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added as a ninth, although it was not yet formed into a province, but retained as a district more immediately dependent upon Italy. This vast extent of territory, with its multitudinous variety of population, transfixed by the same arms, had then been impaled, so to speak, within the same s laws of peace,"68 as the institutions of the conquerors were significantly termed. The period of the first neighbouring conquests, stamped by the settlement of the Latins and the formation of the municipalities, to which succeeded the second period of Italian victotories, with its system of the Latin Name and the alliances, was now followed by the third period of foreign dominions, of which the organization and administration were devised with harder hearts and meaner aims. It is through these that we are chiefly enabled to estimate the contemporary character of liberty as it existed amongst the conquerors.
The description of the provinces may be made in very general terms, without losing any of its impressiveness in contrast with the system which one acquainted with the earlier history alone of the Romans might suppose them to have established throughout their wider realms. The great point in their organization of the foreign countries was to keep them in subjection. Some local offices or customs might here and there remain, amidst the general wreck of ancient independence; but they were too shattered or too disjointed to make more than a few exceptions to the common ruin. So, too, occasional grants of peculiar
68 " Leges pacis.” Liv., XXXIII. 30, etc.
immunities 69 were made to provincial districts or cities; but they were always dependent upon those who gave, and always, again, exceptional amongst those by whom they were received. The magistrate, supreme in military, and generally, also, in civil authority, was invariably sent out from Rome, year after year, at the expiration of his term of office there, under the various titles of Prætor, Proprætor, and Proconsul. It was his edict, so called, promulgated before taking possession of his government, that became the law of the province during his administration; although it was marked by this peculiarity, that, while its subjects were held to unfaltering obedience, its author might observe or break its precepts almost as he pleased. The immediate attendants of the governor were a Quæstor, elected by the Roman people, to act as the treasurer of the province, and one or more Lieutenants appointed by their superior himself with the consent of the Senate. The governor was also attended by a chosen guard, called the Prætorian Cohort, whose services were required for his dignity rather than for his protection. There were, besides, dependent upon his appointment certain civil or judicial offices, to which the natives were sometimes admitted, and of which the holders, classified in local divisions, were summoned from time to time to meet in the conventions,
69 Such as the Latinitas and the conceived to have been individual, Jus Italicum, immunities which are but local grants. See the mention sufficiently intelligible from their of other privileges in Cic., In Verr. names, except that they must not be Act. II., III. 6.
as they were styled, which regulated the common legal and judicial affairs, -of course under the control, and casually the presidency, of the governor. It does not need any reflection to perceive the dominion indicated by such forms and authorities as these.
Our story, however, even without reference to its details, is but half told. The distinction of the Quæstor, mentioned above, and the suite of lictors and officers by whom he was accompanied, showed forth the importance of the treasury committed to his charge. That system of subjection which we have described as the main point of the provincial institutions, if such they may be called, was adopted and continued only on account of the greater purposes to the accomplishment of which it could alone contribute; its consequences being more important than itself, in the system of extortion it created, or, to say the least, upheld. No sooner was a country conquered, than the victorious general, joined by commissioners from Rome, proceeded, often with greater haste than judgment, to arrange the territory of the province, seizing large masses of lands as public property, and laying taxes upon those that were not seized, as well as upon other private possessions, and sooner or later upon persons likewise, in order to fix the tribute thereafter to be provided. This
70 Not a square rood, however, taxes on the provinces will be found even of private land, was held as an in Heinecc., Ant. Rom., pp. 312 et independent possession, the whole seqq., Ruperti, Röm. Alt., Vol. country being considered the prop- III. pp. 842 et seq. The poll-tax erty of the Roman Commonwealth. was called “Pecunia Imperata.” A more special enumeration of the Liv., XXVIII. 34.
tribute, into whatever branches it might be separated, was collected in such a manner as to make it even more distressing than it would have been on account of its enormous amount alone. Whenever a new province was added to the Commonwealth, a body of the richer Romans would collect themselves into a company by which a round sum was annually paid into the public treasury as an equivalent for the provincial taxes they were then entitled to gather for themselves. Preferring, however, their authority and luxury in the city to the obscure labor of gathering their revenues in distant lands, they sent out agents or collectors to do the work upon which the success of their speculation depended. These speculators were the Publicans, whose extortions, caused by the extravagant sums they paid to the government, and seconded by their agents, every man of whom was bent upon collecting a fortune for himself as well as the income of his employers, suggest the saddest scenes in the vanquished countries, drained to the dregs, nay, drained of the dregs themselves.”
It was soon found out at Rome that the Prætors and Publicans required to be restrained, if they were to be kept in the places of citizens at home,72 or if the provinces they governed and pillaged abroad were to be kept in submission. Various instances of prosecutions and sentences 73 led on at length to
71 See the language used in the lique.” Esp. des Lois, Livre XI. Senate itself, Liv., XLV. 18; this ch. 9. being as early as A. C. 167.
73 Liv., XLII. 7,8, 22, XLIII. 7; 72 Already, as Montesquieu ob- and in Epit. XLVII., LIV. serves, “les pachas de la répubVOL. II.
the enactment of a solemn law 74 against the exactions and cruelties of those who, judged according to the principles we have long seen in operation, were held culpable, not towards universal justice, but towards the Commonwealth, whose dominion and renown they had imperilled.
The apprehensions excited by the increasing extravagance of those individuals, to whose authority and fortune the wars were like successive tributaries, were not confined to the provinces, but were felt immediately at Rome. Sometimes it was the conduct of the elections that provoked the measures of restraint 75 which lie like fallen branches across the way we are pursuing; at other times, they seem to have been employed against more general offences, especially of the higher classes ; 76 and then, again, their appearance is to be accounted for only by particular though frequent instances of prodigality, as at the banquets of the rich, who were probably wont to drink deep and quarrel fiercely in their revelry. One singular episode remains to characterize the entire period. It is the relation at great length of the
74 A. C. 149. The Calpurnian, Quæstiones Perpetuæ, though the as it was called. Cic., In Verr. transfer of the trials to the cogniAct. II., IV. 25. Compare the zance of particular magistrates might laws of restriction upon accusations be differently interpreted. Cic., of this nature, as if they had been Brut., 27. too numerous. Val. Max., III. 7. 77 As in the cases of the Orchian 9. Cic., Pro Sext. Rosc. Am., 20. and Fannian laws, one of which These laws are sometimes supposed limited the number of guests, and the to have followed within a few years other the expenses of the entertainafter the Calpurnian.
ment. See Smith's Dict. Gr. and 75 See Liv., XL. 19, 44, etc. Rom. Antiq., s. v. Sumtuariæ Le76 As in the institution of the ges.