The History of Rome (Mommsen)/Book 1/Chapter 6



Amalgamation of the Palatine and Quirinal cities. The history of every nation, and Italian history especially is a Synoikismos on a great scale. Rome, in the earliest form in which we have any knowledge of it, was already triune, and similar incorporations only ceased when the spirit of Roman vigour had wholly died away. Apart from that primitive process of amalgamation of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, of which hardly anything beyond the bare fact is known, the earliest act of incorporation of this sort was that by which the Hill-burgesses became merged in the Palatine Rome. The organization of the two communities, when they were about to be amalgamated, may be conceived to have been substantially similar, and in solving the problem of union they would have to choose between the alternatives of retaining duplicate institutions or of abolishing one set of these and extending the other to the whole united community. They adopted the former course in the case of all sanctuaries and priesthoods. Thenceforth the Roman community had its two guilds of Salii and two of Luperci, and as it had two forms of Mars, it had also two priests for that divinity; the Palatine priest, who afterwards usually took the designation of priest of Mars, and the Colline, who was termed priest of Quirinus. It is likely, although it can no longer be proved, that alt the old Latin priesthoods of Rome, the Augurs, Pontiffs, Vestals, and Fetials, originated in the same way from the combined colleges of priests of the Palatine and Quirinal communities. In the division into local regions the town on the Quirinal hill was added as a fourth region to the three formed out of the Palatine city, the Suburan, Palatine, and Suburban (Esquiliæ). In the case of the original Synoikismos, the annexed community was recognized after the union as at least a tribe (part) of the new burgess-body, and thus had in some sense a continued political existence; but no such course was followed in the case of the Hill-Romans, or in any of the later processes of annexation. After the union the Roman community continued to be divided as formerly into three tribes each containing ten wardships (curiæ), and the Hill-Romans (whether they were or were not previously distributed into tribes of their own) must have been inserted into the existing tribes and wardships. This insertion was probably so arranged, that while each tribe and wardship received its assigned proportion of the new burgesses, the new burgesses in these divisions were not amalgamated completely with the old; the tribes henceforth exhibit two ranks: the Tities, Ramnes, and Luceres being respectively subdivided into first and second (priores, posteriores). With this division was connected in all probability that arrangement of the organic institutions of the community in pairs, which meets us everywhere. The three pairs of Sacred Virgins are expressly indicated as representatives of the three[errata 1] tribes with their first and second ranks; and it may be conjectured that the six Argean chapels that belonged to each of the four urban regions (P. 54), and the pair of Lares worshipped in each street, had a similar origin. This arrangement is especially apparent in the army: after the union each half-tribe of the tripartite community furnished a hundred horse, and the Roman burgess-cavalry was thus raised to six "hundreds," and the number of the captains of horse (tribuni celerum) from three to six. There is no tradition of any corresponding increase in the infantry; but to this origin we may probably refer the subsequent custom of calling out the legions regularly two by two, and this doubling of the levy probably led to the rule of having not three, as was perhaps originally the case, but six leaders of division to command the legion. It is certain that no corresponding increase of seats in the senate took place: on the contrary, the primitive number of three hundred senators remained the normal number down to the seventh century. It may, however, be reasonably presumed that a number of the more prominent men of the newly annexed community would be received into the senate of the Palatine city. The same course was followed with the magistracies: a single king presided over the united community, and there was one captain of horse and one warden of the city, his principal deputies[errata 2]. It thus appears that the ritual institutions of the Hill-city were continued, and that the doubled burgess-body was required to furnish a military force of double numerical Btrength; but in other respects the incorporation of the Quirinal city into the Palatine was really a subordination of the former to the latter. All other indications attest that it was so. The appellation of "lesser clans" (minores gentes) appears to have been applied to all who were known to be subsequent additions to the original burgesses; but there is reason to presume that originally this distinction of old and new burgesses was identical with the distinction of the first and second Tities, Ramnes, and Luceres, and consequently that the gentes of the Quirinal city were primarily the "new." The distinction was certainly more an honorary than a legal precedence; but it is a significant circumstance that in taking the vote in the senate the senators taken from the greater clans were always asked before those of the lesser.[1] In like manner the Colline region ranked as inferior even to the Suburban (Esquiline) region of the Palatine city; the priest of the Quirinal Mars as inferior to the priest of the Palatine Mars; the Quirinal Salii and Luperci as inferior to those of the Palatine. It thus appears that the Synoikismos, by which the Palatine community absorbed that of the Quirinal, marked an intermediate stage between the earliest Synoikismos by which the Tities, Ramnes, and Luceres became blended, and all those that took place afterwards. The annexed community was no longer allowed to form a separate tribe in the new whole, but it probably furnished at least a distinct portion of each tribe, and its ritual institutions were not only allowed to subsist, as was afterwards clone in other cases, after the capture of Alba, for example, but were raised into institutions of the united community, a course which was not pursued in any subsequent instance.

Dependents and Guests. The amalgamation of two substantially similar commonwealths produced rather an increase in the size than a change in the intrinsic character of the existing community. A second process of importance, which was carried out far more gradually, and had far deeper effects, may be traced back, so far as the first steps in it are concerned, to this epoch; we refer to the amalgamation of the burgesses and metœci. At all times there existed side by side with the burgesses in the Roman community their bondmen the "listeners" (clientes), as they were called, from their being dependents on the several burgess-households, or the "multitude" (plebes, from pleo, plenus), as they were termed negatively with reference to their want of political rights.[2] The elements of this intermediate stage between the freeman and the slave were, as has been shown (P. 64), already in existence in the Roman household: in the community this class could not but acquire greater importance in fact and in law, and that for two reasons. In the first place the community might itself possess half-free clients as well as slaves; especially after the conquest of a town and the breaking up of its commonwealth it might often appear to the conquering community advisable, not to sell the mass of the burgesses formally as slaves, but to allow them the continued possession of freedom de facto, so that in the capacity as it were of freedmen of the community they entered into relations of clientship to the state, or in other words to the king. In the second place, the very nature of the community as such, and its authority over individual burgesses, implied a power of protecting their clients against an abusive exercise of the dominial rights still vested in them de jure. Already at an immemorially early period there was introduced into Roman law the principle on which rested the whole legal position of the metœci, that when a master on occasion of a public legal act—such as in the making of a testament, in ail action at law, or in the census—expressly or tacitly surrendered his dominium, neither he himself nor his successors at law should ever have power arbitrarily to recall that resignation or reassert a claim to the person of the freedman himself or of his descendants. The clients and their posterity did not by virtue of their position possess the rights of burgesses or those of guests; for to constitute a burgess a formal bestowal of the privilege was requisite on the part of the community, while the relation of guest presupposed the holding of burgess-rights in a community which had a treaty with Rome. What they did obtain was the possession of a freedom protected by statute, while they continued to be de jure non-free. Accordingly for a lengthened period their relations in all matters of property were, like those of slaves, regarded in the eye of the law as relations of the patron, and it seems to have been necessary that the latter should represent them in processes at law; in connection with which the patron enjoyed the correlative privilege of levying contributions from them in case of need, and of calling them to account before him criminally. Gradually, however, the body of mœtici outgrew their fetters; they began to acquire and to alienate in their own name, and to claim and obtain legal redress from the Roman tribunals without the formal intervention of their patron.

Equality of rights with the burgesses as respects marriage and inheritance was far sooner conceded to foreigners (P. 42) than to those who were strictly non-free and belonged to no community; but the latter could not well be prohibited from contracting marriages in their own circle, and from forming the legal relations arising out of marriage—those of marital and paternal power, of agnatio and clanship, of heritage and of tutelage—after the model of similar relations among the burgesses.

Similar consequences to some extent were produced by the exercise of the jus hospitii, in cases where upon that footing foreigners settled permanently in Rome, and established a domestic circle, and perhaps even acquired immoveable estate there. In this respect the most liberal principles must have prevailed in Rome from primitive times. The Roman law knew no distinctions of quality in inheritance, and no locking up of estates; it allowed on the one hand, to every man capable of making a disposition, the entirely unlimited disposal of his property during his lifetime; and, on the other hand, so far as we know, to every one who was at all entitled to have dealings with Roman burgesses, even to the foreigner and the client, the unlimited right of acquiring moveable, and (from the time when immoveables could be held as private property at all) also immoveable, estate in Rome. Rome was in fact a commercial city, which was indebted for the commencement of its importance to international intercourse, and which with a noble liberality granted the privilege of settlement to every offspring of an unequal marriage, to every manumitted slave, to every stranger who, surrendering his rights at home, emigrated to Rome, and in fact to a great extent even to the foreigner, who retained his rights as a burgess in a friendly community.

Body of metœci subsisting by the side of the community. At first, therefore, the burgesses were in reality the master-protectors, the non-burgesses were the protected; but in Rome, as in all communities, which do not throw open the rights of citizenship, it soon became a matter of increasing difficulty to harmonize this relation de jure with the actual state of things. The flourishing of commerce, the right of settling in the capital secured to all Latins by the Latin league, the greater frequency of manumissions as prosperity increased, must have occasioned even in peace a disproportionate increase of the number of metœci. That number was further augmented by the greater part of the population of the neighbouring towns subdued by force of arms and incorporated with Rome, which, whether it was transferred to Rome or remained in its old home now reduced to the rank of a village, ordinarily exchanged its native burgess-rights for those of a Roman metoikos. Moreover the burdens of war fell exclusively on the old burgesses and were constantly thinning the ranks of their patrician descendants, while the metœci shared in the results of victory without having to pay for it with their blood.

Under such circumstances the only wonder is that the Roman patriciate did not disappear much more rapidly than it actually did. The fact of its still continuing for a prolonged period a numerous community can scarcely be accounted for by the bestowal of Roman burgess-rights on several distinguished foreign gentes, which upon emigrating from their homes or upon their cities being conquered received the Roman franchise—for such grants appear to have occurred but sparingly from the first, and to have become always more rare, the more the privilege increased in value. A cause of greater influence, we venture to conjecture, was the introduction of the civil marriage, by which a child begotten of patrician parents living together as married persons although without confarreatio, acquired full burgess-rights equally with the child of a confarreatio marriage. At least it is probable that the civil marriage, which already existed in Rome before the Twelve Tables but was certainly not an original institution, was introduced for the very purpose of preventing the disappearance of the patriciate.[3] Connected with this were also the measures which were already in the earliest times adopted with a view to maintain a numerous posterity in the several households (P. 61); and it is even not improbable, that for a similar reason all children of patrician mothers, begotten in unequal marriage or out of marriage, were admitted in later times as members of the burgess-body.

Nevertheless the number of the metœci was constantly on the increase, and liable to no special diminution, while that of the burgesses was, at the utmost perhaps, not decreasing; and in consequence the metœci necessarily acquired by imperceptible degrees another and a freer position. The non-burgesses were no longer merely emancipated slaves or strangers needing protection; their ranks included the former burgesses of the Latin communities vanquished in war, and, more especially, the Latin settlers, who lived in Rome, not by the favour of the king or of any other burgess, but by federal right. Legally unrestricted in the acquiring of property, they gained money and estate in their new home, and bequeathed, like the burgesses, their homesteads to their children and children's children. The depressing relation of dependence also on particular burgess-households became gradually relaxed. If the liberated slave or the immigrant stranger still held an entirely isolated position in the state, such was no longer the case with his children, still less with his grandchildren, and this very circumstance of itself rendered their relation to the patron of less moment. While in earlier times the client was exclusively left dependent for the protection of his rights on the intervention of some patron, the more the state became consolidated, and the importance of the clanships and households became in consequence diminished, the more frequently must the individual client have obtained justice and redress of injury, even without the intervention of his patron, from the king. A great number of the non-burgesses, particularly the members of the dissolved Latin communities, were probably from the first clients, not of any private person at all, but of the king for the time being, and thus they served only the single master to whom the burgesses also, although in different fashion, rendered their obedience. The king, whose sovereignty over the burgesses was in truth ultimately dependent on the good-will of his subjects, must have welcomed the means of forming out of his own dependents a body bound to him by closer ties, whose gifts and lapsed successions replenished his treasury (even the protection money which the metœci paid to the king (P. 80) may have been connected with such a relation), whose taskwork he could lay claim to in his own right, and whom he found always ready to swell the train of their protector.

Thus there grew up by the side of the burgesses a second community in Rome: out of the clients arose the plebs. This change of name is significant. In law there was no difference between the client and the plebeian, the "dependent" and the "man of the multitude;" but in fact there was a very important one, for the former term brought into prominence the relation of dependence on a member of the politically privileged class: the latter suggested merely the want of political rights. As the sense of a special dependence became less, that of a political inferiority forced itself on the thoughts of the free metœci; and it was only the sovereignty of the king ruling equally over all that prevented the outbreak of political conflict between the privileged and the non-privileged classes of the community.

The Servian constitution. The first step, however, towards the amalgamation of the two portions of the people scarcely took place in the revolutionary way which their antagonism appeared to foreshadow. The reform of the constitution, which bears the name of King Servius Tullius, is indeed, as to its historical origin, involved in the same darkness with all the events of a period, respecting which we learn whatever we know, not by means of historical tradition, but solely by means of inference from the institutions of later times. But its character testifies that it cannot have been a change demanded by the plebeians, for the new constitution assigned to them duties alone, and not rights. It must have rather owed its origin either to the wisdom of one of the Roman kings, or to the urgent desire of the burgesses that they should no longer be exclusively liable to military service, and that the non-burgesses also should contribute to the levy. By the Servian constitution the duty of service and the obligation connected with it of making advances to the state in case of need (the tributum), instead of being imposed on the burgesses as such, were laid upon the possessors of land, the "domiciled" or "freeholders" (adsidui), or the "wealthy" (locupletes), whether they were burgesses or merely metœci; service in the army was changed from a personal burden into a burden on property. The details of the arrangement were as follow.

Every freeholder, from the seventeenth to the sixtieth year of his age, was under obligation of service, including children in the household of fathers who were freeholders, without distinction of birth; so that even the emancipated slave had to serve, who in an exceptional case had come into possession of lauded property. We do not know now the strangers who held landed property in Rome were dealt with; probably there existed a regulation, according to which no foreigner was allowed to acquire land in Rome unless he actually transferred his residence thither, and took his place among the metœci there, that is, among those bound to serve in war. The body of men, liable to serve was distributed according to the size of their portions of land into five "summonings" (classes, from calare). Of these, however, only those liable under the first summoning, or those in possession of an entire hide[4] of land, were obliged to appear in complete armour, and in that point of view were pre-eminently regarded as "those summoned to war-service" (classici). The four following ranks of smaller land-holders, the possessors respectively of three fourths, of a half, of a quarter, or of an eighth of a normal farm, were required to fulfil service, but not to equip themselves in complete armour. As the land happened to be at that time apportioned, almost the half of the farms were entire hides, while each of the classes possessing respectively three fourths, the half, and the quarter of a hide, amounted to scarcely an eighth of the freeholders, and those again holding an eighth of a hide amounted to fully an eighth of the whole number. It was accordingly laid down as a rule that, in the ease of the infantry, the levy should be in the proportion of eighty holders of an entire hide, twenty from each of the three next classes, and twenty-eight from the last.

While political distinctions were disregarded as concerned the infantry, it was otherwise with the formation of the cavalry. The existing burgess-cavalry was retained, but a troop twice as strong was added to it, which consisted entirely, or at any rate for the most part, of non-burgesses. The reason for this deviation is probably to be sought in the fact that at that period the divisions of infantry were embodied anew for each campaign, and discharged on their return home, whereas in the cavalry horses as well as men were, on military grounds, kept together also in time of peace, and held their regular drills, which were perpetuated as festivals of the Roman equites down to the latest times.[5] Thus it happened that, even under this organization which in other instances disregarded on principle the distinction between burgess and non-burgess, the first third of the equestrian centuries remained exclusively composed of burgesses; military and not political reasons occasioned this anomaly. They chose for the cavalry the most opulent and considerable landholders among burgesses and non-burgesses; and at an early period, perhaps from the very first, a certain measure of land seems to have been regarded as involving an obligation to serve in the cavalry. Along with these, however, there existed a number of free places in the ranks, as the unmarried women, the boys under age, and the old men without children, who had land, were bound instead of personal service to provide horses for particular troopers (each trooper had two), and to furnish them with fodder. There was one horseman in all to nine foot-soldiers; but, in actual service, the horsemen were used more sparingly. The class of non-freeholders ("children-begetters," proletarii) had to supply workmen and musicians for the army, as well as a number of substitutes (adcensi, supernumeraries) who marched with the army unarmed (velati), and, when vacancies occurred, took their places in the ranks, equipped with the armour of the sick or of the fallen.

Levy districts. To facilitate the levying of the infantry, the city and its precincts were distributed into four "parts" (tribus), a measure by which the old triple division was superseded, at least so far as concerned its local significance. These were the Palatine, which comprehended the height of that name along with the Velia; the Suburan to which the street so named, the Carinæ, and the Cælian belonged; the Esquiline; and the Colline, formed by the Quirinal and Viminal, the "hills" as contrasted with the "mounts" of the Capitol and Palatine. We have already spoken of the formation of these regions, and shown how they originated out of the ancient double city of the Palatine and the Quirinal. Beyond the walls each region must have included the land-district adjacent to it, for Ostia was reckoned in the Palatine region. That the four regions were nearly on an equality in point of numbers is evident from their contributing equally to the levy. This division, which had primarily reference to the soil alone, and applied only inferentially to those who possessed it, was merely for administrative purposes; and no religious significance in particular ever attached to it, for the fact that in every city-district there were six chapels of the enigmatical Argei, no more confers upon them the character of ritual districts than the erection of an altar to the Lares in each street implies such a character in the streets.

Each of these four levy-districts had to furnish the fourth part not only of the force as a whole, but of each of its military subdivisions, so that each legion and each century numbered an equal proportion of conscripts from each region; evidently for the purpose of merging all distinctions of a gentile and local nature in the one common levy of the community, and above all of blending, through the powerful levelling influence of the military spirit, the metœci and the burgesses into one people.

Organization of the army. In a military view, the male population capable of bearing arms was divided into a first and second levy, the former of which, the "juniors" from the commencement of the seventeenth to the completion of the forty-sixth year, were especially employed for service in the field, while the "seniors" guarded the walls at home. The military unit in the infantry continued as formerly to be the legion (P. 78), a phalanx, arranged and armed exactly in the old Doric style, of three thousand men, who, six file deep, formed a front of five hundred heavy-armed soldiers; to which were attached twelve hundred "unarmed" (velites, see P. 78). The four first ranks of each phalanx were formed by the full-armed hoplites of the first class, the holders of an entire hide; in the fifth and sixth were placed the less completely equipped farmers of the second and third class; the two last classes were annexed as rear ranks to the phalanx, or fought alongside as light-armed troops. Provision was made for readily supplying the accidental gaps, which were so injurious to the phalanx. Thus there served in each legion forty-two centuries or 4200 men, of whom 3000 were hoplites, 2000 from the first class, 500 from each of the two next in order, and 1200 light-armed, of whom 500 belonged to the fourth and 700 to the fifth class; each levy district furnished for every legion 1050, and for every century 25 men. In ordinary cases two legions took the field, while two others did garrison duty at home. The normal amount accordingly of the infantry reached four legions, or 16,800 men, eighty centuries from the first class, twenty from each of the three following, and twenty-eight from the last class; not taking into account the two centuries of substitutes or those of the workmen and the musicians. To all these fell to be added the cavalry, which consisted of 1800 horse, a third of which remained reserved to the old burgesses; on taking the field, however, only three centuries were usually assigned to each legion. The normal amount of the Roman army, of the first and second levy, rose accordingly to close upon 20,000 men; which number must beyond doubt have corresponded to the effective strength of the serviceable population of Rome, as it stood at the time when the new organization was introduced. As the population increased, the number of centuries was not augmented, but the several divisions were strengthened by supernumeraries, without altogether losing sight, however, of the fundamental number. Indeed the Roman corporations in general, strictly closed as to numbers, very frequently evaded the limits imposed upon them by admitting supernumerary members.

Census. This new organization of the army was accompanied by a more careful supervision of landed property on the part of the state. It was now either enacted for the first time, or, if not, at any rate ordained more precisely, that a land-register should be established, in which the several proprietors of land should have their fields with all their appurtenances, servitudes, slaves, beasts of draught and of burden duly recorded. Every act of alienation, which did not take place publicly and before witnesses, was declared null; and a revision of the register of landed property, which was at the same time the levy-roll, was directed to be made every fourth year. The mancipatio and the census thus arose out of the Servian military organization.

Political effects of the Servian military organization. It is evident at a glance that this whole institution was effects of originally of a military nature. In the whole detailed scheme we do not encounter a single feature which points to any destination of the centuries to other than purely military purposes; and this alone must, with every one accustomed to think regarding such things, form a sufficient reason for pronouncing its application to political purposes a later innovation. The regulation also, by which every one who had passed his sixtieth year was excluded from the centuries, becomes absolutely absurd, if they were intended from the first to form a representation of the burgess-community similar to and parallel with the curies. Although, however, the organization of the centuries was introduced merely to nlarge the warlike resources of the burgesses by the inclusion of the metœci, and there is therefore no greater perversion than to represent that organization as the introduction of a timocracy in Rome, the new obligation imposed upon the inhabitants to bear arms exercised in its consequences a material influence on their political position. He who is obliged to become a soldier, must also, wherever the state is not rotten, have it in his power to become an officer; beyond question plebeians also could now be nominated in Rome as centurions and as military tribunes, and by that step admission even to the senate (to which, besides, there was no obstacle de jure, P. 71), was probably de facto thrown open; this of course by no means involved admission into the burgess-body.[6] Although, moreover, the institution of the centuries was not intended to curtail the political privileges exclusively possessed by the burgesses as hitherto represented in the curies, yet it was inevitable that those rights, which the burgesses hitherto had exercised, not as the assembly of curies, but as the burgess-levy, should pass to the new centuries of burgesses and metœci. Henceforward, accordingly, it was the centuries who interposed their authority to the testaments of soldiers made before battle (P. 82), and whose consent the king had to ask before beginning an aggressive war (P. 83). It is important, on account of the subsequent course of development, to note these first indications of the centuries taking part in public affairs; but the centuries came to acquire such rights at first more in the way of natural sequence than of direct design, and subsequently to the Servian reform as before it the assembly of the curies was regarded as the proper burgess-community, whose homage bound the whole people in allegiance to the king. By the side of these full-burgesses stood the clients having freeholds, or, as they were afterwards called, the "burgesses without right of voting" (cives sine suffragio), who participated in public burdens, the service of the army, tribute, and taskwork (hence municipes); but they ceased to pay protection-money, which was thenceforth paid only by the metœci who were beyond the pale of the tribes, that is, who were non-freeholders (ærarii).

In this way, while hitherto there had been distinguished only two classes of members of the community, burgesses and clients, there were now established three political classes of active, passive, and protected members respectively; categories which exercised a dominant influence over the constitutional law of Rome for many centuries.

Time and occasion of the reform. When and how this new military organization of the Roman community came into existence, can only be conjectured. It presupposes the existence of the four regions; in other words, the Servian wall must have been erected before the reform took place. But the territory of the city must also have considerably exceeded its original limits, when it could furnish 8000 holders of entire hides of land and as many who held lesser portions, or sons of such holders, and in addition a number of larger landholders and their sons. We are not acquainted with the superficial extent of the normal Roman farm; but it is scarcely possible to estimate it as under twenty jugera.[7] If we reckon as a minimum 10,000 full hides, this would imply a superficies of 190 square miles of arable land; and on this calculation, if we make a very moderate allowance for pasture and the space occupied by houses and downs, the territory, at the period when this reform was carried, out, must have had at least an extent of 420 square miles, probably an extent still more considerable. If we follow tradition, we must assume even a number of 84,000 burgesses freeholders and capable of bearing arms; for such, we are told, were the numbers ascertained by Servius at the first census. A glance at the map, however, shows that this number must be fabulous; it is not even a genuine tradition, but a conjectural calculation, proceeding apparently on the fact that the 16,800 capable of bearing arms, who constituted the normal strength of the infantry, will yield, on an average of five persons to each family, the number of 84,000 free burgesses active and passive. But even according to the more moderate positions laid down above, with a territory of some 16,000 hides containing a population of nearly 20,000 capable of bearing arms, and at least three times that number of women, children, and old men, persons who had no land, and slaves, it is necessary to assume not merely that the region between the Tiber and Anio had been acquired, but that the Alban territory had also been conquered, before the Servian constitution was established; a result with which tradition agrees. What were the numerical proportions of patricians and plebeians originally in the army, cannot be ascertained; we cannot draw any inference from the case of the cavalry, for, while it was a settled point that no plebeian might serve in the first six centuries, it is not equally clear that no patrician might serve in the twelve lesser.

Upon the whole it is plain that this Servian constitution did not originate in a conflict between, the orders; on the contrary, it bears on it the stamp of a reforming legislator like the constitutions of Lycurgus, Solon, and Zaleucus; and it is evidently been produced under Greek influence. Particular analogies may be deceptive, such as the coincidence already noticed by the ancients, that in Corinth also widows and orphans were charged with the provision of horses for the cavalry; but the adoption of the armour and arrangements of the Greek hoplite system was certainly no accidental coincidence. Now if we consider the fact that it was in the second century of the city that the Greek states in Lower Italy advanced from the pure clan-constitution to a modified one, which placed the preponderance in the hands of the landholders, we shall recognize in that movement the impulse which called forth in Rome the Servian reform, a change of constitution resting in the main on the same fundamental idea, and only directed into a somewhat different course by the strictly monarchical form of the Roman state.[8]

  1. As to the minores gentes, apart from conjectures of little historical value as to the time of their admission into the burgess body (Cic. de Rep. ii. 20, 35; Liv. i. 35; Tacit. Ann. xi. 25; Victor, Viri Ill. 6), nothing is recorded by tradition, except that they had a secondary position in voting in the senate (Cic. l. c.), and that the Papirii belonged to them (Cic. ad Fam. ix. 21). The latter circumstance is remarkable, for a region derived its name from this gens (p. 38). The same was the case with the Fabii (l. c.), who seem also to have belonged to the Hill-city (p. 55).
  2. Habuit plebem in clientelas principum descriptam. Cicero, de Rep. ii. 2.
  3. The enactments of the Twelve Tables respecting usus show clearly that they found the civil marriage already in existence. In like manner the high antiquity of the civil marriage is clearly evident from the fact that it, equally with the religious marriage, necessarily involved the marital power (p. 60), and only differed from the religious marriage as respected the manner in which that power was acquired. The latter of itself necessarily gave full marital power to the husband; whereas, in the case of civil marriage, one of the general forms of acquisition used on other occasions, delivery on the part of a person entitled to give away, or prescription, was requisite in order to lay the foundation of a valid marital power, and thereby to constitute a valid marriage. The marital power was simply the husband's right of property in his wife.
  4. [Hufe, hide, as much as can be properly tilled with one plough, called in Scotland a plough-gate.]

    As to the question, whether the assessments of the Servian census were originally reckoned in money or landed property, we may observe:

    (1) Our information regarding it is derived from the scheme of the census preserved in the archives of the censors, the censoriæ tabulæ (Cic. Orat. xlvi. 156), or the Descriptio classium quam fecit Servius Tullius (Fest. s. v. procum. p. 249, Müll.). This scheme of course presented the Servian constitution as it stood in the last period of its practical application, and therefore with all the modifications which the course of time had introduced. As to the original arrangements we have no evidence; for the statement of the later writers, who in accordance with their usual custom attribute that scheme to Servius Tullius, has no claim to authority.

    (2) It is unnecessary to dwell on the intrinsic improbability, that in an agricultural state, like the Roman, and in a country where the growth of money was so slow and difficult, the civil organization would be based upon a purely monetary rating. But it is of importance to note that, as Boeckh in particular has most fully shown in his Metrologische Untersuchungen, the sums specified are for so early a period much too high. 100,000 heavy asses or pounds of copper, according to my investigations, = 400 Roman pounds of silver, or about 1050l., is an incredible rating for a full burgess at a time when an ox was valued at 100 asses, = 1l. 1s. Boeckh's hypothesis that the assessments are to be understood as referring to the lighter as (an hypothesis, by-the-way, which rests on the same basis as mine, viz., that the scheme before us is that of the later, and not that of the original census) has of necessity been abandoned, for there are positive proofs that the sums of the census as given by tradition, were reckoned by the heavy as equal to the sestertius. Nothing remains but to assume that the assessments were originally reckoned in land, and were converted into money at a time when landed property had already attained a high money-value.

    (3) Landed property, as is well known, formed the qualification for the tribus rusticæ all along, and for the tribus urbanæ down to the censorship of Appius Claudius in 442 [311]. In my work on the Roman Tribes, I have proved that the centuries and classes proceeded from the tribes, and therefore (setting aside the additional centuries of liticines, &c.) the qualification of a tribulis supplied the basis for the proportional arrangement of the classes.

    (4) A direct and in the highest sense trustworthy testimony is furnished by the Twelve Tables in the enactment: adsiduo [civi] vindex adsiduus esto; proletario civi qui volet vindex esto. The proletarius was the capite census (Fest. v. proletarium, Cic. de Rep. ii. 22), that is, the burgess not included within the five classes; adsiduus, on the other hand, denoted any burgess belonging to the five classes (Charisius, p. 58, ed. Patsch p. 75, ed. Keil, comp. Gell. xix. 8, 15: classicus adsiduusque, non proletarius) as indeed necessarily follows from their being contrasted. Now adsiduus, as a comparison between it and residuus, dividuus, &c., incontestably shows, is precisely identical in signification with the German ansässig ("settled on the soil," "permanently domiciled"); and the same holds true of locuples, which is put by the ancients as synonymous with adsiduus (Gell. xvi. 10, 15). Compare, moreover, the passage in Livy, xlv. 15; eos, qui prædium prædiave rustica pluris H.S. xxx. millium haberent censendi jus factum est; a formula in which, in my opinion, a full indication has been preserved of the nature of the so-called Servian assessments.

  5. For the same reason, when the levy was enlarged after the admission of the Hill-Romans, the equites were doubled, while in the infantry-force, instead of the single "gathering" (legio), two legions were called out (p. 88).
  6. Accordingly the antiquaries of the Empire assert that the Octarii of Velitræ were admitted by the elder Tarquin into the senate, while they were only received into the burgess-body under his successor (Sueton. Octav. 2).
  7. Even about 480 [273], allotments of land of seven jugera appeared to those that received them small (Val. Max. iv. 3, 5; Colum. 1 præf. xiv. 1, 3, 11; Plin. N. H. xviii., 3, 18; fourteen jugera, Victor, xxxiii.; Plutarch, Apophth. Reg. et Imp. p. 235. Dübner, in accordance with which Plutarch, Crass. ii. is to be corrected).

    A comparison of the Germanic proportions gives the same result. The jugerum and the morgen (nearly 5/8 of an English acre), both originally measures rather of labour than of surface, may be looked upon as originally identical. As the German hide consisted ordinarily of 30, but not unfrequently of 20 or 40 morgen, and the homestead frequently, at least among the Anglo-Saxons, amounted to a tenth of the hide, it will appear, taking into account the diversity of climate and the size of the Roman heredium of 2 jugera, that the hypothesis of a Roman hide of 20 jugera is not unsuitable to the circumstances of the case. It is, indeed, much to be regretted that on this very point tradition leaves us without information.

  8. The analogy also between the so-called Servian constitution and the treatment of the Attic metœci deserves to be particularly noticed. Athens, like Rome, opened her gates at a comparatively early period to metœci, and afterwards summoned them also to share the burdens of the state. We cannot suppose that any direct connection existed in this instance between Athens and Rome; but the coincidence serves all the more distinctly to show how the same causes—urban centralization and urban development—everywhere and of necessity produce similar effects.


  1. Original: three was amended to the three: detail
  2. Original: deputes was amended to deputies: detail