Lecture notres week two 140114/140116
Officers of state and Assembly
Censor: chef of registrar, financial and tax officer, inspector of public works, and arbiter of public morality. The
supervise city temples, roads, water system, treasury and revenues. They divided the citizens into tribes according to
wealth, age and rank. They also assigned men to the cavalry or infantry. The censors are open to bribery. They had to be
above suspicion. Elected every 5 year, 2 censors
Praetor: chief law officer and judge, and understudy to the consuls, particularly in the administration of provinces
(provincial governors were normally drawn from the ranks of former consuls and serving or former praetor). The first praetor
was in 366BC; about a century later a second was appointed, the two dividing their responsibility for justice according to
whether a suit was between citizens or outsiders. The first plebeian praetor was in 337BC. A praetor, in the same way as
consuls, dictators and masters of the cavalry, was automatically invested with Imperium, and was preceded in public.
Aedile: supervisor of public works, temples, markets and games. Two at least were always plebeians Responsible
for organising the festively
Quaestor: assistant to the consuls, particularly as controller of the military or civic treasury, and keeper of records.
The minimum age was 25, to allow for the completion of military service. The first plebeian quaestor was in 409BC.
Senate: the senate was the only group were members voted as individuals. About 300 members up to the reforms
in 82 – 79 of Sulla, who doubled the number. Nominations were originally automatic and by birth or rank;thater they were
made by the consuls and, after about 350BC, by the censors. Plebeians were admitted during the 4 century BC, after
which the senate became a body predominantly of men who had served as government official. It did not pass laws as
much as refer its advice to the popular assemblies. It had, however, complete control over finance, administration of the
state and its empire, and relation with foreign powers. It also adjudicated on religion matter and acted as an intermediary
between the Roman people and the gods. Advisory group, but the advice was not law. One consul to nominate a dictator.
Elected officer of the state
Comitia curiata: an assembly of representatives of wards, comprising a tenth part of each of the three original tribes
of Rome; it was the original people’s council at the time of kings. It formally ratified the election of consuls and acted as a
court of appeal. In the fourth century BC its function were largely assumed by the Comitia centuriata.
Comitia centuriata: originally the assembly of representatives of military units (centuries). Is was reconstituted into
193 centuries, to which eligible voters (all Roman citizens) were allocated according to their means. Each century comprised
an indefinite and variable number of members. Ninetyeight of the votes (that is, a majority) were in the hands of eighteen
centuries of equestrians and the eighty representing the top of the five property bands. The assembly elected senior state
officials, declared war, instituted peace treaties, approved legislation and until the function was completely to the court, had
the final say in cases of execution or exile. 193 centuriata in all (98 was the majority), they could elect censors consuls,
praetors and urban Aedile
Concilium plebis: the original plebeian parliament, sitting and voting in thirtyfive tribal or district divisions. It elected
its own officers and formulated decrees for observance by its own kind which, after 287 BC, could be made binding on the
Comitia tribute: organized in tribes in the same way as the Concilium plebis but open to all citizens. It elected minor
officials and was means of approving legislation on a different voting basis to that of the comitia centuriata. 4 urban tribes
and 31 rural tribes it was not the same tribe that voted first. Tribes in a hat the number to come out was the tribe to vote first.
1 tribe / 1 vote. Could elect rural Aediles, tribunes and Quaestors
Consuls: 2 individuals, supreme position among the annual election, kind of like prime minister
• Censor (2) 42 years old • Consul (2)
• Praetor (6)
• Aedile (2 + 2)/ tribune(10)
• Quaestor (20) 25 years old
If someone wanted to be a Censor he would have to climb the ladder.
The Twelve Tables
The twelve tables are the rules and punishments that the Romans (free or slaves) followed. They were set rules for
public, private and political behaviour. The twelve tables tell the consciences for action like steeling, killing (accidental and
nonaccidental, the maximum interest on loans, what to do if a criminal did not come to trial, the penalty for as