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and consequently their representatives, the tribunes, of the right of taking the census, and entrusted it to two magistrates, called Censores^ who were to be chosen exclusively from the patricians. The magistracy continued to be a patrician one till b. c. 351, when C. Marcius Rutilus was the first plebeian censor (Liv. vii. 22). Twelve years afterwards, B. c. 339, it was provided by one of the Publilian laws, that one of the censors must necessarily be a plebeian (Liv. viii. 12), but it was not till b. c. 280 that a plebeian censor performed the solemn purification of the people (lustrum con-didit) Liv. Epit. 13). In b. c. 131 the two censors were for the first time plebeians.
There were always two censors, because the two consuls had previously taken the census together. If one of the censors died during the time of -his office, another had at first to be chosen in his stead, as in the case of the consuls. This, however, happened only once, namely, in B. c. 393 ; because the capture of Rome by the Gauls in this lustrum excited religious fears against the practice (Liv. v. 31). From this time, if one of the censors died, his colleague resigned, and two new censors were chosen. (Liv. vi. 27, ix. 34, xxiv. 43, xxvii. 6.)
The censors were elected in the coniitia cen-turiata held under the presidency of a consul. (Gell. xiii. 15 ; Liv. xl. 45.) Niebuhr supposes that they were at first elected by the comitia curiata, and that their election was confirmed by , the centuries ; but there is no authority for this supposition, and the truth of it depends entirely upon the correctness of his views respecting the election of the consuls. [consul.] It was necessary that both censors should be elected on the same day; and accordingly if the voting for the second was not finished, the election of the first went for nothing, and new comitia had to be held. (Liv. ix. 34.) The comitia for the election of the censors were held under different auspices from those at the election of the consuls and praetors ; and the censors were accordingly not regarded as their colleagues, although they likewise possessed the maxima auspicia (Gell. xiii. 15). The comitia were held by the consuls of the year very soon after they had entered upon their office (Liv. xxiv. 10, xxxix. 41) ; and the censors, as soon as they were elected and the censorial power had been granted to them by a leoo centuriata^ were fully installed in their office. (Cic. de Leg. Ayr. ii. 11; Liv. xl. 45.) As a general principle the only persons eligible to the office were those who had previously been consuls ; but a few exceptions occur. At first there was no law to prevent a person being censor a second time • but the only person, who was twice elected to the office, was C. Marcius Rutilus in b. c. 265 ; and he brought forward a law in this year, enacting that no one should be chosen censor a second time, and received in consequence the surname of Censorinus. (Pint. Coriol. 1 ; Val. Max. iv. 1. § 3.)
The censorship is distinguished from all other Roman magistracies by the length of time during which it was held. The censors were originally chosen for a whole lustrum, that is, a period of five years ; but their office was limited to eighteen months, as early as ten years after its institution (b. c. 433), by a law of the dictator Mam. Aeinilius Mamercinus (Liv. iv. 24, ix. 33). The censors also held a very peculiar position
with respect to rank and dignity. No impermra was bestowed upon them, and accordingly they had no lictors. (Zonar. vii. 19.) The jus censurae.^ was granted to them by a lex centuriata, and not* by the curiae, and in that respect they were in^ ferior in power to the consuls and praetors. (Cic. de Leg. Agr. ii. 11.) But notwithstanding this, the censorship was regarded as the highest dignity in the state, with the exception of the dictatorship ;' it was an <epa a/>%^, a sanctus magistratus, to which the deepest reverence was due. (Pint. Cat. May. 16, Flamin. 18, Camill. 2, 14, Aemii. Paul. 38 ;•••-Cic. ad Fam. iii. 10.) The high rank and dignity-which the censorship obtained, was owing to the* various important duties gradually entrusted to it, and especially to its possessing the regimen morum^ or general control over the conduct and morals of the citizens ; in the exercise of which power they were regulated solely by their own views of duty, and were not responsible to any other power in the state. (Dionys. in Mai, Nova Coll. vol. ii. p. 516 ; Liv. iv. 24, xxix. 37; Val. Max. vii. 2. § 6.) The censors possessed of course the sella curulis (Liv. xl. 45), but with respect to their official dress there is some doubt. From a well-known passage of Polybius (vi. 53), describing the use of the imagines at funerals, we may conclude that a consul or praetor wore the praetexta, one who triumphed the toga picta, and the censor a purple toga peculiar to h'im ; but other writers speak of their: official dress as the same as that of the other.' higher magistrates. (Zonar. vii. 19; A then. xiv., p. 660, c.) The funeral of a censor was always conducted with great pomp and splendour, and hence a fanus censovium was voted even to .the emperors. (Tac. Ann. iv. 15, xiii. 2.)
The censorship continued in existence for 421 years, namely, from b. c. 443 to b. c. 22 ; but during this period many lustra passed by Avithout-any censor being chosen at all. According to ono statement the office was abolished by Sulla (Schol. Gronov. ad Cic. Div. in Caecil. 3, p. 384, ed. Orelli), and although the authority, on which this statement rests, is not of much Aveight, the fact itself is probable ; for there Avas no census during the two lustra Avhich elapsed from Sulla's dictatorship to the first consulship of Pompey (b. c. 82—70), and any strict regimen morum Avould have been found very inconvenient to the aristocracy in Avhose favour Sulla legislated. If the censorship Avas done a\vay Avith by Sulla, it Avas at any rate restored in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus. Its poAver Avas limited by one of the laws of the tribune Clodius (b. c. 58), Avhich prescribed certain regular forms of proceeding before the censors in expelling a person from the senate, and the concurrence of both censors in inflicting this degradation. (Dion Cass. xxxviii. 13 ; Cic. pro Seoct. 25, de Prov. Cons. 15.) This laAV, hoAvever, AAras repealed in the third consulship of Pompey (b. c. 52), on the proposition of his colleague Caecilius Metellus Scipio (Dion Cass. xl. 57), but the censorship never recovered its former power and influence. During the civil Avars which folloAved soon afterwards no censors Avere elected ; and it Avas only after a .long interval that they Avere again appointed, namely in b. c. 22, Avheii Augustus caused L. Munatius 'Plancus and Paulus Aeinilius Lepidus to fill the office. (Suet. Aug. 37, Claud. 16 ; Dion Cass. liv. 2.) This Avas the last time that such- magistrates were appointed;