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On this page: Semata – Sembella – Sementivae Feriae – Semis – Semuncia – Semunciarium Funus – Senatus

1016 SEN AT US.

conjecture the shape, nor is any additional light thrown upon the question by Hyginus, who tells us, when describing the constellations, that Cassio-peia is seated " in siliquastro"

Of chairs in ordinary use for domestic purposes, a great variety, many displaying great taste, have been discovered in excavations or are seen repre­sented in ancient frescoes. The first cut annexed represents a bronze one from the Museum at

Naples (Mus. Borb. vol. vi. tav. 28) : the second, two chairs, of which the one on the right hand is in the Vatican and the other is taken from a paint­ing at Pompeii. (Mus. Sorb. vol. xii, tav. 3.) A chair of a very beautiful form is given in the Mus. Borb. vol. viii. tav. 20.

V. sellae equestres. [ephippium.] [W.R.]

SEMATA (ff^fj-ara). [Fuwus, p. 556, a.]

SEMBELLA. [denarius.]


SEMIS, SEMISSIS: [As, p. 140, b.]

SEMUNCIA. [uncia.]

SEMUNCIARIUM FUNUS. [fenus, p. 527, b..]

SENATUS. In all the republics of antiquity the government was divided between a senate and a popular assembly ; and in cases where a king stood at the head of affairs, as at Sparta, the king had little more than the executive. A se­nate in the early times was always regarded as an assembly of elders, which is in fact the meaning of the Roman senatus as of the Spartan yepoucrm, and its members were elected from among the nobles of the nation. The number of senators in the ancient republics always bore a distinct re­lation to the number of tribes of which the nation was composed. [BouLE, gerusia.] Hence in the earliest times, when Rome consisted of only one tribe, its senate consisted of one hundred mem­bers (senatores ot patres ; compare patricii), and when the Sabine tribe or the Tities became united with the Latin tribe or the Ramnes, the number of senators was increased to two hundred. (Dionys. ii. 47 ; Plut.'7?o?w. 20.) This number was again augmented by one hundred, when the third tribe


or the Lueeres became incorporated with the Roman state. Dionysius (iii. 67) and Livy (i. 35) place this last event in the reign of Tar-quinius Priscus ; Cicero (de Re PuU. ii. 20), who agrees with the two historians on this point, states that Tarquinius doubled the number of senators, according to which we ought to suppose that be­fore Tarquinius the senate consisted only of 150 members. This difference however may be ac­counted for by the supposition, that at the time of Tarquinius Priscus a number of seats in the senate had become vacant, which he filled up at the same time that he added 100 Luceres to the senate, or else that Cicero regarded the Luceres, in oppo­sition to the two other tribes, as a second or a new half of the nation, and thus incorrectly considered their senators likewise as the second or new half of that body. The new senators added by Tar­quinius Priscus were distinguished from those be­longing to the two older tribes by the appellation patres minorum gentium, as previously those who represented the Tities had been distinguished, by the same name, from those who represented the Ramnes. (Dionys. ii. 57.) Servius Tullius did not make any change in the composition of the senate ; but under Tarquinius Superbus their number is said to have become very much di­minished, as this tyrant put many to death and sent others into exile. This account however ap­pears to be greatly exaggerated, and it is a pro­bable supposition of Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, i, p. 526), that several vacancies in the senate arose from many of the senators accompanying the tyrant into his exile. The vacancies which had thus arisen were filled up immediately after the estab­lishment of the republic, by L. Junius Brutus, a,s some writers state (Liv. ii. 1), or, according to Dionysius (v. 13), by Brutus and Valerius Publi-cola, and according to Plutarch (PubL \V) and Festus (s. v. Qui pat-res) by Valerius Publicola alone. All however agree that the persons who were on this occasion made senators were noble plebeians of equestrian rank. Dioirysius states, that the noblest of the plebeians were first raised to the rank of patricians, and that then the new senators were taken from among them. But this appears to be incompatible with the name by which they were designated. Had they been made patricians, they would have been patres like the others, whereas now the new senators are said to have been distinguished from the old ones by the name of conscripti. (Liv. ii. 1 ; Fest. s. v. Con-scripti and adlecti.) Hence the customary mode of addressing the whole senate' henceforth always was : patres conscripti, that is, patres et conscripti. There is a statement that the number of these new senators was 164 (Plut. PubL 11 ; Fest. s. v. Qui patres) ; but this, as Niebuhr has justly remarked, is a fabrication, perhaps of Valerius of Antium, which is contradicted by all subsequent history.


Henceforth the number of 300 senators appears to have remained unaltered for several centuries. (Liv. Epit. 60.) C. Sempronius Gracchus was the first who attempted to make a change, but in what this consisted is not certain. In the epitome of Livy it is expressly stated, that he intended to add 600 equites to the number of 300 senators, which would have made a senate of 900 members, and would have given a great preponderance to the equites. This appears to be an absurdity. (Gottling Gesch. d> Rom. Staatsv. p 437.) Plutarch

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