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TITIES 100.00%
One of the three ancient patrician tribes at Rome. (See PATRICIANS.)
(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).
RAMNES 99.32%
One of the three old patrician tribes at Rome. (See PATRICIANS.)
LUCERES 99.32%
One of the three old patrician tribes in Rome. (See PATRICIANS.)
The aristocracy of office, which at Rome took the place of the patrician aristocracy of birth, after the admission of the plebeians to all the offices of state and the levelling of the distinction between patricians and plebeians consequent thereon. It comprised those patrician and plebeian families whose members had held one of the curule magistracies. These families, for the most part the most illustrious and wealthy, had the influence and money, which afforded them the necessary means to canvass for and hold an office. Thus, in spite of the theoretical equality of rights now existing, they almost completely excluded from the higher magistracies all citizens who had neither wealth nor noble relatives to support them. It was quite exceptional for a man who did not belong to the nobility to be fortunate enough to attain to them. If he did so, he was styled a homo novus (a new man, an upstart). It was one of the privileges of the nobility that they enjoyed the right to possess images of their ancestors. (See IMAGINES.)
The Roman goddess of modesty and chastity. She was at first worshipped in a chapel in Rome exclusively by the patrician matrons. When, in 296 B.C., the patrician Verginia was excluded from this worship by her marriage with the plebeian consul Volumnius, she erected in her own house a chapel to the goddess, so that the plebeian matrons might worship there. Afterwards this cult died out with the decay of morals. In imperial times altars were erected to Pudicitia in honour of the empresses. The goddess was her right hand in her garment.
GENS 21.52%
A family (in the widest sense of the word) descended on the male line from a common ancestor, and therefore bearing a commcn name. So long as the patricians were the only citizens with full rights, there could of course be no gentes not patrician. The oldest gentes belonged to the tribes of the Latin Ramnes and the Sabine Tities. Besides these there were the gentes belonging to the Alban families, brought to Rome by King Tullus Hostillus; and embodied by the other gentes in the community as a third tribe, the Luceres. These, the most ancient, were called gentes maiores as distinguished from the gentes minores, which included the plebeians whom Tarquinius Priscus raised to the rank of patricians. There were italics>in later times instances of plebeian gentes being raised to patrician rank: but these became rarer and rarer, so that the number of patrician gentes was very much reduced. During the last years of the Republic we hear of only fourteen still in existence, including thirty familioe (or families in the narrower sense). Many large gentes were divided into houses (stirpes) who had a common cognomen in addition to the name of their gens; thus the gens Cornelia included the Cornelii Maluginenses, Cornelii Cossi, Cornelii Scipiones, Cornelii Rufini, Cornelii Lentuli, Cornelii Dolabelloe, Cornelii Cethegi, Cornelii Cinnoe, Cornelii Sulloe. Among the plebeians, as among the patricians, the familia naturally developed into a larger circle of relationship; but gentes in the old sense were not formed by the process. Though the plebeian had his gentile name, and afterwards his cognomen, he had not the real ius gentilicium. All gentiles or members of a gens had a right to its common property, which included a common burial-place. They also had a testamentary law of their own which lasted on into the imperial period. When the member of a gens died without heirs of his body, italics>the next to inherit (as in the case of the plebeians) were the agnati, or gentiles on the male side, who could prove their relationship: failing these, the gentiles divided the inheritance. The existence of this law rendered it, in old times, necessary to obtain the consensus of the whole gens in cases of adoption and testamentary bequest. Another consequence of it was, that it was the duty of the gentiles to provide a curator for insane persons and spendthrifts, and a guardian for minors. Every gens had its meetings, at which resolutions were passed binding its individual members in matters affecting the gens. It was a decree of the gens Manlia, for instance, which forbade any one of its members to bear the proenomen Marcus. As every familia, whether patrician or plebeian, had certain sacrifices which it was bound to perform, so had every gens, as a larger or extended familia. All members of the gens were entitled, and indeed bound, to take part in the sacra gentilicia, or common worship of the gens. These sacra ceased to exist with the extinction of a gens: and if a member of a gens left it, this right and duty also came to an end. It should be added that certain public religious services were assigned to particular gentes, that of Hercules, for instance, to the gens Pinaria.
The contracting of a matrimonium iustum, or valid marriage, with all its legal consequences. As such a marriage could only take place between persons of equal status, the Patricians and Plebeians had each for a long time a separate conubium, until 445 B.C., when the two orders were equalised in this respect.
CALCEUS 18.26%
A shoe, part of the regular Roman dress, and usually worn in public. Each order, and every gens, had its particular kind of calceus. The patricians wore a mulleus or calceus patricius. This was a shoe of red leather with a high sole, like that of the cothurnus. The leather passed round the back of the heel, where it was furnished with small hooks, to which the straps were fastened. It was originally a part of the royal dress, and was afterwards worn by generals on the occasion of a triumph. In later times, with the rest of the triumphal costume, it became a part of the dress of the consuls. In the second rank came the calceus senatorius, or shoe worn by senators. This was black, and tied round the leg by four straps. In the case of patricians it was ornamented by a crescent-shaped clasp. The calceus of the equites, and of ordinary citizens, was also black. The latter was called pero ; it rose as high as the ankle, and was fastened with a simple tie.
CAESAR 13.63%
was for centuries the cognomen of the ancient patrician family of the Iulii. From the dictator Gains Iulius Caesar it passed to his adopted son Octavianus, the founder of the Roman empire, and was assumed by all the male members of the Julian dynasty, including the emperor. After this dynasty had died out, all the male members of the subsequent dynasties assumed it, to show that they belonged to the imperial house. But after the death of Hadrian in 138 A.D., the title of Caesar was only assumed by the princes whom the emperors had named as their successors, or chosen to be their colleagues in the government.
The Latin name for the State domains, formed of territory taken from conquered states. The Romans made a practice, upon every new acquisition of land, of adding a part of it, usually a third, to the domain. So far as this land was under culture, portions of it were sometimes assigned to single citizens or newly-founded colonies in fee simple, sometimes sold by the quaestors on the condition that, though the purchaser might bequeath and alienate it, it still remained State property. In token of this it paid a substantial or merely nominal rent (vectigal), and was called ager privatus vectigalisque or quaestorius. The greater part was left to the old occupiers, yet not as free property, but as rent-paying land, and was called ager publicus stipendiarius datus assignatus; the rest remained under State management, and was let by the Censors. Of uncultivated districts, the State, by public proclamation, gave a provisional right of seisin, occupatio, with a view to cultivation, in consideration of a tithe of the com raised and a fifth of the fruit, and reserving its right of resumption. Such seisin was called possessio. It could be bequeathed or otherwise alienated, yet never became private property, but remained a rent-paying and resumable property of the State. Though the Plebeians had as good a right to occupy lands won by their aid as the Patricians, yet in the early times of the Republic this right was exercised by the latter alone, partly because they had the greater command of means and men, and partly because by the right of the stronger they excluded the Plebeians from benefiting by the Ager Publicus. Against this usurpation the Plebeians waged a bitter and unbroken warfare, claiming not only a share in newly conquered lands, but a wholesale redistribution of existing possessiones, while the Patricians strained every nerve to maintain their vested interests, and managed to thwart the execution of all the enactments passed from time to time in favour of the Plebeians. Even the law of the tribune Gaius Licinius Stolo (B.C. 377), limiting possessiones to 500 iugera (acres) per man, and ordering the distribution of the remainder, were from the first eluded by the possessores, who now included both Patricians and well-to-do Plebeians. Allpossible means were employed, as pretended deeds of gift and other similar devices. The threatened extinction of the Italian peasantry by the great wars, and the rapid growth of huge estates (latifundia) worked by slaves, occasioned the law of Tiberius Gracchus (B.C. 133), retaining the Licinian limit of 500 acres, but allowing another 250 for each son, and granting compensation for lands resumed by the State. The land thus set free, and all the Ager Publicus that had been leased, except a few domains indispensable to the State, were to be divided among poor citizens, but on the condition that each allotment paid a quit-rent, and was not to be alienated. But again, the the resistance of the nobility practically reduced this law to a dead letter; and the upshot of the whole agrarian movement stirred up by Tiberius and his brother Gaius Gracchus was, that the wealthy Romans were not only left undisturbed in their possessiones, but were released from paying rent. In the civil wars of Sulla the Ager Publicus in Italy, which had been nearly all used up in assignations, received so vast an increase by the extermination of whole townships, by proscriptions and confiscations, that even after all the soldiers had been provided for, there remained a portion undistributed. Under the Empire there was hardly any left in Italy; what there was, whether in Italy or in the provinces, came gradually under the control of the imperial exchequer.
A term used by the Romans both to designate the magistracy and the person who held it. The magistrates of the Republic were partly ordinary, chosen at regular intervals: consules, censores, praetores, adiles curules, quaestores, tribuni plebis, and aediles plebis; partly extraordinary, chosen only under special circumstances, the principal being dictator, magister equitum, and interrex. Among these the consuls, praetors, and dictator are distinguished from the others by the possession of the imperium (q.v.) derived from the regal power (the interrex had it for five days only); they and the censors, who, without possessing the imperium, derived their duties from the regal power, constitute the higher magistrates, magistratus maiores, while the rest are the lower, minores, with the exception of the tribunes, who have a position of their own. For those offices, which could originally be held by patricians alone, the term patrician was preserved, even after they had become accessible to the plebeians. The plebeian offices also, the tribunate and plebeian aedileship, do not designate any political contrast after plebeians and patricians had been made legally equal, although only plebeians could hold them. Another distinction is that into magistratus curules and non curules, which refers to the right of having a aella curulis (q.v.). This and the toga praetexta, a white toga edged with purple, were accorded to the higher magistrates, the aediles curules and the magister equitum. Only the magistratus cum imperio and the magister equitum were permitted to have lictors with the fasces (q.v.). All the magistrates were elected, except the dictator and the magister equitum; the magistratus maiores at the comitia centuriata, the rest at the comitia tributa. Every magistrate had the right to call the people to a contio (q.v.), to issue edicts, which had the force of laws as long as his authority (potestas) lasted, to take auspices which were binding for the district within his jurisdiction, and to exercise a limited right of punishment; the higher magistrates and the tribunes had the power, generally speaking, of convoking the comitia and the senate (cp. IMPERIUM). The power of the magistrates was limited by the senate, the intercession of the tribunes and of magitrates of equal or higher rank, the right of appeal of the citizens, and the liability to give account after retirement from office; for no charge could be brought, at any rate against the higher magistrates, as long as they held it. The following were the conditions for obtaining an office : (1) Personal application before the election, the right of rejection being in the hands of the magistrate who directed them (a consul in the case of the higher magistrates, a tribune for the plebeian, a consul-afterwards also the praetor of the city-for the rest). (2) Eligibility, dependent on membership of a citizen family, full possession of personal liberty and honorary rights (See INFAMIA), and the absence of bodily blemish (note also that patricians could not hold plebeian offices). (3) A minimum age for each office, at first according to a certain tradition, then regulated by law, so that in Cicero's time a candidate for the quaestorship had to be in his 30th year at least; in his 37th for the curule aedileship; in his 40th for the raestorship; and in his 43rd for the consulship. (4) At this time also the traditional order of the above-mentioned offices was considered law, and a man was compelled to hold the lower office before he could proceed to the higher, except that the aedileship could be neglected, (6) An interval of two years had to elapse between the aedileship, praetorship, and consulate, and of one year between the tribunate and any other office. (6) Ten years had to elapse before the same office could be held again; in this, and with regard to age, order of offices, and intervals between them, exceptions were permitted under special circumstances. The date of the elections was fixed by the senate; in Cicero's time they usually took place in July [Ad Att. i 16; Ad Fam. viii 4]. From B.C. 153 the magistrates, whose names were solemnly announced (renuntiatio) at the end of the elections, mostly entered upon' their office on January 1st. (See articles on the individual magistrates.) Just as on this occasion they swore to keep the laws, so at the end of their term of office, which was a year, except in the case of the censors, the dictator, and the magister equitum, (q.v.), they affirmed on oath before a contio, that they had done nothing contrary to the laws. The officials elected to an office vacated before the end of the year (suffecti) simply held it for the remainder of that year. The only thing that could legally compel a magistrate to resign before the end of his time was a formal error in the taking of the auspices at the elections. The magistrates received no salaries whatsoever, but they were indemnified for official expenses within the town (e.g. for the games) or without it; those officials more especially who were going to the provinces as procurators received a sufficient sum from the treasury for their equipment and the support of themselves and their suite. Under the Empire the old magistracies continued to exist, though their authority was considerably limited; cp, the several articles, and for their election, see COMITIA (end). Besides these, numerous new offices came into existence, especially the various praefecti (q.v.), some of whom received an actual salary. The magistracies were completely remodelled by Diocletian and Constantine, especially with regard to their pay; all imperial officials received salaries, while the municipal did not. Cp. the several articles mentioned in the beginning.
NAMES 12.79%
The Romans, in the republican times, bad their names in the following order: prcenamen (= our "Christian name"), nomen (name of race, gentile name), cognomen (surname, denoting the family). The gentile name, which originally (always in patrician names) had for derivative suffix -ius (e.g. Iunius, Cornelius, Tullius), was common to all those connected with the gens, men, women, clients, and freedmen. The prcenomen was given to sons on the third day after birth, the dies lustricus, and was officially confirmed when the toga virilis was assumed and the name was inscribed on the roll of citizens. The original meaning of the prcenomen, in which there was sometimes a reference to peculiar circumstances at birth (e.g. Lacius=born by day, Manius=born in the morning; Quintus, the fifth, Decimus, the tenth), came to be disregarded in the course of time, when the name was given. As a rule, the eldest son received the prcenomen of his father. Of these there was a comparatively limited number in the noble families; some were employed only by certain gentes, even by certain families, as for instance Appius exclusively by the Claudii, and Tiberius especially by the Nerones who belonged to this race; while others were actually prohibited in certain families, e.g. Marcus in that of the Manlii.[1] The prcenomen was usually written in an abbreviated form; thus, A. stands for Aulus, C. for Gaius, Gn. for Gnceus, D. for Decimus, L. for Lacius, M'. for Manius, M. for Marcus, P. for Publius , Q. for Quintus, Ser. for Servius, S. or Sex. for Sextus, Ti. for Tiberius, T. for Titus. The surname (cognomen), the use of which was, in early times, not customary among the plebeians, served to denote and distinguish the different families of the same race, which often included several, patrician and plebeian. Thus the gens Cornelia comprised the patrician families of the Scipiones, Sullce, etc., and the plebeian families of the Dolabellce, Lentuli, etc. [It is true that some patrician families had fixed cognomina (e.g. Nero), but it was quite common for plebeians to take cognomina or to have them given; e.g. Cn. Pompeius Magnus, C. Asinius Pollio, and his son Asinius Gallus. Some plebeians never took a cognomen, e.g. the Antonii. But the Tullii are Cicerones in the last century of the Republic. Cognomina, whether fixed or otherwise, are generally of the nature of nicknames, or, at any rate, add a description of some personal characteristic; e.g. Naso, Strabo, Gallus, Scrofa, Asina, Rufus.] To the surname there was sometimes added a second and even a third, in later times called the agnomen, to indicate a lateral branch of the family, for instance the Scipiones, Nasicoe; or, in memory of some remarkable exploit in war (e.g. Scipio Africanus, Asiaticus, etc.), or in consequence of a popular designation (e.g. Scipio Nasica Serapio) or of an adoption. It was the original custom for the adopted son, on passing from one gens to another, to add to the prcenomen, nomen, and cognomen of his adoptive father the name of his own former gens with the termination -anus. Thus the full name of the destroyer of Carthage, the son of L. Aemilius Paulus adopted by one of the Scipios, was P(ublius) Cornelius Scipio Africanus Emilianus. After about 70 A.D. there were many irregularities in the way these names were given,the tendency being to give very many. Women originally had only one name, the feminine form of the gentile name of their father, e.g. Cornelia. In later times they sometimes had prcenomen also, which they received on marriage. It was the feminine form of the husband's prcenomen, e.g. Gaia. Sometimes they had both names, e.g. Aula Cornelia. The prcenomen went out of use for a time during the later Republic, and it was afterwards placed after the nomen like a cognomen (e.g. Iunia Tertia). Under the Empire, they regularly had two names, either the nomen and cognomen of the father (e.g. Caecilia Metella) or the nomina of father and mother (e.g. Valeria Attia, daughter of Attius and Valeria). Slaves were originally designated by the praenomen of their master, e.g. Marcipor = Marci puer (slave of Marcus). Later, when the number of slaves had been greatly multiplied, it became necessary to give them names chosen at random. Freedmen regularly took the nomen, afterwards the prcenomen also, of the man who freed them (or of the father of the woman who freed them), while they retained their previous name as a cognomen; thus the name of the well-known freedman of Cicero was M. Tullius Tiro, and of a freedman of Livia (the wife of Augustus), M. Livius Ismarus.
BULLA 12.67%
A round or heart-shaped box containing an amulet, worn round the neck by free-born Roman children. The fashion was borrowed from the Etrurians. To wear a golden bulla was originally a privilege of the patricians, which was in later times extended to the equites, and generally to rich and distinguished families. Leather bulloe were worn by the children of families and of freedmen. Boys ceased to wear the bulla when they assumed the toga virilis. It was then dedicated to the Lares, and hung up over the hearth. Girls most probably left it off on marriage. It was sometimes put on by adults as a protection against the evil eye on special occasions, as, for instance, on that of a triumph.(See FASCINUM).
Roman. If a man died intestate leaving a wife and children of his body or adopted, they were his heirs (sui heredes). But this did not apply to married daughters who had passed into the manus of their husbands, or the children who had been freed by emancipation from the potestas of their father. If the man left no wife or children, the agnati, or relations in the male line, inherited, according to the degree of their kinship. If there were no agnati, and the man was a patrician, the property went to his gens. The cognati, or relations in the female line, were originally not entitled to inherit by the civil law. But, as time went on, their claim was gradually recognised more and more to the exclusion of the agnati, until at last Justinian entirely abolished the privilege of the latter, and substituted the principle of blood-relationships for that of the civil law. Vestal Virgins were regarded as entirely cut off from the family union, and therefore could not inherit from an intestate, nor, in case of their dying intestate, did the property go to their family, but to the state. But, unlike other women, they had unlimited right of testamentary disposition. If a freedman died intestate and childless, the patronus and his wife had the first claim to inherit, then their children, then their agnati, and (if the patronus was a patrician) then his gens. In later times, even if a freedman, dying childless, left a will, the patronus and his sons had claim to half the property. Augustus made a number of provisions in the matter of freedmen's inheritance. The civil law made it compulsory on a man's sui heredes to accept an inheritance whether left by will or not. But as the debts were taken over with the property, the edictum of the praetor allowed the heirs to decline it. A fortiori, no other persons named in the will could be compelled to accept the legacy. (See WILL.)
COMITIA 11.33%
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.
AEDILES 10.79%
The Curule Aediles, from B.C. 366, were taken at first from the Patrician body alone, soon after from Patricians and Plebeians by turns, and lastly from either. Elected yearly in the comitia tributa under the presidency of a consul, they were, from the first, officers of the whole people, though low in rank; they sat in the sella curulis, from which they took their name, and wore as insignia the toga praetexta. As in rank so in the extent of their powers they stood above the Plebeian Aediles, being entitled to exercise civil jurisdiction in market business, where the latter could only impose, a fine. The functions of the two were very much alike, comprising: (i) the superintendence of trade in the market, where they had to test weights and measures, and the quality of goods; to keep down the price of provisions, both by prohibitive measures, especially against regraters of care, and by the purchase and liberal distribution of food (cura annonae); and, as regards the money-market, to prosecute those who transgressed the laws of usury; (ii) the care of the streets and buildings within the city and the circuit of a mile outside, by cleansing, paving, and improving the streets, or stirring up those who were bound to do it; by seeing that the street traffic was unimpeded; by keeping in repair the temples, public buildings, and works, such as sewers and aqueducts, and seeing that these latter and the fire-apparatus were in working order; (iii) a superintendence of health and morals, including the inspection of baths, taverns, and low houses, the putting down of all that endangered public order and decency, e.g. games of hazard, breaches of sumptuary laws, introduction of foreign religions, etc.; (iv) the exhibition of Games (of which the Roman and Megalensian devolved on the curule, the Plebeian on the plebeian aediles), the supervision of festivities at the feriae Latinae and at games given by private men. The cost of the games given by themselves they defrayed partly out of a sum set apart by the State, but utterly inadequate to the large demands of later times; partly out of the proceeds of fines which were also spent on public buildings, and partly out of their own resources. Thus the aedileship became an expensive luxury, and its enjoyment less and less accessible to men of moderate means. Ambitious men often spent incredible sums in getting lip games, to win the people's favour with a view to higher honours, though the aedileship was not necessary as a stepping-stone to these. In Cicero's time the legal age for the curule Ledileship was thirty-seven. From B.C. 366 their number was unchanged, till Caesar in B.C. 44 added two more, the Plebeian Aediles Ceriales, to whom alone the cura annonae and the management of the ludi Ceriales were entrusted. Under the Empire the office of aedile lost much in importance by some of its functions being handed over to separate officers, especially by the transference of its jurisdiction and its control of games to the praetors; and it fell into such contempt, that even Augustus had to make a tenure of it, or the tribuneship, a condition of eligibility to the praetorship; and succeeding emperors often had to fill it by compulsion. In the 3rd century A.D. it seems to have died altogether.
A member of the highest priestly college in Rome, to which belonged the superintendence over all sacred observances, whether performed by the State or by private persons. The meaning of the name is uncertain; the interpretation which follows most obviously from the form of the word, that of "bridge-builder," referred in particular to the sacred bridge on piles (pons sublicius) over the Tiber, is open to many objections. 1 The foundation of the college is ascribed to Numa; at first it probably consisted of six patrician members, with the addition of the king, whose place, after the abolition of the Monarchy, was transferred to the pontifex maximus (high-pontiff); from 300 B.C. it was composed of nine members (4 patrician and 6 plebeian), from the time of Sulla of fifteen (7 patrician and 8 plebeian); Caesar added another member; and the emperors also raised the number at their pleasure. The office was for life, us was also that of the president. While, in the time of the Monarchy, the pontiffs were probably named by the king, under the Republic the college for a long time filled up its own numbers by co-optation, and also appointed the high-pontiff from among its members. From somewhere about 250 B.C. the election of the latter took place in the comitia of the tribes under the presidency of a pontiff, and, from 103 B.C., the other members were also elected in the comitia out of a fixed number of candidates presented by the college. Under the Empire a preliminary election was held by the Senate, and merely confirmed by the comitia. Besides the pontiffs proper, there were also included in the college the rex sacrorum, the three higher flamens and the three pontifices minores, who assisted the pontiffs in transactions relating to sacrifices and in their official business, besides sharing in the deliberations and the banquets of the whole college: these ranked according to length of service. In the earlier time an advanced age, with freedom from secular offices, was necessary for eligibility to the pontificate; the high-pontiff, among other restrictions, was not allowed to leave Italy, was obliged to have a wife without reproach, and might not enter upon a second marriage or see a dead body, much less touch one. As regards his position, he was, as spiritual successor of the king, the sole holder and exerciser of the pontifical power; and his official dwelling was in the king's house, the regia of Numa adjoining the Forum, the seat of the oldest State worship. The college existed by his side only as a deliberative and executive body of personal assistants. He appointed to the most important priestly offices of the State, those of flamen, of vestal, and of rex sacrorum; he made public the authoritative decisions of the college. In matters which came within the limits of his official action, he had the right of taking: auspices, of holding assemblies of the people, and of publishing edicts. He also exercised a certain jurisdiction over the persons subject to his high-priestly power, especially the flamens and Vestals, over whom his authority was that of an actual father. Owing to the great importance of the office, the emperors from the time of Augustus undertook it themselves, and retained it, even in Christian times, until the year 382. As regards the functions of the college, besides performing a number of special sacrifices in the service of the household gods, they exercised (as already mentioned) a superintendence over the whole domain of the religious services recognised by the State, public and private. In all doubts which arose concerning the religious obligations of the State towards the gods, or concerning the form of any religious offices which were to be undertaken, their opinion was asked by the Senate and by the other secular bodies, who were obliged unhesitatingly to follow it. In the various religious transactions, expiatory offerings, vows, dedications, consecrations, solemn appropriations, undertaken on behalf of the State, their assistance was invited by the official bodies, in order that they might provide for the correct performance, especially by dictating the prayers. The knowledge of the various rites was handed down by the libri pontificii, which were preserved in the official dwelling of the high-pontiff and kept secret. These included the forms of prayer, the rules of ritual for the performance of ceremonial observances, the acta pontificum, i.e. the records relating to the official actions of the college, and the commentarii pontificum, i.e. the collection of opinions delivered, to which they were as a rule obliged to have recourse when giving new ones. An important and indeed universal influence was exercised by the pontiffs, not only on religious, but also on civic life, by means of the regulation of the calendar, which was assigned to them as possessing technical knowledge of the subject; and by means of their superintendence over the observance of the holidays. Owing to the character of the Roman reckoning of the year, it was necessary from time to time to intercalate certain days, with a view to bringing the calendar into agreement with the actual seasons to which the festivals were originally attached; and special technical knowledge was needed, in order to be sure on what day the festivals fell. This technical knowledge was kept secret by the pontiffs as being a means of power. It was for the month actually current that they gave information to the people as to the distribution of the days, the festivals falling within the month, and the lawful and unlawful days (fasti and nefasti, q.v. for civil and legal transactions. In 304 B.C. the calendar of the months was made public by Gnaeus Flavius; but the pontiffs still retained the right of regulating the year by intercalations, and thereby the power of furthering or hindering the aims of parties and individuals by arbitrary insertion of intercalary months. This they kept until the final regulation of the year introduced by Caesar as high-pontiff in 46 B.C. Closely connected with the superintendence of the calendar was the keeping of the lists of the yearly magistrates, especially of the consuls, since it was by their names that the years were dated, as well as the keeping of the yearly chronicle. (See ANNALS.) As experts in the law of ritual, the pontiffs had the superintendence over many transactions of private life, so far as ceremonial questions were connected with them, such as the conclusion of marriages, adoption by means of arrogation, and burial. Even upon the civil law they had originally great influence, inasmuch as they alone were in traditional possession of the solemn legal formuloe, known as the legis actiones, which were necessary for every legal transaction, including lawsuits. They even gave legal opinions, which obtained recognition in the courts as customary law, by the side of the written law, and grew into a second authoritative source of Roman law. Until the establishment of the praetorship (866 <smalCaps>B.C.), a member of the college was appointed every year to impart information to private persons concerning the legal forms connected with the formulating of plaints and other legal business. The legis actiones were made public for the first time by the above-mentioned Flavius at the same time as the calendar. (See JURISPRUDENCE.)
The name given in antiquity to inspired prophetesses of some deity, in particular Apollo. They were usually regarded as young maidens dwelling in lonely caves or by inspiring springs, who were possessed with a spirit of divination, and gave forth prophetic utterances while under the influence of enthusiastic frenzy. They were described sometimes as priestesses of Apollo, sometimes as his favourite wives or daughters. We have no certain information as to their number, names, country, or date. Though Plato [Phoedrus, 294 B] knew of only one, others mention two, three, four [the Erythroean, the Samian, the Egyptian, and the Sardian], and even ten or twelve: [the Babylonian, the Libyan, the (elder and younger) Delphian, the Cimmerian, the (elder and younger) Erythroean, the Samian, the Cumoean, the Hellespontine, the Phrygian, and the Tiburtine]. In the earliest times they are mentioned as dwelling in the neighbourhood of the Trojan Ida in Asia Minor, later at Erythrae in Ionia, in Samos, at Delphi, and at Cumae in Italy. The most famous was the Erythraean Sibyl, Herophile, who is usually considered identical with the Cumaean, as she is represented as journeying by manifold wanderings from her home to Cumae. Here she is said to have lived for many generations in the crypts beneath the temple of Apollo, where she had even prophesied to Aeneas. In later times the designation of Sibyl was also given to the prophetic Nymph Albanca near Tibur [Lactantius, i 6 Section § 12]. The Sibylline books, so often met with in Roman history, had their origin in a collection of oracular utterances in Greek hexameters, composed in the time of Solon and Cyrus at Gergis on Mount Ida, and ascribed to the Hellespontic Sibyl, buried in the temple of Apollo at Gergis. This collection was brought by way of Erythrae to Cumaean, and finally, in the time of the last king, to Rome. According to the legend, the Cumaean Sibyl offered to Tarquinius Superbus nine books of prophecy; and as the king declined to purchase them owing to the exorbitant ice she demanded, burnt all but three of them, which the king purchased for the original price, and had them preserved in a vault beneath the Capitoline temple of Jupiter. When they were destroyed in the burning of the Capitol in 83 B.C., the Senate sent envoys to make a collection of similar oracular sayings distributed over various places, in particular Ilium, Erythae, and Samos. This new collection was deposited in the restored temple, together with similar sayings of native origin; e.g. those of the Sibyl at Tibur, of the brothers Marcius, and others. From the Capitol they were transferred by Augustus as pontifex, in 12 B.C., to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, after they had been examined and copied; here they remained until about 405 A.D. They are said to have been burnt by Stilicho. The use of these oracles was from the outset reserved for the State, and they were not consulted for the foretelling of future events, but on the occasion of remarkable calamities, such as pestilence, earthquake, and as a means of expiating portents. It was only the rites of expiation prescribed by the Sibylline books that were communicated to the public, and not the oracles themselves. As these books recognised the gods worshipped, and the rites observed, in the neighbourhood of Troy, they were the principal cause of the introduction of a series of foreign deities and religious rites into the Roman State worship, of the amalgamation of national deities with the corresponding deities of Greece, and a general modification of the Roman religion after the Greek type. Tarquinius is said to have entrusted the care of the books to a special college of two men of patrician ramk. After 367 B.C. their number was increased to ten, half patrician and half plebeians; and in the 1st century B.C., probably in the time of Sulla, five more were added. These officials were entitled respectively duumviri, decemviri, and quindecimviri sacris faciundis. They were usually ex-consuls or ex-praetors. They held office for life, and were exempt from all other public duties. They bad the responsibility of keeping the books in safety and secrecy, of consulting them at the order of the Senate, of interpreting the utterances they found therein, and of causing the measures thus enjoined to be carried out; in particular, they had the superintendence of the worship of Apollo, the Magna Mater, and Ceres, which had been introduced by the Sibylline books. These Sibylline books have no connexion with a collection of Sibylline Oracles in twelve books, written in Greek hexameters, which have come down to us. The latter contain a medley of pretended prophecies by various authors and of very various dates, from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. to the 6th Century A.D. They were composed partly by Alexandrine Jews, partly by Christians, in the interests of their respective religions; and in part they refer to events of the later Empire.
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.
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