A History of Rome through the Fifth Century: Volume I: The by A. H. M., Editor Jones

By A. H. M., Editor Jones


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7), decided capital trials (see No. THE COMITIA CENTURIATA 54), voted for peace or war, and enacted laws (see Nos. 8, 17). As the voting was by centuries it was heavily weighted in favor of the rich, as explained in No. 6. c. To Servius Tullius was also attributed the organization of the population into districts ("tribes"), of which there were originally twenty, the town being divided into four, and the surrounding country into sixteen. The country districts were gradually increased to thirty-one as Roman territory expanded, making a total of thirty-five tribes.

THE CENSORSHIP 21. Livy,IV. 8 THis YEAR (whether it had tribunes only, or consuls substituted for tribunes) was followed by a year when there were undoubtedly consuls, Marcus Geganius Macerinus a second time, Titus Quintius Capitolinus a fifth time. This same year was the commencement of the censorship, an office which arose from a humble origin, but afterwards increased so much in importance, that in it was vested the regulation of the morals and discipline of Rome, the senate and the centuries of the cavalry; the distinction of honor and of ignominy were under the sway of that office, the legal right to public and private places, the revenues of the Roman people fell under their sway and jurisdiction.

The patricians thought that their blood would be defiled and the rights of their families disturbed. It was further hinted by the tribunes that it should be made legal for one of the consuls to be from the plebs, and the matter was carried so far that nine tribunes promulgated a bill that the people should have the power of electing consuls from the patricians or the plebs as they preferred. The patricians thought that if this was done not only would they be mixed up with the lowest of the low, but that the supreme power would be transferred from the aristocracy to the common people .

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