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The Latin term for the chair of office belonging to the curule magistrates (consuls, praetors, curule aeediles, dictator, magister equitum, and flamen Dialis), and also to the emperors. It was of ivory, without a back, and with curved legs, like those of a camp-stool, so arranged that it could be folded up. The seat was of plaited leather straps. The curule magistrates sat on this seat while engaged in all official business, and also took it with them in war.
SELLA 100.00%
A seat. On its use as a chair and a litter, see those articles.
The assistant of the dictator, nominated by him immediately after his own appointment, and bound to obey him unconditionally, representing him in his absence, or when otherwise prevented. He owed his name ("Master of the Horse") to the fact that it was part of his office to command the cavalry in battle, while the dictator was at the head of the infantry. As the insignia of his magistracy he had the sella curulis, the praetexta, and six lictors.
The Roman term for a platform of wood or stone (in the camp, generally of turf), on which magisterial personages sat in their chair of office (see SELLA CURULIS) when discharging their public duties; e.g. the consuls, when presiding at the comilia, and the praetors when sitting in judgment. In Roman theatres this name was given to the two places of honour immediately to the right and left of the stage, the one for the person who gave the play and for the emperor, the other for the Vestal Virgins and the empress.
Of these there was a great variety in the ancient world, some with, and some without, supports for the head and back. The latter sort (Gr. diphros, Lat. sella) were mostly low, and were supported sometimes on four upright legs, sometimes on feet arranged and shaped like a sawing stool (see cuts). The seat being made of leather straps, the chair could, in the latter case, be folded up and carried by a servant. A chair of this kind, made of ivory, was one of the insignia of the curule magistrates at Rome (see SELLA CURULIS). The official chair of the Roman magis trates was always without a back. Stools without backs were also used by mechanics, soldiers, and boys at school. The backed chairs ordinarily in use much resembled our modern chairs. They generally had a sloping back, sometimes arched out in the centre (see cuts). Chairs of this form were made for women and invalids; and the cathedra or professor's chair was of the same description. The Greek thronos and the Latin solium were seats of honour. They were lofty, and had footstools accordingly; the back was high and straight, the legs were upright, and there were arms at the sides. The Roman pater familias, when giving his clients their morning audience, sat in a solium. Seats were not always stuffed, but cushions were put on them, and coverings on the backs. Chairs were made of metal and ivory, as well as of wood.
The Latin term for a magistrate appointed for special emergencies, after auspices duly taken by the consuls on the commission of the senate. The dictator was never eapgointed for more than six months. The first instance of the appointment occurred in 501 B.C. The dictator was usually, though not always, chosen from the number of consulares or men who had hold the office of consul. No plebeian was elected before 356 B.C. He was always nominated for a particular or specified purpose, on the fulfilment of which he laid down his office. He combined the supreme judicial with the supreme military power, and there was, originally, no appeal against his proceedings, even the veto of the tribunes being powerless against him. He was entirely irresponsible for his acts, and could therefore not be called to account on the expiration of his term of office. His insignia were the sella curulis, toga proetexta, and 24 lictors, who represented the lictors of two consuls, and who even in the city bore axes in their bundle of rods, as a sign of the unlimited power of life and death. His assistant was the magister equitum (master of the horse), who was bound absolutely to obey his commands, and whom he had to nominate immediately after his own election. The original function of the dictator was military; but after 363 B.C. a dictator was occasionally chosen, in the absence of the consuls, for other purposes than dealing with external danger or internal troubles; especially to hold the games or religious festivities. The office gradually passed out of use, though not legally abolished. The last military dictator was appointed in 206 B.C., the last absolutely in 202 B.C. The dictatorships of Sulla and Caesar, who was named perpetual dictator not long before his death, were anti-republican and unconstitutional. After Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C., the office was abolished for ever by a law of Marcus Antonius.
AEDILES 20.71%
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.
FLAMEN 18.13%
The special priest of a special deity among the Romans. There were 15 Flamines; three higher ones (Flamines maiores) of patrician rank: these were the flamen Dialis (of Jupiter), Martialis (of Mars), and Quirinalis (of Quirinus). The remaining 12 were flamines minores, plebeians, and attached to less important deities, as Vulcanus, Flora, Pomona, and Carmenta. Their office was for life, and they could only be deprived of it in certain events. The emblem of their dignity was a white conical hat (apex), made out of the hide of a sacrificed animal, and having an olive branch and woollen thread at the top. This the flamines were obliged to wear always out of doors, indeed the Flamen Dialis had originally to wear it indoors as well. They were exempted from all the duties of civic life, and excluded at the same time from all participation in politics. In course of time, it is true, they were allowed to hold urban offices, but even then they were forbidden to go out of Italy. The Flamen Dialis was originally not allowed to spend a night away from home: in later times, under the Empire, the Pontifex could allow him to sleep out for two nights in the year. Indeed, the Flamen Dialis, whose superior position among the flamens conferred upon him certain privileges, as the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, a seat in the senate, and the services of a lictor, was in proportion obliged to submit to more restrictions than the rest. He, his wife, their children, and his house on the Palatine were dedicated to this god. He must be born of a marriage celebrated by confarreatio, and live himself in indissoluble marriage. (See MARRIAGE.) If his wife died, he resigned his office. In the performance of his sacred functions he was assisted by his children as camilli. (See CAMILLUS.) Every day was for him a holy day, so that he never appeared without the insignia of his office, the conical hat, the thick woollen toga proetexta woven by his wife, the sacrificial knife, and a rod to keep the people away from him. He was preceded by his lictor, and by heralds, who called on the people to stop their work, as the flamen was not permitted to look upon any labour. He was not allowed to cast eyes on an armed host, to mount, or even to touch, a horse, to touch a corpse, or grave, or a goat, or a dog, or raw meat or anything unclean. He must not have near him, or behold, anything in the shape of a chain. Consequently there must be no knots, but only clasps, on his raiment; the ring on his finger was broken, and any one who came into his house with chains must instantly be loosened. If he were guilty of any carelessness in the sacrifices, or if his hat fell off his head, he had to resign. His wife; the flaminica, was priestess of Juno. She had, in like manner, to appear always in her insignia of office, a long woollen robe, with her hair woven with a purple fillet, and arranged in pyramidal form, her head covered with a veil and a kerchief, and carrying a sacrificial knife. On certain days she was forbidden to comb her hair. The chief business of the flamens consisted in daily sacrifices: on certain special occasions they acted with the Pontifices and the Vestal Virgins. The three superior flamens offered a sacrifice to Fides Publica on the Capitol on the 1st October, driving there in a two-horse chariot. During the imperial period flamines of the deified emperors were added to the others.
PRAETOR 16.95%
Originally a title of the Roman consuls, but afterwards used to denote that magistrate to whom the administration of justice in Rome was transferred when the consulship, to which this power had hitherto been attached, was thrown open to the commons in 366 B.C. At first reserved for the patricians, it became a plebeian office as early as 337. The praetor was elected in the comitia centuriata, with one of the consuls presiding, on the same day and with the same auspices as the consuls, who entered on their office simultaneously with him. On account of the increase in legal business, a second praetor was appointed in 242, to whom was transferred the hearing of cases between citizens and foreigners (inter cives et peregrinos), and between foreigners (inter peregrinos), while the other decided between citizens. The latter, who ranked first, was called praetor urbanus (city praetor); the former, praetor inter peregrinos, and (after the time or Vespasian) praetor peregrinus. The praetors had their respective departments determined by lot after their election. While the praetor peregrinus might have a military command also entrusted to him, the city praetor, on account of the importance of his office, might not be absent from Rome, strictly speaking, for longer than ten days. He represented his absent colleague, and also the consuls in their absence, presiding, as the highest magistrate present, at the public games, watching over the safety of Rome, summoning the comitia centuriata, holding the military levies, and the like. As early as 227 the number was further increased by two. To these was entrusted the administration of Sicily and Sardinia. Two others were added in 197 to administer the two provinces of Spain. In 149, on the establishment of the questiones perpetuae (q.v.) a standing criminal court for certain stated offenders, the rule was introduced that the entire body of praetors should stay in Rome during their year of office; the praetors urbanus and inter peregrinos having jurisdiction in civil cases, as hitherto, while the others presided in the quoestiones, and had to instruct the jurors as to the case before the court, and to carry out the sentence passed. After the completion of their year of office, they all proceeded as proprcetors or proconsuls to the prcetorian provinces assigmed them by lot. In consequence of the multiplication of the quoestiones and of the provinces, the number of paetors was raised by Sulla to eight, by Caesar to ten, fourteen, and sixteen. Under the Empire the praetorship lost its former importance, the civil jurisdiction of the proetor urbanus and peregrinus being in part transferred to the proefectus urbi and proefectus proetorio, while the criminal jurisdiction of the others ceased with the gradual decay of the quoestiones, and the prestors only retained particular departments of their judicial power and general administration. Their most important function was the management of the games, some of which had aleady, in republican times, been assigned to the proetor urbanus. When their year's office had expired, they went as proconsuls to the senatorial provinces. Their election was transferred to the Senate by Tiberius. Under the Republic, the statutory age for the office was forty; under the Empire, thirty. The praetor's insignia were, the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, and, in the provinces, six lictors; in Rome, probably two. Like the consul, he had the honour of a triumph open to him.
LITTERS 16.22%
in ancient Greece, were for the most part used only for the conveyance of sick people and women; in other cases their use was regarded as a luxury. Among the Romans they appear to have first come into vogue along with the other luxuries of Asia after the victory over the Syrian king, Antiochus the Great (B.C. 190). They were used principally in the country and upon journeys. As in Greece, so in Rome, where driving was only exceptionally allowed (see CHARIOTS, 2), their use was at first, confined to invalids and women; but when men also began to use them in the town, they formed in the first instance a privilege of certain classes, until in the course of the imperial time they came into general use. Two kinds were distinguished: (1) the lectica, resembling a palanquin, adapted for lying down: this was a framework spanned by girths and with a bolster and pillow; and (2) the sella, a sedan chair, for one or two persons, which was used particularly by the emperors and consulares. Both kinds were provided with an arched covering, which could be closed up, even at the sides, by means of curtains or windows made of thin plates of tale [lapis specularis, Juv. iv 21, iii 242]. The litter was carried upon poles, which were either low and therefore hung in straps, or else rested upon the shoulders of the bearers, who were two, four, six, and even eight, according to its size. In distinguished houses special slaves (lecticarii) of particularly powerful bodily frame, in later times especially Cappadocians, were kept for this purpose; these used to wear a red livery. For those who could not afford the expense of a private litter, there were also hack-litters. In the later imperial time a litter called a basterna came into fashion, which was carried by two mules in shafts before and behind.
The officials whose duty it was (after 444 B.C.) to take the place of the consuls in superintending the five-yearly census. The office was one of the higher magistracies, and could only be held once by the same person. It was at first confined to the Patricians; in 351 B.C. it was thrown open to the Plebeians, and after 339 one of the censors was obliged by law to be a plebeian. On occasion of a census, the censors were elected soon after the accession to office of the now consuls, who presided over the assembly. They were usually chosen from the number of consulares, or persons who had been consuls. Accordingly the censorship was regarded, if not as the highest office of state, at least as the highest step in the ladder of promotion. The newly elected censors entered immediately, after due summons, upon their office. Its duration was fixed in 433 B.C. to eighteen months, but it could be extended for certain purposes. For the object of carrying out their proper duties, the census and the solemn purifications (lustrum) that concluded it, they had the power of summoning the people to the Campus Martius, where, since 434 B.C., they had an official residence. in the Villa Publica. The tribunes had no right of veto as against their proceedings in taking the census; indeed, so far as this part of their duties was concerned, they were irresponsible, being bound only in conscience by the oath which they took on entering upon and laying down their office. Having no executive powers, they had no lictors, but only messengers (viatores) and heralds (praecones). Their insignia were the sella curulis and a purple toga. The collegial character of the office was so pronounced, that if one censor died, the other abdicated. From the simple act of taking the census and putting up the new list of citizens, their functions were in course of time extended, so as to include a number of very important duties. Among these must be mentioned in particular a general superintendence of conduct (regimen morum). In virtue of this they had the power of affixing a stigma on any citizen, regardless of his position, for any conceivable offence for which there was no legal punishment. Such offences were neglect of one's property, celibacy, dissolution of marriage, bad training or bad treatment of children, undue severity to slaves and clients, irregular life, abuse of power in office, impiety, perjury, and the like. The offender might be punished with degradation; that is, the censors could expel a man from the senate or ordo equester, or they could transfer him from a country tribe into one of the less respectable city tribes, and thus curtail his right of voting, or again they could expel him from the tribes altogether, and thus completely deprive him of the right of voting. This last penalty might be accompanied by a fine in the shape of additional taxation. The censors had also the power of issuing edicts against practices which threatened the simplicity of ancient Roman manners; for instance, against luxury. These edicts had not the force of law, but their transgression might be punished by the next censors. The effect of the censorial stigma and punishment lasted until the next census. The consent of both censors was required to ratify it, and it directly affected men only, not women. The censors exercised a special superintendence over the equites and the senate. They had the lectio senatus, or power of ejecting unworthy members and of passing over new candidates for the senatorial rank, as, for instance, those who had held curule offices. The equites had to pass singly, each leading his horse, before the censors in the forum, after the completion of the general census. An houourable dismissal was then given to the superannuated or the infirm; if an eques was now found, or had previously been found, unworthy of his order (as for neglecting to care for his horse), he was expelled from it. The vacant places were filled up from the number of such individuals as appeared from the general census to be suitable. There were certain other duties attached to the censorship, for the due performance of which they were responsible to the people, and subject to the authority of the senate and the veto of the tribunes. (1) The letting of the public domain lands and taxes to the highest bidder. (2) The acceptance of tenders from the lowest bidder for works to be paid for by the State. In both these cases the period was limited to five years. (3) Superintendence of the construction and maintenance of public buildings and grounds, temples, bridges, sewers, aqueducts, streets, monuments, and the like. After 167 B.C. Roman citizens were freed from all taxation, and since the time of Marius the liability to military service was made general. The censorship was now a superfluous office, for its original object, the census, was hardly necessary. Sulla disliked the censors for their power of meddling in matters of private conduct, and accordingly in his constitution of 81 B.C. the office was, if not formally abolished, practically superseded. It was restored in 70 B.C. in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus, and continued to exist for a long time, till under the Empire it disappeared as a separate office. The emperor kept in his own hands the right of taking the census. He took over also the other functions of the censor, especially the supervision of morals, a proceeding in which he had Caesar's example to support him. The care of public buildings, however, he committed to a special body.
The Roman consuls were the magistrates to whom the supreme authority was transferred from the kings, after the expulsion of the latter in 510 B.C. The consuls gave their name to the year. They were elected by the comitia centuriata, and, down to B.C. 366, from the Patricians only. The legal age at which a man might be elected was, in the time of Cicero, forty-three. The time of entering on the office varied in the early periods: in 222 B.C. it was fixed to March 15th, in 153 to the Ist of January. The accession of the now consuls was attended with the performance of certain ceremonies, among which may be mentioned a procession of the consuls to the Capitol, with the senate, equites, and other citizens of position, as escort; an offering of white bulls to Jupiter, and the utterance of solemn vows. The consuls were the representatives of the royal authority, and consequently all other magistrates were bound to obey them, with the exception of the tribunes of the plebs and the dictator. During a dictatorship their powers fell into abeyance. In the city their authority was limited by the right of appeal to the people, and the veto of the tribunes. But in the army, and over their subordinates, they had full power of life and death. Some of their original functions passed from them in course of time. Thus in 444 B.C. the business of the census was made over to the Censors; in 366 the civil jurisdiction within the city, so far as it included the right of performing the acts of adoption, emancipation, and liberation of slaves, was transferred to the praetors. In the field, however, having the criminal jurisdiction in their hands, they had also the right of deciding in civil cases affecting the soldiers. In the general administration of public business the consuls, although formally recognised as the supreme authority, gradually became, in practice, dependent upon the senate and the comitia, as they ad only the power of preparing the resolutions proposed, and carrying them out if accepted. Within the city, their powers were virtually confined to summoning the senate and comitia, and presiding over their meetings. They also nominated the dictators, and conducted the elections and legislation in the comitia, and the levies of soldiers. After the office of dictator fell into abeyance, the power of the consuls was, in cases of great danger, increased to dictatorial authority by a special decree of the senate. An essential characteristic of the consular office was that it was collegial; and therefore, if one consul died, another (called consul suffectus) was immediately elected. This consul suffectus had absolutely the same authority as his colleague, but he had to lay down his office with him at the end of the year for which the two had been originally elected. The power of the two consuls being equal, the business was divided between them. In the administration of the city they changed duties every month, the senior taking the initiative. With regard to their insignia, namely, the toga proetexta, sella curulis, and twelve lictors, the original arrangement was that the lictors walked in front of the officiating consul, while the other was only attended by an accensus. In later times the custom was for the lictors to walk before the officiating consul, and behind the other. In the field, each consul commanded two legions with their allied troops; if they were in the same locality, the command changed from day to day. The question of the administration of the provinces they either settled by consent, or left it to be decided by lot. With the extension of the empire the consuls became unable to undertake the whole burden of warfare, and the praetors were called in to assist. The provinces were then divided into constilar and praetorian ; the business of assignment being left to the senate, which, after the year 122, was bound to make it before the elections. In the last century B.C. a law of Sulla, deprived the consuls of an essential element of their authority, the military imperium; for it enacted that the consuls should spend their year of office in Rome, and only repair to the provinces and assume the imperium after its conclusion. In the civil wars the consular office completely lost its old position, and though it continued to exist under the Empire, it became, practically, no more than an empty title. The emperors, who often held the office themselves, and sometimes, like Caesar, for several years in succession, had the right of nominating the candidates, and therefore, in practice, had the election in their own hands. It became usual to nominate several pairs of consuls for one year, so as to confer the distinction on as many persons as possible. In such cases, the consuls who came in on January 1st, after whom the year was named, were called consules ordinarii, the consules suffecti counting as minores. Until the middle of the 1st century A.D., it was a special distinction to hold the consulship for a whole year; but after that no cases of this tenure occur. In time the insignia, or ornamenta consularia, or honorary distinctions of the office, were given, in certain degrees, even to men who had not been consuls at all. The chief duties of the consuls now were to preside in the senate, and conduct the criminal trials in which it had to give judgment. But, besides this, certain functions of civil jurisdiction were in their hands; notably the liberation of slaves, the provision for the costly games which occurred during their term of office, the festal celebrations in honour of the emperor, and the like. After the seat of empire was transferred to Constantinople, the consulate was, towards the end of the 4th century, divided between the two capital cities. The consulate of the western capital came to an end in 534 A.D., that of the eastern in 541. From that time the Emperor of the East bore the title of consul perpetuus.
SENATE 6.49%
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.
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.
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