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COMITIA.

after the comitia the augurs declared that some formality had been neglected, the decree of the assembly thereby became void, and persons who had been elected to an office were obliged to with­draw.

V. The comitia centuriata mixed ivitli tlie comitia, tributa. — The Servian constitution was retained unaltered so long as no great change took place in the republic, but when the coinage and the standard of property had become altered, when the constitu­tion of the army had been placed on a different footing, and above all, when the plebeians began to be recognized as a great and essential element in the Roman state, it must have been found in­convenient to leave to the eqnites and the first class so great a preponderance in the comitia of the centuries, and it became necessary to secure more power and influence to the democratic element which had grown in strength and was still growing. It mav have been the intention to combine the

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comitia centuriata and tributa in such a manner as to make only one assembly of them, but this was not done. A change however took place, though no writer mentions either the time when it was made nor in what it consisted, so that we are left to form our opinion from incidental allusions. First, as to the time of the change. From Livy (i. 43) and Dionysius (iv. 21) it would appear that the change did not take place till after the com­pletion of the 35 tribes, i. e after b. c. 241. Some modern writers, therefore, refer the change to the censorship of C. Flaminius, b. c. 220, who is said to have made the constitution more democratic ; while Niebuhr and others date the change from the censorship of Q. Fabius and P. Decius, b. c. 304. But there is evidence that it must be assigned to even an earlier date than this, for the (tribus) praerogativa is mentioned as early as b. c. 396 in the election of the consular tribunes (Liv. v. 18), where the pure comitia tributa cannot be meant, and a centuria praerogativa is a thing unknown.

The question about the manner in which the combination of the two kinds of comitia was ef­fected, has been the subject of even much more discussion and doubt than that about the time when it was brought about. The most probable of the numerous opinions which have been advanced on this subject is that of 0. Pantagathus (Fulv. Ursinus, ad Liv. i. 43), which has been very ela­borately worked out by Gbttling. (Gesch. d. Rom. Staatsverf. pp. 380, &c., 506, &c.) Pantagathus believes that the citizens of each tribe were, divided into five property classes, each consisting of seniores and juniores, so that each of the 35 tribes con­tained ten centuries, and all the, tribes together 350 centuries, a number which corresponds with that of the days of a Roman lunar year. Accord­ing to this new arrangement, the five ancient classes, divided into seniores and juniores, con­tinued to exist as before (Liv. xliii. 16; Cic. Phil. ii. 33, p. Place. 7, de Re Putt. iv. 2, Acadcm. ii. 33 ; Sail. Jug. 86), but henceforth they were most closely united with the tribes, whereas before the tribes had been mere local divisions ^and en­tirely independent of property. The union_ now effected was that the classes became subdivisions of the tribes, and that accordingly centuries occur both in the classes and in the tribes. (Cic. p. Plane. 20, de Leg. Agr. ii. 2.) Each tribe con-. tained ten centuries, two of the first class (one of the seniores aud one of the juniores), two of. the

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COMITIA.

second (likewise seniores and juniores), two of the third, two of the fourth, and two of the fifth class. The equites were likewise divided according to tribes and centuries (Dionys. vi. 13, vii. 72), and they seem to have voted with the first class, and to have been in fact included in it, so as to be called centuries of the first class. (Cic. Phil. ii. 33, Liv. xliii. 16; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. Illustr. 57; Val. Max. vi. 5. § 3.) The centuries of the cor-nicines, tubicines and fabri, which are no longer mentioned, probably ceased to exist as distinct cen­turies. (Comp. Cic. de Re Pull. ii. 22.) Respect­ing the manner in which the votes were given, there are two opinions: according to the first, a whole tribe was chosen by lot to give its vote (10 centuries) first, and according to the second, one century of the first class, having been determined by lot. If we adopt the former opinion, the votes of the ten centuries contained in a tribe would have been given one after another, and the majority, six, would have constituted the result or vote of the tribe. Now as 18 out of the 35 tribes constituted a majority, it is evident that 108 centuries might have constituted a majority against the remaining 242. This is an absurdity of which we cannot conceive the Romans to have been guilty. The voting by tribes, therefore, cannot be conceived as rational, except in those cases in which the ten centuries of every tribe were unanimous ; this may have been the case very often, and when it was so, the tribus praerogativa was certainly the tribe chosen by lot to give its unanimous vote first. But if there was any difference of opinion among the centuries making up a tribe, the true majority could only be ascertained by choosing by lot one of the 70 centuriae of the first class to give its vote first, or rather it was decided by lot from which tribe the two centuries of the first class were to be taken to give their vote first. (Hence the plural praero -gativae^ Pseud. Ascon. ad Cic. in Verr. p. 139; Liv. x. 20.) The tribe, moreover, to which .those centuries belonged which voted first, was itself like­wise called tribus praerogativa. Of the two cen­turies, again, that of seniores gave its vote before the juniores, and in the documents both were called by the name of their tribe, as Galeria juniorum (Liv. xxvii. 6, i. e. the juniores of the first class in the tribus Galeria), Aniensis juniorum (Liv. xxiv. 7), Veturia juniorum (Liv. xxvi. 22 ; comp. Cic. p. Plane. 20, Phil. ii. 33, DeDiv. ii. 35). As soon as the praerogativa had voted, the renuntiatio took place, and the remaining centuries then deliberated whether they should vote the -same way or not. When this was done all the centuries of the first tribe proceeded to vote at once (Dionys. iv. 21), for there would not have been time for the 350 cen­turies to vote one after another, as was done by the 193 centuries in the comitia centuriata. (Cic. p. Plane. 20, in Verr. v. 15, p. Red. in Senat. 11, ad Q,uir. 7 ; Liv. x. 9, 22, xxiv. 7, xxvi. 22, xxvii. 24 ; Suet. Caes. 19.)

These comitia of the centuries combined with the tribes, were far more democratical than the comitia of the centuries ; they continued to be held, and preserved their power along with the comitia tributa, even after the latter had acquired their supreme importance in the republic. During the time of the moral and political corruption of the Romans, the latter appear to have been chiefly attended by the populace, which was guided by the tribunes3 and the wealthier and more respect-

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