The Ancient Library

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pose of the Circenses was made legal (Plin. //. Ar. viii. 17) ; an old Senatusconsultuni by which " quaestio (servoruni) in. caput domini prohibeba-tur " (Tacit. Ann. ii. 30), a rule of law which Cicero (pro Milon. 22) refers to Mores as its foundation. From these instances of Senatuscon-sulta made in the Republican period we may col­lect in a general way the kind of matters to which this form of legislation applied. The constitution of the Senate was such as to gradually bring within the sphere of its legislation all matters that pertained to religion, police, administration, pro­vincial matters, and all foreign relations. And it seems that the power of the Senate had so far in­creased at the time of the accession of Augustus that it was no great change to make it the only legislating body. Pomponius (Dig. L tit. 2. s. 2), though his historical evidence must be received with caution, states the matter in a way which is generally consistent with what we otherwise know of the progress of Senatorial legislation: " As the plebs found it difficult to assemble, &c.5 it was a matter of necessity that the administra­tion of the State came to the Senate; thus the Senate began to act, and whatever the Senate had determined (constituisset) was observed (observa-batur\ and a law so made is called Senatuscon-sultum."

A Senatusconsultuni was so named because the Cansul (qui retulit) was said " Senatum consulere: " " Marcivs L. F. S. Postvmm L. F. Cos Senatvm Consolvervnt." (Senatusconsultum de Bacchana-libus.) In the Senatusconsultum De Philosophis et De Rhetoribus (Gell. xv. 11), the Praetor " con-suluit." In the enacting part of a Lex the Populus was said "jubere," and in a Plebiscitum "scire : " in a Senatusconsultuni the Senate was said " cen-sere : " " De Bacchanalibvs,, &€., ita exdeicendvm censvere." (S. C. de Bacch.) In the Senatuscon-sulta of the time of Augustus cited by Frontinus (de Aquaeductibus Romae^ ii.),, the phrase which follows " censuere " is sometimes " placere huic ordini." In Tacitus the verb " censere " is also applied to the person who made the motion for a Senatusconsultum. (Ann. iv. 20.) Sometimes the term " arbitrari " is used (Dig. 16. tit. 1. s. 2); and Gaius (i. 4), writing under the Antoriines ap­plies to the Senatus the terms which originally denoted the legislative power of the Popuhis; " Senatus jubet atque constituit; idque legis vicem optinet, quamvis fuit quaesitumu" " Habere sena-tum " is to hold a meeting, of the senate. When Cn. Pompeius was elected consul for the first time, his friend M. Varro wrote for his use a treatise u de Senatu habendo consulendoque." A Senatus-consuUuni made before the rising or after the set­ting of the sun was not valid. (Gellius, xiv. 7.)

The mode in which the legislation of the Senate was conducted in the Imperial period is explained in the article orationes principtjm.

Certain forms were observed in drawing up a Senatusconsultum, of which there is an example in Cicero (ad Fam. viii. 8): " S. C. Auctoritates (for this is the right reading) Pridie. Kal. Octob. in Aede Apollinis, scribendo adfuerunt L. Domi-tius Cn. Films Ahenobarbus, &c. Quod M. Marcel-his Consul V. F. (verba-fecit) de prov. Cons. D. E. R. I. C. (de ea re ita censuerunt Uti, <frc.)." The pre­amble of the Senatusconsultum de Bacchanalibus is similar, but the names of the consuls come at the besfmninq1 and the word is " consolvervnt:" the

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date and place are also given ; and the names of those qui scribendo adfuerunt (SC. ARF. in the Inscription). The names of the persons who were witnesses to the drawing up of the Senatuscon­sultum were called the " auctoritates," and these auctoritates were cited as evidence of the fact of the persons named in them having been present at the drawing up of the S. C. (" id quod in aucto-ritatibus praescriptis extat," Cic. de Or. iii. 2) ; from which passage, and from another (Cic. ad Fam. v. 2 ; " illud S. C. ea praescriptione est") in which Cicero refers to his name being found among the auctoritates of a S. C. as a proof of his friendship to the person whom the S. C. con­cerned,, it is certain that " praescribo" in its various forms is the proper reading in these Sena-tusconsulta. (Compare the similar use of Prae-scriptio in Roman Pleadings [praescriptio].) There can be no doubt that certain persons were required to be present " scribendo," but others might assist if they chose, and a person in this way might testify his regard for another on behalf of whom or with reference to whom the S. C. was made. (" Cato autem et scribendo adfuit," &c. Cic. ad AH. vii. 1.) Besides the phrase "scri­bendo adesse," there are " esse ad scribendum " (Cic. ad Att. i. 19)> and " poni ad scribendum" (as to which see the curious passage in Cicero, ad Fam. ix. 15). When a Sk C. was made on the motion of a person,, it was said to be made " in sententiam ejus." If the S. C was carried, it was written on tablets and placed in the Aerarium : the S. C. de Bacchanalibus provides that it shall be cut on a bronze tablet, but this was for the pur­pose of its being put up in a public place where it could be read (vbeifacilivmed gnoscier potisit).

The Senatusconsulta were originally intrusted to the care of the tribunes and the aediles, but in the time of Augustus the quaestors had the care of them. (Dion Cass. Iv. 36, and the note of Rei-marus.) Under the later emperors the Senatus­consulta " quae ad principes pertinebant," were preserved in " libri elephantini." (Vopiscus, Tacitus^ e. 8.)

A measure which was proposed as a Senatuscon­sultum might be stopped by the Intercessio of the Tribunes,, and provision was sometimes made for further proceeding in such case : " si quis huic senatusconsulto intercesserit senatui placere aucto-ritatem perscribi (praescribi) et de ea re ad sena-turn populumque referri." (Cic. ad Fam. viii. 8.) This explains one meaning of Senatus auctoritas, which is a Senatusconsultum which has been pro­posed and not carried,, and of which a record was kept with the 4i auctoritates eorum qui scribendo adfuerunt." In one passage Cicero calls a S. C. which had failed owing to an Intercessio, an Auc­toritas (ad Fam. \. 7). One meaning of Auctoritas in fact is a S. C. proposed, but not yet carried ; and this agrees with Livy (iv. 57) : " Si quis in-tercedat Sto, auctoritate se fore contentum." If Senatus auctoritas occasionally appears to be used as equivalent to Senatusconsultum, it is an im­proper use of the word, but one which presents no difficulty if we consider that the names which de­note a thing in its two stages are apt to be con­founded in popular language, as with us the words Bill and Act. Tn its general and original sense Senatus Auctoritas is any measure to which a majority of the Senate has assented. (See the note of P. Manutius on Cic. ad Fani,. v. 2U)

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