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Originally the Roman term for a town the inhabitants of which, called manicipes, only possessed tart of the rights of Roman citizenship, viz. the private rights of commercium and conubium, while they were excluded from the political rights, the ius suffragii and the ius honorum, the right to elect and to be elected to office. As Roman citizens, they did not serve (like the allies) in cohorts under a prefect, but in the legions under tribunes; they were, however, assigned to legions distinct from the others, since they were not inscribed on the lists of the Roman tribes, and therefore could not be levied in accordance with those lists. After the dissolution of the Latin League in B.C. 338, the allied towns were put into the position of municipia. At first there were two classes of municipia, according as they retained an independent communal constitution or not. The second class, which had no senate, magistrates, or popular assembly of its own, and was governed directly by Rome, consisted of the proefecturoe (q.v.). As the municipia gradually obtained the full rights of citizship, their nature changed; all persons were now called municipes, who did not belong to the town of Rome by birth, but were full Roman citizens, and hence belonged to a Roman tribe, were registered at Rome, could elect and be elected to office, and served in the Roman legions. The Lex Iulia of B.C. 90 made all the towns of Italy municipia with full civic rights, and every Italian country-town was now called a Roman municipium. Gradually the towns in the provinces received municipal rights, till finally Caracalla made all towns of the empire municipia. Originally one class of municipia had retained their own laws and their own constitution; this arrangement underwent a change when they were received into the Roman citizenship, inasmuch as the Roman law then became binding upon them, and a regularly organized administration on the Roman model was introduced. The citizens were divided into curice, and at their comitia curiata passed all kinds of decrees, and chose officers; most of these rights, however, passed into the hands of the local senate towards the end of the 1st century. This senate usually consisted of 100 life-members, called decuriones, and in every fifth year the vacancies were filled up from those who had held office or were qualified by their property. The highest officials were the duo viri, who were judges and presided at the assemblies of the people, especially at elections, and in the senate; the two quinquennales, chosen for a year, once in five years, and corresponding to the Roman censors; and qucestores and cediles, officials with similar duties to the Roman officials of the same name. (See MAGISTRATUS.) Besides the decuriones, whose position became hereditary at the end of the Empire, there were, under the heathen emperors, a second privileged class, known as Augustales, chosen by decree of the local senate and next to that body in rank. They made up a collegium, which was originally dedicated to the worship of the Julian family, and in later times seems to have also extended its functions to the worship of the other emperors. The decline of the municipal system, the prosperity of which had depended on the liberty and independence of the administration, set in at the end of the 2nd century after Christ, when the emperors began to transfer to the municipia the burdens of the State, and the decuriones gradually became mere imperial officials, who were more especially responsible for the collection of the tribute imposed.
The officials chosen every five years in the Italian municipalities (See MUNICIPIUM), corresponding to the Roman censors.
DECURIO 97.54%
The members of the senate in municipal towns were also called decuriones (see MUNICIPIUM).
A religious association at Rome, formed for the maintenance of the worship paid to the deified Caesars. (See MUNICIPIUM and SODALITAS.)
An Italian township possessing no jurisdiction of its own, but having a prefect to administer justice (praefectus iure dicundo) sent to it every year, generally on the nomination of the praetor urbanus. When all Italian towns received full citizen rights, 90 B.C., these towns among the rest became munipia (see MUNICIPIUM ), and retained the old name merely as a tradition.
A board or commission of 2 men, as e.g. the duoviri capitales perduellionis, or duoviri sacrorum (see SIBYLS), duoviri viis purgandis (see VIGINTI SEX VIRI, 6). In colonies and municipia, the title was borne by the two highest officials, who represented the the authority of the Roman consuls. (See MUNICIPIUM.)
TAXES 6.42%
In Athens, as in the free states of Greece generally, the citizens were freed from every personal tax; only for their slaves they had to pay the triobolon, a yearly poll-tax of three obols (4d.) for each. On the other hand, among the residents who were not citizens, the metoeci (q.v.) paid a yearly protection tax of twelve drachmae (8s.) for each independent man, and six drachmoe for every woman who managed her own house, and the freedmen paid the triobolon in addition. Besides this, all tradesmen who were not citizens had to pay a trade tax. (For extraordinary taxes on property see EISPHORA; for the more or less costly public services undertaken by wealthy citizens, see LEITOURGIA.) As indirect taxes may be mentioned: (1) the tax of 1 per cent. on the selling price paid at the sale of a piece of land. (2) The market tax, which was paid, partly at the gates, partly at the place of sale, by strangers and metoeci for the wares offered for sale in retail dealing; different articles were charged at different rates. (3) The tax on imports and exports, which was 2 per cent. on all imported or exported goods without distinction of kind. The State did not levy its dues and taxes itself, but caused them to be let out to individuals or companies by special officials, called the Poletoe (q.v.). (See TELONAe.) As at Athens, so under the Roman Republic, there was no direct taxation for citizens, except the property tax raised in extraordinary cases. (See TRIBUTUM.) The Roman citizen paid indirect taxes in the harbour tax (see PORTORIUM), and the tax introduced after 357 B.C. on the manumission of slaves at the rate of 5 per cent. of the value of the slave set free (vicesima manumissionis). Both taxes were let by the State to publicani (q.v.). Rome did not receive from her allies in Italy either direct or indirect taxes, apart from the obligations as to supplying soldiers and ships imposed on them by the alliance. After the right of citizenship was granted to them in 89 B.C. they were placed on the same footing as the citizens with respect to indirect taxes. But the provinces had to pay all the more to Rome, partly by direct, partly by indirect taxation. Yet, especially with regard to the former, there was no similarity of treatment, but every province had its own form of taxation, which, as a rule, was assimilated to the system existing in it at the time of its conquest. Some provinces paid a fixed yearly sum (see STIPENDIUM), which was raised by communal districts through the chief towns of each district, while others paid a certain quota of the varying produce of the cultivated land in the province (see DECUMA), which was farmed out to publicani. The provinces felt indirect taxation chiefly through the harbour tax, and indeed every province seems to have formed a separate fiscal district. Under the Empire it was only the indirect taxes that were at first made higher for the citizens, as Augustus added to the taxes on harbours and manumission the centesima rerum venalium, 1 per cent. on the price of articles sold at auctions; the quinta et vicesima mancipiorum, or 4 per cent. on the price of every slave bought, and the vicesima hereditatum et legatorum, of 5 per cent. on all inheritances above 100,000 sesterces, which did not fall to the nearest blood-relations, and on all legacies. The freedom of the citizens from direct taxation continued unimpaired, and when Caracalla, in 212 A.D., had granted to all free subjects of the Empire the right of citizenship, Italy, at least, maintained its freedom from taxation, until Diocletian (in 284) removed the last distinctions between the inhabitants of Italy and of other parts of the Empire, and introduced into Italy the same taxation as obtained in the provinces. It had in course of time been reduced to a more uniform system, on the basis of a general census of the Empire. The chief tax was the land tax (tributum soli), the total sum of which was promulgated every year by the emperor for the whole Empire, and divided amongst the provinces according to the number of taxable units (iuga or capita) which each province was set down as containing in the periodically revised registers. Connected with this tax in money were contributions in kind to the imperial stores for the army and the officials, who had a claim to them. The male and female population of the country not possessing land paid after a certain age (20-25 years) a poll tax (tributum capitis), the amount of which was fixed by imperial ordinance, and for women was about half the sum imposed on men. Citizens resident in towns, and not possessing land, paid a tax partly on their property, partly, as far as they happened to be engaged in a trade, on their working capital and on the trade itself. The taxes apportioned to each town with its districts were raised by tax collectors (exactores), but the decuriones, or members of the municipal senates (see MUNICIPIUM), were responsible for the amount and had to advance it themselves.
Type: Standard
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