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and there was a quaestor to supervise the transit of the corn from Sicily and, later, from Spain and Africa, and an elaborate administration for collecting and conveying it. The lex frumentaria of Caius was followed by the lex Octavia, restricting the monthly sale to citizens settled in Rome, and to 5 modii (1^ bushels). According to Polybius, the amount required for the maintenance of a slave was 5 modii a month, and of a soldier 4. Hence the allowance, if continued at this rate, was practically a maintenance. The lex Clodia (58 B.c.) made the corn gratuitous to the plebs urbana. Julius Caesar (5 b.c.) found the number of recipients to he 320,000, and reduced them to 150,000. In Augustus’s time they rose to 200,000. There seems, however, to be some confusion as to the numbers. From the Ancyranum Monumentum it appears that the plebs urbana who received Augustus’s dole of 60 denarii (37s. 6d.) in his eighth consulship numbered 320,000. And (Suet. Coes. 41) it seems likely that in Caesar’s time the lists of the recipients were settled by lot; further, probably only those whose property was worth less than 400,000 sesterces (£3541) were placed on the lists. It is probable, therefore, that 320,000 represents a maximum, reduced for purposes of administration to a smaller number (a) by a property test, and (5) by some kind of scrutiny. The names of those certified to receive the corn were exposed on bronze tablets. They were then called cerarii. They had tickets {tesserae) for purposes of identification, and they received the corn or bread in the time of the republic at the temple of Ceres, and afterwards at steps in the several (14) regions or wards of Rome. Hence the bread was called panis gradilis. In the middle of the 2nd century there were state bakeries, and wheaten loaves were baked for the people perhaps two or three times a week. In Aurelian’s time (a.d. 270) the flour was of the best, and the weight of the loaf (one uncia) was doubled. To the gifts of bread were added pork, oil, and possibly wine ; clothes also—white tunics with long sleeves—were distributed. In the period after Constantine (cf. Theod. Code, xiv. 15) three classes received the bread—the palace people {palatini), soldiers {militares), and the populace {populares). No distribution was permitted except at the steps. Each class had its own steps in the several wards. The bread at one step could not be transferred to another step. Each class had its own supply. There were arrangements for the exchange of stale loaves. Against misappropriation there were (law of Yalentinian and Valens) severe penalties. If a public prosecutor {actor), a collector of the revenue {procurator), or the slave of a senator obtained bread with the cognizance of the clerk, or by bribery, the slave, if his master was not a party to the offence, had to serve in the state bakehouse in chains. If the master were involved, his house was confiscated. If others who had not the right obtained the bread, they and their property were placed at the service of the bakery {pistrini exercitio subjugari). If they were poor {pauperes) they were enslaved, and the delinquent client was to be put to death. The right to relief was dependent on the right of citizenship. Hence it became hereditary and passed from father to son. It was thus in the nature of a continuous endowed charity, like the well-known family charity of Smith, for instance, in which a large property was left to the testator’s descendants, of whom it was said that as a result no Smith of that family could fail to be poor. But the annona civica was an endowed charity, affecting not a single family, but the whole population. Later, when Constantinople was founded, the right to relief was attached to new houses as a premium on building operations. Thus it belonged not to persons only, but also to houses, and became a species of “ immovable ” property, passing to the purchaser of the house or property, as would the adscript slaves. The bread followed the house (pedes sequantur annonce). If, on the transfer of a house, bread claims were lost owing to the absence of claimants, they were transferred to the treasury (fisci viribus vindicentur). But the savage law of Yalentinian, referred to above, shows to what lengths such a system was pushed. Early in its history the annona civica attracted many to Rome in the hope of living there without working. For the 400 years since the lex Clodia was enacted constant injury had been done by it, and now (a.d. 364) people had to be kept off the civic bounty as if they were birds of prey, and



the very poor man (pauperrimus), who had no civic title to the food, if he obtained it by fraud, was enslaved. Thus, in spite of the abundant state relief, there had grown up a class of the very poor, the Gentiles of the state, who were outside the sphere of its ministrations. The annona civica was introduced not only into Constantinople, but also into Alexandria, with baleful results, and into Antioch. When Constantinople was founded the corn-ships of Africa sailed there instead of to Rome. On charitable relief, as we shall see, the annona has had a long-continued and fatal influence. (1) If the Government considers itself responsible for provisioning the people it must fix the price of necessaries, and to meet distress or popular clamour it will lower the price. It becomes thus a large relief society for the supply of corn. In a time oi distress, when the corn laws were a matter of moment in England, a similar system was adopted in the well-known Speenhamland scale (1795), by which a larger or lesser allowance was given to a family according to its size and the prevailing price of corn. A maintenance was thus provided for the able-bodied and their families, at least in part, without any equivalent in labour ; though in England labour was demanded of the applicant, and work was done more or less perfunctorily. In amount the Roman dole seems to have been equivalent to the allowance provided for a slave, but the citizen received it without having to do any labour task. He received it as a statutory right. There could hardly be a more effective method for degrading his manhood and denaturalizing his family. He was also a voter, and the alms appealed to his weakness and indolence ; and the fear of displeasing him and losing his vote kept him, socially, master of the situation, to his own ruin. If in England now relief were given to able-bodied persons who retained their votes, this evil would also attach to it. (2) The system obliged the hardworking to maintain the idlers, while it continually increased their number. The needy teacher in Juvenal, instead of a fee, is put off with a tessera, to which, not being a citizen, he has no right. “The foreign reapers,” it was said, “filled Rome’s belly and left Rome free for the stage and the circus.” The freeman had become a slave—“ stupid and drowsy, to whom days of ease had become habitual, the games, the circus, the theatre, dice, eating-houses, and brothels.” Here are all the marks of a degraded pauperism. (3) The system led the way to an ever more extensive slavery. The man who could not live on his dole and other scrapings had the alternative of becoming a slave. “Better h^ve a good master than live so distressfully” ; and “ If I were free I should live at my own risk; now I live at yours,” are expressions suggestive of the natural temptations of slavery in these conditions. The escaped slaves returned to “ their manger.” The annona did not prevent destitution. It was a half-way house to slavery. (4) The effect on agriculture, and proportionally on commerce generally, was ruinous. The largest corn-market, Rome, was withdrawn from the trade—the market to which all the necessaries of life would naturally have gravitated ; and the supply of corn w’as placed in the hands of producers at a few centres where it could be grown most cheaply—Sicily, Spain, and Africa. The Italian farmer had to turn his attention to other produce—the cultivation of the olive and the vine, and cattle and pig rearing. The greater the extension of the system the more impossible was the regeneration of Rome. The Roman citizen might well say that he was out of work, for, so far as the land was concerned, the means of obtaining a living were placed out of his reach. While not yet unfitted for the country by life in the town, he at least could not “return to the land.” (5) The method was the outcome of distress and political hopelessness. Yet the rich also adopted it in distributing their private largess. Cicero {De Off. ii. 16) writes as though he recognized its evil; but though he expresses his disapprobation of the popular shows upon which the cediles spent large sums, he argues that something must be done, “if the people demand it, and if good men, though they do not wish it, assent to it.” Thus in a guarded manner he approves a distribution of food —a free breakfast in the streets of Rome. One bad result of the annona was that it encouraged a special and ruinous form of charitable munificence. The sportula was a form of charity corresponding to the annona civica. Charity and poor relief run on parallel lines, and when the one is administered without discrimination, little discrimination will usually be ^portuia exercised in the other. It was the charity of the patron—of the chiefs of the clan-families to their clients. S. II. — 84