3. -Consules- are those who "leap or dance together," as -praesul- is one who "leaps before," -exsul-, one who "leaps out" (--o ekpeson--), -insula-, a "leap into," primarily applied to a mass of rock fallen into the sea.

4. The day of entering on office did not coincide with the beginning of the year (1st March), and was not at all fixed. The day of retiring was regulated by it, except when a consul was elected expressly in room of one who had dropped out (-consul suffectus-); in which case the substitute succeeded to the rights and consequently to the term of him whom he replaced. But these supplementary consuls in the earlier period only occurred when merely one of the consuls had dropped out: pairs of supplementary consuls are not found until the later ages of the republic. Ordinarily, therefore, the official year of a consul consisted of unequal portions of two civil years.

5. I. V. The King

6. I. XI. Crimes

7. I. V. Prerogatives Of The Senate

8. I. V. The King

9. I. V. The King

10. I. VI. Dependents And Guests

11. I. VI. Political Effects Of The Servian Military Organization

12. I. V. The Senate As State Council

13. I. V. Prerogatives Of The Senate

14. That the first consuls admitted to the senate 164 plebeians, is hardly to be regarded as a historical fact, but rather as a proof that the later Roman archaeologists were unable to point out more than 136 -gentes- of the Roman nobility (Rom, Forsch. i. 121).

15. It may not be superfluous to remark, that the -iudicium legitimum-, as well as that -quod imperio continetur-, rested on the imperium of the directing magistrate, and the distinction only consisted in the circumstance that the -imperium- was in the former case limited by the -lex-, while in the latter it was free.

16. II. I. Restrictions On The Delegation Of Powers


The Tribunate Of The Plebs And The Decemvirate

Material Interests

Under the new organization of the commonwealth the old burgesses had attained by legal means to the full possession of political power. Governing through the magistracy which had been reduced to be their servant, preponderating in the Senate, in sole possession of all public offices and priesthoods, armed with exclusive cognizance of things human and divine and familiar with the whole routine of political procedure, influential in the public assembly through the large number of pliant adherents attached to the several families, and, lastly, entitled to examine and to reject every decree of the community,--the patricians might have long preserved their practical power, just because they had at the right time abandoned their claim to sole legal authority. It is true that the plebeians could not but be painfully sensible of their political disabilities; but undoubtedly in the first instance the nobility had not much to fear from a purely political opposition, if it understood the art of keeping the multitude, which desired nothing but equitable administration and protection of its material interests, aloof from political strife. In fact during the first period after the expulsion of the kings we meet with various measures which were intended, or at any rate seemed to be intended, to gain the favour of the commons for the government of the nobility especially on economic grounds. The port-dues were reduced; when the price of grain was high, large quantities of corn were purchased on account of the state, and the trade in salt was made a state-monopoly, in order to supply the citizens with corn and salt at reasonable prices; lastly, the national festival was prolonged for an additional day. Of the same character was the ordinance which we have already mentioned respecting property fines,(1) which was not merely intended in general to set limits to the dangerous fining-prerogative of the magistrates, but was also, in a significant manner, calculated for the especial protection of the man of small means. The magistrate was prohibited from fining the same man on the same day to an extent beyond two sheep or beyond thirty oxen, without granting leave to appeal; and the reason of these singular rates can only perhaps be found in the fact, that in the case of the man of small means possessing only a few sheep a different maximum appeared necessary from that fixed for the wealthy proprietor of herds of oxen --a considerate regard to the wealth or poverty of the person fined, from which modern legislators might take a lesson.

But these regulations were merely superficial; the main current flowed in the opposite direction. With the change in the constitution there was introduced a comprehensive revolution in the financial and economic relations of Rome, The government of the kings had probably abstained on principle from enhancing the power of capital, and had promoted as far as it could an increase in the number of farms. The new aristocratic government, again, appears to have aimed from the first at the destruction of the middle classes, particularly of the intermediate and smaller holdings of land, and at the development of a domination of landed and moneyed lords on the one hand, and of an agricultural proletariate on the other.

Rising Power Of The Capitalists

The reduction of the port-dues, although upon the whole a popular measure, chiefly benefited the great merchant. But a much greater accession to the power of capital was supplied by the indirect system of finance-administration. It is difficult to say what were the remote causes that gave rise to it: but, while its origin may probably be referred to the regal period, after the introduction of the consulate the importance of the intervention of private agency must have been greatly increased, partly by the rapid succession of magistrates in Rome, partly by the extension of the financial action of the treasury to such matters as the purchase and sale of grain and salt; and thus the foundation must have been laid for that system of farming the finances, the development of which became so momentous and so pernicious for the Roman commonwealth.

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

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