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trusted to the assembly soon after its formation: one, of fixing the Tributum, or property tax; the other, of providing for the military levies for which the tax was chiefly raised. Whatever resolution was passed concerning these or any other affairs, lawfully subject to such deliberation, was called a Plebiscitum, a Decree of the Plebeians; and as it was independent of the action of any other body than their own, its discussion and its passage were of the most stirring influence in creating the self-relying spirit which the Plebeians most needed to feel and to obey.” The first institution in favor of the Plebeians was soon followed by another much less evidently conceived in their behalf. So long as the Tribes and the Curies continued as they then were, there could be little opportunity for any true concord between the two orders to which they separately belonged; the more so as the preponderance of power, manifest on the Patrician side, would lead either to bitter assault or else to degrading negligence on the part of the Plebeians, disturbed, no doubt, as were the whole people, beyond all previous commotions, both by the election of Servius Tullius and by his establishment of the Tribes, which is supposed to have been accomplished before a third assembly was, as we shall immediately see, created. The mention remains of fifty laws” by which Servius attempted to promote the intercourse and the good-will he desired to behold amongst those he governed; but even without giving him the credit he seems most fully to deserve for generosity and justice, it is perfectly conceivable, that the king, who had put on the crown without the consent, and was then wielding the sceptre against the will, of the main body of the Patricians, would feel the necessity of strengthening himself, not merely by favoring the class which favored him, but by breaking up the associations of that in which his adversaries were numbered. The new institution, to serve at once as the connection between the two estates and the disruption of the old Patrician bonds, was the assembly which Servius now constituted, of the Centuries. He commanded, it is said, an account, which he called the Census, to be taken of the Romans, their numbers, and their fortunes; and when this was done, he divided the whole people into a certain number of Centuries, as they were styled, from their nominally containing each one hundred men. These divisions were in form entirely, and in design chiefly, military; some were of horse, others of foot soldiers; and when they met together, they came, at the blowing of a horn, in arms. It is very doubtful, indeed, if the Comitia Centuriata, that is, the assembly of the Centuries, had any thing else to do, when it was first created, but to gather its members for the campaign or for the martial festival. Yet its purpose was by no means of a kind to be fulfilled exclusively in war or warlike duty. It was based on property, and though raised, indeed, as it were on bucklers, was seen to provide a more equitable system than had yet appeared, of rendering the services which the state claimed from its citizens besides those of the field. These were the pecuniary, as the other were the military, obligations of every man admitted to any place of honor or respectability; and we may now proceed to trace how the manner of fulfilling both, that is, of paying taxes and serving campaigns, was to the advantage of the freedom we seek in Rome. The first Centuries in rank, by reason partly of their birth, but principally of their property, were those of the Celeres, or the Knights, eighteen in number. The three Centuries of Romulus, all, as will be recollected, of Patricians, with the three added to these by Tarquin, and composed in part, as is merely probable, of Plebeians, were left by Servius where he found them, at the head of the Census;* while twelve new ones were formed from the chief men of the state, to use the words of the historian,” who were undoubtedly the richest rather than the noblest, and so of Plebeian as well as Patrician birth. If the new Centuries, like the old, severally contained two hundred, the whole number of Knights was now in all thirty-six hundred, each of whom received a horse and the means of its support at public charge.” The infantry was divided into five classes, armed and equipped according to property alone; each class comprising a certain number of Centuries, which, again, were classified half and half, according to their composition, whether of Elders, from forty-five years upwards, 9r of Juniors, between the ages of forty-five and seventeen." Of the five classes, the first contained eighty Centuries, whose members were severally worth one hundred thousand asses, and whose equipment was a complete suit of bronze armour; the second included twenty Centuries, distinguished from the first, in arms, by wooden shields and the absence of coats of mail, and in property, by being rated at seventy-five thousand asses or upwards to one hundred thousand; the third class, likewise of twenty Centuries, wore no greaves, and possessed from fifty to seventy-five thousand asses; the fourth, of the same number of Centuries, embraced those whose qualification was from twenty-five to fifty thousand asses, but whose arms were only the pike and the javelin; while the fifth class, of thirty Centuries, had only twelve thousand five hundred asses for their property, and only slings and darts for their weapons. The clients may have been enrolled with their patrons or by themselves; but it is not certain that they were at first admitted to the Centuries. Besides the one hundred and seventy Centuries enumerated, of which the first one hundred and forty, or the first four classes, formed the Phalanx, that is, the main body of the army, there were four others of mechanics and musicians, attached to one or another of the upper classes.” A sixth class contained, according to our best authority,” but a single century of the Capite Censi, or proletarians, whose miserable fortunes barely entitled them at all to a place in the Census.” It is scarcely necessary to remark that there were many in Rome, such as the traders and the workmen, with those called AErarians, in addition to the slaves, who were not included in any way among the Centuries.” These details are not the most enlivening to read; yet they lie at the foundation, which this book is intended to describe, of Roman liberty. Hard was the labor of the monarch to work them into the form they wear in history; and harder still the struggle, doubtless, through which he and his adherents came out victorious against the opponents of the new constitution. Yet the change it wrought is not to be overrated; and the reader who will take the pains to sum up the numbers of the preceding account will find that the Centuries of the Knights and of the first class amounted to so decided a majority over the rest,
96 The best account, by far, of most important statements are dethe Tribes is that by Niebuhr in his rived. first volume; from which all my 97 Dion. Hal., IV. 13.
be the defender. Cic., De Rep., II. 20. Plut., Publ., 12. Livy
98 Under the new name, however, of the Sex Suffragia.
99 “Ex primoribus civitatis.” Liv., I. 43.
190 Or, more precisely, the support of the horse was defrayed by a tax on widows and orphans, of whom the Knight was supposed to
seems to make them belong to the richer classes only: —“Haec omnia in dites a pauperibus inclinata opera.” I. 43. The tax was repealed by Walerius Publicola. Plut., loc. cit.
* As a general rule, the Juniors served in the field, the Elders in the defence of the city.
WOL. I. 40
102 The Accensi or Velati were in a Century taken from, not joined to, the fifth class, to act as a reserve and supply the places of the slain. See also Festus, s. v. Adscriptitii.
103 Dion. Hal., IV. 18. Cf. Cic., De Rep., II. 22.
104 As for the value of the as in modern currency, it is wellnigh impossible to make an accurate account. The writer of the latest history of Rome, Dr. Schmitz,
reckons it at about three quarters