Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

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1 u. The Qusestors had also the oversight of the archives, the care of foreign am-
Dassadors, the charge of monuments, presents and other tokens of respect pubHcly
authorized, and the preservation of the treasures acquired in war. They were at first
taken only from the Patricians, but afterwards partly from the Plebeians.

Under the emperors there was a kind of quaestors, called gvceatores candidati, who
were, properly speaking, nothing more than imperial messengers or secretaries, and
were afterwards called juris interpretes, precum arbilri, &c., from their employment.
Still later there was another kind, of considerable importance, styled QucBStores palalii,
or JSIasistri officiorum.

2. The age requisite for the Quaestor was 30, or at least 25, until reduced by Au-
fjustus to 22. The office was one of the first steps to preferment in the commonwealth,
although sometimes held by those who had been Consuls.

Dtidwell, de Quaesturas obeundae tempore legitimo, in bis Pndtcl. Acad. p. 362, as cited P. V. § 542. T.— Walter, Geschichte dea
pom. Rechts.

§ 24T. The office of the Censors (Censores) was established at an early period,
B. C. 442. There were two at a time, holding their office originally for five
years, but afterwards only a year and a half. Their duties were various; the
following were some of the principal ; to take the census of the people, an ac-
curate account of the age, property, and descent of each head of a family, to
divide the people into their tribes and rectify existing errors in the distribution,


to decide the taxes of each person, to enroll those who were obligated to military
service, to make account of the revenues in the provinces, to inspect the morals
of the citizens, to superintend the leasing of public lands, to attend to contracts
respecting public works, such as streets, bridges, aqueducts and the like.

] u. The censors were authorized to inflict marks of disgrace {nota censoria, ignominia),
from any evidence and for any cause, which appeared to them suitable. The luxury
of the Romans, which in later times became so excessive, was considerably restraineci
by the censors. In order to escape the censorial rebukes or punishments, the office
seems to have been left vacant for some time.

2. The censorial power was, however, vested in JuHus Caesar, first with the title oi
PrcpfifctHs morum, afterward, for hfe, with the thie of Ceimor. Augustus also assumed
ihe power, although he declined the tule. The same was done by several of his suc-
cessors down to the time of Decius, A. D. 250, when the corruption of morals was
too great to allow any magistracy or power of the kind.

Dt yalois, On the Roman Censors, in the Mem.Acad. Inscr. vol. i. p. 63.— Nieliihr's Hist, of Rome, vol. ii. p. 296, eJ.Phil. 1835.

§ 248. The Roman magistrates were variously divided. A common division was
into ORDINARY and extraordinary {Magistratus Ordi?iarii and Exlraordinarii;. The
chief of the former have been noticed : Consuls, Praetors, ili^diles. Tribunes of the
people. Quaestors, and Censors. — The chief of the extraordinary magistrates (whose
office was not permanent, but occasional, being; necessary only in particular circum-
stances) were the following; Dictator, Decemvirs, Mihtary Tribunes, Praefecl of the
City, and Interrex.

1 u. The first Dictator was created on occasion of the same sedition or insurrection
which occasioned the appointment of tribunes of the people C^ 245) ; and similar dis-
turbances, difficult wars, and other important emergencies occasioned the appointment
of the subsequent Dictators. Sometimes they were appointed for less important reasons,
e. g. for regulating the public games and sports in the sicknessof the Preetor, not by
the people, but by one of the Consuls. The Dictator was indeed always appointed by
the consul by order of the people or senate, and must be a man of consular rank. The
povyer of the Dictator was very great, in some respects supreme. War and peace, and the
decision of the most important affairs, depended on him. Citizens, who were condemned
to death by him, could appeal to the people (cf Liv. viii. 33). The power and office of
the Dictator was limited to six months. He could not appropriate without consent of
the senate or people any of the public money. As commander of the army, he was
confined to the limits of Italy. No one ever abused the power of this office so much
as Cornelius Sylla. Csesar by this office opened his way to absolute power, and after
his death the dictatorship was abolished. It was, however, offered to Augustus, who
refused the odious name or title, although he exercised all the power.

2. Plutarch and Polybius state that the Dictator was attended by twenty-four lictors ; but in
the epitome of ihe 89th book of LIvy, Sylla is said to have unwarrantably asstitned this nuinbei
(.Kennett, p. 123). The Dictator appointed (usually from among those of consular or prtetorian
dignity) an officer, styled jMagister equitum, whose business was to command tlie cavalry, and
execute the orders of the Dictator ; but ihis officer was sometimes appointed by the senate, or
the people ; he was allowed the use of a horse, but the Dictator could not ride without the order
of the people. — Sometimes a Consul, or other existing magistrate, was invested witli the power
of Dictator, by decree of the senate (ne quid detrimenti capiat respublica).

3 u. The discontent of the people under the use, which the Consuls made of their
power, led to the creation of a new office in the year B. C. 451, that of the Decemviri,
wuh consular authority {decemviri co?isulari potestate, s. legibus ferendis). They were
appointed for the special purpose of forming a code of laws. This gave rise to the laws
of the twelve tables (cf § 265). As they soon began to abuse theu: great power, the
office was abolished, B. C. 449, and that of Consul restored.

4 u. From the same cause (the popular discontent) originated the office of Military
Tribunes {tribu7ii militum consulari potestate), who, in the year B. C. 445, were ap-
pointed in the place of Consuls; but were dismissed after three months. Originally
they were six in number, three patricians and three plebeians ; afterwards the number
varied, sometimes three, sometimes four, six, or eight ; sometimes mihtary tribunes anti
sonrietimes consuls were elected, as the plebeian or the patrician interests prevailed,
until the year B. C. 366, when the plebeians were quieted by the choice of a consul
from among themselves.

5u. The Praefect of the city {Pra>fectus urhi) was the officer to whom the Consuls in
their absence, especially in war, intrusted the charge of the police. Under the emperora
this became a regular and permanent office of great influence.

6. The Interrex was an officer created to hold elections when there was no consul or
magistrate, to whom it properly belonged. The name was drawn from the title of the
temporary magistrate appointed by the senate, when there was a vacancy in the
throne under the regal government.

^ 249. Less important occasional magistrates were the following ; the Prafectus
annoncB, charged with the procuring and distributLng of gram, in cases of scarcitv : tiie


Qu{?iquevin mensarii, whose chief business was to reduce public expenses {minuendia
publicis sumtibus) ; the Quinqueviri mtcris turrihusque refciendis, to see to repairs in
the walls and fortifications ; the Triumviri cedibus sacris reficieridis , to repair the sacred
buildings; Triumviri monetales, having charge of the mint; Trixnnviri nocturni, to
superintend the nightly watch ; Duumviri navahs (classis ornandas. reficiendceque causa),
for equipping and repairing the fleet, &c. — Some of these, however, were not magistrates
in the proper sense, but they were chosen from among the most respectable men.

The servants or attendants of magistrates were called in general apparitores; under
which were included scribae, notarii, actuarii, accensi, coactores, prsecones, interpre-
tetes, lictores, viatores, &c. — The Caniifex was the executioner or hangmaii.

§ 250. Besides the magistrates which have been named, permanent or
occasional, there were various others whose authority pertained to the provinces
of Rome, provincial magistrates. These were in part such as have been
named. Among them were the proconsuls, propraetors, proquaestors, the legates,
conquisitors, &c.

Proconsuls were either (1) such as being consuls had their office prolonged beyond
the time fixed by law ; or (2) such as were raised from a private station to govern some
province or to command in war; or (3) such as having been consuls went, mimediately

1 the legal expiration of their consulship, into provinces assigned to their charge under
the commonwealth ; or (4) such as were appointed governors of the provinces under
the empire ; as all these were called proconsuls. But the name and dignity properly
belonged to the third of these classes. — The senate decided from year to year what
provinces should be consular ; and then the consuls, y\\\i\eon\Y designati^cL §241), agreed
by lot which of them each should take on the expiration of his consulship. A vote of
the people afterwards conferred on them the military command in their provinces. Their
departure to their provinces and return to the city was often attended with great pomp.
They enjoyed very absolute authority both civil and mihtary, but it was hmited to a
year, and they were liable to a rigid trial on their return ; the offences most commonly
charged were (1) crimen peculatus, ill use of the public money, !^.) majestatis, treachery
or assumption of powers belonging to the senate or people, and (3) repetundarum, ex
tortion or oppression towards the inhabitants.

The ProprcBtors were such as, after their praetorship, received provinces, in which
lor a year they had supreme command, usually both civil and military. Their creation,
administration, and responsibihty were similar to those of the Proconsuls ; only they
had but six lictors instead of twelve, and the praetorian provinces were usually smaller
than the consular ; cf. § 260. 3. (4). The Legali were the chief assistants of the Pro-
consuls and Propraetors. The number depended on the rank of the chief officer, and
the circumstances of the provinces. They at length obtained important authority as
military commanders. One Qucestor or more attended each Proconsul or Proprae-
tor. His business was to superintend the pubUc accounts, and the supplies of the
army. Proquasstors were such as the chief officer appointed temporarily, on the ab-
sence or death of the provincial Quaestor (cf. § 246). The duties of the Quaestor were

assigned under the emperors to the officer styled Pror.urafor Ccesaris. The conqui-

sitores were inferior officers not properly civil, who were employed to raise soldiers,
and by force if necessary.

§ 251. We may notice here the division or classijicafion of the people, which
had throughout an important influence on the government. — At the beginning,
Romulus divided the city itself and the whole people into three tribes, and each
of these into ten Curiae. The tribes were the Bhamnensis, consisting of native
Romans, the Tatiensis, of Sabines, and the tribus Lucerum, of all other foreigners.
— Servius Tullius altered this division and made thirty tribes, 4 of the city
(^tribus urbanae), and 26 for the territories {trihus rusticae). The latter at length
gained the precedency of the former, and were considered as more honorabte.
Five tribes were added at a later period ; and also others, which were not

The four city tribes were Suburana or Succusana, Epquilina, Collina, Palatina ; the rvstie
tribes, Roinilia, Lemonia, Pupina, Galeria, PoUia, Voliinia, Claudia, ^Emilia, Cornelia. Fabia,
Horatia, Menenia, Papiria, Sergia, Veturia, Crustiimina ; these belonged to the proper Roman
territory ; in addition there were the Etrurian tribes, Vejentina, Stellatina, Tromentina. Saba-
tina, Arniensis, Pomptina, Publilia or Papilla, Moecia, Scaptia, Ufentina, Falerina ; and the
Sabine tribes, Aniensis, Terentina, Velina, Quirina; making thirty-one.

Eoivin, On Ihe Rom. Tribes, in the Mem. Acad. Inscr. vol. i. 12.— G. C. T. Francke, De Tribuum Curiarum, alque Centuriarum
Katioue. Schlesn". 1624. Respecting the buildings termed Curis, cf. P. I. § 61.

§ 252. Servius Tullius also divided the Roman citizens, for the sake of an
equitable distribution of the public burdens, into six classes according to pro-
pel ty These classes were subdivided into centuries amounting in all to 193 In


order to preserve this distribution, an ordinance was established requiring the
census and valuation to be taken every five years (cf. § 247).

" The first class consisted of those whose estates in lands and effects were worth at
least 100,000 asses, or pounds of brass; or 10,000 drachmcB according to the Greek
way of computing ; which sum is commonly reckoned equal to £322, 18s. 4d. sterling ;
but if we suppose each pound of brass to contain 24 asses, as was the case afterwards,
it will amount to £1150. This first class was subdivided into eighty centuries or com-
panies of foot, forty of young men (juniorum), from seventeen to forty-six years of age,
who were obliged to take the field {ut forts hella gererent), and forty of old men (se-
niorum), who should guard the city (a^Z urhis custodiam ut prcp.sto essent). To these
were added eighteen centuries of Equites, who fought on horseback ; in all ninety-
eight centuries. — The second class consisted of twenty centuries, ten of young men,
and ten of old, whose estates were worth at least 75,000 asses. To these were added
two centuries of artificers {fabrum), carpenters, smiths, &c. to manage the engines of
war. — The third class Hkewise contained twenty centuries; their estate was" 50,000
usses. — The fourth class likewise contained twenty centuries; their estate was 25,000
asses. To these Dionysius adds two centuries of trumpeters (vii. 59). — The fifth class
was divided into thirty centuries; their estate was 11,000 asses, but according to Dio-
nysius 12,500. — The sixth class comprehended all those who either had no estates, or
were not worth so much as those of the fifth class. The number of them was so great
as to exceed that of any of the other classes ; yet they were reckoned as but one century.
— 'Thus the number oi centuries in all the classes was, according to Dionysius, 193.

Each class had arms pecuUar to itself, and a certain place in the army according to
the valuation of their fortunes. — Those of the first class were called Classici; all the
rest were said to be I?ifra Classem; hence classici auctores, for the most approved
authors {A. Gell. vii. 13. xix. 8).

By this arrangement the chief power was vested in the richest citizens who com-
posed the first class, which, although least in number, consisted of more centuries
than all the rest put together ; but they likewise bore the c'larges of peace and war {munia
pads et belli) in proportion. For as the votes of the Comitia, so likewise the quota of
soldiers and taxes, depended on the number of centuries. Accordingly the first class,
which consisted of ninety-eight, or, according to Livy, of one hundred centuries,
furnished more men and money to the public service than all the rest of the state
besides. But they had Hkewise the chief influence in the assemblies of the people by
centuries. For the Equites and the centuries of this class were called first to give
their vo^es, and if they were unanimous the matter was determined ; but if not, then
the centuries of the next class were called, and so on, till a majority of centuries had
voted the same thing. And it hardly ever happened that they came to the lowest
(Liv. i. 43. Dionys. vii. 59)." (Adam.)

Buschke, Die VerfassungdesServius Tullius. Leipz 1838. — Zumpt, XJeber die Abstimmung dea ROni.Volkes in Centuriat Comitien.
—Untcrholzntr, De Mulata CenlurUtorum Comit. a Serv. Tull. Reg. institulorum Ratione. Brest. 1835.

§ 253. Another division of the Romans, existing from the earliest times, was
into Patricians and Plebeians, according to family descent. The Patricians
were the descendants of the Senators appointed by Romulus, the Fathers, Patres,
of whom he selected three from each tribe, and three from each curia, making
ninety-nine; to these he added a man of distinguished merit, so that the Senate
originally consisted of 100 members. Afterwards the Sabini were admitted
into it, and the number was doubled. Tarquinius Priscus increased this num-
ber by a third hundred from the Plebeians, who were termed Patres minorum
gentium, to distinguish them from the original Senators, and their descendants
were called Patricii minorum gentium.

I u. The word populus had among the Romans a more general meaning than plebs;
tne former signified the whole body of the Roman people ; the latter, a particular por-
tion distinct from the senators and the knights, and called also, ordo pleheius. In early
times, this order consisted of such as were proprietors of land, but in the times of the
republic it was composed mainly of the lowest class, which we denominate the populace.

2. There is some disagreement as to the time when the formal distinction between
Patricians and the Plebeians really commenced. The existence of Plebeians in the
time of Romulus is implied in some passages of ancient authors (cf. Liv. i. 8. Dionys.
i. 8. ii. 9). But Niebuhr and others have maintained that the Plebeian commonahty
arose out of the removing to Rome of the citizens of Alba, after its destruction in the
reign of Tullus Hostilius ; that before that time the Patricians included the whole body
of the populus Romanus; that in the time of Servius the Plebeians were established
in their distinctive character as free hereditary proprietors ; and that from this time the
Roman nation consisted of two estates, the populus or body of burghers, and the plebs
or commonality.

See Nidmhr, Hist, of Rome, vol. i. p. 234, 309. ed. Phil. lS35.—Rein, >k Ersch und GrUber, Encyciop.' lie ; and Schm'tz, in
Smith °8 Diet, of Aniiq. p. 726, 763.


§ 254. The patricians and plebeians were from the beorinnin^ greatly at
variance. The former at first held all the public offices exclusively. The
plebeians gained a share in them B. C. 493, as has been already mentioned
(cf. § 245). After this the patricians often allowed themselves to be adopted
into plebeian families, in order the more easily to secure offices, which were
common to both ranks, or confined to plebeians, as was the office of tribunes.
The power of ihe people rose to a great height during the time of the republic,
and often was perverted to the greatest abuses.

1 u. Intermarriage between the two classes took place first B. C. 445. Previously
to intermarriages the only mutual relation was that oi patron and clie7it ; in which the
plebeian made free choice of some patrician as his guardian and patron, and this pa-
trician in turn was obligated by certain duties to the plebeian as his client. At last
this relation existed chiefly between masters and freedmen.

2. It was esteemed highly honorable for a Patrician to have many clients, both
hereditary and acquired by his own merit. The duties of this relation {dientela) were
considered as of solemn obligation. Virgil (./£«. vi. 605) joins the crime of injuring a
client with that of abusing a parent ; the client on the other hand was expected to serve
his patron, even with life in an extremity. Amidst all the dissensions which mark
the Roman history, there seems to have been a mutual and faithful observance of these
duties. In later times chies and nations chose as patrons distinguished families or
individuals at Rome.

§ 255. It is necessary to distinguish between the Patrician rank, and what
was called Roman nobility (nobililas Romano). The latter was a dignity result-
ing from merit, either personal or derived from ancestors, and acquired espe-
cially by holding a curule office. Patrician descent was not necessary for this,
although when united with merit it heightened the nobility. Such as acquired
this nobility themselves, were styled novi homines.

I u. One of the principal distinctions of those possessing this nobility (nohiles) was
the jus imagiiium, which allowed them to form images or busts in painted wax of
their ancestors, placing them in cases in their halls (atria), and carrying them in funeral
processions (cf § 340. 3), and at other solemnities. I'he right was sometimes conferred
as a reward, by an assembly of the people, and received with public thanks. The Roman
history is filled with contests between the old and the new nobiUty.

2. A curule office was one which entitled the person holding it to use the sella curulis
or chair of state. Such was the office of dictator, consul, praetor, censor, and curule aedile.

The chair was composed of ivory, or at least hii?hly adorned with it, commonly being a sort
of "stool without a back, with four crooked feet, fi^ed to the extremities of cross-pieces, joined
bv a common axis, somewhat in the form of the letter X, and covered with leather ; so that it
niisht be folded together," and thus easily carried by the magistrate in his chariot; hence the
epithet curulis. (Aid. Oell.Vn. 18.) In our Plate XXXI. fig. 9 is a representation of one an-
swering the above description. But the sella appears to have been sometimes of a less portable
form and size, as seen in fig. 2 of this plate. These two figures are from monuments found, the

one at Poinpidi, the other at Herculanemn. Tlie chair above described must be distinguished

from the sella portatoria, or cathedra ; this was a sedan in which a person sat and was carried
by slaves, in the manner still common in the east. They were used by private persons as well
as rulers and officers. They were very frequent in the time of Cassar. (Snet. Cees. 43. Claud. 28.)
— Fisr. 10. in Plate XXXI. is from an Egyptian monument, and serves well to illuetrate the sel-
la ■piirtatoria. There are four bearers ; a fifth attendant bears a staff in his right hand, perhaps
the badge of his office as conductor of the palanquin. A sort of parasol richly embroidered is
stretched behind the occupant of the chair, on a frame for the purpose. The sedan itself is of
elesant carved work, adorned with lotuses and other devices. — The magistrates in the colonies
and municipal towns sat on public occasions in a large chair called bisellium ; two of these
have been found at Pompeii, made of bronze, inlaid with silver, of extraordinary work-

See Itie Muaeo Borbonico, cited P. IV. § 213. vol. ii. tav. 31. vi. tav. 2S.— Pompeii, p. 263, as cited P. rV. § 226.

§ 256. The Equites formed a distinct body of high rank in Rome (ordo eqiiesier).
They were originally composed of 100 young men taken from each of the three
tribes, thus making three centuries (300). Their number was greatly increased
by the kings, so that there were eighteen centuries under Servius TuUius. They
became at length a distinct order, not including all who served on horseback,
but only such as were chosen into the rank. In the year 124 B. C, the order
received some important prerogatives, being chosen to act as judges, and to
farm the revenues. The property requisite to qualify one for election as a knight,
at this period, was 400 thousand sesterces (census equester) ; the age about
eighteen ; nobility of descent was not sufficient to secure it. The Censors
weri intrusted with the scrutiny, and they presented to those found worthy, a



horse at the public expense; hence the phrase, equo publico mcrere The order
was under the constant supervision of the Censors.

1. Plebeians as well as Patricians were eligible to this order. The term illustres
was applied to those descended from ancient tamilies. The number of equites greatly-
increased under the early emperors. Persons were admitted into the order, if they
possessed the requisite property, without inquiry into their character, or the free
birth of their father and grandfather.

2 u. The knights were distinguished by a golden ring (annulus aureus) or rings, and
by the tunica angustidavia, a white tunic with its purple stripe, or border, narrower
than that of the senators. At the spectacles, their seat was next to the senators, who
■were frequently chosen from the equestrians. They made annually, on the 15th oi

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 53 of 153)