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walls, and under them a kind of occasion of making some confider: frieze of figures in painting : fome able discoveries in the history of a have an ornament under the figures, nation, in itself very great, though, which seems to supply the place of to the regret of all the learned world, an architrave. There have been at present almost entirely unknown. no relievos in ftucco hitherto dif- This great scene of antiquities is covered. The paintings seems to almost entirely unknown, even in be in fresco, and are in general in Rome. Mr. Jenkins, now refident the same stile as those which are at Rome, is the first and only Eng. usually seen on the Etruscan vales : lishman who ever visited it. though some of them are much superior perhaps to any thing as yet feen of the Etruscan art in painting. The paintings, though in Remarks on the Roman Comitia. general flight, are well conceived, and prove that the artist was capa
E have no authentic monu. ble of producing things more ftu
ages died and more finished, though in of Rome : there is even great reasuch a subterranean situation, al- son to believe, that most of the ftomost void of light, where the deli- ries told us of them are fabulous *; cacy of a finished work would have and indeed the most interesting and been in a great measure thrown instructive part of the annals of naaway, these artists, as the Romans tions in general, which is that of did in their best ages (when em- their establishment, is the most imployed in such fepulchral works) perfect. Experience daily teaches have in general contented them- us to what causes are owing the selves with slightly expressing their revolutions of kingdoms and emthoughts. But among the immense pires ; but as we see no instances of number of those subterranean apart- the original formation of states, we ments which are yet unopened, it can only proceed on conjectures is to all appearance very probable treating this subject. that many and many paintings and The customs we find actually efinscriptions may be discovered, suf- tablished, however, sufficiently atficient to form a very entertaining, test that there must have been an and perhaps a very useful work : a origin of these customs. Those work which would doubtless inte traditions also relating to such rest all the learned and curious origin, which appear the most raworld, not only as it may bring to tional and of the best authority, light (if success attends this under- ought to pass for the most certain. taking) many works of art, in times These are the maxims I have of such early and remote antiquity, adopted in tracing the manner in but as perhaps it may also be the which the most powerful and free
* The name of Rome, which it is pretended was taken from Romulus, is Greek, and fignifies force. The name of Numa is Greek also, and fignifies law. What probability is there, that the two first kings of this city Thould have been accidentally called by names fo expreflive of their future actions ?
people in the universe exercised the Thus by removing this inequality lovereign authority.
for the present, he prevented it alAfter the foundation of Rome, so for the future ; and in order that the rising republic, that is to say, such division should not only be the army of the founder, composed local but personal, he prohibited of Albans, Sabines, and foreign- the inhabitants of one quarter of ers, was divided into three classes; the city from removing to the which from that division took the other, and thereby prevented the name of tribes. Each of these mixture of their families. tribes was subdivided into ten Cu- He doubled also the three anriæ, and each Curiæ into Decuriæ, cient centuries of cavalry, and at the head of which were placed made an addition of twelve others, chiefs, respectively denominated Cu- but always under their old denoriones and Decuriones.
mination; a simple and judicious Besides this, there were selected method, by which he completely from each tribe a body of an hun- distinguished the body of knights dred cavaliers or knights, called from that of the people, without Centurians ; by which it is evident, exciting the murmurs of the latter. that these divisions, not being es- Again, to these four city tribes, sential to the good order of a city, Servius added fifteen others, callwere at first only military. But it ed rustic tribes ; because they were seems as if the presaging instinct of formed or the inhabitants of the their future greatness, induced the country, divided into as many inhabitants of the little town of cantons. In the sequel were Rome to adopt at first a system of made an equal number of new dipolice proper for the metropolis of visions, and the Roman people the world.
found themselves divided into thirFrom this primitive division, ty-five tribes; the number at however, there resulted a very which their divisions remained fixspeedy inconvenience : this was, ed, till the final diffolution of the that the tribe of Albans, and that republic. of the Sabines, always remaining From the distinction between the same, while that of the stran- the tribes of city and country, regers was perpetually increasing by sulted an effect worthy of observathe concourse of foreigners, the tion ; because we have no other latter foon furpassed the number example of it, and because Rome of the two former. The remedy was at once indebted to it for the which Servius applied to correct preservation of its manners, and this dangerous abuse, was to change the increase of its empire. It the division, and to substitute in might be conceived the city tribes the room of distinction or race, would soon arrogate to themselves which he abolished, another taken the power and honours of the state, from the parts of the town occu- and treat the rustics with conpied by each tribe. Instead of three tempt. The effect, nevertheless, tribes, he constituted four ; each was directly contrary. The taste
. of which occupied one of the of the ancient Romans for a counhills of Rome, and bore its name. try life is well known. They de
rived this taste from the wise insti- any one of these freedmen being tutor, who joined to liberty the preferred to the magiftracy, allabours of the peasant and the fol- though become a citizen. dier, and consigned, as it were, to This was an excellent maxim, the city, the cultivation of the but was carried so far, that it effectarts, trade, intrigue, fortune, and ed an alteration, and undoubtedly flavery.
an abuse, in the police of the state. Thus the most illustrious person- In the first place, the censors, ages of Rome, living in the coun- after having, long arrogated the try, and employing themselves in right of arbitrarily removing the the business of agriculture, it was citizens from one tribe to another, among these only the Romans permitted the greater part to relooked for the defenders of their gifter themselves in whatever tribe republic. This station, being that they, pleased ; a permission that of the moft worthy patricians, was could surely answer no good end, held in universal esteem : the fim- and yet deprived these officers of ple and laborious life of the villa- one of their severest methods of ger was preferred to the mean and censure. Besides, as the great and lazy life of the citizen ; and a per- powerful thus got themselves re
a fon, who having been a labourer gistered in the rural tribes ; and in the country, became a respect- the freedmen, with the populace able house-keeper in town, was only, filled up those of the city, yet held in contempt. It is not the tribes in general had no longer without reason, says Varus, that a local distinction"; but were fo our magnanimous ancestors efta- strangely mixed and jumbled togeblished in the country the nursery ther, that their respective members for those robuft and brave men, could be known only by appealing who defended them in time of to the registers ; fo that the idea war, and cherished them in peace. attached to the word tribe, was Again Pliny says, in exprefs terms, changed from real to personal, or the country tribes were honoured, rather became altogether chimeribecause of the persons of which cal. they were composed; whereas such It happened also, that the tribes of their individuals as were to be of the city, being nearer at hand, treated with ignominy, were re- had generally the greatest influence moved into the tribes of the city. in the Comitia, and made a properWhen the Sabine, Appius Clau- ty of the state, by selling their votes dius, came to settle in Rome, he to those who were base enough to was loaded with honours, and re
purchase them. gistered in one of the rustic tribes With regard to the Curie, ten which afterwards took the name having been instituted in each of his family. Lastly, the freed- tribe, the whole Roman people, men were all entered in the city included within the walls, made tribes, never in the rural ; nor is. up thirty Curiæ, each of which there one single instance, during had their peculiar temples, their the existence of the republic, of gods, officers, and feasts, called
Campitalia, resembling the Paga- In order that the people should nalid, afterwards instituted among penetrate lefs into the design of the ruliic trfties.
this latter form of distribution, At the new division made by Servius affected to give it the air Servius, the number thirty not be- of a military one. In the second ing equally divisible among the class he incorporated two centufour tribes, he forbore to meddle ries of armourers, and annexed with this mode of distribution ; and two itruments of war to the the Curiæ, thus independent of fourth. In each class, except the the tribes, formed another division laft, he distinguished also between of the inhabitants. No notice, the young and the old ; that is to however, was taken of the Curiæ, fay, those who were obliged to either
among the rustic tribes, or bear arms, from those who were the people composing them; be- exempted from it on account of cause the tribes becoming a mere their
à distinction which civil establishment, and another gave more frequent rise to the rex method having been introduced petition of the census or enumerafor raising the troops, the military tion of them, than even the shift distinctions of Romulus were drop- ing of property. Lastly, he reped as superfluous. Thus, though quired their affembly to be made on every citizen was registered in fome the Campus Martius, where all tribe, yet many of them were not those who were of age for the ferincluded in any Curiæ.
vice were to appear with their Servius made ftill a third divi. fion, which had no relation to the The reason why he did not purtwo former, and became in its fue the fame distinction of age in consequences the most important the last class, was, that the popu . of all." He divided the whole Ro- lace of which it was composed, man people into fix classes, which were not permitted to have the he distinguished, neither by per- honour of bearing arms in the serfons nor place, but by property. vice of their country. It was neOf these the higher classes were ceffary to be housekeepers, in orfilled by the rich, the lower by the der to attain the privilege of de poor, and the middle claffes by fending themfelves; there is not
; those of middling fortunes. These one private centinel, perhaps, of fix classes were fubdivided into all the innumerable troops that 193 other bodies, called Centuries; make fo brilliant a figure in the and these were again so distributed, armies of our modern princes, that the first class alone compre- who would not, for want of prohended more than half the number perty, have been driven out with : of centuries, and the last class only disdain from a Roman cohort, when one single century. In this method, foldiers were the defenders of lis the class that contained the fewest berty. persons had the greater number of In the laft class, however, there centuries ; and the last class was was a distinction made between in number only a subdivision, al- what they called Proletarii and though it contained more than half those denominated Capite Censi. the inhabitants of Rome.
The former, not quite reduced to VOL. VII..
nothing, supplied the state at least The fixth, furnishing neither the with citizens, and sometimes on army with soldiers, nor the Campressing occasions with soldiers. pus Martius * with voters; and As to those who were totally def- being of hardly any use in the retitute of substance, and could be public, was hardly ever accounted numbered only by capitation, they any thing. were difregarded as nothing : Ma- Such were the different divi. rius being the first who deigned to fions of the Roman people. We enrol them.
will now examine into the effects Without taking upon me here of which they were productive, in to decide, whether this third spe- their assemblies. These assemblies, cies of division be in itself good or when legally convoked, were de bad, I may venture safely to af- nominated Comitia, and were held firm, that nothing less than that in the Campus Martius, and other fimplicity of manners which pre- parts of Rome ; being distinguishvailed among the ancient Romans, ed into Curiata Centuriata, and their disinterestedness, their taste Tributa, according to the three for agriculture, their contempt grand divisions of the people into for trade, and their thirst of gain, Curiæ, Centuriæ, and Triles. The could have rendered it practicable. Comitia Curiata were instituted by Where is the nation among the Romulus ; the Centuriata by Sermoderns, in which voracious ava- vius, and the Tributa by the tririce, a turbulence of disposition, bunes of the people. Nothing could a spirit of artifice, and the conti- pass into a law, nor could any manual fluctuation of property would gistrate be chosen, but in the Copermit such an establishment to mitia ; and as there was no citizen continue for twenty years without who was omitted in a Curia, overturning the state ? Nay it must Century, or Tribe, it follows, that be well observed, that the purity no citizen was excluded from givof the Roman manners, and the ing his vote; so that the Roman force of a censure, more efficacious people were truly foyereigns, both than the institution itself, served in right and fact. to correct the defect of it at Rome, To make the assembly of the where a rich man was often re Comitia legal, and give their demoved from his own class, and terminations the force of law, three ranked among the poor, for mak- conditions were requisite. In the ing an: improper parade of his first place it was necessary, that wealth.
the magistrate, or body convoking It is easy to comprehend from them, should be invested with prothis, why mention is hardly ever per authority for fo doing ; semade of more than five classes, condly, that the assembly should though there were in reality fix. occur on the days permitted by
* I say the Campus Martius, because it was there the Comitia assembled by centuries in the two other forms ; they assembled in the forum and other places, where the capite censi had as much influence and importance as the principal citizens.