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PRINCEPS 100.00%
The Latin word for "a chief," "a leader," "the foremost person." Thus, in the Roman constitution, princeps Senutus is the senator who was placed first on the roll of the Senate drawn up by the censors. When the Senate was voting, if no consuls-designate were present, he was asked for his opinion by the presiding magistrate before any one else. Just as under the Republic the leading men in the State were called principes, Augustus, the founder of the Monarchy, took with general consent the title of princeps. This was quite in harmony with the old constitution, and at the same time recognised his equality with the other citizens. For the same reason his successor, Tiberius, set special store on the title of princeps. As the monarchical power became consolidated, and the old republican ideas disappeared, the consciousness of the original meaning of the title disappered with them. Princeps came to be equivalent to imperator; but it never became an official title like Imperator, Caesar, Augustus. Like the Senate, the knights had a princeps, the princeps iuventutis (the youth). This title was borne by the knight whose name appeared first in the censor's list of that body. By way of compliment to the knights, Augustus caused his grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, to be styled principes iuventutis. Ever after, the emperor's youthful sons were regularly entitled principes iuventutis until their entrance on a magistracy. At the time of Rome's complete decay this title was not unfrequently borne by those associated with the emperors in the government. On the meaning of principes in military language, see LEGION.
EQUITES 21.01%
The equites were originally a real division of the Roman army. At the beginning of the kingly period they were called celeres, and their number is said to have been 300, chosen in equal parts from the three tribes of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres. A hundred formed a centuria, each centuria being named after the tribe from which it was taken. Thirty made a turma, and ten were under the command of a decurio, while thewhole corps was commanded by the tribunus celerum. During the course of the kingly period the body of equites was increased to six centuriae, and the constitution of Servius Tullius finally raised it to eighteen. When the twelve new centuries were formed, consisting of the richest persons in the state, whose income exceeded that of the first class in the census, the corps of equites lost the exclusively patrician character which had hitherto distinguished it. At the same time its military importance was diminished, as it no longer formed the first rank, but took up a position on the wings of the phalanx (see LEGIO). The equites, however, retained both in the state and in the army their personal prestige. In the comitia they voted first, and in centurioe of their own. They were the most distinguished troops in the army. No other soldiers were in a position to keep two horses and a groom apiece, a costly luxury, although they received an allowance for the purchase and keep of their horse. After the introduction of the pay system they received three times as much as the ordinary troops; on occasion of a triumph three times the ordinary share of booty; and at the foundation of a colony a much larger allotment than the ordinary colonist. The 1,800 equites equo publica, or equites whose horse was purchased and kept by the state, were chosen every five years, at the census. The election was carried out in the republican period originally by the consuls, but in later times by the censors. After the general census was completed, the censors proceeded to review the equites (recognitio). They were arranged according to their tribes, and each of them, leading his horse by the hand, passed before the tribunal of the censors in the forum. All who had served their time, and who were physically incapacitated, received their discharge. If an eques were judged unworthy of his position, he was dismissed with the words: "Sell your horse" (Vende equum). If there were nothing against him, he was passed on with the words Traduc equum ("lead your horse past"). The vacancies were then filled up with suitable candidates, and the new list (album equitum) read aloud. In later times, the eques whose name was first read out was called princeps iuventutis (see PRINCEPS). During their time of service (aetat. 17-46) the equites were beund to serve in a number of campaigns not exceeding ten. Their service expired, they passed into the first censorial class. The senators alone among the equites were, in earlier times, allowed to keep their equus publicus, their name on the roll, and their rights as equites unimpaired. But of this privilege the senators were deprived in the time of the Gracchi. The number of the equites equo publico remained the same, as no addition was made to the sum expended by the state on the horses. Young men of property sometimes served on their own horses (equo privato) without any share in the political privileges of the equites. After the Second Punic war the body of equites gradually lost its military position, and finally ceased to exist as a special troop. In the 1st century B.C. the members of the equestrian centuriae only served in the cohors praetoria of the general, or in the capacity of military tribunes and praefecti of cohorts. The wealthy class, who were in possession of the large capital which enabled them to undertake the farming of the public revenues, and who consequently had the opportunity of enriching themselves still further, had long enjoyed a very influential position. In 123 B.C. the lex iudiciaria of Gaius Gracchus transferred to the possessors of the equestrian census (400,000 sestertii, or about £3,500) to right to sit on juries, which had previously belonged exclusively to members of the senate. Thus an ordo equester or third order, standing between the senate and the people, was formed, which began to play an important part in politics. Its members were called equites even if they were not enrolled in the centuriae equitum. The contests between the senate and the equites for the exclusive right to sit on the juries, continued with varying fortunes until the end of the Republic. Augustus allowed the ordo equester to continue in existence as a class in possession of a certain income; but the old fiscal and judicial system came to an end, and the ordo accordingly lost all its former importance. On the other hand, the equites proper rose into a position of great consideration. They were divided into six turmae, headed by an imperial prince as princeps iuventutis. True, they had no further standing as a corporation: but the emperor employed them in a variety of confidential posts. The title eques equo1 publico was necessary for the attainment of the office of military tribune, and for a number of the most important military posts. The power of conferring or withdrawing the title came at length to rest with the emperor alone. The review of the equites, which used to take place every five years, now became a mere ceremony, and was united by Augustus with the ancient annual parade (transvectio) of the 15th July. The equites, in full uniform, rode through the Forum to the Capitol, past the temple of Mars or Honos. After the transference of the seat of government to Constantinople, the turmae equitum sank into the position of a city corporation, standing between the senate and the guilds, and in possession of special privileges. The insignia of the equites were a gold ring and a narrow purple border on the tunic (see TUNICA). At the transvectio they wore the trabea, a mantle adorned with purple stripes, and crowns of olive. From 67 B.C. the fourteen first rows were assigned to them honoris causa.
SENATE 12.44%
The Roman State council, consisting in the earliest times of one hundred members, but before the expulsion of the Tarquins increased to three hundred, which for a long time remained its normal number. Originally none but patricians (patres) were eligible for membership; but (if tradition may be trusted) in the time of the last kings, plebeians, especially those of equestrian rank, were admitted, and on this account the senators were called by the collective title of patres (et) conscripti. Under the Republic the plebeians were eligible for membership from the outset, though they only acquired by degrees the right to wear the distinguishng dress. The election of senators (lectio senatus) rested during the regal period as a rule with the king and the curiae; during the Republic, at first with the consuls, afterwards with the censors, who also had power to expel unworthy members; otherwise, the office was held for life. Admission to the Senate could be claimed by the curule magistrates, who, after laying down their office, possessed the right of expressing their opinion in the Senate (ius sententiae dicendae) until the next census, at which the censors could only pass them over on stating special grounds for so doing. Next to these were considered the claims of the plebeian aediles, the tribunes, and the quaestors, who lost this right with the expiration of their office, and the most wealthy class of citizens, the knights, who, however, if they had not; yet been elected to any office, took a lower rank under the name of pedarii, and were only entitled to express their assent to the opinion of others. When the quaestors also were regularly added to the Senate, the minimum age legally qualifying for membership was fixed at twenty-eight years. In course of time a legal claim to admission was gained by the tribunes and plebeian aediles, and finally also by the quaestors, through the enactment of Sulla, who increased the Senate by the number of three hundred knights elected by the people, and conferred on the quaestors, now increased to twenty, the right of admission to the Senate immediately after the expiration of their office. Caesar raised the number of senators to 900, and under the triumvirs it even rose beyond 1,000. Augustus, however, limited it to 600, fixed the senatorial age at twenty-five, and enacted as a necessary qualification the possession of property worth at least one million sesterces (£10,000). Under the Empire a yearly list of the senators was published by the emperor. Prominent Italians and provincials gradually obtained admission, though at a later time only on condition of investing a certain part of their property in land in Italy. The first rank among the senators was taken by those who had held a curule magistracy, the last by those who had never filled any office at all. The title of princeps senatus was bestowed on the member set by the censors at the head of the list, usually an ex-censor, and always, it would appear, a patrician. His only privilege was that he was the first to be asked by the presiding officer to declare his opinion. From Augustus onwards the emperor for the time being was princeps senatus [though the title of princeps was independent of this position]. The distinguishing dress of members of the Senate was the tunica laticlavia, an under-garment with a broad purple stripe, and a peculiar kind of shoe (see CALCEUS). Among various other privileges enjoyed by senators was the right to a front seat in the theatre and at the games. Besides the senators themselves, their wives and children had several special privileges and distinctions, particularly under the Empire. The right of summoning the Senate (vocatio) was in early times held by the king; at the beginning of the Republic, only by the consuls and the extraordinary magistrates, such as interrex, dictator, and magister equitum; later, by the tribunes of the people and the praetors also; later still, only with the consent or at the command of the consuls; but, under the Empire, this restriction was removed. The emperor also had power to summon the Senate. It was convened by the voice of a herald or by the issue of a public placard; but, under the Empire, when (after the time of Augustus) meetings were regularly held on the Kalends and Ides, such notice was only given in the case of extraordinary meetings. Every senator was bound to attend, or to give reason for his absence, under penalty of a fine. Under the Empire, senators of more than sixty years of age were excused from compulsory attendance. When important business was before the Senate, no senator was allowed to go to a distance from Rome; special leave had to be obtained for a sojourn out of Italy. There was no number fixed as the quorum necessary for passing a resolution. Augustus attempted to enforce the presence of two-thirds of the members, but without success. Under the later Empire seventy, and finally only fifty, formed a quorum. Meetings of the Senate were not subject to the distinction between dies fasti and nefasti. (See FASTI.) As a rule, they could be held on any day on which the presiding magistrates were not otherwise engaged. No valid resolution could be passed before sun-rise or after sun-set. The meetings always had to be held in some place consecrated by the augurs, called a templum. Originally the meeting-place was the Vulcanal, a place consecrated to Vulcan, above the comitium in the Forum; later, after the time of Tullus Hostilius, it was the Curia (q.v.). Meetings were also held, at the choice of the magistrates that summoned them, in other consecrated places as well, in particular, the temples of the gods; they were held outside the city, in the temple of Apollo and Bellona on the Campus Martius, when business was to be conducted with magistrates who were still in possession of the military command, and consequently were not allowed to enter the city, or with foreign ambassadors whom it was not wished to admit within the walls. Meetings were usually held with open doors. Admission without special leave was allowed to magistrates' servants, and, until the second Punic War, and later also after Augustus, to senators' sons over twelve years of age. The senators sat on benches, the officials summoning the meeting on a raised platform, the consuls and pmtors on their sella curulis, and the tribunes on their special benches. Before opening the assembly the official summoning it had to sacrifice a victim and take the auspices in his own house. Augustus introduced the custom of the senators offering prayer one by one at the altar of the god in whose temple the meeting took place. In the Curia Iulia [16 in plan underFORUM] there were an altar and statue of Victory set up for this purpose. Business was opened by the summoning official, who brought before the meeting the matter to be discussed. This was called relatio. When the business of the meeting had been duly settled, it was open to the other magistrates present to bring forward fresh matters for discussion. At regular meetings under the Empire, the consuls had precedence in bringing forward business, unless it was claimed by the emperor, who could also, at an extraordinary meeting, take precedence of the magistrate who convoked it. The emperor usually caused his address to be read for him in the form of a speech by the quaestor principis. At an audience of ambassadors their speeches were heard before the business was laid before the meeting. After this followed the " questioning " (rogatio) of the senators, called on one after another by name in order of their rank and seniority. Towards the end of the Republic and under the Empire, after the consular elections the consuls-designate came first. If the emperor himself was presiding, he called first on the consuls then in office. The senators so called upon either stood up in their place and delivered their opinions in a speech, in which they were able (as sometimes happened) to touch on other matters than the one in hand; or, without rising, declared their assent to some opinion already delivered. After the different opinions had been delivered, they were collected together by the president and arranged for voting on. The voting took place by discessio, or separation into groups, the suporters of the various views taking up their position together. A bare majority decided th question. If there was any doubt, the numbers were counted. After the division the president dismissed the Senate, in order, with the aid of a committee of senators, to draw up the resolution of the Senate (senatus consultum) on the lines of the minutes of the meeting, unless an objection to it was raised by any of the officials present. The resolution was headed with the names of the consuls, followed by the date and place of meeting, the names of the proposers and of the members of the committee for drawing up the resolution; last of all followed the resolution itself, drawn up in certain fixed forms, The resolutions of the Senate were communicated to those concerned by word of Mouth or by writing. Those that related to the nation were published by the magistrates at the popular assembly, or by means of wooden (or in special cases bronze) tablets publicly displayed. Of resolutions affecting international relations two copies on bronze were prepared, one of which was hung up in the temple of Fides at Rome, the other in a temple of the other nation concerned. Resolutious of the Senate were preserved in early times in the office of the plebeian aediles, later in the Aerarium, the office of the quaestors. Under the Monarchy the power of the Senate was very limited. Its most important privilege was the power of appointing an interrex after the death of it king for the purpose of carrying on business and nominating a now king. During the Republic it soon extended its influence, as it had to be consulted, and its advice followed, by the magistrates on all important measures of administration. At length the whole government of the State came practically into its hands, and the magistrates were only the instruments for carrying out its will. Its predominance found expression in its taking the first place in the well-known formula, senatus populusque Romanus, especially as this was employed even in cases where the Senate acted without the co-operation of the people. In the time of the Gracchi the power of the Senate suffered a deadly blow, which it had to a great extent brought upon itself, In particular, it became customary to affix to resolutions of the people a stipulation that within a few days the Senate should swear allegiance to them. The last century B.C. saw the complete downfall of the Senate's authority. Augustus attempted to raise it by every means at his disposal. But in spite of important privileges conferred upon it, the Senate only possessed the semblance of power in opposition to the military force, of the emperor. Afterwards it sank to a mere shadow, when, from the time of Hadrian onwards, a special imperial council, the consilium principis, was instituted to deal with matters of paramount importance. The principal duties of the Senate consisted in (1) the supervision of religion, which it retained even under the Empire. This included the maintenance of the State religion, the introduction of foreign worships, arranging for the consultation of the Sibylline books , the establishment of new festivals, games, festivals for prayer and thanksgiving, etc. (2) The supervision of the whole of the State property and finances, and control of expenditure (e.g. the colonization and allotment of State lands, the revenues for building and the maintenance of public gardens, for the army, for games, etc.). Under the Empire the Senate had also the nominal control of the State treasury, until this was amalgamated with the imperial fiscus. (3) In reference to foreign affairs, the Senate had considerable influence over the declaration of war, the nomination of commanders, the decisions for the levy of troops and wax taxes, the provinces, rewards (such as triumphs and others), and the conclusion of peace and the ratification of treaties. Furthermore, the Senate had supreme power in all matters of diplomacy, as it appointed ambassadors, received and gave audience to foreign ambassadors, and conferred such tokens of honour as the titles of confederates and friends of the Roman people. Over the subjects of the Roman people it exercised an almost sovereign authority, particularly in reference to the assigning of provinces. Under the Empire, it retained control of the senatorial provinces alone. It was still sometimes consulted about concluding peace and ratifying treatises, and about business with foreign allies, and also had the right of conferring such honours as those of apotheosis, or of statues and triumphs. On the other hand, its influence over military matters could no longer continue side by side with the military power of the emperor. (4) In legislation it exercised considerable influence during the Republic, as it prepared legislative proposals to be brought before the people by the magistrates, and had the right of annulling laws passed by the people in the event of their being defective in point of form. Its resolutions also, by virtue of a kind of prescription, had considerable statutory authority. Under the Empire, when the legislative power of the people was entirely abolished, they had authority completely equal to that of the laws themselves. They were, however, merely formal ratifications of the will of the emperor, who in every year exacted from the Senate on January 1st an oath of allegiance to his independent enactments. On the accession of a new emperor the Senate conferred on him the imperial power by an enactment termed lex regia; this, however, was a mere formality. (5) During republican age, the Senate possessed no judicial power of its own (apart from the fact that, until the time of the Gracchi, the judges all belonged to the senatorial order); but the magistrate only acted as adviser to the judges in criminal jurisdiction, i e. in cases of treason and perjury on the part of allies and subjects, and in serious cases of poisoning and murder such as endangered the public peace. Under the Empire, the Senate-possessed formal jurisdiction in cases of breach of contract, disturbance in Italy, malpractices in office and extortion of provincial governors, and especially all cases of high treason and offences of senators. From the 2nd century onward all this jurisdiction passed over to the imperial courts. (6) During the Republic, the elections were only indirectly under the influence of the Senate, by means of the presiding officials, and also owing to their right of annulling elections on the score of mistakes in form, and, lastly, by having the appointment of the days for the elections. Under the Empire, it gained from Tiberius the right of proposing all the magistrates with the exception of the consuls; this right, however, was rendered insignificant by the fact that the candidates were recommended by the emperor. The right also of nominating the emperor, which it claimed when the occupant of the throne was removed by violence, was, owing to the practical power of the army, as illusory as its pretended right of deposition.
The name of Circus was given at Rome par excellence to the Circus Maximus>. This was a recreation ground laid out by king Tarquinius Priscus in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, south of the Capitol. Its centre was marked by the altar of Consus. A second circus, called the Circus Flaminius , was built by the censor C. Flaminius on the Campus Martius in 220 B.C. Several more were built during the imperial period, some of which can still be recognised in their ruined state. Such is the Circus of Maxentius, erroneously called Circo di Caracalla (fig. 1). Similar racecourses existed in many other cities of the empire, e.g., that still remaining amid the ruins of the town of Bovillae. The length ofthe Circus Maximus, as enlarged by Caesar, was some 1,800 feet, its breadth some 350. The seats, which rose in a series of terraces, rested on a substructure consisting of three stories of arched vaults. The lower seats were of stone, the upper of wood. Round the out side of the circus ran a building, containing booths and seats, as well as the entrances to the seats, the number of which amounted, in Caesar's time, to 150,000, and in the 4th century, after the building had been repeatedly enlarged, to 385,000. The podium, or lowest row of seats running immediately above the race-course, was protected from the wild animals by a railing and a trench (euripus) ten feet in width and depth. This trench was, however, filled up at the command of Nero. The end of the circus, at which were the gate of entrance and the partitions in which the chariots stood, was flanked by two towers (oppida) occupied by bands of music.Between these was the loggia of the presiding magistrate. The opposite end of the building was semicircular, and had a gate called the porta triumphalis, which seems to have been used only on extraordinary occasions. The senators and e quites had separate places allotted them, as in the theatre. The seats assigned to the common people were divided according to tribes, and the sexes were not separated. The eight or twelve openings (carceres ) from which the chariots issued lay, as we have already mentioned, at both sides of the entrance, and were closed with bars. They were arranged in slanting lines, so that the distance from the carceres to the startingpoint was equalized for all. The startingpoint was marked by three conical pillars (metae), standing on a substructure. Three other similar metae, corresponding to them, stood at the other or semicircular end of the circus. Between the two points where the metae stood was built a low wall (spina), extending through the whole length of the course. On this there used to stand the mast of a ship, which, after Augustus' time, gave place to an obelisk. The spina was adorned with pillars, little shrines, and statues of the gods, especially of Victory. A second and loftier obelisk was added by Constantine. The obelisk of Augustus now stands in the Piazza del Popolo, that of Constantine on the square in front of the Lateran. There was also an elevated substructure, supporting seven sculptured dolphins spouting water, and a pedestal with seven egg-shaped objects upon it, the use of which will be explained below. The games were generally opened by a solemn procession from the Capitol through the forum to the circus, and through the whole length of the circus round the spina. At the head of the procession came to giver of the games, sitting on a car of triumph in triumphal costume. He was followed by the images of the gods borne on litters or carriages, and escorted by the collegia and priestly corporations. In the imperial age the procession included the images of the deceased emperors and empresses, to whom divine honours were paid. The procession moved through the entrance, while the crowd rose up, cheered, and clapped their hands. The president dropped a white handkerchief into the arena, and the race began. Four, sometimes as many as six, chariots drove out from behind the barriers at the right hand of the spina. Then they rushed along the spina as far as the further posts, rounded these, and drove back down the left side to the starting-posts. They made the circuit seven times, and finally drove off the course through the barriers on the left of the spina. Seven circuits constituted one heat, or missus. A chalk line was drawn across the ground near the entrance, and the victory was adjudged to the driver who first crossed it. During the republican period the number of missus or heats amounted to ten or twelve, and after the time of Caligula to twenty-four, taking up the whole day. To keep the spectators constantly informed how many of the seven heats had been run, one of the egg-shaped signals, mentioned above, was taken down after each heat, and probably also one of the dolphins was turned round. The chariots had two wheels, were very small and light, and were open behind. The team usually consisted either of two (bigae) or of four horses ( quadrigoe). In the latter case the two middle horses only were yoked together. The driver (auriga or agitator, fig. 2) stood in his chariot, dressed in a sleeveless tunic strapped round the upper part of his body, a helmet-shaped cap on his head, a whip in his hand, and a knife with a semi-circular blade in his girdle, to cut the reins with in case of need, for the reins were usually attached to his girdle. The main danger lay in turning round the pillars. To come into collision with them was fatal, not only to the driver himself, but to the driver immediately behind him. The chariots, and probably also the tunics and equipments of the drivers, were decked with the colours of the different factions, as they were called. Of these there were originally only two, the White and the Red. At the beginning of the imperial period we hear of two more, the Green and the Blue. Two more, Gold and Purple, were introduced by Domitian, but probably dropped out of use after his death. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. the White faction joined with the Green, and the Red with the Blue. Accordingly in the late Roman and Byzantine period we generally hear only of Blue and Green. It was the party feeling thus engendered which was the mainspring of the passionate interest, often amounting almost to madness, which the people took in the games of the circus. The necessary attendants, the horses, and the general equipment of the games were provided, at the cost of the giver, by special Companies, with one or more directors at their head. These companies were distinguished by adopting the different colours of the factions. The drivers were mostly slaves, or persons of low position. The calling was looked down upon; but at the same time a driver of exceptional skill would be extraordinarily popular. The victors, besides their palms and crowns, often received considerable sums of money; and thus it would often happen that a driver would rise to the position of a contractor, or become director of a company of contractors. Numerous monuments survive to commemorate their victories. Sometimes, indeed, a Celebrated horse would have a monument put up to him. A contest of riders, each with two horses, was often added to the chariot-races. These riders were called desultores, because they jumped from one horse to another while going at full gallop. The circus was also used for boxing-matches, wrestlingmatches, and foot-racing; but during the imperial period separate buildings were usually appropriated to these amusements. Gladiatorial contests, and wild-beast hunts, were originally held in the circus, even after the building of the amphitheatre. Besides these games, the circus was sometimes used for military reviews. The cavalry manaeuvres, for instance, of the six divisions of the knights ( ludi sevirales), with their six leaders (Seviri), and an imperial prince as princeps iuventutis at their head, would occasionally be held there. Under the emperors of the Julian dynasty a favourite pastime was the Troia or ludus Troite . This consisted in a number of manceuvres performed by boys belonging to senatorial and other respectable families. They rode on horseback in light armour in separate divisions, and were practised for the purpose by special trainers.
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