ARISTOCRACY. 29 portant power in the state, that of the censors. Livy ascribes its origin to the military duties of the consuls, which left them no leisure to hold the census, so that it had been neglected for many years. But he also acids that the proposition was welcomed in the senate " in order that there might be more patrician magistrates in the republic. (Liv., iv-, § 8.) It had then, we may suppose, a motive for its existence in the patrician spirit, which is so much the more probable because the tribunes with consular power exceeded the consuls in number* The office was opened to plebeians after the Licin- ian plebiscite of 387, and probably as a consequence of this law without any other express legislation. With the growth of Rome it increased in importance and dignity. Besides the quinquennial census and lustrum, the financial affairs of Rome fell into the censors' hands, with a certain moral supervision over the community, the lectio scnatns, and other business, For this office able and experienced men of years were usually selected, and the optimates, in the later Roman aris- tocracy, generally were the incumbents, In 403 u. €,, both censorships were thrown open to plebeians, and shortly after it was made necessary that one censor should be of that order. The Quaestors, first mentioned in 269 u, c.» a little after the tribunate was instituted, may have been coeval in their origin with the consuls,-with whom they were closely asso- ciated. In the year 333 U. c,, their number, at first two, was enlarged to four, and at the same time the office was thrown open to plebeians, the first properly patrician magistracy on which that party relinquished its exclusive hold. (Livy iv,, 43-)* It was, perhaps, their supervision of the military chest and of the spoils which brought about this measure, soon after the consular tribunate, open to both orders, and with which the quaestors were closely joined in official service, was established, r * For the qusestorship and its origin, $ee Mommsn Rto. Stsuttsr,, ii., under this title.