Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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July, a splendid procession {transvectio) through the city to the Capitol.

Marquardt, Hisloria Equitum Komanorum. Berl. 1840.— Zu)np(, Ueber die Roniischen Ritter und den Ritterstand in Rom. Berl.
l&i^.—Eyhenim, De Ord. equestri Vet- Romanorum, in Sallensrc, vol. i.—P. Burmann, as cited § 33S. 2,

§ 257.>The Senate, as has been already staled (§ 253), originally consisted
of 100 members, aftervi'ards of 200, and finally, before the regal office was
abolished, of 300. Sylla added 300 Equites, raising the whole number to 600.
Towards the end of the republic, the number was as great as 1000. Augustus
reduced it to 600. Under his successors the number was not uniformly the
same. — The Senators, when assembled in council, were called Paires Conscripti.
Their election was at first made by the kings, next by the consuls, afterwards
by the censors, and in one instance, after the battle of Cannae, by a Dictator.
Under the emperors, a Triumvirate was sometimes formed to attend to the
election. In the choice of senators, regard was had to character, property, and
age, which must not be less than twenty-five.

1 u. The Senators were distinguished in their dress particularly by two things ; the
tunica laticlavia, a tunic or waistcoat with a broad stripe of purple (latus clavus) at-
tached to it, and high black buskins (coZcei or ocrecB 7iigri colcris), which had the letter
C marked on them. At public spectacles the Senators also sat in the foremost part
of the Orchestra.

2 M. The Senate was assembled by the Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Praetors, or
Tribunes of the people, by public summons {edictum), or by means of a herald. In
the former case the object of assembling was specified. There were, besides, certain
days fixed for regular meetings of the senate, the Calends, Nones, and Ides of every
month. On festivals and in time of the Comitia when the whole people were as-
sembled, the senate could not meet. Augustus restricted the regular meetings to the
Calends and Ides. The place of assembling was not exclusively fixed, but it must be
set apart and consecrated for the purpose by the Augurs. The temples, and the Ca-
pitol amongst them, were usually selected, excepting always the Temple of Vesta. — •
The number of members necessary («(;7ner«s legitimus) to pass a decree {Senatus
consultum) was 100; and, from the year B. C. 67, 200. The meetings were opened
early in the morning and continued until near or after midday ; before and after the
light of the sun no lawful decree could be enacted. Sacrifices were always offered
and the auspices taken by the magistrate, who was to hold the senate, before entering
the place of meeting. The magistrate, then. Consul, Praetor, or whoever assembled
the senate, proposed the business, and the members gave their opinions usually in an
established order. In important or interesting cases, questions were decided by the
Senators separating into two parts {itio in partes). The emperors had the right of pro-
posing questions to the senate, not properly, but at first only by special permission. —
A distinction was made between a decree of the Senate, Senatus consultum, and a
judgment or opinion, Senatus auctoritas; the latter term was apphed, when the sen-
tence was less decisive, or was not passed without some person's intercession or veto,
or was attended with some informality ; decrees were ratified by being engrossed or
written out, and lodged in the treasury {in Mrarium condehantur) in the place of public
records {tnhularium), in the temple of Saturn.

3. " Althoush the supreme power at Rome belonged to the people, yet they seldom
enacted any thing whhout the authority of the Senate. In all weighty affairs, the
method usually observed was, that the Senate should first dehberate and decree, and
then the people order. But there were many things of great importance winch the
Senate always determined itself, unless when they were brought before the people
by the intercessions of the Tribunes. This right the Senate seems to have had, not
from any express law, but by the custom of their ancestors. — 1. The Senate assumed
to themselves guardianship of the public religion ; so that no new god could be intro-
duced, nor aUar erected, nor the SibyUine books consulted, without their order. —
2. The Senate had the direction of the treasury, and distributed the pubhc rnoney at
pleasure. They appointed stipends to their generals and officers, and provisions and
clo'.hing for their armies. — 3. They settled the provmces, which were annually assigned


to the Consuls and Pragtors ; and, when it seemed fit, they prolonged their command.
— They nominated out of their own body all ambassadors sent from Rome, and gave
to foreign ambassadors what answers they thought proper. — 5. They decreed all public
thanksgivings for victories obtained ; and conferred the honor of an ovation or triumph,
with the title oi Imperator, on victorious generals. — 6. They could decree the title of
King to any prince whom they pleased, and declare any one an enemy by a vote. —
7. 'J hey inquired into public crimes or treasons, either in Rome or other parts of
Italy, and heard and determined all the disputes among the aUied and dependent cities.
— 8. 1 hey exercised a power, not only of interpreting the laws, but of absolving men
from theobhgationof them, and even of abrogating them. — 9. They could postpone the
assemblies of the people, and prescribe a change of habit to the city, in cases of any
imminent danger or calamity. But the power of the Senate was chiefly conspicuous
in civil dissensions or dangerous tumuhs within the city, in which that solemn decree,
Ullimnm or Extremum, used to be passed (cf. § 248. 2), That the consuls should take
care that the republic should receive no harm.'^ {Adam.)

C. Middletan, Treatise on Rom. Senate. Lond. 1747. 8. Also in his Miscell. Worki. Lond. 1755. 5 vols S.—T. Chapman,
Essay on the Rom. Senate, Cambr. 1750. 8. — N. Hooke, Observations on the Roman Senate, as treated by Middleton, Chapman, &c.
Lond. 1753 S—Spehnan, Dissertation, &c. in his Trans, of Dionys. Hal. cited P. V. § 247. 4.—£letterie, as cited § i^.—fVaUer,
Geschichte des Rom. Rechts.— .BacA, Ztmmerin, &c. cited P. V. § 571.

§ 258. Assemblies of the whole Roman people were termed Comitia. The
word comiiium originally signified the place of assembling, which was an
open space in the Roman forum, in front of the court-house of Hostilius; it was
afterwards applied to the assembly itself, consisting of three ranks or orders of
th« Roman people, and held at that place, or the Campus jMartius, or the
Capitol. Assemblies of one or two orders were called Concilia ,• and less formal
ones, where merely notices or addresses were given to the people, and nothing
was decided, were termed Condones. The Comitia were appointed only by the
higher magistrates, a Consul, Dictator, or, in the Consul's absence, a Preetor.
The most important subjects were considered in these assemblies, some of which
have been already mentioned incidentally.

§ 259. The days of the year, on which such assemblies could be held, 184 in
number, were called dies comitiales. Romulus established the Comitia Curiaia,
in which the votes were given by Curiae (§ 251); Servius Tullius the Comitia
Centuriaia, in which the people voted by centuries, and which were the most
important; and the Tribunes, B. C. 491, instituted the Comitia Tributa, in
which the votes were given by tribes. The decrees passed at the last mentioned
were termed Pkbiscita, and at first were binding only on the plebeians, — The
election of officers, which became the principal business of the Comitia, was
chiefly made at the Comitia Centuriata. These were held in the Campus
Martins, where more than 50,000 persons might assemble.

1 u. The consul or presiding magistrate at the Comitia of Centuries occupied an
elevated wooden erection, called Tribunal. There were 193 small slips or narrow
passages {pontes, -ponliculi) raised for the 193 centuries to ascend upon as they went to
vote. Both these and the tribunal were surrounded by a balustrade, forming what
was called the Septa or Ovile. Outside of this the people stood until they were called
in (intro vocata) to vote century by century through the six successive classes. The
order, in which the centuries voted, was determined by lot (sortilio), the names being
thrown into a box (sitella) and drawn out by the presiding magistrate. The votes
were by means of ballots {tabellcB), which were given to each citizen by persons {diri-
bitores) standing at the entrances of the passages just named, and were cast by the
citizens into a box or chest (cista) at the end of the passage. The manner of voting
was the same in the case of elections, of enacting laws, and of passing decrees or
judicial sentences. Only persons between 17 and 60 years of age were allowed
to vote.

2. "By the chests were placed some of the public servants, who, taking out the
tablets of every century, for every tablet made a prick or point (punctum) in another
tablet, which they kept by them. Thus the business being decided by most points
gave occasion to the phrase, Omne tulit punctum, and the Uke." {Kennett.) — It is ob-
vious, that in the Comitia Centuriata the mode of voting must give the higher classea
an entire preponderance over the others.

Respectin? the Coiritia, ^e Buschke, Zumpt, &c. cited § 2d2.— Waller, Geschichte d. Rom. Rechts. Respecting the Campt»

Marlins, cf. P. I, § 65. — G. Piranesi, Campus Martins antiquae Urbis. Rom. 1762. fol.

§ 260. The rights of Roman citizenship included several important privileges,
especially during the freedom of the state. The life and property of a citizen
were in the power of no one but of the whole people appealed to thereon; no
33 r 2


magistrate could punish him by stripes ; he had a full right over his property,
his°children, and his dependents ; he had a voice in the assemblies of the people
and in the election of magistrates ; his last will and testament had full authority
after his death. The right of voting was the most valued ; full citizenship in-
cluding this could be bestowed only by the people; citizenship embracing the
other rio-hts could be conferred by the senate also. All freedmen and their
children°were excluded from this right, which is what was properly meant by
the Jus Quiritium.

1 u. Whoever once acquired Roman citizenship, could not be deprived of it, even
by banishment ; it was lost only by voluntary resignation or by taking a foreign alle-
giance. The Jus Quiritium privatum, conferred on the colonies and municipal towns,
comprehended in it fewer or less important privileges ; in the case of the Latin colonies
it was called Jus Latii or Latinitatis; of the Italian, Jus Italicum. Still more hmited
were the privileges included in the Jura provinciarum and Jura pra-fecturarum.

2. The rights of a Roman citizen have been divided into private and public ; both
are includecT under the common designation Jus Quiritium, and sometimes under that
of Jus civitatis; and sometimes these phrases seem to be Uniited respectively to the
rights termed private or public. — lo the private, belonged the following; 1. Jus
libertatis, which secured to each the control of his person ; 2. Jus gentis ef familice,
which secured the peculiar privileges of his descent ; 3. Jus patrium, the entire control
over his children; 4. Jus dominii legit imi, the possession of legal property; 5. Jus
testamenti and hcsreditatis, the right to inherit or bequeath property by will ; 6. Jus
tulel(B, the right to appoint by will guardians for his wife and children. To the public,
belonged the following; 1. Jus ce?isus, the right of being enrolled by the censor;
2. JusmiliticB, none but citizens being enhsted at first, a restriciion which was after-
wards abolished ; 3. Jus trihutorum, which secured to the citizen ta.xation proportioned
to his wealth ; 4. Jus suffragii, the right of voting, so highly valued ; 5. Jus honorum,
eligibility to public ofhces, a right originally confined to patricians, but finally extended
to plebeians also ; 6. Jus sacroruin, which included certain rights in relation to religious
worship. — Those who did not possess the rights of citizens {cives) were generally
termed foreigners (peregrini) wherever they resided.

3. This is'a proper place for a brief view of the rights ana privileges, which were
allowed by the Romans to the cities or nations conquered by them. The forms of
government established in such cases may be divided into four.

(I.) The Colonim or cnloisies were cities or tracts of country, which persons from Rome were
sent to inhabit. These persons, aUhon?h mingling with the conquered natives and occupants,
gained the whole power in the administration of affnirs. In the later periods of the republic
and under the emperors, many colonies were planted with soldiers, who had served out their
le?al time (twenty years, in the foot, or ten in the horse, cf $ 277), and who after thus laboring
for their country were permitted to receive possessions in a colony, and spend their age in ease
and plenty.— Ttie colonies were scattered over the empire, and governed by laws prescribed to
them by the Romans.

Nieliuhr'^ Rome (ed. Phil. 1835), vol. ii. p. 32.— Froiitinuf, De Coloniis.— Essay in Madvidgii Opuscula (Hauniae, 1S34), De
Jure et Conditione Coloniarum Pop. Romani.— Smt(ft, Did. of Antiq. p. 256.

(2.) The Municipia were cities, which enjoyed the right of governing themselves by their own
laws; retaining, if they chose it, such as were in use before their subjection to the Romans.
They were in some respects like the corporate cities of our country, and their inhabitants had
the name and some of the rights of Roman citizens. Originally confined lo Italy, they were
subsequently formed even in the provinces. The colonis and municipia had similar magis-
trates ; the Duumviri were the chief officers ; the senators were called Decuriones.

Savigny. Geschichte des Rom. Rechls.— Sauijny, Ceber das Jus Italicum, in the Zeitsclirift, &c. vol. v.— Smith, Diet, of Antiq.
p. i59.— A'letuAr, as above cited, vol. ii. p. 37.

(3.) The Prcefecturm were certain towns in Italy, whose privileges were curtailed for offences
against the Roman government. They were not suffered to frame their own laws as did the
municipia, nor to choose their own magistrates, as did both the municipia and the colonies.

They were governed by a prefect sent annually from Rome. All the other cities of Italy,

which were not either calovice, mumcipia, or pra-fecturm, were called civitates fmderatm, enjoying
their own rights and customs, and joined to the Romans only by confederacy or alliance.

Zumpt, Ueber den Uniersrhied der Benenoungen Municipium, Colonia, Pr^fcctura. Berl 1;40. 8.

(4.) The Provinci<e were foreign countries of larger extent, which, when conqnered, were
remodeled as to their governments, at the pleasure of the Romans. They were compelled to
pay such taxes as were demanded, and subjected to the authority of governors annually sent
out from Rome. The provinces were termed Praetorian or Proconsular according as Praetors or
Proconsuls were governors ; provinces belonging to the emperors were governed by propraetors ;
those belonsing to the senate, by proconsuls (cf $ 250). These governors were often tyrranni-
cal and always oppressive; and the provincial system became one of the most odious features
in the Roman administration.

For i;!us'rations of this provincial (yranny, cf. Cicero's Orations a?ainst Verres.—Middleton's Life of Cicero, vol. i. p. 94, as citec

P. V. § 404. I. On the Roman provinces, cf. C. Sigonius, De antiquo Jure Provinciarum. Ven. 1568. 4. contained in Grseviut,

vol. \i.—Burigny. on Gov. of Rom. Provinces, in the Mem. .Acad. Inter, xxvii. 64. On the general subject of Roman right*

ft^a.'tcr, Geschichte des Romischen Rechls.— ZimmiTTi, cited P. V^. 5 571.— C. Sigoniut, De Antique Jure Populi Romaci Bon
li''4. foL Also in his Opera Omnia. MedioL 1737. 6 vols. fol.


§ 261. The judicial proceedings of the Romans included trials of public and
private cases, criminal and civil. The former involved the general peace and
security; the latter, the claims and rights of individuals. The public or crimi-
nal trials (^judicia publico) were either ordinary or extraordinary. — The latter
were such as belonged not to any regular jurisdiction, or fixed time or place,
but had a special day of trial assigned, or a special assembly of the people ap-
pointed for them. Sometimes the people selected certain persons, as a sort of
commissioners in cases of this kind ; such were the Duumviri perduellionis or
Quassilures. — The ordinary public trials were also called quxsliones perpetuse,
and were first established in the year B. C. 149, for the most common state
offences. In these the Praetor presided (cf. § 243), by whom assistant judges
{judices assessores) were chosen annually, originally from the senate, then from
the knights, and at last from all conditions-. The judges were divided into
several decurias, from which the requisite number of them were taken by lot
for each trial. Under the emperors,the judges were appointed by them.

1 u. In all public trials a certain order of proceeding and a series of established usages
were observed. The plaintiff (ac/or, accusator) commonly spoke against the defendant
{reus) ; the witnesses were then heard ; the opinion of the judges was given orally or
in writing, and judgment was pronounced. I'he person acquitted could, when he had
ground for it, bring his accuser to trial for slander (calumnia) ; the person condemned,
on the other hand, was punished according to the law.

2. Public trials of a capital kind were held before the Comitia Centuriata ; such as
involved only the question of some minor punishment, before the Comitia Tributa.
In these cases some magistrate must be the accuser. Having called an assembly, he
announced that on a certain day he should accuse the person of a certain crime ; doing
this was expressed by the phrase dicere diem; the person named must procure bonds-
men {vades, prcedes) or be kept in custody to the day named; on that day the ma-
gistrate made his accusation, which was repeated three times, each after one day in-
tervening ; then a bill {rogatio), including the charge and the punishment proposed,
was posted up for three market-days ; on the third market-day, the accuser again
repeated the charge, and the criminal or his advocate {advocatus, patronvs) made a
defence ; after which the Comitia was summoned, for a certain day, to decide the trial
then by suffrages.

On the judicial affairs of the Romans, the fullest authority is C. Sigonius, de judiciis, in his Opera Omnia, cited § 260. vol. iii. ;
also in 2d vol. of Grsvius, cited § 197.— Cf. Beaufort, Rcpublique Romaine. 2d vol.—Dunlop, Rom. Lit. vol. ii. p. 141, as cited P. V.
5 299. S.—H. F Salmi77i, De Judiciis et Poenis Romanorum, in Salience, vol. iW— Walter, Geschichte des Rom. Rechts.— GoHitng-,
Gescbichle der Roin. Staatsverfassung. — TigerstrSm, De Judicibus apud Romanos. Berl. 1&26. " Valuable only for the collection
of the original authorities."

§262. In private affairs, the accusation was commonly called petitio; the
plaintifr/>e/?7or, and the defendant, is unde petit ur. The plaintiff could compel
the other party to appear at court, not usually, however, without calling in some
one as witness to the step (ant est alio). If the defentJant chose not to go, he
must give security or bail (saiisdare). The plaintiff himself stated the matter
or object of his complaint (causa); if the defendant denied the thing charged, it
led to a formal trial (actio). — There were two principal kinds of actions; viz. :
acfiones in personam., which related to the fulfilment of obligations ; and actiones
in rem, which related to the recovery of property in possession of another. The
proceeding, in a case of the latter kind, was termed vindicatio; of the former
kind, condictio. All private trials belonged to the jurisdiction of the Frsetor.

1 u. The PrcBtor named the judges, who, when the dispute was about the restitution
of property, were called recuperatores. Often for this purpose a hundred or a hundred
and five were appointed from the different tribes, called centumvirale judicium. The
judges or jury, as well as the litigating parties, were put under oath. Then the action
was carried forward orally, and after examination, judgment was pronounced, and
provision made for its execution. It may be important to distinguish judges pro-
perly so called from arbitrators {ahitri cuvsarum), who made awards in cases which
w-ere not to be decided on the exact principles of law but to be adjusted by accommo-
dation, or by their best discretion ; such cases were termed causes Jidei bonce et arbi-

2 m. The usual places for trials were, in public cases, the Forum or the Campus
Martii/s; and in private actions, other free places, or more frequently the Basilic<B
(cf. P. I. ^ 61).

§ 263. Among the principal pe7ml offences, which demanded public trials,
were the following: Crimen majestatis, ox an oflfence against the dignity and


security of the state and its magistrates; perduellionis, high treason against the
freedom of the people; peculatus, embezzling in any way the public property,
sacrilege, counterfeiting money, or falsifying records; ambitus, bribery or cor-
ruption of the people to procure votes in an election ; repetundarum, extortion,
when a Praetor, Quaestor, or other provincial magistrate, made unjust exactions,
for which compensation was demanded; vispublicae, public violence, including
conspiracies, personal assaults, and various similar offences. — There were vari-
ous more private offences of which cognizance was taken in public trials; e. g.
crimen inter sicarios, assassination; crimen venejicii, poison; parricidii, parri-
cide; falsi, forgery; adulterii and plagii, adultery and man-stealing.

§ 264. The punishments (poenaz) inflicted on those found guilty were various.
The following were the principal ; damnum, mulcta, fines, which at first never
exceeded thirty oxen and two sheep, or the value of them, but afterwards were
increased ; vincula, imprisonment with bonds, which were cords or chains upon
the hands and feel; verher a, h\ows inflicted on the freeborn with the rods of
the Lictors (virgis), upon slaves with whips {Jlagellis) ; talio, satisfaction in
kind, i. e. the punishment similar to the injury, e. g. an eye for an eye;infamia
or ignominia, disgrace or infamy, which generally rendered the person incapa-
ble of enjoying public offices; exilium, banishment, which was either voluntary
or inflicted, and was attended with a deprivation of all honors. When the
person was banished to no particular place, he was said to be interdictus ,• when
banished to a certain place, rekgatus. The form termed deportatio was the
most severe, as the persons were then sent into perpetual exile in distant and
desolate places or islands. Two other punishments should be noticed ; servifus,
slavery, into which offenders of a certain class were sold; and mors, death, in-
flicted for heinous crimes.

1. Under the term vincula were included several varieties ; as catencB, chains ; hoias,
cords or thongs ; maniccB, manicles for the hands; pedicce, fetters for the feet ; nerviis,
iron shackles for the neck ; columbar, a sort of stocks, a wooden frame with holes in
which the feet were fastened and sometimes the hands. The confinement of crimi-
nals was either in prison, or in private custody under a soldier or officers (cf Acts
xxviii. 16) ; the right wrist of the prisoner being fastened by a chain to the left wrist
of the keeper; the prisoner was sometimes chained to two soldiers. — The ancient
state -prison of Rome, by the name of the Mamertine Frison, is still pointed out to

In our Plate XXXI., fig. A, is a cut showing a kind of stocks now used in the East, in which
the criminal prostrate on his back is confined by his feet and hands; it may serve to illustrate
Ihe Roman stocks above named. — Fig. B, of the same Plate, is a cut representing one of the
stories of the Mamertine Prison. The structure is under a small edifice called the Church of St.
Joseph ; it consists of two stories ; the lower one is called rjj/ian?;??!, after Servius Tullius, who

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 54 of 153)