Зображення сторінки

poorer citizens, whose position before the Roman laws continued, after their removal, to be nominally the same as in their former home. Either for want of exercise or from the interference of the superior government, the colonies were, little by little, reduced to a more dependent condition in respect to the political rights with which they were originally endowed,23 although they still retained the name of being the likenesses or the images of the people 24 to whom they once more intimately belonged. It might often happen, in consequence of the adjacent situation of a colony, that it was gathered again into the fold of the expanding metropolis, and that its members were reinstated or for the first time enrolled in the Roman Tribes. The conquered who were admitted into these colonies would be, until many years were past and many changes wrought, in that inferior grade of citizenship which has been recently described.

As the earlier or Roman colonies were founded for the Romans, so the later or Latin colonies were established 25 for the naturalized citizens and for the allied or the conquered dependents of the Commonwealth. It does not appear that one of these settle

23 The fact of the Roman colo- 25 Of which the first were estabnists having continued to be Roman lished at a period long preceding citizens is unquestionable. See the the subjugation of Latium, when the argument in Cic., Pro Cæcin., 33, 35; Romans and the Latins were allied. or the narrative in Liv., XXXIV. See the instance of Antium, Liv., 42.

III. 1, and of Ardea, Ibid., IV. 24 “ Quasi effigies parvæ simula- 11. craque esse quædam videntur.” Aul. Gell., XVI. 13.

ments was ever made without a larger or a smaller number of Roman citizens participating in its advantages; but the rights of this class of colonies were naturally so inferior to those possessed by the former, that the citizen of Rome forfeited his privileges by enlisting in a Latin emigration,26 though the Roman or the son of the Roman would undoubtedly arrogate a superiority over his Latin or Italian fellow-colonist. The member of the Latin colony, more generally speaking, enjoyed at the most the private rights of citizenship, and not even these universally; while, in rendering the military services claimed from him by the Commonwealth, he was put amongst the auxiliary, never the native, forces in the army.27

The organization of the colonies may be related without any further reference to the distinction between the Latin and the Roman. The great characteristic of them all was, that they were never of independent growth or of individual plantation, but bound, seed, root, and branch, to the stock of which they were but the dependent and inseparable offshoots. The first necessity was the determination of the Senate or the Tribes 28 that a colony should be founded; the next was their decision upon its character, whether it should be Roman or Latin ; which, again, was to be followed up by the appointment of its position, its extent, and its numbers; and when

26 “ Certe quæri hoc solere me 27 See Beaufort, Répub. Rom., non præterit, ..... quemadmodum, Livre VII. ch. 4. si civitas adimi non possit, in colo- 28 At first of the Senate, as in nias Latinas sæpe nostri cives pro- Liv., VIII. 16. fecti sint." Cic., Pro Cæc., 33.

these measures were resolved, a commission was named to superintend their execution. The colonists themselves literally had nothing else to do, but to give in their names to the commissioners, and obey the directions they might then receive; the advantages and the attractions of private enterprise being wholly beyond the reach of men who went out in companies to form a garrison upon the frontier, rather than a growing people in the midst of a widely extended territory.29 It may reasonably, therefore, be believed that the colonies were filled by the least rather than by the most adventurous citizens, and that their inferiority in freedom and in improvement was the result of their inferiority in ambition and in energy.30 Or if such a judgment seem too harsh or too unauthorized, it must, at all events, be evident that the beginning of a settlement with so little reliance upon the activity of its associates, who were, as must be remembered, the indigent or the subservient, foreboded little prosperity in their new existence. The march of the colonists, from Rome or from an Italian town, was led by the commissioners, and the ceremonies of possession or of foundation were performed under their direction, which continued in force until the government of the colony was established.

29 “ Coloniæ . . . . . ex consensu up the lists for a new colony appear publico, non ex secessione conditæ.” to have arisen from the unwillingServius on Æn., I. 12 ; quoted by ness on the part of those expected Niebuhr, Vol. II. note 80. Cf. to join in it to meet any peculiar Liv., II. 21, IV. 11, etc.

dangers or disadvantages. See an 30 The only difficulties in filling instance in Liv., X. 21.

So long as the colonies were able to stand as the bulwarks 31 of their mother-country, and as the granaries, so to speak, of their own settlers, the form of government was esteemed, and really was, of comparative unimportance. For all that the colonial institutions have to add to the history of Roman liberty, they might be overlooked; but it is because they have something to subtract, as it were, from the same history, that they must be included in our present survey. The disposition or the necessity of being contented with a condition in the colonies, which was in most respects inferior to that of the same class as the colonists in the metropolis, is one of the positive proofs we have, that those whom Rome dismissed to her settlements, like those whom she left in occupation of their ancient territories, were cut off, in part at least, from their inheritance, and accustomed to a state of subjection, which ended, as we shall read, in one of corruption. It is not meant that these consequences were immediate, but that they were inevitable, as well to the colonies, which were the first, as to the provinces, which were the last, of the dependent constitutions created for the subjects of the Roman people. These general considerations are, in this place, more appropriate than any details concerning the almost forgotten colonial classes or magistracies. The native inhabitants were at first distinguished from the colonists who came to keep them under control; but the line of division

31 “ Colonia ..... specula po- Cic., Pro Fonteio, 4. So in his puli Romani ac propugnaculum." oration De Leg. Agr., II. 27.

was lost as time advanced, and the memories of the early settlement grew dim. Both classes then became eligible to the offices which had originally been engrossed by the actual colonists; but the estimation of the Decurions or of the higher appointments 32 was by that time merely nominal, in the eyes of those who would have been blind not to see the towering supremacy of the Roman people, as well as of the Roman magistrates. The Latin colonies were no more subject to their mistress than the Roman to their parent ; 33 the entire dependence of both being the condition of their existence.

Many of the settlements in which the interests of the metropolis were thus especially regarded cost it dear. Some required assistance for want of lands or numbers ; 34 others sought protection against the native people,35 by whom they were hated, or the enemies by whom they were assailed; while some, rebelling themselves against the demands of Rome, provoked punishment ;36 and others, again, were so wasted as to need re-creation rather than reinforce

32 The order of the Decurions, colonies are dignified as those of the Curia (or the Senate), could Roman citizens. Liv., XXVII. 9, alone be chosen to the curatorship XXXIX. 55. A phrase from Livy (or censorship), and to the Duum- (XXIX. 15) explains the duty of virate (or consulship) of the colony. both in the gentlest terms: -" Pro “ Is qui non sit decurio duumvirato fide atque obsequio in populum Rovel aliis honoribus fungi non po- manum." test. Digest. Lib. L. Tit. II. 7, 34 An instance is mentioned in sect. 2. None could be Censor, the early part of Livy, II. 21. the highest magistrate, without hav- 35 See Niebuhr's notes, Vol. II. ing held the inferior offices.

p. 28. 33 Both are called colonies of the 36 As in the case of Velitræ, Roman people, but only the Roman Liv., VIII. 14.

« НазадПродовжити »