.97%
The Italian goddess of intelligence, meditation, and inventiveness, queen of all accomplishments and arts, especially of spinning and weaving, as practised by women. She was also the patron-goddess of fullers, dyers, cobblers, carpenters, musicians, sculptors, painters, physicians, actors, poets, schoolmasters, and especially of schoolchildren. Her oldest and most important sanctuaries were at Rome on the hills of the town; on the Capitol, where she occupied the chamberon the right in the great temple common to her with Jupiter and Juno; on the Aventine, where the official meeting place of poets and actors was situated, and on the. Caelian. Her chief festival was the Quinquatrus (q.v.). In the course of time the Greek conception gained more ground; Minerva was identified with Pallas Athene. This certainly happened with regard to Athene considered as the bestower of victory and booty, when Pompey erected a temple to her from the booty won in his Eastern campaigns. And Augustus must have regarded her as Athene the Counsellor when he added to his Curia Iulia a vestibule dedicated to Minerva. The Roman Minerva was represented in art in the same manner as the Greek goddess. (See ATHENE.)
LICTORS 15.25%
Attendants who bore the fasces (q.v.) before Roman magistrates who had a right to these insignia. They were generally freedmen, and formed in Rome a corps consisting of three decuriae under ten presidents. From these decuriae, the first of which was exclusively reserved for the consuls, the magistrates in office drew their lictors, while the provincial office-bearers nominated their own for their term of power. There was besides another decuria of thirty lictores curiati to attend on the public sacrifices, to summon the comitia curiata, and, when these meetings became little more than formal, to represent in them the thirty curiae; from this decuria probably were also chosen the lictors of the flamen dialis and of the Vestals. It was the duty of the lictors to accompany the magistrate continually, whenever he appeared in public. On these occasions they marched before him in single file, last in order and immediately preceding him being the lictor proximus, who was superior in rank. All passers by, with the exception of matrons and Vestals, were warned by the lictors to stand aside and make due obeisance. The space required for official purposes was kept clear by them. Sentences of punishment were also executed by them. Their dress corresponded to that of the magistrate; inside the city the toga, outside, and in a triumph, the red military cloak.
ROSTRA 12.10%
(properly the ships' prows, from rostrum, the iron-Lund prow, lit. "beak," of a ship). The orators' platform in the Forum at Rome, so called because it was embellished wil the bronze prows of the ships of the Latin fleet captured at Antium in 338 B.C. [Livy, viii 14]. Besides these it was also decorated with other monuments of the greatness of Rome, such as the Laws of the Twelve Tables, the columna rostrata of Duilius, and numerous statues of men of mark. Originally it stood between the part of the Forum called the Comitium and the Forum proper, opposite the Curia [no. 18a in Plan s.v. FORUM]; but in 44 B.C. Caesar moved it to the north end of the Forum under the Capitol [no. 6 in same Plan; cp. Cic., Phil. ix 2], and here built up part of it by the employment of the old materials. It was not completed until after his death, by Antonius. This now platform, which was afterwards repeatedly restored, appears by the existing remains to have consisted of an erection 11 feet higher than the pavement of the Forum, about 78 feet in length, and 33 feet in depth. [Cp. Middleton's Remains of Ancient Rome, 244, 246.] The front was decorated with two rows of ships' prows. The way up to the platform was at the back. This platform also was used down to the latest times of the Empire as a place for setting up honorary statues. [The Rostra Iulia, so called to distinguish it from the other rostra, was the projecting podium of the heroon of Julius Coesar, built by Augustus, (no. 21 in plan). Affixed to this were the prows of the vessels captured at Actium: Dion Cassius, li 19 (Middleton, l.c., pp. 262-8).]
A state-building, used by the Romans as a hall of justice and a public meeting-place. The earliest basilica built at Rome was called the basilica Porcia, after the famous M. Porcius Cato Censorius, who built it in B.C. 184, probably on the model of the Stoa Basileios ("royal colonnade") at Athens. It stood in the Forum near the Curia. The later basilicas usually bore the name of the persons who built them. Buildings of the same kind were constantly erected in the provinces to serve as halls of exchange or courts of justice. The form of the basilica was oblong; the interior was a hall, either without any divisions or divided by rows of pillars, with a main nave, and two or sometimes four sideaisles. Galleries for spectators were often added above. If the basilica was used as a hall of justice, a space, usually in the form of a large semicircular niche, and containing a tribunal, was set up at the end of the nave for the accommodation of the court. After the time of Constantine the Great, of whose great basilica, with its nave and two aisles, magnificent ruins still remain, many basilicas were turned into Christian churches, and many churches were built upon the same plan. (The annexed cut gives the plan of the basilica at Pompeii. See also ARCHITECTURE, fig. 11.)
SENATE 9.52%
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.
(See GENS.) In the oldest times of Rome, the actual citizens who constituted the populus Romanus. They were divided into three tribes, --Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, each consisting of ten curioe. (See CURIA.) The union of these latter formed the national assembly, the comitia curiata. (See COMITIA, 3.) Besides these there were originally only clientes, settlers enjoying no legal rights, with the citizens for their protectors (or patroni). Afterwards, when a new element of the population, endowed with partial citizenship, called the plebs (q.v.), sprang up from the settlement of subjugated Latin tribes, the patricii stood in contrast to them as old citizens possessing full rights. Later, the plebeians received a fuller citizenship through the centurial constitution framed by Servius Tullius (see CENTURIA), while they gained at the same time the right of voting in the comitia centuriata, composed of patricians and plebeians, together with the obligation of serving in the field and paying taxes, hitherto obligatory on the patricians alone. In contrast to the plebeians, the patricians thus formed a hereditary aristocracy, with the exclusive right to hold public offices, whether civil or religious. Nothing short of a decision by the comitia curiata could either remove any one from the patrician body or (on rare occasions) enrol a plebeian among the patricians. The contraction of marriages between patricians and plebeians was not allowed till 445 B.C. A violent struggle arose between the two parties, after the establishment of the Republic in 510 B.C., on the subject of the admission of the plebeians to State offices. This struggle lasted till 300 B.C., and the patricians were, step by step, forced to give up their exclusive right to one office after another. First of all, they had to give up the quaestorship (409), then the consulate (367), the dictatorship (356), the censorship (351), the praetorship (338), and finally the most important priestly offices, the pontificate and the augurship (300). Only politically unimportant offices were left reserved for them, the temporal office of interrex, and the priestly offices of rex sacrorum and the three flamines maiores. The political importance which the patrician comitia curiata possessed, through its right to confirm the decisions of the comitia centuriata, was lost in 286. The comitia tributa, in which the plebs had the preponderance, thus became the most important organ of the democracy. An aristocracy of holders of public offices was thus formed, consisting of the patricians together with the more important plebeian families. The members of such families, whether patrician or plebeian, were called nobiles. The number of patrician families dwindled greatly owing to the civil wars (on their number towards the end of the Republic, see GENS). Caesar and Augustus increased them by introducing plebeian families, and subsequent emperors gave the patriciate as a distinction. Under Constantine the Great, patricius became a personal title, which conferred a rank immediately below the consuls. The external distinctive marks of a patrician were the tunica laticlavia (see TUNICA) and a peculiar sort of shoe (see CALCEUS) adorned with an ivory crescent (lunula).
SALII 7.95%
An old Italian college of priests of Mars; said to have been introduced at Rome by Numa and doubled by Tullus Hostilius. The earlier college was called the Salii Palatini, and the later the Salii Agonales or Collini. The former derived their name from their curia on the Palatine Hill; the latter, from the Colline Gate, near which stood their sanctuary on the Quirinal. Both colleges consisted of twelve life-members of patrician family, and recruited their numbers from young men, whose parents were required to be still living; at their head was a magister, a praesul (leader in the dance), and a vates (leader in the song). The cult of the Palatine Salii had to do with Mars, that of the Colline with Quirnus; but the chief connexion of both was with the holy shields, ancilia. (See ANCILE with cut.) The chief business of the Salii fell in March, the beginning of the campaigning season. On March 1st they began a procession through the city, each of them dressed in an embroidered tunic, a bronze breastplate, and a peaked helmet, girt about with a sword, with one of the holy shields on the left arm, and in the right hand a staff, while trumpeters walked in front of them. At all the altars and temples they made a halt, and, under the conduct of the two leaders, danced the war-dance in three measures, from which they take their name of Salii or "dancers," accompanying it by singing certain lays, beating their shields meanwhile with the staves. Every day the procession came to an end at certain appointed stations, where the shields were kept over the night in special houses, and the Salii themselves partook of a meal proverbial for its magnificence [Horace, Odes i 37, 2]. Until March 24th the ancilia were in motion; within this time some special festivities, were also held, in which the Salii took part. On March 11th there was a chariot-race in honour of Mars (Equiria) and a sacrificial feast in honour of the supposed fabricator of the shields, Mamurius Veturius; on the 19th was the ceremony of the cleansing of the shields, and on the 23rd the cleansing of the holy trumpets (tubae) of the priests, called the tubilustrium. The days on which the ancilia were in motion were accounted solemn (religiosi), and on these days men avoided marching out to war, offering battle, and concluding a marriage. In October, the close of the campaigning season, the ancilia were once more brought out, in order to be cleansed in the Campus Martins. The lays of the Salii, called aoeamenta, were referred to Numa, and were written in the archaic Saturnian verse, and in such primitive language, that they were scarcely intelligible even to the priests themselves, and as early as the beginning of the 1st century B.C. were the object of learned interpretation. [Quintilian i 6 § 40. Two or three connected bits of these lays have come down to us (Allen's Remnants of Early Latin, p. 74). The most intelligible is the following, in a rude Saturnian measure: ¦ Cumé tonds, Leucésie, + prae tet tremónti, ¦ Quom tiibei cúnei + déxtumúm tondront; ¦ i.e. Cum tonas, Lucetie (thou god of light), prae te tremunt, cum tibi cunei (bolts of lightning) a dextra tonuerunt.] Besides Mars, other deities, such as Janus, Jupiter, and Minerva, were invoked in them; the invocation of Mamurius Veturius formed the close [Ovid, Fasti, iii 260 ff.]. After the time of Augustus the names of individual emperors were also inserted in the lays
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.
The Roman year was supposed to have consisted, under Romulus, of 10 months, four full ones of 31 days (March, May, July and October), and six "hollow" of 30 days (April, June, August, September, November, December). But, as a space of 304 days makes up neither a solar nor a lunar year, it is difficult to understand the so-called "year of Romulus." King Numa was usually supposed to have introduced the year of 12 months by adding January and February at the end; for the Roman year, it must be remembered, began originally with March. On this system every month except February had an odd number of days: March 31, April 29, May 31, June 29, Quintilis 31, Sextilis 29, September 29, October 31, November 29, December 29, January 29, February 28. Numa is also credited with the attempt to square this lunar year of 355 days with the solar year of 365; but how he did it is not certainly known. The Decemviri in 450 B.C. probably introduced the system of adjustment afterwards in use. According to this a cycle of four years was taken, in the second year of which an intercalary month (mensis mercedonius) of 23 days was inserted between the 24th and 25th of February, and in the fourth year a month of 22 days between the 23rd and 24th February. Thus the period of 4 years amounted to 1465 days. But this gave the year an average of 366 1/4 days, or one day too many, so that a special rectification was necessary from time to time. This was probably carried out by the omission of an intercalary month. It was the business of the Pontifices to keep the calendar in order by regular intercalation; but, partly from carelessness, partly from political motives, they made insertions and omissions so incorrectly as to bring the calendar into complete disorder, and destroy the correspondence between the months and the seasons. The mischief was finally remedied by Caesar, with the assistance of the mathematician Sosigenes. To bring the calendar into correspondence with the seasons, the year 46 B.C. was lengthened so as to consist of 15 months, or 415 days, and the calendar known as the Julian was introduced on the 1st January, 45 B.C. This calendar is founded simply on the solar year, which is well known to be a discovery of the Egyptians. Caeesar fixed this year to 365 1/4 days, which is correct within a few Minutes. After this the ordinary year consisted of 365 days, divided into 12 months, with the names still in use. Every fourth year had 366 days, a day being inserted at the end of February. The Julian calendar maintained its ground till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII corrected the trifling error which still attached to it. The old names of the months were retained with two exceptions, that of Quintilis, which, in honour of Caesar, was called Iulius, and that of Sextilis, which in 8 B.C. Was called Augustus in honour of the emperor. The old divisionsof the lunar month were also retained for convenience of dating. These were the Kalendae, marking the first appearance of the new moon; the Nonoe, marking the first quarter ; the Idus, marking the full moon. Kalendae> means properly the day of summoning, from calare, to summon. The Pontifex was bound to observe the first phase, and to make his announcement to the Rex Sacrorum, who then summoned the people to the Capitol, in front of the Curia Calabra, so called from calare. Here he offered sacrifice, and announced that the first quarter would begin on the 5th or 7th day (inclusive) as the case might be. This day was called Nonae, as (according to Roman calculation) the 9th day before the full moon, and fell in March, May, July and October on the 7th, in the other months on the 5th. The appearance of the full moon was called Idus (probably connected with the Etruscan word iduare, to divide), because it divided the month in the middle. The days of the month were counted backwards, in the first half of the month from the Nones and Ides, in the last half from the Kalends of the following month. The Romans also had a week called internundinum, or the interval between two nundinae. It consisted of eight days, and, like our weeks, could be divided between two months or two years. (For further details see FASTI.) After the establishment of the Republic the Romans named their years after the consuls, a custom which was maintained down to the reign of Justinian (541 A.D.). After the time of Augustus it became the practice in literature to date events from the foundation of Rome, which took place according to Varro in 753, according to Cato in 751 B.C. The Day. The Greeks reckoned the civil day from sunset to sunset, the Romans (like ourselves) from midnight to midnight. The natural day was reckoned by both as lasting from sunrise to sunset. The divisions of the day were for a long time made on no common principle. It was for military purposes that the Romans first hit on such a principle, dividing the night during service into four equal watches (vigiliae). Corresponding to this we find another division (probably calculated immediately for the courts of justice) into mane (sunrise to 9 or 10), forenoon (ad meridiem), afternoon (de meridie) until 3 or 4, and evening (suprema) from thence till sunset. After the introduction of sun-dials and waterclocks the day and night were divided each into 12 hours; but the division was founded on the varying length of the day, so that each hour of the day was longer, and conversely each hour of the night shorter, in summer than in winter.
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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