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THIS book is intended to serve as an introduction to the 
study of Roman political institutions for those who may 
wish to carry on more extended investigations in that field, 
and to give a reasonable acquaintance with the subject to 
the student of Roman life and literature. It may be said 
with truth that the art and literature of Rome never had a 
distinctively national character. Both are hybrid products. 
Her political institutions, however, are essentially her own, 
and are, one might almost say, the only characteristic prod- 
uct of the Roman genius. We have tacitly recognized how 
large a place they fill in Roman history, and how valuable 
an inheritance they have been to modern civilization, but 
strangely enough we have almost entirely neglectM the 
study of them in this country. This neglect seems the 
more surprising since, from the disciplinary point ol. view, 
perhaps no subject furnishes a better training in practical 
logic or gives us a clearer insight into the workings of the 
average human mind. These facts have been mentioned, 
not for the purpose of offering a plea for the study of 
Roman political institutions, but rather in explanation of 
the reasons which led to the writing of this book. 

My aim has been to give a connected view of the devel- 
opment of the constitution from the earliest times down 
through the accession of Diocletian. Each one of the three 



periods in its history, the monarchical, the republican, 
and the imperial, is presented as a unit, and its institutions 
are treated first on the historical, then, on the descriptive, 
side. The historical treatment seemed to me necessary 
because without it one cannot get a conception of the con- 
stitution as an organic whole nor can one understand how 
the relation of the several parts to one another determined 
in large measure the development of each. On the other 
hand, few students will get a complete view and a clear 
idea of any one institution without a separate description 
of it. The book is so arranged, however, that teachers who 
wish to do so may use either the historical or the descrip- 
tive part separately. 

The brevity at which I have aimed has made it necessary 
&t times in discussing controverted questions to content 
myself with stating what seemed to me the most probable 
theory. It has possibly at other points led to the omission 
of certain details whose presentation might modify the 
reader's conception of the institution in question. If this 
has given a dogmatic tone to any part of the work, I hope 
that the defect has been corrected by the fact that refer- 
ence has been made to the sources for almost every impor- 
tant statement, and that modern literature has been freely 
, cited, so that the reader may form an independent judg- 
ment or may acquaint himself with the views held by others 
on the matter in question. 

Of the works which I have found of service in the prepa- 
ration of this book I would mention my great indebtedness 


to the treatises on the Roman constitution by Mommsen, 
Herzog, Willems, and Schiller, and to the general histories 
of Niese, Schiller, and Pelham. I wish also to express my 
gratitude to Professor F. G. Moore, of Dartmouth College, 
to Professor Edward Capps and Dr. E. A. Bechtel, of the 
University of Chicago, for the many valuable suggestions 
which they have made while the book was passing through 
the press, and to Dr. J. D. Wolcott and Mr. Tenny Frank, 
of the University of Chicago, and to Dr. W. K. Clement, 
of the Northwestern University, for assistance in verifying 
the references. 

CHICAGO, July i, 1901 



Section I Historical 



Section n Descriptive 


Section I Historical 






Section n Descriptive 








Section I Historical 








Section n Descriptive 




XX. THE SENATE ..." 381 






INDEX 429 





I . The Gens. The basis of political organization among 
the early Romans was the gens or clan. This unit of organ- 
ization, which in one form or another is common to the 
Indo-European peoples, retained many of its characteristics 
and some measure of its social and political importance to 
a very late period. Cicero describes the gentiles of his day, 
or the members of a clan, as those who could trace their 
lineage back to a common ancestor, who could claim that 
their ancestors had all been freemen, and who were in pos- 
session of their full rights. The civil and political rights 
of the individual came to him as a member of a family 
belonging to a gens, and, since membership in a particular 
gens was indicated by the possession of the nomen gen- 
tilicium, or clan name, the legal and social importance 
which attached to the name is readily understood. In 
fact, in the earliest period, even the right p use the land, 



which was the property of the clan as a whole, was enjoyed 
by the individual only by virtue of his membership in one 
of those organizations. Attached to the various gentes, or 
to families belonging to the gentes, were hereditary depend- 
ents called dientes, who enjoyed some of the privileges 
of members of a clan, and in return therefor owed to their 
patronus such services as assisting in the payment of his 
ransom, if captured in time of war, and contributing to 
his daughter's dower. The control of clan affairs rested 
probably with the members of the clan, or with its repre- 
sentatives. Had the organization been under the head- 
ship of an individual, some traces of such a system would 
be discernible in historic times. 

2. Pagi and their Confederation. The simplest purely 
political community was formed by the settlement of sev- 
eral clans about an arx or fortified point. These com- 
munities, called pagi, were, like the gentes, either purely 
democratic, or controlled by the elders. The union of 
"hill settlements" adjacent to one another for mutual 
protection in trade intercourse naturally followed. Per- 
haps several of these confederacies were formed in Latium, 
but of course the confederacy of greatest historic impor- 
tance is the one having Alba Longa for its common point of 
meeting. The choice of that town as the place at which, 
even in historic times, the members of the confederacy met 
to offer a joint sacrifice to Jupiter Latiaris, shows plainly 
enough that Alba Longa was originally at the head of the 
league, but before the dawn of history Rome had suc- 
ceeded her in the headship of at least this group of 

3. The Founding of Rome. According to the pictur- 
esque account which Roman writers have left us in prose 
and verse of tl|e founding of their native city, Rome was 


an offshoot of Alba Longa, since Romulus and Remus were 
grandsons of Numitor, the last of the line of Alban kings 
who traced their lineage back to Ascanius, the son of 
Aeneas. The tradition which traced the beginnings of 
Rome to a descendant of Aeneas is only one of the many 
accounts which sought to bring Rome into connection with 
Greece. The stories of Evander, of Heracles, and of the 
Pelasgi, as they are recounted, for instance, by Livy, illus- 
trate the same tendency. Greek and Roman writers dated 
the founding of the city all the way from 753 to 747 B.C. 
The first mentioned date, which Varro adopted, is perhaps 
the one most commonly accepted by the ancients. From 
this time to the establishment of the republic, in 509 B.C., 
seven kings reigned, by name Romulus, Numa Pompilius, 
Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, L. Tarquinius Priscus, 
Servius Tullius, and L. Tarquinius Superbus. 

4. The Regal Period. According to tradition, the first 
king laid the political foundations for the city, by creating 
the senate, and by dividing the people into curiae. He 
also extended Roman power by successful wars. Numa 
Pompilius is the antithesis, in many ways, of Romulus. 
He organized priesthoods, established religious rites, and 
sought to develop the religious life of the people. It was 
the main purpose of Tullus Hostilius, as it had been that 
of Romulus, to extend the material power of Rome. Ancus 
Marcius, the fourth king, represents in a way the two types 
in combination. The peaceful development of Rome was 
furthered in his reign by the founding of Ostia and the 
bridging of the Tiber, while her prestige in war was main- 
tained with success. To L. Tarquinius, who was a Greek 
by descent, but came to Rome from Tarquinii in Etruria, 
many of the great public works of Rome, notably the 
Circus and the Cloaca Maxima, were attributed. He 


distinguished himself likewise in wars against the Latins and 

After Romulus, Servius Tullius was regarded as the 
great political organizer of the Romans. To him tradi- 
tion ascribed the division of the people into classes and 
centuries, the introduction of the tribus as a local unit of 
organization, and the completion of the great encircling wall. 
Tarquinius Superbus is the typical tyrant, and the outrage 
of Lucretia by his son Sextus marked the climax of the 
autocratic course pursued by his family, and led to the 
overthrow of the monarchy. 

5. Sources of the Traditional Account. As has been 
stated already, the part which the Greeks played in the 
creation and elaboration of the story of the founding of 
Rome, and of its history under the kings, is discernible 
at many points. More or less cleverly dovetailed into 
these productions of the Greek fancy, or into the tales bor- 
rowed from Greek history, are folklore stories, explanations 
invented at a comparatively late date to account for the 
existence of ancient monuments, of old customs and long- 
established institutions, and some residuum of authentic 
tradition. These are the main elements in the traditional 
accounts set down, for instance, by Livy in the first book 
of his history, and by Cicero in his de Re Publica. So 
far as we know, a literary form was first given to the story 
by Fabius Pictor in his history of the Punic wars in the 
third century. Out of this account the finished produc- 
tions of the late republic and early empire developed, 
thanks to the additions and embellishments of successive 

6. The Making of Rome. It would take us too far from 
our purpose to analyze the traditional accounts of the early 
history of Rome, and to separate from one another the 


constituent elements mentioned above. It is important for 
us, however, to note certain parts of the story which can be 
established with certainty, or with a high degree of proba- 
bility. We can, for instance, rely upon the fact that the 
original settlement out of which the city of Rome devel- 
oped was made on the left bank of the Tiber, about fifteen 
miles from the mouth of the river. Some portions of the 
wall of the old Palatine settlement are still in situ, and 
from them the compass of the early city can be fairly 
well determined. Independent settlements existed on the 
Quirinal, the Esquiline, the Capitoline, and the Caelian 
also. These hills with the citadels upon them were places 
of refuge also, in case of necessity, for the settlers upon 
the adjacent plains, and at a very early date all these hill 
settlements were fused into a single city. The territory of 
this unified community was first extended, by conquest, to 
the south of the city, and along the left bank of the 
Tiber to its mouth. Tradition is undoubtedly right in 
dating expansion in this direction from the early part of 
the regal period. 

7. Its Population. The various traditions connected 
with the founding of the city agree in stating that the 
population of Rome was divided into three parts. Accord- 
ing to the commonly accepted form of the tradition, these 
three parts, the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, were inde- 
pendent elements of different origin, the Ramnes being 
the original settlers of Roma quadrata, the Tities a Sabine 
community, while the identity of the Luceres was a matter 
of as great uncertainty to the ancients as it is to us to-day. 
Some modern writers are inclined to accept this view of 
the case. Others find in the division of the community 
into three " tribes " only an instance of the adoption of a 
system of political organization which was not unknown to 


other Italian communities. The term tribus can of course 
be urged in support of the latter view. The exact truth 
in the matter will probably never be known. It may be 
regarded as highly probable, however, that the original 
Latin community was reinforced by a colony of Sabine 
invaders, which in course of time was completely fused 
with the Palatine settlements into a harmonious political 

8. Early Form of Government. We have already seen 
reason to believe that the affairs of the clan were managed 
by the members or by the elders, who represented it. 
With the founding of the city a new and predominant 
element was introduced into the political organization. The 
clans which were fused into a single community agreed in 
accepting a single political head, called a rex, who was to 
hold his position for life, while the elders or patres of the 
various gentes formed the king's council. To this body 
the control of the state fell on the death of the king. 

9. Treatment of Conquered Peoples. The history of 
Rome under the kings falls naturally into two epochs. 
The second of these two periods covers the reigns of the 
last three kings, and is characterized by the extension of 
Rome's territory, by the development of the plebs and 
their partial incorporation in the body politic, by the 
appearance on the throne of kings of foreign birth, and 
by the fact that the monarchy became hereditary. The 
ambitious policy of conquest which the Tarquins adopted 
was attended with success, but it brought the Romans face 
to face with difficult political questions of great importance. 
What disposition should be made of conquered territory ? 
What standing should conquered peoples have in the state ? 
The first problem was solved in most cases by the perma- 
nent occupation of a part of the newly acquired territory 


by the Roman state as ager publicus, and the assignment 
of the rest to the conquered people with the right of use, 
under certain conditions, but not of full ownership. A 
majority of those who lived in these subjugated districts 
probably accepted these conditions and remained upon the 
land, but some of them came to Rome and settled there. 
In a few cases the most prominent families among the new- 
comers were admitted to the full rights of citizenship. This 
was perhaps the plan adopted in the case of Alba Longa. 
According to Livy's narrative, after the destruction of that 
city, its leading clans were admitted among the gentes, 
and their representatives were made patres. Such gener- 
ous treatment of conquered peoples was, however, excep- 
tional. Ordinarily, if we except those who were brought 
to Rome as slaves, newcomers, whether they came to the 
city after the conquest of their native land, or were attracted 
to it by the possibilities of gain which its growth held out, 
assumed one of two positions in the community. They 
either attached themselves as clientes (cf. p. 2) to the 
representatives of prominent Roman families and gained 
certain rights and privileges through their patroni, or, while 
maintaining their personal freedom, they were thought of 
as bearing to the king a relation similar to that which the 
client bore to his patron. This second class of inhabitants 
was probably augmented by the gradual release of many 
clients from the performance of the duties which they 
owed to their patrons. In these two ways a new element 
developed in the community, which had no part in the 
management of affairs, an element whose very name of 
plebes indicated its lack of organization. 

10. Plebeians enrolled in the Army. But this narrow 
policy, which not only denied to a large part of the commu- 
nity all political privileges, and civil rights in some measure, 


but also exempted the same element from the necessity of 
performing military service, was entirely out of harmony 
with the career of conquest on which the Roman state 
had entered. The farther the limits of the Roman terri- 
tory were extended, the more pressing became the need 
of more fighting men to hold in check the newly subdued 
peoples within its confines, and to ward off the attacks of 
enemies from without. The king, as chief executive of the 
state and commander-in-chief of the army, felt the necessity 
first and most keenly, and tradition is undoubtedly right in 
stating that on one or two occasions he took the initiative, 
with more or less success, in admitting some plebeians to 
the rights of citizenship. The citizens were naturally loath 
to lose part of their privileges by sharing them with others, 
but the military necessities of the case forced them to make 
certain concessions, and under the constitution which is 
connected with the name of Servius Tullius the plebeians 
as well as the patricians, the members of the old gentes, 
were enrolled in the army. We cannot say with certainty 
what concessions on the part of the patricians made the 
plebeians willing to undergo the hardships and expense of 
military service, and insured their loyalty to the state. It 
would seem, however, to have been the concession of the 
right to the full ownership of land, which had probably 
been denied to them before. From this time on, the ple- 
beians had a stake in the community, and it was to their 
interest to maintain order within its limits and to protect it 
from its enemies. This change in their position was of no 
immediate political significance. They were still excluded 
from any share in the management of the state, but the estab- 
lishment of an organization, of which plebeians as well as 
patricians were members, even though it was a body of a 
military character, had political possibilities for the future. 


11. The Results of Rome's Narrow Policy. It may have 
been well for the ultimate development of Rome that the 
members of the old gentes adopted the narrow policy of 
retaining all political power in their own hands. Had they 
followed the precedent which Tullus Hostilius seems to 
have set in the case of Alba Longa, and admitted new 
gentes on a par with the old ones, the narrow tribal basis 
of the state might have lasted for an indefinite time. Under 
the ungenerous policy which was adopted, the right to 
control the internal and the foreign affairs of the state was 
the hereditary privilege of a comparatively small body of 
men. Over against them was a large and rapidly growing 
element in the community whose intolerable position would 
force it to break down the opposing barriers, and thus to 
overthrow the tribal system on which the state was based. 
In this connection it is significant that the new Servian 
organization recognized the individual as an individual and 
not solely as a member of a certain clan, and that the 
members of the new body were classified on the basis of 
their property and not of their family connections. 

12. Etruscan Supremacy. It is very difficult to under- 
stand the foreign relations of Rome during the reigns of 
the last three kings, which we are now considering. Accord- 
ing to tradition, the first of the three, Tarquinius Priscus, 
during the reign of his predecessor, Ancus Marcius, came 
to Rome from Tarquinii in Etruria, and on the death of 
the king succeeded to the throne. It has been suspected 
that under the guise of the Etruscan ancestry of Tarquin 
the conquest of Rome by the Etruscans has been con- 
cealed, and it is true that many changes attributed to the 
Tarquins may be urged in support of this hypothesis, but 
this conclusion is at least open to serious doubt. The 
favorable location of the city and its rapid growth would 


undoubtedly attract many strangers to the city. These 
newcomers, as we have already observed, were in some 
cases admitted to the full rights of citizenship, and it would 
not have been an extremely difficult thing for one of these 
naturalized citizens, if he were a leader of skill and ability, 
to gain the throne. Such a leader the first of the Tarquins 
seems to have been, and there is no sufficient reason for 
refusing to accept the tradition of Tarquinius Priscus at 
its face value. 

13. Political Changes. The form of government under- 
went a noteworthy change under the Tarquins in the sub- 
stitution of an hereditary for an elective monarchy, and 
in the subordination of the senate to the king. The first 
of these two changes is indicated plainly enough by the 
kinship existing between the last three kings, and by the 
passage of the scepter to Servius Tullius and to Tarquinius 
Superbus without the observance of the interregnum. The 
fact just mentioned illustrates also the autocratic attitude 
which the reigning family assumed toward the senate. On 
the death of the king under the old regime the auspicia 
reverted to the senate, and that body, through representa- 
tives chosen from its own number, exercised the supreme 
executive power. The assumption of power by Servius 
Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus, neque populi iussu neque 
auctoribus patribus (Liv. I. 49. 3), made a serious breach in 
the theory that the senate was the ultimate depositary of 
supreme power, gave a dangerous continuity to the king's 
office and prevented the choice by the senate of a monarch 
satisfactory to it. 

The jealousy which the patricians felt at this usurpation 
of power by the king led to the overthrow of the monarchy. 
There are some indications of a rapprochement between the 


king and the plebeians, but the plebeians were exhausted 
and embittered by long-continued service in the army and 
by forced labor in the construction of public works, so that 
they either did not come to the defense of Tarquinius 
Superbus, or helped the patricians to overthrow him. 



14. Sources of Information. The same difficulties which 
beset one's path in seeking to trace the course of political 
events during the regal period bring to naught in some 
respects every effort to gain a clear conception of the 
political institutions of the epoch in question. Our knowl- 
edge of these institutions is derived in the main from tra- 
dition, from the explanatory statements of Latin writers, 
and from an investigation of the political institutions of the 
republican period. Some further light is thrown on early 
institutions by an investigation of early laws, treaties, legal 
and religious formulae, and by a study of the fundamental 
meaning of the titles of the several offices, as in the case of 
the quaestores parricidii. 

Let us confine our attention for the present to the three 
principal sources, noting at the outset some of the points 
at which these sources must be used with caution. Many 
of the descriptions which we find in Livy of the Roman 
constitution under the kings owe their existence to a delib- 
erate attempt at a later date to account for a political term 
or usage or institution, which in course of time had lost its 
original meaning. This same inventive tendency vitiates in 
some measure the explanations made by the later antiqua- 
rians, whose views are also more or less colored by their 



knowledge of the form which an ancient institution had 
taken in their own day. So, for instance, historians and 
antiquarians of the first century B.C. may have been led by 
their knowledge of the constitutional character of the con- 
sulship to assume erroneously that certain corresponding 
constitutional restrictions were put on the power of the 
king. It is evident that in using the third source of infor- 
mation, that is, in reconstructing the political institutions of 
the regal period from our knowledge of the forms which 
they had taken in republican times, we must make due 
allowance for development or decay, and must not be 
guilty of the same mistake which the Roman antiquarians 
made. The way in which the nature of the interregnum is 
determined illustrates the use which may be made of these 
different sources of information. First of all, the tech- 
nical term itself indicates the period elapsing between the 
death, resignation, or dethronement of one king and the 
accession of his successor. This general notion is ampli- 
fied by the traditional account given in more or less detail 
by Livy, Dionysius, and Cicero of the way in which the 
affairs of state were conducted after the death of each one 
of the first four kings ; explanatory remarks on the insti- 
tution have been made by the commentators Asconius and 
Servius, and these three sources of information have been 
supplemented by the contemporaneous accounts which 
Cicero and other writers have left us of the method of 
procedure during the interregnums of 53 B.C. 

15. The Senate as the Ultimate Source of Authority. 
As we have already had occasion to notice (p. 2), in the 
prehistoric tribal community the control of affairs was 
largely, if not entirely, vested in the clan elders. On the 
establishment of the monarchy, the supreme power was 
transferred to a single individual, to be exercised by him 


during his lifetime. At his death the sovereignty naturally 
reverted to the elders. This view of the situation Livy 
has expressed, when, after mentioning the death of Tullus 
Hostilius, he remarks (I. 32. i), res, ut institutum iam inde 
ab initio erat, ad patres rediit. This view that the senate 
was the ultimate source of authority was the aristocratic 
theory of the constitution down to the end of the repub- 
lican period, and was the cause of violent and protracted 
struggles, first between patricians and plebeians, and later 
between the nobilitas and the democracy. 

16. Method of Selecting a King. The supreme execu- 
tive power, which thus reverted to the senate, and in the 
later republican period to the patrician senators, was exer- 
cised by that body in a peculiar fashion. A member of 
the senate, bearing the title of interrex, and chosen in a 
way not entirely clear to us, assumed charge of affairs for 
* period of five days. He nominated a second interrex, 
and this system was continued until a king was selected. 
The choice was made by the interrex in harmony with 
the wishes of the senate, and was submitted by him for 
approval to the people assembled by curiae. The senate 
then ratified the selection by passing the auctoritas patrum, 
and the candidate was formally declared king by the inter- 
rex. The ceremony ended when the newly elected king had 
taken the auspices and had been vested with the imperium 
by the lex curiata de imperio. The selection of a king 
rested essentially with the senate. His election or con- 
firmation by the people was a matter of form, although, 
since the king was primarily the leader of the army, the 
hearty support of the fighting men of the community was 
a matter of great importance. Since the real selection of 
the king was made by the senate through one of its own 
number, the auctoritas patrum had a formal significance 


only, although it was a safeguard which might take on a 
real meaning in the case of a usurper or a headstrong 
interrex. The passage of the lex de imperio, which is not 
properly a part of the ceremony attending the choice, and 
the inauguration of the king, were also matters of form in 
so far as the choice of the king was concerned, since the 
refusal of the curiae to pass the measure is inconceivable. 
17. Powers of the King. Sallust characterizes the power 
of the king as an imperium legitimum. This can mean little 
more than that the king was to observe the mos maiorum. 
So, for instance, he was expected, although not required, 
to consult the senate on important matters. This general 
limitation on the power of the king found definite expres- 
sion, perhaps, in the lex de imperio, which was probably in 
the nature of a contract, on the part of the people to 
render obedience, on the part of the king to observe the 
practices of the forefathers. Except for the limitations 
just mentioned, the king was a supreme ruler, the chief 
executive, the chief priest, the lawgiver, and the judge of 
the state. After war had been declared he had sole power 
to levy and organize troops, to choose leaders, and to con- 
duct the campaign. The property of the state was under 
his control, and he was authorized to dispose of conquered 
territory and to take charge of public works. He was the 
official representative of the community in its relations with 
the gods, as well as in its dealings with other communities. 
Changes of a permanent or far-reaching character, how- 
ever, such as the introduction of new deities, could only 
be made with the consent of the priests. It would be 
unwarrantable to import modern notions into our conception 
of the king's position and to speak of him as legislating for 
the people, but undoubtedly he formulated and executed 
such measures as he thought essential to the community, 


except that matters affecting primarily the gentes, and 
a declaration of war, must be referred to the people. 
The adjudication of all civil and criminal cases was natu- 
rally within the scope of his power. It is quite possible 
that in civil cases, in some instances, the king may have 
adopted the practice, which the praetor uniformly observed 
under the republic, of conducting the case in its prelim- 
inary stages (in iure), and then of referring it to a index 
for settlement. Probably criminal cases involving the ques- 
tion of life and death could, with the consent of the king, 
be appealed to the people for trial. 

18. Assistants and Insignia of the King. In the absence 
of the king from the city, the duties of the office were per- 
formed by a substitute, called the praefectus urbi. The 
other political officials of the regal commonwealth were 
two quaestores parriridii, or detective officers, the duum- 
viri per duellionis, who assisted the king in cases of treason, 
and the tribunus celerum, who commanded the cavalry. 
These officials were all chosen by the king, and the power 
which they exercised was delegated to them by him. In 
time of war the king wore the trabea, a purple cloak, in 
time of peace a purple toga. His seat on formal occasions 
was the solium. He was attended by twelve lictors. 

19. The Senate. In organizing the primitive Roman 
senate a representative was chosen from each clan. As 
the number of clans in the community increased, the num- 
ber of members in the senate increased correspondingly, 
until three hundred was fixed as a maximum. This num- 
ber, on which the various traditions agree, gives a repre- 
sentation of one hundred for each tribus and ten for each 
one of the curiae. The choice of senators was made by 
the king, but in accordance ' with principles handed down 
by tradition. The title patres may be a mere term of 


honor, but probably a minimum age limit was fixed for 
membership in the body. The functions of the senate may 
be considered from three points of view, viz., as an organ- 
ization vested under certain circumstances with supreme 
power, as a legislative body coordinate with the people 
assembled in the curiae, and as the council of the king. 
We have already noticed the fact (p. 14) that on the 
death of the king the control of the state reverted to the 
senate. The fact has also been noted (p. 14) that matters 
on which the popular assembly acted came before the 
senate for approval or rejection. Custom made it incum- 
bent on the king to seek the advice of the senate in impor- 
tant matters, but it was left for him to decide whether to 
bring a subject before the senate or not, and he was free 
to adopt or reject its advice, as he saw fit. This theory 
of the relations existing between the senate and the chief 
executive was maintained down through the republican 
period even, although in practice the consul rarely failed to 
follow the instructions of the senate. The senate could meet 
only when called together by the king, and its meetings were 
held in a templum, or place consecrated by an augur. 

20. Patricii, Clientes, Plebeii. There were three princi- 
pal classes in the community, patricians, clients, and ple- 
beians. The patricians were legitimate sons in families 
belonging to the gentes recognized by the state. Patri- 
cians alone had civitas Optimo lure, i.e., the full rights of 
citizenship. This included, besides personal freedom, ius 
commerdi, the right to hold and exchange property and be 
protected in its possession ; ius conubii, the right to inter- 
marry with other members of the gentes, and ius gentilitatis, 
the right to a share in the worship of the clan. The main 
political privileges enjoyed by the patricians were ius suf- 
fragii, the right to vote, and ius honorum, the right to hold 


office. The clientes were strangers who had come to Rome 
to better their condition, or the former inhabitants of con- 
quered territory, or freedmen. Not being members of any 
one of the recognized gentes, they gained certain privileges 
by attaching themselves to the head of a family belonging 
to a gens. Their protector was known as a patronus, who 
represented them before the law. They did not have the 
full right to own land, but were allowed to hold it on 
condition of giving a part of the return from it to their 
patronus. Clients, who were artisans, similarly gave to him 
a part of the profits of their labor. The relation existing 
between a cliens and his patronus was an hereditary one. 
The origin of the plebeians and the relation which they 
bore to the clientes is somewhat obscure, but they, were 
probably strangers who settled in Rome with the king as 
their patronus, or clientes whose relation of dependence 
was brought to an end with the consent of their patronus, 
or through the disappearance of the family to which they 
were attached. In return for the service which they ren- 
dered in the army the Servian reform granted them ius 
commercii. They had the right to marry within their own 
class, but they were not allowed to marry patricians. 

21. The Curiae. The fundamental unit in the division 
of the people for political purposes in the primitive state 
was the curia, whose organization resembled that of the 
family in that it had common religious rites, common festi- 
vals, and a common hearth. The thirty curiae included not 
only the patricians but also the clientes, and probably the 
plebeians, although the plebeians and clients had no 
vote. The curiae constituted the populus Romanus Quiri- 
ttum, and the comitia curiata, the organization based on 
them, was the only popular assembly of a political or 
semi-political character during the regal period. 


22. The Comitia Curiata. Only the king or inter rex had 
the right to call together the people and lay matters before 
them for consideration (agere cum populo]. The usual place 
of meeting was the comitium. In all probability the will of 
the people could ordinarily be indicated well enough by 
informal signs of approval or disapproval on the part of the 
multitude, but the systematic division of the people indi- 
cates that from the outset, on certain matters at least, a 
definite system of voting was adopted, perhaps by acclama- 
tion, within the separate curiae. A majority of the curiae 
determined the vote of the whole assembly. Stated meet- 
ings of the comitia curiata were held on the Kalends and 
Nones of the month to hear announcements with refer- 
ence to the calendar, and on two fixed dates in the spring, 
primarily to witness wills. Other meetings were held as 
occasion might require. The matters which came before 
this assembly may be roughly classified under four heads. 
The people might be called together to elect a king, to 
hear an appeal, to listen to announcements, or to vote on 
rogationes or propositions. The first two points have been 
discussed elsewhere (pp. 14, 16). The announcements 
which the people were called together to hear were those 
made at the stated meetings mentioned above. It would be 
an anachronism to speak of the legislation of the period, 
but in matters of great importance the king asked for the 
approval of the people assembled in the comitia, and on 
occasion of assuming the imperium (see pp. 14 f.) or declar- 
ing an offensive war the consent of the people was neces- 
sary. Questions concerning the gentes were those most 
frequently brought before the comitia curiata. These were 
mainly : adlectio, the admission of a new gens into a curia ; 
restitutio^ the restoration of citizenship ; adrogatio, the reduc- 
tion of a pater familias to a dependent position in another 


family, and detestatio sacrorum, release from the clan sacra. 
Under the republic matters affecting the clans became the 
main business of this body. 

23. The Servian Reorganization of the Army. Under the 
early monarchy the prehistoric division of the people into 
three tribes served as a basis for the levy of troops ; but, 
since the plebeians were not included in these three tribes, 
the state lost the use of a large number of able-bodied men, 
and there was no way in which they could very well be 
included in a system based, as the old one seems to have 
been, on kinship and vicinage. This state of things led to 
the giving up of the old basis of organization, and to the 
substitution in its stead of the property system of classifi- 
cation. Under the Servian reform all freemen who had a 
certain amount of landed property were enrolled in the 
army without regard to their membership in a clan. The 
enrollment was apparently based on the possession of landed 
property, and comprised all those who had two acres or 
more of land. The possession of twenty acres admitted 
one to the first class, fifteen acres to the second, ten acres 
to the third, five acres to the fourth, and two acres to the 
fifth. The classes were divided into centuries, that is, into 
subdivisions, which at the outset perhaps actually contained 
one hundred men, but in course of time the term can have 
scarcely indicated a fixed number. The iuniores, those 
between seventeen and forty-six years of age, were drafted 
for service in the field ; the seniores, men from forty-six to 
sixty years of age, were expected to perform garrison duty 
only. Each class contained an equal number of centuries 
of seniores and iuniores. Those enrolled in the five classes 
served as infantry. Cavalry service was rendered by 
eighteen centuries made up of the richest men in the 
community. There were also two centuries of sappers 



and two of buglers, and at the outset, or somewhat later, 
one century Q{ proktarii. 

The probable details of the organization may be seen 
from the following table : 

Landed property 


in acres. 

Equites . 

\ 2 I 


\ (100,000 asses) ) 

ist class . . 

< 20 ") 

I (100,000 asses) > 


. . 40 
. . 40 

2d " . . 

5 '5 ) 

\ (7 S ,ooo asses) > 


. . 10 
. . IO 

3 d . . 

( IO > 

( (50,000 asses) | 


. . IO 
. . 10 

4th " . . 

5 5 ? 
( (25,000 tfj-jfj) ) 


. . IO 
. . 10 

S th . . 
Fabri . . . 

( 2 ) 

( (10,000 asses) y 


. . 15 



Cornicines . 


Proletarii ( ? ) 



. IQ1 

The citizens were reclassified at regular intervals, and, for 
convenience in classification, the city was divided terri- 
torially into four tribus, called respectively Palatina, Subu- 
rana, Collina, and Esquilina. Membership in a tribus was 

This entire organization of the people by tribes, classes, 
and centuries was for military purposes only, and the 
comitia centuriata based upon it had no political functions 
during the regal period. 



Traditional accounts of the regal period : Livy, Bk. I ; Dionysius, 
Bks. I-I V ; Cic. de Re Publ. II. 4-46 ; Plutarch, Lives of Romulus 
and Numa; H. Peter, Veterum historicorum Romanorum relliquiae, 
Vol. I, Leipzig, 1870. Discussion of the sources : C. Peter, Zur Kritik 
d. Quellen d. alteren rom. Geschichte, Halle, 1879 5 Schafer-Nissen, 
Abriss d. Quellenkunde d. griech. u. rom. Geschichte, 2te Abt, 2te 
AufL, Leipzig, 1885 ; Wachsmuth, Einleitung in das Studium d. alten 
Geschichte, Leipzig, 1895 ; Soltau, Livius' Geschichtswerk, Leipzig, 
^97. Credibility: Schwegler-Baur, Rom. Geschichte, Tubingen, 
1853-8 (Fortsetzung, Clason, 1873-6) ; Seeley, Livy, Bk. I 3 , Oxford, 
1 88 1 ; Ihne, Early Rome, 8th e d., New York, 1895. The king : Cuno, 
Vorgeschichte Roms, Vol. I, Leipzig, 1878 ; Vol. II, Graudenz, 1888 ; 
L. Lange, Das rom. Konigtum, Leipzig, 1881 ; H. Jordan, Die Konige 
im alten Italien, Berlin, 1887. The senate: Mommsen, Rom. For- 
schungen, I, 250-268, 2 te Aufl., Berlin, 1864 ; Fr. Hofmann, Der 
rom. Senat zur Zeit der Republik, 1847 5 Bloch, Les origines du senat 
remain, Paris, 1883. The people, curiae, centuriae, etc. : Em. Hoff- 
mann, Die patriz. u. pleb. Kurien, Vienna, 1879 ; Pelham, The Roman 
Curiae (in Journ. of Philol., IX. 266-279) ; Mommsen, Die rom. 
Tribus, Altona, 1844; Kubitschek, de Rom. trib. origine ac propa- 
gatione, Vienna, 1882 ; Soltau, Ueber Entstehung u. Zusammen- 
setzung d. altrom. Volksversammlungen, Berlin, 1880 ; Genz, Das 
patrizische Rom, Berlin, 1878 ; M. Zoeller, Latium u. Rom, Leipzig, 

(The Monarchy and the Republic} 

Th. Mommsen, History of Rome, 5 vols. (Eng. trans.). New York, 

W. Ihne, History of Rome, 4 vols. (Eng. trans.). London, 1871-82. 

1 Collections of inscriptions, like the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, of docu- 
ments, like that of Bruns, and treatises on coins, such as Eckhel's Doctrina Numo- 
rum Veterum, may be consulted to advantage, but do not fall within the scope of 
this list. Valuable lists of articles on various periods of Roman history, which have 
appeared during the last fifteen years, may be found in the Jahresbericht uber die 
Fortschritte der classischen Alterthums-wissensckaft, Bd. xlviii (1886), pp. 211-314, 
Bd. Ivi (1888), pp. 1-30; Bd. Ix (1889), pp. 262-408; Bd. Ixiv (1890), pp. 114-185, 
and Bd. xciv (1897), pp. 1-277. 


E. Pais, Storia di Roma, Vol. I. Turin, 1899. 

B. G. Niebuhr, History of Rome (Eng. trans.). London, 1855. 
Schwegler-Clason, Romische Geschichte, 4 Bde. Tubingen, 1853-8 ; 

Berlin, 1873-6. 

C. Peter, Geschichte Roms, 3 Bde. 4te Aufl. Halle, 1881. 
E. W. Fischer, Romische Zeittafeln. Altona, 1846. 

H. F. Clinton, Fasti Hellenici, Vol. III. Oxford, 1841. 
H. F. Clinton, Fasti Romani, 2 vols. Oxford, 1845-50. 
H. Matzat, Romische Zeittafeln fiir die Jahre 219 bis i v. Chr. 

Berlin, 1889. 
H. Matzat, Romische Chronologic, 2 Bde. Berlin, 1883-4. 




24. Credibility of Early Republican History. The tra- 
ditional story of the kings is in large measure a transparent 
fiction. After the establishment of the republic the narra- 
tive descends into the realm of the possible and credible, 
but we should be mistaken in accepting the early part of it 
as trustworthy. Both the external and the internal evidence 
show it to be otherwise. For the first century or more of 
the republic contemporary records are completely lacking. 
Everything of the sort must have been lost when the city 
was taken by the Gauls in 390. Then, too, an examination 
of the history of the early period, which ancient writers 
have left us, reveals the fact that truth and fiction are con- 
stantly interwoven, and that the greater part of the account 
is the production of a later date. The meager records 
which religious and political officials made in the fourth 
century B.C., relying on tradition, were supplemented, as 
time went on, by traditional tales of popular military heroes 
and political leaders, and successive generations of writers 
sought to remove inconsistencies, to suggest explanations, 
and to embellish the narrative by the use of rhetorical 



devices, as they did in the case of the regal history. How- 
ever, the constitutional struggle which is under way when 
more trustworthy history begins is only a continuation of 
that of the first century of the republic, and from our knowl- 
.edge of its nature, and of the forces at work, we can make 
fairly safe inferences concerning similar movements of the 
early period, and in this way test the truth of the traditional 
account. In a like manner the character of certain politi- 
cal institutions in the historical period, and the line which 
they take in their development, enable us to determine 
their early form with considerable probability. In this way 
the main features of the constitutional history of the early 
republic can be made out. 

25. The Chief Magistracy. Tradition is probably right 
in making the transition from the monarchy to the repub- 
lic a sudden one, the outcome of a revolution. The 
most important result of this revolution consisted in the 
changes which the chief magistracy underwent. In place 
of the rex, who under the old regal constitution was the 
choice of the patres, and held office for life, two chief 
executives, called practores, or leaders, were chosen annually 
by the whole body of citizens. Two of the three changes 
just mentioned in the position of the chief magistracy are 
of immediate importance, while the third is of future sig- 
nificance. A chief executive who holds office for a limited 
period only can be held accountable for his conduct at the 
close of his term of office. Furthermore, the participation 
of a colleague in the exercise of supreme power will tend 
to prevent a magistrate from becoming autocratic. These 
are the two principal points in which the position of the 
praetor, or, to give him his later title, the consul, differed 
from that of the king. The change in the method of 
choice was of less importance at first, since, as we shall 


shortly find, the popular assembly, in which the consul 
was chosen, was controlled by the patricians, just as was 
the senate, which had practically chosen the king. The 
consul was invested with the imperium, as the king had 
been, and the strictly political power of the new magis- 
trate was identical with that of the old one. If the expe- 
rience of the Roman people were not a matter of history, 
the practicability of a system of government, in which the 
supreme power was placed in the hands of two magistrates, 
elected for the same term of office, and could be exercised 
by each of them at any moment, might well be questioned 
by any one. However, the system did prove a workable 
one, although the Romans found it wise a few years after 
the founding of the republic to modify it slightly by estab- 
lishing the dictatorship. The incumbent of this office, who 
was to be appointed at moments of great danger, had no 
colleague. We have said that the full political power of 
the king descended to the consul. The new chief magis- 
trate lost some of the religious functions of the old one. 
Such religious duties as were not necessary preliminaries to 
political action were assigned to the pontiffs and to a new 
priest, the rex sacrorum. 

26. The Senate. The position of the senate was essen- 
tially unchanged, but its composition underwent a change. 
A certain number of plebeians were admitted to member- 
ship in it. The plebeian senators, called conscripti, could, 
however, take no part in passing the auctoritas patrum, or 
in choosing an interrex. These duties were always the 
prerogative of the patrician senators. 

27. The People. The centuriate comitia was at the 
outset a military organization solely, and it was slow in 
acquiring political functions, but the growth was a natural 
one. In fact, it was inevitable that in matters touching the 


safety and general welfare of the community, or the life of 
individual citizens, an exclusive body like the curiate comitia 
should give way before an organization made up of all the 
fighting men of the state. It would be absurd, in fact, to 
expect the plebeians to serve faithfully under a leader 
whom they had had no part in choosing, or to fight in 
a war which had been declared without consulting them. 
Under these influences the centuriate assembly gradually 
acquired a large share of the political functions which 
under the monarchy had been exercised by the curiate 
comitia. In it magistrates were elected, appeals were heard, 
and measures affecting the whole community, excepting the 
lex de imperio, were considered and acted on. Another 
factor contributed to its political importance. Under the 
monarchy, as we have already noticed (p. 16), an appeal 
to the people in a case of life and death could be had only 
with the consent of the king. By the lex Valeria (Cic. 
de Re Publ. II. 53), which tradition assigns to the year 
509, the right to an appeal to the comitia centuriata was 
granted to all citizens, plebeians as well as patricians. This 
action undoubtedly made frequent meetings of that body 
necessary. The eighteen centuries of knights acting with 
the eighty centuries of the first class constituted a majority, 
and, since most of the rich landholders were probably patri- 
cians, the body had a pronounced aristocratic character. 
For this reason the action of the centuriate comitia in elect- 
ing magistrates, in passing laws, and in deciding appeals 
was of no great immediate value to the plebs, but the 
time was likely to come when the plebeians could exert a 
controlling influence through an increase in the number 
of rich plebeian landholders. The organization, but not 
the character, of the comitia centuriata was affected by 
the formation of seventeen tribus rusticae, which tradition 


assigns to the period immediately after the expulsion of 
the kings. 

The king had held his position for life. Class preju- 
dice, therefore, would not count for much in his case. 
His interests also lay in conciliating the plebeians. The 
consul, who was chosen from the ranks of the patricians, 
held office for a year only, and then returned to their 
number. Consequently his action must have been largely 
influenced by prejudice in favor of the patricians. We 
are not surprised, therefore, that the plebeians found their 
position intolerable under the new chief magistrates. The 
condition of foreign affairs, however, helped them to wrest 
from the aristocracy some protection against the patrician 
consuls. In 494, when Rome was engaged in a fierce 
struggle with the Aequi and Volsci, the plebeian soldiers 
refused to march against the enemy, and took up their 
position on a hill a few miles from the city. The patri- 
cians proposed a compromise at once, and the plebeians 
returned to their duties on condition that they should be 
allowed to elect annual officials, perhaps five in number, 
with sufficient power to protect them against the auto- 
cratic action of the consuls. The new officials took their 
title of tribuni plebis from the plebeian tribuni militum 
whom the people had chosen as their leaders in the seces- 
sion. We do not know how the tribunes were chosen at 
the outset, but probably the plebeians were divided into 
curiae, and the new officials were elected in a loosely 
organized plebeian curiate assembly. They were to be 
assisted in the performance of their duties by two aediles 
plebei. From this time forth the plebeians had political 
leaders of their own, and the great struggle between the 
orders begins with their appearance, although important 
political results cannot be seen for a generation or two. 


28. Improvement in the Organization of the Plebeians. 
For a period of fifty years this struggle centers succes- 
sively about three points. These three points were : the 
improvement of the plebeian organization, the more equi- 
table division of the ager publicus, and the codification 
and publication of the customary law. At the outset, as 
has been stated above, the tribunes were apparently elected 
in a plebeian curiate assembly roughly modeled after the 
patrician comitia curiata. To this body all those outside of 
the old gentes who were not slaves were probably admitted. 
In this organization the patricians may well have exerted 
a strong influence through their dientes. To eliminate 
this influence, in 471, in accordance with a law incor- 
rectly attributed by tradition to Volero Publilius, the ple- 
beians were organized on the tribal basis, and the election 
of tribunes was turned over to the newly constituted ple- 
beian tribal assembly, and to this organization probably 
plebeian landowners only were admitted. 

29. Agrarian Agitation. Under the monarchy the dis- 
posal of land gained in war was left to the king (p. 15). 
His fairly impartial attitude towards all classes would lead 
him to make arrangements at least tolerable for the ple- 
beians. But the patrician senate and consul inherited the 
king's power in this matter, and the plebeians gained little 
from the new territory which their own valor had helped 
to secure. They suffered not only financially, but also 
politically, from this state of things. Membership in the 
classes, on which the centuriate organization was based, 
depended on the ownership of land. Now, if no new 
land was thrown open to the plebeians, as they increased 
in number from generation to generation, the average hold- 
ings of each one of them would decrease, and plebeians 
would drop into lower classes, or become landless. This 


was the state of things which led Spurius Cassius, himself 
a patrician, to advocate the assignment of certain con- 
quered territory to the plebeians. His proposition, which 
tradition assigns to the year 486, brought no immediate 
results, but, as Livy notices (II. 41. 3), it marks the begin- 
ning of an agrarian agitation which went on to the close 
of the republican period, the first milestone of which was 
the lex Icilia, so called (Liv. III. 31. i), of 456, which 
provided for the division among the plebeians of the ager 
publicus on the Aventine. 

30. The Decemvirate. The third great achievement of 
the plebs during the period under consideration, the pub- 
lication of the laws of the twelve tables, was the result of 
a long and bitter struggle. The first proposition looking 
to this end is said (Liv. III. 9. 5) to have been made by 
the tribune C. Terentilius Harsa in 462, and in 451 a com- 
promise between the two parties was arranged, to the effect 
that the consuls and tribunes should alike give place to a 
commission of ten men (decemviri legibus scribundis), who 
should not only exercise the functions of chief magistrates, 
but should be empowered to publish a code of laws bind- 
ing on the whole community. The commission of the first 
year drew up ten tables, but left their task unfinished at 
the end of their term of office. The commission of the 
second year, so the story goes, took up the work where 
its predecessor had left off, but its conduct was so over- 
bearing that the plebeians withdrew to the Aventine, and 
the decemvirs were forced out of office. The real course 
of events cannot be determined with certainty, but the 
appearance of plebeian names in the list of decemvirs for 
the second year makes it probable that a part of the second 
commission was plebeian, that certain changes were pro- 
posed which the patricians would not accept, and that 


they drove the commission out of office. The withdrawal 
of the plebeians may be accounted for by their anger at 
the course which the patricians took, or by the fact that 
after the overthrow of the decemvirs they were left with- 
out any adequate protection, since the tribunate had been 
suspended or abolished. It is worth noticing incidentally 
that if this explanation of the matter is correct, the decem- 
virate was the first important magistracy to which ple- 
beians were admitted. Whatever the truth of the whole 
matter may have been, we know that the plebs demanded 
and secured, as the price of their return, the restoration 
of the tribunate, and the concession of certain rights which 
the conservative leaders Valerius and Horatius secured for 
them. Livy characterizes the body of laws which the 
decemvirs prepared as fans omnis publici privatique iuris. 
In point of fact, however, the primary importance of the 
whole incident lay in the publication of the method of 
procedure to be adopted, especially in civil cases. The 
only laws of constitutional importance which the code 
seems to have contained were those forbidding privilegia, 
granting the right of appeal in case of a heavy fine (prob- 
ably a reaffirmation of the lex Aternia Tarpeia and the lex 
Menenia Sestia of 454 and 452 respectively), giving to the 
comitia centuriata the sole right of passing sentence in 
capital cases, and providing that a measure adopted by the 
populus nullified all earlier constitutional or legal provisions 
in conflict with it. 

31. The Leges Valeriae Horatiae. The patricians carried 
out faithfully the promises which had been made in their 
behalf. In 449 the consuls Valerius and Horatius secured 
the passage of a law guaranteeing to citizens the right of 
appeal in cases of life and death. This enactment was in 
a way a repetition of the lex Valeria and of one of the 


provisions of the twelve tables, but the suspension of the 
right of appeal during the existence of the decemvirate 
justified the repetition. The dictatorship must have been 
exempted from the action of this law. Another law of the 
same year established the tribunate on a surer basis than 
ever. A still more important piece of legislation, whose 
passage Valerius and Horatius secured, was an enactment 
with reference to the validity of plebisrita. Livy summa- 
rizes (III. 55.3) its contents in this wise : quod tributim 
plebes iussisset populutt\ teneret. It is impossible, however, 
that the unsupported action of the plebeian tribal assembly 
should have been binding on the whole people. The fact 
that it was necessary to secure the approval of the senate 
in the case of the Licinian laws in 367 (Liv. VI. 42. 9) 
points to the probability that, after the passage of the leges 
Valeriae Horatiae, the action of the plebeian tribal assembly 
acquired the force of law, in case the auctoritas patrum 
was secured. The constitutional importance of this Valerio- 
Horatian measure lies in the fact that it gave to the tribune, 
the plebeian leader, the right to initiate legislation, and to 
plebeian political aspirations the strength which came to 
them through their formulation by a legally recognized legis- 
lative assembly. It will be seen that this action involves a 
complete change in the nature of the tribunate. It gives 
a positive character to it for the first time. The impor- 
tance of the negative functions of that office also was aug- 
mented shortly before the establishment of the decemvirate 
by the increase of the number of tribunes to ten. This 
increase made it possible for them to extend their protec- 
tive power oyer a greater number of plebeians. The great 
constitutional gains which the plebeians made during the 
period under consideration, from the first to the second 
secession, bear a close relation to the fact that Rome was 


harassed during this whole time by fierce raids on the part 
of the Sabines, the Aequi, and the Volsci. The patrician 
state needed the support of the plebeians, and that could 
be had only in return for certain political concessions. The 
stress of these wars also led Rome and the neighboring 
peoples of the Latins and Hernici to form a league at the 
beginning of the fifth century which continued in force 
to 340. 

32. The Comitia Tributa. It will be remembered that 
in the regal period the king was assisted in the collection 
of evidence by the quaestores parricidii. The power of 
appointing these officials, which the king had enjoyed, de- 
scended to the consul and was exercised by him up to the 
year 447, when, as Tacitus tells us (Ann. XL 22), they 
were for the first time elected by the people. This change 
was in itself a direct gain for the plebeians, but the method 
by which the quaestors were elected suggests a far more 
important indirect advantage to the plebeians. The juris- 
diction of the quaestors extended over patricians as well as 
plebeians, and the only definite reference which we have to 
the method of electing them (Cic. ad Fam. VII. 30. i) in- 
dicates that they were chosen in a tribal assembly presided 
over by a magistrate. We must consequently infer that 
patricians as well as plebeians took part in the election. 
From 447 on, then, there are two tribal assemblies, one 
an assembly of the populus under the chairmanship of a 
magistrate, and therefore properly called the comitia tri- 
buta, the other an assembly of the plebs presided over by 
a tribune, to which Latin writers now and then refer as the 
concilium plebis. 

33. The Lex Canuleia. A great social change which led 
to important political results was effected at about the 
same time, to be exact in 445, by the passage of the lex 


Canuleia de conubio, which recognized conubium between 
patricians and plebeians. Mixed marriages between patri- 
cians and plebeians had never been considered strictly illegal, 
but the patrician who took a plebeian woman in marriage 
lost his patrician standing by virtue of that fact. The pas- 
sage of this law or plebiscite was therefore, in a way, to the 
advantage of the patricians. Indirectly it furthered the cause 
of the plebeians and benefited the whole community. It 
was to the advantage of the entire state, because it served 
to unify the interests of its citizens. It helped the ple- 
beians, since through it influential patricians were some- 
times led by kinship to support plebeian leaders at critical 
moments. This was notably true in the case of Licinius in 
the year 367. 

34. Agitation for the Consulship. The great majority of 
the measures whose passage the plebeians had secured since 
509 had for their avowed object the restriction of the con- 
sul's power. The plebeians now felt themselves in a posi- 
tion to make a direct assault on the patrician stronghold by 
demanding a representative in the consulship. A propo- 
sition embodying this demand was made by the tribune 
Canuleius in 445. The patricians could not be forced to 
yield the point in question, but they granted a compromise 
by providing that each year it should be decided whether 
the chief magistrates should be consuls or tribuni militares 
consulari potestate. The tribuni militiim alternated in com- 
mand of the legion, and since the office was open to ple- 
beians as well as to patricians, the demands of the plebeians 
were nominally recognized. In point of fact the concession 
was intended to be, and was in large measure, a nominal 
one. The patricians hoped to save the consulship by sub- 
stituting the consular tribunate temporarily in its stead, with 
the intention of restoring the consulship when they found 


themselves strong enough to do so. In the interval they 
felt that they had secured themselves by a number of safe- 
guards. It was, for instance, within the power of the senate 
to decide each year whether the chief magistrates should 
be consuls or consular tribunes ; the election of consular 
tribunes by the comitia centuriata required the ratification 
of the patrician senators, and finally, since the number of 
these officials was not fixed, it was probably possible in 
some cases to reject successful plebeian candidates on the 
ground of unfavorable auspices, or for similar technical 
reasons. These legal restrictions, combined with the supe- 
rior political ability of the patricians and the prestige 
which their social position gave them, enabled them to 
exclude the plebeians entirely from the office up to 400, 
and after that date the number of plebeian successes was 

35. Economic Difficulties. The political situation, which 
was already serious, in consequence of the repeated disap- 
pointments of the plebeians, was still further complicated 
by the development of an agrarian difficulty. We have 
already had occasion to notice (p. 29) the unfair treatment 
in the division of land to which the plebeians were subject, 
and the economical and political hardships which resulted 
from it. The difficulty steadily grew in seriousness. In 
the first third of the fourth century B.C. there was an almost 
unbroken series of wars with the Aequi, the Volsci, the 
Latins, and the people of Veii. During these long cam- 
paigns patrician estates could be cultivated by dependents, 
but the returns from the little holdings of the poor ple- 
beian grew smaller and smaller, and the land itself steadily 
deteriorated in value. Undoubtedly, also, the peasant pro- 
prietor was finding it more and more difficult to compete 
with the owner of large estates. 


36. The Leges Liciniae Sextiae. This was the political 
and economic condition of the plebs which the two trib- 
unes of the year 377, C. Licinius Stolo and L. Sextius, 
endeavored to relieve. They accomplished their object in 
367, after ten years of agitation, by securing the passage 
of a lex satura, or law covering the various matters in dis- 
pute. The contents of the law are somewhat in doubt, 
but, if we may follow Livy and Appian, it included the fol- 
lowing points : (i) restoration of the consulship, with the 
provision that one of the two consuls should always be a 
plebeian ; (2) a provision forbidding an individual to occupy 
more than five hundred acres of arable land belonging to 
the state, and to pasture more than one hundred head of 
cattle and five hundred sheep on the common pasture land ; 
(3) an article fixing the proportional number of free laborers 
and slaves Jo be employed on any estate ; (4) a clause 
providing that interest already paid on debts should be 
deducted from the principal, and that three years should 
be allowed for the payment of the rest ; (5) a provision 
that the number of priests in charge of the Sibylline 
books should be increased to ten, and that five of these 
should be plebeians. 

37. Results of the Struggle. The first point in these 
laws marks the beginning of the end of the patricio-ple- 
beian struggle. The other important magistracies to which 
plebeians had been eligible, viz., the decemvirate and the 
consular tribunate, were of a temporary character, and, 
as we have seen, the patricians had easily thwarted their 
efforts to attain them. From this time on, one of the 
incumbents of a regular magistracy must be a plebeian, 
and admission to the consulship foreshadowed admission 
to the other offices also. The law was observed in the fol- 
lowing year by the election of L. Sextius to the consulship. 


The second law differs from the lex Itilia (p. 30), and 
from many agrarian laws of a later date, in being an 
automatic principle of a general character, rather than a 
measure for a specific case. The third provision was evi- 
dently the result of an effort to check the growth of an 
evil which ultimately drove peasant proprietors and free 
laborers out of the country districts, and transformed Italy 
into a land of large estates worked by slaves. The fourth 
measure is a forerunner of the socialistic legislation of the 
next century, and foreshadows a re-division of the people 
into rich and poor, as soon as political equality has been 
secured. The political significance of the last provision 
lies in the fact that it made a breach in the integrity of 
the aristocratic religious system. The plebeians might 
hope soon to gain admission to the offices of augur and 
pontiff, and thus wrest from the patricians one of their most 
effective defensive weapons, the taking of the auspices. 

38. The Establishment of the Offices of Censor, Praetor, 
and Aedile. The civil duties of the chief magistracy were 
increasing so rapidly in consequence of the growth of the 
city that they could no longer be satisfactorily performed 
by the two consuls. The difficulty of the situation was 
increased by the frequent absence of the consuls from the 
city in the performance of their military duties. This 
state of things led to the establishment of the censorship 
in 443 (or possibly in 435), and of the praetorship in 366. 
A secondary motive for the establishment of the praetor- 
ship may be found in the desire of the patricians to keep 
in their own hands some of the powers of the chief magis- 
tracy, for at the outset patricians only were eligible to the 
office of praetor. The establishment in 366 of the curule 
aedileship, to which plebeians were not eligible, was also 
perhaps a part of the bargain on the basis of which the 


patricians allowed the passage of the Licinian laws of the 
year before. 

39. The Senate and the Tribune. The relations which 
the senate bore to the tribune and to the magistrates 
underwent an interesting change in the period under con- 
sideration, from 445 to 367. The original function of the 
tribune was to protect citizens against the magistrate by 
personal interference in specific cases. The increase of 
the number of tribunes to ten, in the middle of the fifth 
century, and the bitterness of the long struggle which the 
plebeians made for the consulship, led to a continual clash- 
ing between the tribunes and the magistrates executing 
the decrees of the senate, and in many cases the working 
of the governmental machinery was completely suspended. 
It was felt, therefore, that it would be far better to get the 
opinion of the tribunes with reference to a bill under con- 
sideration in the senate, before action was taken on it. 
With this purpose in mind they were given seats in the 
senate, and were allowed to interpose their objections 
formally at any point in the proceedings. At least no 
better explanation can be suggested for the new role 
which the tribunes play in the deliberations of the senate 
in this period. 

40. The Senate and the Magistracy. On the other hand, 
the senate gained in power at the expense of the chief 
magistrate, and perhaps at this time it took the first step 
toward gaining that controlling influence in the state which 
it exercised a century or more later. The explanation of 
the change lies partly in the fact that it rested with the 
senate each year to decide whether the chief magistrates 
should be consuls or tribunes with consular power. This 
fact in a way made the chief magistracy dependent on 
that body. 


41. Foreign Affairs. In foreign affairs the period of the 
consular tribunate is one of conquest. Rome's territory 
was extended, and her influence over her neighbors was 
greatly strengthened. These successes were due partly 
to the rapid growth of Rome and to the improvement in 
her domestic policy, partly to the weakening of her enemies 
and rivals. The brilliant victories of M. Camillus over the 
Volsci and Aequi in 389, followed by successes in subse- 
quent years, broke the power of both peoples, who were 
already hard pressed by the inroads of the Sabellians. 
Paradoxical as it may seem, even the invasion of the 
Kelts, which led to the capture of Rome in 390 (or 
387?), was of permanent advantage to the city. The 
losses which Etruria suffered from the Kelts, following 
closely, as they did, on the fall of Veii in 396, made it 
easy for Rome to extend her control over southern Etruria. 
Rome's old allies, the Latins and Hernici, became jealous 
of her growing power, and, availing themselves of the con- 
fusion which followed the Keltic invasion, Praeneste, Tibur, 
and other neighboring communities took up arms against 
her. They were quickly conquered, and in the new treaty, 
which was made in 358 between the Latin communities 
and Rome, the former probably lost their position as co- 
equal members of the confederacy. These successful wars 
had a direct and an indirect effect on internal politics in 
many ways. Among the direct effects were the establish- 
ment of four new tribes, the Stellatina, Tromentina, Saba- 
tina, and Arnensis in 387 in southern Etruria, and, to 
pass for a moment beyond the period we are considering, 
the addition of two new tribes, the Publilia and Pomptina, 
in Volscian territory. 



The consulship: Liv. I. 60. 4; II. i; III. 55. 12; Cic. de Re 
Publ. II. 56; de Legg. III. 8. Lex Valeria de provocatione : Cic. 
de Re Publ. II. 53. The dictatorship: Liv. II. 18; Cic. de Re 
Publ. II. 56. The first secession: Liv. II. 32-3. The tribune: 
Liv. II. 33. 1-3; II. 34-5; II- 58. i ; III. 20. 7; III. 30. 7; Cic. de 
Re Publ. II. 57-9; de Legg. III. 9; III. 16-26; Dionysius, VI. 89; 
IX. 41. The concilia plebis : Liv. II. 56-7 ; II. 60. 4-5 ; Dionysius, 

IX. 41-9. The decemvirate: Liv. III. 33-59; Cic. de Re Publ. 
II. 61-3; Dionysius, X. 55-61; XI. 1-46. Leges Valeriae Horatiae : 
Liv. III. 55 ; Dionysius, XL 45. (Patricio-plebeian) comitia tributa : 
Liv. IV. 44. 2; Cic. ad Fam. VII. 30. i; Tac. Ann. XL 22. 
The consular tribunate: Liv. IV. i. 2; IV. 6! 8; V. 12. 8-12. 
Lex Canuleia: Liv. IV. i. i; IV. 6. 3. The censorship: Liv. IV. 
8. 2-7. Fall of Veii: Liv. V. 19-22. The Keltic invasion: Liv. 

V. 34-49. The Volsci and Aequi: Liv. VI. 2; VI. 32. The leges 
Liciniae Sextiae : Liv. VI. 35. 4-5 ; Appian, B. C. I. 8; Liv. X. 13. 14 ; 

X. 23. 13. The praetorship: Liv. VI. 42. ii; VII. i. 1-2. The 
curule aedileship: Liv. VI. 42. 12-14. The Sibylline books: Liv. 

VI. 42. 2. 


Brocker, Untersuchungen iiber die Glaubwiirdigkeit der altro- 

mischen Geschichte. Basel, 1862. 
E. Herzog, Ueber die Glaubwiirdigkeit d. aus d. rom. Republik bis 

zum Jahre 387 d. St. iiberlieferten Gesetze. Tubingen, 1881. 
Niese, Grundriss d. rom. Geschichte (pp. 7-11). Munich, 1897. 
Pais, Storia di Roma, Vol. I, Pt. II. Turin, 1899. 
C. Peter, Zur Kritik d. Quellen d. alteren rom. Geschichte. Halle, 

Soltau, Livius' Geschichtswerk (pp. 156-184, and bibliography, 

pp. 9-14)- Leipzig, 1897. 
Thouret, Ueber d. gallischen Brand in Fleckeisens Jahrb. Suppl. 

(N.F.), XL 95-188. 
Virck, Die Quellen d. Livius u. Dionysius fiir d. alteste Geschichte 

d. rom. Republik. Strassburg, 1877. 

1 See also general bibliography on p. 22. 


42. The Period from 367 to 287. In the last chapter 
we traced the course of events from the founding of the 
republic down to the passage of the Licinio-Sextian laws 
in 367. The history of the period in question is primarily 
a history of the early efforts which the plebeians made to 
gain political equality with the patricians. The passage of 
the Licinian laws marks their first great success. Their 
victory was made complete, and the struggle came to an 
end when the Hortensian law was passed in the year 287, 
making the assemblies independent legislative bodies. The 
last-mentioned year, therefore, marks a new dividing line 
in the development of Roman political institutions, so 
that it is convenient to treat the history of internal affairs 
during the years from 367 to 287 as a unit. It is in part 
a matter of chance only that this period also constitutes a 
natural epoch in the history of external politics. In 295, 
at the battle of Sentinum, the Romans were called on to 
face the combined forces of the Kelts and Samnites, the 
two peoples who had most fiercely and persistently dis- 
puted the supremacy of Rome in Italy. The victory of 
Rome in that battle, followed by the submission of the 
Samnites in 290, crushed the Kelts, broke the power of 
the Samnites forever, and made the Romans the chief 
people in Italy. 

43. The Magistracies. The history of the period under 
consideration may be conveniently considered from the 



point of view of the magistracies, the senate, the people, 
and foreign affairs. The magistracies provided for under 
the constitution in 366 were those of consul, interrex, dic- 
tator, censor, praetor, quaestor, and curule aedile. With 
the magistracies the plebeian tribuneship and aedileship 
should be mentioned. Notwithstanding the fact that the 
law of 367 stipulated that one of the two consuls should 
be a plebeian, on seven occasions in the twenty-five years 
which followed both consuls were patricians. This state of 
things may not have been due, however, to the bad faith 
of the aristocracy. Probably the cleverest statesmen and 
generals were still those of patrician descent, and the ple- 
beians may well have put patriotism above class prejudice 
in foregoing their claim to one of the two positions. The 
right to hold the consulship naturally carried along with it 
eligibility to the offices of dictator and censor, and it is 
not surprising that a plebeian filled the former office in 
356 and the latter in 351, without waiting for the formality 
of a law throwing those positions open to his class. How- 
ever, the plebeians thought it wise to secure the passage 
of a law in 339, formulating their claim to one of the two 
censors. They won still another success two years later, 
when the great plebeian leader, Q. Publilius Philo, was 
elected to the praetorship, in violation of the bargain in 
accordance with which the patricians had conceded the 
consulship. The quaestorship had been thrown open to 
the plebeians in 421, when the number of quaestors was 
increased from two to four. By establishing the curule 
aedileship, which was not open to plebeians, and by grant- 
ing the incumbents of that office special honors, the patri- 
cians hoped to secure an offset to the office of plebeian 
aedile, but they soon gave up their exclusive claim to the 
office, and a peculiar arrangement was adopted for it. In 


one year it was thrown open to plebeians, in the next 
patricians only were eligible. We have already noticed 
the fact (p. 37) that the importance of opening one of 
the priestly offices to the plebeians lay in the fact that 
a precedent was established for the adoption of a similar 
provision in the case of the augurate and pontificate. 
The hopes of the plebeians in this respect were realized 
by the passage of the plebiscitum Ogulnium in 300, which 
reserved to the plebeians a certain number of places in 
each of the colleges mentioned. These changes all bene- 
fited the commonwealth and the plebs, in that they unified 
the community and gave the plebeians such a representa- 
tion in the several magistracies as their number and ser- 
vices to the state entitled them to have, but they were 
of special importance to those plebeians who were promi- 
nent through wealth or ability, for they alone could hope 
to secure election to a magistracy. 

44. Reelection and Plurality of Offices. The special 
interests concerned in the matter are in fact indicated 
clearly by two plebiscites attributed to the year 342, one 
of which provided that a citizen should not be reflected 
to an office until an interval of ten years had elapsed, while 
the other made it unlawful to hold more than one office 
at a time. These provisions were not inspired by a fear 
of autocracy, but by a desire on the part of rising poli- 
ticians to keep as many offices open as possible. The 
first-mentioned law was not well observed, however, since 
T. Manlius Torquatus was consul in 344 and 340, and 
M. Valerius Corvus in 343 and 335. 

45. Promagisterial Government and the Prorogatio Im- 
peril. The law which forbade immediate reelection to 
an office made the military situation intolerable. In the 
period which we are considering Rome was carrying on 


a number of campaigns simultaneously at points remote 
from the city. Several commanders, and a term of service 
extending beyond twelve months, were absolutely necessary 
to success. To meet the need of more than two command- 
ing officers, as early as 465, according to tradition, an army 
was placed in charge of a certain T. Quinctius, acting pro 
consule, and in 326 Q. Publilius Philo, the consul of the 
previous year, was authorized to remain in charge of his 
army pro consule, until the campaign was finished. The 
changes in the constitution which developed in after years 
out of these two precedents were of tremendous impor- 
tance. The first incident led in time to the development 
of the whole system of promagisterial government which 
was adopted for the provinces. The extension of an offi- 
cial's term of office (prorogatio imperil) beyond one year, 
which was first allowed in the case of Publilius, was out of 
harmony with a fundamental principle of Roman govern- 
ment, and the frequent adoption of the device accustomed 
the Romans to the protracted exercise of supreme power 
by an individual, and thus prepared the way for the empire. 

46. The Tribunes and the Senate. In our examination 
of an earlier period (p. 38) we noticed a rapprochement 
between the senate and the tribunes. The case of Pub- 
lilius in 326 offers another striking instance of the same 
tendency, if we may accept the traditional narrative. The 
measure extending Publilius' s term of office would seem to 
have been laid before the concilium plebis by a tribune, at 
the request of the senate. This fact seems to indicate, 
not only greater harmony between the two elements in the 
community, but also a recognition on the part of the aris- 
tocracy of the possibility of using plebeian officials to 
accomplish desired objects. 

The willingness of the tribune on this occasion, and in 


other instances, to carry out the wishes of the senate in the 
matter of legislation, is a natural return on his part for the 
permission, which, as we have already seen, the senate had 
given him to occupy a seat in the senate-house, and to 
state formally his objection to any action under considera- 
tion in that body. In this period, too, probably the tri- 
bune acquired the right, which he exercised freely in later 
times, of calling meetings of the senate and laying matters 
before it for consideration. The friendly relations which 
were thus developing between the senate and the tribune 
were fostered by the large measure of success with which 
the plebeian senators met in securing the tribunate for 
members of their families, and in making it the stepping- 
stone to a magistracy. The result of these changes in the 
powers and functions of the tribune's office was the gradual 
assimilation of his duties to those of a magistrate, and, 
especially after the legislation of 339 and 287, which made 
the action of the concilium plebis, over which the tribune 
presided, unconditionally binding on all citizens, the tribune 
may with practical, though not with technical, correct- 
ness be called a magistratus plebeius. The plebeian char- 
acter of the office of course consisted in the fact that its 
incumbents must be of plebeian descent, and must be 
elected by an assembly made up solely of plebeians. The 
role which the tribune played during this period is a 
characteristic and an important one. The life-and-death 
struggle which the Romans were carrying on with the Sam- 
nites during these years must have developed the military 
spirit at home. The tribune sought to maintain the civil 
liberty of the citizen against the encroachments of this 
tendency. The services which he rendered to the commu- 
nity were valuable, and his attitude was in harmony with 
the traditions attaching to his office, which made him the 


protector of the helpless individual against the tyranny of 
autocratic power. 

47. The Senate and the Ovinian Law. An examination 
of the plebisdtum Omnium takes us naturally from the 
magistracies to the senate, since its provisions affected both 
the censor and the senate. Strangely enough, although 
this measure was one of great importance, its contents are 
not given by any of the historians. Festus, however, tells 
us that senators were chosen by the consuls and consular 
tribunes, donee Ovinia tribunicia intervenit qua sanctum est 
ut censores ex omni ordine optimum quemque curiati (iurati T) 
in senatum legerent, quofactum est ut qui praeteriti esse?it et 
loco moti haberentur ignominiosi. There are two important 
points in the law as stated by Festus : the transfer of the 
lectio senatus from the consul to the censor, and the estab- 
lishment of the basis on which the choice of senators was to 
be made. The first provision placed the composition of 
the senate and the fortunes of individual politicians, to some 
extent, in the hands of the censor, and the great promi- 
nence of that official during the next century is due in large 
measure to the passage of this law. The term ordo, which 
Festus uses, is often applied to any " class " of citizens, but 
that can hardly be its meaning in the passage before us. 
The Romans can scarcely have admitted members of the 
ordo libertinus, for instance, to the senate at* this time. 
Furthermore, the census rolls of the period show about 
200,000 citizens, and it would have been absurd to stigma- 
tize as ignominiosi the 199,700 whose names were not 
placed on the senate's list. The term must be applied to 
officials, as it is elsewhere at times, and the censor was 
instructed to put in the senate all such magistrates or ex- 
magistrates as were of approved character. Probably the 
Ovinian law did not introduce an essentially new method 


of procedure, but it put into a more definite legal form a 
principle which the consuls had followed in a general way 
for many years. From this time forth the senate is a body 
of ex-magistrates, and very important results followed in 
the next century in consequence of this change in its com- 
position. The following considerations enable us to fix 
approximately the date of the Ovinian law. It was a plebi- 
scite, and since by its provisions the right to make out the 
list of senators was transferred from the consul to the censor, 
we may be sure that it was not passed until after plebeians 
were eligible to the censorship, that is, until after 339. 
The earliest lectio senatus by a censor, of which we have 
any record, dates from 312, so that the law must have 
been passed between 339 and 312. At the time of its 
passage plebeians were eligible to all the ordinary political 
offices, so that under its operation the number of plebeian 
senators must have increased greatly. In fact, it would 
be only a question of time when the majority would be 

48. The Appearance of the Nobilitas. Under the new 
regime the choice of senators was made indirectly by the 
people in their centuriate and tribal assemblies. A candi- 
date of obscure position, however, had little chance of 
election. Only unusual ability or a great danger enabled 
an ignobilis, like Marius or Cicero, to secure a political 
office ; for, since wealth became a more and more influential 
factor in politics and society, and since the imagines of 
distinguished families appealed in a forcible, concrete way 
to the Roman's deeply rooted respect for the past, political 
office, and consequently a seat in the senate, became prac- 
tically the hereditary privilege of a few rich families, and 
constituted the basis of a new patricio-plebeian aristocracy, 
the nobilitas, which from this time on took the place in the 


state and in society which the patricians had formerly held. 
The exclusive rights of the old aristocracy had rested on 
the law. By a revision of the law they could be and had 
been removed. The privileges of the new aristocracy 
depended, not on the law, but on the organization of 
society. Nothing but a revolution could, therefore, take 
them away. In this way the appearance of the nobilitas 
marks a turning point in Roman history, and the whole 
history of the republic falls into two great epochs. In one 
the patricians are in the ascendant, in the other the nobilitas. 

A contest of two hundred years had at last brought the 
rich plebeians to the goal of their ambition, political 
equality with the patricians, but the position of the poor 
plebeian had not improved in like measure. In fact, the 
establishment of the patricio-plebeian nobilitas not only 
brought into more marked contrast the conditions of the 
rich and the poor, but the fusion of prominent plebeian 
families with the patricians into a new aristocracy with 
exclusive privileges, and with common interests hostile to 
those of the poor plebeians, robbed the latter of the help 
of their most powerful leaders. 

49. The Distress of the Poor. Their difficulties were 
partly economical, partly political. It will be remembered 
that some attempt had been made in the Licinian laws to 
relieve the distress of the proletariat, but the measure 
brought little help. Perhaps a resumption of the ager pub- 
licus by the state, and its assignment to the needy with the 
full right of ownership, might have relieved the difficulty 
for a time, but probably nothing short of revolution or 
another secession could have forced the rich to make this 
concession. Resort was, therefore, had to other measures, 
some of them excellent, some of them absurd. The old 
laws against usury were enforced with more vigor, and new 


laws against the same offense were enacted. If tradition 
can be relied on, even the taking of interest was forbidden. 
A far more rational measure of relief was the lex Poetelia of 
326, which alleviated the condition of such debtors as were 
turned over to their creditors for failure to pay their debts. 
In 352 an entirely new method of improving the credit 
system was tried. A state bank was opened, if we may 
apply so pretentious a term to the institution established 
in that year under the control of a commission of five. 
This commission was probably appointed to make state 
loans, and to secure loans from individuals, on securities 
not readily negotiable at reasonable rates of interest, but 
the plan apparently met with very little success. The 
greatest relief to the proletariat came indirectly as a result 
of the long series of wars in which Rome was engaged 
during the period under consideration. It is a significant 
fact that one of the provisions of the so-called lex sacrata 
mill tar is, whose passage was forced by a mutiny in the army, 
directed that no soldier's name should be dropped from 
the army rolls without his consent. Payment for military 
service, the prospect of booty, and a share in conquered 
land had evidently made service in the army a profitable 
form of employment. The relief which the proletariat de- 
rived from the acquisition of new territory can be readily 
appreciated when we remember that between 367 and 287 
twenty-one Latin colonies and six Roman colonies were 
founded. In some of these cases a large number of colo- 
nists was sent out. Thus, for instance, 2500 were sent to 
Cales in the year 334. 

50. The Lex Publilia and the Lex Hortensia. The great 
political movements of this period, in which the mass of 
the people were concerned, are connected with the passage 
of the lex Publilia in 339, of the lex Hortensia in 287, and 


with the career of Appius Claudius. It seems hopeless to 
try to make out the circumstances under which the PublilianOvJ ^ 
law was passed. The patrician coloring given to the narra- 
tive has wholly obscured the real truth of the case. The 
legislation of 287 grew out of economic difficulties, and yet 
here, too, the ground is very uncertain, since the eleventh 
book of Livy, in which an account of the matter was pre- 
served, is not extant, so that we must rely on the epitome 
of that book, and on incidental references in other writers. 
This much seems to be clear, however, with reference to 
the movement in 287, that the debtors demanded a radical 
measure of relief. To this the patricians in the senate, who 
belonged in most cases to the creditor class, refused their 
consent. Thereupon the needy withdrew to the Janiculum, 
but returned to the city on condition of the enactment of 
certain favorable legislation. Let us pass now to the laws 
themselves, taking up first the lex Publilia. If we examine 
its contents, we find that besides the clause to which ref- 
erence has already been made (p. 42), providing that one 
of the two censors should be a plebeian, the Publilian law 
contained two provisions. One of these directed that a bill 
should be approved by the patricians in the senate before 
it was acted on by the centuriate comitia. Previously 
the auctoritas patrum had followed the action of the comitia 
centuriata. It would seem easier to defeat an undesirable 
bill in its inchoate state than after the interest of the people 
had been aroused and favorable action taken by a popular 
assembly. One would, therefore, expect this change to 
increase the importance of the auctoritas patrum, but such 
was not the case. In point of fact, from this time on it 
became a meaningless form. The mere fact, however, that 
the approval of the patrician senators lost its significance 
during this period is not difficult to understand, when we 



remember that the whole tendency of constitutional devel- 
opment at this time was to rob the patricians of exclusive 
political powers, but it is hard to see how the change made 
in 339 can have helped to accomplish this end. The prin- 
ciple which the Publilian law applied to legislation was 
extended by the lex Maenia, passed probably in the year 
287, to elections also. By the decadence of the influence 
of the auctoritas patrum, which followed this legisla- 
tion, the last serious obstacle was removed from the path 
of the comitia centuriata as an elective and a legislative 
body. Two clauses of the lex Publilia have been discussed. 
The third clause, according to Livy's narrative, enacted ut 
plebiscita omnes Quirites tenerent. This part of the Pub- 
lilian law, at least in the form in which it has come down 
to us, seems to be identical in force, not only with one of 
the Valerio-Horatian laws of 449 (p. 32), but also with the 
lex Hortensia of 287, which, according to the elder Pliny, 
provided ut plebiscita universum populum tenerent. What 
relation do these three laws bear to one another? It is 
almost impossible to say. We can assume that the law of 
449 made enactments of the plebeian assembly uncondition- 
ally binding on the whole people, and that the measures 
of 339 and 287 reaffirmed the principle already established, 
and sought to strengthen it at weak points ; but on the one 
hand it is incredible that the plebeian assembly was made 
a supreme legislative body as early as 449, and on the other 
hand it would be highly improbable to suppose that the 
plebeians would have needed almost one hundred and 
seventy-five years to secure the recognition of a principle 
already formulated into law. Of one fact we are sure, viz., 
that after 287 plebiscita were unconditionally binding on 
the whole community. We seem forced to assume, there- 
fore, that under the Valerio-Horatian law enactments of the 


plebeian assembly were valid under certain conditions, and 
that the Publilian and Hortensian laws removed these 
restrictions. In discussing the Valerio-Horatian law (p. 32) 
an attempt was made to show that a measure adopted by 
the concilium plebis acquired the force of law, if it was sub- 
sequently ratified by the patrician senators. Between 449 
and 339, then, in the case of both the comitia centuriata 
and the concilium pkbis, a bill, in order to become a law, 
required, first, favorable action by the popular assembly, 
then the sanction of the patrician senators. In other words, 
the method of procedure was the same in both cases. Now 
one clause of the Publilian law, as we have already seen, 
provided that in the case of the centuriate comitia the 
auctoritas patrum should precede the action of the comitia. 
If we assume that the same change was made in the case 
of the plebeian assembly, and the assumption is not improb- 
able, the relation which the three laws bear to one another 
is clear. It may be stated as follows : from 449 to 339 a 
bill became a law if it was favorably acted on by the centu- 
riate comitia or by the plebeian tribal assembly, and subse- 
quently approved by the patrician senators ; from 339 to 
287 the auctoritas patrum preceded in both cases; after 
287 the preliminary approval of the patrician element in 
the senate was necessary in the case of the centuriate 
assembly, but unnecessary for the action of the plebeian 
tribal assembly. One difficulty in the situation has not yet 
been spoken of. The fact has already been mentioned 
(p. 33) that in 447 a patricio-plebeian tribal assembly comes 
into existence. After that date, then, there are two tribal 
assemblies, one made up of plebeians, the other of both 
patricians and plebeians. Ancient writers do not carefully 
distinguish between these two bodies, so that it is often 
difficult to say to which one reference is made. However, 


since in the case of all three of the laws under consideration 
distinct mention is made of the assembly of the plebs, we 
seem to be safe in applying the principle to the plebeian 
tribal assembly. In fact, the patricio-plebeian tribal assem- 
bly seems to have been largely an electoral and judicial 
and not a legislative body until the close of the fourth 
century, since the first legislative enactment of the comitia 
tributa, of which we have any record, belongs to the year 
332. If the action of this body required the preliminary 
approval of the patrician senators, that restriction must 
have been removed in 287. In other words, the Horten- 
sian law applied the same principle to both tribal assem- 
blies, as, on general grounds, we should have expected 
it to do. 

One must not assume that the passage of these three 
laws gave the popular assemblies practical control of legis- 
lation and robbed the senate of all its powers in this field of 
activity, or, to put it in another way, one must not infer that 
the passage of the lex Hortensia marked the final triumph 
of democracy over aristocracy. In point of fact, no one but 
a magistrate could bring a bill before one of the popular 
assemblies for action, and since, as we shall see later, the 
senate found means of maintaining its control over the 
magistrates, very few bills came before the popular assem- 
blies of which the senate did not approve, and a way was 
generally found to secure the passage of bills which the 
senate favored. It was the patrician element in the senate, 
not the senate itself, which lost power and prestige at this 
time. In other words, the Hortensian law robbed the patri- 
cians of the last exclusive political power of any importance 
which they possessed, but the mantle of the old patriciate 
fell, not on the shoulders of the democracy, but on those of 
the new nobilitas. 


51. The Policy of Appius Claudius Caecus. Attention 
has already been called to the fact (p. 48) that the causes 
of the distress among the lower classes were partly econom- 
ical, partly political, and we have considered some of the 
efforts which were made in this period to remove their 
financial difficulties. These reforms were intended to help 
poor debtors, and especially, we may suppose, farmers with 
small holdings. The political movement toward the close 
of the fourth century B.C., of which Appius Claudius 
Caecus is the central figure, removed in part the political 
disabilities of another element in the community, that is, 
of the freedmen and of freemen with less than two acres 
of land. Probably neither of these classes was enrolled in 
the tribes at this time, while the proktarii, that is, the 
citizens who owned no land or had less than two acres, 
were massed in the centuriate assembly in a single century, 
which exercised practically no influence in a body contain- 
ing one hundred and ninety-three centuries. 

Appius Claudius, as censor in 312, made a great change, 
therefore, in the composition of the popular assemblies, 
when he admitted landless freemen and freedmen to the 
tribes, and in fact to any tribe which an individual might 
choose, and when he also enrolled men belonging to these 
two categories in such " classes " as their property, in what- 
ever form it might be, entitled them to enter. By this 
procedure wealth in any form was substituted for landed 
property as the basis of admission to a tribe and of classifi- 
cation in the centuriate assembly. By this change artisans 
and tradesmen were to be enrolled in the popular assem- 
blies, and those bodies were likely to lose the stability 
which an organization composed solely of farmers or land- 
owners is likely to have. The admission of freedmen 
further increased the danger. Appius violated tradition in 


a still more striking way by putting the names of freedmen's 
sons in the list of senators, which, under the Ovinian law, 
it was his duty as censor to draw up. An equally revolu- 
tionary proceeding was his conduct in securing the election 
of Cn. Flavius, the son of a freedman, as curule aedile in 
304. We have not space to consider at length the motives 
of Appius in making these changes. The question is one 
of high dispute. He was certainly far-sighted, and saw that 
Rome was soon to be mistress of Italy. He may well have 
felt that by strengthening the hands of the magistrate he 
would secure for her that firmness and promptness of action, 
and that consistency in policy, which would be essential 
to her in her new role. By lowering the prestige of the 
nobilitas in the senate, and of the petty landed aristocracy 
in the assemblies, as his changes certainly did, he increased 
the importance of the magistracies, and indirectly accom- 
plished his purpose by essentially the same method as that 
which Caesar adopted two centuries and a half later. The 
independent course which he took during his censorship 
was in harmony with the view which he held with reference 
to the magistracies. In fact, his policy was reactionary. It 
involved a return to the magistrate of many of the powers 
of which two hundred years had robbed him. This is not 
to say that his motives were purely patriotic, or that he had 
a single purpose in mind. A fine patrician contempt for 
the plebeian nobility in the senate and for the bourgeois 
landholders of the assemblies, who had first pushed their 
way into a position of equality with their betters, and were 
now themselves following the policy of exclusion toward 
their less fortunate fellow-townsmen, seems to have played 
some part in his mind. But the Romans were not yet 
ready for such revolutionary changes. 

A conservative reaction came in 304. Some regard, 


however, was paid to the changes made by Appius. Q. 
Fabius Rullianus, one of the censors of that year, allowed 
landless freemen and freedmen to remain in the tribal 
organization, but assigned them to the four city tribes, 
which were so large that individual votes were of compara- 
tively little avail. The sons of freedmen were again treated 
as ineligible to the senate or to a magistracy, but in other 
respects they enjoyed the political rights of citizens. As 
a result of the whole incident the position of the senate 
and of the nobilitas was strengthened. It had proved itself 
more powerful than its enemies. Two achievements of 
Appius of a permanent character should be mentioned, 
before we leave the discussion of his career, viz., the part 
which he played in securing the publication of the calendar 
and of the legis actiones in 304, and the construction of the 
via Appia in 312. Exactly what happened in 304 is not 
clear from the words of Livy, civile ius repositum in pene- 
tralibus pontificum (Cn. Flavins} evulgavit fastosque circa 
forum in albo proposuit (IX. 46. 5). The general method 
of procedure in civil cases and the calendar had both been 
given in the laws of the twelve tables. The service which 
Flavius rendered to the people consisted perhaps, as some 
writers maintain, in the publication of the pertinent con- 
tents of the laws of the twelve tables in book form, or he 
may have set down for general use a list of court days and 
a complete set of the forms which were to be employed 
in civil cases. Whatever the exact truth of the case may 
have been, information essential to everyday life, which 
had formerly been confined to a few, became the common 
property of all. To Appius, Rome was also indebted for 
the first of those great military roads which proved such a 
powerful factor in extending Roman commerce and Roman 
ideas, and in facilitating the transfer of troops to all parts 


of the world. None of his achievements shows more 
clearly the correctness with which he foresaw the future 
of Rome and her needs as a world-power. 

52. The Conquest of Central Italy. The period which 
is under discussion in this chapter is one of rapid external 
development. Rome waged war with all the peoples of 
central Italy. Of them all the Samnites resisted her claim 
to supremacy with the greatest valor and stubbornness. 
When the Romans and Samnites were first brought into 
close relations in the middle of the fourth century, they 
apparently agreed to a peaceful division among themselves 
of certain territory belonging to their weaker neighbors. 
This seems to be the correct explanation of the course of 
events of the years 343-1, which one tradition exalts into 
a war. The ambitious spirit of expansion which Rome 
showed in dealing with smaller states, supported as she 
was now by Samnium, suggests also a sufficient explana- 
tion of the desperate struggle which the Latin communities 
at once made to break her power. The result of the war, 
which followed, and lasted from 340 to 338, was most dis- 
astrous to the Latins. Although they were assisted by the 
Campanians and Volscians, they were defeated and lost 
many of the rights which they had enjoyed since the 
adoption of the foedus Cassianum in 493. Rome made a 
separate treaty with each one of the Latin communities, 
with the express purpose of preventing future confedera- 
tions between them. The terms adopted varied from state 
to state, but all the members of the old league were appar- 
ently deprived of the right to trade with one another and 
the right to intermarry. Both Rome and Samnium were 
eagerly seeking to extend their influence in Campanian and 
Volscian territory. A contest between the two powers was 
inevitable. The immediate cause of the war between them 


was the establishment of a colony at Fregellae in a Volscian 
district claimed by the Samnites, and an attack which the 
Romans made in 327 on Palaepolis, a little town on the 
bay of Naples, to punish it for the incursions which its citi- 
zens had made into Roman territory in Campania. War 
was formally declared by Rome in the following year, and 
was carried on by the two peoples with varying results until 
304. The peace which Samnium concluded with Rome in 
that year was of short duration. A few years later tidings 
came to the city that the Samnites were bringing Lucania 
under their control. The Romans protested without effect, 
and war followed in 299 or 298. This time, although the 
Samnites were assisted by the Kelts and Etruscans, their spirit 
was finally broken, and they formed a permanent alliance 
with Rome in 290. The overthrow of Samnium established 
the supremacy of Rome in central Italy. Her success in 
all these wars was due, not simply to the valor and skill with 
which she carried them on, but also to a variety of external 
circumstances. Her enemies rarely showed that harmony 
among themselves and that singleness of purpose which 
characterized the Romans, and Rome did her best to 
develop the spirit of discord among them by arraying com- 
munity against community and the aristocracy against the 
democracy. An overpowering dread of the Kelts and the 
Etruscans held many of the smaller states to the side of 
Rome, while doubtless the comparatively mild treatment 
which they received at the hands of Rome made her sway 
seem less objectionable than that of Samnium. Further- 
more, her central position, and the construction of a mili- 
tary road into Campania, which was so frequently the seat 
of war, gave her a great advantage. The terms made with 
Samnium were alike honorable to her and to the Romans. 
She was allowed to keep her territory and her independence. 


53. The Treatment of Conquered Territory. During these 
wars .and at their close Rome devoted herself earnestly to 
the assimilation of her newly allied and conquered peoples. 
Her two great agents in this work were the construction of 
roads and the establishment of colonies. The first of the 
great roads was built in 312, and their importance has 
already been noted. The twenty-seven colonies which 
Rome sent out between 367 and 287 were a still more 
important factor in Romanizing Italy. They not only 
served as garrisons in controlling the surrounding country, 
but they introduced the Latin language, and a knowledge 
of Roman law and Roman political institutions wherever 
they were established. The policy which Rome adopted 
toward the Latin communities after their defeat in 338 was 
typical of her method of dealing with all the peoples in 
Italy. In general she isolated each town or tribe from its 
neighbors and attached it to herself. These communities, 
according to their political status, were either munidpia or 
dvitates foederatae. The munidpia were dvitates sine suf- 
fragio, that is, they had only the civil rights of commerdum 
and conubium. In some cases they were given a local self- 
government ; in other cases they were governed by praefedt 
sent out from Rome. Ultimately they received the full 
rights of citizenship. The privileges of the dvitates foede- 
ratae depended in each instance on the special treaty made 
with Rome. They were not allowed to declare war against 
other communities, nor to make treaties with them, and 
they were expected to furnish Rome with a certain number 
of troops in case of need, but within their own borders 
they were supreme. 

54. The Status of Colonies. The founding of colonies 
was one of the functions of the senate, which appointed 
a commission to carry out its instructions. One third of 


the land assigned for the purpose was usually given outright 
to the colonists, another third was made ager publicus, and 
the remainder was used for the construction of temples 
and for other public purposes. The coloniae Romanae were 
few in number and were located on the seacoast. The 
colonists in these settlements, who rarely numbered more 
than three hundred, had full political and civil rights. The 
coloniae Latinae held the same relations with Rome as the 
Latin cities did after 338. They were independent within 
their own limits, and adopted Roman political institutions 
or not, as they saw fit. To these colonies several thousand 
settlers were often sent out. In time of war they served 
as allies of Rome. In 268 they were deprived of some of 
their political and civil rights which were restored to them 
in 90 B.C. only as the result of the Social war. 

55. Preparations for Conquest beyond the Sea. The or- 
ganization and equipment of the Roman army were greatly 
improved in the period under consideration. The troops 
were now paid, and became accustomed to long periods 
of service, and Roman commanding officers acquired the 
ability to conduct serious campaigns, and control large 
bodies of men. Rome was in a position to gratify, not 
only in southern Italy, but beyond the sea also, that 
appetite for conquest which her successes in central Italy 
had developed. Even at this early date there are some 
indications of her aspirations to be a sea power. The 
founding of coloniae maritimae at Antium, Tarracina, Min- 
turnae, Sinuessa, Sena Gallica, Castrum Novum, and on 
the island of Pontia, all of which were established between 
367 and 2 8 7, either shows the existence of a sea-going trade 
or foreshadows its early development. In 311 for the first 
time naval officers were chosen with the title of duoviri 
navales. The treaty which was made with Carthage in 


348, and renewed in 306, is also an indication that for- 
eign trade was developing, and that Roman interests were 
extending beyond the limits of Italy. 


First plebeian dictator: Liv. VII. 17. 6. Laws concerning debt: 
Liv. VII. 21. 5; VII. 27. 3; VII. 42. i; VIII. 28. First plebeian 
censor: Liv. VII. 22. 6-10. Treaties with Carthage: Polybius, 
III. 22-7; Diodor. XVI. 69. i; Liv. VII. 27. 2; IX. 43. 26. 
First Samnite war (so-called): Liv. VII. 29-VIII. 2. Laws con- 
cerning reelection and plurality of offices: Liv. VII. 42. 2. Lex 
sacrata militaris : Liv. VII. 41. War with Latins: Liv. VIII. 
3-12. Peace of 338: Liv. VIII. 13-14. The leges Publiliae Phi- 
lonis : Liv. VIII. 12. 14-16. First plebeian praetor: Liv. VIII. 
15. 9. Second Samnite war: Liv. VIII. 22-IX. 45; Diodor. 
XIX, XX (passim); Dionysius, XV. 7-10. Colony of Fregellae : 
Liv. VIII. 22. 1-2; VIII. 23. 6; Dionysius, XV. 8. 7. Attack on 
Palaepolis : Liv. VIII. 22-3; Dionysius, XV. 5-6. Caudine Pass: 
Liv. IX. 1-12; Appian, Samn. IV. 2-7; Cic. de Off. III. 109. 
Peace with Samnium : Liv. IX. 45. 1-4. Prorogatio imperii : Liv. 
VIII. 23. 12; IX. 42. 1-2; X. 22. 9 (cf. III. 4. 10). Plebiscitum 
Ovinium : Festus, p. 246, ed. Miiller. Censorship of Appius Clau- 
dius : Liv. IX. 29. 6-1 1 ; IX. 33-34; IX. 46. 10, n ; Diodor. XX. 
36. Via Appia: Liv. IX. 29. 6; Diodor. XX. 36. 2; Frontinus, 
de Aquaedtict. 5. Duoviri navales : Liv. IX. 30. 4. Cn. Flavius : 
Liv. IX. 46; Cic. de Or. I. 186; Diodor. XX. 36. 6; Cell. VII. 
(VI.) 9. Reaction of 304: Liv. IX. 46. 14-15; XLV. 15; Val. 
Max. II. 2. 9. Lex Ogulnia : Liv. X. 6-9. Third Samnite war: 
Liv. X. 11-46; Ep. XI; Florus, I. 17; Eutropius, II. 9 f . ; Dionysius, 
XVII (XVIII); Dio Cass. fr. 33. 29 f. Outbreak of war : Liv. X. 
11-12; Dionysius, XVII (XVIII) 1-3. Sentinum : Liv. X. 27-30; 
Polybius, II. 19. Peace with Samnium : Liv. Ep. XI ; Eutr. II. 9. 
Sabine war: Liv. Ep. XL Secession of 287: Liv. Ep. XI; Dio, 
fr. 37. Lex Hortensia: Plin. H. N. XVI. 10. 37 ; Cell. XV. 27. 
4. Lex Maenia: Cic. Brut. 55; Liv. I. 17. 9. 



Binneboessel, Untersuchungen liber Quellen u. Geschichte d. 
zweiten Samniterkrieges. Halle, 1893. 

A. Kiessling, De Dionysii Halicarnassensis antiq. auctt. lat. Bonn, 


B. Niese, Das sogenannte licinisch-sextische Ackergesetz, Hermes 

XXIII, pp. 410-423. 
Schubert, Die Quellen Plutarchs, N. Jahrb. fur Philol. (N.F.), Suppl. 

IX, pp. 647 ff. 
Soltau, Livius' Geschichtswerk, pp. 117-140. Leipzig, 1897. 

1 See also general bibliography on p. 22. 


56. The Period from 287 to 133. With the passage of 
the Hortensian law the great struggle which had gone on 
for more than two centuries was brought to an end. The 
efforts of the plebeians to secure their political rights had 
been crowned with complete success. In fact, in some 
respects, the plebeians enjoyed a political advantage over 
the patricians. So, for instance, under the new constitu- 
tion one of the two consuls must be a plebeian, and both 
of them might be plebeians. The discrimination which 
the law made in their favor in this matter, and in certain 
other matters, was only fair from the democratic point of 
view, since at this time they must have far outnumbered 
the patricians. Of course the social prestige which an old 
nobility enjoys, and the solidarity of interests which binds 
together the members of a close corporation, must have 
given the patricians a political power which the plebeians 
did not possess, but the law was powerless to secure equality 
in this respect. As one might naturally expect, the settle- 
ment of the great questions which had divided the Roman 
people into two parties made the period after 287 one of 
comparative political inactivity. Not only were the ques- 
tions at issue settled, but the Romans were occupied in 
adapting the new institutions to the needs of the com- 
munity, and their energy was expended in the manage- 
ment of foreign affairs. The wars of the period, in 
fact, and the results which flowed from them, exerted a 



controlling influence on the social and political development 
of the community. The wars with Pyrrhus, with Carthage, 
with Philip, Antiochus, and Perseus occupied the Romans 
sixty-seven years, and three of these contests that with 
Pyrrhus, and the first and second wars with Carthage 
strained the resources of Rome to the utmost. In their 
presence all the elements at Rome united in the common 
defense, and, for the time, internal differences disappeared 
and a remarkable political harmony prevailed. The intense 
interest which the Romans felt in military affairs naturally 
gave a political prominence to men who had won distinc- 
tion in the field. Furthermore, the soldiers who came 
back to the city did not look on their commander, as 
their fathers had done, as a simple fellow-citizen, who had 
like themselves been serving the state, and now resumed 
his place by their side. Long periods of service abroad, 
where the soldier was only one of a great army carrying 
out an elaborate plan of campaign under the direction of 
one man, had accustomed many of the Romans to follow 
implicitly the guidance of an individual. Had Scipio 
Africanus been an able and ambitious politician, it would 
not have been difficult for him to exercise a paramount 
influence in Roman politics. Had that been the case, the 
senate would have lost its control, and the tide, which 
was setting strongly toward oligarchical government, would 
have been checked. But neither he nor any other success- 
ful Roman general had the ability to devise a compre- 
hensive political programme, or the ambition to make 
himself a popular leader. This is not to say that all the 
political leaders of the period were actuated by unselfish 
motives. The strenuous efforts which certain noble families 
made to use the campaign against Antiochus to further 
their own selfish ends is a proof of the opposite state of 


affairs. As for the great mass of the people, the imme- 
diate effect of the long wars was to bring into relief the 
same sturdy qualities which they had shown in their strug- 
gle with the Samnites. Their indirect result was a com- 
plete change in the social and economic condition of the 
whole Italian people. The political connection of the 
period from 287 to 133 with that which precedes it lies 
in the fact that in it the institutions created during the 
preceding period were gradually developed and adapted 
to the needs of the people. It is linked to the subsequent 
period by the fact that in the latter the forces which devel- 
oped out of the new social and political conditions result- 
ing from the great wars took definite shape, and furnished 
the basis of a new political reorganization. During these 
years the state was ruled by the nobilitas, a fact which gives 
the period its political unity. Its end is fixed by the deter- 
mined stand which the Gracchi took against the oligarchy 
in the name of the democracy. 

57. The Senate and the Popular Assemblies. After the 
passage of the Hortensian law the Roman government was 
in theory essentially a democracy, in so far as landowners 
were concerned. Its magistrates were elected by the 
popular assemblies, and the measures enacted by those 
bodies were valid without further condition in the case of 
the tribal assemblies, or required only the formal prelimi- 
nary approval of the patrician senators in the case of the 
centuriate comitia. In reality, however, the government 
was in the hands of an oligarchy, and almost all the legis- 
lation of the period emanated from the senate. One might 
almost say that the democracy was satisfied with the posses- 
sion of power but did not care to exercise it. There is 
indeed some truth in this way of stating the case. The 
people recognized the fact that the senate was better able 


to direct the policy of the state than they were themselves. 
Now and then they asserted their constitutional rights. 
This was the case in 232, when the concilium phbis, under 
the leadership of the tribune C. Flaminius, passed a bill, 
contrary to the wishes of the senate, dividing certain land 
in Picenum and Gaul. Even in the second Punic war, in 
the case of Scipio, the senate was forced to yield to the 
people or to popular sentiment. In general, however, the 
senate had a free hand in the administration of affairs. 

The reasons are not far to seek. The number of voters 
during this period ranged from 250,000 to 300,000. Many 
of them lived at a great distance from the place of voting. 
It was obviously inexpedient to call together such an 
assembly for the passage of ordinary administrative legis- 
lation. Many matters, especially in time of war, require 
prompt action. This could not be secured through one of 
the popular assemblies. Furthermore, the questions which 
came up for consideration were far more difficult to settle 
than those of earlier years had been. The scene of active 
operations at present was far from Rome. The average 
Roman knew little about the conditions abroad, and was 
not, therefore, in a position to express an intelligent 
opinion on the majority of the questions at issue. What 
made matters worse was the fact that adequate discussion 
in the contio, which preceded the casting of the ballots, was 
impossible. The senate, however,- was eminently qualified 
to meet all the conditions mentioned. It was a body of 
only three hundred members, so that it could be called 
together quickly, and could discuss fully any important 
question laid before it. Its members were men of means 
who could afford to meet frequently for the transaction of 
public business. This fact alone would have given the 
senate precedence over any one of the popular assemblies, 


for administrative legislation at least. A still greater advan- 
tage which the senate had lay in the character of its com- 
position after the passage of the Ovinian law. Under that 
law it became a body of ex-magistrates, whose experience 
in administration and knowledge of affairs at home and 
abroad fitted them in a peculiar way to settle wisely the 
complicated questions of foreign policy which engaged the 
attention of the Roman people during this period. One 
should also bear the fact in mind that the senate had 
always played a leading part in directing the foreign policy 
of the state. In managing foreign affairs during the period 
of the great wars it was, therefore, in large measure follow- 
ing well-established tradition, and as foreign questions 
completely overshadowed domestic affairs in number and 
importance, another reason for the ascendency of the senate 
as a legislative body is apparent. Not only did the quali- 
fications of the senate help it to acquire a supremacy in 
legislative affairs, but it found means to prevent the popular 
assemblies from taking the initiative in such matters. A 
popular assembly could meet only when it was called 
together by a magistrate or a tribune, and only to discuss 
such matters as were laid before it by a magistrate or 
tribune. Now both these classes of officials were under 
the control of the senate, so that it was practically impos- 
sible to get a bill of which the senate did not approve 
before any one of the assemblies. 

58. The Senate and the Magistrates. What has been 
said will explain in part the influence which the senate 
exercised over the magistracies. The Ovinian law had made 
the senate a body of ex-magistrates. All of the senators 
were men of experience in government. Some of them 
were ex-consuls who had filled with distinction the same 
office which their presiding officer was now filling. Some 


of them had a greater technical knowledge of the questions 
at issue than he had himself. Furthermore, strong motives 
of self-interest bound the members of the senate together 
in maintaining and extencjing its prestige. The consul 
himself came from their number ; he was imbued with their 
ideas of government and at the end of the year he would 
return to their ranks. It was impossible for him to make 
a stand against such influences as these. His submission 
to the senate was inevitable. In the earlier period the list 
of senators was drawn up by the consul and he probably 
exercised some discretion in the matter of choice. This 
duty was now performed by the censor, so that membership 
in the senate was in no wise dependent on the favor or 
approval of the consul. In fact, the senate was practically 
independent of any magistrate in this respect. The Ovin- 
ian law had instructed the censor to give preference to 
ex-magistrates in the selection of senators, and the rather 
extreme interpretation which was put on this law made its 
action automatic and practically gave ex-magistrates the 
right to a seat in the senate. The tribune was not much 
more inclined than the consul to take the initiative in 
matters of legislation. The influences which controlled the 
consul affected him also. Furthermore, as we have already 
noticed (p. 44), the senate had taken pains to cultivate 
friendly relations with him. His office, too, was a stepping- 
stone to the magistracies, in candidacy for which the support 
of the nobilitas would be of great importance. The result 
of all this was that the senate met, not to give the consul 
advice which he was free to accept or reject, but to take 
action which he was expected to carry out as its minister. 

59. Benefits and Evils of Senatorial Government. The 
system of senatorial government had both its light and its 
dark side. Technical administrative questions were decided 


by a body of experienced administrators. A consistency 
and continuity was given to Roman policy which would 
hardly have been possible with the free initiative of magis- 
trates holding office for a year only. The element of selfish 
personal ambition was in large measure eliminated. In 
fact, the senate checked in its own interest any attempt at 
self-aggrandizement. However, this necessity of preventing 
an individual from attaining eminence had its evil side. 
Great success and the resultant popularity gave rise to 
distrust in the minds of the oligarchy, so that at a critical 
moment the state might be robbed of the services of a 
valuable leader. The senate was undoubtedly actuated by 
patriotic motives in almost all of its actions, but it was 
impossible for it, in domestic affairs, to throw off entirely 
its conservative bias. In foreign affairs the results of a 
divided, and, therefore, a diminished, responsibility were 
painfully apparent. The senate often adopted a policy in 
dealing with another state which individual senators, had 
they been magistrates vested with supreme power, would 
have scorned to follow. The harmony which existed 
between the senate and its commanders in the field during 
this period is remarkable, and it is surprising that a series 
of great wars could have been brought to a successful com- 
pletion under the joint management of a commanding officer 
in the field and a jealous legislative body of three hundred 
members at home. It devolved upon the senate not only 
to maintain a supervision over the military operations carried 
on simultaneously at different points and to provide money 
and troops for the various campaigns, but also to assume a 
general care of newly acquired territory in Italy or abroad. 
The last-mentioned duty imposed on the senate the respon- 
sibility of drawing up a constitution for the community in 
question, or of ratifying a treaty with it, of taking necessary 


measures to protect it and hold it in subjection, of dividing 
the provinces among the various classes of officials, and of 
receiving foreign ambassadors and deputations. 

60. Magistracies. The subordination of the magistrate 
to the position of minister of the senate involved a certain 
loss of prestige on his part, but it brought partial compen- 
sation with it. The development of the powers of the 
senate gave an added value to the magistracies, since elec- 
tion to one of them carried with it admission to the senate. 
Indeed, from this time on the importance of a magistracy 
consisted largely in this fact. Furthermore, the immense 
gain which the senate made, after the development of an 
imperial policy, in the variety and importance of its func- 
tions, increased correspondingly the scope of the powers 
which the magistrate enjoyed who followed its mandatory 
advice. The determination of the senate to protect itself 
against ambitious individuals found expression in various 
laws affecting the magistrates which were passed in this 
period. In 180 the tribune L. Villius secured the passage 
of a law which fixed, directly or indirectly, the age at which 
citizens might become candidates for the more important 
offices (guot annos nati quemque magistratum peter ent cape- 
rentque} . By this measure the cursus honorum was estab- 
lished. Its observance would prevent an ambitious politician 
from riding into power on a wave of popular enthusiasm. 
As early as the fourth century any one who had held a 
given magistracy was ineligible for reelection to the same 
office until an interval of ten years had elapsed. Even this 
stringent provision did not satisfy the oligarchy, and toward 
the close of the period we are considering, that is, about 
the middle of the second century, reelection to the con- 
sulship was absolutely forbidden. In the next century, how- 
ever, Sulla reverted to the legislation of the earlier period. 


61. Bribery and Ballot Laws. The laws against bribery 
and providing for a secret ballot are also to be attributed 
largely to the desire of the oligarchy to protect itself against 
ambitious and unscrupulous politicians. A careful study of 
the legislation against bribery would throw a flood of light 
on the history of Roman morals during the last century of 
the republic, and undoubtedly men like Cato, in supporting 
legislation to check the evil, were actuated mainly by a 
desire to stem the tide of degeneracy, but the real pur- 
pose of the early laws on that subject was political. A new 
lex de ambitu was passed in 181. A second followed in 
159. The lex Gabinia of 139, which provided for a secret 
ballot at elections, the lex Cassia of 137, and the lex 
Papiria of 131, which made the same provision for meet- 
ings of the cotnitia, respectively as a court and as a legisla- 
tive body, were intended to accomplish essentially the same 
purpose as the laws against bribery, in a different but per- 
haps in a more effective way. 

62. Change in the Number and Functions of the Praetors. 
The only change of any moment in the magisterial system 
was the addition of another praetor toward the end of the 
first Punic war, the increase in the number of these officials 
from two to four in 227, and to six in 197. The second prae- 
tor was chosen to take charge of cases in which foreigners 
were concerned, and so received the title t praetor peregri- 
nus, while his colleague, who presided in matters where only 
citizens were parties to the suit, was known as the praetor 
urbanus (cf. p. 187). The increase in the number of prae- 
tors in 227 and 197 went along with a complete change in the 
functions of certain members of the college, since the four 
new praetors were not assigned to essentially judicial duties, 
but were made governors of the newly acquired provinces 
of Sicily, Sardinia, Nearer Spain, and Farther Spain. 


63. The Quaestorship and Dictatorship. The addition of 
four new quaestors in 267, which raised the number in the 
college to eight, brought with it no radical change in the 
duties of those officials. It was a natural consequence 
of the extension of Roman territory. The new quaestors 
were the financial representatives of the central govern- 
ment in the various sections of Italy. It is significant of 
the thoroughness which the senate showed in carrying out 
its oligarchical policy that dictators for other than such 
temporary and special purposes as the holding of an elec- 
tion during the absence of both consuls, or the annual 
driving of a nail in the wall of the temple of Jupiter, were 
rarely appointed during this period, and, when they were 
chosen, they deferred, not less than the consuls, to the 
senate. The choice of a plebeian for the first time as 
pontifex maximus in 253 is little more than an echo from 
the din of battle of an earlier period. 

64. The Censorship. The censor's office became one of 
immense political and moral importance during the period 
which we are considering. His main constitutional func- 
tions consisted in assessing the property of citizens, in 
preparing a register of them according to tribes, classes, 
and centuries, in drawing up the list of senators, and in 
managing the finances of the state. The increased impor- 
tance of this magistracy was due to a variety of causes. 
Foremost among these should be mentioned the precedent 
set by Appius Claudius in his performance of the duties of 
that office in 312. We have already noticed (p. 54) the 
autocratic manner in which he changed the composition of 
the tribes and the centuries. The reaction of 304 was not 
a protest against the exercise of such powers by the censor, 
but rather a reversal of the action of one censor by another. 
The right of the censor to make such radical changes as 


Appius had made was, therefore, strengthened and not 
weakened by the events of 304. In fact, the reform of 
the centuriate assembly in 241 was probably due in large 
measure to the efforts of the censor. The immense increase 
in the income and the expenditure of the government which 
resulted from the prosecution of a long series of wars and 
the acquisition of provinces, was a still more potent factor 
in giving importance to his office. The taxes levied in the 
new provinces were farmed out to the highest bidders, and 
the contracts were made by the censor in the name of the 
state. Besides the income from this source, immense sums 
of money came into the treasury in the form of booty. 
Aemilius Paulus, for instance, brought home 300,000,000 
sesterces after the war with Perseus. 

It is difficult, with the scanty information we have, to 
account for the development of the right to supervise the 
morals of the people which the censor exercised in the 
third century. This is the probable course of events, how- 
ever : In drawing up a register of a tribe or -a class it was 
necessary for him to inquire closely into such matters as 
the name, age, residence, family, and property of each 
citizen (cf. p. 192). It is probable that he gradually 
extended the range of his inquiry to cover also the man- 
ner of life of citizens, without waiting for legislation to 
authorize him in taking such a course. Such action on his 
part would find abundant justification in the determined 
stand which the community was making against the degen- 
erate tendencies of the time. In fact, the functions of the 
censor made his office the natural agency to employ in the 
effort to preserve the integrity of the Roman character. 

65. Improvement in the Judicial System. A develop- 
ment of some importance, which for convenience may be 
mentioned in this connection, consisted in the improvement 


of the judicial system, by sending praefecti iuri dicundo to 
various points in Italy to represent the praetor, and by the 
occasional establishment of judicial commissions to take 
the place of the popular assemblies in the trial of certain 
criminal cases. The advantage which a small, select body 
had over a popular assembly in such cases was so apparent, 
that by the lex Calpurnia of 149 a permanent court was 
established for the trial of magistrates guilty of peculation 
in office, the so-called quaestio (perpetua) de (pecuniis) 
repetundis. The historical importance of this innovation 
lies largely in the fact that it was the first step toward the 
organization which Sulla made in the next century of a 
fairly complete judicial system. It is interesting to note 
that the offense, of which the first standing court was to 
take cognizance, was extortion. Evidently the magistrates 
had already found it necessary to seek reimbursement in 
the provinces for the great expenses attendant on an elec- 
tion to office at Rome. The establishment of a court to 
try those guilty of peculation goes hand in hand with the 
legislation against bribery. Little immediate gain could be 
expected from the court, however, because its juries were 
made up exclusively of senators, and could hardly be trusted 
to convict senatorial governors. 

66. Reform of the Centuriate Comitia. The most com- 
prehensive political change of this period which affected 
the whole people was the reform of the centuriate assembly 
about 241. That body was completely reorganized on the 
tribal basis. Each of the tribes was divided into seniores 
and iuniores ; then the members of each of these two sec- 
tions were assigned to classes according to their wealth, the 
members of each class of seniores and iuniores forming a 
century. The division of each of the thirty-five tribes into 
centuries is indicated in the following diagram. 



Senior es 


Century of ist class 



" " 5 th " 


Century of ist class 

4 th 

" 5th " 

To the three hundred and fifty centuries thus formed there 
should be added eighteen centuries of knights, four supple- 
mentary centuries, not definitely enrolled in the classes, and 
one century of proletarii, making a grand total of three 
hundred and seventy-three. The property qualification for 
admission to the several classes was henceforth calculated 
on a money basis, and was probably raised for each class, 
but of this we cannot be sure. It is clear, at all events, 
that the new organization was of a far more democratic 
character than the old one. In the old body the number 
of centuries in the first class, supplemented by the knights, 
was greater than that in all the rest put together. The 
eighteen centuries of knights combined with the eighty 
centuries of that class constituted a majority. In the 
reformed organization the number of centuries in each 
class was the same, so that the only advantage which 
wealth gave lay in the fact that the centuries of the upper 
classes were probably smaller than those of the lower 
classes, and yet had equal weight with them in voting. 


In one other respect the organization fell short of being 
strictly democratic. The seniores in a given tribe, that is, 
the men between forty-six and sixty years of age, made up 
five centuries, so that they had as great a voting power as 
the iuniores, or men between seventeen and forty-six years 
of age, although by the natural laws of mortality there can- 
not have been more than half as many of the former as 
of the latter in a tribe. Therefore, although the reformed 
centuriate assembly was essentially democratic, wealth and 
age enjoyed indirectly some advantages. 

67. The Tribal Assemblies. Legislation of the fifth cen- 
tury, possibly the lex Aternia Tarpeia of the year 454, had 
allowed magistrates, tribunes, and plebeian aediles to impose 
fines up to a certain limit. All cases involving a larger 
amount than the minimum fixed could be appealed to the 
tribal assembly. The effect of this arrangement was to 
make the tribal assemblies criminal courts of appeal in all 
but capital cases. This change had its political side. It 
enabled the tribune to hold a magistrate responsible for his 
conduct, but its value in this respect was in large measure 
offset by the use of the court for partisan purposes. An 
important step toward robbing the tribal assemblies of their 
judicial functions altogether was taken toward the close of 
this period by the establishment, in 149, of the first quaestio 
perpetua (p. 74). 

The most important laws of this period were passed in 
the tribal assembly. For instance, the leges Villia (p. 70), 
Gabinia (p. 71), Cassia (p. 71), Calpurnia (p. 74), and 
various sumptuary laws, e.g., the lex Oppia and the lex 
Orchia, were all plebiscita. The tribal assembly met within 
the city and had a simpler organization than the centuriate 
assembly. Furthermore, the tribune who presided over the 
concilium plebis represented better than the magistrate the 


progressive sentiment of the community. The leges Aelia 
et Fufia of about 155 applied the auspices to the tribal 
assemblies . for the first time. The senate secured the 
passage of this law for the purpose of preventing undesir- 
able action in the tribal assembly, when all other forms of 
opposition had failed. As a defensive weapon, however, 
the measure was of little avail. 

68. Growth of the Proletariat. The economic changes 
in the condition of the people were far more serious than 
the political. The immediate result of them was the 
widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. A 
number of reasons may be given for the growth of the 
proletariat on the one hand, and, on the other, for the 
acquisition of great wealth by the favored few. The long 
wars had taken the peasant proprietors from home, and 
their land, left without cultivation, rapidly deteriorated in 
value. Hannibal's occupation of Italy increased the dam- 
age which had resulted from neglect, and at the close of 
the second Punic war a large part of the land in Italy had 
passed out of cultivation. This change bore heavily on the 
free laborer also. The demand for his services was greatly 
diminished by the transformation of arable into pasture 
land, and the introduction of a vast number of slaves 
brought his wages down to a very low point and put a 
stigma on manual labor. The massing of landed property 
in the hands of a few and the employment of slave labor 
made the business of the peasant proprietor unprofitable. 
Competition with the newly acquired provinces was still 
more disastrous to him. The ranks of the proletariat, 
which were reinforced in this way by free laborers out of 
work and by bankrupt peasant proprietors, were still further 
swelled by the manumission of slaves. Many of the slaves 
who had been brought to Rome as captives during the wars 


outside of Italy were clever artisans or good farmers, and 
their owners found it more profitable to manumit them, give 
them a small capital, and share in the profits of the enter- 
prise, than to retain them as slaves. This condition of 
things was somewhat relieved in the early part of the period 
by drawing off large numbers of the proletarii to the newly 
established colonies. Ten or twelve colonies were founded 
in the interval between 287 and the close of the second 
Punic war, and twice as many in the early part of 
the second century, but after 180 we hear of only one 
new colony, so that the proletariat lost even this form of 

69. Amassing of Great Fortunes. The aggrandizement 
of the rich kept pace with the impoverishment of the mid- 
dle classes. Several states in southern Italy, which had sided 
with Hannibal, were punished after the close of the second 
Punic war by being deprived of a large portion of their ter- 
ritory. The rich men at Rome found little difficulty in get- 
ting possession of the greater part of this confiscated land. 
The acquisition of territory beyond the sea was of immense 
value to the capitalist and successful politician. On the 
one hand, it gave the Roman officials who were sent out to 
the provinces a good opportunity to amass fortunes at the 
expense of the provincials. On the other hand, the con- 
quests in Spain and the East opened new outlets for trade, 
which the special privileges granted to Roman citizens, and 
the destruction of Rome's commercial rival, Carthage, 
threw almost entirely into the hands of the Roman mer- 
chant and banker, and Roman capitalists began to reap rich 
returns for the investment of their money. Another profit- 
able field for investment was the collection in the new 
provinces of the taxes which the state let out by contract 
to private citizens. Since the provincials were without 


defense, and the ruling class at Rome winked at the extor- 
tionate demands of its representatives abroad, enormous 
fortunes were made in a short time. The evils which 
naturally follow a sudden increase in wealth were aggravated 
by the fact that the conquest of Magna Graecia and the 
East brought the Romans into contact with a highly devel- 
oped civilization to which their previous simple life was in 
marked contrast. The development of luxurious tastes and 
the means of gratifying them came simultaneously, and the 
rich Roman rushed into reckless expenditure on his house- 
hold and his retinue with the intemperance which charac- 
terizes the parvenu. The long series of sumptuary laws, 
which began with the lex Oppia of 2 15, is in itself a striking 
proof of the tendency of the time. The attempt to check 
the growing evil by legislation was of as little effect as such 
efforts usually are. In fact, the lex Oppia itself was repealed 
after it had been in force only twenty years. The severe 
measures which the censors took to check extravagance 
were of as little permanent value. 

70. Political Results. The immense increase, on the 
one hand, in the number of freedmen, and of freemen out 
of work, and, on the other, the acquisition of large fortunes 
by a few, had a most disastrous effect on Roman politics. 
A large number of freedmen and of those who had lost their 
holdings or their occupation in the country districts drifted 
to Rome and were admitted to the popular assemblies, in 
so far as their property allowed it. Their votes were in 
many cases to be had by the candidate who gave the most 
for them, or whose games were the most magnificent. The 
laws to punish bribery and to provide for a secret ballot, to 
which reference has already been made (p. 71), furnish an 
indication of the growing demoralization of the popular 
assemblies. The great inequality in wealth had another 


unfortunate political result. It gave rise to a spirit of 
dependence among the great mass of the people, in some 
cases of hostility toward the rich on the part of the poor, 
which found expression in class legislation of various kinds. 
Thus, in 217, the democratic leader Flaminius secured the 
passage of a bill lowering the money standard ; in 216 a 
commission was established to facilitate the negotiation of 
loans ; and in the same decade a law was passed prohibiting 
senators from owning ships of more than a certain tonnage. 

71. The Conquest of Southern Italy. The conclusion of 
the third Samnite war had already made Rome mistress 
of central Italy. A petty quarrel with Tarentum, in 282, 
opened the way for her conquest of southern Italy. In 
the war which followed, the Tarentines and their allies in 
southern Italy were unable to cope with Rome and sent to 
Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, for help. He inflicted a severe 
defeat on the Romans near Heraclea in 280, and advanced 
through Samnium and Campania to the borders of Latium ; 
but at that point he turned back. Again, in 279, Pyrrhus 
was successful at Asculum, and negotiations looking to 
peace were entered into ; but the appearance of a Cartha- 
ginian fleet at Ostia offering help induced the Romans to 
refuse all terms. The urgent requests which the Greeks in 
Sicily made for help, and his discouragement over the state 
of affairs in Italy, led Pyrrhus to cross to Sicily in 278. 
After an unsatisfactory campaign in that island, he returned 
to Italy in 275, was defeated by the Consul M'. Curius at 
Beneventum, and retired permanently from Italy, leaving 
Rome free to bring the cities in the lower part of the 
peninsula completely under her control. 

72. The First Punic War. The harmonious relations 
which existed between Carthage and Rome during the war 
with Pyrrhus were brought to an untoward end by the 


course of events in Sicily. Besides her possessions in 
Africa, Carthage controlled Sicily, with the exception of 
Syracuse and Messana, and also Sardinia, Corsica, the 
Balearic islands, and the south coast of Spain. An oppor- 
tunity presented itself in 264 to make herself mistress of 
Messana also, and she eagerly embraced it. One party in 
this city, however, appealed to Rome for help, and the 
senate was forced by popular clamor to send the consul 
Appius Claudius to its assistance. The Romans were suc- 
cessful on land, but they found that such success would 
count for little as long as Carthage controlled the sea. 
Accordingly they fitted out a fleet in the year 260 which 
won a great victory off Mylae, and from this time on the 
contest was in large measure a struggle for naval supremacy. 
In fact, the defeat of the Carthaginian fleet by Catulus in 
241 brought the war to an end. Had it not been for their 
new allies, the Romans would have been helpless in such 
a struggle, but the seamanship of the Greeks of southern 
Italy, and the knowledge which they had of the Sicilian 
coast, helped to offset the naval experience of Carthage. 
By the terms of peace Carthage gave up Sicily to Rome, 
surrendered her prisoners, and agreed to pay a war indem- 
nity of 3200 talents. Three years after the close of the 
war, in 238, when she was weakened by a long-continued 
m*tiny in the army, she was forced to give up Sardinia and 
Corsica also. 

73. War with the Kelts and Illyrian Pirates. In the 
years which followed the first Punic war, Rome strengthened 
her position in Italy and on the Adriatic. She was startled 
in 225, however, by the news of a fresh Keltic invasion on 
the part of the Boii and Insubres and Transalpine merce- 
naries. Notwithstanding the enrollment of 150,000 men 
for the protection of Italy, the invaders advanced as far as 


Clusium in Etruria, and defeated a detachment of the 
Roman army; but the approach of another strong force 
obliged them to retire, and they were crushed between the 
two Roman armies at Telamon in Etruria. The submission 
of the Boii followed in 224; that of the Insubres, who 
resisted more stubbornly, in 222. The northern frontier 
of Italy was secured by planting colonies at Mutina, Pla- 
centia, and Cremona, and by building a military road, the 
via Flaminia, to Ariminum. The war which broke out 
against Illyria in 229 had the two practical results of freeing 
Italian trade in the Adriatic from the depredations of the 
Illyrian pirates, and of throwing Rome into the cauldron of 
Greek politics. 

74. The Second Punic War. The rapid progress which 
Carthage was making in Spain disturbed the Romans to 
such an extent that a treaty was made with her, by the 
terms of which she agreed to limit her acquisitions to 
the region south of the Ebro. The city of Saguntum lay 
south of that river, but it was not considered necessary to 
provide for her independence in the treaty mentioned, 
because she was in alliance with the Romans. The attack 
which Hannibal made on that city in 219 was, therefore, 
a direct affront to Rome. The Carthaginians refused to 
grant redress, and preparations were at once made in 
Rome to fit out expeditions against Spain and Africa. But 
Hannibal, by a rapid march into northern Italy, which he 
reached with an army reduced to 26,000 men, put the 
Romans on the defensive, and by brilliant victories on the 
Ticinus and the Trebia in 218, at the Trasimene lake 
in 217, and in the following year at Cannae, put the 
supremacy of Rome in Italy in extreme peril. In fact, 
the battle of Cannae was a signal for the withdrawal of 
almost all the cities of southern Italy from their alliance 


with Rome. Only a few seacoast towns remained loyal, 
or were held in subjection by garrisons. In spite of these 
great disasters the spirit of the Romans was not broken. 
They adopted, however, the policy of avoiding a direct 
trial of strength with Hannibal, and devoted their energy 
to cutting off all his sources of supply. With this object in 
view they sought to regain the Italian cities which had 
allied themselves with Hannibal, or had been conquered 
by him. With the same purpose in mind they carried 
on a vigorous campaign against the Carthaginians and 
their allies in Spain and Sicily. The result of this policy 
was that Spain, the great center of Carthaginian strength, 
was overrun by the Romans, and Hasdrubal, Hannibal's 
brother, after coming into Italy in response to Hannibal's 
urgent request for reinforcements, was defeated and slain 
at the Metaurus in 207, and Hannibal himself stood alone 
with his little army in a corner of Italy. The Romans 
were now ready for a bold stroke, and in 204 the senate, 
yielding with some hesitation to popular demand, sent over 
to Africa young Scipio, who had distinguished himself in 
Spain. The audacity of this step was justified by the 
complete victory which the Roman army won at Zama in 
202 over Hannibal, whom the Carthaginians had hastily 
recalled. By the terms of the peace, which was concluded 
in the following year, Carthage was stripped of all her 
foreign .territory, and even in Africa Numidia was declared 
independent. She was, furthermore, forbidden to wage war 
abroad, and in Africa except with the consent of Rome. 
She gave up her fleet also, and agreed to pay an indemnity 
of 10,000 talents. 

75. First Macedonian War. The most important result 
of the war against the Illyrian pirates, as we have already 
noticed, was the fact that Rome's new acquisitions placed 


her in a position where she would be easily involved in the 
meshes of Greek politics. The inevitable entanglement 
came in 2 14. King Philip of Macedon, with an envious eye 
on the Roman possessions on the Illyrian coast, took advan- 
tage of Rome's weakness, after the battle of the Trasimene 
lake, to form an alliance with Hannibal, promising him help 
in Italy in return for the above-mentioned Illyrian towns. 
Rome was forced to accept Philip's challenge, but her main 
purpose in the war which followed was to prevent him from 
giving help to Hannibal, so that she was content, in the 
main, with putting herself at the head of the Greek states 
opposed to Philip, and not unwillingly made peace with him 
in 205 on terms which extended the limits of Macedonian 

76. Second Macedonian War. But the successful comple- 
tion of the second Punic war left Rome free to deal with 
the Eastern question, and the development of Philip's 
ambitious plans seemed to make interference necessary. 
He had formed a plan with Antiochus III of Syria for 
the division of Egypt, and while Antiochus occupied him- 
self with the conquest of Coele-Syria, Philip seized Egypt's 
possessions on the Aegean. Rhodes came to their relief, 
and later joined Athens and Egypt in asking help from 
Rome. Philip refused to grant the demands which a 
Roman embassy made on him at Abydos in 200 that he 
should make peace with the Greeks, give up the territory 
which he had taken from Egypt, and submit his quarrel 
with Rhodes to arbitration and war was declared at once. 
Rome was assisted by Rhodes and by Attalus, king of Per- 
gamum, and with their help forced Philip to yield after the 
battle of Cynoscephalae in 197. Philip gave up his con- 
quests, withdrew from Greece proper, surrendered his fleet, 
and paid a war indemnity. The Greeks were declared free, 


and Rome's friends and allies in Greece were treated with 
unparalleled generosity. By adopting this plan, instead of 
following her usual policy of territorial aggrandizement, 
Rome furnished a proof of her admiration for the Greek 
civilization, and avoided rousing the passionate opposition 
of the whole Greek world. What motive determined her 
course it is hard to say. 

77. War with Antiochus. In the meantime Antiochus 
had completed the conquest of Coele-Syria, and in 197 
proceeded to seize the Egyptian possessions on the south 
coast of Asia Minor. Notwithstanding the urgent appeals 
of Eumenes of Pergamum and the free Greek cities, Rome 
could not be induced to interfere with the movements of 
Antiochus in Asia, but when he crossed the Aegean sea in 
192, on the invitation of the Aetolians, an army was sent 
against him. His utter defeat at Thermopylae in the year 
191 drove him out of Europe, and vindicated the main 
principle for which Rome was contending, that of the non- 
interference of foreign potentates in European politics ; but 
the opportunity to break the power of Antiochus was so 
promising that the Romans followed him into Asia, and 
inflicted a crushing defeat on him at Magnesia in Lydia 
in the year 190. Peace was made on condition that he 
should retire beyond the Taurus, pay 15,000 talents, and 
limit his fleet to ten ships of war. Rome's allies were flat- 
tered by being allowed to take part in the peace negotia- 
tions, and were rewarded for their services by valuable gifts 
of territory. 

78. The Third Macedonian War. Among others, Philip 
of Macedon had supported the Romans loyally, and in 
return he received Demetrias and a certain amount of 
territory in Thessaly and Aetolia. But, suspicious of his 
growing influence in Greece, the Romans a few years later 


took his new possessions from him. Their suspicions were 
not without justification. Jealousy of Rome's interfer- 
ence in Greek politics was growing rapidly; the national 
spirit of the Greeks was developing, and Philip cleverly 
appealed to both these sentiments. His successor, Perseus, 
strengthened the position of Macedonia by alliances with 
his neighbors. The attempted assassination of Rome's 
friend, Eumenes of Pergamum, at Delphi, at the supposed 
instigation of Perseus, and the support which Rome gave 
to a petty Thracian prince banished by Perseus, fanned 
the smouldering embers into flame, and war broke out in 
171. Success attended the Macedonians at the outset, 
and the Romans pretended to consider favorably the pro- 
posals of peace. Their real purpose, however, was to 
crush Macedonia completely, and this object they accom- 
plished by their success at Pydna in 168. The former 
kingdom of Macedonia was divided into four parts, each 
independent of the other, and one-half of the tribute for- 
merly paid to the king was turned into the Roman treasury. 
79. Subsequent Changes in Macedonia, Greece, and Spain. 
The partition of the country led to endless confusion, and 
a pretender, named Andriscus, took advantage of this state 
of things to put himself at the head of reunited Macedonia. 
He was defeated without much difficulty in 148, and Rome 
at once made Macedonia a province, adding to it southern 
Illyria, Epirus, and Thessaly. The settlement of affairs in 
Greece proved to be equally unsatisfactory. The Greek 
states were constantly quarreling. The hostility toward 
Rome was persistent, and the Achaean league was devel- 
oping strength and confidence in a way which threatened 
to make it the central point of an uprising. The trouble 
reached a climax in 147, when the Achaeans declared war 
against Sparta, in spite of warnings from Rome against the 


adoption of such a course. The Romans put an army in the 
field at once. The Achaeans on their side were joined by 
the Boeotians, Euboeans, Phocians, and Locrians. The war 
was of short duration, and after its conclusion the Achaean 
league was disbanded, Corinth destroyed, and the greater 
part of Greece was placed under the supervision of the 
governor of Macedonia. The policy of Rome in Greece 
and the Orient was, not to extend her sovereignty, but to 
weaken the strong powers already existing in those quar- 
ters and to prevent the growth of new ones. In the unciv- 
ilized West her purpose was very different. In Spain she 
acquired from Carthage, as a result of the second Punic 
war, only the southern portion of the peninsula. This terri- 
tory was divided into two provinces and assigned to prae- 
tors. The unwise and cruel rule of the Roman governors 
and their subordinates brought on an uprising in 154, which, 
beginning first with the Lusitanians, spread far and wide, 
and cost the Romans twenty years of determined effort to 
crush. After the fall of Numantia in 133, the last point 
of resistance, peace reigned in Spain for many years. 

80. The Third Punic War. The Romans looked across 
the Mediterranean at the regeneration of Carthage after 
the second Punic war with unmixed anxiety. Masinissa of 
Numidia took advantage of their jealous attitude to claim 
on one pretext or another certain possessions of Carthage, 
until at last the Carthaginians were driven to the point of 
making war on him. This step was in contravention of the 
treaty of 201, and Rome, therefore, sent a strong army 
across to Carthage in 149 ; but three years of hard fight- 
ing intervened before the city could be taken. Carthage 
and the cities faithful to her were destroyed ; a part of the 
surrounding territory was given to her neighbors, and part 
was taken by Rome herself. 


81. Development of Imperialism. The long series of wars 
which came to an end with the capture of Carthage in 146, 
left Rome in possession of large tracts of new territory 
outside of Italy. Sicily, with the islands of Sardinia and 
Corsica, she felt compelled to hold for the protection of 
Italy. Spain had shown itself in the second Punic war 
such a point of vantage for Carthage that it seemed neces- 
sary to take it under Roman control. A large party at 
Rome had come to feel that the safety and growth of their 
native city required the destruction -of Carthage, and, after 
she had been destroyed, it could be regarded as a matter 
of duty to give the conquered peoples some form of stable 
government. In the case of Macedonia, at the end of the 
first war the form of government was left unchanged, and 
even after the second war autonomy was granted to the 
four sections into which the country was divided. A 
Roman government was imposed on the people only after 
other plans had failed. In other words, it seems clear that 
Rome did not deliberately adopt a policy of conquest and 
territorial aggrandizement outside of Italy, but the protec- 
tion of her own interests seemed to make an extension of 
territory necessary in each case. The successful prosecu- 
tion of these wars, however, developed the thirst for con- 
quest ; the legitimate and illegitimate profits from the new 
territory appealed to the commercial spirit and the greed 

A'bf the Romans, and the control of Spain, Italy, Sicily, 
Sardinia, Macedonia, and Africa, which made Rome the 
strongest power in the Mediterranean, suggested inevitably 
the rounding out of her possessions by the conquest of Asia 
and Egypt. 

82. The Model adopted for Provincial Government. The 
Romans organized a definite government in Sicily and in 
Sardinia and Corsica in 227, in the two Spains in 197, and 


in Macedonia and in Africa in 146. The earliest form of 
provincial government was an adaptation of the system 
which had been introduced throughout Italy, with two 
important modifications, however. The relations which 
the Italian communities bore to one another were under 
the direct supervision of the senate. Such supervision 
would be impossible in most cases for territory outside of 
Italy. Imperial interests were, therefore, placed in the 
hands of a Roman governor. The second important differ- 
ence consisted in the fact that the provincials were subject 
to taxes which were not imposed on the Italians. This is 
not to say that in other respects the provincials were as 
well off as the Italians. In practice their condition was 
much worse, partly because they were largely at the mercy 
of a governor who was allowed a large liberty in his man- 
agement of the province, whose transgression of the prin- 
ciples laid down to check his exercise of autocratic power 
it was almost impossible to punish. 

83. The Lex Provinciae and the Governor. The govern- 
ment of territory outside of Italy was a new problem for 
the Romans, so that various experiments were tried with the 
earliest provinces before an essentially permanent system 
was adopted. But from 146 down to the later years of the 
republic, the senate drew up a set of regulations for each 
new province, and sent a commission of ten to the province 
to cooperate with the commanding general in putting them 
into execution, and in arranging such details as seemed 
necessary. This body of regulations formed the lex pro- 
vinciae, or constitution of the province. The first period in 
the history of the provinces extends to the time of Sulla. 
Up to that time provision was made for their government 
by an increase in the number of praetors as provinces were 
from time to time acquired. The provincial governor had 


the right to collect money and supplies for war, commanded 
the troops in the province, and exercised jurisdiction in 
criminal and civil cases. In criminal cases he could even 
impose a sentence of death, although Roman citizens, after 
a certain date, had the right of appeal. In his administra- 
tion of provincial affairs he was bound, at least theoretically, 
by the lex provinciae. Money, troops, and subordinate 
officials were provided by vote of the senate. 

84. The Status of Communities in a Province. A uni- 
form system of government was by no means adopted for 
all the people within the limits of a single province. In 
fact, the way in which the degree of civil liberty enjoyed by 
the peoples in different cities under one governor varied is 
one of the unique features of Roman provincial government. 
The Romans accepted in most cases the political units 
which they found already in existence, and treated the 
different communities generously or harshly, according to 
their previous attitude toward Rome. Cities which had 
proved themselves faithful friends were made civitates 
liberae. Those which surrendered became civitates stipen- 
diariae, while those which resisted to the end, like- Carthage 
or Numantia, were ordinarily destroyed. Civitates liberae 
were classified as civitates foederatae or civitates sine foedere 
immunes et liberae, according to the basis on which their 
independence rested. The independence of communities 
of the first class was formally recorded in duplicate on 
bronze tablets. One of these tablets was preserved on the 
capitol at Rome, the other in the city concerned. Commu- 
nities of the second class received their independence by a 
lex or senatus consultum. Its permanence was, therefore, 
conditioned on the favor of the Roman people or senate. 
The civitates liberae were not allowed to deal directly with 
other states, but they were permitted to coin money and 


receive exiles, and in domestic affairs they were independ- 
ent of Rome. The citizens of such a community were 
tried before their own courts, were left untaxed by Rome, 
and were subject to no other obligation than that of fur- 
nishing such a number of ships or of troops as might be 
stipulated in the treaty. The constitution of a civitas sti- 
pendiaria was drawn up by a senatorial commission, or 
embodied by the provincial governor in an edict. It 
usually permitted the community to retain its senate, pop- 
ular assemblies, magistrates, and courts, and to conduct in 
general the administration of local affairs ; but all this was 
done under the supervision of Roman officials. Thus the 
governor supervised the choice of senators, allowed or 
forbade the holding of the local comitia, and examined the 
city's finances. Upon the land of such a community a 
fixed tax, or stipefidium, was laid, or a certain proportion 
of the annual returns, i.e., a vectigal, was paid to the Roman 
government. As time went on, the Romans more and more 
rarely granted to a community the rights of a civitas ttbera. 
In some provinces munidpia and colonies were established, 
but their position was the same as that of corresponding 
communities in Italy, with the important exception that 
such communities in the provinces were subject to all the 
regular provincial taxes. The condition of things in one of 
the earlier provinces may be illustrated by the case of Sicily, 
in which there were three civitates focderatae, five rivitates 
liberae et immuncs, thirty-four civitates decumanae, paying a 
tenth of the produce from the land, and twenty-six civitates 
censor iae, whose territory was made state land. 



Outbreak of Tarentine war: Liv. Ep. XII. Heraclea : Liv. Ep. 
XIII; Plut. Pyrrh. 16-17. Pyrrhus crosses to Sicily: Eutrop. 
II. I4 . Beneventum: Liv. Ep. XIV; Eutrop. II. 14. Outbreak 
of first Punic war: Polyb. I. 10-12; Cell. XVII. 21. 40. Blockade 
of Agrigentum : Polyb. I. 17. Naval victory of Duilius : Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 609; Polyb. I. 22-3; Eutrop. II. 20; Tac. Ann. II. 49. 
Capture of Regulus : Polyb. I. 33-5; Liv. Ep. XVIII. Naval 
defeat at Drepana : Liv. Ep. XIX ; Eutrop. II. 26; Polyb. I. 49-52. 

Naval victory of Catulus : Eutrop. II. 27 ; Polyb. I. 60-61 ; Liv. Ep. 
XIX. Peace with Carthage: Polyb. I. 62-3; Liv. XXX. 44. i. 

Acquisition of Sardinia: Polyb. I. 79 and 88. Lex Flaminia 
agraria: Polyb. II. 21; Cic. de Inv. II. 52; de Sen. n. Illyrian 
war : Polyb. II. 8 ff . Increase in number of praetors : Liv. Ep. XX. 

War with Insubres and Boii : Polyb. II. 23-34; Liv. Ep. XX. 
Fall of Saguntum (second Punic war): Polyb. III. 17; Liv. XXI. 
14-15. Ticinus: Polyb. III. 65 ; Liv. XXI. 39. 10; 45-6. Trebia: 
Polyb. III. 71-4; Liv. XXI. 52-7. Lex Claudia: Liv. XXL 63. 3. 

Trasimene lake: Polyb. III. 83-4; Liv. XXII. 4-7. Cannae: 
Polyb. III. 107-1 1 7 ; Liv. XXII. 43-50. Lex Minucia : Liv. XXIII. 
21. 6. Treaty between Hannibal and Philip: Polyb. VII. 9; Liv. 
XXIII. 33-4; Eutrop. III. 12. First Macedonian war: Liv. XXIV. 
40. Capua recaptured: Polyb. IX. 3-9; Liv. XXVI. 4-16. 
Treaty with the Aetolians : Liv. XXVI. 24. Events in Spain: Liv. 
XXVI. 41-51. Colonies : Liv. XXVII. 9-10. Hasdrubal defeated : 
Polyb. XI. 1-3; Liv. XXVII. 46-9. Carthaginians expelled from 
Spain: Liv. XXVIII. 12-37. Peace with Philip: Liv. XXIX. 12. 

Thirty-five tribes: Liv. XXIX. 37. 13-14. Scipio crosses to 
Africa: Liv. XXIX. 24-7. Zama : Polyb. XV. 5-16; Liv. XXX. 
29-35. Peace with Carthage: Polyb. XV. 18; Liv. XXX. 43. 

Second Macedonian war : Liv. XXXI. 5 ff. Cynoscephalae : 
Polyb. XVIII. i-io; Liv. XXXIII. 7-10. Treaty of peace 
made : Liv. XXXIII. 30. Number of praetors increased : Liv. 
XXXII. 27. 6.-^- Lex Porcia de provocatione : Cic. de Re Pitbl. II. 
54; pro Rab. perd. reo, 12; Cell. X. 3. 13; Liv. X. 9. 4. Greece 
proclaimed free: Polyb. XVIII. 27-9; Liv. XXXIII. 32; Plut. 
Flamin. 10. Lex Sempronia de pecunia credita : Liv. XXXV. 7. 
War with Antiochus : Liv. XXXVI. i ff. Magnesia : Liv. XXXVII. 


37-44. Leges sumptuariae: Liv. XXXIV. 1-8 ; Cell. II. 24; 
Macrob. Saturn. III. 17. Leges de ambitu and Leges tabellariae : 
Liv. XL. 19. u; Cic. de Legg. III. 35; Brut. 106; Liv. Ep. 
XLVIL Lex Villia annalis: Liv. XL. 44. i; Cic. Phil. V. 47. 
Third Macedonian war : Liv. XLII. 52 ff. Pydna: Liv. XLIV. 
40-42; Plut. Aem. 18-22. Third Punic war: Appian, Punic. VIII. 
74 ff. ; Liv. Ep. XLIX. Lex Calpurnia de pecuniis repetundis : 
Cic. Brut. 106; de Off. II. 75. Andriscus : Liv. Ep. XLIX. 
Carthage destroyed: Appian, Punic. VIII. 127 ff . ; Liv. Ep. LI. 
Achaean war: Liv. Ep. LII. Numantia taken: Appian, Hisp. VI. 
84-98; Liv. Ep. LVII. 


C. Bottcher, Kritische Untersuchungen iiber d. Quellen d. Livius 

im 21 u. 22 Buch, Fleckeisen, Jahrb. (N.F.) Suppl. V. 351-442. 
Nissen, Kritische Untersuchungen iiber d. Quellen d. IV. u. V 

Dekade d. Livius. Berlin, 1863. 
Soltau, Livius' Geschichtswerk (pp. 21-84, and bibliography, pp. 

9-14). Leipzig, 1897. 
Soltau, De fontibus Plutarchi in secundo bello Punico enarrando. 

Bonn, 1870. 
R. B. Smith, Rome and Carthage. London, 1880. 

1 See also general bibliography on p. 22. 




85. Tiberius Gracchus. An investigation of the preced- 
ing period has revealed (pp. 77-80) the serious economic 
and political changes which followed as a result of the 
great wars. The republic had been at the outset, and for 
several centuries afterward, a commonwealth of free land- 
owners. This great middle class was now swept out of 
existence, and with it went the foundation on which the 
state rested. The object of the movement connected with 
the name of Tiberius Gracchus was to build this class up 
again. His attention is said to have been called to the 
wretched condition of affairs in Italy when he was on a 
visit to Etruria, where the evil had reached its greatest 
height. He thought relief could be had by assigning state 
land to citizens, and, with this purpose in mind, he secured 
an election to the tribunate for the year 133 and at once 
proposed a reenactment of that clause of the Licinian law 
which limited the amount of land to be held by an indi- 
vidual to five hundred acres, with the modification that for 
each of two grown sons two hundred and fifty acres in 
addition should be allowed. That portion of the ager publi- 
cus, the control of which the state would resume under the 
operation of this law, was to be divided among poor citizens 
on condition of the payment of a yearly tax. Payment for 
improvements was to be made to those already in posses- 
sion, but this claim on the Roman treasury was met by 



the inheritance which Attalus III of Pergamum had lately 
bequeathed to the Romans. A standing commission of 
three, whose members were to be chosen annually, /// 
viri agris iudicandis adsignandis, was to carry out the pro- 
visions of the law. This proposal was essentially different 
from earlier colonizing projects. It was distinctly social- 
istic. Earlier colonies had been sent out to points of danger 
to hold, and to Romanize, newly acquired territory. The 
protection which they gave the state was a sufficient return 
for the land which the state gave them. The new colo- 
nists were to be settled in peaceful sections of Italy and 
received land from the government solely by virtue of their 
poverty. The proposal of Tiberius naturally aroused the 
violent opposition of the rich, whose profits from the ager 
publicus would be materially diminished by its adoption. 
It was opposed on the ground that it revived an obsolete 
provision of a law passed two hundred years before, and 
probably because it was a piece of class legislation, and 
because it also diminished the public revenue. Believing 
that he could not secure the support of the senate, Tiberius 
submitted his proposal to the people at* once. This he had 
a constitutional right to do under the Hortensian law, but 
even here he was thwarted by the veto of his colleague 
Octavius. Up to this point the question at issue had 
been a social one. It took on a political character when 
Tiberius secured the removal of Octavius from office by a 
vote of the people. In fact, his agrarian proposal becomes 
unimportant in comparison with the constitutional question 
involved in the removal of Octavius. While the long agi- 
tation which culminated in 287 had established the general 
principle that the will of the people expressed in their 
assemblies constituted the law of the land, their will had to 
be ascertained in a certain way, and the expression of it 


was subject to certain hindrances. One of the limitations, 
for instance, on the freedom of the action of the people 
in the comitia, consisted in the right of a tribune to inter- 
pose his veto. Now, in securing the removal of Octavius 
from office, Tiberius was acting on the theory that a rep- 
resentative of the people ceases to be such when in a par- 
ticular matter he acts out of conformity with the wishes of 
a popular majority. The logical application of this theory 
in all cases would remove all constitutional limitations upon 
the expression and execution of the people's will, and would 
put the state absolutely under the control of a temporary 
popular majority. The principle was not only out of har- 
mony with the genius of Roman political institutions, but 
it is subversive of stable government. It found logical 
expression in the democratic empire of Julius Caesar. 
The agrarian law of Tiberius was adopted, but he himself 
was killed while seeking reelection to the tribunate. 

86. The Years following the Death of Tiberius. The 
ten years which followed the tribunate of Gracchus were 
years of comparative political inactivity. The development 
of a democratic opposition to the nobilitas, however, went 
on steadily. The passage of the agrarian law, and of other 
less important measures, in a popular assembly against the 
wishes of the senate had stimulated the activity of the tribal 
assembly, and its importance, both as a legislative body and 
as a center of political agitation, increased rapidly, and an 
attempt was made to preserve its purity by the lex tabellaria 
of the tribune C. Papirius Carbo, which supplemented the 
lex Gabinia and the lex Cassia (p. 71) by providing for a 
secret ballot, when the comitia met as a legislative body. 
That the agrarian law of Gracchus was actively carried 
out for some time is indicated by the census, which shows 
an increase in the number of citizens from 318,000 in 135 


to 395,000 in 124. A large majority of these 77,000 new 
citizens must have gained their citizenship by becoming 
landowners under the operation of the new law. The 
death of Tiberius Gracchus, therefore, by no means put 
an end to the agrarian movement. Another question, of 
a political character, was brought into the foreground by 
the agrarian legislation. The position of the Latins and 
other Italians was already bad enough. The passage of the 
new law made it worse, since it took from them some of 
their privileges in the ager publicus, and therefore empha- 
sized the disadvantage of their position when compared 
with that of Roman citizens. 

87. The Legislation of Gaius Gracchus. Accordingly, the 
necessity of settling satisfactorily the land question and of 
admitting the Italians to the rights of Roman citizenship 
were the two questions which confronted Gaius, the brother 
of Tiberius Gracchus, on his election to the tribunate in 123. 
Two motives probably actuated him in the course which 
he took, a desire to avenge the death of his brother, 
as well as to bring to an end the supremacy of the senate. 
To accomplish the latter purpose he sought to bring to his 
support the proletariat and the knights, the two non-sena- 
torial elements in the community. He aimed at securing 
the favor of the former by the passage of a lex frumentaria, 
which put grain at the disposal of the poor at a price lower 
than the market rate. He favored the knights at the 
expense of the senate by substituting knights for senators 
on the juries in the quaestio de repetundis. Since the equites 
had very important financial interests in the provinces, while 
the provincial governors, whose cases were heard in this 
court, were senators, the change involved a great gain for the 
former and at the same time put the latter in serious peril. 
Although a number of laws had confirmed the citizen's 


right to appeal to the people in cases of life or death, 
the senate found means of suspending this right, when it 
wished to get rid of an enemy, by establishing a special 
judicial commission or by passing a senatus consultum ulti- 
mum. Both these devices had been used successfully against 
Tiberius and his followers. A lex Sempronia of Gaius for- 
bade the appointment of such commissions, and denied 
the validity of the interpretation put on the senatus con- 
sultum ultimum. The agrarian law of Tiberius, which had 
not been carried out for several years, was reenacted or 
reaffirmed. The tribal assembly under the leadership of 
Gaius encroached aggressively on the traditional preroga- 
tive of the senate by taking part in the control of foreign 
affairs, as it did in regulating the tax system in Asia and in 
founding colonies. Of far-reaching importance was a law 
which made it incumbent on the senate to decide which 
provinces should be consular before the new magistrates 
were chosen (cf. p. 237). Toward the end of his second 
tribunate Gaius took up the second great political problem, 
which, as we have seen, confronted him at the beginning 
of his political career, and proposed to give Roman citizen- 
ship to the Latins, and Latin rights to the other Italian 
allies; but at this point the selfish democracy of Rome 
deserted him. He became a candidate for the tribunate a 
third time, was defeated, and, like his brother, met a vio- 
lent death. The agrarian movement which had been insti- 
tuted by Tiberius and Gaius was summarily checked by the 
legislation of 118 and in, which gave the full rights of 
ownership to those already occupying state land ; but the 
other legislation of Gaius remained in force. A still more 
important result of the Gracchan movement was the con- 
sciousness which the democracy gained of its own strength 
and of the weak points in the position of the senate. 


88. Marius and the Wars with Jugurtha and the 
Cimbri. In fact, the weakness of the nobilitas soon gave 
the chance of success. In 112 the government was com- 
pelled by public sentiment to declare war against Jugurtha, 
the king of Wumidia, who had not only dispossessed of 
their rights his cousins, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and put 
them to death, but had treated the protests of the Romans 
with scorn. In the war which followed, the open purse of 
Jugurtha on the one hand, and the venality and incapacity 
of the senatorial leaders on the other, brought disgrace to 
the Roman name and defeat to the Roman arms. The 
popular party insisted on a change, and in 107 succeeded 
in electing to the consulship C. Marius, a man of humble 
birth who had shown his ability at the siege of Numantia, 
and to him the control of the forces acting against Jugurtha 
was committed. Jugurtha was defeated and the war was 
speedily brought to an end. Marius was still in Africa, 
arranging the affairs of the province, when he was elected 
to the consulship for the year 104 and intrusted with a 
still more serious undertaking. A horde of barbarians, of 
Germanic origin, from the shores of the North Sea, in 
search of lands and booty, had swept southward toward 
Italy, and in 113 defeated a Roman army under the con- 
sul Cn. Papirius Carbo at Noreia (the modern Neumarkt). 
After this victory the Cimbrian invaders were joined by 
two Helvetian peoples, the Teutones and Tigurini, and in 
Gaul in 109 inflicted a second defeat on the Romans under 
M. Junius Silanus. Two years later the Roman consul 
L. Cassius suffered a still more serious reverse at the hands 
of the Tigurini, and in 105 at Arausio the combined forces 
of the barbarians destroyed the two armies which the pro- 
consul Q. Servilius Caepio and the consul Cn. Mallius 
Maximus commanded, and left 60,000 Romans dead on 


the field of battle. This was the condition of affairs when 
Marius entered on his second consulship in 104. Great 
anxiety prevailed in Italy, and complete distrust of the 
senatorial regime. The withdrawal of the Cimbri toward 
Spain and the inactivity of the other barbarians gave 
Marius an opportunity to reorganize and train his forces, 
so that later, when the enemy sought to enter Italy at two 
different points, they were completely annihilated, the Teu- 
tones at Aquae Sextiae in 102, and the Cimbri the following 
year on the Raudine plain. 

89. Saturninus and the Conservative Reaction. The bril- 
liant successes which the novus homo Marius thus won in 
the Jugurthine and Cimbrian wars, following, as they did, on 
the disasters which the state had suffered under senatorial 
leadership, inflicted a severe blow on the prestige of the 
senate, and the democracy was quick to take advantage of 
the situation by allying itself directly with Marius. For 
the year 100 he was elected consul for the sixth time, 
and liberal assignments of land in Africa were made to 
his veterans in a measure introduced by the tribune 
Saturninus ; but the radical character of the agrarian bills 
which Saturninus brought forward in his second tribunate 
in 100, and the forcible means which he and the praetor 
Glaucia used to secure their passage, alienated a large part 
of the people, and drove even Marius over to the opposi- 
tion. In the reaction which followed, the laws of Satur- 
ninus were repealed, and an attempt was made to check 
hasty legislation in the comitia in the future by the lex 
Caedlia Didia of the year 98, which provided that a bill 
should be published seventeen days before it could be sub- 
mitted to the people for action (cf. p. 254). This measure 
also forbade the inclusion of different matters in the same 


90. Drusus and the Italians. It is a strange illustration 
of the irony of fate that M. Livius Drusus, the son of the 
conservative whose clever manoeuvres had brought political 
disaster and death to the younger Gracchus when he tried 
to ameliorate the political condition of the Italians, should 
have been the man who revived the movement to relieve 
the Italians, thereby losing his life. The ultimate political 
aim of the younger Drusus, however, differed essentially 
from that of his predecessor. C. Gracchus had tried to 
overthrow the senate by combining all the other forces in 
the state against it. Drusus, on the other hand, sought to 
strengthen the conservative position by removing the prin- 
cipal causes of discontent, not only in Rome but in all 
Italy. He sought to conciliate the poor by an agrarian law 
and a corn law. He tried to reconcile the senate and the 
knights by a measure which made both senators and equites 
eligible for jury duty, and finally he promised citizenship 
to the discontented Italian allies. But the selfishness of 
all the parties concerned brought his efforts to naught. 
Despairing of the support of the senate, he submitted 
directly to the popular assembly a bill with clauses embody- 
ing his plans with reference to the distribution of grain, the 
assignment of land, and the composition of the juries. The 
measure was passed in spite of violent opposition, but his 
subsequent proposal to give citizenship to the allies alien- 
ated the people, who were unwilling to share their privileges 
with others, and Drusus became a victim of popular passion, 
as C. Gracchus had been. The senate had by this time 
mustered courage enough to declare that the laws already 
passed were in contravention of the lex Caecilia Didia, and 
therefore invalid. 

91. The Social War. The bill which Drusus submitted 
in the year 9 1 was the last of many attempts to better the 


condition of the Italians by conservative methods. When, 
like its predecessors, it resulted in failure and was followed 
by severe repressive measures directed against them, the 
discontent of the Italians broke out into an open revolt, in 
which all except the Latins and the aristocratic states of 
Umbria and Etruria joined. The loosely organized con- 
federacy which they formed had its capital at Corfinium, 
and imitated the Roman system in having a senate with 
five hundred members, two consuls, to represent respec- 
tively the Oscan and Latin speaking peoples, and twelve 
praetors. The Italians were as good soldiers as the 
Romans; they found able leaders, and they were better 
prepared for war than the Romans. Consequently, the 
advantage in the early part of the war, which began in 90, 
rested with them, and when the Umbrians and Etruscans 
showed signs of joining the confederacy Rome thought it 
wise to make concessions. Within a year after the out- 
break of the war the consul L. Julius Caesar secured the 
passage of a law granting citizenship to the allies who had 
remained loyal, and in the early part of the next year, 89, 
on the proposal of the tribunes M. Plautius Silvanus and 
C. Papirius Carbo, the lex Plautia Papiria was passed, pro- 
viding that Roman citizenship should be given to the citi- 
zens of allied states who should register their names with 
a Roman praetor inside of sixty days. The lex Pompeia of 
the same year gave Latin rights to the Transpadanes. The 
newly made citizens were, however, assigned to eight tribes, 
and this fact limited their influence. These concessions 
placated a majority of the Italians, and the smouldering 
embers of revolt among the Bruttii, in Samnium, and in 
Lucania were stamped out in the following year. 

92. Sulla and the Mithridatic War. The state of affairs 
in the East was the immediate cause of the next trial of 


strength between the two parties at Rome. The Romans 
had been so engrossed with affairs in Italy that they had 
not heeded the rapid development of a new power in the 
Orient. For twenty years or more Mithridates Eupator, 
the king of Pontus, had extended his power without serious 
hindrance in Asia Minor and along the north shore of the 
Euxine. At last he came into conflict with the Romans in 
Bithynia, and war broke out in 88. The Roman forces 
in the East proved to be no match for Mithridates, and the 
conduct of the campaign was intrusted to one of the con- 
suls, L. Cornelius Sulla, who had distinguished himself in 
the Social war and had some knowledge of the Eastern 

93. Sulla, Marius, and Cinna. Marius, however, coveted 
the position and formed a compact with the tribune P. 
Sulpicius Rufus, as he had earlier with Saturninus. Under 
the leadership of Sulpicius laws were passed giving the 
Italians access to all the tribes and assigning the command 
of the forces acting against Mithridates to Marius. Sulla, 
who had not yet left Italy, returned with his army ; Marius 
fled, and the laws of Sulpicius were repealed. The power 
of the tribune to do mischief was curtailed by a law which 
made the preliminary approval of the senate necessary 
before the concilium plebis could act upon a measure, and 
probably the Servian organization of the comitia centiiriata 
was restored. Then Sulla set out for the East, leaving as 
consuls for 87 the aristocrat Cn. Octavius and the demo- 
cratic leader L. Cornelius Cinna. Dissensions sprang up 
between them at once. Cinna was driven out of Rome by 
Octavius, but, with the assistance of Marius and his vet- 
erans, he returned and made himself master of the city. 
The democratic party was at last installed in power, but 
the record which it made was not one to be proud of. Its 


leaders not only violated well-established traditions, as, 
for instance, in admitting young Marius to the consul- 
ship before he had reached his twentieth year, but they 
also transgressed the essential principles of democracy in 
advancing men to the magistracies without waiting for a 
formal election and in substituting magisterial edicts for 
popular legislation. Furthermore, they had no comprehen- 
sive political programme. Sulla concluded a peace with 
Mithridates in 85. In the spring of 83 he landed in Italy 
with his troops, and in the autumn of 82 overcoming all 
resistance captured the city. 

94. The Legislation of Sulla with reference to the Senate. 
Sulla had himself made dictator for an indefinite period 
with the express purpose of reforming the constitution. His 
tendencies were naturally conservative, and these had been 
strengthened by his observation of the results which had 
followed the democratic government of Marius and Cinna. 
It is not strange, therefore, that his legislation bore a 
marked reactionary character. ' His primary purpose, in 
so far as the home government was concerned, was to 
strengthen the oligarchy, and especially the senate as the 
official representative of that element in the community. 
To increase its power as a law-making body, he reaffirmed 
the principle that the preliminary approval of the senate 
was necessary before a measure could be submitted to the 
plebeian tribal assembly. This change robbed the tribune of 
his power of initiating legislation and diminished the impor- 
tance of the senate's greatest legislative rival. He lessened 
the influence of individual magistrates by increasing mate- 
rially the number of praetors and quaestors and by encour- 
aging a system of dependence on the senate. Thereby the 
importance of the senate as an administrative body was 
correspondingly increased. The same change released it 


also from the control of the censor. The number of magis- 
trates was henceforth large enough to fill the senate, and 
the censor no longer drew up the list of senators. Senators 
were substituted for knights on the juries, and, since the 
number and competence of the courts were greatly increased 
(cf. p. 1 06), the judicial duties of the senators became very 

95. The Magistracies. To protect the oligarchy against 
the preeminence of any one man, Sulla secured a reaffirma- 
tion of the principle that no one could be reflected to an 
ofrice until an interval of ten years had elapsed, and estab- 
lished definitely the cursus honorum. The number of prae- 
tors was increased to eight, and the number of quaestors 
to twenty. This made the administration of the duties of 
these offices more efficient, but at the same time decreased 
their dignity. In the early period it had been customary 
for magistrates to command the armies of the state during 
their year of office. From this time on they were rarely 
sent to a foreign post until their term of office had expired ; 
that is, they became purely civil magistrates during their 
first year of office, and provincial governors the second 
year. In this way the promagisterial system was defi- 
nitely instituted, although perhaps Sulla did not originate 
it. It is possible that a practice already followed in many 
cases was made the regular method of procedure after this 
time. The importance of the tribunate he lessened by 
taking from its incumbent the right to initiate legislation 
(cf. p. 104), and still more effectively by providing that 
an ex-tribune should be ineligible to any other office in the 
state ; that is, a citizen by accepting the tribunate lost all 
chance of further political advancement. 

96. The Courts. In originality, permanence, and prac- 
tical value Sulla's reform of the judicial system was perhaps 


of more importance than any other change made by him. 
He reorganized the juries, increased the number of perma- 
nent courts, and extended the judicial system so as to include 
many new classes of cases. Since the time of C. Gracchus 
the juries had been composed exclusively of knights, and, 
while the quaestio de repetundis, in view of its constitution, 
had exercised a restraining influence on the rapacity of 
senatorial governors, it had frequently been used by the 
equites to punish upright governors who had checked the 
extortionate practices of the financial representatives of 
the knights in the provinces. The Gracchan change in 
the composition of the juries had been made on purely 
political grounds. It substituted one bad method for 
another. When Sulla restored the old practice by putting 
senators on the juries in place of the knights, he also was 
actuated by political motives, and the judicial system 
in this respect was in as bad a plight as it had been 
before. Justice could hardly be hoped for when one 
member of a closely knit political and social organization 
was tried before a jury made up of other members of the 
same body. In 149, as we have already noticed, a perma- 
nent court, the quaestio (perpetea) de repetundis, had been 
established for the trial of magistrates who were charged 
with accepting bribes or otherwise unlawfully using offi- 
cial positions for their own advantage. Somewhat later 
another standing court had been established, the quaeslio 
de sicariis et veneficis, to take cognizance of attempts on 
the life of citizens. Following these precedents, Sulla pro- 
vided for criminal courts to inquire into serious attacks on 
popular freedom, or into conduct prejudicial to the interests 
of the state (de maiestate), forgery (de false), the use of 
unlawful means by candidates for office (de ambitu), and 
embezzlement of public funds (de peculate). By the increase 


of the number of praetors to eight, presiding judges were 
provided for these courts, and their establishment practi- 
cally brought to an end the criminal jurisdiction of the 
comitia. Henceforth justice was dispensed in a speedier, 
simpler, and surer way than had been possible before a 
popular assembly. This change also involved differentia- 
tion and classification of criminal offenses, and furnished a 
scientific basis for the development of a complete criminal 

97. The Priesthoods. In early times new members of 
the colleges of priests were chosen by cooptation, and this 
plan was followed up to the year 104. After that time, 
under the operation of the lex Domitia, new members 
of the more important colleges were elected in a partial 
assembly of the tribes. Sulla restored the earlier method 
of selection, but in 63 the lex Domitia was put in force 

98. Pompey and the War with Sertorius. In 79 Sulla 
resigned the dictatorship and retired into private life. He 
thought that he had established the oligarchy firmly and 
that he had guarded it at every point, but his own career 
indicated a fatal weakness in the conservative position. 
The army was henceforth arbiter of the fortunes of the 
state. In fact, within ten years after Sulla's death, two 
of his own lieutenants, Pompey and Crassus, used the 
prestige which successful campaigns brought them to undo 
a great part of his work. Pompey 's success was achieved 
in Spain ; that of Crassus in Italy itself. During the 
ascendency of the democratic party in Rome the Marian 
leader, Q. Sertorius, had been sent out as governor of 
Nearer Spain, and by his personal qualities, and his ability 
as a political and military leader, he had succeeded in 
defeating the various leaders of the senatorial party, and 


in making himself master of the greater part of the penin- 
sula. He even formed an alliance with Mithridates, and 
there seemed to be a possibility of his crossing to Italy 
and putting the Marian party in power again. This was 
the situation which forced the senate in 77 to give the 
title of proconsul to Pompey, and send him out to Spain 
with 40,000 troops, although he had not yet held even 
the quaestorship. The war went on with varying success 
for several years, but the reinforcements which Pompey 
received from Italy and the treachery of the followers of 
Sertorius at last turned the tide of battle in Pompey's 
favor, and in 71 he was able to return victorious to Italy. 

99. Crassus and the Slave War. Just as Pompey was 
bringing the war in Spain to an end, Crassus was commis- 
sioned to take charge of the campaign against the slaves in 
southern Italy. The escape of a few gladiators from Capua 
in 73 seemed an insignificant event ; but when in a few 
months their number had increased to 70,000, and they had 
defeated the praetors Clodius and Varinius, the Romans 
were thoroughly frightened. In 72 both consuls took the 
field, but were also defeated. The destruction of this dan- 
gerous force in the following year by the praetor Crassus, in 
a brilliant campaign of only six months, was, therefore, an 
achievement which might well win for him the gratitude 
and admiration of the Roman people. 

100. Pompey, Crassus, and the Democracy. Both Pompey 
and Crassus now returned to Rome to secure an election to 
the consulship for 70 as a reward for their services in the 
field. They found the democratic party fiercely attacking 
the reactionary constitution of Sulla. In fact, as early as 
78 the democratic leader Lepidus had tried as consul to 
annul some of its provisions. That party now agreed to 
elect Pompey and Crassus to the consulship in return for 


the repeal of the most obnoxious Sullan laws ; and, thanks to 
its support and to the presence of troops outside the gates, 
their candidacy was successful. The new consuls loyally 
carried out their part of the compact by removing the 
restrictions placed on the tribunate, by providing that the 
juries should be composed of senators, knights, and tribuni 
aerarii, and by restoring the censorship with the right to 
pass on the qualifications of senators. 

101. The Gabinian and Manilian Laws. For several 
years the Cilician pirates had threatened the safety of the 
coast towns, and had seriously interfered with commerce 
in the Mediterranean and with the transportation of grain 
to Rome. To meet the popular demand for a vigorous 
policy, and to gratify Pompey's ambition for an important 
command, A. Gabinius, a tribune, proposed in 67 that the 
forces acting against the pirates should be put in charge 
of one man, with absolute power extending to a distance of 
fifty miles from the coast. The bill was carried in spite of 
the opposition of the conservatives to the extra-constitu- 
tional provisions which it contained, and in a second meas- 
ure Pompey was named as commander. The war with the 
pirates had scarcely been brought to a successful conclusion, 
when the recall of Lucullus from the East, and the incom- 
petency of his successor, M'. Acilius Glabrio, gave Pompey's 
adherents an opportunity to pass the Manilian law, which 
conferred on him the conduct of the war against Mithridates. 
The command which he assumed under this law removed 
Pompey from all direct participation in politics up to the 
close of the year 62. 

102. The Conspiracy of Catiline. It is within this period 
that the Catilinarian conspiracy falls. Looking at the polit- 
ical side of the movement, at the outset it seems to have had 
for its object the improvement of the condition of certain 


classes in Rome and throughout Italy by constitutional, 
or at least by peaceful, methods. The repeated disappoint- 
ments which its leaders met in the years 66-64 led to the 
formation of a secret conspiracy, ready to use any means 
whatsoever for the accomplishment of its purpose. At this 
point the timid, the judicious, and in large measure the 
respectable, supporters of the movement fell away, and its 
further development was left in the hands of moral and 
financial bankrupts or of honest fanatics and adventurers. 
So, for instance, Caesar and Crassus supported Catiline and 
his sympathizers at the outset, just as they supported every 
promising attack on the oligarchy ; but as the incompetency 
of the Catilinarian leaders became apparent, and their plans 
assumed a violent character, they withdrew from a venture 
which was sure to fail and to wreck the fortunes of those 
concerned. The Catilinarian movement is similar in its 
inception, in its development, in the character of its sup- 
porters, and in its methods, to the other uprisings of the 
party of discontent during the first century, for instance, 
to those under Sulpicius in 88 and under Lepidus in 78. 
It may be worth while to illustrate this fact from the case 
of Lepidus, who, like Catiline, was an aristocrat, and had 
personal qualities remarkably similar to those of Catiline. 
Like Catiline he had been a follower of Sulla and had taken 
part in the Sullan proscriptions. Like Catiline he proposed 
radical and socialistic measures for the benefit of the honest 
and the dishonest poor. Both men found adherents in Rome 
among the bankrupt aristocrats, the poor freemen and 
freedmen, and the democrats, and among the discontented 
peasant proprietors in the country districts. In both cases 
the rallying point of the movement outside of Rome was 
Faesulae, a natural hotbed of agrarian agitation. The 
leaders in each case were ready, if necessary, to resort to 


riot and bloodshed. The plan of operations was the same 
in the case of both movements. The rural malcontents 
were to advance on Rome, and to be seconded by an upris- 
ing in the city. The only essential difference between the 
two movements lies in the fact that Lepidus at the head of 
his Italian force succeeded in reaching the gates of Rome, 
whereas Catiline's armed band was checked and destroyed 
before it came to the city. On the side of the senatorial 
party there was the same general alarm, hesitation, and 
incompetency shown in both cases. 

103. Political Effect of the Catilinarian Conspiracy. The 
revolutionary tendencies of the Catilinarian movement and 
its suppression inflicted a severe blow on the democratic 
party, because that party had evidently fallen into the hands 
of desperadoes. All the forces which stood for law and order 
were united against it, and Cicero might well pride himself 
on the fact that the union took place under his leadership. 
C. Gracchus had practically detached the knights from the 
conservative party by putting the juries in their hands, and 
the partisan way in which they conducted the trials of sen- 
atorial governors alienated the two factions still further. 
By depriving the knights of the privilege which they had 
enjoyed for almost fifty years, Sulla widened the breach 
between them and the senate. The bitterness existing 
between the two factions can hardly have been lessened by 
the hostility which the senate showed to the restoration of 
the knights to a place on the juries in 70. Furthermore, 
senatorial governors and the financial representatives of the 
knights were continually at odds in the provinces, and the 
equites were undoubtedly provoked at the opposition of 
the senate to the Gabinian law. Accordingly the harmo- 
nious action in 63 of these hitherto discordant elements 
was a political event of great importance. 


104. The First Triumvirate. The senate was, in fact, so 
elated by its success that, when Pompey returned from Asia, 
toward the close of 62, it failed to confirm his arrangements 
or to grant suitable rewards to his veterans, and he was 
powerless to force it to yield. The result was that when 
Caesar returned from the propraetorship of Spain at the close 
of the year 6 1 , he found it easy to make a private arrange- 
ment with Pompey to their mutual advantage. Crassus, 
too, with whom Caesar was already on good terms, 'was 
induced to cast in his lot with them, and a private compact, 
commonly known as the first triumvirate, was formed be- 
tween the three men. In the bargain it was stipulated 
that Pompey's arrangements in Asia should be ratified, 
that land should be assigned to his veterans, that Caesar 
should have the consulship in 59 and a term of five years 
as governor in Gaul, while to Crassus a future consulship 
was promised and probably a place on the Pompeian land 
commission, or else certain tax concessions. 

105. Caesar's First Consulship. The triumvirs carried 
out the first item in their programme by electing Caesar to 
the consulship for 59, but Bibulus, an extreme aristocrat, was 
his colleague. The senate rejected the agrarian measure 
which he proposed for Pompey's benefit, but he secured its 
passage in a more rac(ical form in the comitia, overcoming 
by violent means the obstacles which his colleague threw in 
his way. Pompey's course in the East was approved, and 
on the proposal of the tribune P. Vatinius a bill was passed 
assigning to Caesar, for five years, from March i, 59, the 
provinces of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, with an army of 
three legions, to which the senate, apparently of its own 
motion, added Transalpine Gaul and a fourth legion, but 
probably not for a fixed period. It is worth while to notice 
that Caesar's governorship in Gaul began during his term of 



office as consul. Perhaps this enabled him to make certain 
arrangements for his province which could not otherwise 
have been made. 

1 06. Humiliation of the Senate. Caesar did not care to 
go to his province at the end of his consulship and leave 
affairs in Rome in the hands of two such unskilful political 
leaders as Pompey and Crassus, until he had crushed the 
spirit of the senate and deprived it of its most dangerous 
leaders, Cato and Cicero. Cato was accordingly sent to 
Cyprus on a mission which would take him from Rome, 
and which seemed pretty sure to ruin his reputation, while 
Clodius, an ex-patrician, who was very bitter against Cicero, 
was allowed to become tribune for 58. Clodius prepared 
the way for his attack on Cicero by securing the passage 
of popular measures, which provided that grain should be 
given gratis to the poor, that an announcement of unfa- 
vorable auspices should not interfere with the meetings 
of the concilium plebis, and that certain clubs of a semi- 
political character should no longer be unlawful. Then he 
carried through two bills banishing Cicero on the ground 
that he had put the Catilinarian conspirators to death 
without granting them an appeal to the people. 

107. Renewal of the Triumvirate. But Pompey and 
Crassus showed themselves incapable of managing affairs at 
Rome. Clodius terrorized the city with his armed bands, 
and gratuitously affronted Pompey to such an extent that 
he forced him to make common cause with the sena- 
torial party to the extent of securing Cicero's recall in the 
autumn of 57. Cicero's recall was a triumph for the opti- 
mates. The political incapacity of Pompey and rumors of 
disagreement between the triumvirs encouraged them still 
more, so that in April of the year 56 the senate took under 
consideration a proposition to repeal the Campanian land-law 


of 59. This action, which was directed against both Caesar 
and Pompey, brought about an immediate renewal of the 
compact between them and Crassus, and in accordance 
with its terms Pompey and Crassus were elected to the 
consulship for the following year, and, during their term of 
office, secured the passage of laws assigning Spain to Pompey, 
and Syria to Crassus, for five years, and prolonging Caesar's 
proconsulship for the same period. Crassus set out for the 
East toward the close of the year, but Pompey remained in 

1 08. Estrangement of Pompey and Caesar. The violence 
and disorder, with their accompaniment of bribery and 
political intrigue, which prevailed almost uninterruptedly 
from midsummer of the year 54, reached its climax in 
January, 52, in a riotous contest between the followers of 
Clodius and Milo which resulted in the death of the demo- 
cratic leader Clodius, and, as a last resort, Pompey was 
elected sole consul in the intercalary month of this year. 
This sudden elevation to extraordinary power completed 
the separation of Pompey and Caesar. Pompey thought 
himself at last in a position to crush the rival, who alone, 
since the death of Crassus in the East, stood between him 
and the realization of his hopes for supreme power. 

109. The Question at Issue between Caesar and the Senate. 
After assuming office Pompey secured the passage of laws 
imposing heavier penalties for bribery and violence, and 
prolonging his proconsulship of Spain for five years, also of 
a lex de iure magistratuum, providing that candidates for 
office must appear in person a certain number of days 
before the election, and that those who had held office in 
Rome must wait five years before taking the government 
of a province. Caesar, however, was exempted from the 
operation of the first clause of the lex de iure magistratuum 


by a special measure, and also by a provision unconstitu- 
tionally appended to the law itself, as an afterthought, by 
Pompey. By a lex Pompeia Licinia of 55, as we have 
already noticed, Caesar's term of office was extended for a 
period of five years probably, therefore, to March 1,49 
and special legislation of the year 5 2 in his favor had allowed 
him to sue for the consulship in 49, without personally 
attending the canvass. His successor in the provinces 
would not naturally begin his term of office until January i, 
48, and, in accordance with the regular practice in such 
cases, Caesar might count on holding his provinces until 
that time, when he would pass directly from the provincial 
government to the consulship at Rome, thus avoiding the 
snares which his enemies would otherwise have set for him. 
As early as April of the year 51, however, the senate began 
to discuss his immediate recall ; but the clever and per- 
sistent opposition of his representatives in that body, 
and the hesitation of Pompey, prevented matters from 
reaching a climax until, in December, 50, the consul 
M. Marcellus, a bitter opponent of Caesar, went to Naples, 
and on his own motion requested Pompey to take charge 
of the legions near Luceria and defend the state. This 
overt act hastened the course of events. When the senate 
met, January i, 49, Curio, Caesar's agent, presented a formal 
ultimatum. Caesar's proposals were not accepted, and a 
resolution was passed declaring that he would be acting 
adversus rent publicam if he did not give up his army 
by July i, 49, while on January 7 the senatus consultum 
ultimum was passed. Thereupon the tribunes Antonius 
and Cassius, as well as Caesar's representatives, Curio and 
Caelius, set out for his camp at Ravenna. As soon as he 
had learned of the action of the senate, Caesar crossed 
the Rubicon into Italy and marched toward Rome. On 


January 14 the senate passed the decretum tumultus, but 
the news of Caesar's rapid advance forced Pompey, the 
consuls, and senators to leave the city, and even the forms 
of civil government were given up. 

no. The Conquest of the East. Some of the wars which 
fall within the years under consideration in this chapter have 
already been mentioned. Two great military achievements' 
of this period, however, the conquest of the East and the 
extension of Roman power to the west, call for separate 
consideration. For sixty years after the defeat of Antiochus 
at Magnesia (p. 85) the Romans took little active interest 
in Asiatic politics, but when in 133 Attalus III, king of 
Pergamum, bequeathed to them his territory, including 
Ionia, Caria, Lydia, and Mysia, and the new province of 
Asia was thus established, the possibilities in the East 
appealed strongly to their political and commercial ambi- 
tion. The weakness of the various Asiatic powers, and the 
internal dissensions which prevailed in many states seemed 
to hold out to the Romans the promise of an easy exten- 
sion of territory, but the rapid development of a new power 
on the southeastern shore of the Euxine seriously imperiled 
their prospects. 

in. The First Mithridatic War. In 121 Mithridates 
Eupator succeeded his father on the throne of Pontus. 
Seven years later he threw off the tutelage of his mother 
Laodice and entered on a career of conquest, for which 
his personal qualities and his skill as a soldier and a diplo- 
mat eminently fitted him. In rapid succession he brought 
under his control almost all the territory along the north 
shore of the Euxine, Colchis and Armenia Minor, and 
made alliances with the Scythians, Thracians, and Bastarnae. 
Then he turned his attention to Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, 
Galatia, and Bithynia. The Romans opposed his designs in 


Cappadocia and Bithynia, and even induced Nicomedes III 
of Bithynia to invade the territory of Mithridates, where- 
upon Mithridates declared war against Rome. He rapidly 
overran Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Asia, instigated an in- 
discriminate slaughter of Italians in the Greek cities of 
Asia, and then sent his general, Archelaus, through Thrace 
into Macedonia. A fleet was also dispatched across the 
Aegean sea. All Greece, except Aetolia and Thessaly, was 
quickly subdued, but Sulla's arrival in Greece at the head 
of five legions quickly changed the aspect of affairs. His 
victories in 86 at Chaeronea and Orchomenus brought the 
war in Greece to an end, and his quaestor, L. Licinius 
Lucullus, collected a fleet and freed the islands in the Aegean 
the following year. These disasters, followed by disaffection 
in Asia Minor, induced Mithridates to sue for a peace which 
Sulla's eagerness to return to Italy to instal his party in 
power again made him ready to accept. By the terms of 
the treaty which was finally arranged at Dardanus in 85, 
Mithridates agreed to give up the acquisitions which he had 
made since the beginning of the war, viz., Cappadocia, Paph- 
lagonia, Galatia, Bithynia, and Asia, to pay a war indemnity 
of 2000 talents, and to surrender seventy ships. 

112. The Second and Third Mithridatic Wars. The peace 
at Dardanus proved to be little more than a truce. Two 
years after its conclusion hostilities were resumed between 
Mithridates and L. Licinius Murena, Sulla's successor in 
Asia, and, when Nicomedes III of Bithynia died in 75, 
bequeathing his kingdom to the Roman people, Mithridates, 
who claimed Bithynia, invaded the territory of that state 
without hesitation, and war broke out again. On the 
Roman side, the provinces of Cilicia and Asia and the 
conduct of the campaign were intrusted to L. Licinius 
Lucullus, the consul for 74, while Bithynia with command 


of the fleet was given to his colleague, M. Aurelius Cotta. 
Mithridates easily defeated Cotta near Chalcedon, destroyed 
the Roman fleet, and then laid siege to Cyzicus. But 
before the city could be taken Lucullus came to its relief, 
and Mithridates, after losing many of his troops from 1 famine 
and disease, was forced to raise the siege and withdraw into 
Pontus. The rapid advance of Lucullus compelled him to 
retire from Pontus also, and to take refuge with his son-in- 
law, Tigranes, king of Armenia. Lucullus followed up the 
campaign with vigor, and, when Tigranes refused to give 
up his father-in-law, he entered Armenia, defeated him 
near Tigranocerta in 69, and in the following year gained a 
signal victory over the combined forces of Mithridates and 
Tigranes. But the enemies of Lucullus in Rome, notably 
the money-lenders and tax-gatherers, who had been embit- 
tered by the strictness with which he had checked their 
exorbitant demands in Asia, had for several years been 
urging his recall, and on the eve of his final triumph 
accomplished their purpose. He was recalled, and, by the 
Manilian law of 66, Pompey was sent out to succeed him 
as governor of the provinces of Bithynia and Cilicia, with 
exceptional powers as commander-in-chief of the forces 
in the East. The resources of Mithridates were already 
well-nigh exhausted, and the vigorous campaign of Pompey 
soon brought the war to an end. A crushing defeat was 
inflicted on Mithridates on the banks of the Euphrates in 
Lesser Armenia in 66, and, although the king himself 
escaped, he was never again able to offer any effective 
resistance to Roman arms. Three years later he com- 
mitted suicide. Tigranes, harassed by troubles at home, 
made his peace with Pompey. 

113. The Pirates in the Mediterranean. Before taking 
charge of the forces acting against Mithridates, Pompey had 


rendered a valuable service to Rome by ridding the Medi- 
terranean of the pirates who had infested it for many years. 
The number of these freebooters had been largely aug- 
mented by those who fled from Asia to escape the severe 
measures which Sulla adopted during his campaigns in the 
East, so that in a short time they were strong enough to 
terrorize the islands in the Aegean, plunder almost all the 
sanctuaries in Greece, and establish themselves securely in 
western Cilicia. P. Servilius Isauricus, who carried on a 
campaign against them from 78 to 74, and his successors, 
M. Antonius and Q. Caecilius Metellus, failed to accomplish 
permanent results, and the boldness of the pirates increased 
to such an extent that the grain supply of Rome and the 
safety of Italian coast towns were seriously threatened. The 
passage of the Gabinian law in 67 was, therefore, in response 
to the urgent popular demand for the complete suppression 
of piracy in the Mediterranean. This measure gave Pom- 
pey charge of the forces acting against the pirates for a 
period of three years, and supreme control of territory on 
the shores of the Mediterranean to a distance of fifty miles 
from the coast. In forty days he drove the pirates out of 
the western Mediterranean, and then captured their strong- 
holds in Cilicia. The mild policy which he adopted after 
their conquest, as well as the vigorous campaign which he 
had carried on against them, effectually removed this menace 
to Roman commerce. 

114. The Empire in the East. In fact, the wisdom which 
Pompey showed in his dealings with the conquered peoples 
of the East and the thoroughness of his work of reorgani- 
zation are as remarkable as his successes in the field. Not 
only did his conquests extend Roman power to the Euphra- 
tes, but the administrative arrangements which he made 
secured permanent quiet throughout the newly acquired 


territory. Roman authority was henceforth recognized 
in all parts of Asia Minor and Syria. The provincial status 
of Asia had been finally fixed in 129. To Bithynia, which 
Nicomedes III bequeathed to the Roman people in 74, 
Pompey added western Pontus in 65. Cilicia, which was 
made a province in 102, included after 64 Cilicia Campes- 
tris, Cilicia Aspera, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Isauria, Lycaonia, 
and a part of Phrygia. In Syria, which he made a province 
in 64, Pompey established various free cities and principal- 
ities under the Roman protectorate, wisely leaving time to 
bring about that unity in administration which tradition 
and existing political subdivisions made well-nigh impos- 
sible at the moment. Cappadocia and Galatia were allowed 
to retain a nominal independence under the suzerainty of 
Rome. The ill-starred expedition of Crassus in 53 made 
no change in the arrangements of Pompey, since the Par- 
thians did not take advantage of their success to invade 
the territory of Rome. 

115. The Conquest of Gaul. Caesar's achievements in 
the West between 58 and the outbreak of the Civil war in 
49 were as noteworthy as those of Pompey in the East. 
When he went north in the spring of 58 to take charge of 
his three provinces, Cisalpine Gaul, Illyricum, and Trans- 
alpine Gaul, he found two very serious questions facing 
him. For nearly three years the Helvetii had been prepar- 
ing to leave their old home and migrate westward into 
Gaul. In the early part of 58 their arrangements were 
complete, and the migration began. They had intended 
to go through the Roman province, but by a rapid march 
northward Caesar closed this route, forced them to pass 
through the territory of the Sequani, ultimately inflicted a 
crushing defeat on them near Bibracte, and forced the 
remainder of the great host to return to its own country. 


The other immediate danger threatening Rome and her 
allies resulted from the ambitious projects of the Germans. 
In 72 they had been invited by the Sequani to cross the 
Rhine and assist them against their old enemies, the Aedui. 
The invitation was accepted. But the coming of the 
Germans proved to be more of a disaster to the Sequani 
than to the Aedui, since a large number of them settled in 
the territory of the Sequani and more were planning to 
follow. The entreaties of the Aedui and the proximity of 
the Germans to Farther Gaul induced Caesar to advance 
against the German king Ariovistus. In a sharp, decisive 
campaign Ariovistus was defeated and driven back across 
the Rhine. The campaign of 57 was directed against the 
Belgae, who were so irritated and alarmed by the presence 
of Roman troops near their frontier that they declared war 
and began to mass their forces to oppose the Romans. 
The Nervii were the only Belgic tribe which made a serious 
resistance to his progress, however, and they were subdued 
before autumn, and the entire territory of Belgic Gaul recog- 
nized the authority of Rome. In the year 5 6 Caesar built 
a fleet, reduced the Veneti at the mouth of the Loire, 
and subdued the Morini and the Menapii on the North 
sea, while his lieutenant, P. Crassus, received the submission 
of the Aquitani. The next two years were signalized by 
two enterprises more suggestive and dramatic in their 
character than of immediate practical value. In 55, after 
driving out two German tribes, the Usipetes and Tencteri, 
who had come over to the left bank of the river, the Roman 
army crossed the Rhine for the first time, to deepen the 
impression already made on the Germans, while in the 
same year an armed reconnaissance was made into Britain. 
Neither this expedition into Britain, nor the more carefully 
planned one of the following year, produced results of value. 


Toward the close of the year the revolt of the Treveri, 
Eburones, and Nervii inflicted serious loss on the Romans, 
and for a time put Q. Cicero, the brother of the orator, in 
great peril ; but before the close of the year the insurrection 
was quelled for the moment. In 53, however, trouble broke 
out afresh in the same quarter, and the entire summer was 
needed to restore order again. Report of a general uprising 
in the central and southern sections of Gaul obliged Caesar 
to hurry back from Italy across the Alps in the winter of 
53-2. He found that the leaders in the movement were 
the Arverni and Carnutes, who had united under the 
Arvernian chief Vercingetorix. The attempt of the Gallic 
forces to prevent Caesar from reaching his army failed, and 
Vercingetorix was obliged to retire to Alesia and ultimately 
to surrender, notwithstanding the vigorous efforts made by 
the Gallic troops, which came to his relief, to force Caesar 
to withdraw. After the fall of Alesia, Caesar encountered 
no more serious resistance during his term of office as gov- 
ernor. Roman authority was now recognized in Belgica, 
Gallia Narbonensis, and in the districts known later as 
Aquitania and Gallia Lugdunensis. The outbreak of the 
Civil war, and the shortness of the interval between its 
conclusion and his death, prevented Caesar from properly 
organizing the newly acquired territory ; but the character 
and the wisdom of his plans are evident from the fact that 
he granted Roman citizenship to the Transpadane Gauls in 
49, gave Latin rights to many other communities, and that 
between 46 and the date of his death he sent out five new 
colonies to points in Gaul. Everywhere, too, he sought by 
his policy of moderation to avoid a clash between the old 
national spirit and traditions and the new civilization. 

116. The Condition of the Provinces. The form of gov- 
ernment which Rome gave to her provinces has already 


been discussed (pp. 88 ff.), but the condition in which they 
really were was far different from that which an examination 
of leges provinciarum would lead us to expect. The Roman 
government and the Roman people looked at a province 
solely as a possible source of profit to the state and the 
individual. Care was taken, therefore, to develop the 
material resources by improving methods of cultivation 
and by promoting trade and building roads ; but the wel- 
fare of the provincial was not a matter of concern, except 
in so far as his prosperity helped to fill the pockets of gov- 
ernment officials, of the publicani, and of the negotiators. 
The former were, indeed, forbidden by the lex provinciae to 
receive presents, engage in trade, or accept favors, but the 
possibilities were so great, and the needs of the average 
Roman official so pressing, that few of them resisted the 
temptation. A special court had been established in Rome 
for the trial of such offenders, it is true, but the provincials 
found it almost impossible to secure a conviction. As for 
the publicani, the Roman system of tax farming practically 
put a premium on extortion, and the moneyed interests 
at Rome behind the tax-gatherers effectually checked any 
attempts which a merciful governor might make to protect 
the provincials, as Lucullus found to his cost. The same 
may be said of the negotiators, who had come into posses- 
sion of almost all the landed property and the commercial 
interests in the provinces, and exacted from needy individ- 
uals and communities interest amounting in some cases, as 
we learn from Cicero's correspondence, to 48 per cent. 

117. General Political Results. The conquests of Pompey 
and Caesar, which had brought within the sphere of Roman 
influence the entire Mediterranean coast with the exception 
of Egypt and Mauretania, and had extended the Roman 
frontier to the Euphrates on the east and the Rhine on the 


north, could not fail to exert a reflex influence on Italy 
itself. The economic and political changes among the 
masses, to which earlier extensions of Roman territory had 
given rise (pp. 77-80), were accelerated by the conquests 
made between 66 and 49. Furthermore, the general 
machinery of government had broken down under the 
strain put upon it by the policy of imperialism. All the 
great achievements of Caesar and Pompey required a viola- 
tion of the oligarchic, or republican, tradition. This is 
notably the case in the matter of the term of office, the 
special powers, and the great extent of territory granted to 
both men. The danger to the republican form of govern- 
ment which lay in the disappearance of the middle class, 
and in the preeminence of individuals, was aggravated by 
the change in the composition of the army and in its rela- 
tions to its chief. We have already had occasion to notice 
the transformation which had taken place in the attitude 
of the Roman soldier toward his leader (p. 64) as a result 
of long campaigns abroad. The new spirit of implicit 
obedience and personal allegiance which he had begun to 
show, became still stronger in the case of soldiers drawn 
from the provinces, as were many of Caesar's soldiers, for 
whom the civil traditions of Rome had no existence. An 
extended term of office in the provinces had put at the 
service of Caesar and Pompey resources greater than those 
which the state could command, and armies which recog- 
nized allegiance to their generals rather than to the Roman 
government. The issue, therefore, lay not between the 
state and one or the other of these great commanders, but 
between these leaders themselves. 



Livy, Epp. LVIII-CIX ; Plutarch, Lives of Ti. Gracchus, C. 
Gracchus, Marius, Sulla, Sertorius, Lucullus, Crassus, Pompey, 
Cicero, Caesar; Appian, Iberian, Numidian, Illyrian, Mithridatic, 
Civil Wars ; Dio Cassius, XXXV-XL; Zonaras, X. 1-8; Diodorus, 
XXXI V-XL; Velleius Paterculus, II. 2-49; Sallust, Histories (frag- 
ments), Jugurthine War, Conspiracy of Catiline ; Cicero, Letters, 
Orations' ; Asconius, Commentaries ; Caesar, Gallic War. 

Lex agraria Ti. Gracchi: Liv. Ep. LVIII ; Appian, B. C. I. 9; 
Veil. II. 2.3. Rogatio Fulvia de civitate sociis Italicis danda: Val. 
Max. IX. 5. i. Lex Sempronia f rumentaria : Liv. Ep. LX; Schol. 
Bob. ad Cic. pro Sest. pp. 300, 303, ed. Or. ; Cic. pro Sest. 103 ; de 
Off. II. 72. Leges Semproniae de provocatione : Cic. pro Rab. perd. 
12 ; in Cat. IV. 10; in Verr. ii. 5. 163 ; pro Cluent. 151 ; Cell. X. 3; 
Plut. C. Gracch. 4. Lex Sempronia iudiciaria : Liv. Ep. LX ; 
Appian, B. C. I. 22 ; Veil. II. 32. 3 ; Tac. Ann. XII. 60 ; Cic. in Verr. 
Act. I. 38. Lex Sempronia de provinciis consularibus : Cic. de Domo, 
24 ; Sail. lug. 27. Death of C. Gracchus : Liv. Ep. LXI. Outbreak 
of Jugurthine war: Sail. lug. 27 ff . ; Liv. Ep. LXIV. Defeat of 
Postumius: Liv. Ep. LXIV; Sail. lug. 38 f. Close of the Jugur- 
thine war: Liv. Ep. LX VI. Invasion of the Cimbri : Liv. Ep. 
LXIII; Tac. Germ. 37; Flor. III. 3. Defeat of Silanus : lAv.Ep. 
LXV. Defeat of Cassius: Liv. Ep. LXV; Caes. B. G. I. 7. 
Battle of Arausio: Liv. Ep. LXVII ; Orosius, V. 16; Sail. lug. 
114. Aquae Sextiae and Campi Raudii : Liv. Ep. LXVIII; Veil. 
II. 12. Lex Domitia de Sacerdotiis : Cic. De Leg. Agr. II. 16-18; 
Veil. II. 1 2. 3. Marius, consul for sixth time : Veil. II. 12. 6 ; Liv. Ep. 
LXIX. Lex Apuleia agraria: Appian, B. C. I. 29. Lex Apuleia 
frumentaria : A net. ad Her. I. 21. Lex Caecilia Didia : Schol. Bob. 
ad Cic. pro Sest. p. 310, ed. Or.; Cic. de Domo, 41. Condemnation 
of P. Rutilius Rufus : Liv. Ep. LXX ; Veil. II. 13. 2. Leges Liviae 
Drusi: Appian, B. C. I. 35 ; Veil. II. 13; Liv. Epp. LXX-LXXI. 
Social war: Liv. Epp. LXXII-LXXVI, LXXX ; Appian, B. C. I. 
39-53 ? Veil. II. 15 ff. Lex lulia : Cic. pro Balbo, 21 ; Cell. IV. 4 ; 
Appian, B. C. I. 49. Lex Plautia Papiria : Cic. pro Arch. 7 ; Schol. 
Bob. p. 353, ed. Or. Lex Pompeia : Ascon. in Cic. Pis. p. 3, ed. 
Or. Outbreak of first Mithridatic war : Liv. Epp. LXX VII- 
LXXVIII; Appian, Mith. 17 ff . ; Veil. II. 18. Chaeronea: 


Appian, Mith. 41 ff. ; Plut. Sulla, 15 ff . ; Eutr. V. 6. Orchomenus : 
Appian, Mith. 49-50; Plut. Sulla, 20-21; Eutr. V. 6. Peace of 
Dardanus : Plut. Sulla, 22 ; Appian, Mith. 54-8 ', Liv. ^/. LXXXIII; 
Veil. II. 23. Marius and Sulpicius : Liv. Ep. LXXVII ; Eutr. V. 
4; Plut. Sulla, 7-10; Mar. 34-5 5 Appian, B. C. I. 55-6 5 Vel1 - 
II. 18-19. Cinna and Marius : Liv. Epp. LXXIX-LXXX ; Veil. II. 
20 ff.; Plut. Mar. 41 ff.; Appian, B. C. I. 67 ff. Sulla's return: 
Liv. Epp. LXXXV-LXXXVIII ; Plut. Sulla, 27 ff. ; Appian, B. C. 

I. 79 ff . ; Veil. II. 24 ff. Sulla, dictator: Appian, B. C. I. 98; 
Plut. Sulla, 33 ; Liv. Ep. LXXXIX. Leges Corneliae de magistra- 
tibus: Appian, B. C. I. 100; Cic. Phil. XL 11 ; Tac. Ann. XI. 22; 
Caes. B. C. I. 32. 2. Lex Cornelia tribunicia: Appian, B. C. I. 100; 
Liv. Ep. LXXXIX; Cic. de Legg. III. 22; Caes. B. C. I. 5, 7. - 
Leges Corneliae iudiciariae : Veil. II. 32 ; Tac. Ann. XI. 22 ; Cic. 
in Pis. 50 ; pro Cluent. 148 ; in Verr. ii. i. 108 ; Tac. Ann. XII. 60 ; 

Rogatio Quinctia de abrogandis legibus Corneliis: Plut. Luc. 5. 

Lex Terentia Cassia frumentaria : Cic. in Verr. ii. 3. 163 ; ii. 5. 52. 
Sertorius murdered: Liv. Ep. XCVI ; Oros. V. 23. 13 ; Plut. Serf. 
25 ff . Spartacus defeated: Appian, B. C. I. 118 ff . ; Liv. Ep. 
XCVII; Eutr. VI. 7. Lex Pompeia tribunicia: Veil. 11.30; Cic. 
in Verr. Act. I. 43-5 ; de Legg. III. 22, 26. Lex Aurelia iudiciaria: 
Ascon. in Pis. p. 16 ; Schol. Bob. p. 229. 17. Outbreak of third 
Mithridatic war: Plut. Luc. 7; Appian, B. C. I. in. Relief of 
Cyzicus: Appian, Mith. 72 ff.; Plut. Luc. n. Invasion of Pontus : 
Appian, Mith. 82 ff. ; Plut. Luc. 19 ff. Tigranocerta : Plut. Luc. 
25 ff.; Appian, Mith. 84-5. Lex Gabinia : Cic. de Imp. Cn. Pomp. 
52 f. ; Dio, XXXVI. 6-19; Plut. Pomp. 25; Veil. II. 31. Lex 
Manilla : Cic. de Imp. Cn. Pomp. ; Dio, XXXVI. 25-6 ; Plut. Pomp. 
30; Veil. II. 33. Defeat of Mithridates : Dio, XXXVI. 29-33; 
Appian, Mith. 97-101. Catilinarian conspiracy: Sail. Coni. Cat.; 
Cic. Orationes in Cat: ; Dio, XXXVII. 29-42 ; Plut. Cic. 10-22. 
First triumvirate : Dio, XXXVII. 54-8; Appian, B. C. II. 9; Plut. 
Crass. 14; Pomp. 47; Caes. 13. Lex lulia agraria : Cic. ad Att. 

II. 18. 2; Suet. lul. 20; Veil. II. 44. Lex Vatinia de imperio 
Caesaris: Suet. lul. 22 ; Schol. Bob. in Vat. p. 317 ; Dio, XXXVIII. 
8. The Helvetii: Caes. B. G. I. 1-30. Ariovistus : Caes. B. G. 
I. 31-54. Belgae: Caes. B. G. II. Veneti: Caes. B. G. III. 
7-16. Aquitani: Caes. B. G. III. 20-27. Usipetes and Tencteri : 
Caes. B. G. IV. 1-15. Second British expedition: Caes. B. G. 
V. 2, 5-23. Nervii, etc.: Caes. B. G. VI. i-S. Vercingetorix : 


Caes. B. G. VII. Cicero's banishment : Veil. II. 45 ; Cic. de Domo, 
43-64 ; pro Plane. 86-90, 95-103. His recall : Dio, XXXIX. 6-1 1 ; 
Plut. Cic. 33; Cic. ad Att. IV. i. Renewal of triumvirate: Plut. 
Caes. 21 ; Pomp. 51 ; Appian, B. C. II. 17 ; Suet. lul. 24. Crassus 
killed: Dio. XL. 25-7; Plut. Crass. 28-31. Pompey, sole consul: 
Veil. II. 47; Dio, XL. 50. Lex de iure magistratuum : Suet. //. 
28; Cic. ad Att. VIII. 3. 3; Cic. Phil. II. 24. First overt act in 
civil war: Dio, XL. 64-6; Plut. Pomp. 58-9. Negotiations in 
senate : Caes. B. C. I. 1-6 ; Cic. ad Fam. XVI. 1 1. Caesar marches 
southward: Caes. B. C. I. 8 ff. ; Suet. ////. 32 ff. ; Appian, B. C. 
II. 35 ff. 


W. Drumann, Geschichte Roms, 6 Bde., Koenigsberg, 1834-44 

(Ikl. 1.2 Berlin, 1899). 
G. Long, The Decline of the Roman Republic, 5 vols. London, 

C. Neumann, Geschichte Roms wahrend des Verfalles der Repub- 

lik, 2 Bde. Breslau, 1881-4. 
K. W. Nitzsch, Die Gracchen, etc. Berlin, 1847. 
Ed. Meyer, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Gracchen. Halle, 


A. II. Beesly, The Gracchi, Marius and Sulla. New York, 1893. 
W. Strehl, M. Livius Drusus, Volkjftribun 91 v. Chr. Marburg, 


W. Forsyth, Life of M. Tullius Cicero, 2 vols. New York, 1863. 
\V. W. Fowler, Julius Caesar and the Foundation of the Roman 

Imperial System. New York, 1891. 
J. A. Froude, Caesar. London, 1886. 
Strachan-Davidson, Cicero and the Fall of the Roman Republic. 

New York, 1894. 
Erich Marcks, Die Ueberlieferung des Bundesgenossenkrieges 

91-89 V. Chr. Marburg, 1884. 

Th. Reinach, Mithridate Eupator, roi du Pont. Paris, 1890. 
Th. Lau, L. Cornelius Sulla. Hamburg, 1855. 
E. v. Stern, Catilina u. d. Parteikampfe in Rom d. Jahre 66-63 v. 

Chr. Dorpat, 1883. 
E. Beesly, Catiline, Clodius, and Tiberius. London, 1878. 

1 See also general bibliography on p. 22. 


Ch. Merivale, The Roman Triumvirates. New York, 1893. 

Th. Mommsen, Die Rechtsfrage zwischen Casar u. dem Senat. 

Breslau, 1857. 
O. E. Schmidt, Der Briefwechsel d. M. Tullius Cicero. Leipzig, 

H. Nissen, Der Ausbruch d. Biirgerkriegs 49 v. Chr., in von Sybel's 

Hist. Zeitschr. (N.F.) VIII. 409-445, and X. 48-105. 


118. The Period from 49 to 29 B.C. The external his- 
tory of the Roman Empire from the outbreak of the Civil 
war in January, 49, to the summer of 29, when Octavius 
returned to Rome from the battle of Actium, falls into two 
sharply marked periods. The dividing line is the assassina- 
tion of Caesar. From the point of view of constitutional 
development or change there is no such clear division. 
The same elements in society and in the state which sup- 
ported the Pompeian cause in the early part of the first 
period were in the main arrayed against Antony and the 
triumvirs in 43 and 42. Furthermore, the means which 
Julius Caesar adopted to hold the power in his hands served 
the purpose of the triumvirs so well that they did not find 
it necessary to make many changes in the governmental 
machinery. So far as the essential character of the gov- 
ernment is concerned, it makes little difference whether 
an autocrat holds the title of dictator, as Caesar did, or of 
triumvir, as in the case of Octavius. Consequently, from 
the standpoint of internal history the twenty years in 
question form a unit. Our interest in them consists largely 
in the fact that in this period the development of the 
Roman constitution along certain lines, which it had been 
following almost imperceptibly for several generations, is 
now evident and rapid, and that Rome begins to develop 
out of a city-state with widespread dependencies into the 
capital of a great empire. 



119. Campaigns in Italy, Spain, and Africa. Even if 
Pompey was intending to make a stand in Italy after the 
precipitate departure of the senate from Rome in January, 
49, as many of his party supposed, the rapidity of Caesar's 
march southward and Caesar's continued success forced 
him to change his plan at once, and on March 17, scarcely 
more than two months after Caesar entered Italy, the 
Pompeian troops hastily embarked for Epirus from the 
city of Brundisium, to which siege was already being laid. 
Pompey's departure from Italy was unfortunate from the 
political point of view, since it left the recognized seat of 
government and the machinery of the state in the hands 
of his opponent ; but on military grounds it was wise, 
for his name was a power in the East, while Caesar 
was unknown, and the postponement of the inevitable 
conflict gave him the time which he needed to collect 
and train his newly recruited forces to meet the veteran 
legions of his enemy. Caesar felt himself unprepared to 
follow Pompey at once, and, after a few weeks' stay in 
Italy, crossed over to Spain, which was held for Pompey 
by his three lieutenants, Petreius, Afranius, and Varro. 
Petreius and Afranius occupied a well-chosen position at 
Ilerda, and their forces were equal in number to those of 
Caesar; but by a clever move on his part they were cut 
off from their supplies and forced to surrender. Varro's 
submission soon followed, so that the Spanish campaign 
was brought to an end within a month and a half after 
Caesar's arrival in the peninsula. The expedition which 
his representative, C. Curio, conducted into Africa at 
the same time did not meet with a like success. The 
complete destruction of Curio's two legions of raw troops 
by King Juba, and his subsequent suicide, offset in some 
measure the Pompeian losses in Spain. 


120. The Campaign in Epirus. The breathing space 
which Caesar's campaign gave him Pompey used to great 
advantage in collecting troops and supplies. In the spring 
of 48 the army of 30,000 which he had brought over to 
Epirus had grown to nine legions, supported by a large 
body of auxiliaries and a strong fleet. To them Caesar 
could oppose the six legions with which he made a success- 
ful landing at Oricum in Epirus in November, 49, and the 
four legions which M. Antonius brought him in April of the 
following year by the way of Lissus. Caesar's legions were 
depleted by sickness and long campaigns, however, so that, 
although his troops were more experienced than those of 
Pompey, they were numerically far inferior to the opposing 
force. Caesar placed his army between Dyrrachium and 
Pompey's camp, and at once began offensive operations in 
the hope of shutting Pompey in ; but the Pompeian forces 
broke through his lines and inflicted upon him so severe 
a loss that later, when Caesar advanced into Thessaly, 
Pompey followed him and was induced by his over-confi- 
dent advisers to risk a battle at Pharsalus on August 9, 48. 
The battle resulted in a complete defeat for the Pompeians, 
and Pompey himself, who fled for safety to Egypt, was put 
to death by the orders of King Ptolemy as he was landing 
at Peltisium. 

121. Campaigns in Egypt, Asia Minor, and Africa. In 
the autumn of 48 Caesar followed Pompey to Egypt, 
but, on hearing of his death, occupied himself with the 
settlement of Egyptian affairs. Ptolemy Auletes, the late 
sovereign, had left the kingdom to his two oldest children, 
Ptolemy and Cleopatra, but Cleopatra had been dispossessed 
by her brother. Caesar's rather arrogant attempt to enforce 
an understanding aroused the anger of the Egyptians, and 
put him in such a perilous position that only the timely 


arrival of reinforcements under Mithridates of Pergamum 
saved his army from destruction. The settlement of politi- 
cal affairs and the charms of Cleopatra held him in Egypt 
until the late spring of 47, when the defeat in Armenia 
Minor of his lieutenant, Calvinus, and the rapid develop- 
ment of the ambitious projects of Pharnaces, the son of 
Mithridates Eupator, made his presence in the East neces- 
sary. Pharnaces sought delay, but Caesar forced an engage- 
ment at Zela, August 2, and completely defeated him. The 
disaffection among the troops in Italy who were being levied 
for a campaign in Africa led Caesar to return to Rome in 
September. The mutinous soldiers were soon brought 
under control by his personal influence, and in December 
he landed with them near Hadrumetum, defeated the 
Pompeians at Thapsus, April 6, 46, and captured Utica 
soon after, notwithstanding Cato's vigorous efforts to 
defend it. Juba was conquered' by the old Catilinarian 
leader, P. Sittius; his kingdom of Numidia was made a 
Roman province, and the Pompeian power in Africa was 
completely broken. 

122. Second Spanish Campaign. On his return to Rome 
in July he found time at last to put the government of 
Italy on a more secure basis, and to introduce some much- 
needed political and economic reforms. In the three 
years which had elapsed since the battle of Ilerda the 
Pompeian cause had made great headway in Spain. Their 
forces had lately been largely increased by the arrival 
of fugitives from Africa, and Caesar's representative, 
C. Trebonius, was no match for them. Caesar's plans for 
making comprehensive changes in the government of Italy 
were, therefore, cut short by the necessity of recovering 
the ground which had been lost in Spain. He left Rome 
in the early part of November for this purpose, and, 


although he found thirteen Pompeian legions opposed to 
the eight legions which he had brought with him, he boldly 
attacked the enemy at Munda, March 17, 45, and inflicted 
a crushing defeat upon them. 

123. Caesar's Assassination. After his return to the city 
Caesar occupied himself partly with various administrative 
reforms, but mainly in making preparations for a great 
expedition against the Parthians. His plans, however, 
were brought to a tragic end by his assassination on the 
Ides of March, 44. The conspirators were actuated by 
personal and by political motives. Many of them were 
jealous of Caesar, or dissatisfied with the recognition they 
had received from him. Many members of the senate 
(for about sixty senators took part in the conspiracy) were 
aggrieved at the loss of power and prestige which that 
body had suffered at his hands. Their smouldering dis- 
content was kindled into flame by the new. powers and 
honors conferred on Caesar in the early part of 44, and by 
the rumors, which were current, that he would be made 
king and would transfer the seat of government to Alex- 
andria. That the feeling of discontent, out of which the 
conspiracy sprung, was vague, and that the conspirators 
lacked a definite plan or purpose is plain from the sub- 
sequent course of events. 

124. Caesar's Policy. The work which Caesar had set 
himself to do after the battle of Pharsalus, and which was 
left unfinished at his death, was threefold. He wished to 
suppress within the Roman territory all armed resistance 
to a central authority, to establish in Rome a permanent 
government strong enough to carry out a positive policy in 
spite of all opposition, and finally to knit together all parts 
of the Roman Empire. We have already seen the steps 
which he took to accomplish the first-mentioned object. 


To carry out the rest of his plan it was essential that his 
control of all the functions of government should be undis- 
puted. In 44, after Caesar's death, the dictatorship which 
he had held for several years was characterized by Cicero 
as one quae iam vim regiae potestatis obsederat, and it is 
highly probable that during the last years of his life Caesar 
did take into his hands all those powers which in their 
natural development gave Augustus and his successors their 
exalted position. He secured his supremacy in the state 
partly by increasing his own power, partly by diminishing 
the influence of other factors in the government. He 
increased his own power directly by securing for himself 
important magistracies, often with special prerogatives. 
He accomplished the same object indirectly by controlling 
the nomination of candidates, by placing a large number of 
his own supporters in the senate, and by preventing hostile 
measures from being brought before the popular assemblies. 
125. His Offices and Titles. The sources of our informa- 
tion are not precise and detailed enough to enable us to 
determine the exact position which Caesar held in the 
state. His constitutional power seems to have depended 
largely, however, on the fact that he held the dictatorship, 
tribunate, and, perhaps alternately, the consulship and pro- 
consulship. Shortly after his first victory in Spain he was 
nominated dictator by the praetor, M. Lepidus, under a 
special law authorizing the establishment of that magistracy. 
This position he held for a few days only, but in the 
autumn of 48 he was again chosen to the same office, 
apparently for an undefined period. In 46, after the 
battle of Thapsus, he received the dictatorship for ten 
years, and in 44 for life. Caesar's position as dictator was 
probably like that of Sulla, and, therefore, differed in two 
important particulars from the traditional magistracy. His 


functions covered a wider field than those of the histori- 
cal dictator did, and his term of office was much longer 
(cf. pp. 183, 218). In 48 the tribunician power was given 
to him for life. From the positive point of view this 
enabled him to interpose a veto and to convoke the 
plebeian assembly, and made his person inviolable. On 
the negative side he hoped that his assumption of this 
office, and the control which he exercised over the nomi- 
nation of other members of the college, would protect him 
against serious interference with his plans. This hope was 
not always realized. On more than one occasion some 
member of the college asserted his independence, and 
once Caesar was obliged to resort to the theory of popular 
sovereignty which Tiberius Gracchus had applied in the 
case of Octavius (cf. pp. 95 f.). The offending tribunes in 
this case, C. Epidius Marullus and L. Caesetius Flavus, 
were brought before the senate, and on Caesar's complaint 
were divested of office. This drastic proceeding probably 
checked for the future any hostile action on the part of 
members of the college. Caesar did not use the title of 
tribune, however, in official documents, as his imperial 
successors did. On several occasions he was regularly 
elected to the consulship and performed the duties of 
that office, and it is quite probable that he was invested 
with the pro-consular power, so that, when he was not in 
office as consul, he acted pro consule. This conclusion has 
been drawn, at least, with great plausibility, from the fact 
that on an important document he bears the titles dictator 
consul prove consule. The praefectura morum, which he 
created and held in 46, was new only in name. Its 
functions were similar to those of the earlier censorship. 
From the battle of Mtmda up to the close of his life 
honors were heaped on him in profusion. He was given 


the titles parcns patriae and imperator for life. The latter 
ordinarily appears in official documents immediately after 
his cognomen, and was made an hereditary title. Coins 
bore his likeness, and the right was probably granted him 
to express his opinion first in the senate. 

126. Changes in Magisterial Functions. Some changes 
were intentionally made in the functions of certain magis- 
trates, or were the result of circumstances. Attention has 
already been called to the fact that Caesar's dictatorship 
was not that of the early republic, but was similar to 
Sulla's ; that in 44 he was chosen permanently to this office 
and given the tribunician power for life, whereas under the 
old constitution the dictator and tribune had held office 
for six months and a year respectively. Furthermore, the 
judicial functions which Caesar exercised in criminal cases, 
like that of Ligarius, did not belong to the republican dic- 
tatorship. The magister equitum and praefectus urbi play a 
more important part from 49 to 44 than they do in any 
other period of Roman history, but their significance comes 
solely from the fact that the dictator was frequently absent 
from Italy and his power was exercised by these officials as 
his representatives. In this connection the law of 46 may 
be mentioned, which limited the term of office for gov- 
ernors in praetorian provinces to one year, in consular 
provinces to two years. Caesar's purpose in making this 
regulation was evidently to guard against a possible rival. 

127. Increase in the Size of Magisterial Colleges. The 
increase which he made in the size of certain colleges of 
magistrates was justified by the need of additional adminis- 
trative officers. It also gave Caesar an opportunity to 
reward some of his political followers, and incidentally 
exalted his own position by decreasing the importance of 
the individual members of the colleges affected. Thus the 


number of praetors was first raised from eight to ten, then 
to fourteen, and finally to sixteen, while the number of 
quaestors was increased to forty. The establishment of the 
office of aedilis cerialis with its two incumbents, and the 
addition of a member to the college of the /// viri capi- 
tales and the III viri monetales were probably dictated by 
administrative considerations only. 

128. Method of choosing Magistrates and Terms of Office. 
To protect his interests at Rome during his absence on the 
projected Parthian campaign, Caesar secured the passage 
of a law which allowed him to name all the magistrates 
for 43, as well as the consuls and tribunes for 42. This 
measure would make the magistrates for the immediate 
future official representatives of the dictator, and would at 
the same time lessen the importance of the popular elec- 
toral bodies. In the case of the consulship he introduced 
an innovation of great importance. In October, 45, he 
resigned that office, which he had held without a colleague, 
and had two successors elected for the rest of the year. In 
taking this step Caesar was restoring the traditional con- 
sulship, since the constitution did not recognize a single 
consul without a colleague. In a way, however, he was 
establishing a precedent for the imperial system of consules 
suffecti, and six years later, following this precedent, as it 
were, the triumvirs, when holding the consular elections for 
34-1, had terms of less than a year indicated for the vari- 
ous candidates at the time of the election, and the Fasti of 
the year 33 give the names of eight consuls. 

129. The Senate and People. The senate was reduced 
in number to such an extent by the Civil war, that imme- 
diately after his return to Rome in 47 Caesar made numer- 
ous additions to it, and two years later raised the number 
of its members to 900. This change robbed the nobilitas 


in large measure of its prestige and made the senate sub- 
servient to his wishes. As for the people, they met as 
before in the comitia, but the selection of candidates for 
office by Caesar, and the fact that he alone was directly or 
indirectly the author of all bills laid before them, made the 
meeting of the comitia largely a matter of form. He sought 
to relieve the congested condition of Rome, and to prevent 
the idle from nocking thither, by founding colonies, and 
by carefully regulating the list of those who received free 
supplies of grain. As a result of the census of 46, the 
number of these beneficiaries was reduced from 320,000 to 

130. Italy and the Provinces. But the plans of Caesar 
were not limited to the city of Rome. They embraced all 
Italy and the provinces. A year before his death he drew 
up the lex lulia municipalis, a charter for all the Italian 
municipalities, which gave them their own popular assem- 
blies, senates, magistrates, and courts. To many cities in 
Sicily and Gallia Narbonensis Latin rights were given, and, 
what was of still more importance, provincial governors 
were appointed by Caesar. Hitherto each one of the 
provinces had been practically a principality which the 
Roman governor used to fill his pocket or to advance his 
political fortunes. The interests of the provincials and of 
the home government were alike held in light esteem. 
Under Caesar's regime a governor felt his subordination 
to a central authority, and knew that he was responsible 
to a man who regarded each province as an integral part 
of the empire. 

131. Course of Events after Caesar's Death. After 
Caesar's death both his friends and the conspirators waited 
in great suspense for some move on the part of the oppos- 
ing faction, as well as for some indication of the attitude of 


the Roman populace. M. Lepidus, who had been Caesar's 
magister equitum, was the first to adopt a positive course. 
He moved his troops into the city and thus gave a tactical 
advantage to the Caesarians. The consul Antony strength- 
ened their position still further by securing possession of 
Caesar's papers and of the state treasure in the temple of 
Ops. But both parties were ready for the compromise, 
adopted by the senate March 17, which confirmed the 
arrangements of Caesar, but provided that no investigation 
should be made into the circumstances of his death. On 
the basis of this action Antony laid directly before the 
popular assembly a series of bills which he found, or which 
he claimed to have found, among the papers of Caesar. 
Furthermore, on the pretext that his safety was endangered 
by disturbances in the city, he secured a bodyguard of 
several thousand men. A systematic effort was made also 
to win the favor of the veterans living in Italy. The sup- 
port of his colleague, Dolabella, was secured by obtaining for 
him the province of Syria. He had the province of Mace- 
donia assigned to himself at first, with control of the legions 
which Caesar had collected for the Parthian war ; but, feel- 
ing that it would be better for him to be nearer Rome, he 
had the popular assembly take Cisalpine Gaul from D. 
Brutus, to whom it had been assigned, and give it to him. 
Somewhat later the Macedonian legions were also placed 
under his command. 

132. Octavius. The arrival in Italy of Octavius, Caesar's 
grand nephew, a young man in his nineteenth year, whom 
the dictator had adopted and made his heir, seemed likely 
to give affairs an unexpected turn. The deferential man- 
ner which Octavius assumed toward certain senatorial 
leaders on the one hand, and on the other hand his gener- 
ous treatment of Caesar's followers, and the fact that he 


bore their great leader's name, won for him at the same 
time the respectful consideration of senators and the enthu- 
siastic support of many Caesarians. Antony appreciated 
how dangerous a rival he might become and tried to thwart 
his plans at every point, but Caesar's veterans forced a 
reconciliation between their two leaders. 

133. The Liberatores. Meanwhile the liberatores, as 
Cicero styled the conspirators, were without a plan and 
without leaders. M. Brutus and Cassius thought it wise to 
withdraw from the city. Cicero despondently set out for 
Greece, and the other senatorial leaders gave little effective 
support to the old regime. In September the Macedonian 
troops arrived in Italy, but Octavius found means to detach 
so many of them from Antony's service that two months 
later Antony, for fear of losing the rest, hastily set out for 
Gallia Cisalpina with his bodyguard and the three legions 
which remained loyal to him. 

134. The War about Mutina. With the departure of 
Antony from Rome the senate began to assert itself once 
more. Under the leadership of Cicero, who attacked 
Antony vigorously in his Philippic orations, the senate was 
induced to invest Octavius with the imperium, and to com- 
mission him, in cooperation with the consuls of 43, to con- 
duct the war against Antony. Acting under this authority, 
in the early part of 43 Octavius set out from Rome with 
Hirtius, one of the consuls, to relieve D. Brutus, while Pansa, 
the other consul, followed in March with four legions of 
recruits. After some preliminary skirmishing, in which 
Antony gained the advantage, a decisive battle was fought 
near Mutina, April 21, in which his army was completely 
defeated. But the victory was dearly bought. Hirtius fell 
on the field of battle and Pansa was mortally wounded, 
dying two days later. The command of the forces acting 


against Antony was assigned to D. Brutus. Octavius, who 
had good reason to feel aggrieved at this slight, withdrew 
from further participation in the struggle, and marched 
to Rome at the head of eight legions, demanding the con- 
sulship. There was no means at hand to withstand him, 
and August 1 9 he was elected consul. Meanwhile, in the 
North Antony was strengthened by the accession of Lepi- 
dus, governor of southern Gaul, of Plancus, who had charge 
of northern Gaul, and of Pollio, with troops from Spain. 
D. Brutus was deserted by his troops, and while seeking to 
escape was murdered at Aquileia. 

135. The Second Triumvirate. In October Octavius 
went north, and held a conference with Antony and Lepi- 
dus at Bononia, which resulted in the formation of a com- 
pact for the adjustment of affairs in Italy and for the 
prosecution of the war in the East against M. Brutus and 
Cassius ; and in November, by a vote of the tribal assembly, 
Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius were made III viri rei 
publicae constituendae for a period of five years. The second 
triumvirate was, therefore, distinguished from the first by 
the fact that it rested on a legal basis, while the compact 
which Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus had formed was purely 
a private arrangement. The triumvirs of 43 adopted the 
principle of collegiality on its positive but not on its neg- 
ative side. All three members were at all times vested with 
the full power of their office, but the possibility of interpos- 
ing a veto was not recognized. In so far as its exercise of 
executive and legislative powers was concerned, the second 
triumvirate differs little from Caesar's dictatorship. The 
magistracies, the senate, and popular assemblies were all 
directly or indirectly under the control of the new officials. 
In Rome and Italy the triumvirs were confronted with the 
problem of establishing a new regime and of maintaining 


order, of punishing certain republican leaders, levying 
troops, and apportioning suitable rewards to the veterans. 
Outside of Italy there were still more urgent matters, 
notably the task of bringing the provinces under their con- 
trol and of prosecuting the war against M. Brutus and 
Cassius. Their return to Rome was followed by a reign of 
terror which rivaled that of Sulla. Cicero was one of the 
early victims of their fury. In reaching an agreement for 
the government of Italy and the provinces no immediate 
difficulty was experienced. The several provinces were 
assigned to the individual members of the triumvirate and 
their followers, while the administration of affairs in Italy 
and the war in the East were left to the joint direction of 
all three triumvirs. 

136. The Battle of Philippi. The situation in the East 
called for immediate attention. In the early part of 43 
M. Brutus entered Macedonia and was recognized as its 
legal governor by his predecessor, Q. Hortensius. Cassius 
also took possession of his province, Syria. Both of them 
succeeded in levying large bodies of troops, and C. Antonius, 
the brother of Marcus, and Dolabella, who had come out 
to take possession of Macedonia and Syria respectively, by 
virtue of measures whose passage Antony had secured, were 
disastrously defeated. The two republican leaders met at 
Sardis, and with nineteen legions of foot soldiers and 20,000 
horsemen advanced to Philippi in the autumn of 42. Over 
against them lay the army of the triumvirs, of about the 
same size. Two battles followed. In the first the forces 
under Cassius were defeated by Antony, and Cassius com- 
mitted suicide. Brutus, however, gained a victory over 
the troops of Octavius. In the second battle, which his 
troops forced him to fight against his judgment, he was 
defeated and took his own life. 


137. The Movements of the Triumvirs. Lepidus was 
suspected of being disloyal to his colleagues, and, in the 
division of territory after the battle of Philippi, Spain and 
Gallia Narbonensis, which had been placed under his con- 
trol, were taken from him ; but later, on grounds of expedi- 
ency, Octavius thought it wise to allot Africa to him. From 
this time forth, however, Lepidus played a subordinate part 
in the triumvirate. Antony remained in the East. At 
Tarsus he met Cleopatra, who came to explain her con- 
duct during the war, and accompanied her to Egypt. To 
Octavius in Italy fell the hardest task. 

138. The Perusian War and the Peace of Brundisium. 
Nearly 200,000 veterans were demanding the land which 
had been promised to them. High taxes, the scarcity of 
food, and the confiscation of land for the soldiers devel- 
oped a spirit of discontent. L. Antonius the brother, and 
Fulvia the wife, of the triumvir, put themselves at the head 
of the disaffected. All efforts at reconciliation proved fruit- 
less, and civil war followed. L. Antonius was soon shut up in 
Perusia, however, and after a long siege was forced to yield. 
After the surrender of Perusia, Fulvia hurried to her hus- 
band for help. A number of circumstances induced Antony 
to listen to her appeals and to take an active part in the 
management of Italy. One thing especially that influenced 
him to adopt this course was the fact that Octavius had 
taken possession of Gallia Narbonensis, because of the help 
which its governor had given L. Antonius. This province 
had been allotted to Antony, and its acquisition by Octavius 
made the latter master of the entire West. The time for 
action seemed a favorable one to Antony, since he had 
secured the support of Sextus Pompeius, whose fleet con- 
trolled the Mediterranean. He appeared before Brundisium, 
therefore, in the summer of 40, and civil war seemed 


imminent ; but the mediation of Octavius's friends, Cocceius 
Nerva and Maecenas, and of Asinius Pollio, who repre- 
sented Antony, as well as the strong stand which the 
legionaries took in favor of peace, brought about a recon- 
ciliation between the rivals. The need which Antony felt 
of Italian reinforcements for the Parthian war also induced 
him to listen to proposals of peace. 

139. War with Sextus Pompeius and the Retirement of 
Lepidus. As for Octavius, the prospect of carrying on a 
war against the combined forces of Antony and Sextus 
Pompeius may well have alarmed him. In fact, Pompeius 
had made himself master of the Mediterranean, and, by 
interfering with the transportation of grain, had Rome and 
Italy in his power, in a measure. ( It was this state of things 
which forced Octavius in 39 to recognize formally the 
demands of Sextus Pompeius. His claim to the islands of 
Sicily and Sardinia was confirmed ; he received compen- 
sation for the loss of his father's property, and a consulship 
in the future was promised to him. But Octavius felt that 
his own position was a precarious one so long as Sextus 
Pompeius controlled the Mediterranean. The treachery 
of Menodorus, one of the fleet commanders of Pompeius, 
put Sardinia in his power. Thereupon war broke out at 
once. A misunderstanding with Antony seemed likely to 
involve Octavius in still greater difficulty, but fortunately 
a reconciliation was effected at Tarentum in 37 through the 
mediation of Octavia, the wife of Antony and sister of 
Octavius, and Antony as well as Lepidus sent a fleet to help 
Octavius. Sextus Pompeius was defeated at Naulochus in 
36, and fled to Asia. His forces surrendered themselves to 
Lepidus, who thereupon took possession of Sicily, and 
showed signs of an intention to regain his influence in 
the triumvirate. His success was short-lived, however. 


Octavius won over his troops, and Lepidus was deprived of 
his provinces and forced into retirement. The result of this 
war was of immense importance to Octavius. He had rid 
himself of a rival who threatened his supremacy in the 
West ; he had removed the danger of famine in Italy a 
most prolific cause of discontent in the peninsula and 
he had made himself master of the provinces and of the 
forces of Lepidus. 

140. Estrangement of Octavius and Antony. The en- 
forced retirement of Lepidus from the triumvirate doubtless 
intensified the rivalry between Octavius and Antony, just 
as the death of Crassus had made the conflict between 
Caesar and Pompey inevitable. Antony resented in par- 
ticular the acquisition by Octavius of Sicily and of the 
provinces which had belonged to Lepidus. On the other 
hand, Antony's relations with Cleopatra and his plans 
in the Orient excited suspicion and hostility at Rome. 
Egypt, Cyrene, Cyprus, and portions of Crete and Cilicia 
were placed under her control. Only Asia and Bithynia 
retained the character of Roman provinces. In fact, there 
was some reason for believing that Antony was planning 
the establishment of a great rival power in the East with 
Alexandria for its capital. The feeling which this suspicion 
excited was intensified when the contents of Antony's will 
were revealed by some of his former friends, and it became 
known that the assignment of territory to Cleopatra was 
therein confirmed. Antony's neglect of Octavia, and the 
fact that he divorced her in 32, played no small part in 
stirring the anger of the people. The policy of Octavius 
was as well adapted to win the gratitude of the Italians as 
that of Antony had tended to estrange them. The sup- 
pression of the piratical enterprises of Sextus Pompeius in 
the Mediterranean, the lightening of the taxes, and the 


restoration of order in Italy, largely through the efforts of 
Maecenas, and the far-reaching improvements which Agrippa 
effected in Rome had won for Octavius the sympathy and 
support of all classes in the peninsula. 

During the years 35-3 Octavius was engaged in a 
campaign against the Illyrians, who had taken advantage 
of the disturbed condition of Italy to make incursions into 
the peninsula. These peoples, as well as the Dalmatians, 
were conquered, and points of great strategical and com- 
mercial importance in Pannonia were occupied. Antony, 
in the meantime, was carrying on operations in Armenia 
and Media as a sequel to the war which he had been 
unsuccessfully waging against the Parthians ever since the 
year 40. 

141. Outbreak of the War. At the close of the year 
33 both of them were free from other complications, and 
the election of two of Antony's supporters to the consul- 
ship for the following year precipitated the conflict. The 
attacks which the new consuls made on the policy of 
Octavius in taking possession of Sicily and Africa were 
without effect, and they left the city to go to Antony. 
Adopting the policy which his great leader had proposed 
in the year 50, Antony offered to give up his exceptional 
powers if Octavius would adopt the same course ; but 
Octavius had forestalled his action by deposing him from 
his position as triumvir, and the war which followed was tech- 
nically waged, not against Antony, but against Cleopatra. 

142. Battle of Actium and Death of Antony. During 
the year 32 Antony and Cleopatra collected a force of 
more than 100,000 men and 500 ships. The fleet and 
army of Octavius crossed from Brundisium in the spring 
of 31, and the two armies lay encamped near one another 
for several months. The issue was decided by a naval battle 


near Actium, September 2, 31. The fleet of Antony and 
Cleopatra was deserted by its leaders and forced to sur- 
render, and after the battle the opposing army went over 
to Octavius. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt. Octa- 
vius followed them thither a year later, and when Alexandria 
had fallen into his hands and they had learned that he 
would show them no mercy, they both took their own 
lives. Egypt came under the personal control of Octavius. 
The latter returned to Italy in the summer of 29, after set- 
tling certain affairs in the Orient, and concluding a peace 
with the Parthians. 


Caesar becomes master of Italy: Caes. B. C. I. 7-29; Cic. ad 
Att. Bks. VII-IX; ad Fam. Bks. XIV, XVI (passim); Plut. 
Caes. 32-5 ; Pomp. 60-62 ; Appian, B. C. II. 35-8. First Spanish 
campaign: Caes. B. C. I. 37-55, 59-87 ; II. 17-21 ; Cic. ad Att. 
X. i2a. 3. Defeat of Curio: Caes. B. C. II. 23-44. Pharsalus : 
Caes. B. C. III. 84-99 ; Appian, B. C. II. 75-82 ; Plut. Caes. 42-6. 
Pompey's death : Caes. B. C. III. 96, 102-4 5 Appian, B. C. II. 81, 
83-6; Plut. Pomp. 77-80; Dio, XLII. 3-5. Events in Egypt: 
Caes. B. C. III. 106-112; Bell. Alex. 1-33; Appian, B. C. II. 
89-90; Plut. Caes. 48-9; Dio, XLII. 7-9, 34-44. Zela : Appian, 
B. C. II. 91; Plut. Caes. 50. African campaign: Bell. Afr. ; 
Appian, B. C. II. 95-100; Plut. Caes. 52-4; Cato, 56-73; Dio, 
XLIII. 2-13. Second Spanish campaign: Bell. Hisp. ; Appian, 
B. C. II. 103-5; Plut. Caes. 56; Dio, XLIII. 28-40. Caesar's 
death: Appian, B. C. II. 111-117; Plut. Caes. 60-69; Brut. 14-17; 
Suet. lul. 80-89; Vel1 - IL 5 6 ; Dio XLIV - 9-19- Caesar's dicta- 
torships: Caes. B. C. II. 21. 5 (cf. III. 2. i) ; Appian, B. C. II. 48; 
Dio, XLII. 20; Plut. Caes. 51; Cic. ad Fam. IX. 15. 4-5; Dio, 
XLIII. 14; Suet. lul. 76; Appian, B. C. II. 106; Plut. Caes. 57; 
Dio, XLIV. 8; XLVI. 17. Caesar's tribunate: Dio, XLII. 20. 
Title of imperator: Dio, XLIII. 44; Suet. lul. 76. Praefectus 
morum: Dio, XLIV. 5; Suet. lul. 76. Praetorian governors, i yr., 
consular governors, 2 yrs. : Cic. Phil. I. 19; V. 7; VIII. 28. 


16 praetors, 40 quaestors: Dio, XLIII. 47, 49, 51 ; Suet. lul. 41. 
Power to nominate: Dio, XLIII. 47, 51 ; Cic. Phil. II. 80; Appian, 
B. C. II. 128; Suet. lul. 76. 900 senators: Dio, XLIII. 47. 
Bestowal of Latin rights : Cic. ad Att. XIV. 12. i ; Tac. Ann. XI. 24. 

Appointment of provincial governors: Dio, XLII. 20. Consules 
suffecti : Dio, XLIII. 46. Seizure of Caesar's papers and treas- 
ure: Cic. Phil. I. 17; II. 93; Appian, B. C. II. 125. Meeting of 
senate, March 17: Appian, B. C. II. 135-6; Dio, XLIV. 22-34; 
Cic. Phil. I. i f.; I. 31 f.; Veil. II. 58. Antony acquires Cis- 
alpine Gaul: Cic. ad Att. XIV. 14. 4; Appian, B. C. III. 27-30; 
Veil. II. 60; Appian, B. C. III. 55. Octavius comes slowly to 
Rome: Att. XIV. 5. 3; ibid. 10. 3; XV. 2. 3; Appian, B. C. 
III. 9-23 ; Dio, XLV. 1-4. His relations to Antony : Appian, B. C. 
IH.28-45; Dio, XLV. 5-9; ibid. 11-15; Suet - Au S- IO - Antony 
marches north: Cic. Phil. III. i ; V. 24; Appian, B. C. III. 46. 
Battle near Mutina: Appian, B. C. III. 66-72; Dio, XLVI. 37. 
Lepidus joins Antony: Cic. ad Fam. X. 23. 2; Appian, B. C. III. 
83-4. Pollio and Plancus join Antony: Appian, B. C. III. 97 ; Dio, 
XLVI. 53; Veil. II. 63. Octavius is elected consul: Liv. Ep. 
CXIX ; Appian, B. C. III. 88-94 ; Dio, XLVI. 40-45. Death of 
D. Brutus: Appian, B. C. III. 97-8; Veil. II. 64. Second tri- 
umvirate formed : Liv. Ep. CXX ; Appian, B. C. IV. 2 ff . ; Dio, 
XLVI. 54-6; Suet. A ug. 27 ; Plut. Ant. 19. Lex Titia : Appian, 
B. C. IV. 7 ; Dio, XLVII. 2. Death of Cicero : Plut. Cic. 47-8 ; 
Appian, B. C. IV. 19-20; Veil. II. 66. Macedonia, Illyricum, and 
Greece allotted to M. Brutus: Cic. Phil. X. 13-14; Plut. Brut. 27; 
Dio, XLVII. 22. Syria assigned to Cassius : Cic. Phil. XI. 29 ff. ; 
Dio, XLVII. 28; Veil. II. 62. Philippi : Appian, B. C. IV. 
109-131; Dio, XLVII. 37-49; Plut. Brut. 38-53; Veil. 11.70-72. 

Division of territory: Appian, B. C. V. 3; Dio, XLVIII. 1-2. 
Perusian war: Appian, B. C. V. 12-49; Dio > XLVIII. 4-15 ; Veil. 
II. 74. Treaty of Brundisium : Appian, B. C. V. 64-5; Dio, 
XLVIII. 28-30 ; Veil. II. 76. Concessions to Sex. Pompeius : 
Appian, B. C. V. 72 ; Dio, XLVIII. 36. War with Sex. Pom- 
peius : Appian, B. C. V. 77-122; Dio, XLVIII. 45-XLIX. 10; 
Veil. II. 79. Treaty of Tarentum : Dio, XLVIII. 54; Appian, 
B. C. V. 93-5 ; Tac. Ann. I. 10. Retirement of Lepidus : Liv. Ep. 
CXXIX; Suet. Aug. 16; Appian, B. C. V. 122-6; Dio, XLIX. 
H-I2. Parthian campaign of Antony: Dio, XLVIII. 24-7; ibid. 
39-41; XLIX. 19 ff. ; Plut. Ant. 37-52; Veil. II. 82. niyrian 



campaign of Octavius : Dio, XLIX. 34-8; Appian, Bell. III. 16-28; 
Liv. Epp. CXXXI-CXXXII. Territory given to Cleopatra: Plut. 
Ant. 54; Dio, XLIX. 32, 41 ; L. i, 3. War declared against Cleo- 
patra: Plut. Ant. 60; Dio, L. 4, 6. Actium: Plut. Ant. 64-8; 
Dio, L. 31-5; Veil. II. 85. Surrender of Antony's army: Plut. 
Ant. 68. Death of Antony : Dio, LI. 10; Plut. Ant. 76-7. Death 
of Cleopatra: Dio, LI. 11-14; Plut. Ant. 84-6. 


O. E. Schmidt, Der Briefwechsel des M. Tullius Cicero. Leipzig, 

Tyrrell and Purser, The Correspondence of M. Tullius Cicero, Vols. 
V and VI. London, 1897-9. 

W. Drumann, Geschichte Roms, 6 vols. Koenigsberg, 1834-44. 

A. Stoffel, Histoire de Jules Cesar : Guerre Civile, 2 vols. Paris, 

A. v. Goeler, Caesars Gallischer Krieg. Tubingen, 1879. 

W. Judeich, Caesar im Orient. Leipzig, 1885. 

O. E. Schmidt, Die letzten Kampfe der rom. Republik (Neue Jahr. 
f. Philol. u. Paed. XIII, Suppl. pp. 665-722). 

A. v. Hagen, De bello Mutinensi quaestiones criticae. Marburg, 

V. Gardthausen, Augustus und seine Zeit (I. i, 2; II. i, 2). Leip- 
zig, 1891-6. 

Th. Mommsen, Res gestae divi Augusti, 2d ed. Berlin, 1883. 

1 See also general bibliography on p. 22. 



(a) Magistrates, Imperium, Potestas 

143. Method of Treatment. Our historical survey of 
the development of Roman political institutions has shown 
that the right of initiating action was the peculiar preroga- 
tive of the magistrate, and that in the early period he was 
practically the supreme lawgiver and judge, as well as the 
executive. To put it in another way, the functions acquired 
later by other branches of the government were in the early 
days exercised by the executive. We have traced the 
process of differentiation. First of all, the senate, which 
was at the beginning of the republic merely an advisory 
body, found means to enforce its claim to a share in the con- 
trol of the state. Later, the popular assemblies developed, 
and finally a well-organized judicial system was established. 
A systematic examination of Roman political institutions 
will, therefore, follow the order of historical development, in 
taking up first the magistracies, then the senate, the popular 
assemblies, and finally the courts of law. Our historical 
investigation has suggested one other important point in 
the method of treatment. At the beginning of the repub- 
lican period the magisterial power was vested in a single 
college of magistrates. The establishment of new magis- 
tracies, as time went on, meant simply the assignment of 


certain specific duties to the new officials. The new 
magistracies had all the general characteristics of the 
original magistracy out of which they sprang. Therefore, 
before passing to an examination of the functions of the 
individual magistrates, it will be natural and convenient to 
consider the general attributes of the Roman magistracies 
taken as a unit. 

144. Definition of Magistratus. The term magistratus 
was used of the office and of its incumbents! In the con- 
crete sense the magistratus was the authorized representa- 
tive of the people for the conduct of public business of 
a secular character. His authorization came through an 
election by the populus. The dictator, interrex, and magis- 
ter equitum, who were appointed by a magistrate, and were, 
therefore, only indirectly dependent on a popular election, 
were relics of the monarchical constitution, and not prod- 
ucts of the republic at all. The tribunes were chosen in 
an assembly made up of plebeians only, so that in the strict 
sense of the word they were not magistrates. Priests do 
not fall in this category because their duties were of a 
religious character. 

145. Magistratus Maiores and Minores. According to 
the point of view from which they are considered the 
magistracies may be classified as magistratus maiores or 
minores, patricii or plebeii, curule or not curule, ordinary 
or extraordinary, cum imperio or sine imperio. The Romans 
themselves differed in their classification of the magistra- 
cies as magistratus maiores or minores. Thus the augur 
Messala (Gell. XIII. 15. 4) maintained that the interrex, 
consul, praetor, dictator, censor, magister equitum, and all 
magistrates or pro-magistrates vested with consular or prae- 
torian power, inasmuch as they had the right to take the 
auspida maxima, were magistratus maiores. The others, 


who could take only the auspicia minora, were magistratus 
minores. On the other hand, it seems better to draw the 
line of distinction between these two classes of magistrates 
Will. 1. 225 f. below the quaestorship, because the quaestors and aediles 
with the higher magistrates were admitted to the senate in 
the later republic by virtue of having held their respec- 
tive offices, whereas magistrates of a lower rank were not 
members of that body. 

146. Magistratus Patricii and Plebeii. Up to the 
middle of the fourth century B.C. the terms magistratus 
patricii and plebeii were applied to the magistracies open 
to patricians and plebeians respectively. After plebeians 
had been made eligible to all the magistracies the distinc- 
tion has no technical meaning. The tribunes are some- 
times styled magistratus plebeii, but inaccurately, because, 
as we have seen, the tribunes were strictly speaking not 
magistrates at all. 

147. Curule and non-Curule Magistracies. The right to 
use the curule chair was a privilege belonging especially 
to magistrates who had the imperium. When the curule 
aedileship was established, however, the sella curulis was 
made one of the insignia of the office, although the incum- 
bent of the office did not have the imperium. The magis- 

St. R. i. 401 f. trates (not including plebeian officials) above the quaestor 
were magistratus curules. 

148. Magistratus Ordinarii and Extraordinarii. Ordi- 
nary magistrates were those who were chosen at fixed 
intervals, like the consul or censor. Those who were 
elected for an exceptional purpose were called magistratus 
extraordinarii. Some of the magistracies of the latter class, 
as, for instance, the dictatorship, formed a regular part of the 
Roman administrative system, while others, like the decem- 
virate or the consular tribunate, were extra-constitutional. 


149. Magistratus cum Imperio and sine Imperio. The 
consul, praetor, dictator, and magister equitum had the 
imperium. The censor, aedile, quaestor, and of course 
the plebeian officials, were sine imperio. The imperium 
represents the supreme authority of the community in its 
dealings with the individual. It is not strictly opposed to 
potestas, which is a generic term to indicate the power Festus, v. 
with which a magistrate was vested for the discharge of his p^o/^M ' 
duties. Under the republic the exercise of the imperium 

within the city was limited, especially by the right of appeal. 
It was still enjoyed by the magistrate abroad, however, and 
the term was practically restricted in its application to the 
absolute power exercised by him. 

150. Maior Potestas. The various magistrates exercised 
functions of so different a character that the members of 
the several colleges had the right of initiative, and within 
their own sphere of duties were practically free from out- 
side influence. However, to avoid the danger of conflict 
and the consequent stoppage of the machinery of govern- 
ment, in matters like the summoning of the senate or the 
comitia, where the abstract right to take the contemplated 
action was vested in more than one magistracy, the maior 
potestas of one college over against another was recognized 
by the constitution. On this basis the offices were arranged 

in the order of dictator, consul, praetor, aedile, and quaestor. Lex Sal- 
No one of the magistrates mentioned had the maior potes- cha^";'. 
tas over the censor, but he enjoyed that right over the 
quaestor and aedile, whose duties were in some respects akin 
to his. In the exercise of his maior potestas a higher magis- Cell. 13. 16. i; 
trate could either forbid a lower magistrate to take action in 2 _!J'. \*% x . 
a specific case, or suspend him from office altogether. 

We have seen (p. 25) that the republican chief- magis- 
trate, when compared with his monarchical predecessor, 


was placed under two important limitations. He shared 
his office with a colleague, who had the right to veto his 
action, and he held office for a limited period. The sys- 
tem of collegiality was one of the most peculiar features of 
the Roman constitution. It promoted efficiency, in that 
the functions of an office could be exercised simultaneously 
by the several members of a college. This was not the 
real purpose of the arrangement, however. It was rather 
devised to protect the citizen from the arbitrary action of 
a single magistrate. 

151. Par Potestas and the Veto Power. Each member 
of a college was at all times vested with the full power of 
his magistracy, and his negative right to prevent the com- 
pletion of a given undertaking took precedence of his 
colleague's positive right to take the step in question. 
The technical term for this exercise of the par potestas, 
which existed between the members of a college, was inter- 
cessio. The exercise of this negative power was subject 
to three conditions. The protest must be made by a 
[3.12.9; magistrate in person; it must be made against a magis- 
trate, and directed against a matter already partially 
advanced toward completion. The first limitation made 
an oral exercise of the right necessary. The second 
one theoretically exempted action taken by the comitia 
from the scope of the intercessio. Even this limitation, 
however, left it within the power of a magistrate to inter- 
fere with the action of a colleague presiding over a popular 
assembly up to the point where the people declared their 
will with reference to a proposition. 

The par potestas was, therefore, more restricted in its 
application than the maior potestas, since the latter allowed 
a higher magistrate not only to exercise the right of 
intercession as just indicated, but also to forbid a lower 


magistrate to make a proposed arrangement, before any 
preliminary steps looking to its establishment had been 
taken, or to declare invalid such an arrangement when 
perfected by him. A member of a magisterial college, 
however, in the exercise of his par potestas, could inter- 
pose his veto only when his colleague had made some 
progress toward the accomplishment of his purpose. The 
veto power" was rarely used by a magistrate against a 
colleague. It was of little effect, because the magistrate 
who disregarded it could not be called to account until 
his term of office had expired. The tribune, however, 
could veto the action of any regular magistrate, and could 
impose an immediate penalty for the non-observance of 
the veto, and since, as we have already seen (p. 45), at 
an early period the tribune became the recognized repre- 
sentative of the rights of the individual, as opposed to the 
claims of the community, his veto power superseded that 
of the magistrate, and put an effective limitation on the 
"magisterial prerogative. In point of fact conflicts be- 
tween members of a college were generally avoided by 
taking joint action in a specific case, by adopting the 
principle of alternation, by assigning functions on the basis Cic. de Re 
of seniority or by lot, or by giving different provindae LIT. .%?! 
to the several members of a college. Thus, in the early 22 - *7- 1; 
period, the consuls, although both were in full possession 
of the consular power throughout the year, in practice alter- 
nated from month to month in the active exercise of that 
power within the city. When they were in joint command 
of an army in Italy they commonly alternated day by day. Liv. 4. 46. 5; 
The possession of the fasces passed from one to the other 
to indicate the change. In the case of most magistracies, 
however, provinciae, or distinct spheres of action, were 
assigned to the several members of a college, so that there 


was scarcely a possibility of conflict. This was true, for 
instance, of the praetorship and the aedileship. In such 
cases the system of collegiality dropped away altogether. 

(b) Term of Office 

152. Limited Term of Office and the Prorogatio Imperii. 

The second limitation put on the republican magistracies 
was of still greater importance than the one just discussed, 
and perhaps no political change contributed more to the 
downfall of the republic than the failure to observe it. All 
magistrates held office for a fixed and brief period, and the 
more exceptional the power of an official was, the briefer 
his term of office was. Thus the consul and most of the 
regular magistrates held office for one year, while the dic- 

Cic. de Legg. tator's term was not to exceed six months. Two contin- 
gencies might arise which would lead to a violation of this 
practice. Exceptional circumstances might necessitate a 
prorogatio imperil, or extension of the term of office 
beyond the fixed period, or magistracies might become 
vacant before the expiration of the legal term. The first 
contingency arose now and then in case of an important 
war. In 326, at the end of the consular year, the con- 

Liv. 8. 23. 12. sul Q. Publilius Philo, who had charge of the forces act- 
ing against the Samnites, was instructed to retain command 
of the army until the war was brought to an end (cf. 
p. 44). He was said to act pro consule, but his power 
was less than that of a consul, since it could be exercised 
for a specific purpose only and only within a limited terri- 
tory. The precedent which was set in this case was not 
infrequently followed later, but the prorogatio imperil was 

Liv. 9. 42. 2. usually for a year or even for a shorter time. However, 
when the era of territorial aggrandizement outside of 


Italy began, toward the close of the third century B.C., 
this occasional expedient became an integral part of the 
Roman administrative system. Instead of directly choos- 
ing officials to act as provincial governors, these positions 
were filled by extending the term of office of magistrates 
who had served for a year at Rome, and the governors in 
the various provinces acted pro consule or pro praetore, as 
the case might be, and in course of time the maximum 
limit of one year set for such an extension of the term of 
office was no longer observed. 

153. Filling of Vacancies. On the other hand, a magis- 
tracy might become vacant before the expiration of the 
legal term. Such a contingency might arise, for instance, 
from the death or resignation of one consul or of both. 
If there was one vacancy in a college, it was filled by the 
election of a new member to hold office for the rest of the Herz. I. 6n. 
term. If both places were vacant, two new members were 

chosen to hold office for a full year from the date of their St. R. I. 

inauguration. Consequently in the early period the official 5 

year does not begin at any fixed date in the calendar; but 

from 217 the beginning of the official year was fixed at Herz. i. 614. 

March 15. This continued to be the accepted date until 

154. From that time on, the consuls regularly entered on 

their offices January i. 

(c) Constitutional Powers of the Magistrate 

154. The Constitutional Powers of Magistrates. A mag- 
istrate having the imperium represented the community in 
all its dealings with gods and men. The imperium included 
the power (i) to take the auspices and to supervise certain 
other religious matters which had a bearing on political 
action, (2) to represent the state in its dealings with 


individuals and with other communities, (3) to command 
the army and navy, (4) to punish those who withstood 
constituted authority, (5) to exercise civil and criminal 
jurisdiction, (6) to issue proclamations and edicts, (7) to 
summon the senate and popular assemblies for deliberation 
and action on affairs of state, (8) to supervise administra- 
tive matters affecting the welfare of the community or of 
individual citizens. 

155. The Taking of Auspices. As we have already 
noticed (p. 26), after the establishment of the consulship, 
the control of strictly religious affairs, whether of a general 
or a particular character, rested with the priests ; but 
religious matters having a political significance were left to 
the magistrate, and the priests participated in such cases 
only to the extent of assisting or giving technical advice. 
The Romans believed that the pleasure of the gods in a 
particular case could be learned by adopting the proper 
means, and that it was desirable to govern one's action by 
it. In particular it was necessary to consult the gods by 
Cic. de Div. taking auspices before the election of a magistrate, before 
Liv' 20 6 . his assumption of office, before a meeting of the comitia as 
21. 63. 7-9. a legislative body, and before a magistrate set out on a 
campaign. In the first three cases the auspices must be 
taken on the day and on the spot of the proposed action. 
If unfavorable omens preceded or accompanied the election 
of a magistrate, or the passage of a law, there existed a 
legal defect (vitiiim), which in the one case made it incum- 
bent on the magistrate to lay down his office, and in the 
de Div g 2 2 42- ; otner case necessitated the reenactment of the bill by the 
in Vat. 20; comitia. In the last century of the republic, however, if a 
8. 15. 6. " measure with a technical defect of this sort was taken up 
later by the senate and favorably acted on, it became 
valid. In all cases political action of which the gods 


disapproved could be taken on a subsequent occasion, if 
the auspices were favorable. No legal penalty attached to 
the non-observance of unfavorable omens. Thus Crassus 
did not expose himself to a penalty at the hands of man 
when he disregarded unfavorable auspices in crossing the 
Euphrates, but the disaster which befell his Parthian expe- 
dition vindicated sufficiently the dignity of the gods. 

156. Auguria Oblativa and Auspicia Impetrativa. The 
gods were supposed to indicate their will through unsought 
manifestations (augur ia oblativa or dirae}, or by means 
of auspicia imp etr atria, i.e., in answer to inquiries properly 
made. The first class of warnings came, for instance, in the 
form of a flash of lightning before a meeting of the comitia, 

or took the shape of a case of epilepsy among the voters. Festus, 
Officiating magistrates, or augurs commissioned by them, 
obtained auspicia by watching for signs (spectio). They 

were of three classes : signa ex avibus, signa ex quadru- Servius on 

pedibus, and signa caelestia. Omens of the first two sorts and^ig;; 

were to be had bv marking off a square (templum} on the F( r stlls > v - 


ground, or on the sky by drawing imaginary lines, and by templa and 

.... .. sinistraeaves. 

watching the progress across it of four-footed beasts or pp. 157, 339, 
birds, as the case might be. Signa caelestia were obtained ed> M ' 
by noting the direction of flashes of lightning through a cic. de Div. 
previously determined part of the heavens. In the field 2 ' 
auspicia pullaria were commonly taken from the behavior Liv. io.4o.2f. 
of chickens while eating. 

157. Regulations governing the Auspices. The officiat- 
ing magistrate could theoretically heed or disregard the 
announcement (obnuntiatid] of unfavorable auspices by 
another official. In case conflicting omens were observed 
by different magistrates, the preference was given to those 
of the magistrate who had the maior potestas. Ultimately, 
however, the higher magistrates avoided such conflicts by Cell. 13. 15.1. 


forbidding the lower magistrates to take the auspices on a 
given day. The practice of taking the auspices was a part 
of the old patrician regime, so that for several centuries the 
tribunes did not exercise the right, and omens played no 
part in the meetings of the plebeian assembly ; but by the 
lex Aelia Fufia, of about 155, they were applied to the 
plebeian assembly, and could be taken by the tribunes, and 
were also used by the magistrates against the tribunes. 
The use of auspices afforded such a convenient means of 
interfering with meetings of the popular assemblies that the 
mere announcement of a magistrate's intention to take 
them on a certain day was sufficient to cause a postpone- 
ment of the comitia. Consequently, by the lex Clodia of 
58, obnuntiatio was forbidden. Besides the taking of the 
auspices, other religious matters, which rested with the mag- 
istrate, sometimes with the cooperation of the senate or the 
comitia, were the reception of new forms of worship, the 
establishment of new priesthoods, the building of temples, 
and the authorization of holy days. 

158. Power to represent the State. As the authorized 
representative of the state, the magistrate in time of war 
could declare a truce with the enemy, and he could con- 
clude peace with a hostile state, subject to the approval of the 
people. Disposal of the spoils of war and control of the state 
land had been part of the royal prerogative, but under the 
republic the senate and the people took these matters into 
their own hands. However, all current business connected 
with conquered territory and the ager publicus, such as the 
rental of state lands, was in the hands of the magistrates. 

159. Rights as Commander-in-Chief. The centuriate 
comitia alone had the right to declare war, but the prose- 
cution of it was left to the chief-magistrate. As commander- 
in-chief of the forces of the state he was empowered to 


levy and organize troops, to conduct a campaign, and to Liv. 22. 38. 
conclude a provisional treaty of peace with the enemy. A 
strict line of distinction was drawn between the powers of 
a magistrate at home (domi) and abroad (militiae). Up 
to the first milestone outside the city the magisterial power Herz. I. 
was limited by the right of appeal and by the tribunician 45 ' n< 
veto. Beyond that point the magistrate, in whose favor 
the lex curiata de imperio hafl been passed, acquired the 
unlimited power of the imperium. The civil magistrate, as 
well as the general in time of war, therefore, had the power 
beyond the limit mentioned of inflicting the death sentence ; 
but, sometime between the second Punic war and the period 
of the Gracchi, the leges Porciae gave citizens, wherever they Cic. de Re 
might be, the right of appeal in a question of life or death, p^ Rab. 54 
A Roman general, however, retained the right to inflict P er ^- I2 ' 
death as a military penalty, although in such a case a man ii. 5. 163 ; 
could not be flogged to death. The possession of the full 
power of the imperium was indicated to the eye by the fact 
that beyond the first milestone the bundle of fasces borne St. R. i. 
by the lictors included the ax (securis). On the other 67 '379 f - 
hand, the magistrate lost the imperium and the insignia 
indicating it, except in case of a triumph, when he entered 
the city. The right to a triumph was implied in the pos- 
session of the military authority which the imperium con- 
ferred, but was conditional on winning a decisive battle Liv. 10. 37. 8 ; 
in which the enemy lost 5000 men. The war must also aS.'^S.Vi' 
have been carried on against a foreign foe, and must have ^ 
led to an extension of the limits of Roman authority. 8. 
The honor could be claimed only by dictators, consuls, or 
praetors, or by pro-magistrates acting with the authority of 
the two last-mentioned officials. In the last years of the 
republic the senate used its power of granting or refusing 
a triumph to express its approval or disapproval of the 


conduct of a campaign, without strictly observing the legal 

Cic. Phil. requirements in the case. A supplicatio was also sometimes 
granted by the senate, and a successful general might 

Liv. 27. 19.4; receive the title of imperator from the senate, or on the 

12*; Tac! Ami. field of battle by acclamation. 

3- 74- !6 . Disciplinary Power of the Magistrate. The Roman 

magistrate had the power to punish the disobedient or 
those who interfered with him in the discharge of his duty. 
His exercise of this disciplinary power is to be distinguished 
from his judicial functions. In the latter case offenses were 
carefully defined and classified by law ; the facts were 
elicited in accordance with a prescribed method of pro- 
cedure, and the penalty was also prescribed. In discipli- 
nary actions conducted by an executive officer the nature 
of the offense and of the penalty were determined by the 
magistrate, largely in accordance with his own discretion. 
This disciplinary power belonged originally only to the 
magistrates cum imperio, but was subsequently conferred 
upon the censors, aediles, and even the tribunes. The 

Cic. de Legg. common penalties inflicted were fines, corporal punishment, 
imprisonment, and death. Within the city in the course of 
time magistrates were forbidden to inflict corporal punish- 
ment on citizens, and cases involving the death sentence 
were tried before the centuriate comitia. After the passage 
of the lex Aternia Tarpeia (cf. p. 76) all cases in which 
the fine exceeded 3020 asses could be appealed to the 

trfb j assem bly. 

161. Civil Jurisdiction of the Magistrate. The civil 
jurisdiction of the magistrate might be inter privates or 
inter pop ulum ct privates. In the early republican period 
cases of both kinds were heard by the consul. In course 
of time, however, the exercise of judicial functions became 
the exclusive prerogative of certain magistrates chosen 


solely or partly for that purpose. Thus, in the year 366, 
praetors were elected for the first time to relieve the con- 
sul of his judicial duties (p. 37) in civil suits in which both 
parties were private individuals. In Italy, outside of Rome, 
similar functions were performed by circuit judges, known 
as praefecti iuri dicundo (cf. p. 74). In the provinces the 
governor administered justice. The collection of the taxes 
and of rental from the state land gave rise to many civil 
suits to which the state was a party. Such cases were 
heard by censors, quaestors, and aediles, within whose 
province the management of public finances fell. This 
method of procedure was manifestly unfair to the indi- 
vidual. Under it the magistrate who brought or defended 
the suit in the name of the state also acted as the judge, 
from whose decision no appeal could be taken. 

162. Criminal Jurisdiction of the Magistrate. The exer- 
cise of the magistrate's judicial functions, as well as his 
disciplinary power, was limited by the right which citizens 
had of appealing to the popular assembly when a magistrate 
imposed the death sentence or a fine of more than 3020 
asses. The establishment of quaestiones perpetuae, or stand- 
ing courts, in the second century (cf. p. 74), and the 
development which the system underwent during Sulla's 
dictatorship (cf. p. 106), led to very important changes in 
the criminal jurisdiction of the magistrate. Most of the 
newly established courts were under the presidency of the 
praetor, whose duty it was to conduct the preliminaries to 
the trial, to preside during the trial proper, and to announce 
the innocence of the accused person, or fix the penalty, in 
accordance with the decision of the jury. 

163. The Right to issue Proclamations. The right to 
enforce obedience carries with it the right to announce pub- 
licly regulations which shall be binding on the community. 


In Rome proclamations took the form of edicta, or magis- 
terial announcements affecting the entire community or 
whole classes of citizens, or of decreta concerning indi- 
viduals. The proclamation of a magistrate naturally dealt 
with matters over which he had special jurisdiction. It 
was valid only during the term of office of the magistrate 
who issued it. In this respect it differed from a law. It 
acquired the practical force of a law, however, in the case 
of the edictum tralaticium, i.e., when successive magistrates 
adopted and announced the same body of regulations which 
their predecessors had issued. 

164. The Right to preside over Legislative and Electoral 
Bodies. Public meetings for the discussion of political 
questions had an official character, since they could be called 
by officials only. Such gatherings, called contiones, were 
under the presidency of an official, and no one could 
address them without his consent. They usually preceded 
the comitia, or assemblies held for electoral or legislative 

Cic. de Legg. purposes. The higher magistrates had the ins agendi cum 
populOy or the right to summon the comitia and preside over 
them. Limitations put on certain magistrates in specific 
cases will be noted later. The plebeian officials had only 
the ius agendi cum plebe. The tribune, as well as the 
higher magistrates, had the right to call the senate together 

Cell. 14. 7. (ius agendi cum patribus}, lay matters before it, and ask for 
a vote upon such motions as might be made. 

165. General Powers as an Executive. It may go with- 
out saying that to the magistrate, who represented the 
legislative branch of the government, fell the superin- 
tendence of administrative business and the execution of 
judicial decisions. He had charge of such matters, there- 
fore, as the erection of public buildings, the receipt and 
payment of public moneys, and the maintenance of order. 


166. The Consilium. In the performance of important 
duties he was assisted by a consilium, or board of technical 
advisers. Such a board assisted the censor, for instance, St. R. n. 465. 
and the praetor in rendering their decisions in certain judi- 
cial matters. The theoretical relation also which the senate 

bore to the consul was that of a consilium. 

(d) Emoluments, Insignia, Attendants 

167. Emoluments of Office. A Roman magistracy under 
the republic was regarded as an honos pure and simple, so 
that no salary was paid to any official. For this reason 
only the well-to-do could hold office, and, during the last 
century of the republic, when success in the elections 
depended on extravagance shown in the games, candidacy 
must have been confined to the rich or at least to those 
whose credit was good. The magistrate received compen- 
sation out of the state treasury, however, for any money 
which he might be required to pay out in the perform- 
ance of his duty. In some cases the compensation fell 
far short of the sum which he was required by necessity 
or tradition to spend. This was true, for instance, of the 
outlay which the aedile made for the public games. On the 

other hand, the requisitions which commissioners and pro- Liv. 29. 11.4; 
vincial governors could make for the suitable maintenance clc. 2 <ie lig 
of themselves and their retinues became a source of great A & r ; 2 - 3 2 ; 

in Verr. 
profit. (passim). 

1 68. Insignia of Office. The magisterial dignity was 
indicated to the eye by insignia and by attendants. The 

most characteristic mark of office was the toga praetexta, Plut.Q.R.Si. 
which all magistrates from the consul to the aedile wore 

within the city, while in the field they put on the paluda- Festus, v. pa - 

mentum, a short red cloak. On occasion of a triumph a ed. M. P ' 

1 66 


Polyb. 3. 87. 
7; Censo- 
rinus, 24. 3 ; 
Cic. in Verr. 
ii. 5. 142. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1302. 

successful general wore the toga purpurea. On formal 
occasions, as when administering justice, dictators, consuls, 
censors, praetors, and curule aediles sat on a sella curulis, 
placed on a tribunal. In early times the magistrate also had 
the right to ride in a vehicle within the city limits. Perhaps 
no external mark of office was more highly prized and of 
more practical importance than the ius imaginum. Every 
family which included a curule magistrate in its number had 
the right after his death to keep in the atrium a painted 
waxen mask in his likeness with an inscription (libellus) 
beneath it setting forth his offices and achievements. 
These imagines constituted the patent of nobility for that 
patricio-plebeian aristocracy which ruled the state for three 

169. Lictors. The higher magistrates were attended in 
public by lictors, who protected them and cleared a way 
for their passage. The lictors bore over their left shoulder a 
bundle of rods, called fat fasces, which symbolized the magis- 
trate's right to enforce obedience. The ax (securis) , placed 
within the bundle and carried outside the city, indicated 
his power of life and death. The number of lictors in 
attendance varied according to the rank of the magistrate. 
Twenty-four attended a dictator, and twelve a consul. The 
praetor urbanus had two, while the praetor or propraetor 
in a province was accompanied by six. Censors, and 
magistrates from the aedile downwards, had no lictors. In 
the provinces the lictors inflicted corporal punishment and 
the punishment of death, when ordered to do so by the 

170. Apparitores. The scribae held the most important 
position among the subordinates of the several magistrates. 
They were assigned to magistrates by lot, and from them 
received the titles of scribae quaestorii, aedilirii, etc., as the 


case might be. Viatores acted as messengers, and praecones Festus,p.37i, 

announced a meeting of the senate or the people, and varro/L. L. 

summoned individuals to court. Accensi were personal 6- 86 ~9 I - 

attendants of a magistrate, who were usually chosen from 

his own household, and had, therefore, only a quasi-official 

status. Most of these positions were held by freedmen 

or the sons of freedmen, and the principles of civil service Cic. ad Q. 

reform were observed to such an extent that an apparitor 

was not only reasonably sure of retaining his office during 

good behavior, but could usually transmit it to his son, or 

sell it, provided, of course, that the new incumbent was 

regarded as a suitable person for the position. 

(e) Conditions of Eligibility 

171. General and Special Conditions of Eligibility. In 

early times, of course patricians only were eligible to the 
magistracies, but after the middle of the fourth century 
class distinctions counted for nothing, in so far as eligi- 
bility to political office was concerned, except that patricians 
could not be elected to plebeian offices, nor to certain 
places in the magisterial colleges reserved for plebeians. 
In Cicero's time it was required of all candidates for office 
that they should be citizens, and that they should have a 
respectable standing in the community. Furthermore, they 
were not eligible to reelection until an interval of ten years 
had elapsed (p. 70), nor could a person hold two offices 
at the same time. Freedmen and their sons were in gen- St. R. 1.488. 
eral not eligible. Some of these points were not strictly 
observed during periods of political disturbance. The 
magistrates who conducted the election passed on the 
eligibility of all candidates. Special conditions of candi- 
dacy were fixed for particular offices, notably the higher 


ones. The most important of these were the attainment 
of a certain age and the observance of the certus ordo 

172. The Certus Ordo. From a comparatively early 
period the tradition had grown up that certain offices must 
be held before one could be elected to certain other 
offices. This condition was given a legal form by the 
lex Villia of 180 (cf. p. 70), and by one of the leges 
Corneliae of 81 (cf. p. 105). These laws required one to 

St. R. i. hold the quaestorship before assuming the praetorship, and 
the praetorship before the consulship. Further than this 
republican legislation does not seem to have gone, but 
custom had set the quaestorship before the curule aedile- 
ship, and the duties of the curule and plebeian aediles 
were so similar that they both fell into the same place 
in the series. The tribunate was so closely connected with 
the plebeian aedileship that it was placed next in order 
below it. However, since plebeian offices could not be 
held by patricians, it was not necessary that a candidate 
for a higher magistracy should hold them. Membership 
in one of the colleges making up the XXVI viri, and 
the office of tribunus militum, preceded the quaestorship. 

St. R. i. 548. Finally it was customary to choose ex-consuls only to the 
dictatorship and censorship, so that the certus ordo, estab- 
lished partly by law and partly by custom, in the way 

St. R. I. indicated above, was : dictator, consul, interrex, praetor, 
magister equitum, censor, aedile, tribunus pie bis, quaestor, 
one of the viginti sex viri, tribunus militum. Perhaps the 
censorship was assigned in this official gradus honorum to 
the position which it holds, below the consulship and prae- 
torship, because the censor was not attended by lictors. 

173- A ge Requirement. In the early period of the 
republic there was no minimum age requirement fixed for 


candidates for the various offices. The matter was left 

wholly to the discretion of the magistrate who conducted 

the election. It was, however, covered in part by the 

lex Villia and by legislation of 81, but the provisions of 

these two laws are not known with certainty. It is Wil1 - Dr - 2 4 2 > 

probable, however, that after the time of Sulla thirty-one 668,'n. i ; 

years was the minimum age for the quaestorship, and forty 56 g #'. 

years for the praetorship, and that an interval of at least two 

years was required between the end of a term of office and 

the assumption of the magistracy next above it. Indirectly 

these two provisions also made forty-three the minimum 

age for the consulship. 

(/) Candidacy, Election, Resignation, Responsibility 

174. Professio. Candidates were not formally nomi- 
nated for office by their supporters, as is the case in this 
country, but they announced their own candidacy, as in 
England those who wish to be elected to membership in 
the House of Commons usually do ; although, if we may 
make an inference from the political posters found in 
Pompeii, this personal announcement was often prompted 
by the privately or publicly expressed desire of personal 
friends or political supporters. Since the official who pre- 
sided at an election exercised his discretion in passing on 
the eligibility of a candidate, it was desirable to get his 
opinion on that point before the election took place. For 
this reason candidates came to adopt the practice of 
formally notifying the prospective chairman of their inten- Liv. 7. 22. 
tion to stand for a certain office. Thereupon the official yell. 2. 5 9 
formally announced his acceptance or rejection of their 3-4- 
candidacy, although this did not prevent him from recon- 
sidering his decision at the time of the election. This 


practice of making a professio, or preliminary announce- 
ment of one's candidacy, was crystallized, probably in 98, 
into a law, which provided that the professio should be 
made seventeen days before the election took place. This 
law, as we have already noticed (p. 114), played an 
important part in the quarrel between Caesar and the 

175. Petitio. In the interval between the professio and 
the election came the petitio, although in point of fact in 
the last years of the republic the political canvass began at 
least a year before the election. Candidates for office 
appeared in the forum clad in a newly whitened toga. 
They shook hands with voters, and took care to have a 
well-attended salutatio, and to be accompanied by large 
escorts in going to and fro. They sometimes gave lar- 
gesses, contributed money out of their own pockets for the 
public games, and aimed at securing the support of guilds 
and political clubs. Of course success in a foreign war 
gave a candidate prestige, and full use was made of this 
fact. As the right of citizenship was extended beyond 
the limits of Rome, electioneering tours were undertaken 
throughout Italy. General public meetings to promote the 
interests of a particular person do not seem to have been 
held, but candidates probably had an opportunity to set 
forth their political " platforms," and to criticise their 
opponents at contiones called by friendly magistrates to 
discuss public measures, and doubtless certain clubs and 
guilds held meetings of a political character. That candi- 
dates for office were not contented with the use of legiti- 
mate political methods is shown by the passage of numerous 
bribery laws from the early part of the second century 
onwards (cf. p. 71), and by legislation against the sodalicia, 
or political clubs. 


176. Elections. All elective magistrates were chosen 
by the populus, i.e., in the comitia centuriata or the patricio- 
plebeian comitia tributa. In the former the consuls, praetors, 
and censors were elected. Curiile aediles and quaestors 
were chosen in the comitia tributa. Tribunes and plebeian 
aediles were elected in the concilium plebis. For the cen- 
turiate comitia, meeting as an electoral body, the presiding 
officer was the dictator, consul, or interrex ; for the tribal 
comitia, the dictator, consul, or praetor; for the concilium 
plebis, the tribune. After Sulla's time elections took place 
usually in the latter part of July. The exact date was 
fixed by the magistrate. A postponement was not uncom- 
mon in the later years of the republic. Thus, in 59, the 
elections were not held until October, while bribery and 
violence prevented them from being held at all in 54. 
Even after a majority of the votes had been cast for a 
candidate his election did not become valid until a formal 
announcement (renuntiatio) of the result had been made 
by the presiding officer, and cases were by no means 
unknown where the chairman had refused to declare a 
certain person elected. 

177. Entrance on Office and Retirement from It. In 
Cicero's day the quaestors assumed office December 5, 
the tribunes December 10, the consuls and all the other 
magistrates January i. Early in the morning of the first 
of January one of the newly elected consuls took the 
auspices, went to the capitol, attended by senators, and 
made a sacrifice to Jupiter. Later in the day he called 
a meeting of the senate, which was attended by the other 
magistrates, to consider public questions of a general char- 
acter. Within five days after taking office, magistrates 
were expected to take an oath to support the laws (iurare 
in leges). Those magistrates who were to hold the imperium 

Cell. 13.15.4. 

Tac. Ann. 

ii. 22; 

Liv. 9. 46. i f . 

Cic. ad Att. 
9- 9- 3- 

St. R. I. 

584, n. 5. 

Cic. ad Att. 
2. 20. 6. 

Cic. ad Q. 
fr. 2. 16. 3; 
Dio, 40. 17. 

Veil. 2. 92. 
3-45 Val. 
Max. 3. 8. 3. 

Cic. in Verr. 
Act. i. 30 ; 
C. I. L. I. 202. 

Ov. Fast. 

i. 79 *; 

Suet. Aug. 


Liv. 26. 26. 5. 


Cell. 13. 1 5. 4; were required to secure the passage of the lex curiata 

Cic. de Leg. 

Agr. 2. 26 ff. de imperio. Some fictitious importance was given to this 
formal act in the later years of the republic by the oppo- 
sition of the tribunes. A magistrate could resign before 
his term of office had expired, and, in case of criminal con- 
duct, moral pressure could* be brought to bear upon him 
to induce him to resign, as was done in 63 in the case of 
Lentulus. He could be removed from office, however, only 
by the people who had elected him, but this radical step was 
rarely taken in times of peace (cf. pp. 95, 135). 

178. Responsibility of Magistrates. Theoretically, magis- 
trates, like private citizens, were amenable to the laws, and 
civil or criminal action could be brought against them 
either during their term of office or after its expiration. 
However, certain considerations of a theoretical and prac- 
tical nature put a check on the application of this principle 
in its extreme form. Thus action could not be brought 
against a magistrate in office unless the judge before whom 

Suet. iul. 17; the case came had the maior potestas. The consul was, 
therefore, exempt from trial during his term of office, 
because no magistrate had the maior potestas over him. 
Furthermore, the danger of interfering with the transac- 
tion of public business usually checked any attempts to 
hold even a lower magistrate responsible in the courts, 
until his term had expired. The dictator could not be 
called to account in any case, and, although the censor 
does not seem to have been exempted by law from 
responsibility for his conduct, the proper performance of 
his duties involved the exercise of so much discretion 
that no successful action ever appears to have been 
brought against him. The development of one phase of 
the tribune's functions deserves special notice in this 
connection. From the outset he was vested with the right 


to inflict a summary punishment on any one who violated 
the sanctity of his person, or disregarded his veto power. 
As we have already noticed (p. 76), the irregularity of 
this procedure, and the theory that a failure to recognize 
the rights of the representative of the plebs was an offense 
against the dignity of the whole order, led to the practice 
of bringing such cases, especially if magistrates were 
offenders, before the concilium plebis. Before this court 
ex- magistrates were freely held responsible for malfeasance 
in office, embezzlement of public funds, and for other 
offenses of a more or less political character. After the 
establishment of the quaestiones de repetundis, de ambitu, 
and de maiestate (cf. p. 106), offending magistrates, espe- 
cially provincial governors, at the end of their term of 
office were brought before these courts. The purpose of 
these actions was often, not to secure justice, but to win an 
advantage by discrediting a political opponent. 


Mommsen, Rom. Staatsrecht, 3 vols. (Vols. I and II in 3d ed.) 

Leipzig, 1887. (Cited in reference, St. R.) 
Herzog, Geschichte u. System d. rom. Staatsverfassung, 2 vols. 

Leipzig, 1884-7. (Cited in reference, Iferz.) 
Bouche-Leclercq, Manuel des institutions Romaines. Paris, 1886. 

(Cited in reference, B.-L.) 
Madvig, Verfassung u. Verwaltung d. rom. Staates, 2 vols. Leipzig, 

1 88 1-2. (Cited in reference, Madv.) 
Schiller, Staats- und Rechtsaltertiimer in Miiller's Handbuch, Bd. 

IV. 2 Munich, 1893. (Cited in reference, Sch.) 

1 General works of reference like the Dictionaries of Classical Antiquities by 
Seyffert (revised by Nettleship and Sandys), by Smith (revised by Wayte and 
Marindin), by Daremberg and Saglio, and by Peck, and Pauly's Real-Encyclopadie 
(4 vols. now published, revised by Wissowa) may also be consulted with profit in 
connection with this chapter and with those which follow. 


Lange, Romische Alterthiimer, 3 vols. Berlin, 1876-9. 

Mispoulet, Les institutions politiques des Remains, 2 vols. Paris, 

Ad. Nissen, Das lustitium. Leipzig, 1877. (Cited in reference, 

Nissen, lust.) 
Mommsen, Die Rechtsfrage zwischen Casar u. dem Senat. Breslau, 


Karlowa, Romische Rechtsgeschichte, Vol. I. Leipzig, 1885. 
H. Nissen, Das Templum. Berlin, 1869. 
Bruns, Fontes iuris Romani antiqui, ed. VI. cura Theodori Momm- 

seni et Ottonis Gradenwitz. Lipsiae, 1893. (Cited in reference, 

Willems, Le droit public Romain, 6th ed. Louvain, 1888. (Cited 

in reference, Will. Dr.) 


(a) The Consul 

179. The Consul's Alternative Titles. At the begin- 
ning of the republican period the two chief magistrates 
were called praetores, indices, or consules. The significance 
of the first two titles is correctly explained in Cic. de Legg. 
III. 8 : regio imperio duo sunto, iique praeeundo, iudicando, 
consulendo,praetores, indices, consules appellamino. Perhaps 
it was because the functions of the chief-magistrate as 
commander-in-chief of the army surpassed his civil duties 

in importance and dignity that he was commonly styled Legg. xn. 
praetor in the early period. Perhaps praetor indicated Liv. 3. 55. 12. 
his military, and index his civil functions. At all events, 
after 367, when the jurisdiction of the chief-magistrate in 
civil cases was transferred to the incumbent of the newly 
established magistracy, the former is regularly called consul. 
Cicero's explanation of the word consul is not correct. 
The title indicates rather that the supreme power was held 
by more than one person. In this respect of course the 
position of the republican chief-magistrate was distinguished 
from that of the king. 

180. Collegiality. What has been said (pp. 167-172) in 
a previous chapter, dealing with the magistrates in general, 
with reference to eligibility for office, method of nomina- 
tion, candidacy, elections, entrance on office, and retire- 
ment from it, is peculiarly applicable to the consulship. 


Both members of this college were at all times vested 
with the full power of their office. To avoid a conflict 
of authority, so far as it was possible to avoid it under 
this system, in the early period, as we have already noticed 
(p. 155), the consuls took turns month by the month in 
exercising the right of the initiative, the older of the two 

Cell. 2. 15.4. en j yi n g this privilege for the first month of the official 
year. The consul who was thus honored during a given 

Festus, month was sometimes called consul maior. This method 

p. 161, ed. M. . . 

Suet lul 20 * alternation, however, was probably given up before 
Cicero's time, although it was restored by Caesar. The 
other methods of avoiding a conflict which have been men- 
tioned, were freely used. In time of war both consuls took 
the field in the early period, but, after Sulla's reform of the 
constitution (cf. p. 105), they rarely left the city and, there- 
fore, rarely exercised the military imperium. 

181. lus cum Populo Patribusque Agendi. The consul 
was vested with all the powers which belonged to the 
magistracy (pp. 157 f.). The functions peculiar to his office 
may be conveniently considered from the point of view 
of home politics and foreign politics. In the field of 
domestic affairs his most important powers were those 
which he exercised as chairman of the senate and of the 
assemblies of the populus. He alone of the regular magis- 
trates could preside over the centuriate comitia called 
for the election of magistrates. The nomination of a 
dictator was also intrusted to him. Furthermore, cus- 
tom had conferred on him alone the right to bring impor- 
tant bills before the comitia centuriata or the comitia 
tributa. His relations with the senate are more difficult 
to define. It was his duty to consult that body in impor- 
tant matters, but the law laid down no provisions to govern 
his action in specific cases, so that the question was left 


to his own discretion. He could even propose a measure 
in the popular assembly without securing the auctoritas 
senatus, or previous approval of the senate. This was the 
course which Caesar adopted in 59 in securing the passage 
of his agrarian bill. But the senate could usually bring Liv. Ep. 103. 
such an attempt to naught by interposing religious diffi- 
culties, or by persuading a tribune to interpose his veto. 
In fact, Caesar's course in 59 was regarded as almost revo- 
lutionary. No satisfactory line of distinction can be drawn 
between the kind of legislation which the consul secured 
and that which was proposed by the tribune, except that 
the latter usually had a more partisan bias. 

182. Judicial Functions. The establishment of the prae- 
torship in 367 took almost entirely from the consul his juris- 
diction in civil cases (iurisdictio inter privates). Later only 
friendly transactions which needed the confirmation of the 
state's authority, like the manumission of a slave, or the 
emancipation of a son from the patria potestas, came under 
his jurisdiction. The laws establishing the right of appeal, 
the assumption of judicial powers by the concilium plebis 
(p. 76), and the establishment of the quaestiones perpetuae 
under the presidency of the praetors (p. 106), robbed the 
consul of his functions as a criminal judge, so far as citizens 
were concerned. Important criminal proceedings against 
foreigners and against slaves were, however, still left in his 

183. Religious Duties. The revolution of 509 trans- 
ferred the religious functions of the chief-magistrate to the 
priests. The consul, however, still had certain religious 
duties to perform, such as taking the auspices (p. 158), 

making sacrifices, pronouncing and performing vows in Liv. 9. 46. 6; 
the name of the state, dedicating temples, and supervising JJlJi? 1 
certain public games. 


184. Financial Duties. The control which the king, and 
the consul in the early republican period, had had over the 
finances of the state, was in later days exercised on the 
one hand by the senate and the people, on the other by 
the censor and the quaestor. The right to enact and repeal 

Liv. 2. 9. 6; revenue laws was from the outset intrusted to the senate. 
In the later period the consuls also adopted the practice 
of consulting the senate with reference to the expenditure 
of public funds, until in course of time that body acquired 
Liv. 44.16. if.; in large measure the control of the public treasury. The 
3 6. ' financial powers of the consul were still further limited by 

the establishment of the censorship, and by the elevation of 
the quaestorship to an independent elective office. The 
quaestor alone could authorize the payment of public 
moneys, and the censor, during his term of office at least, 
had exclusive charge of the ager publicus, the farming of 
the taxes, and the construction of public buildings and 
public works. However, the consul took charge of most 
matters of this sort during the last three and a half years 
of a lustrum after the censor had gone out of office. 

185. Functions of the Consul outside the City. As 
we have already noticed (p. 161), a sharp line of distinc- 
tion was drawn between the powers which a magistrate 
could exercise at home (domi} and abroad (militiae). Up 
to this point we have considered the consul's powers and 

duties in the city. Outside the city his functions consisted 
mainly in conducting campaigns, and in representing the 
home government in its dealings with Italy, the provinces, 
and with independent states. 

1 86. The Consul as Commander-in-Chief. A declaration 
of war always required the favorable action of the centu- 
riate comitia. The consul, however, retained the right to 
call the citizens to arms in case of an emergency, but, as 



the military operations of Rome increased in importance, 
and more than two generals in the field were required, the 
whole question of the levy and the organization of the 
army was submitted to the senate for its consideration. 
After 207 also the choice of the tribuni militum for the 1^.27.36.14. 
four legions of the regular levy was taken out of the hands 
of the consul and made by popular election. When mili- 
tary operations were carried on at a single point, the con- 
suls had the supreme command on alternate days. When Liv. 22. 45. 
two campaigns were being carried on at the same time, the 4 ~ 5 ' 
senate was often asked to assign the two consuls to their 
respective fields, and in this way that body made its influ- 
ence felt still further in the management of military affairs. 
In the general conduct of a campaign the consul was given a 
free hand, although at its close he might be held responsible 
before the concilium plebis (pp. 1723) for such military 
offenses as cowardice or ill-treatment of prisoners. In the 
early period apparently the chief-magistrate could conclude 
a valid treaty of peace with an enemy, but in later times, 
perhaps after the humiliating treaty of the Caudine Forks 
in 321, the right to conclude a permanent treaty of peace Liv. 9 . 5 . i. 
was taken by the people as its exclusive prerogative. The 
magisterial right to sue for a triumph, for the title of 
imperator, and for a supplicatio has already been discussed 
(pp. 161 f.). 

187. The Consul's Duties in Italy. The control which 
the consul had over Italy outside of Rome and that which 
he exercised over the provinces differed essentially, for two 
reasons. In the first place, the provincials were not citi- 
zens, while in the first century the Italians had the rights 
of citizenship in full, or to a limited extent. Furthermore, 
each province was a political unit subject to its governor, 
while in Italy affairs other than those of a purely local, 


fiscal, or judicial character were directed from Rome. 
The relations which the Italian communities bore to the 
central government were determined by treaties (cf. p. 59), 
and one of the principal duties of the consul was to secure 
the observance of these treaty relations, and, with the 
Liv. 10. i. 3. cooperation of the senate (cf. p. 236), to suppress con- 
spiracies and put down serious uprisings. In his mili- 
tary capacity he took charge of the contingents of troops 
furnished by the Italian allies, and protected Italy from 
inroads from across the frontier. 

1 88. The Consul in the Provinces. In the early period, 
foreign campaigns, as well as those in Italy, were conducted 
by the consul. In case a praetor was already in charge 
of the province where the war was being carried on, he 
assumed the same relation to the consul which he would 
have held to him if both magistrates had been in Rome. 
If the province was not under a praetorian governor, the 
consul took upon himself all civil and military duties. 
Sulla's legislation extended to all the provinces the prac- 
tice of sending out ex-magistrates as governors at the end 
of their term of office at Rome, so that after his dictatorship 
the consul had no occasion to go into a province during 
his term of office. Sulla's arrangement was slightly modi- 
Dio, 40. 56 ; fied by the law of 5 2 which fixed an interval of five years 
i. 85. 9. between the incumbency of a magistracy at Rome and the 

assumption of a provincial governorship. 

Through the consul also negotiations were carried on with 
other states. He received embassies, introduced them to 
the senate, when he saw fit to do so, referred questions 
of international politics to that body for discussion, and 
laid before the popular assembly the recommendations of 
the senate with reference to an offensive war or a treaty 
of peace. 


189. The Quaestio Extraordinaria, Senatus Consultum 
Ultimum, and lustitium. Certain exceptional powers given 
to the consul, or assumed by him on his own responsibility 
in an emergency, are on the border line between his powers 
domi and militiae. These extraordinary powers came to him 
in one of three ways : through the establishment of a quaes- 
tio extraordinaria, the passage of a senatus consultum ulti- 
mum, or the announcement of a iustitium. When crimes 
of a political character had been committed by private 
citizens or by magistrates, for the adjudication of which 
the ordinary courts seemed unsuitable, the investigation of 
the accused persons, and their punishment, if found guilty, 
were sometimes intrusted to special courts under the presi- 
dency of the consuls and the .other higher magistrates. In Liv. 42. 21. 5 ; 
such cases the right of appeal was suspended. When a con- 2 5 ' 4 
spiracy, an insurrection, or a revolution threatened public 
security, or the integrity of the state, the senate at times, 
instead of instructing the consul to appoint a dictator, passed 
the senatus consultum ultimum, so called, which, under the S ali. Cat. ^9; 
interpretation put on it for many years, suspended the right ^ aes - B> c - 
of appeal and the tribuniciari veto power. A iustitium cic. de Har. 
could probably be declared by the consul on his own respon- p^ p ' 55 ; x . 
sibility, but this was so extreme a step to take, that the Liv - 3- 2 7- 2. 
senate was usually consulted beforehand. The iustitium 
involved the suspension of public business, in particular of 
fiscal and judicial business, and the closing of the shops. 

(b) The Dictator and Magister Equitum 

190. Appointment of a Dictator. The consul, as we have 
already noticed (pp. 25 f.), inherited the political powers of 
the king, except that he was subject, either at the outset 
or at an early period, to the checks put on him by the 


principle of collegiality, the right of appeal, the tribunician 
veto, and the possibility of being held accountable for his 
conduct. From all these limitations the dictator in the 
early period was relieved. A dictator was appointed when 
the integrity of the commonwealth was threatened by wars 
without or by dissensions within the borders of the state. 
Liv.4. 26. ii ; The power to appoint was vested in the consuls. Some- 
celhis, 24!^ times the two consuls acted together in making the choice. 
At other times one of them was chosen by lot to select the 
dictator. The veto of a colleague or of a tribune was not 
recognized. Constitutionally the senate had no voice in 
the matter, but, during the period of its supremacy, that 
body usually passed on the advisability of choosing a dicta- 
Cic. de Legg. tor, and secured the appointment of the individual favored 
by it. An important change in the method of appointment 

4 21. 

was made during the second Punic war after the disastrous 

defeat at Lake Trasimenus. The necessity of choosing 

a dictator was recognized by every one, and, as if by com- 

mon consent, an act authorizing the appointment was passed 

Liv. 22. 8. by one of the popular assemblies. This irregular method 

Liv 27 f procedure was followed on one or two subsequent occa- 

J 4 f - sions also. The choice was usually limited to ex-consuls, 

but there does not seem to have been any legal restriction 

covering this point. 

191. His Powers and Duties. The consuls and other 
magistrates continued in office after the appointment of 
Liv. 5. 9. 6 ; a dictator, but he exercised the right of maius imperium 
(p. 153) over them. He could, however, if he pleased, 
force them to resign. Inasmuch as his duties involved 
mainly the preservation of order or its restoration, the 
exercise of his functions rarely brought him into conflict 
with the praetor, censor, or aedile, so that the business of 
those officials was carried on without interruption during 


a dictatorship. He was attended by twenty-four lictors, Polyb. 3 . 
who carried axes even within the city. The appointment L 7 iv. 7 2. 18. 8. 
of a dictator curtailed the rights of the individual citizen. 
He was in a way also a representative of the conservative 
party. It is not strange, therefore, that the party of prog- 
ress fiercely attacked the institution, and as that party grew Liv. 27. 6. 5 ; 
in power it succeeded in making good the right of appeal, p. e jg8%d. M. 
perhaps in 300, and the right of a tribune to interpose his 
veto a right which was gained toward the close of the third 
century. The dictator was never held responsible for his 
conduct, however, and there is only one recorded instance Liv. 22. 25. 
where a colleague was chosen. Still the two changes 
mentioned above robbed the dictatorship of its impor- 
tance in large measure, and the last incumbent of the office 
was chosen in 202. Dictators were appointed not only 
seditionis sedandae causa, but also to perform certain 
political or religious acts which . could not well be per- 
formed by the regular magistrates. Thus they were chosen 
comitiorum habendorum, feriarum constituendarum, and Liv. 7. 22. 10 ; 
davi figendi causa. % 7 3 ^6! 

192. Term of Office. The dictator was expected to lay 
down his office when the business for which he had been 
chosen had been brought to an end. The maximum term 
was six months. The dictatorship of Sulla (p. 104) and of 
Caesar (pp. 134 f.) in the first century B.C. was, there- 
fore, essentially different in this respect from those of the 
early period. Sulla assumed the office for an indefinite 
period, and Caesar for life. Some of the other points in 
which this new magistracy differed from the old one are 

noted elsewhere (pp. 135, 218). On the motion of Antony cic. Phil, 
the dictatorship was abolished after Caesar's death. 

193. The Magister Equitum. At the outset the dictator 

... . Cic. de Re 

was called magtstcr popuh, a term which throws some light p u bl. i. 63. 


on the relation which his subordinate, the magister equitum, 
bore to him. The dictatorship was primarily a military 
office, and its incumbent commanded the infantry, while Legg. the magister equitum had charge of the cavalry. If we 

L. 9 L. 5. a 82? think of the dictator as vested for a short time with the 
powers of the king, which is essentially true for the early 
period, the magister equitum corresponds to the king's chief 
military subordinate, the tribunus celerum (p. 16). He was 

Liv. 9. 38. appointed by the dictator, was the dictator's immediate sub- 
ordinate, and during the absence of that official received 
his exceptional powers. He went out of office with his 

Dio, 42. 27. superior. He was attended by six lictors, wore the prae- 
texta, and probably used the curule chair on official occa- 
sions. He ranked just below the praetor (p. 168). The 
office became extinct when the dictatorship was given up, 
but was revived by Caesar. 

(c) The Consular Tribune 

194. Origin of the Consular Tribunate. Roman histo- 
rians give as one reason for the establishment of the con- 
Liv. 4. 7. 2. sular tribunate the development of military operations and 
the need of more than two generals in the field. This may 
have been a subsidiary motive, but the real explanation 
of the change is probably the one given in a previous 
chapter (p. 34). From the earliest times the armed force 
of the community had been commanded by tribwii mili- 
tum. These were at first three in number, then six, and, 
when more than one legion was levied, six for each legion. 
The establishment of the office of tribwii militum consulari 
potestate meant simply the investiture of a certain number 
of these purely military officials with the political powers 
of the consul. This was accomplished by an election in 


the centuriate comitia. All citizens served in the army Liv. 5. 52. 16. 
and were eligible to the office of tribunus militum, so 
that the substitution of consular tribunes for consuls in- 
volved the admission of plebeians to the chief magistracy, Liv. 4. 6. 8. 
and satisfied their demands in part, while at the same time, 
as we have already noticed (p. 34), the patricians left a 
way open to restore to their own class its exclusive political 
privileges, when a favorable opportunity presented itself. 

195. Number of the Consular Tribunes and their Powers. 
The normal number six was suggested by the number of 
military tribunes in charge of each legion. The numbers 
three and four, which are not uncommon in the college, 
may be due to the fact that they adapted themselves 
readily to the system of monthly sequence during the 

year. As their title indicates, these officials had all the Liv. 4. 7. 2. 
powers and insignia of the consul, even the right to take 
the auspices and to name a dictator. The only partic- 
ulars in which the power and dignity of the offiee were 
inferior to those of the consul seem to have been that the 
consular tribunes could not delegate their authority, could Liv.4.45.7f.; 
not triumph at the close of their term of office, and did 
not enjoy the privileges which ex-consuls had. The last 
distinction is of both political and social importance. 
Those who had been consular tribunes did not have the 
right of priority in speaking and voting in the senate, 
which was one of the privileges of ex-consuls. In fact, 
plebeians who had filled the office were probably not 
allowed to take part in the debate at all. This limitation St. R. in. 
more than any other must have made the plebeians dis- 
satisfied with the compromise. Furthermore, ex-consular 
tribunes did not have the ius imaginum (p. 166). 

196. Disappearance of the Office. The office lasted 

from 444 to 367. It was abolished by the Licinian law, Liv. 6. 35. 5. 


During the period of its continuance there were fifty-one 
St. R. II. 191. colleges of consular tribunes and twenty-two of consuls, and 
for four years, from 375 to 371, there were no curule magis- 
trates. In the year 53 it was proposed to reestablish the 
consular tribunate, in order to satisfy the rival candidates for 
the chief-magistracy by increasing the number of positions 
available, but the plan was not carried out. 

(d) The Praetor 

197. Relation of the Praetor to the Consul. The circum- 
stances under which the praetorship was established have 
been noticed elsewhere (p. 37). The new magistrate was 

Cell. 13.15.4; regarded as the collega consulum, and in the early period 

9.9.3; f ex-consuls were not infrequently elected to the office. 

LIV. 7.1.6. Certain important duties which had belonged to the consul 
were taken from him and assigned to the praetor. It was 
very natural, therefore, to regard the praetor as equal in 

Liv. 6. 42. ii. dignity to the consul. In point of fact the sphere within 
which he exercised his regular functions was so sharply 
defined, and he was made so complete a master of it, that 
there was little danger of conflict between him and the 
consul. When such conflict came, however, the principle 

0611.13.15.4. of mains imperium was recognized, and the praetor was 
forced to yield. His inferior position was indicated to 
the eye by the fact that he was attended by only six 

Appian, lictors, and in the later period he was accompanied by 
only two when performing his judicial duties in the city. 

198. Method of Election ; Title. Certain practices ob- 
served in electing praetors bring out in a concrete way 
the relation which the consul and the praetor bore to each 
other. As Aulus Gellius says (N. A. XIII. 15. 4): praetor, 
etsi conlega consults est, neque praetorem neque consulem iure 


i8 7 

rogare potest, . . . quia imperium minus praetor, mains habet 
consul, et a minore imperio maius aut maior conlega rogari 
iure non potest. Patricians only were eligible to the office 
at first, but within thirty years of its establishment it 
was thrown open to the plebeians also (p. 42), whether 
by law or otherwise is not clear. The chief-magistrate 
lost the title of praetor and it was given to the new 
official (p. 175), although it did not suggest his duties as 
well as iudex would have done. 

199. Three Periods of the Praetorship. The history of 
the praetorship, from the point of view of the functions 
which the incumbents of the office exercised, falls into 
three periods from 367 to 227, from 227 to 81, and from 
8 1 down into the empire. In the first period the special 
duties of the praetor were judicial. In the second period 
the college of praetors was divided into two sections. The 
members of one section were judges ; those of the other 
were provincial governors. In the third period, under the 
republic, all of the praetors were judges at Rome, during 
their first year of office, and provincial governors the 
following year. 

200. Development of the Praetorship. There was only 
one praetor at the outset. This fact distinguishes the 
praetorship from all the other magistracies. From the theo- 
retical point of view, however, as we have seen, the praetor 
was regarded as the colleague of the two consuls, and, 
therefore, in a vague way may have been at first thought of 
as a member of the college to which the consuls belonged. 
The judicial duties of the praetor confined him to the city, 
while the consuls, his two colleagues, if we may so call 
them, were frequently engaged in carrying on wars abroad. 
In consequence of this difference he was styled praetor 
urbanus. The duties of the new magistracy increased to 


such an extent that in 242 it was found necessary to choose 

Liv. Ep. 19. a second praetor. The praetor urbanus assumed charge 
of all civil suits in which citizens only were interested, 
while the new magistrate officiated when one party or 

Liv. 22. 35. 5. both parties were peregrini. It was from this fact that he 
received his distinguishing title of praetor peregrinus. 
Along with the increase in the size of the college of 

Liv. 22.35. 6; praetors in 227 to four, and in 197 to six, went a change 
in the functions of certain of the incumbents of the office, 
for, as we have already noticed (p. 71), the four new 
praetors were added to take charge of the four newly 
acquired provinces. To meet the increasing demand for 
provincial governors, and to provide for the transaction of 
judicial business in the city, the Romans were obliged to 

St. R. II. resort frequently to the prorogatio imperii. The adoption 
of this device in the case of the praetor made his office 
practically one of two years. So far as the term of 
office was concerned, it was not a radical change which 
Sulla made, therefore, in formally assigning to every praetor 
one year in Rome and one year in a province. The 
importance of the change consisted in the fact that from 
this time to the fall of the republic the functions of all the 
praetors were essentially the same, and that all of them 

St. R. II. assumed judicial duties for a year and undertook the gov- 
ernment of a province for the following year. The number 
of praetors, which Sulla raised to eight, was increased by 

Dio, 42. 51; Caesar to ten, then to fourteen, and ultimately to sixteen. 

43- 47 ; 43- 49- 20I ^ Division of Duties. From the time when more than 
one praetor was chosen, the principle of collegiality, and 

Cic. in Verr. the consequent possibility of exercising the veto power, was 
recognized ; but it did not have much meaning for the 
praetor's office, because the duties of the several praetors 
were quite distinct from one another. It occasionally found 


expression in a positive way in the joint action of two or 
more praetors in a matter concerning them all. The prae- 
tor urbanus took precedence of all his colleagues, and Liv. 24. 9. 5. 
assumed the chief-magistracy during the absence of both 
the consuls. The assignment of each praetor to his pro- 
vincia, or sphere of duties, was made by lot. From Sulla's 
time the casting of lots took place after the election to deter- 
mine the praetor's functions for the first year, and during 
the first year of office to decide which provinces should be 
governed by the several praetors during the second year. 

202. Powers of tofl Praetor. The praetor's powers were 
of three different sorts. He acted as a judge, as a pro- 
vincial governor, and as an administrative officer. The 
details of judicial procedure and the duties of a provincial 
governor are given elsewhere, but one or two facts of a 
general character bearing on his judicial duties may be 
stated here. 

203. The Praetor as a Criminal Judge. To the con- 
stitutional changes already mentioned in the functions of 
the praetor, which divide the history of his office into three 
periods, may be added the change which resulted from the 
establishment of the quaestiones perpetuae (cf. pp. 74, 106). 
These courts were put under the presidency of the praetor. 
Up to the time of their establishment he had been solely a 
civil judge, but henceforth he conducted criminal cases also. 
The development of the praetor's criminal jurisdiction out 
of the civil is not hard to understand. The earliest quaestio 
perpetua, that to try governors charged with extortion, was 
from one point of view a civil court, in which those who 
had suffered had the right of complaint. From another 
point of view the proceeding assumed the character of a 
criminal action, since the offense had been committed by 
a state official and was to the detriment of the state. 


204. The Edictum Praetorium. Of the magisterial 
powers mentioned above (pp. 157 ff.) the ius edicendi 
assumed the greatest importance at the hands of the prae- 
tor. On taking office he published the maxims of law and 
the forms of procedure {formulae} by which he would be 

Ascon. in governed throughout the year of his office. This edict was 
ed r or.' P 5 ' properly called, therefore, an edictum perpetuum. A praetor 
commonly adopted the edict of his predecessor, making 
such additions and changes as seemed to him and his 
advisers desirable, and in this way a large part of the 
Roman civil and criminal law was developed. The edicts 
of the praetor peregrinus formed in a similar way the basis 
of the ius gentium. 

205. The Praetor as an Administrative Officer. Admin- 
istrative action was taken by the praetor, either in his 
capacity as an independent magistrate, or as the repre- 
sentative of the consul. Action in the first case was usu- 
ally taken under the authorization of the senate, and covered 

Cic. pro such matters as presiding over the comitia when laws were 

Liv s! 17 \z Dem g passed or inferior magistrates elected. Furthermore, 
27. 5. 16. ne conducted civil and military affairs under the direc- 
tion of the consul, and, as noted above, in the absence 
of the consuls the praetor urbanus became with certain 
limitations the chief-magistrate. 

(e) The Censor 

206. Collegiality. The censorship was established in 
443 or 435 (cf. p. 37). In the case of this office the 
collegiate principle was carried out in its extreme form. 
A majority of the centuries must cast their votes for both 

Liv. 5. 31.6; members of the college at the same meeting to make 
45. 15. 8.' an election valid. If one censor retired from office, his 


colleague must also withdraw, and joint action was necessary 
in all important matters. This requirement of joint action 
furnished the principal safeguard of the citizen against 
the arbitrary action of one member of the college, since 
the censors were practically unaccountable for their official 

207. Election of Censors ; Term of Office. At the outset 
patricians only were eligible. The first plebeian was elected 

to the office in 351, and a few years later the principle Liv. 10. 8. 8. 
governing eligibility to the consulship was applied to the 
censorship also. One censor must be plebeian ; both might Liv. 8. 12. 16. 
be. Censors were elected in the centuriate comitia under Liv. 32. 7. i ; 
the presidency of the consul, and entered on their offices 
immediately after their election. New censors were chosen Varro, L. L. 
at intervals of four or five years, and held office for a year rinus', 18.13; 
and a half. The business left unfinished at the end of " erz ' s I t 7 9 ' 
their term of office was turned over mainly to the consuls n. 332 ff. 
and aediles. Technically the censorship stood below the 
praetorship (p. 168), but in practical importance and in 
public esteem it was rated much higher. In fact, during 
the first half of the second century it surpassed all the 
other magistracies in dignity and influence. Consuls and 
praetors did not have the right to veto the action of the 
censor, and the tribune rarely exercised it. The censor 
sat in the curule chair on formal occasions, and was 
allowed to wear the purple toga. On the other hand, he 
was not vested with the imperium, and consequently was 
not attended by lictors (cf. p. 166). He did not have the 
right to convoke the senate or the comitia. 

208. The Duties of the Censor. The administrative 
duties of the office consisted ( i ) in assessing the property 
of citizens and arranging them in tribes, classes, and cen- 
turies, (2) in revising the lists of knights and senators, 


(3) in managing the finances of the state. In their per- 
formance of these duties the censors exercised a general 
supervision over the morals of the community. 

209. Preliminaries to the Census. The first step in the 
assessment of property was to summon all citizens to a 
contio in the Campus Martius, where the formula census 
which stated the principles to be followed in making the 
assessment and the lists was announced. Those summoned 
were omnes Quirites, \_eguites~\ pedites, armati privatique, 
curatores omnium tribuum, si quis pro se sive pro altero 
rationem dare volet (Varro, L. L. VI. 86). It will be noted 
that those who were exempt from military service on the 
score of age or physical disability, as well as those who 
were subject to it, were required to present themselves. 
Boys who were not under the patria potestas and women 
who were not under the legal control of either father or 
husband were required to appear, and were registered in a 
special list. Those who failed to be registered, the incensi, 
were liable to the loss of personal freedom and property, 
but in the later period the assessment of their property 
was made without their assistance, and they escaped 
the penalty. The censors were assisted by the curatores 
tribuum, or administrative representatives of the several 
tribes, and by a concilium made up of officials and expert 

210. The Census and the Nota. Every citizen was 
required to give his name, age, domicile, the name of his 
father or former owner, his tribe, his family circumstances, 
the number of years of military service which he had ren- 
dered, and the amount of his taxable property. On the 
basis of the information thus obtained the censors deter- 
mined the taxes and drew up the lists of citizens according 
to tribes, classes, and centuries. The basis of classification 


is discussed elsewhere (pp. 250-251). Law or custom had 

laid upon them, in the performance of this duty, the 

obligation of inquiring into the manner of life (mores} of Liv. 4. 8. 2; 

every citizen, and in particular of finding out the way de Legg. 3 7. 

in which each one had performed his duty to the state. 

The commission of a crime like theft, an objectionable Cell. 4. 20. 6; 

mode of life, cowardice in the presence of the enemy, c 7 ic. 2 de 3 Re 

malfeasance in office, and similar matters might lead the 4 2 2 L 

censors to assign a citizen to a large tribe (tribu movere) 
and thus diminish the value of his vote, or to deprive 
him of his vote altogether (inter aerarios referre), to take 
from a knight his horse (adimere equum), or to remove a 
name from the list of senators (senatu movere]. The inflic- 
tion of this punishment was indicated by placing a nota 
after a citizen's name in the list. The effect of the punish- 
ment lasted until a new census was made. It was within 
the censor's power also to issue proclamations forbidding 
extravagance and scandalous methods of living. 

211. The Recognitio Equitum. Admission to knight- 
hood depended mainly on the possession of a certain 
amount of property. In the late republic and early empire 

the minimum required was 400,000 sesterces. The general Hor. Epist. 

assessment of citizens in the Campus would, therefore, p'un. 5 N! H. 

enable the censor to draw up the list of knights, but in 33- 3 2 - 

the case of the equites equo publico a special ceremony 

took place in the forum. Each knight whose equipment 

was furnished by the state was required to bring his horse 

for inspection by the censors. If the state of his equip- 

ment and his previous record were satisfactory, he received 

the order, traduc equum ; otherwise, vende equum. Rewards Liv. 29. 37. 

for distinguished service were also granted at this time. 

212. The Lectio Senatus. The duty of revising the 
list of senators was assigned to the censor by the Ovinian 


law (cf. pp. 46 f.) toward the close of the fourth century, and 
contributed largely to the importance of that magistrate's 
office. He enjoyed, and, during the period of the censor- 
ship's greatest influence, exercised freely the right to drop 
men from the senate and to fill vacancies. The reform of 
Sulla took this power from him (p. 105), and, even after 
the repeal of a large part of Sulla's legislation, the censor 
did not regain the right to add names to the list of sena- 
tors. He recovered, however, the power of removal. 

213. Management of Public Finances. To the censor 
fell the collection of revenue (vectigalid) and the expendi- 
ture of public moneys (ultro tributa}. The most important 
matters under the first head consisted in farming out the 
taxes to the highest bidder (maximis pretiis), in selling 
or renting public land, and in granting for a fixed sum 
certain privileges controlled by. the state. The most im- 
portant expenditure which came under the control of the 
censor was that entailed by the construction or repair of 
public buildings, roads, bridges, and aqueducts. The range 
of his duties in this respect, however, did not often extend 
beyond Rome and the Italian roads. The work was com- 
monly done by contractors (eonduttorts}, and paid for out 
of funds placed at the disposal of the censors by the senate. 
A record of the contracts made by them (leges censoriae) 
was kept in the aerarium. Questions of taxation at issue 
between the state and individual citizens, and matters in 
dispute between the state and publicani or conduct or es y 
were submitted to the censor for settlement (cf. p. 163), 
and this phase of his official duties must have been very 
Liv. i. 28. i; important. 

2 9 4 4' 7 I ~ 2 f \ 214. Completion of the Lustrum. The conclusion of 

Suet. Aug. tne census was marked by a sacrificium lustrale, or offering 

97 ; berv. on J 

Aen. 8. 183. of a boar, a ram, and a bull (suoretaurilia), in the Campus. 


After that the censor led the assembled army to the city 
gate, dismissed it, drove a nail in the wall of a certain 
temple, deposited the list of citizens in the aerarium, 
and laid down his office. Unfinished business, and new 
business which might arise before new censors were chosen, 
were managed by the consuls, aediles, and quaestors. 

215. Census outside of Rome. By the lex lulia muni- 
cipals (cf. 11. i, 42 ff.) of the year 45, arrangements were 
made for taking the census in the municipia throughout 
Italy, and for reporting the results at Rome sixty days 
before the completion of the Roman census. 

216. Decline of the Censorship. The reasons for the 
decline and disappearance of the censorship are not far to 
seek. With the rapid increase of the population, and of 
the financial interests of the state, the censors were unable 
to perform within the specified time the duty assigned to 
them. Toward the close of the second century, and in the 

early part of the first century, their work was either left Herz. 1.796 f. 
undone or done in an unsatisfactory manner. Further- 
more, the method which Sulla introduced of filling the 
senate (cf. p. 105), robbed the censor of one of his most 
important duties. In fact, there were no censors between 
80 and 70. A third agency which contributed to the 
downfall of the censorship was the fact that with the growth 
of the city the censors were unable to maintain their con- 
trol over the morals of the community, and that to make 
matters worse the nota came to be used as a political 
weapon, so that the right to affix it was abolished by law Ascon., p. 9, 
in 58. Although the law was repealed six years later, p ro Ses't. 55. 
this function of the censor's office never regained its 


(f) The Tribune 

217. Election, Number, Insignia, Assistants. The trib- 
une never became a magistrate in the strict sense of the 
word (cf. p. 151), but, inasmuch as his functions in the 
later years of the republic closely resembled those of a 
magistrate, the office may be conveniently discussed at 
this point. The law always required a candidate for the 
tribunate to be a plebeian. From 494 to 471, tribunes were 
probably elected in a plebeian curiate assembly (cf. p. 29). 
After the latter date they were chosen in the plebeian 
tribal assembly, presided over by a tribune. The number 
of tribunes at the outset is uncertain. Perhaps there were 
five, one representing each class. In 457 the number was 
increased to ten, and this continued afterwards to be the 
size of the college. The tribunes had no insignia of office. 
In fact, the democratic character of the position was in- 
dicated by the simple subsellia on which they sat when 
performing their official duties. At the outset the plebeian 
aediles served as their assistants, but, as the importance and 
also the duties of the aedile increased, the two offices drew 
apart, and viatores were assigned to the tribune to help 
him in the performance of his duties. 

218. Fundamental Power of the Tribune. The tribunate 
was established for one specific purpose, viz., to protect the 
individual citizen, and especially the plebeian, from arbitrary 
action on the part of a magistrate. His effective exercise 
of this right was assured to him by two things. In the 

Cell. 13. 12.9; first place, he could inflict punishment, even the punish- 

Cic. pro Tull. ' 

47; Plut. Ti. ment of death, on the magistrate who persisted in taking 
a step which he had forbidden. In the second place, he 

Val. Max. himself was sacrosanct, and any one could be put to death 
with impunity, and without process of law, who violated 


the sanctity of his person. The prohibition of the tribune 

must, however, be delivered in person, and at the moment Cell. 13. 12. 6. 

when the contemplated action was being taken. This fact 

accounts for the early increase of the number to ten, and Liv. 3. 30. 7. 

for the establishment of the tradition that the tribune must 

not be absent from home for a night, and must leave his 

door open. The principle underlying these arrangements 

explains also why the action forbidden by the tribune could 

be taken later, and become valid, unless again vetoed by 

him. This power (ius auxilii) could be exercised only 

inside the first milestone. Even the ius cum plebe agendi 

was possessed by the tribune before 449 only to the extent 

of convoking the plebs to elect his successor. 

219. Why the Tribune's Power increased. Three fac- 
tors united to bring about a rapid and far-reaching devel- 
opment of the tribune's powers. One of these was the 
political tendency during the early centuries of repub- 
lican history. The other two were the inviolability of the 
tribune's person, and his power of inflicting punishment. 
From the establishment of the republic down to the middle 
of the fourth century there was a steady movement toward 
the equalization of the political rights of the plebeians and 
patricians. The tribunes were the natural leaders of the 
plebeians in this movement, and an increase in their 
powers was a natural concomitant of the growth of the 
political rights of the plebeians. However, without the 
protection which was given him by the sacrosanct charac- 
ter of his person, and by his right to impose an immediate 
penalty, he would have found it well-nigh impossible to 
make good his claims to new power or to overthrow the 
existing order of things. With these powers he was almost 
invincible. No system of government could permanently 
resist the ius auxilii, safeguarded as it was by the two 


privileges just mentioned. It is not easy to follow in the 
traditional account the development of the tribune's 
authority, but its course can be inferred with a high 
degree of probability. 

220. Powers of the Latest Tribunate. In the later 
years of the republic these powers in the main were : (i) 
the ius auxilii, extended into the ius intercedendi ; (2) the 
ius coerritionis , with the complementary right of conducting 
criminal trials; (3) the ius cum plebe agendi ; (4) the ius 
cum pair ibus agendi ; and (5) certain general administrative 

221. The Intercessio. The intercessio carried with it 
the right to thwart any official act of administration. It 
was directed against the magistrate and not, like the veto 
of a president, governor, or mayor, against a measure. In 
the case of the senate, the tribune had the right to impose 
his veto on the magistrate at any stage in the proceed- 
ings ; for instance, when a matter was being laid before 
the senate for consideration, when the senators were asked 
their opinions, or when the vote was ordered. In a similar 
way, when the comitia met for legislative or judicial pur- 

Ascon., p. 70, poses, the intercessio was admissible at any point, until the 
Lives' 21 6 decision of the people had been finally announced. At 
first sight this extraordinary power seems to have little in 
common with the latio auxilii, which could only take place 
when a specific thing was being done to an individual by a 
magistrate, and when that individual called on the tribune 
for help. The greater power may well have developed out 
of the less, however, in this way : When the magistrate 
was instructed by the senate, for instance, to adopt a cer- 
tain course affecting a large number of citizens, before the 
measure was carried into effect, the tribune may have 
announced his intention to protect any citizen against 


whom the magistrate should try to carry out the senate's 
decree. The obvious result of such a declaration would be 
to make the measure of no effect, and we may well believe 
that a practical people like the Romans would consider it 
far better to get the opinion of the tribune, when a measure 
was under consideration, and to secure his approval, if 
possible, than to run the risk of passing an ineffective law. 
Furthermore, peaceable opposition to a bill under discus- 
sion was preferable to forcible opposition to an enacted law 
(cf. p. 38). The inter cessio of the tribune did not prevent 
a magistrate from submitting a measure a second time to 
the senate or comitia, however, and if the tribune inter- 
posed no objection on the second occasion the bill became 
a law. The tribune could exercise a modified form of his 
veto, however, by asking for a night to consider the mat- 
ter, instead of definitively prohibiting it. Occasionally the 
senate sought to prevent a tribune from interposing his 
veto by incorporating in a proposed measure a statement 
that if any tribune vetoed it he would be acting contra rem cic. ad Fam. 

Q Q f 

publicam, but this device does not seem to have been of 
much avail. The tribunician veto against a measure deal- 
ing with the consular provinces was not admissible (unless cic. de Prov. 
this restriction was removed in 52), nor could the tribune 
prevent the election of a magistrate. It is not clear what 
restrictions Sulla laid on the veto power of the tribune, Legg. 
but they do not seem to have been of a permanent ^ " ; ^ 
character. T - 7- 3- 

222. Criminal Jurisdiction of the Tribune. As we have 
already noticed, the lex sacrata of 494 empowered the 
tribune to punish the magistrate who persisted in a course 
which he had forbidden, or who violated the sanctity of Cic. pro 
his person. This power was given to him because he 
represented in his person the rights of the plebeians. It 


was exercised by him when the magistrate had transgressed 
in a specific case ; but the whole policy of a magistrate 
might be prejudicial to the interests of the plebeians, and 
it was a natural development of the tribune's power to hold 
such a magistrate responsible for his conduct. A summary 
punishment inflicted by the tribune in such a case would 
hardly be appropriate, and, furthermore, the objectionable 
acts might have been committed away from Rome, or 
some time before. The practice, therefore, grew up of 
allowing the tribune to prosecute such offending magistrates 
before the plebeian assembly. But conduct prejudicial to 
the best interests of the plebeians was prejudicial to the 
whole state, for the patricians in the later period constituted 
an element numerically almost negligible in the community ; 
or, to put it in another way, the community was practically 
a plebeian community, and offenses against the state could, 
without a serious violation of equity, be tried before the 
plebeian assembly. In this way the tribune became a 
public prosecutor, and the concilium plebis developed into 
a court for the trial of magistrates accused of such offenses 
as cowardice, appropriation of public funds, or illegal reten- 
tion of office. This method of judicial procedure was 
gradually given up after the establishment of the quaestiones 

223. The lus cum Plebe Agendi. Down to 449 the con- 
cilium plebis met to elect tribunes and aediles, and perhaps 
also to adopt resolutions. The Valerio-Horatian laws of 
the year mentioned gave it the power to legislate for the 
whole community under certain conditions, and the legis- 
lation of 339 and 287 removed even these restrictions 
(pp. 49 ff.). Some of the effects of these changes on the 
tribune's position have already been noted (p. 45). Sulla 
limited the legislative competence of the tribune by making 



the preliminary approval of the patrician members of the 
senate necessary to secure the validity of a plebiscitum, 
but this restriction was removed in the year 70. 

224. The lus cum Patribus Agendi. In the early period 
of the tribunate, the tribunes, as classical writers tell us, sat 
outside the doors of the senate and waited for the passage 
of bills by that body. The circumstances under which they 
were Admitted to the senate-house and allowed to state 
their objections there have already been noticed (p. 38). 
This change would not have required the passage of a law. 
The right which the tribune acquired, perhaps in connection 
with the passage of the Hortensian law, to convoke the 
senate and lay matters before it for consideration, was also 
a sign of the rapprochement between the tribune and the 
senate. The Hortensian law took the concilium plebis out 
from under the control of the senate, but the senate may 
well have hoped that, by allowing the tribune to bring 
matters directly before it, he would be led to submit bills 
to it for its consideration before presenting them to the 
plebeian assembly for action. 

225. Administrative Duties. Occasionally matters of an 
administrative character, like the dedication of a temple, 
or the supervision of the coinage, fell to the charge of 
the tribune, but duties of this sort never assumed much 
importance under the republic. 

226. The Tribune as a Political Leader. The part 
which the tribune played as a political leader has been 
noticed here and there in the historical part of this book. 
A simple solution of the question at issue between the 
plebeians and patricians in 494 could have been secured 
by giving the plebeians full political rights, but the patri- 
cians were not willing to grant them, and the plebeians 
were not strong enough to force them to take that step. 

Appian, B. C. 
i. 59; Liv. 
Ep. 97 ; Caes. 
B. C. i. 7; 
Tac. Ann. 
3- 2 7- 

Val. Max. 
2. 2. 7. 

Cic. de Legg. 

3- I0 '> 
ad Fam. 
10. 28. 2. 

Herz. I. 
284 ff. 



In the period from 494 to 337 the plebeians gained their 
object, however, under the leadership of the tribune, and 
the tribunate of the first 150 years finds its real political 
significance in the achievement of this result. In the 
second period, after 337, when the plebeians had at last 
gained admission to every magistracy, the tribune is prac- 
tically no longer a representative of a class, but he stands 
for the rights of the individual over against the rights, or 
claims, of the community or of the state. 

(g) The Aedile (Plebeian and Curule) 

227. Relations of the two Colleges. These two colleges 
of officials may properly be considered together, and under 
the head of the magistracies, for, although the plebeian 
aediles were not technically magistrates, their duties came 
to be essentially the same as those of the curule aediles, 
who were magistrates, and the two colleges are closely 
allied to one another historically. 

228. The Early Plebeian Aedileship. , The plebeian 
aediles, whose office dates back to the beginning of the 
republic (cf. p. 28), were two in number, and were always 
elected by the concilium plebis. Only plebeians were 
eligible to the office, and, like the tribunes, they were 
sacrosanct. Their main business consisted in helping the 
tribunes in the performance of their duties, and in preserv- 
ing plebiscites and decrees of the senate in the temple 
of Ceres. From the outset, as their title aediles indicates, 
they seem to have supervised to some extent the construc- 

Dionys. 6. 90. tion of public buildings. They had, also, a limited criminal 

229. Development of the Office. Perhaps there is no 
office which in its history better illustrates the practical 

Festus, v. 
tum, p. 318, 
ed. M. 

Dionys. 6. 90 
6. 95 ; Liv. 
3- 55- 13- 



nature of the Romans and their tendency to adapt existing 
institutions to new situations than the aedileship does, and 
there is no case in which the successive steps by which 
this adaptation took place are shown more, clearly. Fur- 
thermore, the history of the aedileship presents in a con- 
crete way the process by which the two distinct elements, 
which originally made up the Roman community, were 
merged into one body. As the city grew, the necessity for 
a more efficient police service- developed, and the duties 
which the aediles performed in assisting the tribunes made 
it natural to employ them in this service. As early as the 
middle of the fifth century they were apparently called on 
to protect the city in moments of danger, and to see that Liv. 3. 6. 9. 
grain was sold at a low price. Duties of this sort affected 
patricians as well as plebeians. 

230. Establishment of the Cunile Aedileship. At the 
same time their connection with the tribune's office became 
looser, and viatores were appointed in their stead to assist 
the tribunes (cf. p. 196). In fact, they were rapidly 
acquiring the positive functions of magistrates. Yet the 
patricians had no voice in their election, although their 
power extended over the patricians. It was under these 
circumstances that the curule aedileship was established 
in 366 (cf. p. 42), as an offset to the plebeian aedileship; 
for patricians only were eligible to the new office. These 
modifications in the character of the aedileship evidently 
had their origin, partly in a tendency to assimilate the 
plebs to the rest of the people, by eliminating the dis- 
tinctive character of their representatives, and partly in 
the need of officials for the performance of new duties. 

231. Differences between the two Colleges. The curule 
and plebeian aedileships were at first very different from 
one another in respect of technical character and official 


dignity. The curule aediles were elected by the populus 

Cic. pro meeting in the comitia tributa under the presidency of a 

LivlV. 42.' 14. magistrate. They acquired the right to a seat in the senate 

after the passage of the Ovinian law (pp. 46 fL). They had 

the ius imaginum, and on formal occasions wore the toga 

Liv. 7. i. 5-6; praetexta and sat in the curule chair. From this last mark 

etc. in 9 Verr. of office they derived the distinguishing part of their title. 

The plebeian aediles, on the other hand, were elected by 

St. R. n. the ' concilium plebis under the presidency of a plebeian 

official, and lacked all of the distinguishing marks of office 

just mentioned. The exclusive right of the patricians to 

the curule aedileship was given up in a very few years after 

the establishment of the office, and the two positions in the 

Liv. 7. i. 6. college were filled by plebeians in alternate years. The 

two colleges were also brought nearer together by the 

relinquishment on the part of the plebeian aediles of their 

St. R. II. sacrosanct character, and by their acquisition in course of 

time of a right to a seat in the senate. 

232. Powers of the Aedile. The members of the two 
colleges had essentially the same powers. They had the 
supervision of public places (cura urbis] ; they had charge 
of the corn supply and of commercial transactions (cura 
annonae) ; they superintended the public games ; and they 
had certain judicial powers. 

233. The Cura Urbis. The cur a urbis was a natural 
outgrowth of the police functions which the aediles had 
first exercised as assistants of the tribunes. They had 

Lex lul. charge especially of the streets, baths, temples, and other 

11. "0-55 ; public works. It was their duty, for instance, to see 

11. 69 f. t j iat orc j er was preserved in public places, and that the 

regulations governing obstruction of the streets and the 

cleaning of them were observed. The construction of 

public works was in charge of the censor or consul, but 


when they were completed the aedile assumed the respon- 
sibility of keeping them in repair. Being charged with the 
maintenance of order in public places, and having a super- 
vision over the public games, as we shall presently see, it 
was very natural that they should be held responsible for 
the maintenance of good order, when public gatherings of a 
secular or religious character, such as contiones, processions, 
or games, were held. 

234. The Cura Annonae. One of the most important 

of their duties consisted in supplying the city with grain. Liv. 10.11.9; 
After the acquisition of rich provinces to the south and east, * *e. 6.' 
and when agriculture in Italy had declined, this function 
was a matter of great moment, and increased steadily in 
importance as the city grew. Since it was their primary 
purpose to have food sold at a low price, the aediles had the 
right to carry out the laws which fixed the price" of grain, 
to inspect weights and measures, and to exercise a general C. I. L. x. 
supervision of mercantile transactions, especially of the sale p^ rs [ \] I30< 
of articles of food. In the performance of these duties 
they exercised judicial power, and issued edicts with ref- 
erence to matters coming under their administrative super- 
vision. In this way they developed a code of commercial 
law, largely through the influence of the praetor pere- 
grinus, who, in the adjudication of cases coming before 
him, necessarily considered the laws of other commercial 

235. The Cura Ludorum. The ludi plebeii were, per- Liv. 23. 30. 17. 
haps from the first, in charge of the plebeian aediles. 

These officials also assisted the magistrates in the general 
public celebrations. Out of these two facts naturally de- 
veloped the practice of giving the aediles supervision of any 
newly established games, so that in Cicero's time, for instance, 
the curule aediles were in charge of the ludi Romani, the 


St. R. II. Floralia, and the Megalensia, while the plebeian aediles 
conducted the ludi pkbeii and the Ceriales. 

236. Judicial Functions. The power of the aedile to 
act as a public prosecutor, and to summon those who 

Liv. 7. 28.9; were charged with usury and certain other offenses before 
25. a?9. the comitia tributa, was never of great importance, and lost 

its significance in large measure after the establishment of 

the quaestiones perpetuae. 

237. Limits of Jurisdiction and Division of Duties. The 
duties of the aediles were evidently of an urban character. 
Furthermore, the historical relation which the plebeian 
aedile bore to the tribune naturally limited the former 
official too in the exercise of his power to the space within 
the pomoerium. To this restriction the curule aediles also 
conformed. As for the division of duties between the 
two colleges, so far as concerns police supervision, it was 

Lex. iul. local. The city was divided into four quarters, and each 
one of these quarters was placed under the control of an 
aedile. In other matters the assignment of duties was 
determined by tradition or convenience. Each of the 
four aediles had the right of veto against his colleague in 
the same college, but not over a member of the other 

(h) The Quaestor 

238. History of the Quaestorship. As we have already 
seen (p. 16), there were quaestores parricidii under the 
monarchy. Some light is thrown on the nature of their 
duties by the definition which Festus gives of parricida. 
He remarks, nam parricida non utique is, qui parentem 
occidisset, dicebatur, sed qualemcumque hominem indemna- 
tum. The office continued in the republican period, but 
underwent an important change in its character. Beginning 



with the establishment of the republic, the quaestor is 
not only the representative of the state in criminal cases of 
a non-political character, but he becomes the keeper of the 
state funds. Under the monarchy the incumbents of the 
office were appointed by the king, and the right of appoint- 
ment was inherited by the consul, and exercised by him 
until 447, when the office was made elective, and its 
incumbents were chosen in the comitia tributa (p. 33). 
Perhaps this change in the method of choosing the quaes- 
tors came about in the following way : One of the most 
important duties of the quaestor must have consisted in 
conducting cases of appeal before the popular assembly. 
As long as the quaestor was appointed, he acted, not by 
virtue of the power vested in his own office, but solely as 
the representative of Jhe chief-magistrate. The establish- 
ment, however, of the right of appeal made the quaestorship 
a necessary part of a judicial system which was entirely 
independent of the chief-magistrate. It was natural, there- 
fore, that the office should become independent, that is, 
that it should be made elective. The ancient historians 
have very little to say about the judicial functions of the 
quaestors under the republic. They must still, however, 
have performed the duties mentioned above, until, with 
the establishment of the quaestiones perpetuae, such matters 
passed altogether out of their hands. The increase in the 
number of the quaestors, to four in 421, to eight in 267 
(p. 72), to twenty under Sulla (p. 105), and to forty in the 
year 45 (p. 137), involved no essential change in the char- 
acter of the office. The size of the college was increased to 
provide for the provinces and for the financial administra- 
tion of Italy, and the functions of the office may be con- 
veniently considered from the point of view of the quaestores 
urbani, the quaestores militares, and the Italian quaestors. 


239. The Quaestores Urbani. The two principal duties 
of the quaestores urbani have already been mentioned. So 
little information can be had from the ancient sources with 
reference to the quaestor's exercise of criminal jurisdiction, 
that it is impossible to find out exactly what his functions 
were in this respect, or to determine his relation to certain 
other officials, such as the II viri perduellionis. His finan- 
cial duties are better known. He received all money due 
to the state, kept an account of the condition of the state 

o^^r treasury, and made such payments from the public funds 
3 ^42- 4 ; as he was empowered to make by special law or by the 
proper magistrate. He represented the state, too, in the 
smaller matters involved in the execution of contracts. 
The care of the public records was also intrusted to him. 
In this last matter the duties of .the quaestor and of 
the plebeian aedile were similar (cf. p. 202), except that 
the aediles took charge of certain documents only, while the 
quaestor kept all records. Two special points of weak- 
ness in the management of the finances by the quaestors 
may be noticed. They were simply receiving agents and 
paymasters for the state. They had no initiative in finan- 
cial affairs, and could exercise their discretion in minor 
matters only. Furthermore, they held office for a year 
only, and in so short a time could not make themselves 
familiar with all the affairs of their department, so that the 
honesty with which accounts were kept depended largely 
on the integrity of their trained assistants, the scribae, 
whose tenure of office was permanent. The records and 
the accounts of the quaestor were kept in the aerarium 
in the temple of Saturn. 

240. The Quaestores Militares and Provincial Quaes- 
tors. The increase in the number of quaestors from two 
to four, which took place in 421, was to provide a financial 


officer for each of the consuls when in command of an 

army. Money intended for a campaign was delivered to Liv. 35. 1. 12 ; 

them. They paid the soldiers, took charge of the spoils, H. 10 ;. 1 ^ 6 ' 

and exercised the same general functions in the field which " 3- J 77- 

the quaestor urbanus exercised at Rome. This plan was 

adopted for the provinces also, although, in the case of a 

province, the quaestor held a somewhat more important 

position than the quaestor militaris did, since he was next 

in rank to the governor, and acted in his stead in case of Cic. ad Fam. 

his absence or death. 

241. The Italian Quaestors. In 267, as we have already 
noticed, four new quaestors were appointed. They were 
apparently assigned to duty in Italy, but the nature of 
their functions is not perfectly clear. Their principal duty 
seems to have been to look after the financial interests of 
the federal government in Italy. Their headquarters were 
in Cispadane Gaul, perhaps at Ariminum, at Ostia, and 
possibly at Cales. It is not known where the fourth Italian 
quaestor was stationed. The quaestor at Ostia had charge Cic. pro Sest. 
of the grain supply. 

(*) The Viginti Sex Viri 

242. The XXVI Viri in General. Although the six col- 
leges of magistrates below the quaestorship were inde- 
pendent of one another, they formed a single group, so 
far as the ordo magistratuum was concerned, and were 
known as the XXVI viri. This group included the X viri 
stlitibus iudicandis, the IIII praefecti Capuam Cumas, etc., 
the /// viri capitales, the /// viri monetales, the IIII viri 
viis in urbe purgandis, and the I I viri viis extra urbem pur- 
gandis. Several, if not all, of these offices were appointive, 
when they were first established, but after a time they all 


became elective. The incumbents were chosen in the 
comitia tributa. Besides the specific functions mentioned 

Cic. de Legg. below, special duties were often intrusted to the several 
colleges by the senate. The viginti sex viri had no insignia 
of office. 

243. The Several Colleges. The oldest of these minor 
magistrates were the X viri stlitibus iudicandis. They are 

Liv. 3. 55. 7. mentioned in the lex Valeria Horatia, and, therefore, go 
back to at least the middle of the fifth century. They are 
spoken of in the connection mentioned as sacrosanct, and 
are associated with the tribunes and aediles, so that the 
office was probably established to protect the plebeians. 
Very likely they passed on questions involving the right to 
citizenship a matter in which the plebeians would be 

Cic.proCaec. vitally interested. At least in Cicero's time questions of 

97 ; de mo, ^ at sort WQU J ( J geem to j^g CO me before them. Probably 

at first plebeians only were eligible to the office, but in later 
Liv. 9. 20. 5 ; days that restriction was abandoned. The praefecti Capuam 
Cumas were the judicial representatives of the praetor in 
Campania, and at first were probably appointed by him. 
They took their title from the two principal points within 
their district. The college of /// viri capitales was estab- 
Liv. Ep. ii. lished soon after 290, and appointments to it were at first 
made by the praetor, but, some time within the next one 
hundred and seventy-five years, the office became elective. 
These officials were police magistrates, whose duty it was, 
Sail. Cat. 55. under the supervision of the aediles, to preserve order in 
tne city? to arrest criminals, to sit in judgment on them and 

cuent 38; 

Liy 1 2 3 3 i V' P umsn tnem if tne y were strangers or slaves, and to obtain 
evidence against persons under indictment. Caesar in- 
creased the number in this college to four (p, 137). Little 
more is known of the /// viri monetales or /// viri aere 
argento auro flando feriundo, as they are sometimes called, 


than is indicated by their title. The duties performed by 
them were for a long time in charge of special commissions, 
and the establishment of the magistracy comes at a com- 
paratively late date. Caesar added a new member to this 
college (cf. p. 137). The //// viri viis in urbe purgandis Lex lul. 
and the II viri viis extra urbem purgandis, as the names of n." ^. 
these offices indicate, were charged with the duty of seeing 
that the streets and roads were kept clean. 

(j) Magistrates to fill Vacancies 

244. Delegation of the Imperium. The Romans pro- 
vided for the vacancy which resulted from the death or the 
absence of a magistrate in a variety of ways. No serious 
difficulties arose in the case of the lower magistracies, 
because of the size of the colleges. In the case of the 
censorship, the duties of the office during the last three 
and a half years of a lustrum were performed by the con- 
sul and aedile (p. 195). Real difficulty arose, however, 
from the death or the absence of both consuls from the 
city, from the withdrawal of a governor from his province, 
and from the occasional necessity of providing more com- 
manding officers in the field than the higher magistracies 

245. The Interrex. Provision was made to cover a 
vacancy in the consulship by the institution known as the 
interregnum. This institution goes back to the monarchy, 
and the functions of the interrex during that period have 
already been noticed (p. 14). Under the early republic, 
when the armies were always commanded by the consuls, 

the death of both chief-magistrates occurred in several will. n. 10- 
instances. In such cases the method of procedure was 
essentially the same as that which was followed on the 


Liv. 1. 17. 5 f. death of the king, except that under the republic the new 
chief-magistrates were elected in the centuriate comitia, 
summoned for that purpose by the interrex and presided 
over by him. In fact, the interrex was appointed mainly 
to hold the elections, and the interregnum ceased as soon 
as the new consuls were chosen. At the same time, how- 

St. R. 1. 660 f. ever, he was vested with all the powers and privileges of 
the consul, but, as the term of office of each interrex lasted 

Cic. ad Fam. only five days, it was impossible for him to carry on public 
business in an orderly way. The last interregnum occurred 
in the year 53-52. 

246. Praefectus Urbi and pro Praetore. When both 
consuls were obliged to leave the city, the last to depart 

Liv. 3. 3. 6; appointed a praefectus urbi to represent him during his 
absence. The prefect was vested with all the powers of 
the consul. After 366, however, the praetor urbanus 
became chief-magistrate in case both consuls were absent 
from the city (cf. p. 189), and from that date down to 
Caesar's time (cf. p. 136), the city prefect was chosen 
only at the time of theferiae Latinae, when all the regular 
magistrates were absent from the city in attendance on that 
festival. In a somewhat similar way, when a consular gov- 
ernor left his province before his successor arrived, he dele- 

Cic. ad Fam. gated the imperium to his quaestor, who governed the 
province with the title of quaestor pro praetore. 

247. Privati cum Imperio. This practice of conferring 
on a lower magistrate, or even on a private citizen, the 
powers and privileges of a higher magistracy was occa- 
sionally adopted in times of danger even by the home 
government. It amounted to a virtual increase in the 
size of the magisterial college affected. The individuals 
upon whom the imperium was conferred received usually 
the pro-magisterial title. Thus in 211 the tribunes were 


instructed by the senate to secure the passage of a law Liv. 26. 2. 5 ; 

authorizing the appointment of some one as commanding 2<3 ' l8 ' 4 f ' 

officer in Spain. The law was passed, and P. Scipio, at 

that time an ex-aedile, was made governor of the province 

with the title pro consule. In the same year a senatus con- 

sultum conferred the imperium on all the ex-dictators, ex- Liv. 26. 10. 9 . 

consuls, and ex-censors for the defense of the city against 

Hannibal. This practice was carried to a still greater 

length in 77, when Pompey, who had held no magistracy Liv. Ep. 91; 

at all, was made commander of the forces in Spain with I7 . ut 

the title of proconsul. The senatus consultant ultimum 

and the prorogatio imperil have been mentioned elsewhere 

(pp. 156, 181), and do not properly come into consideration 


(K) Elective Military Officers and Judges 

248. Elective Military Officers. There were two colleges 
of officials, that of the tribuni militum and of the // viri 
navales, whose members, like the magistrates, were elected 
by the people, but they differed from the magistrates in 
that they had no civil functions. 

249. Tribuni Militum. Down to 362 the tribuni mili- 
tum had been appointed by the consuls, but in that year for 

the first time six of them were elected in the comitia tributa. Liv. 7. 5. 9 ; 
In 311 the people were allowed to elect sixteen, and after J;. 3 ^. 3 ^. 
207 they elected twenty-four. As six were required for a 
legion, this last change provided for the usual levy of four 
legions. If more than twenty-four tribunes were needed, 
the additional appointments were made by the consuls. It 
is a significant fact that the date of the election of the first 
military tribunes coincides so nearly with the date of the 
Licinian law. That law put an end to the consular tribu- 
nate by substituting the consulship for it. Now the consular 



tribunes were merely military tribunes vested with political 
power (p. 184). The abolition of the consular tribunate 
meant a certain loss to the democracy. The concession 
made in 362 was, therefore, by way of compensation for 
that loss. The tribunes elected by the people were known 
as tribuni militum a populo. Their duties were of a purely 
military character, and differed in nowise from those of the 
tribunes appointed by the commanding officer. 

250. The II Viri Navales. The // viri navales held 
essentially the same position in the fleet which the tribuni 
militum held in the army. The office was at first an 
appointive one, like that of military tribune, but in 311, 
when the number of elected tribunes was raised to sixteen, 

Liv. 9. 30. 4. the // viri navales were for the first time chosen by the 
people. They were not elected annually, but as circum- 
stances required, since under the republic there was no 
permanent fleet, and, therefore, naval commanders were 
not always needed. The holding of the election was 
authorized by the senate. Nothing is heard of the office 
in the later republic. 

251. Elective Judges. Since the number of praetors 
was not large enough to provide presiding judges for all 
the quaestiones perpetuae, at intervals a index quaestionis 
was chosen from the ex-aediles by popular election. In 
dignity, then, the office stood between the aedileship and 

Madv. I. the praetorship. The iudex quaestionis had charge of the 

Il. 9 586 ff. quaestio de sicariis et veneficis. The nature of the cases 

Herz. I. 845, brought before this court made the position of its presiding 

judge an important one. The first mention of this iudex 

is in 98, but the epoch of greatest importance for the office 

is from Sulla's dictatorship down to the time of Augustus, 

when it disappears. The incumbents of the office had no 

political functions. 


(/) Extraordinary Officials 

252. Two Classes of Extraordinary Officials. All the 

magistracies and offices which have been considered up to 
this point formed for a longer or shorter period a regular 
part of the Roman administrative system, but emergencies 
arose when the regular officials did not seem capable of 
dealing with the situation. Under such circumstances ex- 
traordinary offices were created by special laws, or special 
officials were chosen to carry out a particular undertak- 
ing. It may be convenient to classify these extraordinary 
officials in two categories, according as they were placed 
under constitutional restrictions, or were above the con- 
stitution. The principal officials of the first class were 
the II *viri perduellionis, the commissioners agris dandis 
adsignandis and coloniae deducendae, the commissioners 
appointed to dedicate public buildings, or carry out some 
financial undertaking, and the legati. The most celebrated 
officials coming under the second head were the X viri 
consulari imperio legibus scribendis, the dictator legibus 
scribendis et rei publicae constituendae , and the III viri rei 
publicae constituendae. 

253. The II Viri Perduellionis. The college of II viri 
perduellionis, which passed judgment on those charged with 
treason, and represented the state in such cases before 
the centuriate comitia, if appeal was taken, has little mean- 
ing for the republican period. There are only two known Liv. 6. 20. 12; 

c , TT - , j 77- Cic. pro Rab. 

instances after 509 when // virt perduelhoms were ap- per d. 12. 
pointed, and in the second case, that of Rabirius in 63, 
the institution was called into life for political purposes 
only. The power attaching to the office was too great to 
be granted to two men, while, on the other hand, the cen- 
turiate comitia, to which appeal from their decision was 


carried, was too unwieldy a body to settle judicial matters. 
The // viri perduellionis, therefore, gave way to the 

254. Special Commissions. The duties of land commis- 
sioners consisted in dividing and assigning the land chosen 
for allotments, and, in case a colony was to be established, 

Cic. de Leg. in drawing up a charter and in providing for the imme- 
gr. 2. 96. diate government of the community. The number of 
members serving on these commissions ran all the way 
from three to twenty. The commission expired when the 
work for which it had been established was finished. The 
Liv. 10. 21. size of the allotments and the methods and conditions of 
y.\. 1-2; assignment were fixed in the law creating the commission. 
From a very early period the principle was recognized that 
state land could be given away only with the consent of 
the people. When a temple or other public building was 
to be constructed, the power to use public land for the 
purpose in question was granted by law and // viri aedi 
locandae were chosen. The dedication of a temple often 
fell to the lot of one of the higher magistrates, but not 
infrequently the matter was intrusted to // viri aedi 
dedicandae. The execution of economic measures, espe- 
cially those of a novel character, was sometimes intrusted 
to a commission rather than to a magistrate. A case in 
point was furnished by the V viri mensarii, or commission 
appointed in 351 to assist individuals in securing loans 
(cf. p. 49). 

255. Legati. In its management of foreign affairs the 
senate from time to time sent out legati. They were 

Liv. 43. 1. 10. appointed by the magistrate or commanding officer at the 
instance of the senate. They may be divided into two 
classes according to the duties assigned to them. Those 
of one class were sent to independent states to deliver a 


message from the senate or to carry on diplomatic nego- 
tiations. Legati of the other class were sent to assist 
generals in the field. As we have already seen (p. 69), 
campaigns were carried on under the joint direction of the 
senate and of the officer commanding the forces. The 
legati attached to the staff of the general in command 
were, therefore, the representatives of the senate, and, as 
such, took part in the councils of war and held important Liv. 8. 35. 10 ; 
commands. This right of the senate to send out commis- 
sions was much abused in the later years of the republic. 
The practice developed of granting to senators a legatio 
libera, which allowed them to travel through the provinces Cic. ad Fam. 
on their private business and enjoy all the privileges and "lacco', 86. 
honors of accredited commissioners. Midway between the 
two classes of legati which have been mentioned were the 
commissioners sent out by the senate to draw up, with 
the help of the general in the field, the lex provindae 
(cf. pp. 89-90) for the people of a newly acquired terri- 
tory. Senatorial commissions varied in number from two Liv. 29. 11.3; 
to ten. The commission appointed to draw up a provincial ^ 55. 4. ' 
constitution always numbered ten. Members of senatorial 
commissions were almost always senators. 

256. TheX Viri Legibus Scribendis. The cases in which 
the Romans under the republic chose extraordinary officials 
to revise the fundamental law of the state, and released 
them from restrictions ordinarily laid on magistrates, are 
few in number. The decemvirate of 451 (cf. pp. 30 f.) is, 
however, an instance in point. That commission was 
chosen to revise, or codify, and to publish the law of the 
land. Its members were elected in the popular assembly, 
and, like other magistrates, they were liable to a veto from 
other members of the college. On the other hand, they 
were not subject to the tribunician veto. In fact, the 


tribunate was suspended or abolished for the time. The 
Liv. 3. 32. 6. term of office for the first decemviral college was a year. 

The second was apparently to continue in office until its 
Liv. 3. 55. 5; task was complete. The Valerio-Horatian law of appeal 
Publ. 2. 54. forbade the establishment of such a magistracy in the 


257. The Later Dictatorship. Some of the points of 
difference between the dictatorship of Sulla and the tradi- 
tional dictatorship have already been noticed (pp. 134 f.). 

Appian, B. c. The lex Valeria of 82, which conferred this position on Sulla, 
Cic. 9 deLeg. authorized him to undertake a thorough revision of the 
A g r -.3- 5- constitution, as the title of the office shows, viz., dictatura 
kgibus scribendis et rei publicae constituendae. The unlim- 
ited power of the office is indicated not only by Cicero's 
characterization of it as an office of such a sort ut omnia, 
quaecumque ilk (i.e., Sulla) fecisset, essent rata, but also by 
the use which Sulla made of it. Caesar's dictatorship was of 
the same sort. Sulla's term of office as dictator was prob- 
ably unlimited. As for Caesar, we have already noticed 
that in 48 the dictatorship was apparently given to him for 
an undefined period, in 46 for ten years, and in 44 for life. 
Some of the important powers exercised by Sulla and Caesar 
Suet. lul. 41 ; by virtue of their dictatorship were : the right to name the 
/Jj. 8 ] magistrates (cf. pp. 137 f.) and to add members to the 
pro Lig. 12. senate, to name magistrates in the municipia, to impose 
penalties without submitting to the right of appeal, and to 
control the ager publicus. 

258. The Triumvirate. The triumvirate to which Lepi- 
dus, Antony, and Octavius were appointed held a posi- 
tion in the state similar to that which Caesar had held 
during his dictatorship. The office was established by the 

St. R. li. 707. lex Titia of 43 (cf. p. 141) for a period of five years. 


In 38 it was renewed. As we have already noticed, the 
members of the triumvirate adopted the principle of col- 
legiality on its positive side. Like Caesar, they exercised 
the right to name the magistrates for Rome and for the 
municipia, to punish without appeal, and to manage state 


The dictator : A. Dupond, De dictatura et de magisterio equitum, 
Paris, 1875; E. Servais, La dictature, Paris, 1886; F. Haverfield, 
The abolition of the dictatorship, Class. Rev. III. 77. The con- 
sular tribune : Heinze, De tribunis militum cons, pot., Stettin, 1861. 
The praetor: F. Faure, Essai historique sur le preteur remain, 
Paris, 1878; O. Lenel, Das Edictum perpetuum, Leipzig, 1883. 
The censor: Servais, La censure, Luxemburg, 1880; Willems, Le 
senat de la republique romaine, I. pp. 239-625, Louvain, 1883; 
A. W. Zumpt, Die Lustra der Romer, Rhein. Mus. XXV. 465 ff. ; 
XXVI. i ff. The tribune of the plebs : Soldan, De origine, causis 
et primo tribunorum plebis numero, Hanau, 1825 ; W. Ihne, Rhein. 
Mus. XXI. 161 ff. ; Belot, De trib. pleb., Paris, 1872 ; P. Wehrmann, 
Zur Geschichte des rom. Volkstribunats, Stettin, 1887. The aedile: 
E. Moll, Ueber d. rom. Aedilitat in altester Zeit, Philol. XLVI. 
98 ff. ; Fr. Hofmann, De aedilibus romanis, Berlin, 1842. The 
quaestor: Wagner, De quaestoribus pop. romani, Marburg, 1848; 
Dollen, De quaest. rom., Berlin, 1847. The interrex : E. Herzog, 
Das Institut des Interregnums, Philol. XXXIV. 497 ff. ; Willems, 
II. 7 ff . The city prefect : Franke, De praefectura urbis, Berlin, 
1851. The tribunus militum : Geppert, De trib. mil. legionum rom., 
Berlin, 1872. The legati : O. Adamek, Die Senatsboten d. rom. 
Republik, Graz, 1883; Willems, II. 491 ff. The decemvirs: E. 
Schmidt, Ueber d. rom. Decemvirat, Halberstadt, 1871. 

1 See also p. 173. 



(a) Composition of the Senate and Senatorial Privileges 

259. Method of choosing Senators. The right which 
the king had enjoyed of making out the list of senators 
(p. 1 6) was inherited by his successor, the consul. This 
power had both a negative and a positive side. In his 
exercise of it the chief-magistrate could strike names from 
the list, or make such additions as would bring the number 
up to the normal point. Since the right to exercise this 
power probably belonged to each college of consuls, the 
roll of senators was subject to revision each year. Towards 
the close of the fourth century the plebiscitum Ovinium 
(pp. 46 f.) transferred this power to the censor. It was 
exercised by him under the restrictions imposed by tra- 
dition and by the Ovinian law up to the dictatorship of 
Sulla, when the censorship was allowed to lapse. The 
office was reestablished in 70, but, although he recovered 
the right to remove men from the senate, the censor did 
not regain the power to make additions to that body 
(cf. p. 194). Sulla and Caesar named senators in an 
exceptional way by virtue of the dictatorship which they 

260. Number in the Senate. Before the downfall of the 
monarchy the normal number in the senate was fixed at 
three hundred (p. 16), and according to tradition one of the 

Liv. 2. 1. 10. first things done by the patrician consuls after the expulsion 



of the kings was to fill up the depleted list of the senate. 
Sulla raised the number to six hundred, and this continued Appian, B. c. 
to be the normal size of the body, although it was tempo- suet.'iul. 100 ' 
rarily raised to nine hundred by Caesar. 4 1 , 80. 

261. Composition of the Senate. So far as the com- 
position of the senate is concerned, its history falls into 
four periods. The first extends to 509 ; the second to the 
close of the fourth century ; the third to Sulla's dictatorship ; 
and the fourth to the downfall of the republic. In the first 
period, patricians only were eligible. According to tradition, 
however, the establishment of the republic brought with it Liv. 2. 1. 10; 
the admission of plebeians into the senate. This change p.^^'ed. M. 
is somewhat out of harmony with the aristocratic character 

of the revolution of 509, but it may have been inspired by will. I. 35- 
a desire to secure the support of the influential plebeians in 4 ' '" ' 93 ' 
the movement against the monarchy. At all events the evi- 
dence justifies us in believing that plebeians were admitted 
at a very early date. The new senators were called adlecti 
or conscripti to distinguish them from the patres. As Festus 
says (p. 7, ed. M.) : nam patres dicuntur qui sunt patritii gene- 
ris, conscripti qui in senatu sunt scriptis adnotati. In the 
third period, from the close of the fourth century to the 
time of Sulla, the senate was largely made up of ex-magis- 
trates. The change did not come abruptly, however. The 
plebiscitum Ovmium, which instructed the censors to give 
the preference to ex-magistrates in drawing up the list of 
senators (pp. 46-7), probably only gave a legal sanction 
to a practice which had been developing for some time. 
Under the legislation of Sulla the senate became exclusively 
a body of ex-magistrates. 

262. Conditions of Eligibility. There were three princi- 
pal conditions of eligibility to the senate in Cicero's time. 
It was necessary that a senator should be a freeman and a 


citizen, that he should have held one of the magistratus 
maiores, and that he should not be engaged in any one of 
certain specified occupations. 

263. Citizen and Freeman. Conformity to the first 
condition implied that a candidate for senatorial honors 
should have reached his majority, and that he should be in 
possession of the full political rights of a Roman citizen. 
Furthermore, the sons of freedmen, as well as freedmen 
themselves, were ordinarily considered ineligible by the 
censors, although probably the former were not excluded 
from the senate by law. 

264. A Senator must be an ex-Magistrate. The Ovinian 
law did not make the holding of a magistracy a necessary 
condition of eligibility to the senate, but preference was 
given to ex-magistrates. The increase which Sulla made 
in the size of the magisterial colleges (p. 105), however, 
provided a sufficient number of ex-magistrates to keep the 
number of senators up to the normal point, so that, after 
his dictatorship, no one was eligible to the senate unless 
he had held a magistracy. In the latter half of the first 
century the tribune and aedile of the plebs, as well as the 
magistrates down to and including the quaestor, had a right 
to a seat in the senate. When this right was conferred on 
the plebeian aediles it is impossible to say. At least it 
would seem to have been granted to them before 122. 
The plebeian tribunes acquired the right to a seat in the 
senate under the plebiscitum Atinium, which was probably 
passed toward the close of the second century. The 
quaestor gained the same privilege in the year 81. 

265. A Senator must abstain from Certain Occupations. 
The Romans felt that certain occupations put a moral 
stigma on an individual, that others were incompatible 
with the dignity of a senator, that others prevented him 


from performing his duties as senator in a satisfactory way, 
and that still others unfitted him for passing on public 
questions in a disinterested manner. All these occupa- 
tions, then, made a citizen temporarily or permanently 
ineligible to the senate. To the first class, for instance, 
belonged the professions of the lanista, the gladiator, and Lex lul. 
the actor. To receive wages or a salary for one's services n.^s ff. 
did not comport with the dignity of a Senator, so that the 
occupation of a praeco or a scriba excluded the individual Cell. 7. 9. 2 f. ; 
in question from the senate. In fact, if a citizen gained M^nic! 
his livelihood in any business which required his constant u - 94 ff - 
personal attention, that fact made it impossible for him to 
perform satisfactorily the duties of a senator. As soon, 
however, as he gave up the occupation in question, he became 
technically eligible. Finally, since the senate managed the 
finances of the state in large measure, men who had taken 
public contracts could not be allowed to sit in that body. 

266. Property and Age Requirement. Under the repub- 
lic probably there was no property qualification for admis- 
sion to the senate, but, since no salary was paid to a 
senator, the position could be held only by men of means. 
Furthermore, a reasonable fortune was required to maintain 
the senatorial dignity. The censors must have taken these 
facts into consideration in drawing up their lists. No age 
requirement was definitely established by law or custom, 
but the Ovinian law, when supplemented by the lex Villia 
annalis, prevented any one from becoming a senator until 
he had reached the age required for the quaestorship (cf. 
p. 169). In fact, it may be said in general that obstacles 
which prevented a person from becoming a magistrate 
prevented him from becoming a senator also. 

267. Classes of Senators. We have already had occasion 
to notice that plebeians were admitted to the senate at a very 


early date (cf. p. 221). A plebeian senator never acquired, 

however, two rights which his patrician colleague enjoyed, 

viz., the right to act as an interrex, and the right to vote on 

the passage of the patrum auctoritas. For a long time a 

distinction was made also between the senators who had 

the ius sententiae dicendae and the pedarii, who voted on 

a motion already made, but were not called on to speak or 

make a motion themselves. The composition of these two 

Herz. I. classes is a matter of high dispute. As we shall presently 

will.' i. 137 f.; see > the presiding officer asked senators their opinions in 

S l R 'TTT IL O the order of their rank, and it was within his power to 

902 ; 111. 902. 

terminate the discussion before all the members of the 
senate had stated their views. Senators of inferior rank, 
therefore, took part only in the discessio, and were called 
on, as the Romans put it, only pedibus in alienam senten- 
tiam ire. From this fact they derived their name pedarii. 
Where the line of distinction was drawn between the pedarii 
and their more fortunate colleagues is as unsettled to-day 
as it was in the time of Aulus Gellius, who mentions (N. A. 

will. 1. 143 f.; III. 1 8) several different explanations of the term. It seems 

871 f. probable, however, that the pedarii were plebeian senators 

who had never held a curule office. It is also probable 
that the conscripti of the early period were restricted in 
their exercise of senatorial rights in the same way as the 
pedarii were in the period following the Ovinian law. 

Herz. For the time of Cicero the term pedarii has no technical 

meaning. As already intimated, senators were classed as 
consulares, praetorii, aedilicii, tribunicii, and quaestorii, and 
their opinions were asked in the order indicated. From 
perhaps the third century down to the time of Sulla a patri- 
cian senator of the rank of censor usually stood at the head 

will. i. in f. of the list. He was called the princeps senatus, and his 
opinion was asked first. 


268. Insignia and Privileges. Members of the senate 
in Cicero's day were distinguished by certain insignia, 
indicating their position. These ornamenta senatoria, as 

they were called, were the calceus scnatorius, the tunica Cic. Phil. 13. 

latidavia, and the anulus aureus, although the gold ring i^.^f'.f 

was not the peculiar mark of senatorial rank, but was worn Festu f> 

v. mulleos, 

by knights also. Senators who had held a curule office p- 142, ed. M.; 

wore a special shoe called the mulleus. Certain special pun.' N! k 45 ' 

privileges were also granted to senators. After 194 seats 33- " f - 

Liv. 34. 54. 4 ; 

were reserved for them at the public games. At dramatic Cic. de Har. 

performances too the orchestra was set apart for them, and 

a not unimportant privilege was the ius legationis liberae Mai - I7< 

(cf. p. 217). They enjoyed, except for a period of about 

fifty years (cf. pp. 97, 106, 109), the right of sitting on 

the jury. Corresponding to these privileges were certain , 

restrictions which we have already considered. 

(b) Meetings of the Senate 

269. The Presidency of the Senate. The right to call 
the senate and preside over it, the ius agendi cum patribus, Cell. 14. 7. 4; 
was enjoyed by the dictator, consul, praetor, interrex, city 3. 1 i' . e 
prefect, master of the horse, and, after the middle of the 
fourth century, by the plebeian tribune. Up to the time of 
Sulla the consuls were absent from the city a great part of 
the year, so that, strangely enough, the presiding officer in 
the senate must usually have been, not the chief-magistrate, 
but his representative, the praetor urbanus. In the early 
period, in case both consuls were in the city, the presi- 
dency of the senate fell to the consul who had the fasces 
(cf. p. 155). Later it is impossible to tell how the matter 
was decided. Each consul had the right to convoke the 
senate, and he could not be prevented from doing so by 


the veto of his colleague. In the later years of the republic, 
therefore, when the two consuls not infrequently belonged 
to different political parties, cases of conflict must have 

Suet. lul. 20. occurred. In one instance, at least, the weaker of the 
two abstained altogether from political action. After the 
senate had finished the business which the chief-magis- 
trate had to lay before it, it was competent for any other 
magistrate, having the ius referendi, to lay questions before 
it, unless such action was forbidden by the chief-magistrate. 
Consequently, the business which the tribune had to bring 
before the senate was usually laid before it in that way. 
The cases in which the tribune convoked the senate were 
very few. It is evident that the three officials who pre- 
sided over the senate most frequently were the consuls, 
praetors, and tribunes. Accordingly, official communica- 
tions were ordinarily addressed to them (e.g., M. Tullius 
M. f. Cicero procos. s. d. cos. pr. tr. pi. senatui, Cic. ad 
Fam. XV. i), and to them the senate intrusted the welfare 
of the state in the senatus consultant ultimum. The ius 
referendi carried with it, not only the right to convoke the 
senate, to lay matters before it for consideration, and secure 
legal action upon them, but also to determine the order of 

270. Place and Time of Meeting. The senate was 

Liv. 3. 38. 8. called together by a praeco or by a proclamation. The 
usual place of meeting was the curia Hostilia, at the 
northeast corner of the forum. There were no days fixed 
by law for the meeting of the senate. On the other hand, 

Will. in the later years of the republic, perhaps after 61, it could 

not be called on certain dies comitiales. A session ordi- 
narily began early in the morning and ended before sunset. 

Cell. 14. 7. 8. In fact, the legality of a senatus consultum passed at a night 
session was questioned. The public were not admitted to 


the senate chamber, but the doors were left open, so that 

it was possible for them to follow the discussion, and their 

expressions of approval and disapproval often interfered Cic. ad Q. fr 

with the orderly transaction of business. On rare occasions 2 ' I0 

the senate went into executive session. In such a case the 

doors were closed, and the lictors and viatores, who acted Liv. 42. 14. i 

as sergeants-at-arms, were excluded. In the senate chamber 

each member chose the place on the subsellia which suited Cic. in Cat^ 

his fancy. The magistrates were on a raised dais, the adVam. * 

consuls and praetors seated in their curule chairs, and 3- 9- 2 - 

the tribunes on a longum subsellium. Members rose when 

addressing the senate and when the magistrates entered 

and retired. 

271. Quorum. A quorum does not seem to have been 
necessary for the transaction of ordinary business, but action 

on certain matters required the attendance of a specified c. I. L. 1. 196, 

11 8 f 

number. In particular toward the end of the republic a Ascon.' p. 58, 
quorum was necessary when senatus consulta were passed ^* ^ ; F 
with reference to the assignment of the consular provinces. 8. 9. 2. 
The presiding magistrate could enforce the attendance of 
members who were absent without sufficient reason, but Cic. Phil, 
recourse was rarely had to such extreme action. GeU 1+7.10. 

272. Procedure during the Debate. The magistrate who 
was to preside made an offering and took the auspices 

before the meeting. At the beginning of the session Cic. ad Fam. 
dispatches were ordinarily read, and statements were made GeU.^ 3 7. 9. 
by the presiding officer, or by others who were authorized 
by him to speak. Business was definitely brought before 
the senate by the relatio 01* the presiding officer, whose 
remarks began with the formula : quod bonum felixque sit 
populo Romano Quiritium, referimus ad vos, patres con- 
scripti .... The committee system was employed on rare 
occasions. The presiding officer could make a simple 


statement of the facts, or he could advocate a certain course. 
In rare cases he laid a definite motion before the house. 
After having stated the case, he could call for a vote at 
once. This plan was seldom adopted, except when a 
matter was unimportant, or when the support of the 
majority to a given proposition was assured beforehand. 
The demand of a senator for an opportunity to debate a 
question (consule) would scarcely be disregarded. Ordi- 
narily, then, after the business before the senate had been 
stated, the presiding officer, following the order of rank, 
proceeded sententias rogare. The order was that already 
indicated (p. 224), except that, after the middle of the 
second century, the consuls-elect were first asked their 
opinions. In a similar way the praetores designati took 
precedence of the praetor ii. Preference was shown for the 
opinion of the magistrates-elect, because they were likely 
to be called on to carry out the measure under considera- 
tion. The senators, as they were called on in turn, could 
either address the house on the question at issue, closing 
their remarks with a motion, or they could indicate their 
agreement with a motion already made. In responding to 
the request of the presiding officer for his opinion, a senator 
was not required to confine his remarks to the question 
before the house, but he could, if he wished, speak on 
Cic. ad Fam. matters entirely foreign to it, and could request the presid- 
ing officer to bring these matters before the senate. This 
privilege was a very important one, and made up in large 
measure for the lack of the right of initiative, which right 
technically the presiding officer alone had. Senators spoke 
on a question as long as they saw fit, so that the opponent 
of a measure could prevent action on it by talking until 
sunset. The chairman had the right to stop a member 
adopting such a course by ordering a viator to take him into 


custody, but there is only one known instance where a Cell. 4. 10. 8. 
presiding officer made such an attempt, and his efforts 
ended in a practical failure. Speeches were often violent Cic. ad Q. fr. 
and personal, and were frequently interrupted by cries of saii. 3 Cat. 2 ' 
approval and disapproval on the part of the senate. The 53> ' 
presiding officer brought the discussions to an end when 
he saw fit. Probably many of the senators were given no 
opportunity to speak. Magistrates in office, who sat in the 
senate, were not asked their opinions. 

273. Method of Voting. If, during the debate, only one 
motion had been made, the presiding officer, in case he 
accepted it, put it to vote. If several propositions had 
been made, he had the right to reject those which were 
unacceptable to him, and to put the others to vote in any Caes. B. c. 
order which he preferred. The first motion to receive the ic.' piiii. 
support of a majority constituted the action of the senate. J tp 2 ' 

If a motion comprised several different propositions, a 10. 12. 3. 
division of the question could be called for, but the pre- Cic. ad Fam. 
siding officer was not obliged to grant the request. At 
the request, qui hoc censetis, illuc transite ; qui alia omnia, 
in hanc partem, the supporters of a measure passed to one 
side of the house to be counted, the opponents to the 
other. Magistrates in office did not vote. The result was 
announced by the presiding officer. 

274. The Intercessio in the Senate. The par potestas 
(p. 154) conferred on the colleague of the presiding officer 
the right to interpose his veto. In point of fact, however, 
the veto power was rarely exercised by any other official 
than the tribune, but, as we have already seen (pp. 198 f.), 
he could exercise that power at any point in the proceed- 
ings. An action of the senate which no official had vetoed 
was called a senatus consultum. In case of an intercessio, the 
action of the senate had no legal value, but, inasmuch as it 


represented the opinion of a majority of the senate, it had 
moral force, and was set down in writing and preserved, 
constituting what was known as a senatus auctoritas, to be 
distinguished, of course, from an auctoritas patrum (p. 50). 

275. Formulation and Publication of a Senatus Con- 
sultum. The propositions appended to the third, eighth, 
and ninth of Cicero's Philippic orations give one an idea 
of the form of the motions on which the senate voted. 
A motion was set down in writing in its final form after a 
meeting by a committee chosen by the chairman. This 
committee was usually made up of those who had sup- 

C. I. L.I. 196; ported the measure. There were two essential parts in 
Cicad Fam. sucn a document : the preamble, or praescriptio, and the 
action proper. The preamble gave ordinarily the name of 
the presiding officer, the place and time of meeting, and the 
names of the members of the committee chosen to put the 
measure in its final form (adesse scribendo}. Then came 
a statement of the question on which action had been 
taken, usually introduced by such a phrase as, quod M. 
Marcellus cos. v(erba) f(ecif) de, etc., followed by the 
action itself. At the end of the document, in the case of 
a senatits consultant, stood the word c(ensuere) ; in the case 
of a senatus auctoritas, the name of the magistrate or mag- 
istrates who had interposed a veto. It was incumbent on 
the presiding officer to see that the action of the senate 
was communicated to those concerned, and, to deposit the 
official copy of a motion in the aerarium (cf. p. 208). 
Suet. lul. 20. One of the laws of Caesar of the year 5 9 provided that 
official report's of the proceedings of the senate should be 
made and published. 

276. The Roman Senate and Modern Legislative Bodies. 
The method of transacting business followed in the Roman 
senate was in many respects in marked contrast to that of 


modern legislative bodies. In modern legislative assemblies 
a large amount of the work is done by standing or special 
committees, which carry on extended investigations, and, 
on the basis of the information thus obtained, recommend 
certain action to the main body which they represent. 
The Romans made practically no use of the committee sys- 
tem. The fact that in our modern legislative bodies there 
are important committees, and that the presiding officer 
in most cases determines their personnel, gives him great 
influence in controlling members and in directing legis- 
lation. The presiding officer in the Roman senate had 
no such means of controlling that body. Furthermore, 
there were no well-organized parties in Rome, nor was the 
presiding officer in the senate a party leader to the same 
extent that the Speaker, for instance, of our House of Rep- 
resentatives is. Party government, with all that it implies 
in the way of a definite programme, of caucuses, and of 
concerted action, was practically unknown. 

The senate was distinguished from most modern parlia- 
ments in that it could meet only when it was convoked by 
a magistrate. This state of things was consistent with the 
theory that the senate was not a legislative body, but an 
advisory council. It rested, of course, with the magistrate to 
decide when he needed advice. The plan did not work in- 
conveniently, since the members of the senate were within 
call of the senate-house. In harmony with this theory of the 
functions of the senate was the further fact that the order 
of business was in the hands of the presiding officer, and 
was not determined, as with us, by the house itself. This 
theory also accounts for the fact that senators did not have 
the right of initiating legislation, that they could not even 
speak until they were called on, that the presiding officer 
could stop a debate when he saw fit, and that he could 


refuse to put a motion unacceptable to him. As we have 
seen, however, most of these limitations had little practical 
meaning. The senate, for instance, had such effective 
means of forcing a magistrate to convoke it, that no mag- 
istrate ever succeeded in ruling without asking its coopera- 
tion, and the right to initiate legislation, although theoreti- 
cally denied, was practically exercised in a roundabout 
way. It is a matter of surprise that the Roman senate was 
able to transact complicated business in a wise and orderly 
way under the loose system which it followed. We have 
already noticed that business was not prepared for it by 
committees, but almost all sorts of intricate matters were 
taken up for the first time on the floor of the house. 
Furthermore, a comparatively short time was given to the 
settlement of important questions. There was little of that 
parliamentary machinery which we think so essential to the 
orderly transaction of public affairs. There was apparently 
no fixed order of business. A quorum was not ordinarily 
necessary. A dozen motions might be under consideration 
at the same time, and what must have made the situation 
still worse is the fact that the consul could not prevent 
members from discussing matters entirely foreign to the sub- 
ject which he had brought up for consideration. Motions 
were rarely written down, and, in fact, no official minutes 
were kept of a meeting, but the senate relied on the memory 
of the presiding officer or on notes taken by individual sena- 
tors. Finally, any one of the ten tribunes could interpose 
his veto and make the action of the senate invalid. These 
weak points in its method of doing business were offset by 
its frequent meetings, by the fact that its members were 
almost all experienced administrative officers, by its willing- 
ness to profit by its own long experience and by the wisdom 
of those best qualified to advise it. 


(c) The Powers of the Senate 

277. Exclusive Rights of Patrician Senators. The spe- 
cial rights which the patrician members of the senate 
always retained have already been noticed (p. 224). Of 
these the right to vote the auctoritas patrum was robbed 
of all significance by the Publilian law of 339 (pp. 50 f.). 
The right to choose an interrex from their own number was 
very likely a political privilege of some value during the 
stormy years of the late republic. At all events, the insti- 
tution served to give continuity to the government. 

278. Relations of the Senate to the Magistrate and the 
Comitia. As for the senate taken as a whole, we have 
already had occasion to notice (pp. 65 ff.) that the relations 
which it bore to the magistrate and to the popular assem- 
blies gradually underwent a radical change. In the period 
of its ascendency the magistrate was little more than its 
presiding officer and minister, while a great part of the 
business of legislation came before the senate, not before 
the comitia, and even the matters on which the popular 
assembly ultimately took action were discussed and put in 
final form for submission to it by the senate. Traditional 
usage always determined under the republic, however, the 
relation which its action bore to that of the popular 
assemblies. A senatus consultant never stood on the same 
plane as a lex. It could not annul a lex, nor was it valid 
if its provisions violated those of a lex. It could, however, 
interpret enactments of the popular assembly. It could 
provide for, matters not already covered by them, even 
when in so doing it seemed to usurp the constitutional 
rights of the comitia, because in so doing, if the tribune did 
not interpose his veto, it could be assumed that its action 
was acceptable to the populus. 


279. Authority in Religious Matters. The three fields 
in which its activity was greatest were those of religion, 
finance, and foreign politics. The ordinary management of 
religious matters was intrusted to the pontifex maximus 
and the special colleges of priests. Certain regularly 
recurring events of a religious character, like the celebra- 
tion of the games, were in charge of the magistrates ; but 
the welfare of the state depended on the favor of the gods, 
and, therefore, when the gods indicated their will in some 
extraordinary fashion, or when an important change in 
the established religious order was contemplated, the fact 
became one of great political concern, and it was important 
to get the advice of the senate. For this reason, the senate 

Cell. 4. 6. i f. ; was consulted when prodigies had occurred, when new rites 
2 ff.; 2 ^. 1 !. were to be introduced, or religious ceremonies to be regu- 
lated. Ordinarily these matters were laid before the senate 
by the magistrates, and that body instructed the proper 
religious authorities to make investigations, on which ap- 
propriate action could be based. This action consisted, 
in the case of prodigia, in the removal of the cause of 
offense, in making offerings, and appointing festivals. The 
senate, by its control of appropriations, also exercised some 
authority even over the ordinary management of religious 

280. Control of Public Finances. It has been well said 
that the control of public finances under the republic was 
an administrative rather than a constitutional question. 
The right which the chief-magistrate originally had to 
receive and to pay out public moneys passed over in part 
to the senate ; in large measure because the magistrate 
often voluntarily referred such matters to it, for the sake 
of getting its advice and moral support. In short, the 
same influences (cf. pp. 67 f.) which helped the senate to 


encroach on the traditional prerogative of the magistrate 
in other matters were at work in this case also. A magis- 
trate with a brief tenure of office could not maintain his 
power over against a permanent assembly, whose members 
held their position for life. In the case of the finances the 
encroachment of the senate was encouraged by two special 
facts. At a comparatively early date the supervision of the 
treasury was taken from the consul and given to an inferior 
official, the quaestor (p. 207), whose position made him 
even more amenable to the senate than the consul might 
have been. Furthermore, a large share of the consul's 
financial business was transferred to the censor (p. 194) 
after the middle of the fifth century. Notwithstanding 
these changes, the consul still retained some freedom of 
action, inasmuch as appropriations were made not in an 
itemized form, but in lump sums, and the magistrate was 
not required to give the senate an itemized account of the 
receipts of the treasury. In other words, the control which 
the senate had over the finances of the state was far less 
complete and definite than that exercised by a modern 
parliament. The senate appropriated money for the army, Liv.-24. n. 
for the public games, and for the construction and main- J 2 ff y 2 25 ' 
tenance of public works. It authorized the imposition of 
the tributum, and fixed the tribute to be paid by the Liv. 23. 31. 
provinces. The control of state land was always in dispute ; de off. 
between the senate and the popular assemblies, and the 3- 8 7- 
influence of the latter varied according to the democratic 
or oligarchic tendency of the times. 

281. Concluding Treaties, Declaring and Carrying on 
War. The ultimate right to declare war and to conclude a 
treaty of peace rested with the people. In practice, how- Polyb. 6. 14; 
ever, both questions were really settled by the senate. In ^j^. 1 "* 
the first place, a consul would never take the responsibility 



Liv. 8. 2 ; 
21.6; 21. gf. 
36. 27. 7 ; 
38. 45. 5-6. 

Liv. 9. 5. I ; 
21. 17.4; 
37- 55- i-3- 

Cic. ad Fam. 
15. i; 15. 2. 

Liv. 23. 21. 
i ff. ; 23. 34. 
10 f . ; 

Cic. ad Fam. 
15. 4. 13. 

Liv. 6. 1 6. 6. 

of bringing such important matters before the comitia 
without previously consulting the senate (cf. pp. 176 f.). 
In the second place, the senate actually conducted all the 
diplomatic negotiations which resulted in a treaty or a 
declaration of war. These negotiations were usually carried 
on, in the one case, between the senate and ambassadors 
representing the power concerned, in the other case, 
between a senatorial commission and the government of 
the people concerned. Only when a definite conclusion 
had been reached was the result submitted to the people 
for action. In the early period, when wars were carried 
on near Rome, the senate exercised a great influence over 
their conduct. When, in the later period, the scene of 
war was farther removed, the detailed control of a cam- 
paign by it was, of course, impossible. However, com- 
manding generals still deferred to its wishes, and reports of 
military movements were regularly sent to it. The senate 
found an effective means of controlling generals in the field 
in the fact that with it rested the right to appropriate 
money for a campaign, to provide reinforcements, and to 
grant a triumph or a supplicatio in case of a success. 

282. Administration of Italy. Every extension of 
Roman citizenship required the consent of the people, 
so that in founding a Roman colony a lex was necessary. 
A Latin colony, however, could be established by virtue 
of a senatus consultum, which could also determine the 
number of colonists, and the amount of land to be assigned 
to each of them (cf. pp. 59 f.). The general control of affairs 
in Italy was divided between the consul and the senate. 
The consul was charged with the protection of Italy from 
incursions, and the maintenance of peace within its borders 
(cf. pp. 179 f.). It was the duty of the senate to guard the 
interests of the central government, and to provide for the 


administration of justice in certain cases. To cope with 

cases of treason, conspiracy, riot, or insurrection, a magis- Liv. 9 . 16. 

2-10 ; 
10. i. 3. 

trate with the imperium was sent by the senate to conduct 

an investigation and inflict punishment. Epidemics of 
crime, which the local authorities did not seem able to Liv. 39. 41 ff. 
control, were dealt with in the same way. When two 
communities fell into a dispute the senate appointed a Liv. 45. 13. 
commission from its own number with power to settle the cic. ad Att. 
difficulty. Communities which seemed to have failed in 4- *s- 5- 
their duties to Rome were required to send representatives Liv. 27. 38. 
to the city to explain the situation. If their explanations 3 ~ 5 ' 2 - 
were not satisfactory, the towns in question were punished. 
283. The Senate and the Provinces. The important 
part which the senate played in the organization of a 
province has been considered in another connection (pp. 
89 ff.), but its control had by no means come to an end, 
when the provincial charter had been drawn up. Usually 
at the beginning of the year it decided which provinces Liv. 24.43. 9 
should be consular, and which praetorian. Thereupon the a&a&jff./ 
consuls and praetors cast lots for their respective provinces, 4 2 ; I0> " { 
or came to a friendly agreement on the subject. Some- 42 . 31. i. 
times the decision was made after the election, but before 
the end of the year. The lex Sempronia de provinciis of Cic. de Prov. 
123 effected an important change in this arrangement by saSfiug. 
requiring the senate to designate the consular provinces 2 7-3~4- 
before the election of the consuls to whom they would be 
assigned. This prevented it from favoring political friends 
or punishing political opponents. The praetorian provinces 
were still designated after the elections had been held. 
The lex Cornelia of 81 definitely instituted the promagis- 
terial system for the provinces (cf. p. 105), but made no 
important change in the part which the senate played in 
the appointment of provincial governors. The lex Pompeia Dio, 40. 56. 


de provinciis of the year 52, which provided that an interval 
of five years should elapse between the time when one held 
the consulship or praetorship at Rome and took the gov- 
ernment of a province, also directed that the designation of 
the provinces as consular or praetorian in a given case 
should be made just before the governors went out to their 
provinces, that is, about four years after their term of office 
in Rome had come to an end. After the allotments had 
been made, senatus consulta de provinciis ornandis were 
passed, assigning troops and appropriating money for the 
several provinces. Complaints made by the inhabitants of 
a province were addressed to the senate, and, although it 
rarely interfered in the management of a province, when 
it did consider favorably a provincial appeal, its action 
prevailed over the edict of the governor. 

284. The Senate and Foreign Affairs. The conclusion 
of a treaty with a people which had been at war with Rome 
required, as we have seen (p. 235), the sanction of the 
people, but the senate on its own motion was competent 
to enter into a friendly alliance with a foreign nation in the 
name of the Roman people, to assume the protectorate 
of a territory, or to confer the title of king or friend of the 
Roman people on a foreign potentate. To it also foreign 
nations addressed their complaints against Rome or Roman 
officials. Similarly, demands or requests addressed to foreign 
countries were sent by the senate. Embassies from hostile 
or friendly nations came to it. The representatives of 
friendly powers were received into the city and entertained 
at public expense. If the senate wished to hear the state- 
ments of an embassy from a hostile people, a meeting was 
held outside the city ; otherwise the ambassadors were 
ordered to leave Italy at once. On the day when the mem- 
bers of a friendly embassy were to be heard by the senate 


they were taken to the Graecostasis, a structure near the Varro, L. L. 

curia, set apart for ambassadors, and later conducted into Lv! a& 31 1 ; 

the senate by the magistrate, and allowed to make a state- 3- 22 - 5^ 
ment in the Latin language. After a certain date the use ' 

Val - 

of Greek was permissible. Then they were questioned by 

members of the senate, retired during its deliberations, but 

returned to hear the decision which had been reached. In 

some cases the senate appointed a committee to confer 

with the ambassadors and to make a report to it. The 

sending of embassies to foreign states was authorized by Liv. 34. 59. 8. 

the senate, and all the members, usually three in number, 

of such embassies were senators. Two circumstances in 

particular robbed the senate in the first century of its influ- 

ence in foreign affairs. In the first place, almost all the 

peoples with whom the Romans had in the early period 

carried on diplomatic relations were now subject to Rome, 

and were therefore governed by Roman officials. In the 

second place, campaigns were carried on at such a dis- 

tance from Rome that it was usually impracticable for the 

senate to dictate the terms of a treaty, and commanding 

officers found it easy to carry on the negotiations with- 

out paying it much attention. Furthermore, the extraor- 

dinary powers which were granted to generals in the field, 

as to Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar, or the powers which 

circumstances allowed them to assume, contributed to the 

same result. 

285. Measures of Public Safety. In another connec- 
tion (pp. 181 f.) reference has been made to the various 
extraordinary measures which the senate took at moments 
of great public danger. These measures included the 
declaration of a tiimultus or a iustitium, the appointment 
of a dictator, and the passage of the senatus consultum 


286. The Tumultus and lustitium. The dictator could 
declare a tumultus or a iustitium without waiting for any 
action on the part of the senate, but if a dictator was not 

Liv. 10. 21.3; in office, the declaration was made by the senate. When 
a tumultus had been proclaimed, the city was occupied with 
troops, the citizens put on the sagum, and all exemptions 
from military service were canceled. The declaration of 
a iustitium involved the suspension of all business not 
required by the exigencies of the case. After the period 
of the Gracchi, both these measures were taken to supple- 
ment the senatus consultum ultimum, but only when a 
citizen had put himself at the head of an armed force, 
and had been declared an hostis rei publicae. 

287. Appointment of a Dictator and Passage of the 
Senatus Consultum Ultimum. A dictator was named by 
the consul, at the bidding of the senate, when the integ- 
rity of the commonwealth was threatened by wars without, 
or by disorders within the confines of the state (cf. p. 181). 
A dictator was appointed for the last time in 202. Three 
facts explain the disappearance of the office. It had been 
used as a weapon by the patricians in their struggle with 
the plebeians, but the assumption by the people in the year 
2 1 7 of the right to pass the enabling act took the office out 
of the hands of the senate and made it useless to it. In the 
second place, the dictatorship had been gradually stripped 
of the exceptional powers which differentiated it from the 
consulship (cf. p. 183). Furthermore, during the first 
seventy years of the second century, no critical situation 
developed in Italy, and the ascendency of the senate was 
unquestioned, so that it felt no need of passing exceptional 
measures. But the agitations of the Gracchi arrayed the 
democracy against the nobilitas, and the senate cast about 
for means to hold the opposition in check. Now the 


appointment of a dictator meant the investiture of an 

extraordinary magistrate with extraordinary powers, but 

the right to make such an appointment was no longer 

the exclusive prerogative of the senate. The same object 

could be attained, however, by conferring extraordinary 

powers on a regular magistrate. This step it took in 132 by 

granting to the consuls of that year the right to judge and Plut. Ti. 

condemn to death those found guilty of taking part in the vai. 2 Max. 

revolutionary proceedings of Tiberius Gracchus. This led 4- 7- 1- 

to the passage of the Sempronian law in 123 (cf. p. 98), 

which forbade the execution of any citizen until he had 

been heard by the people. Two years later, however, the 

senate voted uti L. Opimius consul rem publicam defenderet, Cic. Phil. 

and, under the authority of this action, the consul attacked 8 ' I4 ' 

the Gracchan party, which had seized the Aventine hill 

and killed C. Gracchus and several of his followers. In 

the year 100, during the agitation of the tribune Saturninus 

(cf. p. 100), the consuls, with the help of the tribunes 

and praetors, were directed to see to it ut imperium populi Cic. pro Rab. 

Romani maiestasque conseruaretur. Somewhat similar action F 

was taken in the years 88, 83, 77, 63, 62, 52, 49, 48, 47, 

and 43. The special power exercised by the magistrate 

under this decree of the senate was that of putting citizens 

to death without granting them the privilege of appealing 

to the people. This proceeding was, of course, in direct 

contravention of the lex Sempronia of the year 123, and 

the popular party never recognized the constitutionality of 

it. The modification which Cicero introduced in the plan 

followed by earlier magistrates, of asking for a specific vote 

by the senate on the disposition of the accused persons, 

does not make his course more or less constitutional than 

that of his predecessors \ for if the senate was competent to 

act as a court of last resort, and to condemn citizens to 


death, it was competent to empower the consuls to impose 
the death penalty through the s. c. ultimum, and specific 
action was unnecessary. If it was not competent in the 
first instance, it could not itself impose the penalty. The 
whole question of the constitutionality of the s. c. ultimum is 
a matter of high dispute. In point of fact, the question 
seems to bring into conflict two irreconcilable theories of 
government, each of which prevailed to a greater or less 
degree at different periods. The senate maintained, as 
Cic. de Legg. Cicero put it, salus populi suprema lex est. Furthermore, 
it claimed to have the right to decide when the safety of 
the state required the assumption on its part of extra-con- 
stitutional powers, and it claimed to be the ultimate deposi- 
tary of supreme power. The first one of these propositions 
will scarcely be questioned. Various historical considera- 
tions support the senate's contention on the other two 
points. As we have seen (p. 10), when the chief-magistracy 
became vacant through death or otherwise, the sovereignty 
returned to the patres. Furthermore, up to the year 217, 
the seriate exercised not infrequently the right to decide 
when the public safety required the suspension of the consti- 
tutional rights of the citizens, and in accordance with its 
judgment instructed the consul to appoint a dictator. Its 
failure to exercise that power for the next century or more 
did not imply the loss of it. Opposed to this view of the 
situation, on which the senate could rest its claim, was the 
democratic theory that the will of the people is the law of 
the land, and the successive achievements of the popular 
party mark the advance made from time to time in forcing 
the acceptance of that theory. The full recognition of 
it, with a somewhat narrow interpretation of the word 
"people" (cf. p. 51), was secured in 287. The failure of 
the people to make full use of their power does not imply an 


abandonment of the principle. Indeed, the fact was freely 
recognized that a decree of the senate could not stand 
against the action of the popular assembly (cf. p. 233). 
The position of the popular party was, therefore, a strong 
one when it maintained that no se?iatus consultum could 
suspend the action of the lex Sempronia de provocatione. 
The special plea which was made on certain occasions by Cic. in Cat. 
the advocates of the senatorial prerogative, that the indi- 
viduals concerned had become enemies of the state and, 
therefore, had forfeited the rights of citizenship, is a piece 
of sophistry, because to concede to the senate the right on 
its own authority of declaring that a citizen who had not 
openly taken up arms against the government was an hostis 
rei publicae was to grant it indirectly the power of suspend- 
ing the action of a lex. The question is, therefore, like the 
old problem of free will and necessity, and it will probably 
be decided by different students according to the theory 
of ideal government held by each of them. In this con- 
nection we may mention the action of the senate declaring 
that certain individuals were acting, or would act in a given Cic. ad Att. 
case, contra rem publicam. Such a motion on the part of 2^24. 3;' 
the senate, usually directed against magistrates, often pre- g^J' 
ceded the passage of. a s. c. ultimum, and indicated the Caes. B. c. 
intention of the senate to pass that measure, if the persons 
concerned persisted in the course which they had taken. 


Composition of the senate and senatorial privileges : Willems, Le 
senat de la republique romaine, Vol. I, Louvain, 1883 ; Th. Momm- 
sen, Romische Forschungen, I. 2 218-284; G. Bloch, Les origines 
du senat remain, Paris, 1883 ; Fr. Hofmann, Der rom. Senat zur 
Zeit der Republik, Berlin, 1847 5 Lange, De plebiscitis Ovinio et Atinio 

1 See also pp. 22, 173, 219. 


disputatio, Leipzig, 1878 ; Monro, On the pedarii, Journ. of Phil. 
IV. (1872) 113-119. Meetings of the senate: C. Bardt, Die Senats- 
sitzungstage der spateren Republik (in Hermes, VII. 14 ff.) ; Zur 
lex Caecilia Didia (ibid. IX. 305 ff.) ; Lange, Die lex Pupia (in 
Rhein. Mus. (N. F.), XXIX. 321-336, and XXX. 350-397) ; Lanciani, 
L'aula e gli uffici del senate romano (Mem. dell' Accad. dei Lincei, 
XI) ; Mispoulet, La vie parlementaire a Rome sous la republique, 
Paris, 1899; B. Pick, De senatus consultis Romanorum, Part I, 
Berlin, 1884; Hiibner, De senatus populique actis, Leipzig, 1859; 
Willems, Vol. II. Powers of the senate : H. Genz, Das patri- 
zische Rom, Berlin, 1878; Soltau, Altromische Volksversammlungen 
(109-226), Berlin, 1880; Nissen, Das lustitium, Leipzig, 1877; 
Willems, Vol. II. 



(a) Citizens and their Rights 

288. How Citizenship could be Acquired. The rights 
of citizenship could be acquired by birth, by naturaliza- 
tion, or by manumission. They belonged, therefore, to the 
issue of a legal marriage (iustum matrimoniuni], contracted 
between those who had the ius conubii. Before 445 the 
ius conubii was enjoyed by the patricians only, but in 
that year it was given to the plebeians also (cf. pp. 33 f.). 
Foreigners could gain the rights of Roman citizenship only 
through action of the popular assembly, although, in the Liv. 4. 4. 7. 
later years of the republic, generals in the field seem to Cic. pro Arch, 
have usurped this prerogative of the people in a few cases. 

Special facilities were granted to the Latins and the allies 
in acquiring citizenship, as we shall presently see. The 
formal announcement of a slave's freedom by his master 
made him a citizen. This announcement could be made 
in the presence of a magistrate, or in a will, or the master 
could confer freedom and citizenship on him at the same 
time by having his name enrolled in the censor's list. 

289. How it could be Lost. Roman citizenship implied 
personal liberty. Consequently, any one who was captured 
in war, turned over to the enemy, or sold into slavery, lost 
it completely. This complete forfeiture of civic and family 
rights, as well as of freedom, was known as the capitis 
deminutio maxima. Captives who returned to the city 



could regain their rights. The capitis deminutio media im- 
plied the loss of all civic and family rights, but not of personal 
liberty. Those who had become citizens in another state, 
who had gone into voluntary exile, or had been banished, 
suffered this penalty. Capitis deminutio minima took place 
in case of adoption. The adopted person lost the family 
rights which he had formerly enjoyed, but he acquired the 
rights of the family into which he was adopted. 

290. Three Classes of Freemen. There were three 
classes of freemen under the republic : (I) those who had 
the full right of Roman citizenship ; (II) those who enjoyed 
it only in part or when they had conformed to certain 
conditions; and (III) those who in their own persons had 
no rights before the law. 

291. Equalization of the Rights of Citizenship. Under 
the monarchy patricians alone had the full rights of Roman 
citizenship. What these rights were, and what the position 
of the plebeians was, we have already had occasion to notice 
(pp. 17 f.). The remodeling of the army by Servius 
Tullius (p. 20), and the development of the new organi- 
zation into a political body under the republic (pp. 26 f.) 
brought important civil and political rights to the plebeians. 
Henceforth they participated in the meetings of the centu- 
riate comitia for the enactment of laws and the election of 
magistrates. The lex Valeria allowed them to appeal to 
the popular assembly in case the death penalty had been 
imposed by a magistrate (p. 27). The establishment of 
the tribunate in 494 gave them greater protection against 
patrician magistrates (p. 28), and at the same time secured 
to them a political institution in which the patricians had 
no part. By the lex Canuleia of 445 they gained the ins 
conubii between themselves and the patricians. The polit- 
ical agitation of the fourth century secured them admission 


to the magistracies and to certain priesthoods. The pas- 
sage of the Valerio-Horatian, Publilian, and Hortensian 
laws technically freed the popular assemblies, and in par- 
ticular the plebeian tribal assembly, from the control of 
the patrician element in the senate (pp. 49 f.). 

(I) Content of the Civitas Romana. Henceforth citizen- 
ship meant practically the same for patricians and plebeians. 
It included the iura commercii, conubii, provocations, legis 
actionis, suffragii, and the ins honorum. The privileges 
retained by the patrician consisted in the right to hold the 
priestly offices of flamen and of rex sacrorum, and to be 
one of thefratres Arvales, Salii, and Luperci, to take part 
in the passage of the anctoritas patrum, to act as an interrex, 
and to be a member of a gens, and, consequently, of the 
comitia curiata (cf., however, p. 252). On his side the 
plebeian alone was eligible to the tribunate, and none but 
plebeians could' participate in the meetings of the concilium 

(II) Restricted Citizenship, i . Freedmen. A second class 
of freemen enjoyed the rights of Roman citizenship only in 
part, or when they had satisfied certain conditions. In this 
category were the freedmen. They never gained the right 
to sit in the senate, and, up to the time of Appius Claudius, 
they were not enrolled in the tribes. The radical improve- 
ment which he made in their position (cf. pp. 54 ff.) was 
partly lost in the reaction of 304, which restricted them to 

the four city tribes (cf. p. 56). Numerous attempts were Herz. I. 996. 
made by democratic leaders in the first century to secure 
them admission to other tribes, but without permanent suc- 
cess. The concession which was ultimately made to them 
with reference to admission to the senate has been noted 
in another connection. They had the ius commercii and 
technically the ius conubii. 


As we have already seen, certain offenses, or a reprehen- 
sible mode of living, might take from a citizen his right to a 
vote, or might deprive him of its full value, and the magis- 
trate presiding at an election could refuse to consider the 
claims of an objectionable candidate (p. 169). This, of 
course, amounted to a loss of the ius suffragii or the i'us 
honorum, as the case might be. 

2. Latini. Under \hzfoedus Cassianum, which tradition 
assigns to the year 493, the members of the Latin league 
enjoyed the ius commerdi, and probably also the ius conu- 
bii. The war of 338 broke the power of the league and 
enabled Rome to make with each one of its members 
(cf. p. 57) separate arrangements, in all of which the ius 
commerdi was seriously restricted. From that time the 
rights of these communities depended entirely on their 
treaties with Rome and differed in different cases. The 
Latin colonies which the Romans began t'o found in the 
fourth century held nearly the same relation to Rome as 
the communities just mentioned, and a statement of the 
rights which the settlers in these colonies enjoyed will 
apply also to the members of the Latin communities allied 
N with Rome. They had the ius commerdi and perhaps the 

Liv. 25. 3. 16. ius conubii. In Rome they were allowed to vote in a tribe 
determined by lot. Furthermore, a Latin could exercise 
the rights of Roman citizenship in Rome, provided he had 
left a son at home. In the colonies founded after 268 this 

Appian, B. c. privilege was restricted to those who had held a magistracy 
and, from the year mentioned, the ius conubii was no longer 
given to new colonies. The civttas Romana was probably 
granted to all communities in Latium in the early part of 
the second century, and, as a result of the Social war, all 
cities in Italy of the class under consideration acquired the 
rights of Roman citizenship (cf. pp. 101 f.). 


3. Gives sine suffragio. About 353 the Romans estab- Liv. 7. 20. 8; 
lished, in the case of Caere in Etruria, the first of a new 
class of communities known as municipia sine suffragio. 
The people in these communities had the private rights of 
Roman citizens, but they could not be enrolled in a tribe, 
and, therefore, could not vote. The lex lulia and the lex 
Plautia Papiria of 9089 did away with all communities 
of this class in Italy. 

(Ill) Peregrin!, etc. In the eyes of the law every free- 
man who was not a Roman citizen was &peregrinus. Strictly 
speaking, therefore, those who had only the ius Latii came 
under this head, but the term peregrini was commonly 
applied to the citizens of independent states or of depend- 
ent communities which did not have the rights of Roman 
citizenship in whole or in part. Such a freeman, when at 
Rome, secured protection either through a treaty made by Will. Dr. 
his state with Rome, through the offices of the praetor pere- etc. b'iv. in 
grinus, who administered the ius gentium, or by an hospitium Caec- 6; " 
privation arranged with a Roman citizen, who was thus put 
under moral obligation to protect him to the extent of his 
power. Furthermore, women, minors, and those of unsound 
mind had no political rights, and secured their civil rights 
only through the kindly offices of a representative who was a 
citizen. Slaves were regarded simply as chattels, for whom 
their masters were responsible. 

(b) Divisions of the People for Political Purposes 

292. The Curiae. The division of the people under the 
monarchy into curiae, tribes, classes, and centuries has 
already been considered (cf. pp. 18, 20-21). The curiae 
were in their origin local subdivisions for political purposes. 
The local character of their origin seems to be indicated by 


such names as Foriensis and Veliensis. Membership in a 
curia was handed down from father to son without regard 
to change of residence. 

293. The Tribes. We have already had occasion to 
notice (pp. 5 f., 21) that the term tribus has two, perhaps 
three, different meanings. The four Servian tribes were 
Suburana, Esquilina, Collina, and Palatina. The seventeen 
tribes added in the early years of the republic (cf. p. 27) 
were Aemilia, Camilia, Claudia, Cornelia, Crustumina, Fabia, 
Galeria, Horatia, Lemonia, Menenia, Papiria, Pollia, Pupinia, 
Romilia, Sergia, Voltinia, and Voturia. All of these names 
with the exception of Crustumina, which is of local origin, 
are the names of patrician clans. To this number four new 
tribes (Arnensis, Sabatina, Stellatina, and Tromentina) were 
added in 387, two (Pomptina and Poplilia) in 358, two 
(Maecia and Scaptia) in 332, two (Falerna and Oufentina) 
in 318, two (Aniensis and Teretina) in 300, and two (Qui- 
rina and Velina) in 241. The number never passed beyond 
this maximum of thirty-five. That no additions were made 
subsequent to 241 is probably due to the fact that about 
this time the tribal organization was adopted as the basis of 
the reformed centuriate assembly (cf. p. 74). After the date 
mentioned, newly made citizens were apportioned among 
the old tribes. The importance of the tribe as a political 
unit depended, of course, on the fact that the three great 
popular assemblies were based on it. Membership in a 
tribe was the mark of citizenship, and was indicated in the 
legal name, e.g., C. Lucilius C. /. Pup(inia fribu) Hirrus. 
We have already considered (pp. 247 f.) the restrictions laid 
upon certain classes of citizens with reference to their tribal 
relations. Membership was determined at first by residence 
or the ownership of land. A change of residence did not 
entail a change of tribe, but a citizen could pass into a new 


tribe in case he settled in a colony, or he could be assigned 
to a new tribe by the censors. Mention is made of two 
classes of tribal officials under the republic, the curatores 
tribuum and the tribuni aerarii, but their functions are 
obscure. Perhaps the former had to do with the elections 
and the census. Possibly the office of tribuni aerarii was 
established when Rome began to raise the tributum. At all 
events, for some time these officials seem to have been finan- 
cial officers representing the several tribes. After the tribu- 
tum was given up, their position was one of honor only. 

294. The Classes and Centuries. The basis on which the 
people were divided into classes and centuries has already 
been touched on (cf. pp. 20 f., 54 f., 74 f.),and will be con- 
sidered further when v we come to discuss the centuriate 
comitia. A new assignment was made by each college of 

(c) Popular Assemblies 

295. Comitia. There were three classes of popular 
assemblies among the Romans, viz., comitia, concilia, and 
contiones. Comitia were assemblies of all the citizens, i.e., 
of the populus Romanus, called for the purpose of taking 
action on matters submitted to them by duly authorized 
officials. There were three of these assemblies, the comitia 
curiata, centuriata, and tributa, and they came into exist- 
ence in the order indicated. 

296. Concilia. Concilia, in the political sense of the 
word, were formal assemblies of a part of the people. Thus a 
concilium plebis was a legislative or electoral assembly of the 
plebeians. The distinction between comitia and concilium 
has been well indicated by Laelius Felix (Gell. N. A. XV. 
27. 4) : is qui non universum populum, sed partem aliquam 
adesse iubet, non " comitia" sed " concilium " edicere iubet. 


297. Contiones. Contiones differed from comitia and 
concilia mainly in three particulars. The people came 
together as individuals, and not as members of certain 
political organizations, like the curia, century, or tribe. 
Hence a strict test of citizenship was not applied. In the 
second place, these gatherings were solely for the purpose 
of receiving communications, and no action could be taken. 
Finally, private citizens, with the consent of the presiding 
magistrate, could address the assembly. Contiones resem- 
bled the comitia and the concilia in that they could be 
called by magistrates only, and that the procedure in them 
was directed by the presiding magistrate. A contio was 
usually held before the comitia or concilium met, to hear a 
statement and a discussion of the questions which were to 
be acted on later in the more formal body. They were not 
a necessary part of the machinery of state, but they exerted 
an important political influence, especially since political 
meetings could not be called by private individuals. 

(d) The Comitia Curiata 

298. Admission of Plebeians. The organization and 
functions of the comitia curiata under the monarchy have 
been considered in another part of this book (cf. pp. 19 f.). 

St. R. in. Whether the plebeians were admitted is a matter of great 
Herz'.i. 1014; doubt. The statements of ancient writers, the fact that 

plebeians were eligible to the office of curio maximus and 
Solta'u, 67 f. took part in certain curial religious rites, seem to indicate 

that they were admitted to the curiate assembly. They 
Will. Dr. probably did not gain the right to vote, however, until 

51, nn. i, 2. . j ... , .. . , 

midway in the republican period. 

299. Formalities attending a Meeting. After the passage 
of the lex Caecilia Didia (p. 100), announcement probably 


had to be made seventeen days before the assembly met. 
The ordinary place of meeting was the comitium. The Varro, L. L. 
presiding officer, when the lex curiata de imperio was pre- 5 
sented for action, was a magistrate. On other occasions 
the pontifex maximus presided. Formal actions of the 
assembly did not become valid until they had received the 
patrum auctoritas. The importance of this body disap- Cic. de Re 
peared to such an extent that in the later years of the Liv.dfii.ia 
republic the curiae were at times represented by thirty Cic. de Leg. 
lictors and three augurs. The semi-political functions gr ' ' 
which the curiate comitia had exercised under the mon- 
archy (pp. 14, 19 f.) fell to the centuriate assembly, and the 
older body kept its jurisdiction over clan affairs only. 

(e) The Contitia Centuriata 

300. Composition of the Comitia Centuriata. The compo- 
sition of the centuriate comitia has already been sufficiently 
described (pp. 20 f., 74 f.). In 88 B.C. Sulla restored the Appian, B. C. 
Servian organization of the assembly, but the reformed 

system was speedily reinstated again. 

301. Presiding Officer. The centuriate comitia was in 
its origin a military body. It could, therefore, be called 
together only by magistrates who had the imperium, or by Varro, L. L. 
lower officials commissioned or allowed by higher magis- ' ' ' 93 ' 
trates to issue a summons. The right which the censor 
exercised to call a meeting of the people by centuries in 

taking the census was only an apparent exception to this 
principle. No vote was taken in the assembly called by 
him, so that the meeting was not properly a meeting of 
the comitia centuriata. When the assembly met to elect 
consuls, censors, or praetors, of the regular magistrates only 
the consul could preside (p. 176). 


302. Dies Comitiales. The days on which the assembly 
could meet (dies comitiales} numbered one hundred and 

C. I. L. i. ninety in the early imperial period, and were indicated in 
Varr 6 !/ L tne calendar by the letter C. Assemblies could not be held 
6 - 2 9- on holidays (dies nefasti), nor on days set apart for meet- 

Gell. 15. 27. 5. ings of the courts (dies fasti). The regular place of meeting 
was the Campus Martius. 

303. Announcement of Meetings. After the passage of 
the lex Caecilia Didia (p. 100), announcement had to be 
made for a period of seventeen days before the date of 
the proposed meeting. The announcement took the form 
of a magisterial edict giving the date and purpose of the 
meeting. This edict included the text of the proposed 
bill, the list of candidates, or the names of persons accused, 
with a statement of the charges made against them, accord- 
ing as the comitia met as a legislative, electoral, or judicial 

304. The Auspices. Shortly after midnight on the day 
of the proposed meeting the prospective presiding officer, 

Liv. i. 36. 6; accompanied by an augur, took the auspices. If the inter- 
6."i ! 6. 95; pretation of them by the augur was unfavorable, the meet- 
Sic, de Legg. m g was postponed to another day. Even if the auspices 
were favorable, two religious difficulties might lead to a 
postponement, viz., the announcement of another magis- 
trate that he had seen unfavorable omens, or the occur- 
rence of dirae at the time of the meeting. The plan which 
the Romans finally adopted in dealing with cases of this 
sort, and the responsibility of the presiding magistrate, have 
already been considered (cf. pp. 158-160). 

305. Other Formalities. In case he found no obstacles 
in the way of holding the meeting, on the spot where he 
had taken the auspices, the magistrate, through an assistant, 
proceeded to summon the citizens to a meeting (vocare 


inlicium Quirites). The summons was repeated by a Varro, L. L. 
trumpeter on the walls and on the Arx, and a red flag was ^^ '. 
raised on the Arx. Immediately before the holding of Liv. 39.15.11. 
the comitia, a contio was called at which the magistrate who Varro, L. L. 
had summoned the comitia presided. After a sacrifice $! 94 .' 
had been made, and prayer had been offered, the busi- Liv. 39. 15. i ; 
ness to come before the comitia was stated and discussed Mur. P i 
(cf. p. 252). After the contio the magistrate summoned 
the people to assemble by centuries in the comitia with the 
words impero qua convenit ad comitia centuriata. There- 
upon those who did not have the right to vote retired, and Liv. 2. 5 6. 10. 
the citizens arranged themselves in centuries under their 
respective centuriones. 

306. Method of Voting. Before the reform of 241 the 
eighteen centuries of knights voted first, all the centuries 
voting simultaneously, and the result of their vote was 
announced ; then came the centuries of the first and of the Liv. i. 43. n. 
second class, and so on, until a majority of the centuries 
had voted in favor of a certain proposition. In point of 
fact the knights and the pedites of the first class usually 
voted in the same way. If that proved to be the case, it 
was not necessary to continue voting after the centuries of 
the first class had cast their ballots, as their eighty centuries 
with the eighteen equestrian centuries constituted a majority 
of the assembly. Under the reform legislation of 241 the 
knights lost their privilege of voting first. The order of 
the classes was still observed, however, and a century was 
chosen by lot {centuria praerogativd} from the first class, Liv. 24. 7. 12; 
whose privilege it was to vote and have its vote announced cic. P^k 
before the ballots of the other centuries were cast. A large 2 - 82> 
enclosure, called the saepta or ovile, was set apart for the Herz. I. 
voters, with small sections for the members of each century, Lange^'ii.' 
and as the voters went out of these enclosures through the 487 f- 


narrow passages (ponies), they cast their ballots. During 
the early republican period, citizens gave their votes viva 
voce, but after the passage of the leges tabellariae (cf. p. 71), 
toward the end of the second century, balloting was secret. 
At legislative meetings each voter received an affirmative 
Cic. ad Att. ballot bearing the letters U. R. (i.e., uti rogas), and a 
deiigg^S. negative ballot marked A. (i.e., antique}. At meetings to 
Plut. Cat. elect magistrates each voter received a blank tabella, on 
which he wrote the name of the candidate of his choice. 
When the comitia met as a judicial assembly, he received 
two tablets, one marked L. (i.e., liberd) and the other D. 
(i.e., damnd). The proper ballot was placed by the voter 
Cic. in Pis. 36. in the cista, which was guarded by the rogatores or diribi- 
tores. A majority of the votes in the century determined 
the vote of the century, and a majority of the centuries 
decided the vote of the whole assembly. Announcement 
of the result (renuntiatio) was made by the presiding officer, 
who had a certain amount of discretionary power in the 
case of the elections. It was necessary for the comitia to 
adjourn before sunset. 

307. The Centuriate Comitia as an Electoral Body. The 
centuriate comitia met for three different purposes, viz., to 
elect the higher magistrates, to enact laws, and to hear 
appeals in cases involving the death penalty. Of the reg- 
ular magistrates, it chose the consuls, the censors, and the 
praetors; of the extraordinary magistrates, the decemviri 
legibus scribundis and the consular tribunes. At the outset 
it probably had the right only to accept or reject a nomi- 
nation made by the presiding officer, but, at a compara- 
tively early period, it acquired the power of choosing 
between several candidates, although the presiding magis- 
trate could always exercise some discretion with reference 
to the eligibility of the candidates (cf. pp. 169, 171). 


Before the passage of the lex Maenia in 287 (cf. p. 51) an 
election needed the ratification of the patrician senators, 
expressed in the patrum atictoritas. After that date the 
patrum atictoritas preceded the election and became a mere 
matter of form. 

308. The Centuriate Comitia as a Legislative Assembly. 
At the outset, in the field of legislation, the centuriate 
comitia exercised only the right to declare an offensive war, 
a right which was transferred to it from the curiate assem- 
bly. Soon after the republic was established, however, it 
acquired the power of legislating, under certain conditions, 
on any subject (cf. p. 27). After 449 it shared this privi- 
lege with the concilium plebis (cf. p. 32), and after 447 
also with the patricio-plebeian tribal assembly (cf. p. 33). 
The restrictions laid on both these bodies enabled it to 
retain its supremacy, however, until 287. From that time 
on, since they were as free as the centuriate comitia, or 
freer than it, and since their method of procedure was 
simpler than that of the centuriate comitia, their place of 
meeting more convenient, and their composition more 
democratic, the importance of the centuriate comitia de- 
clined rapidly. No sure line of distinction can be drawn 
between the legislation which the centuriate comitia could 
enact and that which the two tribal assemblies could pass, 
except that the centuriate assembly retained its exclusive 
right to declare an offensive war, and to pass an act, 
modeled on the lex de imperio of the curiate assembly, 
conferring plenary power on the censor, an act known as 
the lex de potestate censoria. The ordinary method of pro- 
cedure in securing the passage of a lex in the centuriate 
comitia was as follows : the consul laid a subject before 
the senate for consideration ; its action, if not vetoed, was 
known as a senatus consultum, and took the form of advice, 


or of a request that the magistrate should lay a certain 
proposition before the popular assembly for its favorable 
consideration. Announcement of the bill (promulgate 
legis) had to be made by the magistrate seventeen days 
before the assembly could vote on it. In this interval 
probably the patrum auctoritas was secured. On the 
appointed day the bill was read and discussed in a contio, 
and the people voted on it immediately afterward in the 
comitia. As we have already noticed (p. 177), the consul 
was not required to consult the senate beforehand, nor 
was he theoretically obliged to bring a proposition recom- 
mended by the senate before the comitia, or if he did 
propose the measure, he could oppose its passage, but, for 
reasons already given, magistrates rarely exercised these 
constitutional rights. 

309. The Centuriate Comitia as a Court of Appeal. The 

right to inflict capital punishment was included under the 

imperium, but, from an early period, citizens in the city 

who were condemned to death by a magistrate were allowed 

to appeal to the people. This privilege was extended and 

confirmed by the lex Valeria, the lex Valeria Horatia 

Liv. 10. 9. (p. 31), the leges Porciae, and the lex Sempronia. The 

Jic. pro Rab. appeal was heard by the centuriate comitia. The quaestors, 

iHefz I2 ' H vir * perduellionis, or tribunes in charge of the matter, 

1. 1081 f. appointed a day (diem dicere) for the first hearing. This 

was known as the prima accusatio. In this meeting the 

Liv. 3. 11.9; charge and defense were heard, and arrangements were 

3! 24. 3; ' made for another hearing, known as the secunda accusatio, 

ctc 3 de 5 Domo wnen tne investigation, with the taking of testimony, was 

45- continued. After the third contio (tertia accusatio) the 

magistrate gave his decision, and announced the penalty, 

upon which the accused, if he wished, could appeal to the 

centuriate assembly. That assembly voted on the simple 


question of guilt or innocence. It could not modify in 
any way the proposed sentence. After a date, which we 
cannot fix, the accused was allowed to go into voluntary 
exile at any time before the vote was taken in the comitia. 
The two classes of cases which were most commonly car- 
ried before the centuriate assembly were those of murder 
J(farricidium) and treason (fcrdtullie). The proceedings 
in non-political cases were usually conducted by the quaes- 
tor, in political cases by the tribune, under the presidency 
of the praetor. The establishment of quaestiones extraor- 
dinariae took many cases out of the hands of the quaestor 
and the centuriate assembly. The lex Sempronia of the 
year 123 (p. 98) was intended to correct this practice, 
and in some measure it restored the importance of the 
comitia centuriata as a court of appeal. That body lost its 
judicial functions entirely, however, after the establishment 
by Sulla of a complete system of permanent courts. Crim- 
inal trials were conducted in them in a simpler and more 
satisfactory way, and since the severest penalty which they 
imposed was that of banishment, there were no appeals to 
be taken to the comitia centuriata. 

(/) The Cantitia Tributa 

310. The Existence of a Patricio-Plebeian Tribal As- 
sembly. No ancient historian mentions the establishment 
of a tribal assembly including patricians as well as ple- 
beians, nor is any distinction drawn between the comitia 
tributa and the concilium plebis. In fact, in one case at Liv. 2. 56. 2. 
least, the plebeian tribal assembly is spoken of as the comitia 
tributa. This state of things has led some modern scholars m 

Madv. I. 235 

to maintain that there was only one tribal assembly, from ihne, Rhein. 
whose meetings the patricians were excluded, an assembly 2 8 U 36; f. 


indifferently called the comitia tributa or the concilium 
plebis. However, the people meeting in the comitia tributa 
are designated by the term populus, which in the republican 
period can properly be applied only to a body made up of 
all citizens, patricians as well as plebeians. Furthermore, 
in a tribal assembly, presided over by a magistrate, as we 
shall presently see, certain officials were elected to whom 
the term magistrates in its technical sense (cf. pp. 151, 
171) was applied. Their election and the fact that a 
magistrate presided presuppose an assembly containing 
both patricians and plebeians. On the whole, then, the 
existence of a patricio-plebeian tribal assembly is highly 
probable. The assembly came into existence in the middle 
of the fifth century (cf. p. 33), immediately after the organi- 
zation of the plebeian tribal assembly. 

311. Composition. We have no direct evidence bearing 
on the composition of the comitia tributa, but it may be 
safely assumed that all patricians and plebeians belonging to 
the thirty-five tribes voted in the assembly. 

312. Meetings. The comitia tributa were presided over 
by a magistrate. It was necessary to take the auspices 
before a meeting was held. The usual place of meeting 
was the forum. The method of voting was that followed 
in the centuriate comitia. After the passage of the Hor- 
tensian law the action of the assembly did not need the 
patrum auctoritas to be valid. 

313. The Comitia Tributa as an Electoral, Legislative, 
and Judicial Body. When the quaestorship became an 
elective office its incumbents were chosen in this assembly 
(p. 33), and this became the regular method of electing 
them. Later the curule aediles were chosen in it, and in 
fact all the lower magistrates, as well as the members of 
certain special commissions (cf. pp. 204, 210, 216). The 


tribal comitia could legislate apparently on any subject, and, 
as we have already seen (p. 257), it is impossible to dis- 
tinguish between the three popular assemblies with respect 
to the character of the subjects on which they took action. 
Certain judicial cases, conducted by the curule aedile, were 
heard before it (cf. p. 206). 

314. The Modified Comitia Tributa. A modified form of 
the comitia tributa was adopted at an unknown date for the 
choice of the pontifex maximus. Seventeen of the thirty- 
five tribes were chosen by lot, and summoned to a meeting 
for the election of this official from among the pontiffs. 
The arrangement was a compromise. It gave a popular 
character to the choice and yet retained in part the 
religious principle of cooptation. In the same assembly, 
and by a somewhat similar method, the pontifices, augures, 
XVviri, and VHviri epulones were chosen after the passage 
of the lex Domitia in 104 (cf. p. 107). 

(g) The Concilium Plebis 

315. Composition and Presiding Officer. We have had 
occasion to notice the fact that the earliest plebeian, like the 
patrician, assembly was probably organized on the curiate Will. Dr. 
basis. The controlling influence which the patricians were 

able to exercise over this assembly through their clients 
(p. 29) may well have led to the adoption of the tribal 
system in 471. Only plebeians could vote in this new Liv. 2.56.25. 
body, and no change was ever made in this regulation. 
Down to 312 this privilege was enjoyed by plebeian land- 
owners only. The right was extended to landless plebeians 
in 312, but after the reaction of 304 they, as well as freed- 
men, were restricted to the four city tribes (cf. pp. 54, 
56, 247). The Latins had the right also to vote in one 


tribe determined by lot (cf. p. 248). The meetings of 
this body were technically concilia plebis (cf. p. 251), and 
not comitia. Since the assembly was strictly plebeian, the 
presiding officer was always a plebeian official either a 
tribune or an aedile. 

316. Place and Time of Meeting. The authority of 
the tribune did not extend beyond the pomoerium, so that 
the concilium plebis met within the city, usually in the 
comitium, occasionally, however, on the Capitol. There 
were no specified dies comitiales, as in the case of the 
centuriate comitia (cf. p. 254). Meetings were commonly 
held on market days, when large numbers of people were 
likely to come into the city. The time and place and the 
business which was to be taken up were announced some 
days before the meeting was held. In fact, from a compara- 
tively early period the practice grew up of announcing on 
a market day a meeting to be held a trinum nundinum, or 
seventeen days, later. On the first and second market 
days, as well as on the market day when the voting took 
place, there were usually contiones. 

317. Auspices and Other Formalities. The lex Aelia 
Fufia of the year 155 (cf. p. 160) seems to have subjected 
the concilium plebis to the same religious regulations which 
applied to the centuriate comitia. After its passage it was 
necessary for the tribune to take the auspicia pullaria 
before calling the assembly together, and the meeting was 
liable to the same kind of interference on religious grounds 
as the other popular assemblies. 

Before the concilium a contio met in the comitium or forum, 
and was addressed from the rostra by the presiding officer, 
or by speakers whom he allowed to address the meeting. 

318. Voting. At the close of the contio the people 
assembled by tribes, for the purpose of voting, in sections 


marked off for the reception of the several tribes. A lot 
was first cast to decide in which tribe the Latins were to 
vote ; then one of the thirty-five tribes was chosen by lot 
to cast its vote first (jprmcipium), and as soon as its vote 
was announced the others voted simultaneously. The 
method of voting was the same as in the centuriate assem- 
bly (cf. pp. 255 f.). The assembly was essentially a demo- 
cratic body. Certain considerations, however,, tended to 
increase or diminish the value of an individual vote. The 
larger the tribe was to which a citizen belonged, so much the 
less influence his vote had. Now the four city tribes were 
much larger than the country tribes created before 387, and 
the tribes added after 387 were also larger than the early 
country tribes, because of the additions which were made to 
the list of citizens by conquest and by the grant of citizen- 
ship. Those who belonged to the city tribes or to the new 
rural tribes were, therefore, at a disadvantage when com- 
pared with the members of the old rural tribes. One factor 
tended to diminish still more the value of a vote in one of 
the new country tribes, but to increase the importance of an 
urban vote. It was easy for those who lived in the city to 
attend a concilium, but difficult for those at a distance. 

319. The Concilium Plebis as an Electoral Body. The 
concilium plebis was established primarily for the purpose 
of electing the tribunes, and those officials were always 
chosen by it. The plebeian aediles were chosen in the 
same assembly. An interesting extension of the electoral 
rights of the body was made during the Gracchan period 
when commissioners were elected in the concilium plebis for 
the division of state land. This precedent proved to be of 
great importance later, since the Gabinian and Manilian 
laws, which conferred extraordinary powers on Pompey, 
were passed in this body. 


320. As a Legislative Body. The combined effect of 
the Valerio-Horatian law of 449, the Publilian of 339, and 
the Hortensian of 287, was to make the concilium plebis an 
independent legislative body (pp. 49 ff.). After 287 the 
approval of the patrician element in the senate became 
unnecessary, but the senate was still able to control legis- 
lation in large measure (cf. pp. 65 ff.). The plebeian assem- 
bly seems J;o have been competent in Cicero's time to legis- 
late on any subject, except the declaration of an offensive 
war, and such administrative questions as the assignment of 
state land to individuals, the appointment of commissions, 
and the prorogatio imperii, were brought up in the tribal 
assemblies, preferably in the concilium. plebis, rather than in 
the centuriate comitia. In the later period the plebeian 
assembly even annulled contracts made by the censor and 
in this way encroached on the rights of the magistrate and 
the senate. Its enactments were called plebiscita. The 
three laws just mentioned, however, gave such measures the 
foroe of leges, so that the action of the assembly is not 
infrequently termed lex plebeivescitum. 

321. As a Judicial Body. The circumstances under 
which the criminal jurisdiction of the tribune developed 
have already been mentioned (pp 199 f.). One class of 
cases, however, deserves special notice. The lex Aternia 
Tarpeia of 454 would seem to have conferred on all magis- 
trates the right of imposing a fine not to exceed two sheep 
and thirty oxen, or, according to the money valuation of a 
later day, 3020 asses. An appeal taken from the decision 
of a magistrate was carried to the comitia tributa, but an 
appeal from a fine imposed by a tribune or a plebeian aedile 
was heard by the concilium plebis. The institution of the 
quaestiones perpetuae did away, however, with the judicial 
functions of the latter body. 




Citizens and their rights : M. Voigt, Ueber d. Klientel u. Liber- 
tinitat, Ber. d. k. sachs. Ges. d. Wiss., Philol. hist. Kl:, 1878, i Abt. 
146-219 ; F, Lindet, De 1'acquisition et de la perte du droit de cite 
romaine, Paris, 1880; L. Pinvert, Du droit de cite, Paris, 1885; 
A. Josson, Condition juridique des affranchis en droit rom., Douai, 
1879; L. Pardon, De aerariis, Berlin, 1853. Division of the 
people for political purposes : Pelham, The Roman curiae, Journ. 
of Phil. IX. 266-279; Soltau, Entstehung der altromischen Volks- 
versammlungen, Berlin, 1881 ; Kubitschek, De rom. trib. origine ac 
propagatione, Vienna, 1882 ; Plu'ss, Die Entwicklung d. Centurien- 
verf., Leipzig, 1870. Popular assemblies: Soltau, Altr. Volksver- 
sammlungen; Ullrich, Die Centuriatkomitien, Landshut, 1873; 
Genz, Die Centuriatkomitien nach der Reform, Freienwalde, 1882; 
C. Berns, De comitiorum tributorum et conciliorum plebis discri- 
mine, Wetzlar, 1875; Soltau, Die Giltigkeit der Plebiszite, Berlin, 
1884 ; Ihne, Die Entwickelung d. Tributkomitien, Rhein. Mus. (N.F.), 
XXVIII (1873), 353 ff. ; Lange, Die promulgatio trinum nundinum, 
Rhein. Mus. (N.F.), XXX (1875), 35 ff - 5 E - Morlot, Les cornices 
electoraux sous la republique romaine, Paris, 1884; Ch. Borgeaud. 
Histoire du plebiscite, Paris, 1887; K. W. Ruppel, Die Teilnahme 
der Patricier an den Tributkomitien, Heidelberg, 1887. 

1 See also pp. 22, 173, 219, 243. 




322. Restoration of Order in Italy. When Octavius 
returned to Italy in the summer of 29, he was confronted 
by a state of things not unlike that which faced him after 
the battle of Philippi (cf. p. 143). It was necessary to 
relieve the poverty-stricken people of Italy at once, to 
provide lands for the veterans, and to decide upon a 
policy with reference to the soldiers of Antony. The 
prudence and moderation which he had shown on the 
previous occasion encouraged friend and foe alike to look 
for a wise policy now. This expectation was not disap- 
pointed. His very arrival in Italy inspired that confidence 
in the future which is the precursor of prosperity, while 
immediate financial difficulties were relieved by a liberal 
use of the treasures of Egypt. One hundred and twenty 
thousand veterans were provided with land; not by con- 
fiscation, but by purchase at a total cost of 600,000,000 
sesterces, as Octavius himself tells us in the Monumentum 
Ancyranum, and in pursuance of the same wise policy a 
general amnesty was granted to the followers of Antony 
and Sextus Pompeius. The beneficial results of this course 




were apparent at once in the rise of the price of land and 
in the revival of trade, and Octavius received immediate 
recognition of his services in restoring prosperity in the 
extraordinary popularity which he enjoyed, a factor that 
helped him in no small degree in making the great political 
changes which he had in mind. 

323. Constitutional Position of Octavius from 32 to 27. 
It does not seem to be possible to make out with cer- 
tainty the authority by virtue of which he made his pre- 
liminary arrangements. In the year 32, when he deposed 
Antony (cf. p. 146), he probably resigned his own posi- 
tion as triumvir, but he would seem to have been vested 
at once with extraordinary powers similar to those which 
he gave up. This was the basis of his authority down to 
29 B.C., when another change took place of which we know 
as little. It seems rather probable, however, that in the 
year 29 the consular imperium was conferred on him, 
together with the control of the army and the provinces, 
and the right to hold the census. 

324. The Change made in 27 B.C. The problem which 
he set himself to solve was to retain his position as master 
of the state, yet at the same time to keep intact the old 
forms of the constitution. Various methods of accom- 
plishing this object seem to have occurred to him, and 
to have been tried, before he established his authority on 
the basis on which it finally rested. Two of these attempts 
have been mentioned in the preceding paragraph. A third 
essay was made in 27 B.C. At a meeting of the senate, 
held on the i3th of January in that year, he transferred 
the control of the state to the senate and people. As 
he himself puts it in the Monumentum Ancyranum, rem 
publicam ex mea potestate in senat[_us populique Romani 
a~\rbitrium transtuli. This transfer of authority was only 


a temporary one, and ancient (e.g., Dio, LIII. 3-11) as 
well as modern historians have not hesitated to characterize 
it as a political manoeuvre, since he retained the consul- 
ship and the tribunician power, and the senate immedi- 
ately conferred on him the imperium proconsular for a 
period of ten years, and the title of Augustus. It is quite 
possible that he wished to make the Roman people feel 
the need of his directing hand by bringing them face to 
face with the possibility of his withdrawal from public life, 
and to make the extraordinary powers which he received 
afresh from them seem their free gift to him. 

Modern historians have called attention to the fact, 
however, that there is an essential constitutional difference 
between his new and his old powers. His old position 
was monarchical in some respects. His new authority 
was not essentially out of harmony with republican tradi- 
tion, and this change was undoubtedly in his mind a great 
gain. It was a step also in harmony with his carefully 
observed policy. His proconsular power was not radically 
different from that which had been exercised at various 
times under the republic. Furthermore, it was granted for 
a limited period, of ten years, and was exercised only over 
the border provinces, where troops were still necessary. 
The management of the older provinces was intrusted to 
the senate, and the control of Italy was vested in the 
senate and the magistrates, as it had been under the 
republic. As consul, and in his exercise of the potestas 
tribunicia, which had been conferred on him in the year 
36, the principle of collegiality was observed, and his 
incumbency of the consulship, like that of his colleagues 
in the office, depended upon an election in the popular 
assembly. It is evident that the forms of the old consti- 
tution had been preserved with great success. At the 



same time Augustus had secured the supreme power which 
he wished. The proconsular imperium over the unsettled 
provinces gave him command of the army and navy, and 
the power of appointing indirectly all the governors in the 
provinces where legions were stationed. Henceforth, too, 
he would have no occasion to fear a rival. In his exer- 
cise of the tribunician or consular power he was associated 
with colleagues of nominally equal rank, but he was raised 
so far above them in the eyes of the people, that inde- 
pendent action on their part was scarcely conceivable. 

325. The Titles of Augustus and Princeps. The title 
Augustus had no direct political meaning, but, like the 
laurels which were placed on the doorposts of Octavius' 
house on the Palatine, it distinguished him from other citi- 
zens, and was a mark of the preeminence which was freely 
conceded to him. This preeminence was also well expressed 
in the title princeps. It has sometimes been maintained 
that this title was first applied to Octavius in the senate 
in the restrictive and traditional sense of princeps senatus, 
and came in time to characterize him as the first citizen 
in the commonwealth, the princeps civitatis ; but it is more 
probable that the title never had this restricted meaning, 
and that from the outset it indicated the relation which 
the new ruler bore to the whole body of citizens that 
it marked him out, in fact, as the foremost citizen of the 

326. Final Modifications of the Year 23. It is not per- 
fectly clear why Augustus introduced into his system the 
changes which he made in the year 23. Very likely the 
four years' test which he had given to the new constitution 
had brought out its weakness at certain points, and the 
illness which threatened his life in the year mentioned 
made him feel the necessity of strengthening it at once. 


His objection to the old system probably lay in two 
facts. In the first place, he shared the administration of 
Rome and Italy with his colleagues in the consulship, and, 
although his prestige removed in large measure the dan- 
ger of opposition from them, that danger existed in theory, 
and might at a critical moment become a serious matter 
in reality. At all events, the traditional etiquette existing 
between the two members of the consular college may well 
have hampered him in carrying out his plans. To have 
himself made sole consul would have been too violent a 
departure from tradition to be politic. He, therefore, gave 
up his practice of holding the consulship every year, and 
cast about him for a solution which would better meet the 
needs of the case. Such a solution he found by modify- 
ing and extending his proconsular imperium, and by giving 
importance to the tribunician power. Not all the points in 
which the proconsular imperium was extended by Augustus 
and his successors are clear. However, the extant fragment 
of the lex de imperio Vespasiani, the statements of Dio 
Cassius, and an examination of the functions actually exer- 
cised by the emperor, make it plain that, although he held 
his imperium as a proconsul, a series of measures passed 
in the year 23 and in subsequent years allowed him to 
retain it within the city, and gave him a position equal in 
rank and authority to that of the consul. 

In giving a prominent place to the tribunician power, 
he hit upon a happy idea. The associations connected 
with the tribunate made it a popular office. In its early 
history it had been the organ of the plebeians in their 
struggle for civil and political rights. In its later history 
it had protected the individual against the encroachments 
of the state. Furthermore, the tribune had acquired posi- 
tive and negative powers touching almost every field of 


administrative activity. He could summon the senate or 
the popular assemblies for the transaction of business, and 
he could veto the action of almost any magistrate. We 
have seen one reason why Augustus turned from the con- 
sulship to the tribunate. Another may perhaps be found 
in the fact that the duties of the consul were exercised 
within a certain sphere limited by tradition. The tribunate, 
on the other hand, from its very nature and history, was 
capable of indefinite extension in all directions. Poten- 
tially Augustus had held the tribunician power ever since 
the year 36. From this time, however, as an indication 
of the new importance attaching to it, although he took 
the title for life, he assumed it anew each year, and, after 
23 B.C., in official documents indicated the year by setting 
down the number of times he had held the tribunician 
power. This practice his successors followed. The signifi- 
cance attaching to this power is also indicated by the fact 
that the assignment of it was accepted as marking out a 
successor in the principate. 

The system of Augustus was now essentially complete. 
He accepted no other permanent extraordinary office, even 
at the solicitation of the people. The proconsular impe- 
rium gave him command of the legions, and his supremacy 
in civil administration rested securely on his right to exer- 
cise the imperium within the city and on his possession of 
the potestas tribunicia. The few emergencies of a later 
date which required the exercise for a brief time of powers 
which he did not have were provided for by special legis- 
lation, or by the natural extension of his tribunician or pro- 
consular authority ; and when the ten years of his procon- 
sular imperium expired, he secured a formal renewal of the 
power for another period. The position of Augustus in 
religious matters was almost as preeminent as it was in 


political affairs. He was made a member of the four great 
priesthoods, and in the year 12, after the death of Lepidus, 
he was elected pontifex maximus. 

327. The Question of the Succession. It remained for 
Augustus to complete his work by securing the succession 
to the man of his choice. The question presented itself in 
a definite form at the time of his severe illness in the year 
23. At that time he wisely passed over his only male rela- 
tive, Marcellus, the son of his sister Octavia, because he felt 
that the young man was not old enough for such a responsi- 
ble position, and, by giving his signet-ring to Agrippa, indi- 
rectly designated him as his successor. Although he turned 
to Marcellus on his recovery, the death of Marcellus caused 
him to revert to his former plan, and in 2 1 B.C. he married 
Agrippa to his daughter Julia, the widow of Marcellus, and 
three years later had the tribunician power conferred on 
him for a period of five years. The method which Augus- 
tus had found for settling the question of the succession 
was clear at once. His own powers were given to him for 
a fixed term of years or for life. He could not transmit 
them, therefore, to any one else at his death. He could, 
however, during his own lifetime invest the man of his 
choice with powers independent of his own and thus do 
much toward securing the succession for him. This was 
the plan which he adopted in the case of Agrippa. The 
birth of two children to Julia from her marriage with Agrippa 
involved a slight modification in the plan of Augustus. He 
designated these two grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, 
as his heirs, and made Agrippa their guardian. Upon the 
death of the latter in 12 B.C. this guardianship was trans- 
ferred to Tiberius, the stepson of Augustus, and in 6 B.C. 
the tribunician power was conferred on him for a period 
of five years. But Tiberius was aggrieved at his failure to 


be designated as the successor of Augustus, and retired to the 
island of Rhodes. To the bitter disappointment of Augustus 
both of his grandsons died, and he was at last forced to rec- 
ognize the eminent ability of Tiberius, and his services to 
the state, by adopting him as his heir and by conferring on 
him again the tribunician power. The question of the suc- 
cession was finally settled in A.D. 13 beyond the possibility 
of change by the passage of a lex consularis associating 
Tiberius with Augustus in the government of the prov- 
inces. Henceforth his authority was independent of that 
of Augustus, and also rested on a legal basis. Augustus 
died the year after this arrangement was made. 

328. Social Reforms. Nothing has been said up to this 
point about the social and financial reforms of Augustus. 
They were almost as far-reaching as his political changes. 
His most important legislation on these matters was in- 
tended to restore the integrity of the marriage relation and 
to prevent a decrease of the native population. The influx 
of foreigners, the development of luxurious tastes, the long- 
continued civil wars, the public games, and a host of similar 
influences had undermined public morality and subverted 
the old idea of the family. Adultery and divorce were 
not uncommon, and the number of the unmarried and of 
childless married couples had increased in an alarming 
way. A series of laws was directed against these evils. 
The lex de adulteriis imposed severe penalties on those 
convicted of adultery, while, under the lex de maritandis 
ordinibus, restrictions were put on divorce, and the unmar- 
ried and childless married were placed under disabilities in 
the matter of inheriting property and suing for office. 

This method of attacking the evil failing of effect, Augus- 
tus approached the subject from the other direction. The 
celebrated lex Papia Poppaea, instead of laying penalties 


on the unmarried and childless, encouraged child-bearing 
by granting sums of money or privileges in canvassing for 
office to the father, and certain exceptional property rights 
to the mother of a family. An attempt was made to check 
the growth of extravagant tastes, which kept many from 
marriage, by the passage of sumptuary laws. The demor- 
alizing influence of the public games was somewhat lessened 
by placing restrictions on the attendance of women. In 
particular the emperor strove to restore the Roman religion 
to its old position of dignity by rebuilding the temples, by 
celebrating religious festivals with great pomp, and by taking 
certain priestly offices himself, and in no one of his social 
reforms were the results of a more permanent character. 

329. Financial Reforms. The restoration of peace, the 
suppression of piracy, and a more equitable and intelligent 
government of the provinces did much to restore prosperity 
to Italy and the provinces. These beneficent reforms were, 
however, supplemented by a systematic revision of the 
financial system. The provinces profited in particular by 
this change. The personal acquaintance which he made 
with the condition of the provinces in the period from 27 
to 24 B.C., and the census which he took in several of 
them gave Augustus trustworthy information on which to 
base his financial reforms. In place of the extortionate 
requisitions made by provincial governors and the taxes, 
many in number and oppressive in character, of the repub- 
lican regime, he substituted a land tax and a personal tax. 
Trade was relieved from harassing restrictions, and public 
improvements were made. The burden of the provinces 
was still further lightened by the imposition in Italy of a 
legacy duty and a tax on the sale of slaves. 

330. The Princeps and the Other Branches of Govern- 
ment. In our discussion of the political institutions of 


previous periods it has been found convenient to consider 
them from the point of view of the magistracies, the senate, 
and the people. That division of the subject will be 
adopted now, although it has less significance for the period 
under consideration, since, in consequence of the subordi- 
nation of the magistrates, the senate, and the popular assem- 
blies to the will of the princeps, their separate activities 
become matters of less moment, and it is difficult to draw 
a definite line between them. The constitutional basis on 
which the authority of the princeps rested has already been 
discussed. It is a more difficult matter to state the theo- 
retical relation which his office bore to the other branches 
of government. The care which Augustus took to cloak 
his extraordinary powers in traditional terms, and to reserve 
for the old institutions the nominal exercise of their old 
functions, is, of course, the cause of this difficulty. Perhaps 
it may be safe to say that the functions of \hz princeps were 
thought of as filling a gap, as supplementing those of the 
magistrates and senate, rather than as encroaching upon 

331. The Magistracies. In the readjustment of affairs 
perhaps the executive suffered a greater loss of impor- 
tance than any other branch of government. The method 
of electing the magistrates, the prestige of Augustus, and 
his encroachment on their traditional functions, all con- 
tributed to bring about this result. It will be remembered 
that candidates were required to notify the magistrate, who 
was to preside at the electoral meeting, of their intention 
to stand for office (p. 169). Augustus was consul from 27 
to 23 B.C., and during this period the announcement was 
properly made to him. Even after this period, when he 
no longer held the consulship, candidates made their pro- 
fessio to him as well as to the consul. We may feel sure 


that his acceptance of their candidacy practically settled 
the question of their eligibility. Election to office was 
made still more dependent on the favor of Augustus, after 
he had adopted the practice of recommending certain can- 
didates. His commendatio must have insured an election. 
This practice was not extended to the consulship, however, 
by Augustus. After election, even in matters where the 
legal powers of the two were equal, it was impossible for a 
magistrate to maintain his position over against the princeps 
whose prestige was so much greater, and whose long terms 
of office relieved him from the danger of being held 
responsible for his conduct. 

There were few if any important executive functions 
which the princeps was not authorized to perform. He, as 
well as the consul, could convoke the senate and the popular 
assemblies, for instance, and the consul would hardly venture 
to take this important step without his approval. In this 
way the magistrates lost their right of initiative in almost 
all important matters. Certain powers were also formally 
taken from the magistrates and given to the princeps. 
Thus, for instance, the, consuls probably lost the super- 
vision of the roads in Italy, the cura annonae was taken 
from the aediles, and the ius intercessions of the tribune did 
not avail against the emperor. The significance which the 
magistracies still had was derived in fact from the social 
distinction attaching to them, from the fact that magis- 
trates were colleagues of the princeps, and that election to 
a magistracy secured one admission to the senate and an 
opportunity to hold an office in the provinces. No impor- 
tant changes were made in the number of the magistracies 
or in the size of the colleges. The number of praetors 
was, however, raised to sixteen, while the college of quaestors 
was reduced to twenty. The censorship disappeared, and 


various new offices, whose incumbents were subordinates of 
the princeps, were established in the provinces. Certain 
changes made in the functions of a few of the magis- 
trates may be considered more conveniently in another 

332. The Senate. The membership of the senate was 
reduced from 900 to 600. Members were admitted, as 
under the republic, by virtue of having filled certain magis- 
tracies, but since the emperor's right of nominatio and 
commendatio gave him a great influence over the selection 
of magistrates, the rolls of the senate were in large measure 
indirectly under his control. As we have already had occa- 
sion to notice, the senate was in its origin an advisory body ; 
but it gradually acquired important powers, especially in the 
matter of administrative legislation, and reduced the magis- 
trate to the position of its minister (pp. 67 f., 233). All this 
was changed by Augustus. The senate could not success- 
fully assert, in dealing with him, the claims which it had 
made good against an annually elected magistrate of much 
less prestige and legal power. Furthermore, the republican 
practice of submitting all important matters to the senate 
for its consideration fell into comparative disuse. Finally, 
the consilium which Augustus established in 27 B.C., and 
reorganized in A.D. 12, must have taken from the impor- 
tance of the senate. 'The consilium, as finally constituted, 
contained the princeps and certain members of his house- 
hold, the consuls, the consuls-elect, and a committee of 
senators. This body, which must be distinguished from 
the judicial consilium of a later period (cf. p. 331), was 
allowed to pass measures, and these measures had the 
validity of senatus consulta. In one respect the compe- 
tence of the senate was extended. It was given jurisdiction 
over important political cases. 


333. The Popular Assemblies. Under Augustus magis- 
trates were still elected in the popular assemblies, but 
the nominatio and commendatio of the princeps made the 
elections largely a matter of form. Augustus called not 
infrequent meetings of the popular assemblies to act on 
important measures, but since almost all bills were drawn 
up by the emperor, or with his approval, the meetings of 
the comitia for legislative purposes did little more than 
give the form of law to his wishes. This decadence of the 
assemblies was not, however, a great loss to the cause of 
popular government. An assembly made up of the rabble 
of Rome, not only ignorant of the merits of the great 
questions laid before them, but also ready to sell their 
votes to the highest bidder, was as far from representing 
the Roman empire as any assembly could be. It is sig- 
nificant that the decline of the comitia, which represented 
even more definitely than the senate the narrow conception 
of the city-state, is coincident with the growth of the feel- 
ing that there was a community of interests throughout the 
Roman world, and the development of this idea brought 
with it, of course, a more intelligent, uniform, and equitable 
system of government for the provinces. The settlement 
of important questions in secret was, however, a great loss 
to the cause of popular government. Even when the sena- 
torial regime was at the height of its power, all phases of 
serious political questions were fully and freely discussed. 
Now matters were settled by Augustus in private conference 
with his ministers. The discussions in the senate were in 
large measure perfunctory and superficial. 

334. The New Senatorial Aristocracy. Augustus seems 
to have consciously adopted the policy of creating social 
classes, whose position depended upon his favor and whose 
interests were, therefore, identical with his. At all events, 


this was the result of certain social and political changes 
which he made. Under the repubHc the prestige of having 
held a curule office was so great that candidates for a magis- 
tracy who did not have the Jus imaginum had little chance 
of success (cf. pp. 47, 166). Election to any one of the 
higher magistracies secured for one admission to the senate. 
This was the basis on which the nobilitas rested. In the 
new aristocracy, created by Augustus, the order was reversed. 
Only those who had the latus clavus were eligible to the 
quaestorship, and since only those of senatorial rank had 
the right to the latus clavus (p. 225), the sons of senators 
and no others were eligible to the magistracies. It was 
necessary to hold a magistracy before sitting in the senate. 
Consequently, only the sons of senators and those whom 
the emperor might honor with the latus clavus could 
become magistrates, or members of the senate. Since 
election to a magistracy depended largely on the favor cf 
Augustus, the new aristocracy owed its privileges entirely 
to him, and he could count on it for support. 

335. The Knights. The great middle class was attached 
to his interests in a similar way. The legislation of C. Grac- 
chus, which turned the juries over to the knights, first gave 
legal recognition to this class ; but its social and political 
privileges had never been so clearly defined as those of the 
senatorial order had been. Augustus gave definiteness and 
importance to this social class by having lists of its mem- 
bers, which he revised, drawn up at regular intervals. With 
the knights he filled the important financial and adminis- 
trative offices in Italy and in the provinces which were 
under his control. 

336. The Augustales. An aristocracy was also created 
among the freedmen. Each year the decuriones in the muni- 
cipal towns chose six rich freedmen as seviri Augustales, 


This board contributed money for some local improvement 
or for the proper maintenance of the public games. No 
political functions attached to the position, but the social 
prestige which it conferred and the privilege which went 
with it of wearing the praetexta and of being attended by 
lictors probably made it eagerly sought for. Inasmuch as 
the order was in some way connected with the cult of the 
emperor, he could rely upon its support. 

337. The City of Rome. The legislation of Augustus 
which affected the welfare of the whole people has been con- 
sidered above. It may not be out of place here to consider 
certain administrative changes which concerned the several 
parts of the empire, in particular the city of Rome, Italy, 
and the provinces. We have already had occasion to notice 
the incapacity which the republic showed in governing the 
provinces. That fact is not strange. It was a natural 
result of the selfishness and indifference of the Romans 
toward the provincials. However, the thoroughly unsat- 
isfactory character of the government of the city of Rome 
seems at first hard to account for. In point of fact, Rome 
had rapidly grown out of a village into a great city, but 
the development of public improvements and of muni- 
cipal government had not kept pace with the growth of 
its population. Augustus set himself to remedy this state 
of things. 

338. Public Improvements and Municipal Government. 
The supplement to the Monumentum Ancyranum gives us 
a long list of the new buildings which he constructed, and 
of the old ones which he repaired or rebuilt. The gen- 
eral supervision of public works was put in charge of two 
curatores operum publicorum. Many new aqueducts were 
brought into the city, and the care of the water supply 
and of the Tiber was intrusted to imperial commissioners. 


All of these officials were of senatorial rank. A still more 
important matter was the cura annonae, which was intrusted 
to an imperial praefectus of equestrian rank. It was the 
duty of this official to see that Rome was supplied with 
grain, to superintend its distribution to poor people, and 
to control the price of it. All these municipal affairs had 
previously been managed by the aediles and censors, so 
that the establishment of these imperial offices abridged 
their powers correspondingly. 

339. Improvements in Municipal Government. The city 
was lamentably in need of suitable arrangements for extin- 
guishing fires and maintaining order. A long step toward 
the accomplishment of these two objects was taken by the 
organization of a fire and police department of 7000 or 
Booo men in A.D. 6. For convenience in administration 
the city had been divided into fourteen regiones, and each 
one of the seven detachments, into which this force was 
divided, was called on to protect two of these. The bri- 
gade was in charge of a praefectus, appointed by Augustus. 
This official had a limited criminal jurisdiction somewhat 
like that of the III viri capitales (cf. p. 210). To main- 
tain order during his absences from the city, the emperor 
appointed a praefectus urbi (cf. p. 212). It was left for 
his successor, however, to make this office permanent. 

340. Condition of Italy. One of the greatest blessings 
which Augustus conferred on Italy consisted in the encour- 
agement of local self-government along the lines laid down 
by Julius Caesar in his lex lulia municipalis. The roads 
were also kept in good condition, and order was main- 
tained. Very few of the Italians from this time on served 
in the army, but in a way they paid for their exemption 
from military service by a five per cent tax on legacies and 
a four per cent tax on the sale of slaves. 


341. The Frontier Policy of Augustus. In dealing with 
Roman territory outside of Italy, Augustus directed his 
attention to the settlement of two important questions 
the establishment of a natural and secure frontier and the 
reorganization of provincial government. In both direc- 
tions his efforts were crowned with success. In the East, 
at the beginning of his reign, the Parthian question was 
still unsettled. The Roman standards and the Roman cap- 
tives, taken at Carrhae in 53 B.C., were still in the pos- 
session of Parthia, while the failure of Antony's campaigns 
in the years 40 to 36 (cf. p. 146) had increased the feeling 
of insecurity in the eastern provinces. This situation was 
very happily relieved by the development of a dynastic 
quarrel in Parthia in 20 B.C. Augustus took advantage of 
this quarrel to secure the return of the standards, and King 
Phraates was even induced to send four of his sons to Rome 
as hostages. At the same time the Euphrates was made the 
eastern frontier of the empire. 

To the south the great desert of Africa formed a natural 
boundary, and the provinces in that quarter of the world 
were safe, except from the occasional incursions of nomad 
tribes. On the west was the Atlantic. To the north the 
problem was a more complicated one, and the frontier 
policy of Augustus was, at the outset, less clearly deter- 
mined. For a time the Romans seem to have intended 
making the Elbe the line between them and the Germans, 
but after the defeat of Varus, in A.D. 9, they withdrew to 
the west and south of the Rhine and adopted that river, 
with the Danube, as the northern frontier of their terri- 
tory. Raetia was organized as a province in 15 B.C., Nori- 
cum in the same year, and Moesia in A.D. 6, so that by 
the reduction of Pannonia to the form of a province in 
A.D. 10, Rome controlled all the country bordered on the 


north by the rivers Rhine and Danube from the North sea 
to the Black sea. 

342. Imperial and Senatorial Provinces. As we have 
already noticed (p. 268), in the division of provinces 
between Augustus and the senate, those in which a mili- 
tary force was needed were assigned to the emperor. 
After the division in 27 B.C. some transfers were made, 
but at the death of Augustus the list of imperial provinces 
included Sardinia and Corsica, Hither Spain, Lusitania, 
" the three Gauls " (Aquitania, Lugdunensis, Belgica), Pan- 
nonia, Dalmatia, Moesia, Galatia and Pontus Polemoniacus, 
Cilicia, Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Raetia, and Noricum. The 
senate controlled Baetica, Gallia Narbonensis, Macedonia, 
Achaea and Epirus, Asia, Bithynia, Crete and Cyrene, Africa, 
Sicily, and Cyprus. Cisalpine Gaul had ceased to be a prov- 
ince in 42 B.C., when the limits of Italy had been extended 
to the Alps. 

343. Improvements in Provincial Government. To no 
part of the Roman Empire did the reforms of Augustus 
bring greater relief than to the provinces. The financial 
improvement which they experienced has already been 
noticed (p. 274). The gain which they made in other 
respects was equally great. This was particularly true of 
the imperial provinces, for the governors of these provinces 
were chosen, not by lot, but on the score of honesty and fit- 
ness, and were personally responsible to Augustus, who had 
an intimate acquaintance with the condition of the several 
provinces and kept a watchful eye on their progress. 

One of the defects of the republican system lay in the 
fact that a provincial governor held office usually for only 
one year, so that he could scarcely learn the needs of his 
province before he would be recalled. The evils of the 
republican system are laid bare by Cicero's letters from 


Cilicia in 51-50 B.C. In the imperial provinces the term of 
office was invariably of considerable length. Under the 
republic governors filled their pockets by requisitions, which 
demoralized the government and crippled the resources 
of the provinces. Under Augustus provincial governors 
received a generous fixed salary, and service in the prov- 
inces became an honorable and attractive profession, with 
prospect of steady advancement for those who showed them- 
selves capable and honest. The senatorial provinces still 
labored under many of the evils of the old system, but even 
over them Augustus exercised some supervision, and the 
excellence of the government in the imperial provinces 
could not fail to exert a beneficial influence. 

344. System of Provincial Government. Augustus 
directed the government of the provinces by virtue of his 
proconsular imperium, and governors in imperial provinces, 
who were all appointed by him, acted pro praetore regardless 
of the office which they had previously held in Rome, and 
were called legati Augusti pro praetore. The governors of 
senatorial provinces, on the other hand, all had a procon- 
sular title without regard to the magistracy which they had 
held in Rome. Only ex -consuls, however, were sent to 
Asia and Africa. The higher title which the senatorial gov- 
ernors had did not make their position equal in dignity to 
that of the imperial governors, however, because the latter 
had charge of an army, while the senatorial governors 
did not. 

Provincial governors supervised the administrative affairs 
of their provinces, and had jurisdiction in civil cases, and in 
criminal cases where peregrini only were concerned. The 
imperial governor had a military command also. In impe- 
rial provinces an appeal could be taken from the governor's 
sentence to the emperor; in senatorial provinces, to the 


senate or the emperor. The financial interests of an impe- 
rial province were in the hands of an official called a 
procurator, chosen by Augustus himself. Imperial pro- 
curators also cooperated with the proconsuls in managing 
the finances of senatorial provinces. In military and judi- 
cial matters the imperial governor was assisted by legati 
Augusti legionum and by legati Augusti iuridid. In prov- 
inces like Egypt or Judaea, where the emperor was regarded 
as the legal successor of the previous ruler, a praefectus 
or a procurator was placed in charge. Governors were 
assigned to the senatorial provinces by lot, and held office 
for a year. The law of 52 B.C., which required an interval 
of five years between a magistracy at Rome and a governor- 
ship in a province, was still in force. The senatorial gov- 
ernors of consular rank were assisted by three legati and a 
quaestor. Those of praetorian rank had one legatus and a 
quaestor. The legati were appointed by the governor him- 
self, but his appointments were subject to the approval of 
the emperor. 

345. Reforms in the Military System. The assignment 
to Augustus of the provinces where troops were needed not 
only gave to him the control of the army, but by implica- 
tion took away from the senate the right of levying troops 
for its own provinces. When disturbances arose in a sena- 
torial province the emperor took charge of matters. The 
necessity of protecting distant frontiers had made it impos- 
sible even under the republic to adhere to the traditional 
practice of discharging the soldiers each year and levying 
and organizing a new force. However, the fiction was 
conscientiously observed of reenlisting all the troops at the 
end of the year. It was, therefore, a theoretical, not a 
practical change in the military system which Augustus 
made in 13 B.C., by enlisting troops for a fixed term of 


years. The term was at first made one of sixteen years for 
the legionaries and twelve years for the guards, but in 
A.D. 5 it was lengthened to twenty and sixteen years 
respectively. A second important change which he made 
in the military system consisted in the larger use of auxiliary 
troops. The use of these troops, and the resulting dis- 
taste of the Italians for military service, led to a decline 
of the martial spirit in Italy, and made the peninsula inca- 
pable of resisting a possible invasion ; but the strong line 
of border provinces which Augustus established prevented 
this danger from becoming a real one for many years. 


Livy, Epp., CXXXIV-CXLII ; Res gestae divi Augusti (or the 
Monumentum Ancyranuni] ; Velleius Paterculus, II. 89-123; Sue- 
tonius, Augustus; Dio Cassius, LI. I9-LVI; Florus, II. 22-34; 
Eutropius, VII. 8-10; Tacitus, Ann. I. 1-5. 

Octavius returns to Rome in 29 B.C.: Dio, LI. 21 ; C. I. L. I. 1 
p. 399. Extraordinary powers granted to him in 29 B.C. : Dio, 
LII. 41; Suet. Aug. 27. Gratuities to soldiers: Res gestae, ed. 
Momm. III. 17. Takes census: Res gest. II. 2-5 and pp. 36-8. 
Revises list of senators: Res gest. II. 1-2 and pp. 35-6; Dio, 
LII. 42. Princeps senatus : Dio, LIII. i. Meeting of senate, 
January 13, 27 B.C.: Dio, LIII. 3-11 ; Res gest. VI. 13-15 and 
pp. 145-8. Proconsular imperium for ten years : Dio, LIII. 13. 
Division of the provinces : Dio, LIII. 12. Title of Augustus and 
other honors: Res gest. VI. 16 f.; Suet. Aug. 7 ; C. I. L. I. 1 p. 384; 
Dio, LIII. 1 6. Goes to Gaul and Spain for three years : Dio, LIII. 22. 
Praefectus urbi (25 B.C.): Tac. Ann. VI. n. Galatia, province: 
Dio, LIII. 26. Augustus returns to Rome : Dio, LIII. 28. Signet 
ring to Agrippa (23 B.C.): Dio, LIII. 30. New powers granted in 
23 B.C. : Dio, LIII. 32. Marcellus's death: Dio, LIII. 30. Ten 
praetors : Dio, LIII. 32. Augustus assumes cura annonae (22 B.C.) : 
Res gest. I. 33-5 and pp. 24-7 ; Dio, LIV. i. Refuses dictatorship, 
censorship, and consulship for life (22 B.C.) : Res gest. I. 31-6; Dio, 
LIV. 1-2. Cura ludorum from aediles to praetors: Dio, LIV. 2. 


Sumptuary law (22 B.C.): Dio, LIV. 2. Conspiracy of Murena and 
Caepio (22 B.C.) : Dio, LIV. 3 ; Veil. II. 91. Spends three years in 
Oriental provinces (22 B.C.) : Dio, LIV. 6 ff. Standards returned by 
Parthia (20 B.C.) : Res gest. V. 40-43 and pp. 124-8 ; Dio, LIV. 8. 
Curatores viarum (20 B.C.): Dio, LIV. 8. Names Q. Lucretius 
consul (19 B.C.) : Dio, LIV. 10. Returns to Rome (19 B.C.) : Dio, 
LIV. 10. Charge of provinces and armies ten years more (18 B.C.) : 
Dio, LIV. 12. Agrippa, tribunician power for five years : Dio, LIV. 
12. Senate, 600 members: Dio, LIV. 13-14. Lex de adulteriis 
(18 B.C.): Suet. Aug. 34. Lex de maritandis ordinibus (18 B.C.): 
Suet. Aug. 34; Dio, LIV. 16; Gaius, I. 178. T. Statilius Taurus, 
praefectus urbi : Dio, LIV. 19. Defeat of Lollius by the Germans 
(16 B.C-) : Dio, LIV. 20; Veil. II. 97; Suet. Aug. 23. Augustus 
goes to Gaul (16 B.C.) : Dio, LIV. 19. Returns from Gaul (13 B.C.) : 
Dio, LIV. 25. Reorganization of the XX viri (13 B.C.): Dio, 
LIV. 26. Agrippa's trjbunician power renewed for five years 
(13 B.C.): Dio, LIV. 28. Augustus, pontifex maximus (12 B.C.): 
Dio, LIV. 27 ; Suet. Aug. 31 ; Res gest. II. 23 f. and p. 45. Agrippa 
dies (12 B.C.): Dio, LIV. 28; Plin. N. H. VII. 8. Campaigns of 
Drusus and Tiberius: Dio, LIV. 31 ff.; LV. i, 291!.; LVI. 12 ff. ; 
Veil. II. 110-115; Suet. Tib. i6f. Tiberius marries Julia (n B.C.) : 
Dio, LIV. 35. Cura aquarum (u B.C.): Frontin. de Aquaed. 
99 ff. Quaestors take charge of archives (u B.C.) : Dio, LIV. 36. 
Death of Drusus (9 B.C.): Dio, LV. i. Augustus's charge of armies 
and provinces renewed for ten years (8 B.C.) : Dio, LV. 6. Tiberius 
receives tribunician power for five years (6 B.C.) : Dio, LV. 9. 
Augustus receives title of pater patriae (2 B.C.): Suet. Aug. 58. 
Lucius and Gaius Caesar receive title of princeps iuventutis (2 B.C.): 
Res gest. III. 4-6 and pp. 52-8. Tiberius returns from voluntary 
exile (A.D. 2) : Veil. II. 103. i ; Suet. Tib. 13. Augustus's charge 
of armies and provinces renewed for ten years (A.D. 3) : Dio, LV. 12. 
C. Caesar dies (A.D. 4) : C. I. L. XL 1421 (cf. Clinton, Fast. Hell. 
III. p. 264). Augustus adopts Tiberius (A.D. 4): Veil. II. 103; 
Dio, LV. 13 ; Tac. Ann. I. 3, 10 ; IV. 57. Tiberius receives tribu- 
nician power for ten years (A.D. 4) : Dio, LV. 13; Veil. II. 103. 
Army reforms (A.D. 5): Dio, LV. 23; Tac. Ann. I. 17. Praefectus 
vigilum (A.D. 6) : Dio, LV. 26. Tax on sale of slaves (A.D. 7) : 
Dio, LV. 31. Modification of the commendatio (A.D. 8): Dio, 
LV. 34. Defeat of Varus (A.D. 9?): Veil. II. 117-120; Dio, 
LVI. 18 ff. ; Suet. Aug. 23; Tib. 17. Lex Papia Poppaea 


(A.D. 9); Dio, LVI. 10. Augustus receives armies and provinces 
for ten years (A.D. 13): Dio, LVI. 28. Tiberius receives tribuni- 
cian power for indefinite period (A.D. 13) : Dio, LVI. 28. Legislative 
committee with powers (A.D. 13): Dio, LVI. 28. Augustus dies 
(A.D. 14) : Dio, LVI. 29 f. ; Suet. Aug. 99-100; Tac. Ann. I. 5. 


A. The Empire in General 

L. de Tillemont, Histoire des empereurs, etc., 5 vols. Venice, 1732. 
Ch. Merivale, History of the Romans under the Empire, 7 vols. New 

York, 1862. 
H. Schiller, Geschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit, 2 vols. Gotha, 

Edw. Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman 

Empire, revised by J. B. Bury. London, 1900. 
L. Friedlander, Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte Roms, etc., 

3 vols., 6th ed. Leipzig, 1888. 
Th. Mommsen, The Provinces of the Roman Empire, 2 vols. New 

York, 1886. 

Th. Mommsen, Romisches Staatsrecht (Vol. II). Leipzig, 1887. 
H. Peter, Die geschichtliche Litteratur iiber die romische Kaiseizeit, 

etc., 2 vols. Leipzig, 1897. 

G. Goyau, Chronologic de 1'empire remain. Paris, 1891. 
Prosopographia imperil romani saec. I, II, III, 3 parts. Berlin, 


B. The Reign of Augustus 

V. Gardthausen, Augustus und seine Zeit (I. 1,2; II. I, 2). Leipzig, 

W. W. Capes, The Early Roman Empire. London, 1876. 


346. Tiberius becomes Emperor. With the death of 
Augustus the principate legally came to an end. He had 
made Tiberius his associate in the government (cf. p. 273), 
but he could not confer upon him nor bequeath to him 
his powers as princeps. Tiberius was placed in such a 
preeminent position, however, that it was difficult to thwart 
his ambition, and he understood how to make good use of 
his opportunity. He felt that the support of the army was 
the essential thing, and that the acquiescence of the senate 
and people would follow as a matter of course. He at 
once, therefore, assumed charge of the praetorian guard, 
and had the armies take the oath of allegiance. Their 
example was quickly followed by the magistrates and the 
senate. This method of procedure forestalled any possible 
opposition. In fact, when the senate met to confer on him 
the powers of his predecessor, Tiberius was able to make his 
acceptance of them appear a concession to its entreaties. 

347. The two Periods of his Reign. The change which 
took place in the character of Tiberius under the influence 
of L. Aelius Sejanus is well known. The same influence 
brought about a marked change in the character of his 
government also. Sejanus became prefect of the praetorian 
guard in the year 16, and greatly strengthened his influence 
seven years later by bringing all the sections of that force 
together into one station. However, even this exceptional 
position did not count for so much as did the perfect 



confidence which Tiberius placed in him, and the fact that 
Sejanus became his sole confidant. It is unnecessary for 
our purpose to estimate the character of Tiberius, which 
assumes such different aspects in the historical works of 
Tacitus and Velleius Paterculus. Each account probably 
presents one side of the truth. In the same way the period 
before Sejanus acquired his influence over Tiberius, and the 
subsequent period, reflect respectively the good and the 
evil elements in the character of the emperor. When he 
ascended the throne there was much to inspire the Romans 
with confidence in his wisdom and justice. He was a man 
of affairs ; he was simple in his personal tastes ; he had a 
respect for tradition and a peculiar reverence for the policy 
of his predecessor. Furthermore, he had a wide knowledge 
of the condition of the empire, acquired by numerous cam- 
paigns and by years of residence in the provinces, and the 
early years of his reign seemed to justify the hope which 
the possession of these qualities held out. But with the 
ascendency of Sejanus, and the retirement of Tiberius from 
Rome in the year 26, the aspect of things changed. The 
results of the baneful influence of Sejanus were aggravated 
by the death in A.D. 19 of Germanicus, the nephew of 
Tiberius, and, in the year 23, of Drusus, his son. Both of 
these young men enjoyed a popularity, perhaps undeserved, 
which made it important for the emperor to keep the good- 
will of the people. With their death this incentive dis- 
appeared. The death of these two men also stimulated 
the ambitious designs of Agrippina, the widow of Ger- 
manicus, in behalf of her sons, and Tiberius had some 
reason to fear cabals among the senators in their behalf. 
The two weapons which he used against these senators, 
and against others whom he suspected of ambitious designs, 
were the processes de maiestate and de repetundis. 


348. Trials for Treason and Misgovernment. The con- 
ception of minuta maiestas was a development viperduellio, 
and in the late republic covered such offenses as attacks 
on the freedom and sovereignty of the people or the safety 
of the state, and neglect of important official duties. The 
change involved in the actions brought during the second 
part of Tiberius's reign lay in the substitution of the maie- 
stas principis for the maiestas populi. Any acts which were 
interpreted as prejudicial to the emperor's welfare or dig- 
nity made the person committing them liable to the charge 
of minuta maiestas. Trivial charges also were taken into 
consideration; the ordinary rules governing criminal pro- 
cedure were not observed, and the severity of the penalties 
imposed was out of prop6rtion to the offenses committed. 

The equitable treatment of the provinces is one of the 
things which may be set down to the credit of Tiberius. 
The most effective means which he found to hold provin- 
cial governors to their duty was the institution of actions 
de repetundis against them ; but it was very difficult for a 
governor in the performance of duties which required the 
exercise of discretion not to lay himself open to a technical 
charge on this score. The evil features of the situation were 
aggravated by the machinations of professional informers, 
and by the fact that trials on both the above-mentioned 
charges were held before the senate. Tiberius himself 
would have hesitated to condemn on his own responsibility 
men for whose condemnation this servile body, with its 
divided responsibility and its dread of the emperor, cast 
its vote. 

349. Constitutional and Administrative Changes. The 
most important constitutional change made by Tiberius 
was the transfer of the elections from the people to the 
senate. Henceforth the popular assemblies met in their 



electoral capacity only to hear an announcement of the 
results of the elections in the senate. The change was 
essentially only a formal one, since popular elections had 
already lost their significance. This method of choosing 
magistrates was in some respects a reversion to the system 
in vogue under the monarchy (cf. p. 14), and, since ex-mag- 
istrates were given seats in the senate, that body, nomi- 
nally at least, chose its own members. It should be noticed, 
too, that the new functions which Tiberius and his prede- 
cessor assigned to the senate made it not only a legisla- 
tive but also a judicial and an electoral body. The most 
important changes in the magistracies consisted in making 
the praefectus urbi a permanent official, and in putting 
a single prefect at the head of the praetorian cohorts, 
although some of the successors of Tiberius reverted to 
the Augustan system and appointed two praefecti praetorio. 
Some temporary importance was also given to the consul's 
office by the prolonged absence of Tiberius from the city. 
350. The Reign of Gaius. Upon the death of Tiberius 
in A.D. 37 Gaius Caesar, the son of Germanicus, the adopted 
son of Tiberius, who was supported by Macro, the praeto- 
rian prefect, was proclaimed emperor by the senate. The 
first measures of Gaius seemed to indicate that the .enthu- 
siasm with which the death of Tiberius and the accession 
of a son of the popular leader Germanicus were greeted 
was justified. Actions for maiestas were suspended. Pro- 
fessional informers were suppressed, and the elections were 
turned over to the popular assemblies again ; but in each 
one of these cases Gaius returned in a very short time to 
the practices of Tiberius. Throughout his reign, in fact, 
he was the creature of caprice, the victim of megalomania, 
and represented absolutism in its crudest form. In an in- 
credibly short time he had spent upon extravagant projects 


of all sorts the sum of 100,000,000 sesterces, which his 
economical predecessor had saved, and proceeded to meet 
the resulting deficit by confiscation and oppressive taxation. 
The only constitutional change of any importance made 
during his reign was the addition of a fifth decury of 
jurymen, which brought the number of indices up to about 
5000. The wrath of the people groaning under this tyran- 
nous government found expression in one conspiracy after 
another, until finally in the year 41 Gaius was murdered 
by the officers of his own guard. 

351. The Reign of Claudius. By his death the govern- 
ment was left without a head once more, and for two 
days the senate considered the advisability of restoring the 
republic ; but the clamor of the populace and the interven- 
tion of the soldiers decided the matter in favor of Claudius, 
the nephew of Tiberius and uncle of Gaius. Claudius had 
lived up to this time in retirement. In fact, the soldiers 
found him hiding in the palace for fear of his life. A natu- 
ral weakness of character and bodily defects had kept him 
out of public life, and the contempt of those about him, 
and the ill-treatment which he had received at their hands, 
had made him distrustful of himself. His life had been 
given up largely to antiquarian pursuits. These facts deter- 
mined in large measure the character of his reign. His lack 
of self-confidence made him lean helplessly on others, while 
the interest which he had felt in the minutiae of gram- 
matical study incapacitated him for developing compre- 
hensive plans of government. As a result he was easily 
managed by the members of his household, and the inner 
history of his reign is a continuous story of intrigue by the 
women and the freedmen about him, first by his freed- 
man Narcissus and his wife Messalina, and, after her death, 
by Narcissus and his second wife Agrippina, with the 


support of Pallas, and of Burrus, whom she had elevated 
to the position of prefect of the praetorian guard. This 
transfer of the real authority to men who were virtually 
imperial ministers for this was what the new system really 
amounted to had its advantages as well as its disadvan- 
tages. Narcissus in particular, who played so important 
a role during the greater part of Claudius's reign, had a 
decided talent for public affairs, and the administration of 
the government profited accordingly. Thus, for instance, 
not only were public finances placed on a sound basis once 
more, but public improvements of great importance were 
made, such as the extension of the aqueduct system, and 
the improvement of the harbor at Ostia. The antiquarian 
tastes of Claudius were not wholly detrimental to the public 
interests. They encouraged a regard for tradition and for 
old institutions ; the senate in particular was treated with 
respect. It became once more a deliberative body, and 
acquired some part of its old-time independence. Although 
the natural bent of Claudius and his early life had robbed 
him in a measure of the power of taking the initiative in 
important matters, it had developed in him an infinite 
patience in perfecting a system already in existence. To 
this characteristic is due largely the improvements in the 
judicial system and in the police and water departments of 
the city. 

352. Accession of Nero. In her struggle with Narcissus, 
Agrippina's first object was to secure the succession for 
Nero, her son by Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus. She pre- 
vailed at last upon Claudius to adopt him, and, taking 
advantage of the illness and absence of Narcissus in the 
year 54, cleared the way for her son by having Claudius 
poisoned. Her faithful supporter, Burrus, brought Nero 
before the troops, and he was saluted emperor. 


353. Court Intrigue under Nero. His reign was like 
that of his immediate predecessor in two respects. It was 
full of intrigue, and the control of public affairs was left 
largely in the hands of advisers and favorites. The char- 
acter of the government depended on the character and 
ability of those under whose influence Nero fell. When 
Agrippina first formed her ambitious plans for her son, she 
placed him under the tutelage of the philosopher Seneca 
and the protection of the prefect Burrus. As soon as he 
ascended the throne, the new emperor showed that he 
cared only for the pleasures and the distinction which his 
position gave him, and was content to leave the affairs of 
state in the hands of his mother and her two advisers ; but 
the outcome did not please Agrippina. She was by no 
means satisfied with the small share in the government 
which she soon found that Seneca and Burrus were willing 
to allow her, and she cast about for means to force Nero to 
recognize her authority. Her efforts were fruitless, and it 
is a remarkable illustration of the irony of fate that her 
downfall was finally brought about by the same means which 
had raised her to power. Just as her personal charms had 
been used to encompass the ruin of Messalina, so the beauty 
of Poppaea Sabina, the wife of M. Salvius Otho, caused the 
downfall of Agrippina. Ultimately she, as well as Britannicus 
and Octavia, Nero's wife, fell a victim to the jealous sus- 
picions of the emperor. The death of Burrus three years 
later, in 62, the appointment of Tigellinus as one of the 
prefects of the praetorian guard, and the forced retirement 
of Seneca, left Rome at the mercy of Nero's passions, stim- 
ulated as they were by Tigellinus and the freedmen of the 

354. Administration of Public Affairs under Nero. The 
character of Nero's administration differed greatly in these 


two periods. Under the ministerial rule of Seneca the 
senate was associated in the government, as it had been in 
the time of Claudius (cf. p. 294), and, thanks to the cre- 
ative ability of Seneca and the patience and energy of 
Burrus, many important administrative reforms were intro- 
duced. The legislation of the years 56-62 touching wills, 
adoption, and certain abuses in the courts, as praevaricatio 
and tergiversatio, was especially salutary. The finances 
were managed with such wisdom that 60,000,000 sesterces 
were annually turned into the state treasury. The second 
period of the reign shows a far different state of affairs. 
Life and liberty were held in light esteem, and the finances 
of the state fell into a deplorable condition. The financial 
difficulties of the empire were due in part to the great fire 
of the year 64 and to the expenditure of large sums in 
carrying on foreign campaigns ; but only in part, since the 
extravagance of the court in building palaces and baths 
and in giving public games was largely responsible for this 
state of affairs ; and, to make matters worse, in meeting 
this difficulty, the government resorted to the dangerous 
expedient of debasing the coinage. 

355. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. The discontent to 
which Nero's misgovernment gave rise found expression 
in numerous conspiracies supported by the aristocracy and 
members of the senate. But Nero had little to fear from 
this source. The danger lay in another quarter. The 
establishment of a standing army by Augustus, with a long, 
fixed term of service (cf. pp. 285 f.), and the assignment of 
legions for an indefinite period to a particular province, 
where allegiance to the emperor was forgotten in devotion 
to their commander, had divided the empire into a group 
of inchoate principalities, in each of which the soldiers 
and inhabitants had begun to feel the community of their 


interests. In fact, the tendency which was developing in 
the provinces in the middle of the first century of our era, 
unless it had been summarily checked, might have led to 
the immediate disintegration of the Roman Empire. The 
first clear indication of this nationalist movement appeared 
in Gaul in 68, but the defeat of the leader of the move- 
ment, C. Julius Vindex, by L. Verginius Rufus, the gov- 
ernor of Upper Germany, crushed it out. Rufus himself, 
however, was proclaimed imperator by his troops. He 
declined the offer, it is true, but not so much because 
of his loyalty to Nero or the central government as on 
account of his own low origin, which would probably have 
frustrated any designs on the throne. No such difficulty 
stood in the way of Ser. Sulpicius Galba, the 'governor of 
Hispania Tarraconensis, who belonged to an old and influ- 
ential family. He was proclaimed emperor by his own 
troops, was supported by the German legions, when their 
commander, Rufus, had positively refused to accept the 
position, and through the efforts of Numpidius Sabinus, 
the prefect of the praetorian guard, secured the adherence 
of that force. Nero, finding himself deserted by every 
one, took his own life June 9, 68. The policy of Galba 
did not prove to be a wise one. He punished the dis- 
affected soldiers of the German legions. He removed their 
popular leader, Rufus, and estranged the praetorian guard 
by not fulfilling the promises which Numpidius had made 
in his name. The legions in Lower Germany retaliated by 
naming their commander, A. Vitellius, emperor, while the 
praetorian guard in Rome proclaimed M. Salvius Otho. 
Galba was assassinated in January, 69 ; the senate con- 
firmed the choice of Otho, and the new emperor set out 
for the North to check the advance of his rival. Otho 
was defeated at Cremona, and later at Bedriacum, and left 


Italy and his Italian supporters a prey to the wrath and 
the greed of the German legions by taking his own life in 
April, 69. Vitellius was at once recognized as emperor by 
the senate, and began his reign by adopting a conciliatory 
policy toward the senate and the members of the opposite 

356. Extinction of the Julian Line. Naturally very 
little of constitutional or administrative significance was 
done during this year of confusion. The most important 
result of the death of Nero was the disappearance of the 
partially recognized hereditary principle. The recognition 
of this principle had tended to give continuity to the gov- 
ernment. At least, the next of kin to a deceased emperor, 
if supported by the praetorian guard, was reasonably sure 
of the succession. The extinction of the Julian line, how- 
ever, opened the door to any successful commander, and 
the armies in the provinces became the effective electoral 
bodies. The necessity of securing the confirmation of the 
senate was recognized, but the acquiescence of that body 
was naturally a matter of form. 

357. The Frontier Policy from A.D. 14 to 68. The 
successors of Augustus from A.D. 14 to 68 followed out 
the frontier policy which he had indicated. They strength- 
ened the frontiers of the empire, but made no serious 
efforts to push them forward, except in the case of Britain. 
In the East, the reduction of Cappadocia to the form of a 
province in A.D. 17 helped to protect Roman territory, and, 
after a long dispute over Armenia, a modus vivendi with 
Parthia was reached in the year 63, under which Tiridates, 
the brother of the Parthian king, received the Armenian 
crown in Rome from the hands of Nero. Under Claudius 
the southern frontier was fortified, and the two Maure- 
tanian provinces, which had been established in 40, were 


completely pacified two years later. In the North no 
determined effort was made to force the peoples beyond 
the Rhine to recognize Roman authority, but the frontier 
line along that river was protected, and the Germans were 
encouraged to waste their strength in internecine warfare. 
Disturbances in Thrace led to its annexation as a prov- 
ince in 46, and thus the Danube continued the line of 
the empire to the' Black sea. In the West only an impor- 
tant increase of territory was made by the conquest of 
southern Britain and its erection into a province in the 
year 43. 

358. Municipal Government in Italy. One of the most 
noteworthy constitutional changes under the early empire 
consisted in the development of municipal government in 
Italy and the provinces, and in the tendency to secure 
uniformity, at least within a given area. The prevailing 
system adopted for the municipia in Italy was similar to 
that in force in Rome. It comprised magistrates, a senate, 
and a popular assembly. The magistrates were, known as 
IV viri, formed two colleges, and were commonly called 
// viri iure dicundo and // viri aedilicia potestate. They 
were chosen in the popular assembly, although elections 
were later transferred to the senate. The // viri iure di- 
cundo had the right to convoke and preside over the local 
senate and popular assembly, to exercise jurisdiction in civil 
and criminal cases under certain restrictions, and in coop- 
eration with the senate they had charge of the finances 
and of the local military contingent. The // viri aedilicia 
potestate had charge primarily of the police and of the 
public games. In some communities quaestors were also 
chosen. Otherwise minor financial duties were performed 
by the aediles. All these officials were chosen annually, 
and had insignia not unlike those of the magistrates at 


Rome. Every five years 77 viri quinquennales censoria 
potestate were elected to take the census. The senate 
(ordo decurionum or senatus) usually comprised 100 mem- 
bers. A senator held his position for life, subject to the 
discretion of the censors, who made out the list of senators 
on the same principle which the censors at Rome followed. 
The relations which a municipal senate bore to the local 
magistrates and popular assemblies were almost exactly the 
same as those which the Roman senate bore to the Roman 
magistrates and to the comitia. The inhabitants of the 
municipalities fell into two classes, rives and incolae. Gives 
were those who had the rights of citizenship by birth or by 
special concession. Incolae were those who had taken up 
their domicile in a town without severing their relations 
with the community from which they had come. Both 
classes were liable to military service and to the other 
munera imposed by the community, but the rives only, 
under the early empire, were eligible to office. The unit 
in the popular assembly was the curia or the tribus, and 
the method of voting was identical with that in force at 

359. Local Government in the Provinces. The unit of 
government in the newly acquired provinces of the West 
was the municipality, and to most of these municipalities, 
as they gave evidence of becoming Romanized, the ius 
Latii was granted. Those who had held magistracies or 
a seat in the local senate received the full rights of citizen- 
ship, and the adoption of this policy did much toward 
attaching the leading families to the Roman regime. In 
Germany and the other less civilized provinces to the north, 
the cantonal or some similar unit of government was 
adopted. The policy which Rome followed in the older 
provinces of the East has already been discussed (cf. 


pp. 88 ff.). Some modifications of it had been intro- 

Iduced in the later republican period, but in most cases the 
old systems of local government with the traditional titles 
for the several offices were retained, except that the 
financial system was reorganized. 
360. Changes in Provincial Government. The govern- 
ors of imperial provinces were appointed by the emperor, 
administered their provinces under his supervision, and 
looked to him for advancement, and one of the most 
marked but natural changes of the provincial system, 
during the period under consideration, is the tendency 
to leave all important matters of administration to the 
decision of the emperor. This practice comes out very 
clearly some fifty years later in Pliny's letters to Trajan, 
where matters of almost a trivial character were referred 
to the emperor for settlement. The senate theoretically 
maintained its right to reverse the decisions of its own 
governors, and on occasion actually exercised the right, 
as we may infer from Pliny's correspondence (X. 56; 
X. 72) ; but the commanding influence of the emperor in 
the senate, his exalted position as proconsul of a large part 
of the Roman world, and the deference shown him by the 
governors of imperial provinces could not fail to have an 
effect on the governors of senatorial provinces also. We 
are not surprised, therefore, to find them, too, appealing to 
the emperor for advice in difficult matters of administration. 
Governors in both the imperial and senatorial provinces 
seem to have taken more and more into their own hands the 
supervision of the administrative affairs of the communities 
located in their provinces. In particular, as we see from 
Pliny's letters, they concerned themselves with the economic 
affairs of these communities and the questions involved in 
the construction of public buildings and public works. 


361. The Provincial Assemblies. A new and most 
interesting political institution of the imperial period is 
the provincial assembly, made up of representatives from 
the communities lying within a given area. As early as the 
time of Verres the commonwealth of Sicily (commune Sici- 
liae, Cic. in Verr. ii. 2. 154) chose representatives to pay 
certain honors to its governor. It was left for the im- 
perial cult in the provinces, however, in its development 
to direct this movement toward representative government. 
The cult of the emperor appeared first in Augustus's own 
lifetime in the Greek cities of Asia, and spread rapidly 
through the western as well as the eastern provinces. The 
imperial officials fostered it, because it knit the Roman 
world together and developed a spirit of loyalty toward 
the central government, as personified in the emperor. 
To construct temples to him and to the Dea Roma, 
and to celebrate festivals in honor of the new deities, a 
provincial assembly (concilium proirinciae) met annually in 
the principal city of the province under the presidency of 
the flamen provinciae. Its main duties were of a religious 
character. They consisted in arranging the details of the 
imperial worship, and in imposing taxes for its proper main- 
tenance on the cities of the province ; but these assemblies 
also took it on themselves to discuss certain matters of 
general interest to their respective provinces, and to send 
deputations to the emperor to lay the results of their 
deliberations before him. A large body of inscriptions 
attests the activity of the concilia and shows the varied 
character of the business which came before them. The 
institution acquired in time some political importance (cf. 
p. 372), and it is interesting because it is one of the 
earliest attempts to establish on a large scale our modern 
system of representative government. 



Tacitus, Ann. I. 5- VI ; XI-XVI ; Hist. I; II. n-ioi ; Suetonius, 
Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius ; Dio 
Cassius, LVII-LXV; Josephus, Antiq. hid. XVIII-XX; Strabo; 
Velleius Paterculus, II. 124 ff . ; Plutarch, Galba, Otho; Eutropius, 
VII. 11-18. 

Recommendations of Augustus read in senate : Dio, LVI. 33. 
Elections given to senate (A.D. 14) : Tac. Ann. I. 15 ; Veil. II. 126. 2. 

Mutiny in Germany: Ann. I. 31 ff. ; Dio, LVII. 4 f. Minuta 
maiestas : Ann. I. 72. Curatores riparum et alvei Tiberis : Dio, 
LVII. 14. Recall of Germanicus (A.D. 16) : Ann. II. 26. Cappa- 
docia, Roman province (A.D. 17): Dio, LVII. 17. Alliance with 
Parthia (A.D. 18) : Ann. II. 58. Death of Germanicus (A.D. 19): 
Ann. II. 69-73. Law governing price of grain (A.D. 19) : Ann. II. 
87. Death of Cn. Piso (A.D. 20) : Ann. III. 1 5. Sumptuary laws : 
Ann. II. 33; III. 52-5. Drusus, the tribunicia potestas (A.D. 22) : 
Ann. III. 56-7. L. Aelius Sejanus: Ann. IV. 1-2. Sejanus is refused 
the hand of Livia (A.D. 25) : Ann. IV. 39-40. Tiberius retiies to 
Capri (A.D. 27): Ann. IV. 67. Overthrow of Sejanus (A.D. 31): 
Dio, LVIII. ii; Suet. Tib. 65. Prosecutions: Ann. VI. 3 ff. 
Financial legislation (A.D. 33): Ann. VI. 17. Death of Tiberius 
(A.D. 37): Ann. VI. 50; Suet. Tib. 73. Gaius succeeds: Suet. 
Cal. 14. Elections restored to comitia (A.D. 38) : Dio, LIX. 9. 
Prosecutions: Dio, LIX. 13, 16, 18. Cruelties of Gaius: Dio, LIX. 
25-6. Murder of Gaius (A.D. 41): Suet. Cal. 58; Dio, LIX. 29. 

Claudius succeeds: Suet. Claud. 10-11; Dio, LX. i. Charac- 
ter : Suet. Claud. 2 f., 29 ff. ; Dio, LX. 2 ; Sen. Apoc. Reforms : 
Dio. LX. 6. Provinces of Mauretania established (A.D. 42) : Dio, 
LX. 9. Conspiracy of Vinicianus (A.D. 42) : Dio, LX. 1 5. Cam- 
paigns of Plautius and Ostorius in Britain (A.D. 43 and 50) : Dio, LX. 
19-22, 30; Ann. XII. 31-40; Agr. 13 f. Achaea and Macedonia 
become senatorial provinces (A.D. 44) : Dio, LX. 24. Treasury under 
two quaestors: Dio, LX. 24. Advocates' fees limited: Ann. XL 
5-7. Census taken (A.D. 48): Ann. XI. 25. Messalina killed 
(A.D. 48) : Ann. XI. 26-38. Agrippina: Ann. XII. 1-8. Seneca, 
tutor of Domitius, son of Agrippina: Ann. XII. 8. Claudius adopts 
Domitius with name of Claudius Nero (A.D. 50) : Ann. XII. 25 f. 
Lake Fucinus : Ann. XII. 56-7. Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus : 
Frontin. de Aquaed. 13. Death of Claudius (A.D. 54): Ann. XII. 


66-8. Nero succeeds: Ann. XII. 69; Dio, LXI. 3. Burrus and 
Seneca: Dio, LXI. 4; Ann. XIII. 2. Nero poisons Britannicus 
(A.D. 55): Ann. XIII. 16-17. Agrippina killed (59 A. D.) : Ann. XIV. 
3-8; Suet. Nero, 34. Death of Burrus (A.D. 62) : Ann. XIV. 51. 
Tiridates accepts crown from Nero (A.D. 63) : Ann. XV. 29 ff. ; Dio, 
LXIII. 2-7. Death of Seneca (A.D. 65) : Ann. XV. 60 ff. Vindex : 
Dio, LXIII. 22. Galba proclaimed emperor by his troops : Dio, 
LXIII. 23. Vindex defeated: Dio, LXIII. 24. Death of Nero 
(A.D. 68) : Suet. Nero, 47-9. A. Vitellius proclaimed emperor by 
his troops (A.D. 69): Hist. I. 56-7. Galba adopts Piso : Hist. I. 
14-19. Otho declared emperor by praetorian guard: Hist. I. 27 f. 
Death of Galba : Hist. I. 41. Bedriacum: Hist. II. 40-45. Death 
of Otho: Hist. II. 46 ff. ; Dio, LXIV. 1 5. Vitellius recognized at 
Rome: Hist. II. 55. Character: Hist. II. 62, 73 ; Dio, LXV. 3. 


A. Stahr, Tiberius. Berlin, 1873. 

G. Boissier, L'opposition sous les Cesars. Paris, 1892. 

H. Lehmann, Claudius und Nero und ihre Zeit, Vol. I. Gotha, 


Sievers, Studien zur Geschichte der romischen Kaiser. Berlin, 1870. 
R. Bompard, Le crime de lese majeste. Paris, 1888. 
Guiraud, Les assemblies provinciales dans 1'empire remain. Paris, 

Hirschfeld, Zur Geschichte des rom. Kaisercultus, in Sitzungsb. d. 

Akad. d. Wissensch. zu Berlin, 1888, 2ter Halbb. pp. 833 ff. 

1 See also p. 288. 


362. Vespasian proclaimed Emperor. When the news 
of the battle of Bedriacum and of the death of Otho 
reached Rome, the soldiers took the oath of allegiance 
to Vitellius, and the senate accorded him imperial honors ; 
but before he had reached the city a new aspirant for the 
throne had arisen this time in the East, in the person of 
Vespasian. He was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria by 
the prefect of Egypt, July i, 69, and from this date he sub- 
sequently counted the years of his reign.- The legions in 
Judaea, Syria, Moesia, Pannonia, and Illyricum supported 
him, and Mucianus, governor of Syria, and his principal 
lieutenant was sent into Italy. Antonius Primus, who 
commanded seven legions in Illyricum, reached Italy in 
advance of Mucianus, however, defeated the army of 
Vitellius at Cremona in a bloody battle, marched rapidly 
toward Rome, and entered the city December 20. Vitel- 
lius, in attempting to escape, was seized and put to death. 
On the following day Vespasian was made consul, and 
received from the senate the title of Augustus and the 
tribunician power. 

363. Precarious Position of Vespasian. The outlook 
for Vespasian, however, seemed anything but promising. 
He was a man of humble birth, and, therefore, apparently 
hampered by the same drawbacks which had prevented 
Verginius Rufus from yielding to the temptation held out 
to him by his soldiers (p. 297). He was a mere soldier, 


with no experience in civil affairs, and finally he followed 
a series of pretenders, who had been set on the throne 
by one army to be displaced by another. In fact, the 
uprising of the troops in Germany under Claudius Civilis, 
before he had ascended the throne, seemed to foreshadow 
the same fate for him also. 

364. The Character of Vespasian. His sterling qualities, 
however, saved him from all these dangers. Indeed, from 
a knowledge of his antecedents and character, one could 
almost forecast the outcome of his reign and the political 
and social changes which he would strive to effect. We 
have noticed that he was of humble birth. His family 
came from the little town of Reate, in the Sabine terri- 
tory. His grandfather had been engaged in collecting 
small debts ; his father was a tax-collector. The family 
stock was not unlike that of the poet Horace, and the 
picture which Horace has drawn of his father may well 
serve to give us a fair impression of the grandfather and 
father of Vespasian. He was already advanced in life 
he was sixty years old at this time and he had received 
the hardy training of a soldier. Both of these facts must 
have emphasized the traits of character which he inherited 
from his immediate ancestors. Having been born outside 
the city, he had none of the narrow municipal prejudice 
of the native Roman. His humble surroundings in early 
life, and his experience as a soldier, had made his tastes 
simple and his methods direct. Then, too, if he had been 
brought up in Rome, he would have felt himself bound 
by the social and political traditions, which prevented 
several of his predecessors from aiming directly at the 
object which they wished to accomplish. The fact that 
he was born in a little country village left him free in this 
respect. His obscure birth saved him also from paying 


undue deference to aristocratic prejudice. Finally, he 
inherited from his immediate ancestors shrewdness in deal- 
ing with the practical affairs of life, and especially in 
managing financial transactions. 

365. Administrative and Constitutional Reforms during 
his Reign. These traits of Vespasian's character found 
expression in the administrative and constitutional reforms 
which he introduced. His methodical tendency and his 
sense of order led him to take immediate measures to 
suppress the insurrection under Civilis, to restore order in 
Germany, and to perfect the system of frontier defenses 
on the borders of Moesia, of Pannonia, and in the East. 
Most of the principalities and free states in the Orient 
were made provinces, and were governed as the adjoining 
countries. His regard for system led to the formulation, 
though possibly not for the first time, of the constitutional 
powers and privileges of the emperor in the celebrated 
lex de imperio Vespasiani (cf. p. 407). This trait in his 
character led him also to make early arrangements to take 
the census, and from the information which the census-lists 
gave him he was able to reorganize the senate and the 
equestrian order, to pick out men who were qualified to 
fill administrative positions, and to decide how and where 
to levy troops. He gained exact information with reference 
to the resources of the state, information which was of ines- 
timable value to him in determining the most equitable 
and profitable form and rate of taxation. On the other 
hand, he learned the needs of the empire, in the way 
of public works and public buildings. According to the 
emperor's own estimate, the reorganization of the financial 
system and the material needs of the empire called for 
forty billions of sesterces. This enormous sum was raised 
without apparently crippling industry or exciting serious 


opposition. In some cases the rate of taxation was in- 
creased-, new taxes were levied, or larger contributions from 
the provinces were required ; but the greatest gain was 
made by doing away with the exemption of favored classes, 
and by insisting on honesty and economy in raising the 
levy. Here Vespasian's clear insight into financial matters 
helped him greatly. 

His freedom from native Roman and aristocratic preju- 
dice allowed him to make important changes in the character 
of the senate and the senatorial order. Some of his prede- 
cessors had aimed at creating a new senatorial aristocracy 
dependent on the emperor for its position and honors, and 
Claudius had gone so far as to admit men from the provinces 
who had distinguished themselves, but in most cases those 
who received seats in the senate were natives of the city 
of Rome and ex-magistrates. Vespasian, however, freely 
gave the senatorial rank to provincials, and, with that 
directness of purpose which characterized him, he did not 
in all cases require a candidate for senatorial honors to 
hold a magistracy, but he conferred the dignity upon him 
directly. Vespasian's practice in this respect was followed 
by his successors, and from the time of Domitian this 
imperial prerogative was freely exercised. The senatorial 
order thus ceased to be a Roman aristocracy ; it was no 
longer based, even formally, on republican tradition. It 
was an aristocracy of the empire, whose privileges were 
within the gift of the emperor. This policy of conferring 
privileges and honors upon deserving persons throughout 
the Roman world was carried down into the lower strata 
of society also. The rights of Latin citizenship were given 
to all the hitherto subject communities in Spain, and to 
some among the Helvetii. The practice of bestowing the 
rights of citizenship and the privileges of senatorial rank 


on provincials is a definite part of the Flavian policy, and 
perhaps nothing did more to develop throughout the empire 
a unity of interests and a loyalty to the central government. 
Those who had received these honors were proud of them, 
and grateful to the ruler who gave them. Those who had 
not attained them were anxious to prove their fitness to 
receive them. The fruits of this generous policy toward 
the provincials are seen in the Spanish origin of Trajan, 
Hadrian, and M. Aurelius, and in the Gallic origin of 

The power which Vespasian exercised in raising private 
citizens to senatorial rank took from the magistracies the 
greater part of the importance which they had had under 
the early emperors. It was no longer necessary to hold 
a magistracy in order to be admitted to the senate. The 
practice of holding the consulship for only two months 
also materially lessened the dignity of that office, which 
was still further diminished by the encroachment of various 
imperial offices. 

366. The Reign of Titus. With all his care in defining 
the powers of the emperor, and in introducing system into 
the affairs of government, Vespasian had not settled the 
principle of the succession. At his death, however, in the 
summer of the year 79, it was rather a theoretical than a 
practical question. He had secured for his son Titus a 
point of vantage, by making him prefect of the praetorian 
guard, by granting him the tribunician power in the year 
7 1 , by allowing him to receive the title of imperator after 
his success in Judaea, and by making him his colleague in 
the censorship and the consulship. The reign of Titus, 
which extends through a period of only about two years, 
was scarcely long enough to enable us to estimate the 
character of his administration. He seems to have been 


an amiable and mild ruler. His kindness to the people of 
Campania after the eruption of Vesuvius shows this plainly 
enough. But this amiability of nature had its unfortunate 
side. It led him to spend large sums of money to amuse 
the people, without counting the cost or considering the 
unfortunate precedent which he set for the future. He 
held the power firmly in his own hands, however, neither 
recognizing the historic claims of the senate nor admitting 
his brother Domitian to a share in the government. 

367.' The Drift toward Monarchy under Domitian. The 
theory upon which the government of Augustus was based, 
that the Roman world was under the joint control of the 
princeps and, the senate, had been seriously undermined by 
the reorganization of the senate under Vespasian, and the 
subordination of that body and of the whole senatorial 
order to him. Domitian, who ascended the throne in 
September, 81, rejected completely the theory that the 
princeps and the senate jointly ruled the state, that the 
government was a dyarchy, as it has been called, and took 
a long step toward the establishment of the monarchy. 
He was an autocrat by instinct, and consistently followed 
the policy of keeping the supreme power entirely in his 
own hands. Qn the fourth year of his reign he had himself 
made censor for life. He did not take this office, as his 
father had done, for the sake of reorganizing the finances of 
[the state, but solely, or mainly, for the purpose of control- 
ling the appointment of senators. In this way he was able 
to degrade his enemies and to fill the senate with his sup- 
porters. He also formally claimed the right of sitting in 
judgment on senators charged with capital offenses. In the 
year 84, in which he took the censorship for life, he had 
himself made consul for a period of ten years, a step which 
indicated his intention of taking from his colleagues in that 


office even an apparent equality with him. The same 
intention is obvious in his decision to reserve for himself 
the laurel wreath, and in his assumption of certain unusual 
insignia of office. His autocratic attitude shows itself also 
in the fact that he tolerated no favorites, and that he did 
not rule through ministers. In fact, constant changes were 
made in the personnel of the imperial household. In this 
respect his course is in contrast to the policy of the tyrants 
who had preceded him, like Tiberius and Nero. This 
theory of government puts on the ruler's shoulders the 
responsibility for the mistakes which may be made, as well 
as for the wise measures which may be taken, and Domitian 
seems to have felt the responsibility and to have tried in 
many respects to do his duty conscientiously. The same 
deliberate purpose to rule alone, reinforced perhaps by the 
dread of a military uprising, led him to divide the pro- 
vincial armies in such a way that not more than one or two 
legions should be under the command of a single general. 
It was probably a desire to maintain his prestige in all fields 
of activity, and his knowledge of the fact that success, in 
arms still offered the surest road to popularity, which led him 
to take charge in person of the military operations against 
the Chatti in 83, and in Moesia in 86, and to celebrate a 
triumph on his return from the first expedition. 

368. Social and Economic Reforms. As has been said, 
Domitian accepted conscientiously the responsibility which 
his attempt to hold all the power in his own hands laid 
upon him. He worked faithfully, though not always wisely, 
to improve the moral, religious, and economic condition of 
the people in Italy and the provinces. The Julian laws, 
passed to protect the purity and integrity of family life, 
were vigorously enforced, and, like Augustus and Tiberius, 
Domitian strove to stimulate the religious life of the people 


by building temples and by restoring the dignity of the 
priesthoods. To combat the tendency towards luxurious 
living he adopted the eccentric policy of discouraging and, 
in some cases, of forbidding the cultivation of the vine. 
All these measures for the moral and religious improve- 
ment of the people naturally met with little success, but his 
reforms in the judicial system and in the army were of 
more importance. In particular, the administration of 
justice profited greatly by his watchful supervision of the 
courts. His management of the finances of the state, 
which seems to have been in the main wise and econom- 
ical, enabled him to construct many important buildings 
and public works and to restore others which needed 
repair. The jealous watch which he kept on provincial 
governors in most cases fostered justice and economy in 
the government of the empire outside of Italy. 

369. Domitian's Jealousy and Tyranny. In spite of all 
this, however, Domitian was a tyrant, and a tyrant with cer- 
tain traits of character which always make autocracy odious. 
His inordinate ambition and unscrupulous selfishness, which 
had prevented his father and his brother from conferring on 
him the honors that he would otherwise have had, took the 
form, after he had ascended the throne, of a jealous sus- 
picion of any one who opposed him or won any distinction. 
As in the case of several of the Julian emperors (cf. pp. 
289 f., 295 f.), his life falls into two periods. Before the 
uprising under Saturninus in 88 his policy was reasonably 
mild. After that event he pursued those who opposed 
him, or excited his suspicion, with a vindictiveness which 
knew no bounds. The fact that he was childless, and 
hence that the way to the throne seemed open to any ambi- 
tious aspirant, probably increased still more his suspicion of 
any one whose ability raised him above the common level. 



He fell by the hand of members of his own household in 
September of the year 96. 

370. Military Operations of the Flavian Period. The 
disorder which had prevailed throughout the Roman world 
in the year preceding the accession of the Flavian em- 
perors was repressed within a year or more after Vespasian 
ascended the throne. This spirit of unrest showed itself 
in Pontus, Britain, Moesia, and on the banks of the Rhine, 
and both native peoples and legionaries joined in several 
of the movements. The most serious of these uprisings 
was that of various German and Gallic tribes under Julius 
Civilis, which was also supported by the Roman legions in 
the vicinity. It seems to have been an expression of the 
nationalist feeling (cf. pp. 296-7), for the Remi, who were 
concerned in the movement, tried to convoke a Gallic 
national assembly to lay plans for the future ; but at the 
approach of Petilius Cerialis, one of Vespasian's lieutenants, 
toward the close of the year 70, the various rebellious 
peoples submitted one after another, and the Roman troops 
returned to their allegiance. At about the same time the 
war in Judaea was brought to an end by Titus, and the city 
of Jerusalem was taken. For years religious teachers had 
been going up and down in the land prophesying the 
approaching triumph of the Jew over the Gentile, and the 
fierce religious and racial hostility which resulted found 
expression in wholesale massacres of Jews and their ene- 
mies in Judaea and outside of it. The Roman officials 
were incapable of dealing with the secret organizations 
which the Jews formed, and the supine governor of Syria, 
Cestius Gallus, allowed matters to drift until open war 
broke out in 66. Thereupon Nero intrusted the conduct 
of affairs in Judaea to Vespasian. For four years more the 
Jews held out against the Roman legions, but in 70 Titus 


took Jerusalem, and Judaea for the second time was made 
a separate province. Perhaps the greatest extension of 
Roman territory was made in Britain, as a result of the 
successful campaigns of Cerialis, Frontinus, and Agricola. 
At the close of Nero's reign, Roman authority was recog- 
nized as far north as Lincoln and Chester. Agricola 
pushed his conquests to a point considerably farther north 
and even carried on a successful campaign in Scotland. 
The most serious danger from without, which threatened 
the empire during the Flavian period, came from the 
Dacians, who crossed over into lower Moesia, under their 
leader, Decebalus, and defeated the governor, Oppius Sabi- 
nus, as well as the prefect of the guard, Cornelius Fuscus. 
The Romans seem at first to have underestimated the 
fighting qualities of the enemy and the size of the coalition 
formed against them, for they suffered repeated disasters. 
The result was that, after the Dacians had been joined by 
the Quadi, Sarmatians, Marcomanni, and other peoples in 
that region, Domitian was forced to make peace on the 
basis of certain annual gifts to the Dacian king, although 
the latter, on his side, probably acknowledged in some 
measure the suzerainty of the Roman emperor. The revolt 
in the year 88 of L. Antonius Saturninus, the governor of 
Upper Germany, excited a greater alarm in Domitian' s 
mind than the more serious difficulty on the Danube, and 
although it was suppressed within a few months, it per- 
manently affected the character of Domitian's reign (cf. 
p. 312). 

371. General Changes in Provincial Government. The 
most important changes made in the division of the prov- 
inces between the emperor and the senate in the Flavian 
period were the assignment of Sardinia and Corsica to 
Vespasian, and the union of Achaea and Epirus, which 


Nero had declared independent states, into a senatorial 
province. Moesia was divided into two provinces, Upper 
and Lower Moesia, by Domitian. Galatia was added to 
Cappadocia by Vespasian and put under a consular legate. 
But the most noteworthy administrative change in the prov- 
inces consisted in the movement to introduce a uniform sys- 
tem of government, by the reduction of principalities and 
suzerain states to the form of provinces. This change was 
made especially in the Orient, where several principalities, 
like Commagene and Judaea, were placed directly under 
a Roman governor. Egypt, however, still maintained its 
anomalous position as the personal domain of the emperor. 
It was ruled by a prefect of equestrian rank, and the admin- 
istrative system of the Ptolemies was still retained. 

372. Improvement in the Condition of the Provincials. 
Vespasian's skill as an organizer, and Domitian's jealous 
supervision of provincial governors, alike contributed to 
the prosperity of the provinces. By the elevation of their 
most distinguished citizens to the senatorial order (cf. 
pp. 308-9), and by the grant of Latin rights to native 
communities, they were made to feel themselves integral 
parts of the empire and not dependencies, and their mate- 
rial prosperity was promoted by the judicious construction 
of public roads and public works and the improved man- 
agement of local finances. In Baetica alone 120 cities 
received the ius Latii under the Flavian emperors. The 
extant charters of Salpensa and Malaca, in this province, 
give us a clear idea of the nature of the government estab- 
lished in these communities. Paradoxical as it may seem, 
hand in hand with this extension of self-government there 
seems to have developed a tendency on the part of pro- 
vincial governors to concern themselves more and more 
with local affairs (cf. p. 301). 



Tacitus, Hist. II. i-io ; III-V, and Agricola; Josephus, Bell. 
lud. Ill ff.; Dio Cassius, LXVI-LXVII ; Suetonius, Vespasianus, 
Titus, and Domitianus. 

Vespasian proclaimed emperor in the Orient (69) : Tac. Hist. II. 
80-8 1. Battle of Cremona (Oct. 69): Hist. III. 22-33. Disorders in 
Rome (Dec. 69) : Hist. III. 69-74. Vespasian made emperor (Dec. 
21, 69) : Hist. IV. 3; Dio, LXVI. I. Revolt under Civilis (69-70): 
Hist. IV. 14-37; 54-79; V. 14-26. Titus takes Jerusalem (70): 
Jos. Bell. lud. VI. 8. 4-5. Vespasian enters Rome (70) : Hist. IV. 
53. Improvements in Rome : C. I. L. VI. 931 ; VI. 1238 ; VI. 1257. 

Latin rights to Spain (74) : Plin. N. H. III. 30. Death of Ves- 
pasian and accession of Titus (79): Suet. Vesp. 24; Dio, LXVI. 17. 

Eruption of Vesuvius (79): Plin. Ep. VI. 16 and 20; Dio, LXVI. 
21-3. Relief for Campania : Dio, LXVI. 24. Campaigns in 
Britain: Tac. Agr. Death of Titus: Suet. Tit. ii; Dio, LXVI. 
26. Charters of Salpensa and Malaca (82-4): C. I. L. II. 1963-4. 

Domitian consul for 10 yrs. (84): Dio, LXVII. 4. War against 
Dacians, etc. : Dio, LXVII. 6, 7, 10. Death of Domitian (96) : Dio, 
LXVII. 15-17. 


J. Asbach, Romisches Kaisertum u. Verfassung bis auf Traian. 

Koln, 1896. 

Chambalu, De magistratibus Flaviorum. Bonn, 1882. 
Chambalu, Flaviana, Philol. XLIV (1885), pp. 106 ff . ; 502 ff., and 

XLV (1886), pp. 100 ff. 
Hirschfeld, Untersuchungen auf dem Gebiete der romischen Ver- 

waltungsgeschichte, Bd. I. Berlin, 1876. 
Frz. Pichlmayr, T. Flavius Domitianus. Erlangen, 1889. 
Gsell, Essai sur le regne de 1'empereur Domitien. Paris, 1894. 

1 See also pp. 288, 304. 


373. Nerva. It is not clear what influences led to the 
choice of M. Cocceius Nerva as emperor, but he was prob- 
ably supported by the conspirators who had overthrown 
Domitian. His reign lasted only two years, and there 
were no important constitutional or administrative changes 
in it. He was able, however, to right many of the abuses 
which had grown up under his predecessor. Prosecutions 
for lese-majeste were forbidden, and the impoverished con- 
dition of the people in Italy was somewhat relieved by 
loaning money to needy farmers, at a low rate of interest, 
for the purchase of land. 

374. Trajan. On the death of Nerva in January, 98, 
M. Ulpius Trajanus, the governor of Upper Germany, whom 
Nerva had adopted the year before, succeeded to the throne 
without opposition. Trajan, like his predecessor, was punc- 
tilious in his treatment of the senate. He renounced the 
right to try senators on capital charges. He encouraged 
freedom of speech at the meetings of the senate, and in 
general carefully observed the fiction of the dual control 
of affairs by the emperor and the senate. In fact, during 
his prolonged absences from Rome, the senate acquired 
some importance as a legislative body in administrative 
matters. In his dealings with the magistrates he showed a 
similar regard for republican traditions by accepting the 
consulship only four times during the nineteen years of his 


reign, whereas Domitian had been consul ten times during 
his reign of fifteen years. He checked delation, as Nerva 
had done, and reformed the laws governing prosecution for 
treason. The result of his attempts to carry out Nerva's 
plans to improve the condition of the farmers, and to in- 
crease the free population of Italy and the outcome of his 
policy, and that of his successor, of remitting taxes, and of 
encouraging the construction of public buildings in the small 
towns, will be considered in another connection. 

375. Hadrian. By far the most important administrative 
change which Hadrian made consisted in the introduction 
of a bureaucratic system into the civil service, with its fixed 
gradation of offices and corresponding order of promotion. 
The functions of each official were carefully marked out, 
and the government took into its own hands certain mat- 
ters, like the collection of taxes, which before had been 
wholly or in part managed under private contract. Hadrian 
made some important changes in the judicial system also. 
He chose eminent jurists as members of his consilium, made 
it a permanent body, and increased its judicial functions. 
He took away from the republican magistrates the jurisdic- 
tion in civil cases which they had exercised throughout 
Italy and gave it to four imperial officials, later known as 
iuridid. In this connection may be mentioned the codifi- 
cation in a single edict by the jurist Salvius Julianus of the 
principles and forms published by praetors and curule 
aediles, in so far as such principles were still in force. The 
provinces received as careful attention from him as Italy 
did, and his long journeys, covering ten years of his reign, 
into all parts of the empire made him familiar with their 
condition and their needs. Having no children, he adopted 
in 136 L. Ceionius Commodus Verus, giving him the title 
of L. Aelius Verus. In 138, on the death of Aelius, Hadrian 


named as his successor T. Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius 
Antoninus, who was known after his adoption as T. Aelius 
Hadrianus Antoninus. Hadrian died the same year. 

376. Antoninus Pius. Antoninus, or Antoninus Pius, 
as he is commonly called, does not seem to have lacked 
strength of character. The energy with which he checked 
the plans of the senate to pass certain measures reflecting 
on the reign of his adoptive father would disprove such a 
theory. But he lacked the restless spirit of his predeces-- 
sor, his breadth of view, and his power of initiative. He 
had no ambition to extend the limits of the empire, nor to 
introduce important administrative reforms. To insure the 
succession he had been required to adopt M. Annius Verus, 
known later as M. Aurelius Antoninus, and also the son of 
L. Aelius Verus, who was given the title of L. Aelius Aurelius 
Commodus. It does not seem to have been the purpose 
of Hadrian to grant equal powers to the two heirs of Anto- 
ninus, but rather to insure a peaceful succession in case 
M. Aurelius should die. At all events, Antoninus Pius 
chose the latter as his associate in the government, and, 
just before his death in 161, plainly indicated him as his 

377. M. Aurelius. But, immediately after his acces- 
sion to the throne, M. Aurelius raised L. Aelius to a 
position of like power with himself, and the equal authority 
of the latter was recognized up to the death of Aelius in 
169. Seven years later M. Aurelius made his own son, 
L. Aurelius Commodus, his colleague, and father and son 
held the imperial authority together until M. Aurelius died, 
in 1 80. This interesting reversion to the republican prin- 
ciple of collegiality had its administrative advantages. The 
Roman empire extended over so wide an area that a divi- 
sion of the territory between two rulers, acting in harmony, 


would be to the advantage of both sections, and this was ' 
what the joint rule of M. Aurelius and L. Aelius amounted 
to. The supervision of M. Aurelius was largely confined to 
the West, that of his brother to the East. One may well 
question whether such an exercise of autocratic power by two 
emperors would be workable in ordinary cases, but in the 
two cases mentioned the family relations existing between 
the joint rulers made rivalry improbable and prevented a 
serious conflict of authority. The amiable disposition and 
the philosophic tastes of M. Aurelius had a good and a bad 
influence on the character of his reign. On the one hand, 
they made him strive to ameliorate the condition of the 
slaves, to interpret the law in accordance with its spirit 
rather than its letter, and to treat the senate with Consid- 
eration. On the other hand, he showed an unwise gen- 
erosity in giving largesses, in increasing the number of 
those who received help from the state, and in remitting 
taxes. His peaceful tastes also prevented him from giving 
necessary attention to the needs of the army and to the 
loyalty of his generals. The unwisdom of this neglect was 
made clear before his death by the uprising under Avidius 
Cassius, the governor of Syria. 

378. Commodus. Commodus revived the evil memo- 
ries of the later Julian emperors. During the greater part 
of his reign, which extended from 180 fo 192, he was under 
the influence of favorites. The prefect Perennis held the 
reins of government from 180 to 185, and the freedman 
Cleander from the downfall of Perennis to 189. The 
overthrow of Perennis was due to the discontent which was 
excited in the army by his attempt to substitute knights 
for senators in important military commands. Cleander 
owed his downfall to his general unpopularity and to 
the machinations of his political enemies. Perennis had 


executive ability and was in the main patriotic, but the loose 
delegation of almost autocratic power to a single individual, 
whose position was determined neither by law nor by tradi- 
tion, and the encroachment of court favorites on the func- 
tions which belonged to established officials, could not fail 
to result in disorder and maladministration and to under- 
mine the official system which Hadrian and his successors 
had so carefully elaborated. In the end Commodus, who 
had given himself up completely to the pursuit of pleasure, 
fell by the hands of the court favorites, to whom he had 
intrusted the government. 

379. Pertinax and Didius Julianus. P. Helvius Perti- 
nax, whom the conspirators placed on the throne, was like 
Vespasian a man of humble birth, and had Vespasian's 
shrewd knowledge of affairs and his ability as an organizer. 
Although he was emperor for only three months, his success 
in reforming the finances was remarkable, but his economi- 
cal and upright management of affairs displeased the court 
officials and the soldiers in the city, who had been accus- 
tomed to the gratuities of Commodus, and he was murdered. 
A senator named Didius Julianus, who surpassed all other 
aspirants for the throne in his promises to the praetorian 
guard, was invested with the purple. But the break in the 
succession, and the unpopularity of Didius Julianus in 
Rome, encouraged L. Septimius Severus in Pannonia, Pes- 
cennius Niger in Syria, and Clodius Albinus in Britain, to 
lay claim to the throne. Septimius Severus was nearer Italy 
than his rivals, and, without meeting serious resistance, made 
himself master of the peninsula and of Rome. The fright- 
ened senate condemned Julianus to death, and Septimius 
Severus was proclaimed emperor in the summer of 193. 

380. The Senate during the Second Century. The con- 
stitutional relations which the senate bore to the emperor 


at the beginning of this period when Nerva ascended the 
throne were unchanged at the accession of Septimius 
Severus. All of the emperors of the second century, with 
the possible exception of Commodus, treated the senate, 
however, with consideration. They encouraged also the 
free discussion of matters brought before it, so that the 
senate practically reverted to the position which it had 
held under the monarchy and the early republic, and 
became the consilium of the chief-magistrate. Its failure 
to assert its independence seems to have been due in part 
to the fact that it was overawed by the comprehensive 
powers of the emperor, and in part to the bitter experiences 
which many of its members had suffered under ome of the 
earlier emperors, experiences which made individual 
senators more anxious to protect their lives and their per- 
sonal privileges than to uphold the traditional powers of 
the senate as an independent branch of the government. 
The passage of the formal act creating a new emperor was 
still the prerogative of the senate, but there is no case 
during this period in which the selection of the emperor 
was left to its free choice. 

381. The Equestrian Order. The members of the eques- 
trian order gained greatly by Hadrian's reorganization of 
the civil service, since many of the important positions 
closely connected with the emperor's person were put into 
their hands. Hadrian also freely made knights members 
of his consilium, and Perennis, the favorite of Commodus, 
even tried the unsuccessful experiment of giving them 
important military commands. The senatorial order was 
deeply offended at these encroachments on its preroga- 
tives. It is important to notice that all of these changes 
indicate the drift toward a leveling of the classes and 
foreshadow the coming absolutism. 


382. The People. The people counted for little polit- 
ically during this period, except so far as the popular 
dislike of an emperor might encourage some rival to at- 
tempt his overthrow, as happened in the case of Didius 
Julianus. The interest of the Italians in municipal poli- 
tics was also dying out, and it was difficult to find candi- 
dates for the municipal offices. This state of things was 
partly due to the heavy financial burdens imposed on 
municipal magistrates and partly to the encroachment of 
imperial officials on the traditional functions of the local 
magistrates. Furthermore, the people of Italy were so dis- 
inclined to military service that little attempt was made to 
recruit the army from this quarter. As a consequence, the 
great mass of the Italians had no share whatever in civil 
or military affairs. They became incapable of governing 
or of defending themselves, and their horizon was limited 
by their own personal interests. This period is character- 
ized, however, by an improvement in the condition of 
freedmen, slaves, orphans, and the aged poor. Freedmen 
were given a much larger share in municipal life, and the 
position of slaves before the law was greatly ameliorated. 
Slaves, for instance, could no longer be put to death with- 
out due process of law, nor could they be sold to a gladia- 
torial trainer or a procurer at the pleasure of their owners. 
These changes were largely due to the spread of the doc- 
trine of the brotherhood of man, or to the recognition of 
the ius naturale, as the Roman jurist styled it. The tend- 
ency toward a leveling of all classes, which was a social 
and political result of the exalted position of the emperor, 
also had something to do with the movement. The sup- 
port which the government gave to orphans and to needy 
parents was inspired, partly by humane considerations, and 
partly by a desire to keep up the population of Italy. At 


all events, the alimentatio became an important function of 
the government from the time of Trajan. 

383. The Provinces. The military operations of the 
period under consideration fall mainly in the reigns of 
Trajan and M. Aurelius. The former was a soldier by 
nature. The latter had war forced on him. The most 
important accession of territory during the period was 
that of Dacia. The Romans must have chafed under the 
humiliating peace which Domitian had made with the 
Dacians (cf. p. 314), and the existence of a strong power 
across the Danube under an able leader like Decebalus 
certainly threatened Roman territory to tne south. The 
raids of the Dacians gave Trajan a reasonable pretext for 
declaring war against them in the year 101. After two 
campaigns the country was subdued, and in 107 it was 
reduced to the form of a province. Colonies were planted 
in the new territory, the frontier along the Danube was 
strengthened, military roads were built, and Pannonia and 
Moesia were provided with numerous camps and walled 
towns. This whole section was so well protected that for 
sixty years perfect quiet prevailed there. But in the reign 
of M. Aurelius, the Marcomanni, Quadi, and other tribes 
to the north, pushed southward by the pressure of the 
peoples beyond them, crossed the Danube, and even 
entered Italy, carrying back with them on their return thou- 
sands of captives. This incursion came at a most inop- 
portune moment for the Romans. The empire was in 
great financial straits ; a plague had made a serious reduc- 
tion in the population, and many of the troops were 
engaged in the Parthian war. M. Aurelius and his col- 
league, L. Verus, took charge in person of the military 
operations, but it required thirteen years to restore perfect 
order on the Danube. 


I In the East the only permanent acquisition of this period 
was Arabia, which was made a province in 106. Of the 
two provinces which Trajan acquired in his brilliant cam- 
paign against the Parthians in 114-5, Mesopotamia was 
given up by Hadrian, and Armenia was allowed to become 
a suzerain state. 
In no period of imperial history did Roman civiliza- 
tion spread so rapidly and take such deep root as in 
I the second century. The rapidity with which Dacia, for 
instance, adopted Roman ideas is almost incredible. Much 
of this improvement was due to the knowledge and admin- 
istrative skill which Hadrian applied to provincial questions. 
The great civilizing agencies which he used with such effect 
were roads, colonies, public buildings, and the concession 
of Roman or Latin rights. In fact, the whole tendency 
of the period was to place the provinces on the same plane 
as Italy. 

384. Signs of Weakness in the Empire. Signs of 
weakness, however, were visible in the empire, especially 
in Italy. Some of them have already been noticed. The 
loss of political interest and the disappearance of civic life 
in the peninsula, and the unwillingness of the Italians to 
serve in the army are symptoms of decline. An equally 
serious matter was the wretched financial condition of 
Italy during a great part of the period. Both Hadrian 
and M. Aurelius, when they ascended the throne, found 
it necessary to cancel large sums which were due the 
state in the form of taxes. In Hadrian's case the taxes 
which were remitted amounted to the enormous sum of 
900,000,000 sesterces. The large amounts which were 
spent by Trajan and his successors in helping the needy 
also offer a striking proof of the widespread poverty. An 
explanation of the impoverished state of the people may 


be found in a variety of reasons. Perhaps a faulty 
system of taxation and an unfortunate industrial organ- 
ization are partly responsible for it, but the real diffi- 
culty undoubtedly lay in the lack of energy and the 
incapacity of the people themselves, and in their tendency 
during times of prosperity to assume financial responsi- 
bilities which they could not maintain when unexpected 
demands were made on their resources. The first factor 
we have already had occasion to notice. The emperor 
Hadrian was largely responsible for the second evil. Under 
his encouragement, and following his example, the small 
towns all through Italy and the provinces during the 
period of peace, which lasted through his reign and that 
of his successor, erected costly baths, theatres, and other 
public buildings and works, whose construction exhausted 
their resources at the time, and whose maintenance became 
an intolerable burden, when supplemented by the financial 
demands made by the wars of the next two reigns. A 
clear indication of the way in which things were going 
is furnished by the debasement of the coinage under 
M. Aurelius. Thus, at the moment when Rome needed 
all of her resources to stem the tide of invasion, the state 
was almost bankrupt. The condition of affairs outside the 
empire also grew more and more threatening as the period 
drew to a close. The peoples from the north were press- 
ing down toward Italy, and the pressure was so strong 
that many barbarian communities were allowed to settle in 
Roman territory, even in the peninsula itself. Yet the 
Roman army was not in a good condition to withstand this 
pressure, because Antoninus Pius and M. Aurelius, during 
the early part of his reign at least, gave little attention to 
its needs, and the questionable policy was adopted of filling 
its ranks with the newly conquered barbarians. 


385. The Drift toward Monarchy. The formal courtesy 
with which almost all the emperors of this period treated 
the senate tends to conceal the fact that the theory of the 

int control of the state had almost entirely lost its mean- 

ig. The contempt which Commodus showed for the sen- 
ate, however, brought out clearly the true state of affairs. 
It showed plainly that the independent cooperation of the 

nate with the emperor was a fiction, which could take on 
the semblance of reality only under emperors like Anto- 
ninus Pius or M. Aurelius. The whole drift of the period 
was toward the elimination of the senate from the control 
of affairs. Neither in the choice of an emperor, nor in the 
management of affairs after he had ascended the throne, 
could it play an effective part. The theory of the suc- 
cession rested on two irreconcilable things heredity, or 
adoption, and the free choice of the senate. These two 
methods of selecting an emperor could not be followed at 
the same time. As a consequence, the weaker power, the 
senate, yielded, and accepted the candidate thrust on it. 
As for the control of the state during the reign of an 
emperor, Hadrian's bureaucratic system made such thor- 
ough and systematic provision for the administration of 
affairs that little or no place was left for the senate or for 
the old republican magistracies. 


Scriptores Historiae Augustae ; Marius Maximus ; Eutropius ; 
Orosius ; Herodianus ; Sextus Aurelius Victor. 

Reforms of Nerva : Dio, LXVIII. 2. Indigent children succored : 
Aur. Victor, Ep. 12; Plin. Panegyr. 28. Election of magistrates 
in senate made secret (100) : Plin. Ep. III. 20. The capital of 
Dacia taken by Trajan (102): Dio, LXVIII. 9. Second Dacian 
campaign (105-7): Dio, LXVIII. i o ff. Parthian war (114-117): 


Dio, LXVIII. 17-33; Eutr. VIII. 3. Accession of Hadrian: Dio, 
LXIX. i; Eutr. VIII. 6; Ael. Spart. vita Hadr. 4. Territorial 
acquisitions of Trajan given up: Eutr. VIII. 6; vita Hadr. 5; Tac. 
Ann. II. 61. Hadrian's travels: vita Hadr. 11-14; Dio, LXIX. 
9-11. His severity: vita Hadr. 22-3. Antoninus Pius adopted: 
lul. Capit. vita Pit, 4. Antoninus adopts M. Aurelius and 
L. Verus : ibid. 4. Faustina called Augusta: ibid. 5. Parthian 
war (162-6) : lul. Capit. Verus Imp. 7. War against Marcomanni, 
etc. (167-180): Dio, LXXI. 3; ibid. 7-21; lul. Capit. Ant. Phil. 
12-17 > 21-7. Reign of Commodus : Dio, LXXII ; Herod. I ; Lam- 
prid. vita Comm. Pertinax : Dio, LXXIII. i-io; Herod. II. 1-5; 
lul. Capit. vita Pert. Didius Julianus : Dio, LXXIII. 11-17; 
Herod. II. 6-12; Ael. Spart. vita lul. Septimius Severus : Dio, 
LXXIV-LXXVI; Herod. II. I3-III; Ael. Spart. vita Sev. 


M. Pelisson, Rome sous Trajan. Paris, 1886. 

De la Berge, Essai sur le regne de Trajan. Paris, 1877. 

H. F. Hitzig, Die Stellung Kaiser Hadrians in der romischen 
Rechtsgeschichte. Zurich, 1892. 

Ferd. v. Gregorovius, Der Kaiser Hadrian. 3te Aufl. Stuttgart, 1884. 

Julius Diirr, Die Reisen des Kaisers Hadrian. Wien, 1881. 

Biidinger, Untersuchungen zur romischen Kaisergeschichte. Leip- 
zig, 1868. 

E. C. Bryant, The Reign of Antoninus Pius. (Cambridge Historical 
Essays, VIII.) 

G. Lacour-Gayet, Antonin le Pieux et son temps (Diss.). Paris, 1888. 

W. W. Capes, The Age of the Antonines. London, 1876. 

G. Hassebrauk, Kaiser Septimius Severus. Holzminden, 1890-91. 

A. Wirth, Quaestiones Severianae. Leipzig, 1888. 

A. v. Brinz, Alimentenstiftungen der rom. Kaiser (Sitzungsber. 
d. k. bayr. Akad. d. Wiss., 1887, Hist. Klasse, pp. 209 ff.). 

1 See also pp. 288 and 304. 



386. The Third Century. During the century which 
elapsed between the accession of Septimius Severus and 
the transformation of the government into a monarchy by 
Diocletian, there was no continuous forward movement in 
constitutional development, and no new political institu- 
tions of great importance were created, so that the con- 
dition of the empire may be described very briefly. 

387. The Emperor and the Senate. The history of the 
period brings out clearly the fact that the position of the 
senate was what the emperor chose to make it. It is true 
that, during the reigns of Severus Alexander, Pupienus and 
Balbinus,/racitus, and Probus, the prestige of the senate 
recalled the palmy days of that body under the republic, 
and at times during these periods it showed some of its 
former dignity and administrative capacity. The motives 
which led these emperors to grant to it some of its tradi- 
tional powers were various. Thus, for instance, it was 
apparently the conservative policy of his mother, Julia 
Mamaea, and of Ulpian, his chief adviser, strengthened 
by a feeling that the influence of the senate might be used 
to offset that of the praetorian guard, which led Severus 
Alexander to delegate real power to that body. Pupienus 
and Balbinus and Tacitus were ex-consuls, who represented 
the free choice of the senate, and the consideration which 
they showed for that body was a natural result of the 



gratitude which they felt for their advancement. The case 
of Probus is different still. Under no emperor of the third 
century did the senate exercise so much real power as it 
did under him. The administration of civil affairs was 
left almost entirely to it. This arrangement, however, 
was not due to his respect for republican or Augustan 
tradition, but rather to the fact that he was a soldier, and 
was engaged in campaigns against the barbarians during 
his entire reign, and had no time to give to civil affairs. 
These apparent exceptions, therefore, merely confirm the 
truth of the statement that, during the third century, 
the emperor was master of the Roman world, and that the 
senate exercised only such powers as he chose to delegate to 
it. This fact comes out clearly enough, if we examine the 
policy of the better emperors, like Septimius Severus or 
Aurelian, or of the worse ones, like Caracalla and Gallienus, 
under all of whom the senate failed to secure any recogni- 
tion of its authority. 

388. The Army as a Political Factor. The real powers 
which made and unmade most of the emperors of this 
period, and largely influenced their policy, were the army 
and the praetorian guard, so that the condition of things 
during the three months' reign of Didius Julianus, when, 
besides the recognized emperor at Rome, there were 
claimants to the throne in Pannonia, Britain, and Syria, is 
a fair illustration of the course of events from the death of 
Septimius Severus in 211 to the accession of Diocletian 
in 284. During this period of seventy-three years there 
were twenty-three different emperors, almost all of whom 
owed their elevation to the throne to the force of arms, 
and kept their position only so long as they kept the favor 
of their armed supporters, or prevented some military rival 
from acquiring too much power. 


389. Administrative and Constitutional Changes. Per- 
haps the most important administrative or constitutional 
changes of the third century were the transformation 
which the functions of the prefect of the praetorian guard 
underwent, the development of the consilium, and the 
separation of the civil and military administrations. The 
judicial consilium, which had been organized on a perma- 
nent basis by Hadrian (p. 318), became the most im- 
portant civil and criminal court of the period. The 
emperor presided in person and associated with him his 
most eminent jurists. The members of this court even 
accompanied him when he left the city. The most influ- 
ential member of it was the praefectus praetorio. The fact 
that the prefect of the praetorian guard held this impor- 
tant judicial position is indicative of a great change in his 
functions. Under the early empire the office was a purely 
military position. Even in the first century, however, as we 
noticed in the case of Burrus, the influence of this prefect, 
as commander of the strongest military force in the city, led 
the emperor to consult him in judicial and administrative 
affairs. It was natural for Hadrian, therefore, in organizing 
his eonsiUuni) to give the foremost position in it to the 
prefect, and for Severus Alexander to make the same 
official his minister also. Henceforth military experience 
was not so important a prerequisite for the prefect of the 
guard as administrative ability and knowledge of the law. 
The military duties of the position were largely delegated 
to subordinate officials. This change is in harmony with 
the tendency, which is noticeable under Severus Alexander 
and Gallienus especially, to separate the civil and military 
administrations in the provinces where large armies were 
required. The last-mentioned change is an anticipation 
of one of the reforms of Diocletian. 


390. The Incursions of the Barbarians during the Reign 
of Gallienus. During the century which we are consider- 
ing, the provinces were thrown into confusion by the 
incursions of the barbarians, and by the appearance of 
usurpers, who maintained for a longer or shorter time their 
sovereignty over one part or another of the empire. It 
is unnecessary for our purpose to follow the fortunes of 
these tyrants, or even of the emperors at Rome, through 
the century. The reign of Gallienus from 260 to 268 
is in some respects typical, and a sketch of it will give 
one a clear, though perhaps an exaggerated, picture of 
the state of affairs during the entire period which is under 

In these eight years no part of the Roman world, with the 
possible exception of Africa and the islands, escaped the dev- 
astating raids of the barbarians. In the East the Persians 
had made a prisoner of Valerian, the father of Gallienus, and 
his former colleague, and had overrun the province of Syria. 
On the Danube the Goths entered Roman territory from 
the north by land, and supplemented their land campaign 
by an attack from the sea on the east, ultimately pushing 
down as far as Achaea, and plundered Corinth and Athens. 
In the North the Alemanni broke through the barriers 
along the Rhine, and penetrated as far as Ravenna with- 
out meeting serious opposition. The Franks entered Gaul, 
pressed down into Spain, and even made their way across 
the Mediterranean to Africa. These incursions were essen- 
tially marauding expeditions, and when the lust for booty 
had been satisfied, the barbarians usually withdrew as 
speedily as they had come. No serious loss of territory, 
therefore, resulted from them, but cities were destroyed, 
the country was laid waste, and commerce in many cases 
was ruined. The result was that the resources of the 


people, already scarcely sufficient to support the burden 
of taxation laid upon them, were still further impaired. 

391. Usurpers during the Reign of Gallienus. The 
appearance of usurpers both in the East and the West 
during the reign of Gallienus, and the recognition of their 
authority for a term of years over a well-defined territory, 
seemed to portend the speedy dismemberment of the 
empire. These nationalist movements, if we may so term 
them, were a very natural result of the existing situation. 
In their origin and character they were not unlike the suc- 
cessful attempt which Sertorius made in the first century 
B.C. to set up an independent government in Spain. The 
interests of the people within a given province or group 
of provinces were the same ; their foes were the same, 
viz., the barbarians along their frontiers, and, since the 
central government could not protect them effectually, 
they felt it necessary to organize for their own defense^* 
The provincials and soldiers, too, looked to the governors 
of the respective provinces for leadership. The sense of 
loyalty toward the emperor, far off in Rome, was seriously 
impaired. It was a very easy thing, therefore, for ambi- 
tious generals to usurp powers and titles which did not 
legitimately belong to them. 

The most notable cases of the sort are those of Postumus 
in Gaul and Odaenathus in Palmyra. Postumus, after driv- [ 
ing back the Franks, was saluted as emperor by his troops ; 
but instead of marching against Rome, as other aspirants 
for imperial honors had done, he set up an independent 
government in Gaul, established a court, appointed his own 
generals, and took the titles of consul and pontifex maxi- 
mus, like the emperors at Rome. He maintained his 
position from 258 to 268,"and Tetricus, the governor of 
Aquitania, who succeeded" him after a brief interval of 


confusion, seems to have added Spain to his empire. The 
vigorous measures of Aurelian, however, and the mutinous 
conduct of his own troops, forced him to resign his authority 
to the central government in the year 273. 

Postumus and Tetricus were never formally recognized 
by Gallienus, but this cannot be said of Odaenathus in the 
East. The entire charge of Asia, with the power to appoint 
governors and generals, was given to him, and the titles of 
king and queen of Palmyra, which he and his widow 
Zenobia respectively took, do not seem to have been dis- 
puted in Rome. Odaenathus had recognized the authority 
of Gallienus, but Zenobia threw off Roman authority and 
invaded and subdued Egypt in 269. She took the title of 
Augusta, and her son that of Augustus. Her triumph, how- 
ever, was of short duration. Her troops were driven out of 
Egypt by Probus, the future emperor, in 271, and the city 
of Palmyra was taken in the following year. 

392. The Restoration of Order. The weakness of the 
central government and the state of confusion in the 
empire were at their worst during the reign of Gallienus. 
With the accession of Claudius in 268 an improvement set 
in. Although the raids of the barbarians continued inter- 
mittently for many years, they were more quickly checked 
than they had been before, so that when Diocletian ascended 
the throne in 284, the continuance of the empire and its 
unity were assured, at least for a time. The province of 
Dacia, however, was given up, and the Rhine and the 
Danube were henceforth taken as the limits of the empire 
to the north. 

393. The System of Diocletian. With the accession of 
Diocletian in 284 a new epoch begins. He frankly broke 
away from republican tradition; substituted a monarchy for 
the nominal dyarchy of the thretf preceding centuries, and 


reorganized completely the civil and military administrative 
systems of the empire.j 

394. The August!. His scheme of government involved 
the appointment of two emperors who bore the title of 
Augusti. The republican principle of collegiality was fully 
recognized in the relations which they bore to each other. 
All laws and edicts were issued in the name of both, and 
all appointments to office were thought of as coming from 
them conjointly. In point of fact, however, Diocletian 
made Nicomedia his capital, or rather his headquarters, 
and confined his attention to the East, while his colleague, 
Maximian^ruled^in^ the West, with Milan for his seat 
of government. This arrangement, therefore, involved 
a virtual division of the empire, although its unity was 
assumed in styling the territory of Diocletian partes Orientis, 
and that of Maximian partes Occidentis. Under the old 
regime the princeps exercised the right to issue edicts 
whose binding force was recognized during his reign, just 
as the proclamations of a republican magistrate were valid 
during his term of office. The theory of the monarchy 
was essentially different. The formally expressed will of the 
Augusti became the law of the land, and, like the actions 
of the senate and popular assemblies in the earlier period, 
continued in force unless it was annulled by a later emperor. 
The logical corollary of this principle was also unhesitatingly 
accepted, that the emperor could not be legally controlled 
or restrained by the action of any magistrate or legislative 
body. The exalted position of the Augusti was indicated 
to the eye by their imperial robes trimmed with precious 
stones, by the imperial diadem, and by the elaborate cere- 
monial required of all who approached them. Under the 
influence of the Oriental environment, within which the 
seat of Diocletian's government lay, the emperor was looked 


upon as more than mortal, and received during his lifetime 
many of the honors paid to the gods. 

395. The Caesares. Nine years after the accession 
of Diocletian he and his colleague, Maximian, chose two 
Caesares, who stood just below the Augusti in point of 
dignity. Their position was, however, a dependent one. 
They had no authority except that which was conferred on 
them by the Augusti. The fact that they received a fixed 
salary indicates clearly enough that their powers were dele- 

V^galed to them. These powers consisted mainly in the right 
to hear appeals, and to exercise a general supervision over 
the governors whose provinces lay within their jurisdiction. 
After the appointment of the two Caesars, the Roman world 
was divided between them and the Augusti on the following 
basis : Diocletian took Thrace, Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor, 
and assigned to Galerius, the Caesar whom he had person- 
ally nominated, the Danubian provinces, lllyricum, Greece, 
and Crete, while Maximian governed Italy and Africa, 
assigning Gaul, Spain, and Britain to Constantius. 

The main purpose of the institution of the Caesars was 
to provide for the succession, and it was a part of Diocle- 
tian's plan that, when one of the Augusti died or resigned, 
his position should be filled at once by the advancement of 
one of the Caesars, who, at the time of their elevation to 
office, were adopted by the Augusti. In fact, Diocletian 
intended to have the Augusti resign in favor of the Caesares 
after a specified time, whereupon the latter were expected 
to adopt two new Caesares. 

396. The Senate. When Rome ceased to be the seat 
of the central government, the Roman senate lost its 
character as an imperial body. It became essentially an 
organization with local powers. This state of things was 
bluntly recognized by Constantine when he established a 


senate with like functions at Constantinople. Further- 
more, Diocletian did not ask the senate to confirm his 
imperial powers, nor to approve his action in making Max- 
imian his colleague. Now from the earliest times the senate 
had maintained that the control of the state returned to it 
whenever the chief-magistracy became vacant, and even 
under the empire the choice of an emperor needed the 
confirmation of the senate to be constitutional. Diocle- 
tian's neglect to secure its approval was, therefore, in 
violation of the theory that the senate was the ultimate 
depositary of supreme power (cf. pp. 13 f.), or that it repre- 
sented the continuity of the government. It, of course, lost 
its power to legislate for the empire, and, since under the 
new bureaucratic system the old magistracies had been 
robbed of almost all their functions, its electoral rights had 
little meaning. Its duties consisted mainly in electing the 
consules suffecti, the praetors, and the quaestors, in legislat- 
ing with reference to the public games and matters affect- 
ing the senatorial order, and in sitting as a court on cases, 
especially those of treason, referred to it by the emperor. 

397. The Republican Magistracies. Under the later 
empire the old magistrates had become in reality muni- 
cipal officials. Their true political position was recognized 
openly in Diocletian's constitution. The consul had no 
other duty of importance than to preside at the meetings 
of the senate ; the functions of the praetor and quaes- 
tor were confined to the superintendence of the public 
games, except that certain praetors exercised limited judi- 
cial powers. The other magistracies disappeared. The 
consules ordinarii, whose term of office expired April 21, 
were appointed by the emperor, while the consules suffecti, 
the praetors, and the quaestors were chosen by the senate, 
subject to the approval of the emperor. 


398. The Administrative System. The system of Dio- 
cletian, as elaborated by Constantine, was based upon a 
complete separation of the civil and military administra- 
tions and a carefully graded hierarchy of officials in each. 
At the head of the civil administration were the four 
praefectipraetorio, one of whom resided at Constantinople, 
the second at Sirmium, the third at Milan, and the fourth 
at Treves. They were styled, respectively, praefectus prae- 
torio Orientis, Illyrici, Italiae, and Galliarum. The civil 
governors of Rome and Constantinople were outside the gen- 
eral scheme, inasmuch as they were directly responsible to 
the emperor and not to the praefecti within whose jurisdic- 
tion the cities in question lay. The powers of the praefectus 
praetor io were varied and far-reaching. It was his privilege 
to nominate the provincial governors to the emperor, to 
supervise their conduct, and to suspend them from office, if 
he thought it best to do so. He had the right to interpret 
the law and to hear cases of appeal, and after 331 his judg- 
ment was accepted as final. In particular he had complete 
control of imperial finances within the territory assigned to 
him. Up to the reign of Constantine he exercised certain 
military functions, but from that time on these functions 
were lost altogether. The prefects had such extensive 
powers that, as a rule, they were allowed to hold office for 
a short time only. 

The prefectures were divided into dioceses, and these 
again into provinces. In the fifth century there were 
twelve dioceses, and some of them were made up of as 
many as seventeen provinces, so that the unit of govern- 
ment became a very small one. The governor of a diocese, 
who bore the title of vicarius, and was named directly by 
the emperor, exercised with the prefect a general supervi- 
sion over the governors of the provinces and the financial 


officers of his district. The governor of a province 
(praeses, consularis, or corrector), like his superiors, the 
vicarius and the praefectus praetorio, had charge of civil 
administration only. At the head of the military admin- 
istration there were from five to ten officials who bore such 
titles as magistri militum per Orientem and per Illyricum, 
and under them came the territorial commanders, who 
were styled duces or comites. The ducatus, or unit of 
military administration, did not in all cases correspond 
exactly with the provincia. 

399. The Relation between the Old and the New. In 
discussing the history of the empire the gradual drift 
toward monarchy has been mentioned (cf. pp. 310 f., 
327). In the first 150 years of our era the movement is 
especially noticeable under Domitian and Hadrian. Per- 
haps the most important changes which prepared the way \J/ 
for the reforms of Diocletian were the exercise of the cen-^/ 
sorial power by Domitian (cf. p. 310), the establishment 
of a bureaucratic system of government by Hadrian (cf. ^ 
p. 318), and the gradual separation of the civil and mili- 
tary administrations. These are not, however, the only"" 
distinctive features of the new system which are to be found 
in the old one. In fact, almost all the important institu- 
tions of Diocletian's government existed in an undeveloped 
or in a fully developed form in the empire of the third cen- 
tury. The principle of collegiality, carrying along with it 
the practical division of the empire between two rulers, was 
tried during the reign of M. Aurelius (cf. pp. 319 f.). The 
practice of conferring the title of Caesar on the intended 
successor to the throne goes back to the reign of Hadrian, 
although it is true that under the empire a Caesar needed 
the confirmation of the senate. The process of reducing 
Italy to a level with the provinces, which became an 


accomplished fact under the new regime and was an essen- 
tial part of Diocletian's system, had been going on for cen- 
turies. The division of the larger provinces into smaller 
units of government, which is a noticeable feature of Dio- 
cletian's system, was carried out in many cases as early as 
the time of Domitian, and many of the honorary titles and 
insignia of office which Diocletian and his successors took 
go back to the reigns of Domitian or Aurelian. 

It is clear, therefore, that many of the features of his 
system are to be found in the empire, so that, aside from 
reorganizing the administration, the most important changes 
which Diocletian effected consisted in breaking away from 
the theory of the dyarchy, in securing formal recognition 
thereby of the fact that the emperor was the sole source of 
authority, and in putting the succession on a new basis. 


All freemen become citizens (212) : Dio, LXXVII. 9. Diocletian : 
Eutr. IX. 19-28 ; Aur. Viet. Caes. 39 ; Lactant. de Mort. Pers. 7 ff. ; 
Zonaras, XII. 31-2 ; Orosius, VII. 25. 


Th. Preuss, Kaiser Diocletian. Leipzig, 1868. 

Budinger, Untersuchungen, etc. 

A. W. Hunzinger, Die diocletianische Staats-Reform. Rostock, 


Karlowa, Romische Rechtsgeschichte, Vol. I. Leipzig, 1885. 
Walter, Geschichte d. romischen Rechts, Vol. I. Bonn, 1845. 

1 See also pp. 288 and 304. 



(a) The Succession; conferring Imperial Powers, Titles, 
Insignia; Term of Office 

400. Eligibility and the Succession. In the case of 
the emperor there were no specified general conditions 
governing eligibility, as there were for the higher republican 
magistracies, but the principle was tacitly recognized that 
an emperor must be a patrician and a senator, and the 
successful candidates for the imperial purple, who did not 

satisfy these two traditional requirements, were made patri- Spart. Did 
cians or senators, as the case might be, at the time of their jJacr'; 
election. The senate was theoretically the ultimate source 
of authority in the state, so that, on the death of an 
emperor, the selection of his successor rested with it. 
However, most of the emperors indicated their choice for 
the succession by making certain persons heirs to their 
private fortunes, and by conferring on the chosen candi- 
dates the proconsular imperium and the tribunician power, 
and the nomination thus indirectly made by the emperor 
was invariably ratified by the senate. From the time of 
Hadrian the title of Caesar was given to the person Capit. Ver. 
designated by an emperor as his successor. v 

401. Method of granting Imperial Powers. The essen- 
tial acts in conferring the imperial power were the passage 




Append. I. 
no. 10 ; 
Tac. Hist. i. 
47 ; Henz. 
Act. Fr. Arv. 
pp. 65 ff. 

Tac. Hist, 
i. 47 ; Suet. 
Aug. 7. 

of the lex de imperio and of the lex de tribunicia potestate. 
These measures were the joint action of the senate and the 
popular assembly. The cooperation of the popular assem- 
bly, however, was from the outset a mere matter of form. 
402. Imperial Titles. At the election of an emperor, 
or shortly after his accession, various titles were conferred 
upon him, some of which were purely honorary, while others 
implied the grant of new powers. An inscription from the 
early part of the reign of Augustus (C. I. L. III. 6070), and 
another from the reign of Hadrian (C. I. L. VI. 967), may 
illustrate the names and titles of the emperors during the 
two periods in question. The first one reads Imperator 
Caesar Divi Eilius Augustus Consul XII Tribunicia Potes- 
tate XVIII Pontifex Maximus. In the other Hadrian is 
styled Imperator Caesar Divi Traiani Parthici Filius 
Divi Nervae Nepos Traianus Hadrianus Augustus Pon- 
tifex Maximus Tribunicia Potestate II Consul II. With 
few exceptions, the emperors, at the time of their election, 
substituted the title Imperator for their former praenomina. 
The same word also appears again, in many cases as an 
honorary title, in the latter part of the name. Caesar was 
the cognomen of the Julian house, and was transferred to 
the members of the Claudian family. From the time of 
Hadrian its use was restricted to the emperor and his candi- 
date for the succession. In the first century it stood after 
the praenomen or the nomen; but later it was usually 
placed between Imperator and the praenomen or nomen. 
After the indication of descent from the emperor's prede- 
cessor or predecessors, and the nomina or cognomina, came 
the title Augustus. This title was granted to Octavius in 
27 B.C. (cf. p. 269), and was conferred by the senate on 
all his successors when they ascended the throne. The 
position of pontifex maximus was held by all the emperors, 


as well as membership in the colleges of the augurs, the 
epulones, and the quindecemvirs. The tribunician power was 
granted for life, but it was renewed from year to year. It St. R. n. 
is, therefore, the surest indication in any document con- 795 ' n< 
taining the emperor's name of the year to which the 
document belongs. The consulship was held from time to 
time by the emperor, at least for a part of the year, and 
during these periods consul appears among his titles, with 
an indication of the number of times he has taken the 
office. After Trajan's reign the title proconsul was assumed St. R. n. 
outside of Italy, while, from the time of Septimius Severus, 7;8 ' n ' Xt 
it was borne even in Rome. Other titles \i\iepaterpatriae, 
or "epithets of distinction like plus felix, were conferred 
on some of the emperors. Special titles like Parthicus or 
Germanicus were taken after successful campaigns. 

403. Insignia of Office. On formal occasions the emperor 

sat on the subselttum of the tribunes, or on a curule chair Dio, 50. 2 ; 
between the consuls. His robe of office in Italy was the ciaud. 23. 17 
toga praetexta ; outside of Italy the paludamentum. From Lampr. He- 
the time of Septimius Severus the latter was worn even in 
Italy. Up to Domitian's reign the emperor was attended 
by twelve lictors ; later by twenty-four. 

404. Induction into Office. When the emperor ascended 
the throne, a sacrifice was made on the Capitol, and on the 

first of January of each year the senate, the magistrates, Tac. Ann. 
and the soldiers took the oath of allegiance. Augustus \ ^ 
accepted his extraordinary powers for a limited period, 
but his successors held theirs without such limitation. suet. Tib. 24, 

405. The Memory of a Dead Emperor. The office became 
vacant when the emperor died a natural death, or resigned, 
or was overthrown. In the last instance an act was usually 
passed, known as the damnatio memoriae, or a declaration 
was made by the newly chosen emperor, in accordance 


with which the wearing of mourning garments was for- 
bidden, the statues of the deceased were destroyed, his 
Suet. Claud, name was erased from public monuments, and his acta 
60/4. 10 were annulled. In case the judgment of the senate on a 

dead emperor was favorable, he received the title of divus 
and a flamen was appointed in his honor. 

(b) The Powers of the Emperor 

406. Legal Basis of the Emperor's Power. The powers 
of the emperor, so far as they had a purely legal basis, rested 
on the imperium and the tribunicia potestas. After the 
year 23 B.C. Augustus ceased to hold the consulship regu- 
larly, and the imperium which he exercised he held pro con- 
sule. By special enactments, however, he was allowed to 
retain this imperium within the city, and to rank with the 
consul in the exercise of its powers. The measures which 
thus interpreted and extended the imperium of the prin- 
ceps and freed him from certain restrictions ordinarily put 
on magistrates, were reenacted at the beginning of each 
reign, and have come down to us in a fragmentary form in 
the celebrated lex de imperio Vespasiani. To facilitate a 
comparison of the position of the emperor with that of the 
republican chief-magistrate, it will be convenient to restate 
here the powers covered by the imperium under the repub- 
lic, and to discuss the several functions of the emperor in 
the same order in which the similar powers of the republican 
magistrate were taken up (cf. pp. 157 fL). The imperium 
under the republic covered the right to supervise certain 
matters of a politico-religious character, to represent the 
state in its dealings with individuals and with other commu- 
nities, to command the army and navy, to punish, to exer- 
cise civil and criminal jurisdiction, to issue proclamations 


or edicts, to call and preside over the senate and the 
popular assemblies, and to supervise certain administrative 

407. Authority in Politico-Religious Matters. The em- 
peror's magisterial right to supervise such religious matters 
as had a political side was strengthened by his election to the 
four great priesthoods and by his elevation to the position 
vipontifex maximus (cf. pp. 342 f.), and was formulated in 
the lex de imperio, which empowered him to do quaecumque 
ex . . . maiestate divinarum . . . rerum esse censebit. By 
virtue of this authority he had the right to name a certain 
number of priests* to control the temples, and to exercise a 
general supervision over religious affairs. 

408. Foreign Affairs. In the management of foreign 
affairs the princeps was supreme. The senate, which under 
the later republic had taken such matters almost entirely 
into its own hands, became purely an advisory body. 
This change was merely a return to the early republican 
theory, under which only the people or their authorized 
representative, the magistrate, could carry on negotiations 
with a foreign power. The senate had usurped the func- 
tions which it exercised in such matters. The powers of 
the republican magistrate in this field were, however, lim- 
ited by the rights of the popular assembly ; those of the 
princeps were unlimited. This extension of the imperium 
was in all probability granted to him specifically by law. 

He was empowered on his own authority to declare war, Append. I. 
to make peace, or to carry on negotiations with foreign r 
nations. This did not, of course, prevent him from asking 
the senate for advice on such matters, or from compli- 
menting it by allowing it to discuss them occasionally. 

409. Command of the Army and Navy. Closely con- 
nected with the power just mentioned was the right of the 



Dio, 53. 17. 

Tac. Ann. 
2- 43- 

Cic. pro 
Quinct. 29. 

Suet. Claud. 
J 4> 23 ; 
Dio, 71. 6. 

princeps to command the army and navy. He had the 
exclusive right to levy and organize troops, and to direct 
the movements of troops in the imperial provinces, and, 
since the unsettled provinces were made imperial (cf. pp. 
268, 283), practically the entire army and navy of the 
state were under his control. The officers were appointed 
by him; the soldiers took the oath of allegiance to him, 
and were paid by him. The senate retained the power to 
grant a triumph, or the ornamenta triumphalia. Even in 
the senatorial provinces the princeps had the mains impe- 
rium over the proconsuls, and they looked rather to him 
than to the senate for instructions. In this whole matter 
again the princeps resumed the power which the king and 
the chief -magistrate of the early republic had exercised, 
but which the senate, during the period of its ascendency, 
had in large part usurped. 

410. Judicial Powers of the Emperor as an Appellate 
Judge. Perhaps the most important change which the 
empire made in the judicial powers of the executive was 
to introduce the principle of appeal. Under the republic 
this right was unknown. The nearest approach to it lay in 
the veto power which the tribune seems to have exercised 
on rare occasions even in judicial matters. The appellate 
power which the princeps freely used seems to have devel- 
oped out of his magisterial right to exercise jurisdiction and 
his tribunician power. 

411. The Emperor's Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. In this 
way he heard appeals in civil cases from the governors of 
provinces, and from Roman or Italian magistrates. Such 
appeals were sometimes heard by him in person. Some- 
times they were heard before persons delegated by him for 
the purpose ; in certain cases, before the consul or praetor 
at Rome, or the governor in a province. Appeals from the 


decision of a magistrate in the city of Rome were usually 

turned over to the praetor urbanus, or later to the prae- Suet. Aug. 

fectus urbi. Appeals from the provinces were usually taken H } Dl0 ' 52 

before ex-consuls appointed to hear such cases, but later 

they came to the praefectus praetorio. A final appeal to 

the emperor from the decision of his representative was 

not forbidden, but in all probability was rarely taken. Dio, 52. 33. 

Appeals were ordinarily not allowed in jury trials except 

when there was evidence of bribery, or when there was a 

fundamental legal defect in the constitution of the court 

or in the conduct of the suit. The princeps could, of 

course, hear a case in the first instance also. He was Suet. Dom. 8. 

assisted by a consilium of jurists from the equestrian 

and senatorial orders (cf. p. 331). The members of this 

body received salaries ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 

sesterces. The princeps presided ; the consiliarii gave Suet. Aug. 

their opinions in writing, and the princeps rendered his xl'c Ann I5 


412. The Emperor's Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases. The 
most interesting developments in the organization of the 
system of criminal courts were the recognition of the right 
of appeal, the gradual disappearance of the jury system, 
and the assignment of judicial powers to the senate, and to Dio, 52. 31 ; 
the emperor or imperial officials. The first point has been suet/dal. 53. 
discussed in a preceding paragraph. As for the senate, it 
seems to have acquired its judicial functions first in the 
case of senators charged with capital offenses. This was a 
very natural development. It was the aristocratic inter- 
pretation of the principle that a man has a right to be 
tried by his peers. The recognition of the principle was a 
matter of much dispute, however, between the senate and Dio, 67. 2 ; 
various emperors. The senate in criminal trials bore the 74 ' 
same theoretical relation to the presiding consul as a jury to 


the presiding judge, and the consul in conducting a court 
which exercised the right to inflict capital punishment with- 
out appeal was merely calling into existence again a pre- 
rogative which the king and the early consuls had enjoyed 
(p. 1 6). Hence the assumption of criminal jurisdiction in 
capital cases by the consul and senate was merely another 
case of reversion to the early theory of the constitution. 
Inasmuch as cases in which senators were concerned often 
involved men belonging to other classes, especially if the 
offense in question was political, the criminal jurisdiction 
of the senate was exercised over a greater number of per- 
sons than would appear at first thought. The consul 
presided, but of course the emperor exercised a controlling 
influence. The senate seems to have lost its judicial powers 
in the third or fourth century. From that time charges 
against senators were heard before the praefectus urbi, the 
praefectus praetorio, or the provincial governors. 

The emperor himself heard only cases in which the per- 
sons concerned were prominent, or the matter at issue was 
important. The decision rested with him alone, but he 
consulted his consiliarii. Gradually the practice grew up 
of conferring on imperial officials the same right to exercise 
criminal jurisdiction which the emperor himself enjoyed. 
In this way persons charged with the commission of crimes 
in Rome or its vicinity were tried before the praefectus 
urbi, or in the case of minor offenses, or those of a special 
character, before the praefectus vigilum or the praefectus 
annonae. The praefectus praetorio heard such cases for 
St. R. II. 270. Italy, and the governors in the provinces exercised the 
same right for the territory under their control. Appeal 
Plin. ad Tra. could be taken, in capital cases at least, to the emperor, but 
St R II ^ e usua ^y delegated the praefectus praetorio to act in his 
97 2 f. stead, from whose decision appeal could indeed be taken, 


t:>ut rarely was taken, to the emperor. Thus the tribunal of 
:he praetorian prefect became the court of last resort. In 
:his way the quaestiones perpetuae were gradually crowded 
out, and disappeared, probably toward the close of the 
second century of our era. The emperor and the imperial 
officials reached their decisions without the help of a jury, 
so that the substitution of the new system for the old 
involved the disappearance of trial by jury. 

413. Edicta, Decreta, Rescripta, etc. The emperor could 
influence legislation directly or indirectly. He seems to 
have had the power, for instance, to grant the rights of 
Roman or of Latin citizenship on his own authority to 
individuals or to communities (cf. pp. 308, 315), but his 
greatest influence over legislation lay in an interpretation 
and amplification of existing law by issuing edicta, decreta, 

I or rescripta, which were not only applicable to the cases 
immediately concerned, but furnished precedents for similar 

cases in the future. The edicta were imperial proclamations Dig. 28. 2. 26; 
addressed to citizens or peregrini, and dealt particularly c. I. L. x. 

with matters affecting the army, the treasury, or the food 1, ' 

supply. The deer eta were judicial decisions of the emperor. 1016; 

The rescripta, of which we hear frequently from the time Eph/Eptgr.' 

of Trajan, were replies made by the emperor to important IV ' 7 ^ 7 ' 

questions submitted to him for decision by imperial officers 781; Plin. ad 

. ,. ., , Tra. 71. 80. 

or private individuals. 

Mandata and epistulae contained official instructions 
from the emperor. To all these classes of official docu- 
ments the generic term constitutiones principis was applied, 
although the same term was used in a more restricted 
sense of documents in which a general legal principle was 
stated. In this way, by interpreting authoritatively exist- 
ing laws, and by supplementing them when necessary, the 
emperors preceding Diocletian, although they did not have 



Tac. Ann. 
2. 50. 

Capit. Macr. 

Tac. Ann. 
ii. 24-5; 
Inscr. de 
Lyon, p. 136. 

the general power to legislate directly, exerted a controlling 
influence on the development of the law. 

414. The lus cum Patribus Agendi. The princeps had 
the right to convoke the senate, to preside over it, to lay 
matters before it for consideration, or to take part in its 
deliberations, when it met under the presidency of another 
magistrate. Even when the princeps did not preside, the 
business brought up by him took precedence of all other 
matters. In the second century of our era, in such cases, 
as many as five propositions could be submitted by him 
before the senate took up other business. Toward the end 
of his reign, when Augustus was unable to attend all the 
meetings of the senate, he sent propositions to it in written 
form. Propositions of this sort, whether presented orally 
or in writing, were out of courtesy adopted without change, 
so that in the course of time these orationcs principis, 
as they were called, were thought of as forming an essen- 
tial part of the law of the empire. When the emperor 
presided over the senate, his practice differed in one impor- 
tant particular from that of the republican presiding officer, 
in that he could propose, and ordinarily did propose, a 
definite motion for adoption, whereas in important matters 
the consul was expected merely to make a statement of the 
business in hand (cf . p. 228); but whether he presided or 
merely exercised the rights of a senator, whether he was 
present or absent, the influence of the princeps controlled 
the decisions of the senate. The authority which Augustus 
received in his later years to establish a political consilium 
has already (p. 277) been mentioned. 

415. The lus cum Populo Agendi. Augustus took into his 
own hands the control of foreign affairs. Tiberius trans- 
ferred the election of magistrates to the senate (p. 291), 
and there was a tendency to submit matters for legislation 


to the same body, so that the meetings of the popular 
assemblies were few in number, and of little importance. 
Thus the emperor's ius cum populo agendi did not amount 
to much. 

416. The Nomination of Magistrates and the Appointment 
of Officials. In this connection it is convenient to mention 
the emperor's practice of passing on the eligibility of candi- 
dates for the magistracies, and of recommending certain 
names to the electors (cf. pp. 275 f.). This privilege of 
nominating candidates was legally recognized by the lex de 
imperio Vespasiani in these words : utique quos tnagistratum Append. I. 
potestatem imperium curationemve cuius rei petentes senatui 
populoque Romano commendaverit, quibusque suffragationem 

suam dederit promiserit, eorum comitis quibusque extra ordi- 
nem ratio habeatur. Under Augustus the recommendation 
was made to the popular assemblies ; under later emperors, 
to the senate. The number of candidates recommended 
under this law seems to have varied from reign to reign, 
according to the degree of respect which the princeps 
showed for the senate. The men thus recommended for 
office were known as candidate Caesar is or Augusti. When 
the princeps himself wished the consulship he could inform 
the senate of that fact. The emperor, of course, had the 
right to appoint imperial officials without even consulting 
the senate. Such officials were, for instance, the various 
procurators in the department of finance, the prefects in 
the city, and the legati in the provinces. 

417. The Finances. Under the republic the effective 
control of the finances rested with the senate. In the 
early period that body exercised the right to impose a 
tributum or special taxes on citizens. It fixed the contri- Liv. 23. 31. i; 
butions to be made by the provinces, and although the 24 ' T 
control of the ager publicus was often a matter of dispute 


between the senate and the popular assemblies, the former, 
during the period of its ascendency, legislated with reference 
to its rental or sale, as the case might be. In the matter 
of expenditure it adopted a budget every five years 
covering the amount to be expended by the censor on 
public works, and annual appropriations were made by it 
Cic. in Pis. 5 ; for the provinces. 

418. Division of the Treasury. Under the dyarchy these 
functions were divided between the princeps and the senate. 
This fact was recognized by the organization of three sep- 
arate treasuries, known as the aerarium Saturni, ihejisfus 
Caesaris, and the aerarium militare. 

419. The Aerarium Saturni. The control of the funds 
in the aerarium Saturni rested with the senate, but when 

Tac. Ann. in the year 44 Claudius took from that body the right to 
dlaud.' 24!^ appoint the officials in charge of this treasury, its authority 
Dio, 71. 33. in the matter became purely nominal. An appropriation 
bill was necessary before money could be paid out, but the 
passage of such a measure was merely a matter of form. 
Little by little the revenues paid into the aerarium Saturni 
were diverted to the fiscus, and although the distinction 
between these two departments was kept up until the reign 
of Diocletian, the funds in the former grew smaller steadily, 
and in the third century it became simply a municipal 
treasury. After 44 the administrative officers in charge of 
it were regularly appointed by the emperor. 

420. The Fiscus Caesaris. The revenues of the fiscus 
Caesaris came mainly from the rental or sale of the ager 

Dio, 52. 28 ; publicus in the provinces, from mines, from the vectigalia 

Madv. II. ,. 'iii- i i 

43I ff. or stipenata paid by the imperial provinces and in some 

Dio, 53. 15; measure by the senatorial provinces, from legacies left to 

66 " Don? 9. the emperor, from the aurum coronarium, and from customs 

duties and other indirect taxes. The funds in the fiscus 


were used to support the army and navy, to meet the 
expenses of provincial administration, to build roads and 
maintain a post system, to cover the expenditure of the 
emperor for charitable purposes, and to provide the city 
of Rome with grain and water. 

421. The Emperor's Private Fortune. Out of the pri- 
vate fortune of the emperor his personal expenses and the 
outlay necessary in maintaining the imperial household were 
probably met, although a careful distinction does not seem 
to have been made between the res privata and they?.$mr. 

422. The Aerarium Militare. The aerarium militare 

was established by Augustus in A.D. 6. It continued in Suet. Aug. 
existence up to the third century of our era. He assigned A^'cyr. ^ 36 f. 
to it a large sum from his private fortune, and gave it a 
permanent income from the tax on inheritances (yicesima 
hereditatium et legatorum) and on auction sales (centesima 
rerum venalium}. Its funds were not expected to cover 
the main expenses for military purposes, but were used 
especially to provide for the veterans. 

423. Taxation and Adjudication. It is doubtful if the 
princeps had the right to impose new taxes. He could, 
however, rate the property of citizens, and in the later 

period at least he could raise or lower the rate of taxation. Suet.Dom.g; 
In the collection of taxes the contract system was gradually 
given up. In some cases collections were made by sub- 
ordinate officials attached to the office of the procurators ; 
in other cases, where communities were required to pay a 
fixed sum, the local officials made their payments directly 
into the treasury. Similarly, the construction of public 
works was no longer let out by private contract. Ques- 
tions arising between the aerarium Saturni and citizens 
were heard by the officials in charge of the aerarium, with 
the right of appeal to the senate. Matters at issue between 


the fiscus and individuals, after some variation in the 
method of procedure, were also adjudicated by the treasury 

424. Coinage. Under the republic the senate had the 
entire control of the coinage of money. By legislation of 
the year 15 B.C., however, the minting of gold and silver 
coins was intrusted to the emperor ; that of copper coins 
was retained by the senate. 

425. The Censorial Power and Adlectio. Much of the 
financial business of which the emperor took charge, such 
as the collection of the taxes and the construction of public 
works, had been managed in the earlier period by the cen- 
sor. Another function also of the censor, that of drawing 
up the list of senators, was exercised by many of the 
emperors. In the first century Augustus, Claudius, Vespa- 
sian, and Domitian held the censorship, the latter taking 
it for life. By virtue of this office they not only drew up 
a formal list of senators, but men who had held no magis- 
tracy they advanced to senatorial rank by the adlectio 

C I L v inter quaestorios or inter tribunirios, inter praetorios, inter 

1812; consulares, as the case might be. By a somewhat similar 

vi. 1359. exercise of power senators of quaestorian rank were pro- 

C. I. L. vin. moted inter tribunicios. and so on. The earlier emperors 

7062 ; 

Tac. Ann. who took the censorial power, and after Domitian all the 
Ta? Ann emperors, exercised the right of removing members from 
ii. 25. the senate. 

426. The Government of Rome. The management of the 
city of Rome passed over in time entirely into the hands 
of the emperor. The principal branches of the municipal 
government were the police and fire departments, the 
cura annonae, and the bureaus which had charge of the 
aqueducts, of the construction of public buildings, and of 
the banks of the Tiber and the city sewers. Augustus, 


early in his reign, took to himself the right to maintain 
public order in Rome, the cura urbis, and delegated this 
power to his representative, the praefectus urbi, during his Tac. Ann. 
absence from the city. The organization of \hzpraefectura tuet.'Aug. 37. 
vigilum, to put 'out fires and protect the city at night, 010,55.26; 
was effected in A.D. 6. A famine in 22 B.C. led the same D ^ ' u ^' 3 ' 
emperor to make extraordinary arrangements for keeping Tac - Ann - 
Rome supplied with grain, but he did not organize an 
imperial bureau to take charge of the grain supply until late 
in his reign. Augustus took the cura aquarum in 1 1 B.C., Frontin. de 
and at about the same time the cura operum tuendorum. Aq ' " ff ' 
In the first year of his reign Tiberius assigned the duty of 
protecting the city against , inundations to commissioners, 010,57.14; 
who after Trajan took charge of the sewers also, and were x ^ 
known as curatores alvei et riparum Tiberis et cloacarum C. I. L. V. 
urbis. The details of the organization of these bureaus will ii. 1*242. 
be considered in another connection. Only the emperor, 
from the time of Claudius, had the right to extend the 

427. The Government of Italy. The process of reduc- 
ing Italy to the level of the provinces, and of making it, 
like the rest of the empire, subject to the will of the 
emperor, was completed in the third century of our era, 
when a governor called a corrector was placed over it. The 
movement in this direction had been continuous from the 
beginning. Augustus had stationed a fleet at Ravenna, and Suet. Aug. 49. 
another at Misenum, under officers of his own appointment. 
Troops for the maintenance of public order were also Suet. Aug. 

32 ; Tib. 37. 

quartered by him at various convenient points. His com- " 
missioners, the curatores viarum, took charge of the public 
roads. In the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian the adminis- 
trative supervision of the emperor over Italy was extended 
still further by the establishment of the praefecturae 


alimentorum (cf. pp. 323 f.), and by the usurpation, on the 
part of the emperor, of the right to exercise a control over 
the finances of Italian municipalities. The civil jurisdiction 
Spart. Hadr. of the officials in these towns was restricted by Hadrian, 
and in the third century criminal jurisdiction throughout 
Italy was divided between the praefectus praetorio and the 
praefectus urbi (cf. p. 364). 

428. The Government of the Provinces. The ius pro- 
consulare of the emperor made him master of the imperial 
provinces, and the mains imperium gave him control over 
the governors of senatorial provinces. In the imperial 
provinces not only the governors but the officers in com- 
mand of the legions were appointed by him. The close 
surveillance which he exercised over the details of admin- 
istration in his own provinces, and the tendency which 
senatorial governors showed to defer to his judgment and 
wishes and to follow the precedents established by him in 
imperial provinces, have been noted in another connection 
(p. 301). Roman citizens could appeal from the judicial 
decisions of imperial governors in criminal cases to the 
emperor or to his representative at Rome (cf. p. 348). 
Appeals from the governors of senatorial provinces were 
heard by the emperor or senate, and of course in these 
cases the judgment of the emperor, or of his counsellors, 
was the decisive factor. 

429. The Tribunician Power. The possession of the 
tribunician power had for the emperor more of a senti- 
mental or traditional than legal value. Many of the con- 
stitutional powers which it conferred, like the right to 
convoke the senate, came to him in another way, but it did 
invest his person with a sacrosanct character, and made him 
the recognized champion of popular rights (cf. pp. 201 f.). 
Since the sanctity of the tribune's person could be violated 


by offensive or threatening language, as well as by deeds of 
violence, it is easy to see how prosecutions for minuta 
maiestas under the empire (cf. p. 291) could be legally 
based on this interpretation of the sacrosanct character of 
the tribune's office. It is not probable that the emperor 
found it necessary to use the ius auxilii or the ius inter- 
cessionis directly in legislative or executive matters. The 
prestige which his position gave him was so great that a 
failure to conform to his wishes on the part of the senate or 
of a magistrate is hardly conceivable. We have had occa- 
sion to notice (pp. 3467), however, that certain impor- 
tant judicial functions of the emperor perhaps rested on 
the ius intercessions . There is a subtle distinction under 
the imperial constitution between holding the position of 
tribune and having the tribunician power. The emperor, 
by virtue of his tribunician power, could veto the action of St. R. n. 
a tribune, but he was not himself a tribune, and his action 
could not be vetoed by a tribune. This distinction was 
probably of little practical importance, however, since no 
tribune would dare to oppose him. The tribunician power 
was given to the emperor for life. Augustus received it in 
36 B.C., Tiberius in 6 B.C., the other emperors from the time 
when they were associated in the government by their pre- 
decessors, or, if they were not so associated, on the day of 
their accession, or shortly after it. 

430. Exemption from Certain Laws. In connection 
with the tribunician power the fact may be mentioned that 
the emperor was exempted from observing certain laws. 
Although the laws in question are not specified in the lex 
de imperio Vespasiani, the principle is distinctly stated : Append, i. 
utique quibus legibus pkbeive scitis scriptum fuit, ne divus 
Aug., Tiberiusve Julius Caesar Aug., Tiberiusque Claudius 
Caesar Aug. Germanicus tenerentur, us legibus plebisque 


scitis Imp. Caesar Vespasianus solutus sit, quaeque ex quaque 
lege rogatione divum Aug., Tiberiumve, etc.,facere oportuit, 
ea omnia Imp. Caesari Vespasiano Aug.' facer e liceat. 


F. B. R. Hellems, The lex de imperio Vespasiani. Chicago (in 

J. Kromayer, Die rechtliche Begriindung des Prinzipats. Strassburg, 

H. Pelham, On some disputed points connected with the imperium 

of Augustus and his successors, Journ. of Philol. XVII (1888), 

pp. 27-52. 
H. Pelham, Princeps or princeps senatus, ibid. VIII (1879), PP- 


1 See also bibliography on pp. 173, 288, 304, 316, 328. 



(a) Officials Attached to the Imperial Household 

431. Imperial Officials. The organization of the differ- 
ent bureaus of civil administration under the empire was 
effected gradually, and the functions of many officials 
changed somewhat from one period to another, so that a 
description of the powers and duties of an imperial officer 
in one reign may not be strictly accurate for another reign. 
Some officials even pass over from the military to the civil 
side of the administration, as happens in the case of the 
praefectus praetorio ; or the opposite change takes place. In 
view of this development and these changes, it will be con- 
venient to have in mind especially the imperial system in 
the period subsequent to Hadrian, since that emperor did 
so much to organize the several bureaus of administration 
(cf. p. 318). No classification of imperial officials seems 
satisfactory in all respects, but it will serve our purpose 
best to group them as follows : (a) those attached to the 
imperial household, (b) judges, (c) financial officials ; those 
charged with the government (d) of Rome, (e) of Italy, and 
(f) of the provinces. 

432. The Imperial Family and the Caesar. Most closely 
attached to the person of the emperor were the members 
of his own family. Since the principate was not an heredi- 
tary office, they had no extraordinary powers, titles, or 
honors, except as these were conferred on them by the 



senate at the request, or with the approval, of the emperor. 
Tac. Ann. The empress usually received the title of Augusta, and the 
princes of the imperial household bore the title of Caesar 
until the time of Hadrian, who restricted it to the person 
whom the emperor had picked out as his successor (cf. 
Tac. Ann. p. 34i) Upon the person selected for the succession the 
75^ X I4 ' imperium proconsular and the potestas tribunicia were 
conferred. He was thus made in a sense a colleague of 
the emperor, and is designated by Tacitus (Ann. I. 3) as 
collega imperil, consors tribuniciae potestatis. The relation 
was one of imperfect collegiality, however, for, although 
the prospective successor had the mains imperium over all 
magistrates and imperial officials, in the exercise of both 
his imperium and his tribunician power he must have been 
subject to the emperor. The significance of the title of 
Caesar and the passage of the two acts above mentioned 
lay in the fact that they designated a certain person for 
the succession (cf. p. 341). To the Caesar such honors 
were ordinarily granted as the title of imperator, and the 
right to participate in a triumph and to have his likeness 
stamped on coins. He usually held the magistracies also 
with the emperor. In the relation existing between Marcus 
Aurelius and Lucius Aelius (cf. pp. 319 f.), the collegiate 
principle in an almost pure form was recognized, the title 
of pontifex maximus being the only one reserved by Marcus 

433. The Praefectus Praetorio. To the praefectus prae- 
torio was committed the protection of the emperor's person, 
so that, although in time his authority extended far beyond 
the limits of the court, he may properly be considered as a 
member of the emperor's household. Intrusted at first 
only with the charge of the three praetorian cohorts at 
Rome, he acquired the command in the course of time 


of all the troops stationed in Italy, with the exception of Dio. 52. 24. 
the cohortes urbanae and one legion outside the city. The 
control of this armed force in and near Rome, and the 
power which it gave him to influence the succession, gave 
the praetorian prefect the position which he held next in 
importance to the emperor. The execution of imperial 
decrees and a general supervision of imperial officials were, 
therefore, naturally turned over to him. 

His jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases has already 
been noticed (cf. pp. 347 ff.). These functions were a 
natural development of the original powers of his office. 
His position as commander-in-chief of the forces in Italy 
carried along with it the right to exercise military jurisdic- 
tion over the troops under his command. This duty called 
for judicial qualities, and when the principle of appeal was 
introduced it was a not unnatural thing to place him in 
charge of the appellate court. In this way the office of 
praetorian prefect became in the later empire more of a 
judicial than of a military position, and was held by the 
most distinguished jurists of the period. The legal attain- 
ments of the prefect naturally gave him also the leading 
place in the judicial consilium of the emperor (p. 331). 
The office was restricted to knights under the early empire. 

434. The Amici and Comites August!. The amitiAugusti 
held a semi-official position at court. They enjoyed the 
personal favor of the emperor, and were employed by him 
in various administrative matters. From their number he 
made up in large measure his consilium, and by men chosen 
from among them he was accompanied on his journeys to wilm. Ex. 

the provinces. In fact, comes Augusti was essentially an pj. ' 
official title, and those who were honored with it were 
steadily employed on imperial business. Only senators 
became comites. 


435. The Officials a Rationibus. The principal bureaus 
attached to the imperial household were those a rationibus, 
ab epistulis, a libellis, a cognitionibus, and a memoria. The 
imperial fiscus (cf. p. 352) was managed at first by a freed- 

c. i. L. man, but after Hadrian by a procurator Augusti a rationi- 

bus, or a rationalis, chosen from the equestrian order. 
The tabularii and other assistants in this department were 
freedmen or slaves. 

436. The Officials ab Epistulis. The officials designated 
as ab epistulis had charge of the official correspondence of 
the emperor. They received despatches from governors, 
generals, towns, and embassies, and put into final form the 
emperor's replies. Documents intended for Greek-speaking 
peoples were written in Greek, so that the bureau was 

Dio, 71. 12; divided into the two sections, ab epistulis Latinis and ab 
VI. 8606. epistulis Graecis. 

437. The Officials a Libellis. The bureau a libellis 
received the petitions and memorials addressed by indi- 
viduals to the emperor, and drew up decisions or replies 
for the emperor's signature. 

438. The Officials a Cognitionibus. The officials a cog- 
nitionibus were charged with collecting information and 
preparing opinions for the emperor on judicial questions 
submitted to him for settlement. A legal training was very 
important for those who held this office. In the early 
period its incumbents were freedmen ; later it was filled 
by members of the equestrian order. 

439. The Officials a Memoria. Those who held the 
office a memoria, which was established in the second 
century, were employed in collecting materials for the 
emperor's public utterances, or in putting the emperor's 
decisions in a suitable form for public presentation. 




(b) Imperial Judicial Officers 

440. Criminal Jurisdiction of the Senate and the Quaes- 
tiones Perpetuae. A few words must be said about the 
different criminal courts before the judicial functions of 
certain imperial officers will be understood. By the close 
of the republican period the popular assemblies were no 
longer called together as judicial bodies, so that all criminal 
cases came before the quaestiones perpetuae (cf. pp. 74, 
105 f.). From 70 to 46 B.C. the juries in these courts were 
composed of senators, knights, and tribuni aerarii. The 
tribuni aerarii were not represented on them after 46, and 
Augustus excused the senators from jury duty, but he added 
a certain number of men having property amounting to 
200,000 sesterces (ducenarii). They served, however, only 
on juries in civil cases of minor importance. The quaes- 
tio?ies perpetuae disappeared in the third century. The 

minal jurisdiction of the senate, which came in with the 
pire (cf. p. 277), was exercised over serious political 
flenses, especially if senators were concerned (cf. pp. 347 f.). 
The penalties of banishment, deportation, or death could be 

Jnposed. No appeal could be taken to the emperor, but 
e could interpose his veto, if he' wished. The senate lost 
its judicial powers in the third or fourth century. 

441. Criminal Jurisdiction of Imperial Officials. The 
emperor exercised his criminal jurisdiction in person, or 
delegated it. When he sat in person he generally observed 
the procedure of the criminal law, and was assisted by the 
members of the bureau a cognitionibus (cf. p. 362), and by 

ch members of his consilium (cf. p. 347) as ne na d chosen 
for the case in hand. For special cases he delegated his 
power to a index datus, but for cases belonging to certain 
categories the praefectus praetorio, the praefectus urbi, the 



praefectus vigilum, and the praefectus annonae were com- 
petent without special authorization from him. The praeto- 
rian prefect exercised criminal jurisdiction over the soldiers 
in Italy, and in capital cases over civilians in Italy outside 
of a radius of one hundred miles from Rome, and in the 
later period on appeal from the governors of provinces (cf. 
pp. 348 f., 361). In a similar way the city prefect tried 
persons charged with capital offenses committed in Rome 
or within one hundred miles of the city. He could even 
delegate his judicial power to others. The praefectus vigi- 
lum exercised jurisdiction over minor crimes. An appeal 
could be taken from his decision to the emperor or the 
praetorian prefect. The praefectus annonae heard criminal 
cases coming within his special province, such as attempts 
to create a corner in grain. The governors of provinces 
had criminal jurisdiction, even in capital cases, over all 
Roman citizens in their provinces, except that senators, 
officers of a certain rank, and members of the municipal 
senates had a right to be tried in Rome. 

442. Civil Jurisdiction of Republican Courts. For the 
adjudication of civil cases the empire inherited from the 
republic the courts of the praetors (cf. p. 189), the curule 
aediles, the X viri stlitibus iudicandis (cf. p. 210), and the 
centum viri. The judicial functions of the curule aediles 
were of little importance (cf. p. 206). The centumviral 

Plin. Ep. court was increased in membership from 105 to 180. 

6. TV Vff.; Sometimes it sat as a unit, but more frequently it was 

Qumt. 5. 2. i. Divided i n to four sections. Under the empire its members 
were probably chosen from among the regular iudices. 

Suet. Aug. 36. From the time of Augustus the X viri stlitibus iudi- 
candis acted as presiding officers in the several sections of 
the centumviral court. The business which came before 
the court was essentially the same as under the republic. 



The civil jurisdiction of the praetors was somewhat extended 
by the assignment to them of new classes of cases, notably 
those arising between the fiscus and individuals. 

443. Civil Jurisdiction of Imperial Officials. To the 
several civil courts mentioned above we must add for the 
empire the court presided over by the emperor or by some 
one exercising authority delegated by him. The emperor 
himself heard cases in the first instance or on appeal. 
Special cases were assigned to a index. Cases falling within 
certain categories were heard in the emperor's name by 
praetors, consuls, or provincial governors, while questions 
of appeal came before the praefectus urbi or the praefectus 
praetorio (cf. p. 347). Civil and criminal jurisdiction in 
the municipalities will be considered in another connection. 

(c) Imperial Financial Officers 

444. Census Officials. The valuation of property and 
the levying of taxes were based on the census books (libri 
censuales) prepared under the supervision of the censitores wilm. EX. 
appointed by the emperor, one for each province or smaller ^*' I249 ' 
unit of territory. The method of procedure which they 
adopted was similar to that followed by the censor at Rome 

(cf. pp. 192 f.). 

445. Officials of the Aerarium Saturni. At the begin- 
ning of the imperial period the aerarium Saturni was in 
charge of the city quaestors (cf. p. 208), but Augustus trans- 
ferred it to two praefecti aerarii elected by the senate from Tac. Ann. 
the list of praetorian senators. Later it was placed in charge Sig 9 ^. U< 
of praetors, and still later it was restored to the quaestors, 

but the system finally established by Nero in 56, in accord- 
ance with which prefects appointed by the emperor had Wilm. Ex. 

Inscr. 1150, 

control of it, was retained down to the time of Diocletian. 1152, n88. 



Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 638, 
1271, 2809 b. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1253. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1155, 
1162 b; 
Dio, 55. 25. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1292. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1293. 

446. Officials of the Fiscus. The management of the 
fiscus was intrusted to an official known successively as the 
patronus or procurator fisci, the procurator a ratio nibus, 
and, toward the close of the second century, as the ratio- 
nalis. From the time of Hadrian this position was filled by 
a knight. A subordinate officer, called a procurator, was 
appointed to collect the taxes in each province, or to take 
charge of taxes of a particular sort, so that one hears, for 
instance, of a procurator Asiae and a procurator vicesimae 
hereditatium. The procurators sat in judgment on ques- 
tions arising between the state and an individual, just as 
the censors had done under the republic (p. 194). 

447. Officials of the Aerarium Militare. The aerarium 
military was managed by three praefecti aerarii militaris 
chosen for a period of three years from senators of prae- 
torian rank. Under Augustus they were selected by lot, 
but later the emperor appointed them, and this change 
constitutes one of the earliest instances of the encroach- 
ment of the emperor on the traditional rights of the senate 
in financial matters. 

448. Officials of the Res Privata. To the res privata 
or patrimonium of the emperor belonged the estates of 
the imperial family and the additions made by legacies, 
presents, or by confiscation. This property was in charge 
of officials appointed by the emperor, and we hear, for 
instance, of a procurator saltus Domitiani. A sharp dis- 
tinction between the fiscus and the res privata of the 
emperor was not made until the reign of Septimius Severus, 
when we find mention of a procurator rerum privata- 
rum, under whom in the various parts of the empire 
were officials who bore such titles as procurator provincia- 
rum Bithyniae Ponti Paphlagoniae tarn patrimoni quam 
rationum privatarum. 


(d) Imperial Officers Charged with the Government of 

449. The Praefectus Urbi. The praefectura urbis was 
established by Augustus to provide for the government of 
the city during his absence. The creation of this office 
involved an open recognition by him of the fact that he 
was at the head of the state, and that when he left the city 
it was without a chief-magistrate, because under the con- 
stitutional republic the praefectura urbis was only called 
into existence when both the consuls were absent (cf. 
p. 212). Tiberius went a step farther than his predecessor, 
by appointing a praefectus urbi to hold office whether he 
himself was in Rome or not. The incumbent of the office 
was named by the emperor for an undetermined period 
from the senators of consular rank. He was intrusted with 
the maintenance of order in the city, and his duties 
required him to take charge in particular of public gather- 
ings at the markets, in the theatres, or the circus. For 
this purpose he had under his command at the outset 
three, and later as many as six, cohortes urbanae, comprising 
from 1000 to 1500 men each. Along with his functions 
fs a police official in preventing disorder, he naturally 
acquired criminal jurisdiction, at first in cases where the 
lower classes only were concerned ; but in time these judicial 
functions developed to such an extent that his court became 
the most important criminal court in Rome, and even 
extended its jurisdiction far beyond the limits of the city. 

450. The Praefectus Vigilum. The provision which 
had been made under the republic for the extinction of 
fires having proved utterly inadequate, in A.D. 6 Augustus 
organized seven cohorts of 1000 to 1200 men each, charged 
with this duty. This body of men was also used as a police 



Suet. Aug. 
42; Tac. 
Ann. 6. 13. 

Frontin. de 
Aq. 98 ff. 

Frontin. de 
Aq. 105. 

force to protect the city at night, and, therefore, cooperated 
with the cohortes urbanae in maintaining order. It was in 
charge of the praefectus vigilum, who, like the city prefect, 
acquired criminal jurisdiction, but in his judicial capacity 
he was subordinate to the praefectus urbi. Since the 
vigiles were usually freedmen, and were commanded by 
an officer who held only the equestrian rank, they exer- 
cised far less political influence than the praetorian or urban 

451. The Praefectus Annonae. To supply grain to the 
city without interruption was a matter of so great econom- 
ical and political importance that a special department of 
the government with numerous officials was established to 
arrange for it (cf. p. 355). Upon this bureau, which was 
in charge of an official known as the praefectus annonae, 
devolved the duty of maintaining a general supervision of 
the sources of supply in the provinces, of the transpor- 
tation of grain to Rome, and of its distribution to the 
needy. Incidental to its duties also were the maintenance 
of suitable ports of entry and the control of the provision 
markets in Rome. The prefect in charge had civil and 
criminal jurisdiction over certain cases arising in commercial 

452. The Commissioners Having Charge of Aqueducts, 
Buildings, and Sewers. The three boards which supervised 
the aqueducts, public buildings, and sewers formed, with 
the commission to which Italian roads were intrusted, a 
college whose members were of senatorial rank and were 
appointed by the emperor for an indefinite period. The 
curatores aquarum were three in number, and took over 
the aqueduct system as Agrippa left it at his death. From 
the time of Claudius they were assisted by a freedman or 
knight appointed by the emperor and bearing the title of 


procurator aquarum. The curatores operum publicorum 
had nothing to do with the construction of new buildings. 
The emperor took charge of that matter himself, and met 
the attendant expenses from the spoils of war, from private Mon. Ancyr. 
contributions, and from sums appropriated by the senate 4 ' 
for the purpose. The commissioners mentioned above 
took upon themselves only the function, which the aediles 
had formerly exercised, of keeping public buildings in 
repair. The duties of the curatores alvei et riparum 
Tiberis et cloacarum urbis have been mentioned already 
(cf- P- 355)- 

(e) Imperial Officers in Italy 

453. Imperial Administration of Italy. The system of 
local government adopted in the municipia throughout 
Italy has been briefly discussed in another connection 
(cf. pp. 299 f.), so that we are concerned here only 
with the administrative officials appointed to represent 
the central government. Augustus divided Italy outside 
of Rome into eleven regiones, although these territorial 
sections do not seem to have been the units adopted for 
administrative purposes in all cases, as we should expect 
them to have been. The principal matters of business of 
which the central government took partial or complete 
charge were the management of the roads, the control of 
the alimentatiOy the supervision of local finances and of 
the civil and criminal courts. 

454. The Cura Viarum. The cura viarum came into 
the hands of imperial officers in 20 B.C. Each of the great 
roads was put in charge for an indefinite period of a 
curator of senatorial rank, selected by the emperor. It 

was his duty to keep the road in good condition and Ta , c ; An io 
to protect public property connected with it from the 59. 15; 60. 17. 


Rom. Kaiser- 
turn, etc. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 2844-8; 
Plin. Pan. 
26 ff . ; 
Dio, 68. 5. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1179, 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 2167, 

Spart. Hadr. 
22 ; Appian, 
B. C. 1.38; 
Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 1195, 

encroachment of individuals. Branch roads were in the 
care of procuratores of equestrian rank. 

455. The Cura Alimentorum. Possibly Domitian estab- 
lished the cura alimentorum, but more probably it dates 
from the reigns of Nerva and Trajan (cf. pp. 323 f.), 
who established foundations, from the interest of which 
gratuities in the form of money or grain were given each 
month to a selected number of children of free birth. The 
immediate management of the funds set aside for the pur- 
pose, and the distribution of the monthly allowance, were 
in the hands of municipal officials ; but a general super- 
vision of the matter was confided to a praefectus or a procu- 
rator for each district, with perhaps a single praefectus 
alimentorum in charge of the whole department. The 
money which the state appropriated was in many cases 
supplemented by the gifts of public-spirited citizens. 

456. Supervision of Municipal Finances. It was Trajan 
also who introduced the practice of bringing municipal 
finances under imperial supervision. He and his successors 
appointed for the municipalities curatores of senatorial or 
equestrian rank, whose duty it was to audit the town 
accounts, and whose consent must be obtained before a 
town could contract a new debt or sell public property. 
It is not clear whether one of these officials was appointed 
for each Italian town or only when imperial supervision 
seemed desirable. 

457. luridici. The establishment of district courts, to 
use a modern term, dates from the reign of Hadrian (cf. 
p. 318). The institution was not kept up by Antoninus 
Pius, but was restored by M. Aurelius. The judges were of 
senatorial rank and bore the title of iuridici. Ultimately, 
as we have already seen (p. 355), Italy lost entirely its 
exceptional position and sank to the level of the provinces. 


(/) Imperial Officers in the Provinces 

458. Imperial Control of the Provinces. The control 
which the emperor exercised over imperial provinces was 
supreme. The senate nominally supervised the govern- 
ment of senatorial provinces, but the mains imperium of 
the emperor, and his exalted position, led senatorial gov- 
ernors to turn to him for advice and instructions. Further- 
more, even in the senatorial provinces certain administrative 
departments, for instance those which had to do with public 
roads, the post, and some branches of the financial system, 
were managed in the name of the emperor. Only in the 
case of the finances, however, did the emperor have a per- 
sonal representative, styled a procurator, in the senatorial Dio, 53. 15 

459. Limitations and Extensions of the Power of Imperial 
Officers. The general system of government in the prov- 
inces, and the limits put on the jurisdiction of governors 
in civil and criminal cases, have been discussed elsewhere 
(cf. pp. 284 f., 346 f., 348 f.), so that it only remains for us 
to mention certain factors which tended to curtail in some 
respects, and to extend in other ways, the power of the 
emperor's representatives. In general it may be said that, 
as time went on, the cause of local self-government lost, 
while the rights of a province as a province increased. 
The towns and cities lost their independence in some 
measure, because they, like the municipalities in Italy 
(cf. p. 370), were required from an early period to submit 
to the supervision of imperial curatores in financial matters. 
On the other hand, the autocratic power of the governor 
was lessened, and the province gained to some extent, by 
the more direct control which the emperor assumed, and 
by the development of provincial assemblies. The strict 


accountability to which governors were held naturally made 
them hesitate about taking responsibility in important mat- 
ters, and, when the practice of referring questions to the 
emperor was once adopted (cf. p. 301), it must have devel- 
oped rapidly. The inevitable result of it, however, was to 
take from a governor the right of initiative in important 
matters. The development of the provincial assemblies 
(cf. p. 302) must have restricted the power of governors 
Marq. St. still further. All, or almost all, the provinces had concilia 

Vcrw I 

503 ff. whose right to send deputations or petitions to the emperor, 

Tac. Ann. without consulting the governor, came to be freely recog- 
Ep. 3.4. 2. nized. The independent existence of the assembly was 
Dig. 47. 14. i. recognized by the emperor in the fact also that his reply 
was sent directly to it. The possibility which every gov- 
ernor had to face, of seeing a document criticising his con- 
duct sent to the emperor at the close of his term of office, 
must have exercised a wholesome restraining influence on 
his administration. 


\V. T. Arnold, The Roman System of Provincial Administration. 

London, 1879. 

Cagnat, Les impots indirects. Paris, 1882. 
Carette, Les assemblies provinciales de la Gaule romaine. Paris, 

E. Cuq, Le conseil des empereurs d'Auguste a Diocletien. Paris, 


P. Guiraud, Les assemblies prov. dans 1'empire rom. Paris, 1887. 
Cyprien Halgan, Essai sur 1'administration des provinces senato- 

riales. Paris, 1898. 
O. Hirschfeld, Untersuchungen auf dem Gebiete d. rom. Verwal- 

tungsgeschichte, Bd. I. Berlin, 1877. 
O. Hirschfeld, Das aerarium militare, N. Jahrb. f. Philol. XCVII 

(1868), pp. 683-697. 

1 See also bibliography on pp. 173, 288, 304, 316, 328, 358. 


O. Hirschfeld, Die Getreideverwaltung der rom. Kaiserzeit, Philol. 
XXIX, pp. 1-96. / 

E. Klebs, Zur Entwicklung d. kaiserl. Stadtprafektur, Rhein. Mus. 
(N.F.), XLII, pp. 164-178. 

Klein, Die Verwaltungsbeamten der Provinzen des rom. Reichs bis 
auf Diocletian. Bonn, 1878. 

G. Kretschmar, Das Beamtentum der rom. Kaiserzeit. Giessen, 

W. Liebenam, Forschungen zur Verwaltungsgeschichte des rom. 
Kaiserreichs, Bd. I. Leipzig, 1888. 

W. Liebenam, Die Laufbahn der Prokuratoren. Jena, 1886. 

W. Liebenam, Beitrage zur Verwaltungsgeschichte d. rom. Kaiser- 
reichs. Jena, 1886. 

W. Liebenam, Stadteverwaltung im romischen Kaiserreiche. Leip- 
zig, 1900. 

J. Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, 2*e Aufl., 3 vols. Leipzig, 

Th. Mommsen, Die diocletianische Reichsprafectur, Hermes, XXXVI 
(1901), pp. 201-218. 

W. Schurz, De mutationibus in imp. Rom. ordinando ab imp. Hadr. 
factis. Bonn, 1883. 



(a) The Magistracies in General 

460. The Cursus Honorum. In the election and ap- 
pointment of citizens to official positions under the empire, 
the division of society into the senatorial order, the eques- 
trian order, and the plebs was strictly observed, and corre- 
sponding to these three classes there were three careers of 
official service, known as the cursus honorum. To citizens 
of senatorial rank were assigned, along with certain impor- 
tant imperial offices, all the old republican magistracies. 
The full cursus honorum for men of this class, leaving out 
of consideration the appointive offices, comprised member- 
ship in the college of the XX viri, the position of tribunus 
militum, the quaestorship, the aedileship, the tribunate of 
the plebs, the praetorship, and the consulship. Before the 
Flavian period the military tribunate could be held before 
or after the vigintivirate, but after that time it took invari- 
ably the second place. 

461. Conditions of Eligibility. The conditions of eligi- 
bility to the vigintivirate were senatorial rank and the 
attainment of manhood, as indicated by the assumption 
of the toga virilis. The office was, therefore, open to the 
sons of senators, and to those whom the emperor had raised 

Tac. Ann. to tne senatorial rank. The senatorial census (cf. p. 381) 

3. 29; 15.28; 

Quint. was of course required in both cases. For the quaestor- 

Dio,"52.'2o. ship a candidate was required to have completed his 



twenty-fourth year and to have held the offices mentioned. 
An interval of a year must elapse between the quaestor- 
ship and the tribunate of the plebs or the aedileship, and St. R. i. 535. 
another year before the praetorship could be held. Patri- 
cians could pass directly from the quaestorship to the prae- St. R. 1. 555, 
torship, although the minimum age requirement of thirty n ' 3 ' 
years for the praetorship took away the advantage which DH>, 52. 20. 
they would otherwise have had over the plebeians. An inter- 
val of two years was required between the praetorship and 
the consulship, which practically fixed the age requirement St. R. 1. 528, 
for the consulship at thirty-three. Candidates were eligible 
to the same office again after a short interval, and it was 
not illegal to hold a magistracy and an imperial office at the 
same time. From the restrictions mentioned above candi- 
dates for office could be relieved by the emperor, and fathers Plin. Ep. 
of families were regularly given precedence over others. 

462. Nomination ; Election ; Term of Office. The formali- 
ties attending nomination were like those under the republic, 
except that the emperor exercised the right of nomination 
(cf. pp. 275 f., 351). From the reign of Tiberius magis- 
trates were elected in the senate. The term of office con- 
tinued to be a year, except in the case of the consulship. 

463. Loss of Dignity and Power. The magistracies 
suffered, of course, a serious loss of dignity and real power. 
Since the emperor's power to nominate candidates for office 
counted for so much, a citizen's political future depended 
on imperial favor, and when he was elected he could not 
hope to exercise freely the traditional functions of his office 
with the emperor, or an appointee of the emperor, as his 
colleague. Furthermore, the powers of the several magis- 
trates were seriously curtailed by law, as we have already 
seen, and by the assignment of magisterial functions to 
imperial procurators and prefects. 


(b) The Several Magistracies 

464. The Consul. The most significant formal change 
which the consulship experienced under the empire was 
the shortening of the term of office. Up to the death of 

Herz. ii. Nero the term was usually one of six months ; after that 
date ordinarily of two or four months. The purpose of 
the change was to lessen the importance of the office. 

St. R.I. 588 f. The election of the first pair of consuls for a given year, 
known as consumes ordinarii, usually took place in the 
autumn of the preceding year. The consuks suffecti were 
commonly chosen at the beginning of the year during 
which they were to serve. Official documents were still 
dated by mentioning the consuls of the year in question, 
but the names of the consuks ordinarii were usually selected 
for the purpose. This gave them a certain prestige over 
the consuks suffecti. 

The principal functions of the consul consisted in pre- 
siding over the senate, in exercising judicial powers in 
certain cases, and in taking charge of the ludi circenses and 
other public games. The senate under the early empire 
had nominal charge of Rome, Italy, and the senatorial 
provinces, and the importance of the consulship depended 
largely on the success which the senate had in making 
good its constitutional rights within these limits and its 
success in this matter varied from reign to reign. The 
criminal jurisdiction and, to some extent, the civil juris- 
diction of the consul were exercised by him in conjunction 
with the senate. Apart from that body, however, he heard 

Suet. Claud, certain important classes of civil cases, assigned to him by 

21. Instit. ,, 

lust. 2. 23. i. the emperor. 

465. The Praetor. Julius Caesar had raised the number 
of praetors to sixteen (cf. p. 137). Augustus reduced it to 


twelve, but under succeeding emperors it was raised until 
it reached its maximum, eighteen, under Claudius. The 
praetor urbanus still took precedence over his colleagues. 
Next him came the praetor peregrinus. The encroach- 
ment of the emperor and of his officials, however, on the 
prerogatives of the city praetor greatly diminished the 
importance of his position. The significance of the office 
of the praetor peregrinus was taken away in large measure 
by Caracalla's edict. The powers of the whole college of 
praetors were seriously abridged also by the publication of 
Hadrian's edictum perpetuum (cf. p. 318), which robbed 
them of the right to issue their annual edicts, by the assign- 
ment of certain civil cases to the consuls (cf. p. 376), and 
by the appointment of district judges for Italy (cf. p. 318). 
A partial compensation for these losses may be found in 
the fact that the supervision of certain public games was Dio, 54. 2 -, 
given to them, and, for a time, the administration of the It I$ . ,. 77 . 
aerarium Saturni (cf. p. 365). Their principal function, 
that of presiding over the quaestio perpetua, was lost when 
that court disappeared in the second or third century 
(cf. p. 349). 

466. The Censor. The censorship, as a republican insti- 
tution, came to an end in 22 B.C. In that year the office 
was held by P. Aemilius Lepidus and L. Munatius Plancus, Veil. 2. 95. 
although the census was not completed. Claudius, with 
his fondness for tradition, attempted to revive the office by 
having himself and L. Vitellius made censors in the year 47 ; Nipperdey on 
but the precedent was not followed. This seems to have IT I3 
been the last effort made to treat the office as a separate 
magistracy. In all other cases its functions were apparently 
exercised by the emperor alone, or by the emperor in con- 
junction with some other member of the imperial family. 
Thus, in 8 B.C. Augustus took the census alone, in A.D. 14 


with Tiberius, while in A.D. 73-4 Vespasian and Titus 
cooperated in taking it. In the year 84 Domitian took 
the censorial power for life (p. 310). The duties of the 
office (cf. pp. 191 f.), as exercised by the emperors, consisted 
in the assessment of property and in drawing up the lists of 
senators and knights. The management of finances was, in 
large measure, assigned to certain commissions and imperial 
officers, as we have already seen (cf. pp. 354, 365 f., 369). 

467. The Aedile. Julius Caesar had increased the 
number of aediles to six, assigning to the new members 
of the college supervision of the grain supply (cf. p. 137), 
but during the reign of Augustus this function was turned 
over to a board of commissioners (cf..pp. 355, 368). The 
aediles lost the cura ludorum also (cf. p. 377), and their 
right to maintain order in the city was in large measure 
relinquished in favor of the praefectus vigilum and the 
praefectus urbi (cf. pp. 367-8). There is no mention of 
the office later than the middle of the third century. 

468. The Tribune. The tribune retained under the 
empire his sacrosanct character, his ins auxilii and ins 
inter cessionis, his right to summon the senate and probably 
the popular assembly also. But these were formal powers 
with little meaning. Thus, for instance, his action could 
be vetoed by the emperor, but he could not interfere with 
the emperor (cf. p. 357). His right to summon the popular 
assembly was of little importance because of the decadence 
of that body. What little significance the office had lay 

Tac. Ann. in the fact that the tribune could veto the action of the 
' I3 ' ' 47 * senate, protect citizens in the courts, and impose fines in 
certain cases. 

469. The Quaestor. Augustus seems to have reduced the 
St. R. II. number of quaestors from forty to twenty. The college was 

528, n. 2. 

divided into two sections, one consisting of the provincial 


quaestors, and the other of those whose functions kept 
them in Rome. A quaestor was assigned to each one of 
the eleven senatorial provinces, except that two were sent 
to Sicily. Of the eight remaining members of the college, 
two were quaestores urbani and two were assigned to each 
of the consuls and to the emperor. In the provinces the 
quaestor, who bore the tit|e quaestor pro praetore, repre- 
sented the aerarium Saturni, and exercised the juris- 
diction which had traditionally belonged to his office 
(pp. 208-209). The quaestores urbani had charge of the 
aerarium for a time, but this was taken from them in the 
year 56 (cf. p. 365). Thereafter their principal duty con- 
sisted in caring for the decrees of the senate. The two Dio, 54. 36. 
quaestors selected by the emperor acted as his secretaries Tac. Ann. 
in laying matters before the senate. The four quaestors 
assigned to the consuls were subordinates in the service of 
those officials. 

470. The XX Viri and Extraordinary Magistrates. The 
college of I II I praefecti Capuam Cumas (cf. p. 210), and 
that made up of the // viri viis extra urbem purgandis, 
were abolished under the empire, and the four remaining 
groups were consolidated into a single college known as 
the vigintivirate. The X viri stlitibus iudicandis, from the 
time of Augustus, presided in the centumviral court (cf. 
p. 364). The Iff viri monetales had charge of senatorial 
coinage only (cf. p. 354). The functions of the /// viri 
capitales were seriously abridged by the establishment of 
the praefectura vigilum. Otherwise the duties of the 
members of these groups of officials were unchanged. 
Some significance was given to these offices, however, by 
the fact that they were made the first step in the cursus Tac Ann 
honorum (cf. p. 374). Of the extraordinary republican l 
magistracies (cf. pp. 211 ff.), we hear of the praefectus 1132. 


urbi feriarum Latinarum, of praefecti frumenti dandi 
ex s. f., and occasionally of special commissioners sent out 
by the senate. 


Julius Asbach, Zur Geschichte des Konsulats in d. rom. Kaiserzeit, 

Histor. Untersuchungen, etc., pp. 190-217. Bonn, 1882. 
J. Centerwall, Quae publica officia ante quaesturam geri solita sint 

temporibus imperatorum. Upsala, 1874. 
Chambalu, De magistratibus Flaviorum. Bonn, 1882. 
G611, Ueber d. rom. Censur zur Zeit ihres Untergangs. Schleiz, 1859. 
G611, Das Volkstribunat in d. Kaiserzeit, Rhein. Mus. (N.F.), 

XIII. in ff. 
Henzen, De nundinis consularibus aetatis imperatoriae, Ephem. 

Epig. I. 187-199. 
Lenel, Das Edictum perpetuum. Leipzig, 1883. 

1 See also bibliography on pp. 173, 219, 288, 304, 316, 328, 358. 


(a) Composition of the Senate 

471. Size of the Senate. On at least three different 
occasions, as he himself tells us (Mon. Ancyr. II, 1. 2), 
Augustus revised the list of senators. As a result of these 
revisions, the membership was reduced from 900 (cf. 

p. 137) to 600, which was accepted as the normal number Dio, 54. 13 f. 
under the empire. In drawing up his lists Augustus also 
took occasion to exclude many men of low birth, whom Suet. Aug. 35; 
Julius Caesar had admitted. In this way he restored the 
aristocratic character of the senate. 

472. Admission to the Senate. The conditions of eligi- 
bility to membership in the senate included citizenship and 

free birth, an acceptable reputation, and property rated at Dio, 54. 17; 
1,000,000 sesterces. By those who fulfilled these condi- 37; 's U et. 
tions admission to the senate could be had by securing Au s- 4*- 
election to the quaestorship. Inasmuch as the magistracies 
were open only to those of senatorial rank, that is, to the 
sons of senators (cf. p. 374), the senate became a close 
corporation. The emperor could, however, at his discretion 
grant to men not of senatorial rank, who had the necessary 
property, the right to wear the latus clavus, or broad 
purple stripe on the tunic. This entitled them to become 
candidates for a magistracy with the prospect later of 
entering the senate. Furthermore, citizens with a fortune 
of 1,000,000 sesterces, who had not held a magistracy, 



were from time to time admitted to the senate by adkctio 
(cf. p. 354). 

473. The Album Senatorium. From 9 B.C. on, the album 
senatorium, or official list of senators, was revised each year. 
The names of those who had held a magistracy since the 
last revision, and of those chosen by the method of adleetio, 
were added to the old list, while those whose property had 
fallen below the required minimum, and those who had 
been convicted of an offense against the laws, were excluded 
from the senate. In the list the names were arranged in 
the order of official rank. After the emperor's name came 
those of the consuldres, then the praetorii, etc. Those who 
had held a given magistracy more than once ranked higher 
in dignity than those who had held it once only. No 
distinction was made between ex-consuls who had been 
consules ordinarii and those who had been suffecti. Up to 
the time of Pertinax those who were assigned to a given 
group by adlectio were of equal rank with those who had 
attained the position in question by virtue of having held a 

(b) Meetings of the Senate 

474. The Presidency of the Senate. The magistrates 
who had the ius cum patribus agendi under the republic 
(cf. p. 225) exercised that right under the empire also. 
Of course the offices of dictator, master of the horse, and 
interrex had disappeared, so that they do not come into 
consideration. Whether the city prefect had the theoret- 
ical right to convoke the senate or not is a matter of no 
moment. He would scarcely have exercised it, except 
during the absence of the other qualified officials, and such 
a contingency could not arise. It is also probably true 
that the tribune rarely made use of this privilege. The 


princeps took precedence of all the magistrates in calling 
the senate together, and even when that body had been 
convoked by a magistrate, a place of honor was given to 
him between the two consuls, or on the tribunes' bench. 

475. The Place and Time of Meeting. The ordinary 
place of meeting was the curia lulia. Except during the 
months of September and October, stated meetings were 

held on the Kalends and Ides of each month. Otherwise Suet. Aug. 
the senate met at the call of the qualified official. 

476. A Quorum. The attendance of senators was 
required, but the efforts made to enforce this regulation 

were not effective. In the early part of the reign of Dio, 54. 18; 
Augustus 1 a quorum was fixed at 400 members, but later it l6> 22- 
was found necessary to reduce this number and not to Dio, 54. 35 ; 
require a quorum for action on unimportant matters. 

477. The Transaction of Business. The purpose for 

which the senate was convoked was indicated only in a Tac. Ann. 
general way in the call which was issued. The subjects 
to be considered were laid before the meeting by the pre- 
siding officer. Individual senators still lacked theoretically 
the right to introduce new business, but in discussing a 
matter laid before them they were allowed, as under the 
republic, to introduce extraneous questions, and to ask for Tac. Ann. 
action by the senate. Senators were asked their opinions 4 
in the traditional order (cf. p. 224), except that the Tac. Ann. 
emperor gave his views first, or, if he chose, last. During 
some reigns at least, when the emperor presided, the 
magistrates in office were also called upon in the group Tac. Ann. 
to which they belonged. As we have already had occasion 3> I7 ' 
to notice (p. 350), the business of the emperor, whether 
he was present or not, took precedence, within certain 
limits, of all other matters. In any case the princeps con- 
trolled the discussion and the action of the senate, and a 


senator could indicate his disapproval of a measure only 
by staying away from the meeting when the bill in question 
was to be presented. The discessio was the accepted 
method of voting, even upon candidates for the magis- 
tracies. Trajan introduced the secret ballot for the latter 
purpose, but the new arrangement did not become perma- 
nent. It was the duty of the presiding officer to appoint a 
committee for the formulation of each motion, and decrees 
which were intended for the public eye were engraved on 
bronze tablets. One of the quaestors, appointed for the 
purpose by the emperor, and known as ab actis senatus, 
Tac. Ann. prepared for the archives the acta senatus, or proceedings 
Wilm. Ex. ' of the senate, which comprised the senatus consulta, official 
J"^ n 6 3 6 ' documents submitted to the senate, and the speeches made 
by leading senators. From these records such extracts as 
Plin. Pan. 75. the senate selected were published in the acta diurna. 

(c) The Powers of the Senate 

478. The Senate and the Princeps. In the last years 
of the republic, and in the period of transition from the 
republic to the dyarchy, the senate had been reduced to 
the position which it theoretically held under the consti- 
tution, viz., that of an advisory body. Under the new 
regime its formal powers were much greater and more 
explicitly recognized. It became a legislative, a judicial, 
and an electoral body. Its real influence over affairs had 
always depended, however, not on the powers which it 
had received when the state was organized, but on the 
measure of control which it was able to exercise over the 
magistrates and over the resources of the commonwealth. 
This was still the case under the empire. Bearing this fact 
in mind, it is easy to understand how a formal extension 


of the powers of the senate by Augustus and Tiberius could 
take place simultaneously with a real loss of influence. 
The fact that the princeps held his position for life freed 
him from the influences which had made the consul amen- 
able to it (cf. pp. 67 f.). Furthermore, it lost outright the 
management of foreign affairs, the control of the army and 
navy (pp. 237 ff., 345 f.), the government of the important 
provinces (pp. 283 if.), and consequently in large measure 
the management of the finances. 

479. The Senate as a Legislative Body. The decadence 
of the comitia irfade the senate the sole legislative body in 
the state. Senatus consulta had the force of law, and 

touched every field of public activity, subject to the limita- Suet. Tib. 30. 
tions mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The business 
which required the greatest share of its attention was the 
financial management and the administration of Rome, 
Italy, and the senatorial provinces. Upon all these matters 
it heard reports, and took the necessary action. It exer- 
cised the right to raise or lower the rate of taxation, but 010,55.25. 
only on the imperial initiative. The control of the ager 
publicus was, however, transferred to the emperor. It 
took action with reference to the introduction of foreign Tac. Ann. 
cults, managed the temples, and provided for extraordinary 2 
festivals ; but in all religious matters its action must have 
been perfunctory, since the emperor was pontifex maximus 
and a member of all the important priesthoods. Further- 
more, it passed measures imposing penalties on those con- 
victed of certain offenses, and granting honors, privileges, piin. Ep. 
and dispensation from certain laws to favored individuals 5 
or classes. 

480. The Senate as a Judicial Body. The criminal 
jurisdiction of the senate was exercised mainly in the case 
of serious offenses, particularly those of a political nature 


(cf. p. 347), where senators were concerned. Perha 

those charged with such offenses were at the outset 

allowed to have their cases heard either before a quaestio 

or before the senate. Senators would naturally choose the 

latter tribunal. When the practice was once established it 

developed rapidly. The procedure, as can be seen from 

Tac. Ann. the well-known case of Piso, seems to have been modeled 

on that followed in the quaestiones. The consul presided, 

Tac. Ann. and the senate delivered its verdict in the form of a senatus 

Ta^ Ann 37 consultum. Even the penalty of death could be imposed, 

2. 3 2 - and no appeal could be taken from the senate's decision, 

Tac. Ann. although the emperor could virtually grant a pardon by 

using his veto power. Appeals could also be taken to the 

senate by senators and members of certain other favored 

classes from the decisions of senatorial governors in capital 

cases. In civil cases also appeals came to the senate from 

the senatorial provinces, but they were usually referred by 

it to the consuls. 

481. The Senate as an Electoral Body. The most 
important function of the senate as an electoral body 
consisted in choosing the emperor (cf. p. 341), and in 
joining with the popular assembly in conferring on him his 
constitutional powers (cf. pp. 341 f.). The right to deify a 
deceased emperor, or to pass the act known as the damna- 
tio memoriae, was its exclusive prerogative (cf. pp. 343 f.). 
Tiberius transferred the election of magistrates to the 
senate, but its freedom of choice was in large measure 
restricted by the emperor's right to name candidates for 
the several offices (p. 351). Notwithstanding this fact, 
there was a lively competition for the several magistracies, 
Plin. Ep. and candidates for office gave costly presents and elabo- 
rate dinners to their senatorial colleagues in the hope of 
winning their suffrages. 





Caduzac, Decadence du. senat rom. depuis Cesar jusqu'a Constantin. 

Limoges, 1847. 
E. Cuq, Le conseil des empereurs, d'Auguste a Diocletien. Paris, 

Dumeril, De senatu romano sub imp. Augusto Tiberioque. Paris, 

Diirr, Die Majestatsprozesse unter dem Kaiser Tiberius. Heilbronn 

Progr., 1880. 
Rotter, Ueber d. Verhaltniss zwischen Kaisertum u. Senat unter 

Aug. u. Tib. Prague, 1875. 

1 See also bibliography on pp. 243, 288, 304, 316, 328. 358. 

(a) Citizenship 

482. The Methods of Acquiring Citizenship. Citizenship 
could be acquired, as under the republic, by birth, by adop- 
tion, by manumission, and by a special grant. The son of 
a Roman citizen inherited the rights of citizenship. The 
son of a Latin acquired them when he was adopted by a 
Roman citizen. The other two methods of acquiring them 
call for a fuller statement. 

483. Citizenship Acquired by Special Grant or by Manu- 
mission. Various classes of persons acquired the rights of 
citizenship by virtue of having conformed to certain speci- 
fied conditions. Thus, for instance, those who received an 
honorable discharge, after having served twenty-five years 
in the auxiliary force, or twenty-six years in the navy, 
became Roman citizens. Latins gained the same privilege 
when they were enrolled in the legions, and magistrates in 

C. i. L. II. towns enjoying the Latin rights were honored with Roman 

1945 ' ' 532 ' citizenship. Freedmen also, after serving a certain number 

of years as vigiles, gained full civic rights. The conditions 

on which citizenship was granted to individuals or particular 

communities cannot be so exactly stated. Personal favor, 

or political considerations, or a desire to reward those 

Suet. Aug. w h o h a( j rendered a noteworthy service to the community, 

Dio. 60. 17; were usually the deciding factors in these cases. Augustus 

Tac. Hist. 

i. s. gave the rights of Roman citizenship to few communities, 



but his successors bestowed them upon towns in all parts 

of the empire. The imperium proconsular of the emperor 

entitled him to make these grants in the imperial provinces 

(cf. p. 245), but, although Augustus may have consulted 

the senate and popular assembly in cases outside the 

imperial provinces, it is plain that his successors felt free, on 

their own authority, to grant Roman citizenship to any indi- 

vidual or community. The greatest addition to the number Dio, 57. 17 

of citizens, however, came by way of manumission, and f 

the rapid increase in the number of freedmen which resulted J 4 ; Tac. 

Ann. i. 58. 

seemed so serious a matter to Augustus that he caused a 
series of laws to be passed to restrict it (cf. p. 390). 

484. The Loss of Citizenship. As under the republic 
(cf. p. 245), those who had been captured in war, turned 
over to the enemy, or sold into slavery suffered capitis 
deminutio maxima. The third provision just mentioned 
underwent a strange interpretation or extension in the case 
of those known as servi poenae. The legal fiction involved 
in the matter is clearly indicated by Pliny (ad Traianum, 
XXXI. 2) : in plerisque civitatibus, maxime Nicomediae et 
Nicaeae, quidam vel in opus damnati vel in ludum similiaque 
his genera poenarum publicorum servorum officio ministerio- 
quefunguntur atque etiam ut publici servi annua accipiunt. 
Those became servi poenae, qui ad ferncm aut ad bestias 
aut in metallum damnantur (Dig. XXVIII. i. 8. 4). Capitis 

kminutio media was visited on those who suffered deportatio, 
>r transportation to an island. Relegatio, or the penalty of 
iing obliged to live within a certain section of the empire, 
did not bring with it a loss of citizenship. 

485. The Rights of Roman Citizens. All Roman citi- 
zens, except freedmen, had the full enjoyment of the tra- 
ditional iura commercii, conubii, provocations, legis actionis, 
suffragii, and the ius honorum. In respect to their private 


rights freedmen stood essentially on the same plane as 
freemen, except that they were forbidden to marry with 
members of the senatorial order and were liable to the 
punishment of being obliged to live at least one hundred 
miles from Rome for certain offenses against their patrons. 
Freedmen thus punished were known as peregrini deditidi. 
All freedmen were still restricted to four of the city tribes 
(p. 247), but this restriction was of little moment because 
of the decadence of the popular assemblies. The most 
important limitations put on them were in the matter of the 
ius honorum, and of admission to the equestrian order. 
Not only freedmen, but their sons and grandsons, were 

Plin. N. H. excluded from the equestrian order and from the magis- 
tracies, and consequently from the senatorial order. It was 
within the power of the emperor, however, by a natalium 
restitutio to remove this disability. Reference has been 
made above to the attempt which Augustus made to restrict 
indiscriminate manumission. The most important step 
which he took in this direction consisted in securing the 

Herz. II. passage in A.D. 4 of the lex Aelia Sentia, which provided, 
among other things, that slaves under thirty years of age 
who were declared free, and those who were declared free 
in the will of a deceased owner, did not become technically 
free. Their legal status was more clearly defined by the 
lex lunia Norbana of A.D. 1 9, which rendered them incapa- 
ble of making a will, and gave them the rights, with certain 

Nipperdey limitations, of Latini luniani. 

2 n 5 9and Ann ' 4 86 - The Obligations of Citizenship. The two principal 

J 3- 2 7- obligations resting on Roman citizens were the payment of 

taxes and service in the army. Roman citizens in Italy 
paid no direct taxes. Those in the provinces were subject 

St. R. in. to the tributum soli and the tributum capitis. This exemp- 
tion of Roman citizens in Italy was the peculiar privilege 


going with the ius Italicum. Military service was incum- 
bent on every freeman, but, since a sufficient number of 
soldiers was usually to be had by voluntary enlistment, it 
was rarely necessary to resort to a draft. In fact, after 
the time of the Flavian emperors, the legions were never Herz. n. 
recruited from Italy. The legions and the praetorian 349>f ' 
guard were made up exclusively of free-born Roman citi- 
zens and of Latins or peregrini belonging to oppida. 
Freedmen served in the navy and in the cohortes vigilum. 

(b) The Plebeians 

487. The Legal Status of the Plebeians. The old dis- 
tinction between the plebeians and patricians is lost sight 
of under the empire, but by a strange turn of the wheel of 
fortune the term plebs came to indicate, just as it had 
done in the early republic, those who were outside the 
privileged classes. It comprised, in fact, all those who were 
below the senatorial and equestrian orders. And just as 
had been the case under the early republic, the plebeians 
under the empire were essentially without political rights, 
and were shut out of the classes above them by legal 
restrictions. There was, however, this important difference 
between the two cases. The barrier was not an insur- 
mountable one. By acquiring the fortune required of a 
knight or senator a plebeian freeman could rise into one of 
the higher orders. The most important legal difference, 
then, between the plebeians on the one hand and the 
members of the equestrian and senatorial orders on the 
other, was in the matter of political rights. In one respect 
their private rights were less, since for a given offense they 
were liable to a severer punishment than were those who Dig. 48. 
belonged to the two upper classes. 


488. The Plebs Urbana. The massing of property in 
the hands of the few had practically blotted out the 
independent middle class, and the great body of freemen 
outside the two orders were partly or entirely dependent 
on the state for support. The term plebs urbana was 

Mon. Ancyr. practically applied to the 200,000 or more whose names 
55/10.' 10 ' made up the list of recipients of grain. 

489. The Plebeians outside Rome. The population in 
the Italian municipal towns reproduced in miniature the 
state of things in Rome. A freeman who had a rating of 
100,000 sesterces, and was eligible in other respects, could 
by election to one of the local offices secure admission to 
the municipal senate. Those who did not have the requi- 
site property were not eligible, so that these small towns 
also had their senatorial order and their plebeians, although 
the minimum sum which made one eligible to the senatorial 
order in the municipalities was so small that the members 
of that order constituted a middle class in Italy. 

(c) T7te Equestrian Order 

490. Admission to the Equestrian Order. The conditions 
of eligibility to the equestrian order were the possession of 

Plin. Ep. property valued at 400,000 sesterces, free birth, and a 
respectable standing in the community. It was, however, 
in the power of the emperor to pass over the condition of 

Suet. Aug. free birth, and to elevate freedmen to the equestrian rank. 

Hist. i a . C i 3 . Admission to the order rested with the emperor, who estab- 
lished a bureau, known as a censibuf equestribus, to receive 
applications and collect the necessary information. If the 
property of a member of the order fell below the required 
minimum, or if his mode of life was objectionable, his name 
was dropped from the list. 



491. Limits put on the Order. Although up to the 
reign of Tiberius the term ordo equester technically included 
only the equites equo publico, it seems probable, while still 
a matter of dispute, that there was a body of men, who 
perhaps may be called equites equo private, who satisfied 
the requirements of the equestrian order, but had not tech- 
nically been admitted to it. The members of this group 
did not have certain privileges conceded to the equites equo 
publico, but they received some official recognition until 
they were formally excluded from the order by the legislation 
of Tiberius. 

492. Seviri Equitum Romanorum. The way in which 
the equites were organized into turmae is not clear. Men- 
tion is made of six turmae of thirty men each under seviri. 
Possibly only six of the turmae had special leaders. The 
seviri were usually the sons of senators or the younger 
members of the imperial family. 

493. Insignia and Titles. The members of the eques- 
trian order were distinguished by the anulus aureus, the 
twiica angustidavia, and by the right to reserved seats in 
the theatre and at the circus. From the time of M. Aurelius 
the members of the order who were procurators bore the 
title of viri egregii, the equestrian prefects were styled viri 
perfectissimi, with the exception of the prefect of the prae- 
torian guard, who was called vir eminentissimus. The title 
vir splendidus was probably applied to the knights living 
outside Rome who had held no office. 

494. The Equestrian Cursus Honorum. The members 
of the equestrian order were especially employed by the 
emperor as his representatives in the imperial service, and 
in the first century of our era a fixed equestrian cursus 
honor um developed. At the bottom of the series were the 
militiae equestres, including the praefectura cohortis, the 

St. R. in. 

481 ff.; Herz. 
II. 961, n. i ; 
II. 966, n. 3; 
Will. Dr. 385. 

Tac. Hist. 

T - X 3; 

Suet. Galba, 
14; Plin. 
N. H. 33.29; 
Liv. Ep. 99. 

Wilm. Ex. 
Inscr. 132, 
1058, 1639, 

C. I. L. V. 


VI. 1625 b; 

IX. 5439. 


tribunatus legionis, the tribunatus cohortis vigilum, or 
cohortis urbanac or cohortis praetoriae, the praefectura 
alae, and the praefectura castrorum. An aspirant for 
higher honors served in the early p.eriod in three, later 
in four of these positions. After the bureaucratic system 
of government had been fully developed by Hadrian, a 
preliminary civil career could be substituted for the military 
service just mentioned. After these preliminary military or 
civil positions came the various procuratorships, which may 
be classified according to the salaries received as sexa- 
genarii (i.e., recipients of 60,000 sesterces), centenarii 
(100,000 sesterces), ducenarii (200,000 sesterces), and 
trecenarii (300,000 sesterces). The highest official posi- 
tions of the equestrian career were the prefectures, such, 
for instance, as the praefectura vigilum or the praefectura 
annonae. The knights gained in prestige under Gallienus, 
who transferred to the equestrian order all the important 
military positions. Membership in certain priesthoods was 
also reserved for the knights, and the most distinguished 
cquites were from time to time admitted to the senate. 
In the nature of things, the ordo equester could not be an 
hereditary aristocracy, but the sons of knights who satisfied 
the conditions governing admission to the order were 
naturally preferred to others. 

(d) The Senatorial Order 

495. Admission to the Senatorial Order. The privileges 
of the nobilitas under the republic had depended on the 
organization of society (cf. pp. 47 f.). The exclusive rights 
of the senatorial order under the empire had a legal basis. 
The conditions governing admission to the order were the 
same as in the case of the knights (cf. p. 392), except that 


the property requirement was 1,000,000 sesterces. For 
those who satisfied these conditions admission was to be had 
by birth, or through an imperial grant of the latus davits 
to those who were not the sons of senators. Exclusion 
from the senatorial order was governed by the same prin- 
ciples as those which led to exclusion from the equestrian 
order (p. 392). 

496. Insignia and Titles. The insignia of the order 

were the anulus aureus, the calceus senatorius, and the Suet. Aug. 
latus clavus. Like the knights, members of the senatorial 5.3.27!.; 
order were entitled to reserved seats at the theatre and at WlU - L I 35- 
the circus. From the close of the first century of our era 
they bore the title viri clarissimi, and even the younger 
members of a senator's family were styled clarissimi pueri 
or clarissimae puellae. 

497. The Senatorial Cursus Honorum. The main privi- 
lege which they enjoyed, however, was the exclusive right 
to become candidates for the republican magistracies (cf. 
p. 374), and thereby to gain admission to the senate. 
Certain important imperial offices also were open only to 
members of the order. The republican magistracies and 
the imperial offices open only to senators constituted the 

senatorial cursus honorum, which is illustrated in so many c. I. L. v. 


15262 ; 

inscriptions. X. 

(e) Latinitas and Peregrinitas 

498. Latinitas. As a result of the Social war the rights 
of Roman citizenship had been granted to the people of 
Italy living south of the river Po (cf. p. 102). Julius 
Caesar extended the same rights to the communities of 
Transpadane Gaul (p. 122), so that there were no com- 
munities with Latin rights in the peninsula at the begin- 
ning of the imperial period. The ius Latii was, however, 


conferred by Vespasian, Domitian, and other emperors 
upon many cities in the provinces (p. 315). The citizens 
of the municipia or oppida civium Latinorum or coloniae 
civium Latinorum, as these Latin communities were vari- 
ously called, had the ius commertii, and the prospect of 
acquiring the rights of Roman citizenship, in case they 
were elected to a local magistracy or admitted to the 
local senate. They acquired Roman citizenship also if 
they were enrolled in a legion, and individuals who had 
rendered a noteworthy service to the state were rewarded 
in the same way. Their right to vote in one of the 
tribes at Rome (cf. p. 248) amounted to little under the 
empire. In general they were subject to taxes and to mili- 
tary service. Mention has already been made (p. 390) of 
the Latini luniani. 

499. The Peregrin!. Even those with Latin rights are 
sometimes spoken of as peregrini, but the term is usually 
applied only to freemen who had neither Roman nor Latin 
citizenship. Into this category fell citizens of independent 
states, and members of communities which Rome had con- 
quered. Such legal rights as the peregrini had they gained 
by treaties between their own states and Rome, or in the 
court of the praetor, or through the charter of the province 
in which they lived. 

They were allowed to acquire property, to buy and to 
sell, but they did not have the ius conubii, nor the right 
to wear the toga, except as a specially granted privilege. 
The peregrini dediticii (cf. p. 390) belonged to a special 
category. A large addition was made by Marcus Aurelius 
and some of his successors (p. 326) to the number of 
the peregrini dediticii by the settlement of barbarian 
colonists, especially on the banks of the Rhine and the 


500. The Edict of Caracalla. The edict of Caracalla in 
the year 212 granted Roman citizenship to all freemen 
living in the Roman empire. This measure did not affect 
the Latini luniani or the peregrini dediticii, nor did it 
preclude the possibility of establishing new colonies of 
peregrini. In point of fact, the first two classes are found 
after Caracalla's time, but probably no new colonies of 
peregrini were established. 

(/) Political Divisions and Popular Assemblies 

501. Tribes, Centuries, and Classes. The division of the * 
people into thirty-five tribes continued under the empire, 
but, since citizens were no longer subject to the tributum 

or to military service, it served no other political purpose 
than to indicate the citizenship of those whose names 
appeared in the list. The one practical purpose which 
the tribal list did serve was to give the names of those 
who were entitled to gratuities of grain, or to such other 
largesses as the state saw fit to dispense. Membership in 
a tribe was usually hereditary. Almost all freemen were 
assigned to the thirty-one country tribes ; freedmen to the St. R. in. 
four urban tribes. Up to a late period the tribes were still 4 
divided into centuries of seniores and iuniores. Even the C. I. L. vi. 
division of the people into classes continued for a time, 
but it ultimately disappeared before the new property 
rating on which the equestrian and senatorial orders were 

502. The Comitia Curiata. After the fall of the republic 
we hear nothing of the lex curiata de imperio (p. 14), the 
one political measure upon which the comitia curiata had 

the right to act. That body still met, however, to pass on Suet.Aug.65. 
family affairs which required formal action. 


503. The Comitia Centuriata. The machinery of the 
comitia eenturiata was still in existence, and the external 
forms were still observed, such as the taking of auspices 

piin.Pan.63; and the displaying of a red flag on the Janiculum while 
the assembly was in session ; but the centuriate comitia had 
lost its meaning, and for the sake of convenience almost 
all the measures which were submitted to a popular assem- 
bly were brought before the comitia tributa. The one 
legislative matter over which it had held exclusive control 
under the republic, viz., the declaration of an offensive war, 
was now within the competence of the emperor ; the elec- 
tions were transferred to the senate by Tiberius, and, 
although the assembly was called together a few days after 
the senate had elected the magistrates, to hear the renun- 
tiatio, that ceremony was a simple act of confirmation by 
the multitude. The quaestiones had already supplanted 
the centuriate comitia in judicial matters. 

504. The Comitia Tributa. The comitia tributa assem- 
bled for the renuntiatio in the case of the curule aediles, 

Dio, 58. 20. the quaestors, and the XX viri, just as the centuriate 
assembly met to hear the announcement made of the newly 
elected consuls and praetors. In the field of legislation it 
played a more important part for a time than the centuriate 
comitia. Several of the important laws of Augustus were 

Herz. II. passed in this body, and ever in the reign of Domitian 
there is evidence of its activity, although, since most of the 
bills brought before it were probably drawn up by the 
princeps, its action can hardly have been free. 

505. The Concilium Plebis. A similar state of things 
robbed the concilium plebis of all significance. It was still 
in existence under the early empire, but the measures 
which it passed were submitted to it by the princeps by 
virtue of his tribunician power. 



A. v. Brinz, Alimentenstiftungen d. rom. Kaiser, Sitzungsber. d. k. 

bayr. Akad. d. Wiss. 1887, Hist. Klasse, pp. 209 ff. 
L. Cantarelli, I latini luniani. Bologna, 1883. 
G. Cothenet, De la condition des peregrins. Dijon, 1885. 
L. M. Hartmann, De exilio apud Romanes usque ad Severi Alexandri 

principatum. Berlin, 1887. 
H. Lemonnier, fitude hist, sur la condition privee des affranchis, 

etc. Paris, 1887. 
F. Lindet, De 1'acquisition et de la perte du droit de cite rom. 

Paris, 1880. 

N. H. Michel, Droit de cite rom. Paris, 1885. 
Stobbe, Ueber die Komitien unter den Kaisern, Philol. XXXI. 


1 See also bibliography on pp. 265, 288, 304, 316, 328, 358. 



(a) Senatorial Documents 

1. Motion made by Caesar with reference to the Cati- 
linarian conspirators (Sail. Cat. 51. 43). Cf. pp. 228 f. 

Sed ita censeo, publicandas eorum pecunias, ipsos in vinculis 
habendos per municipia, quae maxume opibus valent, neu quis 
de eis postea ad senatum referat neve cum populo agat ; qui 
aliter fecerit, senatum existumare eum contra rem publicam et 
salutem omnium facturum. 

2. Motion made by Cicero in 43 B.C. with reference to 
Antony's soldiers (Cic. Phil. 8. 33). 

Quas ob res ita censeo : eorum, qui cum M. Antonio sunt, 
qui ab armis discesserint et aut ad C. Pansam aut ad A. Hir- 
tium consules aut ad Decimum Brutum imperatorem, consulem 
designatum, aut ad C. Caesarem pro praetore ante Idus Martias 
primas adierint, eis fraudi ne sit, quod cum M. Antonio fuerint. 
Si quis eorum, qui cum M. Antonio sunt, fecerit quod honore 
praemiove dignum esse videatur, uti C. Pansa, A. Hirtius 
consules, alter ambove, si eis videbitur, de eius honore prae- 
miove primo quoque die ad senatum referant. Si quis post 
hoc senatus consultum ad Antonium profectus esset praeter 
L. Varium, senatum existimaturum eum contra rem publicam 

3. The senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, so-called, 
of the year 186 B.C. (C. I. L. I. 196 =X. I04). 1 In reality 

1 In most of the epigraphical documents which follow, the text of Bruns, Fontes 
Juris Rotnani A ntiqui (6th edition, 1893), has been adopted. 




it is a letter from the consuls embodying the decree, and 
addressed to certain municipal magistrates. 

[Q.~] Marcius L. ., S(p.) Postumius L. f. cos. senatum con- 
soluerunt n(onis) Octob. apud aedem Duelonai. 

Sc(ribendo) arf(uerunt) M. Claudi(us) M. f., L. Valeri(us) 
P. f., -Q. Minuci(us) C. f. 

De Bacanalibus quei foideratei esent ita exdeicendum 
censuere : 

Neiquis eorum ^acanal habuise velet ; sei ques esent, 
quei sibei deicerent necesus ese Bacanal habere, eeis utei ad 
pr(aitorem) urbanum Romam venirent, deque eeis rebus, ubei 
eorum ver&a. audita esent, utei senatus noster decerneret, dum 
ne minus senatorbus C adesent [quoin e~]a. res cosoleretur. 

Bacas vir nequis adiese velet ceivis Romanus neve nominus 
Latini neve socium quisquam, nisei pr. urbanum adiesent, isque 
[d?]e senatuos sententiad, dum ne minus senatoribus C adesent 
quom ea res cosoloretur, iousis^t. Ce[]suere. 

Sacerdos nequis vir eset ; magister neque vir neque mulier 
quisquam eset. Neve pecuniam quisquam eorum comoine[#z 
/t]abuise ve[/]et ; neve magistratum, neve pro magistratu^/, 
neque virum \neque /#/]ierein quiquam fecise velet. Neve 
post hac inter sed conioura[j<? /]e comvovise neve conspon- 
dise neve conpromesise velet, neve quisquam fidem inter sed 
dedise velet. Sacra in ^quoltod ne quisquam fecise velet ; neve 
in poplicod neve in preivatod neve exstrad urbem sacra quis- 
quam fecise velet, nisei pr. urbanum adieset, isque de senatuos 
sententiad, dum ne minus senatoribus C adesent quom ea res 
cosoleretur, iousis<?t. Censuere. 

Homines pious V oinvorsei virei atque mulieres sacra ne 
quisquam fecise velet, neve interibei virei pious duobus, mulieri 
bus pious tribus arfuise velent, nisei de pr. urbani senatuosque 
sententiad, utei suprad scriptum est. 

Haice utei in coventionid exdeicatis ne minus trinum noun- 
dinum, senatuosque sententiam utei scientes esetis eorum sen- 
tentia ita fuit : ' sei ques esent, quei avorsum ead fecisent, quam 


suprad scriptum est, eeis rem caputalem faciendam censuere ' 
atque utei hoce in tabolam ahenam inceideretis, ita senatus 
aiquom censuit, uteique earn figier ioubeatis, ubei facilumed 
gnoscier potisit ; atque utei ea Bacanalia, sei qua sunt, exstrad 
quam sei quid ibei sacri est, ita utei suprad scriptum est, in 
diebus X, quibus vobeis tabelai datai erunt, faciatis utei dismota 

4. An extract from the senatus consultum de Thisbaeis, 
of the year 170 B.C., preserved on a marble tablet found in 
Boeotia (Eph. Epigr. I, p. 278). 

(a] KotvTO? Mcuvios Ttrov wo? o-rpaTTjyos rrji trw/cAr/ran crvve- 
/JovAeixraro ev KO/utCTt'wt Trpo T7/xep[u>]i/ CTTTO. eiSvwv 'OKTa>/A/?ptW. 

Fpa<op;eVaH iraprjcrav Mai/ios'AKi'Aios Man'ou vios'OXreftvtJa, 
TITOS No/Aicrtos TtVov vids. 

Ilepi <Sv i<r[/:?]d? Xoyovs e7rot^(rai/ro Trepi roiv KaO' a{i[r]ovs 
, oirtve? ev rfji <^>tA.tai r^t Ty/Aerepat eve/xetvav, 
ojts TOL Ka0' avTOVS 7rpay/i.aTa ^ryy 

Mat'nos o-rpar^yos roiv CK T^S o-w/cXr/rov [TTJCVTC aTrora^^t, ot 
av avrtot K raiv 8^/xoo-tW 7rpa[y/u.Jarcov Kal T^9 tSw 

(<5) Q. Maenius T. f. praetor senatum consuluit in comitio 
a. d. VII idus Octobres. 

Scribendo adfuerunt M'. Acilius M'. f. Vol(tinia), T. Numi- 
sius T. f. 

Quod Thisbaei verba fecerunt de rebus ad se pertinentibus 
ii qui in amicitia nostra permanserunt, ut sibi darentur, quibus 
res ad se pertinentes exponerent, 

de ea re ita censuerunt : ut Q. Maenius praetor ex senatu 
quinque delegaret, qui sibi e re publica fideque sua viderentur. 

5. A senatus consultum, passed in 5 1 B.C. with reference 
to Caesar's provinces (Cic. ad Fam. 8. 8. 5). 


Pr. Kal. Octobris in aede Apollinis scrib. adfuerunt L. 
Domitius Cn. f. Fab. Ahenobarbus, Q. Caecilius Q. f. Fab. 
Metellus Pius Scipio, L. Villius L. f. Pom. Annalis, C. Sep- 
timius T. f. Quir., C. Lucilius C. f. Pup. Hirrus, C. Scri- 
bonius C. f. Pop. Curio, L. Ateius L. f. An. Capito, M. Eppius 
M/f. Ter. Quod M. Marcellus cos. v(erba) f(ecit) de pro- 
vinciis consularibus, d(e) e(a) r(e) i(ta) c(ensuere), uti L. 
Paulus, C. Marcellus coss., cum magistratum inissent, ex Kal. 
Mart, quae in suo magistratu futurae essent, de consularibus 
provinciis ad senatum referrent, neve quid prius ex Kal. Mart. 
ad senatum referrent, neve quid coniunctim, utique eius rei 
causa per dies comitialis senatum haberent senatique consul- 
turn facerent, et, cum de ea re ad senatum referretur, a con- 
siliis, qui eorum in CCC. iudicibus essent, s(ine) f(raude) 
s(ua) adducere liceret ; si quid de ea re ad populum plebemve 
lato opus esset, uti Ser. Sulpicius, M. Marcellus coss., praetores 
tribunique pi., quibus eorum videretur, ad populum plebemve 
ferrent ; quod si ii non tulissent, uti, quicumque deinceps essent, 
ad populum plebemve ferrent. C(ensuere). 

6. A senatus auctoritas (cf. pp. 198 f., 229 f.) of the 
year 51. Four tribunes interposed their vetoes (Cic. ad 
Fam. 8. 8. 6). 

Pr. Kal. Octobris in aede Apollinis scrib. adfuerunt L. 
Domitius Cn. f. Fab. Ahenobarbus, Q. Caecilius Q. f. Fab. 
Metellus Pius Scipio, L. Villius L. f. Pom. Annalis, C. Septi- 
mius T. f. Quir., C. Lucilius C. f. Pup. Hirrus, C. Scribonius 
C. f. Pop. Curio, L. Ateius L. f. An. Capito, M. Eppius M. f. 
Ter. Quod M. Marcellus cos. v(erba) f(ecit) de provinciis, 
d(e) e(a) r(e) i(ta) c(ensuere), senatum existimare neminem 
eorum, qui potestatem habent intercedendi, impediendi, moram 
adferre oportere, quo minus de r(e) p(ublica) p(opuli) 
R(omani) q(uam) p(rimum) ad senatum referri senatique con- 
sultum fieri possit: qui impedierit, prohibuerit, eum senatum 
existimare contra rem publicam fecisse. Si quis huic s. c. 
intercesserit, senatui placere auctoritatem prescribi et de ea 


re ad senatum p(rimo) q(uoque) t(empore) referri. Huic s. c. 
intercessit C. Caelius, L. Vinicius, P. Cornelius, C. Vibius 
Pansa, tribuni pi. 

7. The senatus consultum de nundinis saltus Beguensis, 
found at Henschir Begar in Africa. Its date is A.D. 138 
(C. I. L. VIII. 270 and Suppl. 11451). 

SC. de nundinis saltus Beguensis in t(erritorio) Casensi, 
descriptum et recognitum ex libro sententiarum in senatu 
dic[ta]rum k(apite) VI T. luni Nigri, C. Pomponi Camerini 
co(n)s(ulum), in quo scripta erant A[/r/V^]ni iura et id quod 
i(nfra) s(criptum) est. 

In comitio in curia 

[6Vr]ibundo adfuerunt Q. Sa[/]onius Q. f. Ouf. [Z>]ngus, 
. . . [^4]ni Quar[/]inus, C. Oppius C. f. Vel. Severus, C. 

For(?) . . C. f \Sex. JEVwjciuO], M. f. Quir. Clarus, P. 

Cassius L. f. Aem. Dexter q(uaestor), P. Nonius M. f. Ou[y"]. 
Macrinus q(uaestor). In senatu fuerunt C. 

SC. per discessionem factum. 

Quod P. Cassius Secundus, P. Delphius Peregrinus Aleius 
Alennius Maximus Curtius Valerianus Proculus M. Nonius 
Mucianus coss. verba fecerunt de desiderio amicorum Lucili 
Africani c(larissimi) v(iri), qui petunt : ut ei permittatur in 
provincia Afric(a), regione Beguensi, territorio Musulamiorum, 
ad Casas, nundinas II II nonas Novemb. et XII k. Dec., ex eo 
omnibus mensibus I III non. et XII k. sui cuiusq(ue) mensis 
instituere habere, quid fieri placeret, 

de ea re ita censuerunt : permittendum Lucilio Africano, 
c. v., in provincia Afric(a), regione Beguensi, territorio Musu- 
lamiorum, ad Casas, nundinas I II I non. Novemb. et XII k. 
Decembr. et ex eo omnibus mensibus I II I non. et XII k. sui 
cuiusq(ue) mensis instituere et habere, eoque vicinis adve- 
nisq(ue) nundinandi dumtaxat causa coire convenire sine iniuria 
et incommodo cuiusquam liceat. 

Actum idibus Octobr. P. Cassio Secundo, M. Nonio Muci- 
ano. Eodem exemplo de eadem re duae tabellae signatae 


sunt. Signatores: T. Fl. Comini scrib(ae), C. lull Fortunati 
scrib(ae), M. Caesi Helvi Euhelpisti, Q. Metili Onesimi, 
C. lull Periblepti, L. Verani Philerotis, T. Flavi Crescentis. 

( b ) Actions of the Popular Assemblies 

8. Selections from the fragments preserved in literature 
of the Laws of the Twelve Tables, dating from 45 1-450 B.C. 
Cf. pp. 30 f. 


1. Si in ius vocat, ito. Ni it, antestamino : igitur em 
capito. Si calvitur pedemve struit, manum endo iacito. Si 
morbus aevitasve vitium escit, iumentum dato. Si nolet, 
arceram ne sternito. 

2. Assiduo vindex assiduus esto ; proletario iam civi quis 
volet vindex esto. 

3. Rem ubi pacunt, orato. Ni pacunt, in comitio aut in 
foro ante meridiem caussam coiciunto. Com peroranto ambo 
praesentes. Post meridiem praesenti litem addicito. Si ambo 
praesentes, solis occasus suprema tempestas esto. 


1 . ... Morbus sonticus . . aut status dies cum hoste . . quid 
horum fuit unum iudici arbitrove reove, eo dies diffissus esto. 

2, Cui testimonium defuerit, is tertiis diebus ob portum 
obvagulatum ito. 


i . Aeris conf essi rebusque iure iudicatis xxx dies iusti sunto. 
Post deinde manus iniectio esto. In ius ducito. Ni iudicatum 
facit aut quis endo eo in iure vindicit, secum ducito, vincito aut 
nervo aut compedibus xv pondo, ne minore, aut si volet maiore 
vincito. Si volet suo vivito. Ni suo vivit, qui eum vinctum 
habebit, libras farris endo dies dato. Si volet, plus dato. 



2. Tertiis nundinis partis secanto. Si plus minusve secue- 
runt, se fraude esto. 

3. Adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas [esto]. 

9. The first paragraph of the lex Quinctia de aquaeduc- 
tibus of 9 B.C. (Frontin. de Aq. 129). This is a plebisci- 
tum. On the method of voting in the two tribal assemblies, 
cf. pp. 262 f. 

T. Quinctius Crispinus consul populum iure rogavit popu- 
lusque iure scivit in foro pro rostris aedis divi lulii pr(idie) 

[k.] lulias. Tribus Sergia principium fuit, pro tribu Sex 

L. f. Virro [primus scivit]. 

10. The lex de imperio Vespasiani (cf. pp. 270, 307, 
341 f., 345). It is of the year 69, and was found on a 
bronze tablet at Rome (C. L L. VI. 930). 

.... foedusve cum quibus volet facere liceat ita, uti licuit 
divo Aug(usto), Ti. lulio Caesari Aug(usto), Tiberioque 
Claudio Caesari Aug(usto) Germanico ; 

utique ei senatum habere, relationem facere, remittere, sena- 
tus consulta per relationem discessionemque facere liceat ita, 
uti licuit divo Aug(usto), Ti. lulio Caesari Aug(usto), Ti. 
Claudio Caesari Augusto Germanico ; 

utique cum ex voluntate auctoritateve iussu mandatuve eius 
praesenteve eo senatus habebitur, omnium rerum ius perinde 
habeatur servetur, ac si e lege senatus edictus esset habe- 
re turque ; 

utique quos magistratum potestatem imperium curationemve 
cuius rei petentes senatui populoque Romano commendaverit 
quibusque suffragationem suam dederit promiserit, eorum 
comitis quibusque extra ordinem ratio habeatur ; 

utique ei fines pomerii proferre promovere cum ex re 
publica censebit esse, liceat ita, uti licuit Ti. Claudio Caesari 
Aug(usto) Germanico; 

utique quaecunque ex usu rei publicae maiestate^z^ divina- 
rum humawrtrum publicarum privatarumque rerum esse censebit, 


ei agere facere ius potestasque sit, ita uti divo Aug(usto), 
Tiberioque lulio Caesari Aug(usto), Tiberioque Claudio 
Caesari Aug(usto) Germanico fuit; 

utique quibus legibus plebeive scitis scriptum fuit, ne divus 
Aug(ustus), Tiberiusve lulius Caesar Aug(ustus), Tiberiusque 
Claudius Caesar Aug(ustus) Germanicus tenerentur, iis legibus 
plebisque scitis imp(erator) Caesar Vespasianus solutus sit; 
quaeque ex quaque lege rogatione divum Aug(ustum), Tibe- 
riumve lulium Caesarem Aug(ustum), Tiberiumve Claudium 
Caesarem Aug(ustum) Germanicum facere oportuit, ea omnia 
imp(eratori) Caesari Vespasiano Aug(usto) facere liceat; 

utique quae ante hanc legem rogatam acta gesta decreta 
imperata ab imperatore Caesare Vespasiano Aug(usto) iussu 
mandatuve eius a quoque sunt ea perinde iusta rataq(ue) sint, 
ac si populi plebisve iussu acta essent 

Si quis huiusce legis ergo adversus leges rogationes plebisve 
scita senatusve consulta fecit fecerit, sive quod eum ex lege 
rogatione plebisve scito s(enatus)ve c(onsulto) facere oportebit, 
non fecerit huius legis ergo, id ei ne fraudi esto, neve quit ob 
earn rem populo dare debeto, neve cui de ea re actio neve 
iudicatio esto, neve quis de ea re apud [j]e agi sinito. 

(c) Edicts 

ii. Two sections from the edictum perpetuum praetoris 
urbani, entitled respectively (A) De vi turba incendio rel., 
and (B) De iniuriis. Cf. pp. 190, 318. 

A. De vi turba incendio rel. 

i. Vi bonorum raptorum et de turba. Si cui dolo 
malo hominibus coactis damni quid factum esse dicetur sive 
cuius bona rapta esse dicentur, in eum, qui id fecisse dicetur, 
iudicium dabo. Item si servus fecisse dicetur, in dominum 
iudicium noxale dabo. Cuius dolo malo in turba damn/ 
quid factum esse dicetur, in eum in anno, quo primum de ea 



re experiundi potestas fuerit, in duplum, post annum in sim- 
plum indicium dabo. 

. 2. De incendio ruina naufragio rate nave expugnata. In 
eum, qui ex incendio ruina naufragio rate nave expugnata 
quid rapuisse recepisse dolo malo damnive quid in his rebus 
dedisse dicetur : in quadruplum in anno, quo primum de ea re 
experiundi potestas fuerit, post annum in simplum iudicium 
dabo. Item in servum et in familiam iudicium dabo. 

B. De iniuriis. I Qui autem iniuriarum agit, 

certum dicat, quid iniuriae factum sit, et taxationem ponat non 
mrt/orem quam quanti vadimonium fuerit. 

2. Qui adversus bonos mores convicium cui fecisse cuiusve 
opera factum esse dicetur, quo adversus bonos mores convicium 
fieret ; in eum iudicium dabo. 

3. Ne quid infamandi causa fiat. Si quis adversus ea fece- 
rit, prout quaeque res erit, animadvertam. 

4. Qui servum alienum adversus bonos mores verberavisse 
deve eo iniussu domini quaestionem habuisse dicetur, in eum 
iudicium dabo. Item si quid aliud factum esse dicetur, causa 
cognita isdicium dabo. 

5. Si ei, qui in alterius potestate erit, iniuria facta esse 
dicetur et neque is, cuius in potestate est, praesens erit neque 
procurator quisquam existat, qui eo nomine agat : causa cognita 
ipsi, qui iniuriam accepisse dicetur, iudicium dabo. 

12. An extract from an edict of the curule aediles. Cf. 
pp. 204 ff. 

i. De mancipiis vendundis. Qui mancipia vendunt, 
certiores faciant emptores, quid morbi vitiive cuique sit, quis 
fugitivus errove sit noxave solutus non sit: eademque omnia, 
cum ea mancipia venibunt, palam recte pronuntianto. Quod si 
mancipium adversus ea venisset sive adversus quod dictum 
promissumve fuerit, cum veniret, fuisset, quod eius praestari 
oportere dicetur : emptori omnibusque, ad quos ea res pertinet, 
(in sex mensibus, quibus primum de ea re experiundi potestas 
fuerit} iudicium dabimus, ut id mancipium redhibeatur, si 


quid autem post venditionem traditionemque deterius emptoris 
opera familiae procuratorisve eius factum erit, sive quid ex eo 
post venditionem natum adquisitum fuerit, et si quid aliud in 
venditione ei accesserit, sive quid ex ea re fructus pervenerit 
ad emptorem, ut ea omnia restituat, item, si quas accessiones 
ipse praestiterit, ut recipiat. Item si quod mancipium capi- 
talem fraudem admiserit, mortis consciscendae sibi causa quid 
fecerit, inve harenam depugnandi causa ad bestias intromissus 
fuerit, ea omnia in venditione pronuntianto : ex his enim causis 
iudicium dabimus. Hoc amplius, si quis adversus ea sciens 
dolo malo vendidisse dicetur, iudicium dabimus. 

13. An edict of the censors of the year 92 B.C. 
(Cell. 15. n). Cf. pp. 192 ff. 

Renuntiatum est nobis esse homines, qui novum genus 
disciplinae instituerunt, ad quos iuventus in ludum conveniat ; 
eos sibi nomen imposuisse Latinos rhetoras ; ibi homines adu- 
lescentulos dies totos desidere. Maiores nostri, quae liberos 
suos discere et quos in ludos itare vellent, instituerunt. Haec 
nova, quae praeter consuetudinem ac morum maiorum fiunt, 
neque placent neque recta videntur. Quapropter et iis, qui eos 
ludos habent, et iis, qui eo venire consuerunt, videtur faciundum, 
ut ostenderemus nostram sententiam, nobis non placere. 

14. A proclamation of the proconsul of Farther Spain 
of the year 189 B.C. (C. I. L. II. 5041). 

L. Aimilius L. f. inpeirator decreivit, utei quei Hastensium 
servei in turri Lascutana habitarent, leiberei essent ; agrum 
oppidumqu(e), quod ea tempestate posedisent, item possidere 
habereque iousit, dum poplus senatusque Romanus vellet. 
Act(um) in castreis a. d. XII k. Febr. 

15. The praescriptio of a proclamation of the proconsul 
of Sardinia of the year 69 (C. I. L. X. 7852). 

Imp. Othone Caesare Aug. cos. XV k. Apriles descriptum 
et recognitum ex codice ansato L. Helvi Agrippae procons(ulis), 



quern protulit Cn. Egnatius Fuscus scriba quaestorius, in quo 

scriptum fuit it quod infra scriptum est tabula Vc VIII 

et VI I II etX, etc. 

16. An extract from an edict of the Emperor Claudius 
of the year 46, bearing the title de civitate Anaunorum 
(C. I. L. V. 5050). Cf. p. 349. 

M. lunio Silano Q. Sulpicio Camerino cos. idibus Martis 
Bais in praetorio edictum Ti. Claudi Caesaris Augusti Ger- 
manici propositum fuit id quod infra scriptum est : 

Ti. Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, pont(ifex) maxi- 
m(us), trib(unicia) potest(ate) VI, imp(erator) XI, p(ater) 
p(atriae), co(n)s(ul) designatus IIII, dicit: 

Cum ex veteribus controversis pe^dfentibus aliquamdiu 
etiam temporibus Ti. Caesaris patrui mei, ad quas ordinandas 
Pinarium Apollinarem miserat, quae tantum modo inter 
Comenses essent, quantum memoria refero, et Bergaleos, 
isque primum apsentia pertinaci patrui mei, deinde etiam 
Gai principatu quod ab eo non exigebatur referre, non stulte 
quidem, neglexserit, et posteac detulerit Camurius Statutus ad 
me, agros plerosque et saltus mei iuris esse : in rem praesentem 
misi Plantam lulium amicum et comitem meum, qui cum 
adhibitis procuratoribus meis quz'que in alia regione quique in 
vicinia erant, summa cura inquisierit et cognoverit, cetera 
quidem, ut mihi demonstrata commentario facto ab ipso sunt, 
statuat pronuntietque ipsi permitto. 

17. An oath of allegiance to the Emperor Gaius, on a 
bronze tablet found in Lusitania (C. I. L. II. 172). 

C. Ummidio Durmio Quadrato, leg(ato) C. Caesaris Ger- 
manici imp(eratoris) pro pr(aetore). 

I us iurandum Aritiensium. 

Ex mei animi sententia, ut ego iis inimicus ero, quos 
C. Caesari Germanico inimicos esse cognovero, et si quis 
periculum ei salutiq(ue) eius in/er/ in/er^tque armis bello 
internicivo terra mariq(ue) persequi non desinam, quoad 


poenas ei persolverit: neq(ue) me \neque} liberos meos eius 
salute cariores habebo, eosq(ue), qui in eum hostili animo 
fuerint, mihi hostes esse ducam : si sciens fallo fefellerove, 
turn me liberosq(ue) meos luppiter optimus maximus ac divus 
Augustus ceteriq(ue) omnes di immortales expertem patria 
incolumitate fortunisque omnibus faxint. 

[A. d.~\ V idus Mai[^j] in Aritiense oppido veteri Cn. Acer- 
ronio Proculo, C. Petronio Pontio Nigrino cos., mag(istris) 
Vegeto Tallici, . . . ibio . . . arioni. 

18. A tabula patronatus by which the pagus Gurzen- 
sium in Africa makes L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the grand- 
father of Nero, its patron (C. I. L. VIII. 68). 

P. Sulpicio Quirinio, C. Valgio cos. senatus populusque 
civitatium stipendiariorum pago Gurzenses hospitium fecerunt 
quom L. Domitio Cn. f. L. n. Ahenobarbo procos., eumque et 
postereis eius sibi posterisque sueis patronum coptaverunt, 
isque eos posterosque eorum in fidem clientelamque suam 

Faciundum coeraverunt : Ammicar Milchatonis f., Cynasyn- 
(ensis) ; Boncar Azzrubalis f., Aethogursensis, Muthunbal 
Saphonis f., Cui. Nas. Uzitensis. 

(d) Inscriptions illustrating the Cursus Honorum 

19. Two inscriptions illustrating the cursus honorum 
of a member of the senatorial order under the empire 
(C. f. L. VI. 1333 and VI. 332). Cf. pp. 374, 395. 

L. Aemilio L. f. Cam. Karo cos., leg. Aug. pr. pr. provinciae 
Cappadociae, leg. Aug. pr. pr. censitori provinciae Lugdunen- 
sis, leg. Aug. pr. pr. provinciae Arabiae, curatori viae Flami- 
niae, leg. leg. XXX U. V., praet, trib. pleb., quaest. Aug., 
trib. militum leg. VIII Aug., trib. militum leg. VIIII His- 
panae, X viro stlitib. iudic., sodali Flaviali, XV viro s. f., 
C. lulius Erucianus Crispus praef. alae primae Ulpiae Daco- 
rum amico optimo, 


[/z^r]cul[i] Victori P. Plotius Romanus cos., sod. Aug. Cl., 
leg. Aug. pr. pr. prov. Arab, item Gal., praef. aer. Sat., leg. 
Aug. cens. ace. Hisp. Cit., iur. per Aem. Lig., cur. viae Labic., 
cur. Verc., pr. urb., trib. pi., q. kand., VI vir eq. R. tur. TI, 
trib. mil. legg. I Min. et II Adiut, IIII v. v. cur., aedem cum 
omni cultu consecravit. 

20. An inscription illustrating the cursus honorum of a 
member of the equestrian order under the empire (C. I. L. 
VIII. 9990). Cf. pp. 393 f. 

P. Besio P. f. Quir. Betuiniano C. Mario Memmio Sabino 
praef. coh. I Raetorum, trib. leg. X G. p. f., praef. alae 
Dardanorum, procuratori imp. Caesaris Nervae Traiani Aug. 
Germ. Dacici monetae, proc. provinc. Baeticae, proc. XX 
hered., proc. pro leg. provinc. Mauretaniae Tingitanae, donis 
donato ab imp. Traiano Aug. bello Dacico corona murali 
vallari hastis pur. vexillo argent., exacti exercitus. 

21. An inscription illustrating the official career of a 
member of the third class (C. I. L. VI. 1808). Cf. pp. 
39i f 

Sex. Caecilio Epagatho scrib. libr. tribunicio, apparitori 
Caesarum, scrib. libr. q. Ill decur., viat. Ill vir. et IIII vir., 
scrib. libr. aed. cur., patri optimo, Sex. Caecilius Sex. f. Quir. 
Birronianus et M. Caecilius Sex. f. Quir. Statianus. 



(a) The Magistracies 

1. The aediles, censors, praetors, and consuls. 

Sunto aediles curatores urbis, annonae ludorumque sollem- 
nium ; ollisque ad honoris amplioris gradum is primus ascensus 
esto. Censores populi aevitates, suboles, f amilias pecuniasque 
censento ; urbis tecta templa, vias, aquas, aerarium, vectigalia 
tuento ; populique partes in tribus discribunto ; exin pecunias, 
aevitates, ordines partiunto ; equitum peditumque prolem descri- 
bunto ; caelibes esse prohibento ; mores populi regunto ; probrum 
in senatu ne relinquunto. Bini sunto ; magistratum quinquen- 
nium habento [reliqui magistratus annui sunto] eaque potestas 
semper esto. luris disceptator, qui privata iudicet iudicarive 
iubeat, praetor esto. Is iuris civilis custos esto. Huic pote- 
state pari quotcumque senatus creverit populusve iusserit, tot 
sunto. Regio imperio duo sunto ; iique praeeundo, iudicando, 
consulendo praetores, indices, consules appellamino ; militiae 
summum ius habento ; nemini parento ; ollis salus populi 
suprema lex esto. Eumdem magistratum, ni interf uerint decem 
anni, ne quis capito. Cic. de Legg. 3. 7-9. 

2. Collegiality ; magistratus maiores and minores. Cf. 
pp. i54ff. 

In edicto consulum, quo edicunt, quis dies comitiis cen- 
turiatis futurus sit, scribitur ex vetere forma perpetua : ne quis 
magistratus minor de caelo servasse velit. Quaeri igitur solet, 
qui sint magistratus minores. Super hac re meis verbis nil 




opus fuit, quoniam liber M. Messalae auguris de auspiciis 
primus, cum hoc scriberemus, forte adfuit. Propterea ex eo 
libro verba ipsius Messalae subscripsimus : Patriciorum auspi- 
cia in duas sunt divisa potestates. Maxima sunt consulum, 
praetorum, censorum. Neque tamen eorum omnium inter se 
eadem aut eiusdem potestatis, ideo quod conlegae non sunt 
censores consulum aut praetorum, praetores consulum sunt. 
Ideo neque consules aut praetores' censoribus neque censores 
consulibus aut praetoribus turbant aut retinent auspicia; at 
censores inter se, rursus praetores consulesque inter se et vitiant 
et obtinent Praetor, etsi conlega consulis est, neque prae- 
torem neque consulem iure rogare potest, ut quidem nos a 
superioribus accepimus aut ante haec tempora servatum est et ut 
in Commentario tertio decimo C. Tuditani patet, quia imperium 
minus praetor, maius habet consul, et a minore imperio maius 
aut maior [a minore] conlega rogari iure non potest. Nos 
his temporibus praetore praetores creante veterum auctoritatem 
sumus secuti neque his comitiis in auspicio fuimus. Censores 
aeque non eodem rogantur auspicio atque consules et praetores. 
Reliquorum magistratuum minora sunt auspicia. Ideo illi 
' minores,' hi ' maiores ' magistratus appellantur. Minoribus 
creatis magistratibus tributis comitiis magistratus, sed iustus 
curiata datur lege ; maiores centuriatis comitiis fiunt. 

Ex his omnibus verbis Messalae manifestum fit, et qui sint 
magistratus minores et quamobrem ' minores ' appellentur. Sed 
et conlegam esse praetorem consuli docet, quod eodem auspicio 
creantur. Maiora autem dicuntur auspicia habere, quia eorum 
auspicia magis rata sunt quam aliorum. Cell. N. A. 13. 15. 

3. The right of appeal. Cf. pp. 27, 31, 98, 240 ff. 

(P. Valerius Publicola) legem ad populum tulit earn, quae 
centuriatis comitiis prima lata est, ne quis magistratus civem 
Romanum adversus provocationem necaret neve verberaret. 
Provocationem autem etiam a regibus fuisse declarant ponti- 
ficii libri, significant nostri etiam augurales, itemque ab 
omni iudicio poenaque provocari licere indicant XII Tabulae 


compluribus legibus, et,quod proditum memoria est, decem viros, 
qui leges scripserint, sine provocatione creates, satis ostenderit 
reliquos sine provocatione magistratus non fuisse ; Luciique 
Valerii Potiti et M. Horatii Barbati, hominum concordiae 
causa sapienter popularium, consularis lex sanxit ne quis 
magistratus sine provocatione crearetur. Neque vero leges 
Porciae, quae tres sunt trium Porciorum, ut scitis, quidquam 
praeter sanctionem attulerunt novi. Itaque Publicola, lege 
ilia de provocatione perlata, statim secures de fascibus demi 
iussit postridieque sibi collegam Sp. Lucretium subrogavit, 
suosque ad eum, quod erat maior natu, lictores transire iussit, 
instituitque primus ut singulis consulibus alternis mensibus 
lictores praeirent, ne plura insignia essent imperii in libero 
populo quam in regno fuissent. Cic. de Re Publ. 2. 53-5. 

4. History of the quaestorship. Cf. pp. 206 f. 

P. Dolabella censuit spectaculum gladiatorum per omnes 
annos celebrandum pecunia eorum qui quaesturam adipisce- 
rentur. Apud maiores virtutis id praemium fuerat, cunctisque 
civium, si bonis artibus fiderent, licitum petere magistratus ; ac 
ne aetas quidem distinguebatur, quin prima iuventa consulatum 
et dictaturas inirent. Sed quaestores regibus etiam turn impe- 
rantibus instituti sunt : quod lex curiata ostendit, a L. Bruto 
repetita. Mansitque consulibus potestas deligendi, donee eum 
quoque honorem populus mandaret. Creatique primum Vale- 
rius Potitus et Aemilius Mamercus, sexagesimo tertio anno post 
Tarquinios exactos, ut rem militarem comitarentur. Dein, 
gliscentibus negotiis, duo additi, qui Romae curarent Mox 
duplicatus numerus, stipendiaria iam Italia, et accedentibus 
provinciarum vectigalibus. Post lege Sullae viginti creati 
supplendo senatui, cui iudicia tradiderat. Et, quamquam 
equites iudicia recuperavissent, quaestura tamen ex dignitate 
candidatorum aut facilitate tribuentium gratuito concedebatur, 
donee sententia Dolabellae velut venundaretur. Tac. Ann. 

II. 22. 


(b) The Senate 

5. Rules governing meetings of the senate. Cf. pp. 

225 ff. 

Gnaeo Pompeio consulatus primus cum M. Crasso desi- 
gnatus est. Eum magistratum Pompeius cum initurus foret, 
quoniam per militiae tempera senatus habendi consulendique, 
rerum expers urbanarum fuit, M. Varronem, familiarem suum 
rogavit, uti commentarium faceret ctcrayooyiKov sic enim 
Varro ipse appellat , ex quo disceret, quid facere dicereque 
deberet, cum senatum consuleret. Eum librum commentarium, 
quern super ea re Pompeio fecerat, perisse Varro ait in litteris, 
quas ad Oppianum dedit, quae sunt in libro Epistolicarum 
Quaestionum quarto, in quibus litteris, quoniam quae ante 
scripserat non comparebant, docet nirsum multa ad earn rem 

Primum ibi ponit, qui fuerint, per quos more maiorum sena- 
tus haberi soleret eosque nominat : dictatorem, consules, prae- 
tores, tribunes plebi, interregem, praefectum urbi,' neque alii 
praeter hos ius fuisse dixit facere senatusconsultum, quoti- 
ensque usus venisset, ut omnes isti magistratus eodem tempore 
Romae essent, turn quo supra ordine scripti essent, qui eorum 
prior aliis esset, ei potissimum senatus consulendi ius fuisse 
ait, deinde extraordinario iure tribunes quoque militares, qui 
pro consulibus fuissent, item decemviros, quibus imperium 
consulare turn esset, item triumviros rei publicae constituendae 
causa creates ius consulendi senatum habuisse. 

Postea scripsit de intercessionibus dixitque, intercedendi, ne 
senatusconsultum fieret, ius fuisse iis solis, qui eadem potestate, 
qua ii, qui senatusconsultum facere vellent, maioreve essent. 

Turn adscripsit de locis, in quibus senatusconsultum fieri 
iure posset, docuitque confirmavitque, nisi in loco per augurem 
constitute, quod ' templum ' appellaretur, senatusconsultum 
factum esset, iustum id non fuisse. Propterea et in curia 
Hostilia' et in Pompeia et post in lulia, cum prof ana ea loca 


fuissent, templa esse per augures constituta, ut in iis senatus- 
consulta more maiorum iusta fieri possent. Inter quae id 
quoque scriptum reliquit, non omnes aedes sacras templa esse 
ac ne aedem quidem Vestae templum esse. 

Post haec deinceps dicit, senatusconsultum ante exortum 
aut post occasum solem factum ratum non fuisse, opus etiam 
censorium fecisse existimatos, per quos eo tempore senatus- 
consultum factum esset. 

Docet deinde inibi multa : quibus diebus habere senatum 
ius non sit; immolareque hostiam prius auspicarique debere, 
qui senatum habiturus esset, de rebusque divinis prius quam 
humanis ad senatum referendum esse ; turn porro referri opor- 
tere aut infinite de re publica aut de singulis rebus finite ; sena- 
tusque consultum fieri duobus modis : aut per discessionem, si 
consentiretur, aut, si res dubia esset, per singulorum senteritias 
exquisitas ; singulos autem debere consuli gradatim incipique 
a consulari gradu. Ex quo gradu semper quidem antea primum 
rogari solitum, qui princeps in senatum lectus esset ; turn 
autem, cum haec scriberet, novum morem *institutum refert 
per ambitionem gratiamque, ut is primus rogaretur, quern 
rogare vellet qui haberet senatum, dum is tamen ex gradu 
consulari esset. Praeter haec de pignore quoque capiendo 
disserit deque multa dicenda senatori, qui, cum in senatum 
venire deberet, non adesset. Haec et alia quaedam id genus 
in libro, quo supra dixi, M. Varro epistula ad Oppianum scripta 
executus est. 

Sed quod ait, senatusconsultum duobus modis fieri solere, 
aut conquisitis sententiis aut per discessionem, parum convenire 
videtur cum eo, quod Ateius Capito in Coniectaneis scriptum 
reliquit. Nam in libro IX. Tuberonem dicere ait, nullum 
senatusconsultum fieri posse non discessione facta, quia in 
omnibus senatusconsultis, etiam in iis, quae per relationem 
fierent, discessio esset necessaria, idque ipse Capito verum esse 
adfirmat. Sed de hac omni re alio in loco plenius accuratius- 
que nos memini scribere. Cell. N. A. 14. 7. 


6. The expression of opinion and obstructive methods in 
the senate. Cf. pp. 227 ff. 

Ante legem, quae nunc de senatu habendo observatur, ordo 
rogandi sententias varius fuit. Alias primus rogabatur qui 
princeps a censoribus in senatum lectus fuerat, alias qui desi- 
gnati consules erant ; quidam e consulibus, studio aut necessi- 
tudine aliqua adducti, quern is visum erat honoris gratia extra 
ordinem sententiam primum rogabant. Observatum tamen est, 
cum extra ordinem fieret, ne quis quemquam ex alio quam ex 
consulari loco sententiam primum rogaret. C. Caesar in con- 
sulatu, quern cum M. Bibulo gessit, quattuor solos extra ordi- 
nem rogasse sententiam dicitur. Ex his quattuor principem 
rogabat M. Crassum ; sed, postquam filiam Cn. Pompeio 
desponderat, primum coeperat Pompeium rogare. 

Eius rei rationem reddidisse eum senatui Tiro Tullius, 
M. Ciceronis libertus, refert, itaque se ex patrono suo audisse 
scribit. Id ipsum Capita Ateius in libro, quem De Officio 
Senatorio composuit, scriptum reliquit. 

In eodem libro Capitonis id quoque scriptum est : C., inquit, 
Caesar consul M. Catonem sententiam rogavit Cato rem, 
quae consulebatur, quoniam non e re publica videbatur, perfici 
nolebat. Eius rei ducendae gratia longa oratione utebatur 
eximebatque dicendo diem. Erat enim ius senatori, ut sen- 
tentiam rogatus diceret ante quicquid vellet aliae rei et quoad 
vellet. Caesar consul viatorem vocavit eumque, cum finem 
non faceret, prendi loquentem et in carcerem duci iussit. 
Senatus consurrexit et prosequebatur Catonem in carcerem. 
Hac, inquit, invidia facta Caesar destitit et mitti Catonem 
iussit. Cell. N. A. 4. 10. 

7. Pedarii senatores. Cf. pp. 223 f. 

Non pauci sunt, qui opinantur, ' pedarios senatores ' appel- 
latos, qui sententiam in senatu non verbis dicerent, sed in 
alienam sententiam pedibus irent. Quid igitur ? cum senatus- 
consultum per discessionem fiebat, nonne universi senatores 


sententiam pedibus ferebant? Atque haec etiam vocabuli istius 
ratio dicitur, quam Gavius Bassus in Commentariis suis scriptam 
reliquit. Senatores enim dicit in veterum aetate, qui curulem 
magistratum gessissent, curru solitos honoris gratia in curiam 
vehi, in quo curru sella esset, super quam considerent, quae 
ob earn causam l curulis ' appellaretur ; sed eos senatores, qui 
magistratum curulem nondum ceperant, pedibus itavisse in 
curiam ; propterea senatores nondum maioribus honoribus 
c pedarios ' nominates. M. autem Varro in satira Menippea, 
quae 'ITTTTOKTXDV inscripta est, equites quosdam dicit ' pedarios ' 
appellatos, videturque eos significare, qui nondum a censoribus 
in senatum lecti senatores quidem non erant, sed, quia honori- 
bus populi usi erant, in senatum veniebant et sententiae ius 
habebant. Nam et curulibus magistratibus functi, si nondum 
a censoribus in senatum lecti erant, senatores non erant et, quia 
in postremis scripti erant, non rogabantur sententias, sed, quas 
principes dixerant, in eas discedebant. Cell. A T . A. 3. 18. 1-6. 

8. The praefectus urbi and the tribune as presiding officers 
in the senate. Cf. pp. 225 f. 

Praefectum urbi Latinarum causa relictum senatum habere 
posse lunius negat, quoniam ne senator quidem sit neque ius 
habeat sententiae dicendae, cum ex ea aetate praefectus fiat, 
quae non sit senatoria. M. autem Varro in quarto Epistoli- 
carum Quaestionum et Ateius Capito in Coniectaneorum IX., 
ius esse praefecto senatus habendi dicunt ; deque ea re adsen- 
sum esse Capito [Varro]nem Tuberoni contra sententiam lunii 
refert : Nam et tribunis, inquit, plebis senatus habendi ius erat, 
quamquam senatores non essent, ante Atinium plebiscitum. 
Cell. N. A. 14. 8. 

9. Secret voting in the senate. Cf. p. 384. 

Excesseramus sane manifestis illis apertisque suffragiis 
licentiam contionum. Non tempus loquendi, non tacendi 
modestia, non denique sedendi dignitas custodiebatur. Magni 
undique dissonique clamores, procurrebant omnes cum suis 


candidatis, multa agmina in medio, multique circuli et indecora 
confusio : adeo desciveramus a consuetudine parentum, apud 
quos omnia disposita, moderata, tranquilla, maiestatem loci 
pudoremque retinebant ! Supersunt senes, ex quibus audire 
soleo hunc ordinem comitiorum. Citato nomine candidati 
silentium summum. Dicebat ipse pro se, explicabat vitam 
suarh, testes et laudatores dabat, vel eum sub quo militaverat, 
vel eum cui quaestor fuerat, vel utrumque, si poterat ; addebat 
quosdam ex suffragatoribus ; illi graviter et paucis loquebantur. 
Plus hoc quain preces proderat. Nonnumquam candidatus aut 
natales competitoris, aut annos, aut etiam mores arguebat. 
Audiebat senatus gravitate censoria. Ita saepius digni quam 
gratiosi praevalebant. Quae nunc immodico favore corrupta, 
ad tacita' suffragia quasi ad remedium decucurrerunt Plin. 
Ep. 3. 20. 3-7. 

10. The frivolity of certain senators. 

Scripseram tibi verendum esse ne ex tacitis suffragiis vitium 
aliquod exsisteret. Factum est. Proximis comitiis in qui- 
busdam tabellis multa iocularia atque etiam foeda dictu, in 
una vero pro candidatorum nominibus suffragatorum nomina 
inventa sunt. Excanduit senatus, magnoque clamore ei qui 
scripsisset iratum principem est comprecatus. I lie tamen 
fefellit et latuit, fortasse etiam inter indignantes fuit. Quid 
hunc putamus domi facere, qui in tanta re, tarn serio tempore, 
tarn scurriliter ludat? qui denique omnino in senatu dicax et 
urbanus et bellus est? Tantum licentiae pravis ingeniis adicit 
ilia riducia: " Quis enim sciet?" Poposcit tabellam, stilum 
accepit, demisit caput : neminem veretur, se contemnit. hide 
ista ludibria, scaena et pulpito digna. Quo te vertas? quae 
remedia conquiras? Ubique vitia remediis fortiora. 'AAAot 
TO.VTO. TO) v-rrep YJ^ /AtA^cm, cui multum cotidie vigiliarum, 
multum laboris adicit haec nostra iners et tamen effrenata petu- 
lantia. Plin. Ep. 4- 25. 


(c) Popular Assemblies 

11. Popular assemblies in Athens and Rome. 

O morem praeclarum, disciplinamque, quam a maioribus 
accepimus, si quidem teneremus ! sed nescio quo pacto iam 
de manibus elabitur. Nullam enim illi nostri sapientissimi et 
sanctissimi viri vim contionis esse voluerunt. Quae scisceret 
plebes, aut quae populus iuberet, summota contione, distributes 
partibus, tributim et centuriatim discriptis ordinibus, classibus, 
aetatibus, auditis auctoribus, re multos dies promulgata et 
cognita, iuberi vetarique voluerunt. Graecorum autem totae 
res publicae sedentis contionis temeritate administrantur. 
Itaque, ut hanc Graeciam, quae iam diu suis consiliis perculsa 
et adflicta est, omittam, ilia vetus, quae quondam opibus, 
imperio, gloria floruit, hoc uno malo concidit, libertate immo- 
derata ac licentia contionum. Cum in theatre imperiti homines, 
rerum omnium rudes ignarique, consederant, turn bella inutilia 
suscipiebant, turn seditiosos homines rei publicae praeficiebant, 
turn optime meritos cives e civitate eiciebant. Cic. pro Flacco, 
15 f. 

12. The ius cum populo agendi. Cf. p. 164. 

Idem Messala in eodem libro de minoribus magistratibus ita 
scripsit : Consul ab omnibus magistratibus et comitiatum et 
contionem avocare potest Praetor et comitiatum et contionem 
usquequaque avocare potest, nisi a consule. Minores magi- 
stratus nusquam nee comitiatum nee contionem avocare possunt. 
.Ea re, qui eorum primus vocat ad comitiatum, is recte agit, 
quia bifariam cum populo agi non potest nee avocare alius alii 
potest. Set, si contionem habere volunt, uti ne cum populo 
agant, quamvis multi magistratus simul contionem habere 
possunt. Ex his verbis Messalae manifestum est, aliud esse 
cum populo agere,' aliud ' contionem habere.' Nam ' cum 
populo agere ' est rogare quid populum, quod suff ragiis suis aut 
iubeat aut vetet, ' contionem ' autem ' habere ' est verba facere 
ad populum sine ulla rogatione. Gell. N. A. 13. 16. 


13. Some points concerning the comitia and the concilium. 
Cf. pp. 251 ff. 

In libro Laelii Felicis ad Q. Mucium prlmo scriptum est, 
Labeonem scribere, ' calata ' comitia esse, quae pro conlegio 
pontificum habentur aut regis aut flaminum inaugurandorum 
causa. Eorum autem alia esse ' curiata,' alia ' centuriata ' ; 
' curiata ' per lictorem curiatum ' calari,' id est ' convocari,' 
'centuriata' per cornicinem. 

Isdem comitiis, quae ' calata ' appellari diximus, et sacrorum 
detestatio et testamenta fieri solebant. Tria enim genera testa- 
mentorum fuisse accepimus : unum, quod calatis comitiis in 
populi condone fieret, alterum in procinctu, cum viri ad proe- 
lium faciendum in aciem vocabantur, tertium per familiae 
emancipationem, cui aes et libra adhiberetur. 

In eodem Laelii Felicis libro haec scripta sunt : Is qui non 
ut universum populum, sed partem aliquam adesse iubet, non 
' comitia,' sed ' concilium ' edicere debet. Tribuni autem 
neque advocant patricios neque ad eos referre ulla de re 
possunt. Ita ne 'leges' quidem proprie, sed 'plebiscite' 
appellantur, quae tribunis plebis ferentibus accepta sunt, qui- 
bus rogationibus ante patricii non tenebantur, donee Q. Horten- 
sius dictator legem tulit, ut eo iure, quod plebs statuisset, 
omnes Quirites tenerentur. Item in eodem libro hoc scriptum 
est : Cum ex generibus hominum suffragium f eratur, ' curiata ' 
comitia esse, cum ex censu et aetate 'centuriata,' cum ex regio- 
nibus et locis, ' tributa ' ; centuriata autem comitia intra 
pomerium fieri nefas esse, quia exercitum extra urbem imperari 
oporteat, intra urbem imperari ius non sit. Propterea centu- 
riata in campo Martio haberi exercitumque imperari praesidii 
causa solitum, quoniam populus esset in suffragiis ferendis 
occupatus. Cell. N. A. 15. 27. 

14. Definition of a rogatio, a lex, and similar technical 
terms. Cf. pp. 255 ff. 

Quaeri audio, quid ' lex ' sit, quid ' plebiscitum,' quid 
' rogatio,' quid 'privilegium.' Ateius Capito, publici privatique 


iuris peritissimus, quid 'lex' esset, hisce verbis definivit : 
Lex, inquit, est generale iussum populi aut plebis, rogante 
magistratu. Ea definitio si probe facta est, neque de imperio 
Cn. Pompei neque de reditu M. Ciceronis neque de caede 
P. Clodi quaestio neque alia id genus populi plebisve iussa 
'leges' vocari possunt. Non sunt enim generalia iussa neque 
de universis civibus, sed de singulis concepta ; quocirca 'privi- 
legia' potius vocari debent, quia veteres 'priva' dixerunt, quae 
nos 'singula' dicimus. Quo verbo Lucilius in primo Satira- 
rum libro usus est : 

abdomina thynni 
Advenientibus priva dabo cephalaeaque acarnae. 

' Plebem ' autem Capito in eadem definitione seorsum a 
populo divisit, quoniam in populo omnis pars civitatis omnes- 
que eius ordines contineantur, 'plebes' vero ea dicatur, in qua 
gentes civium patriciae non insunt. Plebiscitum' igitur est 
secundum eum Capitonem lex, quam plebes, non populus, 

Sed totius huius rei iurisque, sive cum populus sive cum 
plebs rogatur, sive quod ad [singulos sive quod ad] universes 
pertinet, caput ipsum et origo et quasi frons rogatio ' est. Ista 
enim omnia vocabula censentur continenturque 'rogationis' 
principali genere et nomine ; nam, nisi populus aut plebs 
rogetur, nullum plebis aut populi iussum fieri potest. 

Sed quamquam haec ita sunt, in veteribus tamen scriptis 
non magnam vocabulorum istorum differentiam esse animad- 
vertimus. Nam et ' plebiscita ' et ' privilegia ' translaticio 
nomine 'legis' appellaverunt eademque omnia confuso et 
indistincto vocabulo ' rogationes ' dixerunt. Sallustius quo- 
que, proprietatum in verbis retinentissimus, consuetudini con- 
cessit et privilegium, quod de Cn. Pompei reditu ferebatur, 
'legem' appellavit. Verba ex secunda eius Historia haec sunt: 
Nam Sullam consulem de reditu eius legem ferentem ex con- 
posito tr. pi. C. Herennius prohibuerat. Cell. N. A. 10. 20. 


(d) Miscellaneous 

15. Origin of Roman law. 

Necessarium nobis videtur ipsius iuris originem atque pro- 
cessum demonstrare. Et quidem initio civitatis nostrae populus 
sine lege certa, sine iure certo primum agere instituit, omnia-' 
que manu a regibus gubernabantur. Postea, aucta ad aliquem 
modum civitate, ipsum Romulum traditur populum in triginta 
partes divisisse, quas partes curias appellavit propterea, quod 
tune rei publicae curam per sententias partium earum expedie- 
bat, et ita leges quasdam et ipse curiatas ad populum tulit ; 
tulerunt et sequentes reges, quae omnes conscriptae exstant in 
libro Sexti Papirii. ... Is liber appellatur lus Civile Papiri- 
anum, non quia Papirius de suo quidquam ibi adiecit, sed quod 
leges sine ordine latas in unum composuit. Exactis deinde 
regibus lege tribunicia omnes leges hae exoleverunt iterumque 
coepit populus Romanus incerto .magis iure et consuetudine 
aliqua uti quam per latam legem, idque prope viginti annis 
passus est. Postea, ne diutius hoc fieret, placuit publica 
auctoritate decem constitui viros per quos peterentur leges a 
Graecis civitatibus et civitas fundaretur legibus ; quas in 
tabulas eboreas perscriptas pro rostris composuerunt. Digest, 

I. 2. 2. 

16. The laws of the twelve tables. Cf. pp. 30 f. 

Fremant omnes licet, dicam quod sentio : bibliothecas meher- 
cule omnium philosophorum unus mihi videtur XII Tabularum 
libellus, si quis legum fontes et capita viderit, et auctoritatis 
pondere et utilitatis ubertate superare. Ac si nos, id quod 
maxime debet, nostra patria delectat, cuius rei tanta est vis ac 
tanta natura at Ithacam illam in asperrimis saxulis, tamquam 
nidulum affix, m, sapientissimus vir immortalitati anteponeret ; 
quo amore tandem inflammati esse debemus in eius modi 
patriam, quae una in omnibus terris domus est virtutis, imperii, 
dignitatis. Cuius primum nobis mens, mos, disciplina nota 


esse debet, vel quia est patria parens omnium nostrum, vel quia 
tanta sapientia fuisse in iure constituendo putanda est, quanta 
fuit in his tantis opibus imperii comparandis. Percipietis etiam 
illam ex cognitione iuris laetitiam et voluptatem, quod quantum 
praestiterint nostri maiores prudentia ceteris gentibus turn 
facillime intellegetis, si cum illorum nostras leges conferre 
volueritis. Incredibile est enim quam sit omne ius civile, 
praeter hoc nostrum, inconditum ac paene ridiculum; de quo 
multa soleo in sermonibus cotidianis dicere, cum hominum 
nostrorum prudentiam ceteris omnibus et maxime Graecis 
antepono. Cic. de Or. i. 195-7. 

17. The optimates and the populates. 

Duo genera semper in hac civitate fuerunt eorum qui versari 
in re publica atque in ea se excellentius gerere studuerunt ; 
quibus ex generibus alteri se populares, alteri optimates et 
haberi et esse voluerunt. Qui ea quae faciebant quaeque 
dicebant multitudini iucunda volebant esse, populares ; qui 
autem ita se gerebant, ut sua consilia optimo cuique pro- 
barent, optimates habebantur. Quis ergo iste optimus quis- 
que? Numero si quaeris, innumerabiles : neque enim aliter 
stare possemus. Sunt principes consilii publici ; sunt qui 
eorum sectam sequuntur ; sunt maximorum ordinum homines, 
quibus patet curia ; sunt municipales rusticique Romani ; sunt 
negotia gerentes, sunt etiam libertini optimates. Numerus, ut 
dixi, huius generis late et varie diffusus est ; sed genus univer- 
sum, ut tollatur error, brevi circumscribi et definiri potest. 
Omnes optimates sunt, qui neque nocentes sunt, nee natura 
improbi, nee furiosi, nee malis domesticis impediti. Est igitur 
ut ei sint, quam tu nationem appellasti, qui integri sunt, et 
sani, et bene de rebus domesticis constituti. Horum qui 
voluntati, commodis, opinionibus in gubernanda re publica 
serviunt, defensores optimatium ipsique optimates gravissimi 
et clarissimi cives numerantur, et principes civitatis. Cic. pro 
Sest. 96. 


18. Municipia and coloniae. Cf. pp. 59 f., 90 f., 281 f., 

299 f. 

* Municipes' et 'municipia' verba sunt dictu facilia et usu 
obvia, et neutiquam reperias qui haec dicit, quin scire se plane 
putet, quid dicat. Sed profecto aliud est, atque aliter dicitur. 
Quotas enim fere nostrum est, qui, cum ex colonia populi 
Romani sit, non se ' municipem ' esse et populares suos ' muni- 
cipes ' esse dicat, quod est a ratione et a veritate longe aver- 
sum ? Sic adeo et ' municipia ' quid et quo iure sint quantum- 
que a 'colonia' differant, ignoramus existimamusque meliore 
condicione esse ' colonias' quam ' municipia.' 

De cuius opinationis tarn promiscae erroribus divus Hadri- 
anus in oratione, quam de Italicensibus, unde ipse ortus fuit, 
in senatu habuit, peritissime disseruit mirarique se ostendit, 
quod et ipsi Italicenses et quaedam item alia municipia antiqua, 
in quibus Vticenses nominat, cum suis moribus legibusque uti 
possent, in ius coloniarum mutari gestiverint. Praenestinos 
autem refert maximo opere a Tiberio imperatore petisse orasse- 
que, ut ex colonia in municipii statum redigerentur, idque illis 
Tiberium pro ferenda gratia tribuisse, quod in eorum finibus 
sub ipso oppido ex capitali morbo revaluisset. 

' Municipes ' ergo sunt cives Romani ex municipiis, legibus 
suis et suo iure utentes, muneris tantum cum populo Romano 
honorari participes, a quo munere capessendo appellati viden- 
tur, nullis aliis necessitatibus neque ulla populi Romani lege 
adstricti, nisi in quam populus eorum fundus factus est. Pri- 
mos autem municipes sine suffragii iure Caerites esse factos 
accepimus concessumque illis, ut civitatis Romanae honorem 
quidem caperent, sed negotiis tamen atque oneribus vacarent 
pro sacris bello Gallico receptis custoditisque. Hinc ' tabu- 
lae Caerites' appellatae versa vice, in quas censores referri 
iubebant, quos notae causa suffrages privabant. 

Sed 'coloniarum' alia necessitudo est; non enim veniunt 
extrinsecus in civitatem nee suis radicibus nituntur, sed ex 
civitate quasi propagatae sunt et iura institutaque omnia populi 


Romani, non sui arbitrii, habent. Quae tamen condicio, cum 
sit magis obnoxia et minus libera, potior tamen et praesta- 
bilior existimatur propter amplitudinem maiestatemque populi 
Romani, cuius istae coloniae quasi effigies parvae simulacraque 
esse quaedam videntur, et simul quia obscura oblitterataque 
sunt municipiorum iura, quibus uti iam per innotitiam non 
queunt. Cell. N. A. 16. 13. 


Ab actis senatus 477. 

Ab epistulis 436. 

Accensus 170. 

A censibus equestribus 490. 

A cognitionibus 438. 

Acta diurna 477. 

Acta senatus 477. 

Actium 142. 

Adlectio 473. 

Aediles ceriales instituted 127. 

Aediles curules instituted 38, 
230; plebeians eligible 43; re- 
lation to plebeian aediles 231 ; 
powers 232-6; division of du- 
ties 237 ; under the empire 467. 

Aediles plebei, instituted 27 ; early 
functions 228; development of 
office 229 ; relation to curule 
aediles 231 ; powers 232-6; 
division of duties 237 ; under 
the empire 467. 

Aelius, L., emperor 377. 

Aelius Sejanus, L. 347. 

Aerarium militare, the 422, 447. 

Aerarium Saturni, the 419, 445. 

Ager publicus, the 9, 29, 36, 85-6; 
control of it 184. 

Album senatorium, the 473. 

A libellis 437. 

A memoria 439. 

Amici August!, the 434. 

Antiochus 77. 

Antoninus Pius 376. 

Antonius, M., Caesar's lieutenant 
120; consul in 44 B.C. 131 ; re- 
lations with Octavius 134-142. 

Apparitores 170. 

1 The numbers refer to the sections 

A rationibus 435. 

Army, the, reformed by Servius 
Tullius 23; its officers 159, 
186; reformed by Augustus 
345 ; under the empire 409. 

Auctoritas patrum, the, and legis- 
lation 50, 94. See also the 

Augustus, restoration of order 
by 322 ; legal position from 32 
to 27 B.C. 323; receives con- 
sular imperium in 29 B.C. 323 ; 
Jan. 13, 27 B.C. 324; receives 
proconsular imperium 324 ; 
controls provinces 324 ; his 
tribunician power 324, 326; 
titles of Augustus and prin- 
ceps 325; his proconsular im- 
perium extended 326; his 
settlement of the succession 
327 ; social reforms 328; finan- 
cial reforms 329 ; frontier policy 
341 ; government of the prov- 
inces 342-4 ; military reforms 
345. See also the emperor and 

Bibulus, M. 105. 
Brutus, D. 134. 
Brutus, M. 133, 136. 

Caesar. See Julius. 

Caesars, the 395, 432. 

Candidati Caesaris 416. 

Capitis deminutio, maxima 289, 

484 ; media 289, 484 ; minima 

289, 484- 



Caracalla, edict of 500. 

Carthage, first war with 72; sec- 
ond 74 ; third 80. 

Cassius Longinus, C. 133. 

Catiline. See Sergius. 

Censitores, 444. 

Censorship, the, established 38 ; 
open to plebeians 43 ; develop- 
ment of 64 ; collegiate prin- 
ciple 206 ; election 207 ; term 
of office 207; powers 208-213; 
the nota 210, 216; the recog- 
nitio equitum 211; the lectio 
senatus 212 ; the lustrum 214; 
the census outside Rome 215; 
decline of the censorship 216; 
under the empire 365, 466. 

Centenarii, etc. 494. 

Centum viri, the 442. 

Centuries, constitution of the 23, 
51, 66, 501 ; the centuria prae- 
rogativa 306. 

Cinna. See Cornelius, 

Citizenship, how acquired under 
the republic 288 ; how lost 289 ; 
content 291 ; restricted citizen- 
ship 291 ; how acquired under 
the empire 482-3 ; how lost 
484; content 485-6. See also 
plebeians, the Latins. 

Civitates, sine suffragio 53, 291 ; 
foederatae 53 ; liberae 84 ; sti- 
pendiariae 84. See also citizen- 

Classes, the 23, 51, 66, 501. 

Claudius, emperor, character 351 ; 
reforms 351. 

Claudius Caecus, Appius 51. 

Cleopatra, and Caesar 121 ; and 
Antony 140-142. 

Clients I, 9. 

Clodius Pulcher, P. 106-108. 

Collegiality. See par potestas. 

Colonies, 49, 53, 68, 115; status of 
54 ; maritime 55. 

Comites Augusti, the 434. 

Comitia, the 295 ; under Augustus 
333. See also comitia' centu- 
riata, curiata, tributa. 

Comitia centuriata, the 23; be- 
come political 27 ; the com. 
cent, and the auctoritas patrum 
50; reformed 66; composition 
300 ; presiding officer 301 ; dies 
comitiales 302 ; formalities 303- 
305 ; method of voting 306 ; 
powers 307-309; under the 
empire 503. 

Comitia curiata, the, under the 
monarchy 22; admission of 
plebeians 298 ; formalities 299 ; 
the plebeian com. cur. 28 ; the 
com. cur. under the empire 502. 

Comitia tributa, the, origin of 
32, 310; become independent 
50; composition 311; meetings 
312; powers 313; for election 
of priests 314; under the em- 
pire 504. 

Commendatio, the 331, 416. 

Commissioners 254, 255. See 
also legati. 

Concilia, the 296. 

Concilia provinciarum, the 361, 459. 

Concilium plebis, the, established 
28 ; acquires legislative powers 
31; becomes independent 50; 
judicial functions 178; com- 
position 315; presiding officer 
31 5 ; place and time of meeting 
316; formalities 317; method 
of voting 318; under the em- 
pire 505. 

Consilium, the 166; the legis- 
lative consilium 332 ; the judi- 
cial consilium 389, 411. 



Constitutiones principis, the 413. 

Consulship, the, established 25 ; 
open to plebeians 37, 43 ; titles 
179; collegiate principle 180; 
powers 181-9; position under 
the empire 464 ; consules suf- 
fecti and ordinarii 128, 464. 

Contiones 164, 297. 

Cornelius Cinna, L. 93. 

Cornelius Sulla, L. and Mithri- 
dates 92, in; his legislation 


Corrector, the 398. 

Courts, the, under the republic 
182, 236, 238, 251, 309, 321 ; 
under the empire 350, 410-412, 
440-443, 480. 

Crassus. See Licinius. 

Cura alimentorum, the 455. 

Cura alvei et riparum Tiberis et 
cloacarum urbis, the 426, 452. 

Cura annonae, the 234, 331, 426, 

Cura aquarum, the 426, 452. 

Cura ludorum, the 235. 

Cura operum tuendorum, the 426. 

Curatores aquarum, the 452. 

Curatores viarum, the 427, 454. 

Cura urbis, the 233, 337-9- 

Curiae, the 21, 292. 

Curio. See Scribonius. 

Cursus honorum, the, under the 
republic 60, 95, 172; under 
the empire 460 ; the equestrian 
cursus honorum 494 ; the sen- 
atorial 497. 

Damnatio memoriae, the 405. 
Decem viri legibus scribundis, the 

30, 256. 
Decem viri stlitibus iudicandis, 

the 243, 442, 470. 
Decreta 163, 413. 

Deportatio 484. 

Dictatorship, the 25, 31 ; ap- 
pointment 190; the dictator's 
powers 191 ; term of office 192 ; 
Sulla's dictatorship 94, 257 ; 
Caesar's 125-6, 257. 

Dies comitiales 302, 316. 

Diocletian 393-9. 

Domitian, autocratic attitude 367 ; 
reforms 368 ; character 369. 

Duces 398. 

Duo viri na vales 55, 250. 

Duo viri perduellionis 253. 

Edicta 163, 413. 

Edictum perpetuum, the 465. 

Emperor, the, succession of 400- 
401 ; imperial titles 402 ; insig- 
nia 403 ; powers 406-430 ; ex- 
emption from certain laws 430 ; 
the emperor and the senate 
472-3, 477-9. See also Au- 

Epistulae 413. 

Equites, the, placed on juries 87 ; 
removed 96; restored 100; the 
recognitio equitum 211; the 
equites under the empire 335, 
381, 490-494; insignia 493; 
equites equo publico and 
privato 491 ; seviri equitum 
Romanorum 492. 

Etruria 12, 41. 

Fasces, the 169. 

Finances, the 184, 213, 239, 280, 
329, 384, 417-425. 

Fiscus Caesaris, the 420, 446. 

Flavius, Cn. 51. 

Foreign affairs, control of 57, 59, 
83, 117, 281, 283-4, 341-4, 
408-9. See also the prov- 



Freedmen, admitted to the tribes 
51; ineligible to office 171; 
ineligible to senate 263 ; re- 
stricted rights 291 ; under the 
empire 484-6. See also Seviri 

Gaius, emperor 350. 
Galba. See Sulpicius. 
Gallienus 390. 

Gentes, the. See patricians. 
Gracchus. See Sempronius. 
Graecostasis, the 284. 

Hadrian 375. 
Hannibal 74. 
Helvius Pertinax, P. 379. 

Imperator, the title of 159, 402. 
Imperium, definition of the 149, 

1 54, 1 59 ; delegation of 244 ; 

privati cum imperio 247. 
Incolae 358. 

Intercessio, the 151, 221, 274. 
Interrex, the 16, 245. 
Italians, the, and Drusus 90; the 

Social war 91 ; the Italians 

gain citizenship, 91. See also 

the ius Italicum. 
Italy, government of, 187, 282, 

340, 427, 453. 
luridici 457. 
Ius auxilii, the 218. 
Ius coercitionis, the 160, 222. 
Ius cum patribus agendi, the 164, 

Ius cum plebe agendi, the 164, 

Ius cum populo agendi, the 164, 


Ius imaginum, the 168. 
Ius intercedendi, the 221, 331. 
Ius Italicum, the 486. 

Ius Latii, the. See Latin citizen- 
lustitium, the 189. 

Jugurtha 88. 

Julianus, Didius 379. 

Julius Caesar, C. and Catiline 102; 
consul in 59 B.C. 105; the lex 
Vatinia 105 ; the lex Pompeia 
Licinia 109; conquest of Gaul 
115; campaigns against th,e 
Pompeians 119-122; cam- 
paigns in Egypt and Asia 
Minor 121; assassination 123; 
Caesar's policy 1 24 ; offices and 
titles 125; events after his 
assassination 131. 

Kelts, the 41, 73. 
King, the 4, 8 ; method of choice 
16; powers 17 ; insignia 18. 

Latins, the 41 ; made dependent 
52-4; contest for Roman citi- 
zenship 87 ; political rights 291 ; 
under the empire 483. See 
also Latin citizenship. 

Latin citizenship 365, 372 ; under 
the empire 498. 

Legati, 255. See also commis- 

Legati Augusti pro praetore 344. 

Legatio libera, the 255. 

Leges (named after proposer), 1. 
Aelia Fufia (155) 157, 317; 1. 
Aelia Sentia (A.D. 4) 485; 
1. Aternia Tarpeia (454) 30, 
1 60, 321 ; plebiscitum Atinium 
(2d century) 264; 1. Caecilia 
Didia (98) 89 ; 1. Calpurnia 
(149) 65 ; 1. Canuleia (445) 33 ; 
1. Cassia (137) 61 ; leges Clodiae 
(58) 106, 157; leges Corneliae 



(8i-8o) 94-7, 188, 283; 1. 
Domitia (104) 97 ; 1. Gabinia 
tabellaria (139) 61 ; 1. Gabinia 
de provinciis consularibus (67) 
101 ; 1. Hortensia (287) 50; 1. 
lulia municipalis (45) 130 ; 1. 
lulia Augusti de adulteriis 328 ; 
lex lulia Augusti de maritandis 
ordinibus 328 ; 1. lulia Norbana 
(A.D. 19) 485 ; leges Liciniae 
Sextiae (367) 36 ; 1. Maenia 
(287) 50; 1. Manilla (66) 101 ; 
1. Menenia Sestia (452) 30 ; 
plebiscitum Ogulnium (300) 43 ; 
plebiscitum Ovinium (339-312) 
47, 259, 261 ; 1. Papia Poppaea 
328; 1. Papiria (131) 61 ; 1. 
Plautia Papiria (89) 91 ; 1. 
Pompeia de civitate danda (89) 
91 ; leges Pompeiae (52) 109, 
1 88, 283; 1. Publilia (339) 50; 
1. Sempronia de provinciis 
(123) 283; 1. Sempronia de 
provocatione (123) 87, 287; 
I.Valeria de provocatione (509) 
27 ; leges Valeriae Horatiae 
(449) 31, 50; 1. Vatinia (59) 
105 ; 1. Villia annalis (180) 60, 

Leges (proposer's name not men- 
tioned), 1. curiata de imperio 
16, 177 ; 1. de potestate censoria 
308 ; 1. de imperio Vespasiani 
p. 407 ; 1. provinciae 83 ; 1. 
sacrata militaris 49; leges de 
ambitu 61 ; leges X tabularum 
30, p. 406; leges de provoca- 
tione 27, 30-31, 87, 159; leges 
frumentariae 87 ; leges tabel- 
lariae 61, 86, 306; paternal 
laws 49. 

Lepidus, M. after Caesar's death 
131 ; member of triumvirate 

135; suspected by colleagues 
137; loses power 139. 

Licinius Crassus, M. and the slave 
war 99; consul in 70 B.C. 100; 
relation to Catilinarian con- 
spiracy 102 ; in Parthia 114. 

Licinius Lucullus, L. 111-112. 

Lictors 169. 

Livius Drusus, M. 90. 

Lucullus. See Licinius. 

Lustrum, the 214. 

Macedonia, first war with 7 5 ; 
second 76 ; third 78 ; treat- 
ment of 79. 

Magister equitum 126, 193. 

Magistracies, the, reelection to 
44, 60 ; plurality of offices 44 ; 
relations to the senate 58 ; can- 
didates nominated by Caesar 
1 28 ; definition of magistratus 
144 ; magistratus, maiores and 
minores, patricii and plebeii, 
curule and non-curule, ordi- 
narii and extraordinarii, cum 
imperio and sine imperio 145- 
9 ; term of office 152-3 ; vacan- 
cies 153; powers 154-165; 
emoluments of office 167 ; in- 
signia of office 1 68 ; eligibility 
171-3 ; candidacy 174-5 '> elec- 
tions 176; inauguration 177; 
retirement from office 177 ; re- 
sponsibility 178 ; delegation of 
the imperium 244; position 
under the empire 331, 397, 
460-463 ; eligibility 461 ; nom- 
ination, election, term of office 
349, 462 ; loss of power 463. 
See also cursus honorum, im- 
perium, and senate. 

Magistri militum 398. 

Maiestas, minuta 348. 



Mandata 413. 

Marius, C. 88, 93. 

Mithridates 92-3, 111-112. 

Monumentum Ancyranum, the 322. 

Munda 122. 

Municipal government 130, 358, 

45 6 - 
Municipia 53. 

Natalium restitutio 485. 

Nero, accession 352 ; court in- 
trigue 353 ; Seneca and Burrus 
353 ; character of reign 354. 

Nerva 373. 

Nobilitas, origin of the 48, 50, 
65; influence curtailed 129. 

Nominatio, the 331. 

Octavius, C. Caesar's heir 132; 

relations with Antony 135-142. 

See also Augustus. 
Otho. See Salvius. 

Pagus, the 2. 

Patricians, origin of the r; rights 

20; eligibility to office 171; 

exclusive privileges 277, 291. 
Patronus, the i, 20. 
Peregrin! 291, 499 ; peregrini 

dediticii 485, 499-500. 
Pertinax. See Helviiis. 
Petitio, the 175. 
Pharsalus 120. 
Philippi 136. 
Plebeians, origin of the 9, 20; 

enrolled in the army 10-11 ; 

under the empire 487-9. 
Pompey, and Sertorius 98 ; consul 

in 70 B.C. 100; the pirates 

113; conquest of the East 114; 

consul in 55 B.C. 107; sole 

consul in 52 B.C. 108; war 

with Caesar 119-120. 

Porcius, M. Cato 106. 
Postumus, emperor in Gaul 391. 
Potestas, definition of 149 ; maior 

potestas 150 ; parpotestas 151, 

1 80, 269. 
Praecones 170. 
Praefectus aerarii, the 445. 
Praefectus, alae, castrorum, co- 

hortis, the 494. 
Praefectus alimentorum, the 427, 


Praefectus annonae, the, 441, 451. 
Praefectus Capuam, etc., the 243. 
Praefectus iuri dicundo, the 65, 

Praefectus praetorio, the 349, 433, 

44i 443- 

Praefectus urbi, the, under the 
republic 126, 246; under the 
empire 339; made permanent 
official 349 ; functions 441-2, 
449 ; the praefectus urbi feri- 
arum Latinarum 470. 

Praefectus vigilum, the 339, 441, 

Praeses, the 398. 

Praetorship, the, established 38 ; 
open to plebeians 43 ; changes 
62; college enlarged 127, 331; 
relation to consulship 197 ; 
method of election 198; title 
198; development of office 
199-200; praetor urbanus 200, 
246, 269, 465 ; praetor pere- 
grinus 200, 465 ; assignment ol 
duties 201; powers 202-205; 
the edictum perpetuum 465; 
under the empire 465. 

Princeps the. See the emperor. 

Principium, the 318. 

Privati cum imperio 247. 

Procuratores 446, 448. 

Professio, the 174, 331. 



Proletarii 23, 51, 68. 

Promagistracy, early instances 
45 ; Sulla's system 95. 

Prorogatio imperil, the 152. See 
also the promagistracy. 

Provinces, acquisition of the 81 ; 
their government 82, 188 ; the 
lex provinciae 83; condition 
of the provinces 116; gov- 
ernors' term limited 126; 
Caesar's reforms 130 ; the prov- 
inces under Augustus 343-4 ; 
under the Julian emperors 360 ; 
under the Flavian emperors 
370-372; in the second cen- 
tury A.D. 383; in the third 
century 390-392 ; under Dio- 
cletian 398 ; imperial and sen- 
atorial provinces' 342, 428; 
imperial officers in the prov- 
inces 458-9; the provincial 
assemblies 361, 459. 

Punic wars, the. See Carthage. 

Pyrrhus 71. 

Quaestiones, extraordinariae, the 

Quaestiones perpetuae, the 65, 87 ; 
Sulla's reforms 96; compo- 
sition of juries 87, 96, 100; 
under praetors 162, 203 ; po- 
litical cases 178; under the 
empire 440. 

Quaestorship, the 18 ; open to 
plebeians 43 ; college enlarged 
63, 127 ; history of office 238; 
quaestores urbani 239; quae- 
stores militares 240; provin- 
cial quaestors 240, 246 ; Italian 
quaestors 241 ; college reduced 
331 ; under the empire 469. 

Quattuor viri iure dicundo, the 358. 

Quinquennales, the 358. 

Relegatio 484. 

Religious affairs 25, 155-7, 183, 

279, 326, 407. 
Renuntiatio, the 306. 
Res privata, the 421, 448. 
Rome, government of, under 

the empire 337-9, 449-452; 

the regiones 339. See also the 

cura urbis. 

Salvius Otho, M. 355. 

Samnites, the 52. 

Saturninus 89. 

Scribae, the 170. 

Scribonius Curio, C. 109, 119. 

Sella curulis, the 168. 

Sempronius Gracchus, C. 87. 

Sempronius Gracchus, Ti. 85. 

Senate, the, under the monarchy 
13, 15, 19; the conscripti 26, 
261, 267 ; the senate and the 
tribune 39, 46 ; and the pop- 
ular assemblies 57, 278; and 
the magistrates 58, 278 ; char- 
acter of senatorial government 
59; Sulla's reforms 94; the sen- 
ate enlarged by Julius Caesar 
129; relations to consul 181 ; 
control of the finances 184 ; 
the senatus consultum ulti- 
mum 189, 287 ; the lectio sena- 
tus 212 ; choice of members 
259; number in senate 129, 
260, 332 ; composition 261 ; 
adlecti 261; eligibility 262-6; 
age and property require- 
ment 266 ; pedarii 267 ; in- 
signia and privileges 268 ; 
presiding officer 269; place 
and time of meeting 270; 
quorum 271; procedure 272; 
classes of senators 267, 272; 
method of voting 273; valid 



senatus consulta, 274-5; tne 
senatus auctoritas 274 ; the 
senate and modern parliaments 
276 ; powers of the senate 277- 
287 ; the tumultus 286 ; the 
iustitium 286; the appoint- 
ment of a dictator 287 ; 
position of the senate under 
Augustus 332, 47 1 ; in the 
second century A.D. 380 ; in 
the third 387 ; under Diocle- 
tian 396; admission to the 
senate under the empire 472; 
classes of senators 473; presi- 
dency of the senate 474 ; 
place and time of meeting 
475; quorum 476; procedure 
477 ; the senate and the prin- 
ceps 478 ; powers of the senate 
479-481. See also the sena- 
torial aristocracy and the ius 
cum patribus agendi. 

Senatorial aristocracy, the, cre- 
ated by Augustus 334 ; enlarged 
by Claudius and Vespasian 
365 ; position under the em- 
pire 495-7 ; insignia and titles 
496; the senatorial cursus 
honorum 497. See also the 

Sergius Catilina, L. 102 ; effect of 
the Catilinarian conspiracy 
103 ; constitutionality of the 
execution of the conspirators 

Sertorius, Q. 98. 

Seviri Augustales, the 336. 

Seviri equitum Romanorum 492. 

Sextus Pompeius 1 38-9. 

Sulla. See Cornelius. 

Sulpicius Galba, Ser. 355. 

Sulpicius Rufus, P. 93. 

Supplicatio, the 159. 

Thapsus 121. 

Tiberius, associated in the gov- 
ernment 327 ; made emperor 
346 ; character 347 ; influence 
of Sejanus 347 ; treason trials 
348 ; transfers elections to 
senate 349. 

Titus, emperor 366. 

Toga, praetexta, the 168; pur- 
purea 168. 

Trajan 374. 

Ties viri capitales, the 127, 243, 

Tres viri monetales, the 127, 243, 

Tres viri rei publicae constituendae, 
the 135, 258. 

Tribuni aerarii, the 100, 293, 440. 

Tribuni, coh<5rtis praetoriae, co- 
hortis urbanae, cohortis vigi- 
lum, legionis 494. 

Tribuni militares consulari potes- 
tate, the, instituted 34, 194 ; 
number 195 ; powers 195 ; dis- 
appearance of office 196. 

Tribuni militum, the 194, 249. 

Tribuni plebis, the, instituted 27 ; 
acquire positive powers 3 1 ; 
seat in senate 39 ; power to 
convoke senate 46 ; powers 
limited by Sulla, 94-5; re- 
stored in 70 B.C. 100; election, 
number, insignia, attendants 
217 ; early powers 218 ; later 
powers 220-225; as political 
leaders, 226 ; under the empire 

Tribus, the 4, 7, 23,41 ; freedmen 
and landless freemen admitted 
51; membership in 293; list 
of the tribes 293; the tribes 
under the empire 501. 

Triumph, a 159. 



Triumvirate, the first, formed 
104; renewed 107 ; the second 
triumvirate 135; discord be- 
tween its members 138-141; 
legal basis of its powers 258. 

Tumultus, the 286. 

Vatinius, P. 105. 

Vespasian, proclaimed emperor 
362 ; character 364 ; reforms 
365 ; liberal policy 365. 

Viatores 170. 

Vicarius, the 398. 

Viginti sex viri, the, under the 
republic 242-3 ; under the em- 
pire 470. 

Vir, egregius, eminentissimus, 
perfectissimus, splendidus 493. 

Vitellius, A., emperor 355. 

Zenobia 391. 

Ablott, F.F. 

L history and description of . 
Roman political. .