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TRIBUNUS.

were in the city the magistrates of their tribes, and performed the sacra on their behalf, and in times of war they were their military commanders. (Liv. i. 59; Dionys. ii. 64 ; Varro, de Ling. Lot. v. 81.) Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome^ i. p. 331) , supposes that the tribunus celerum was the tribune of the Rarnnes, the oldest and noblest among the three tribes, and in this opinion he is followed by Gottling (Gesch. d. Rom. Staatsverf, p. 166), though it is in direct contradiction to Dionysius (ii. 13) and Pomponius (de Orig. Jur. Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 2. § 15), according to whom the tribunus celerum was the commander of the celeres, the king's body-guard, a statement which is rejected by Niebuhr without his being supported by any ancient authority, except that Dionysius in one passage (ii. 64) vaguely speaks of tribuni celerum in the plural. That however the tribunus celerum was really distinct from the three tribunes of the tribes, is acknowledged by Niebuhr himself in a subsequent part of his work (iii. p. 41). In what manner the tribunus celerum •was appointed is uncertain, but notwithstanding the statement of Dionysius, that Taf quinius Su-perbus gave this office to L. Junius Brutus, it is much more probable that he was elected by the tribes or curiae ; for we find that when the im-perium was to be conferred upon the king, the comitia were held under the presidency of the tri­bunus cebrum, and in the absence of the king, to whom this officer was next in rank, he convoked the comitia: it was in an assembly of this kind that Brutus proposed to deprive Tarquinius of the imperium. (Liv. i. 59.) A law passed under the presidency of the tribunus celerum was called a usb tribunicia, to distinguish it from one passed under the presidency of the king. [L.EX regia.] The tribunes of the three ancient tribes ceased to be appointed when these tribes themselves ceased to exist as political bodies, and when the patricians became incorporated in the local tribes of Servius Tullius. [tribus (roman).]

2. tribunes of the servian tribes. When Servius Tullius divided the commonalty into thirty local tribes, we again find that at the head of each of these tribes there was a tribune, whom Dionysius calls 4>uAapx°s, like these of the patrician tribes. (Dionys. iv. 14.) He mentions them only in connec­tion with the city tribes, but there can be no doubt that each of the rustic tribes was likewise headed by a tribune. The duties of these tribunes, who were without doubt the most distinguished per­sons in their respective districts, appear to have consisted at first in keeping a register of the in­habitants in each district and of their property, for purposes of taxation and for levying the troops for the armies. When 'subsequently the Roman people became exempted from taxes, the main part of their business was taken from them, but they still continued to exist. Niebuhr (i. p. 421) sup­poses that the tribuni aerarii^ who occur down to the end of the republic, were only the successors of the tribunes of the tribes. Varro (de Ling. Lat. vi. 86) speaks of curatores omnium tribuum^a name by which he probably means the tribunes of the tribes. When in the year 406 b.c. the custom of giving pay (stipendiufh) to the soldiers was in­troduced, each of the tribuni aerarii had to collect the tributnm in his own tribe, and with it to pay the soldiers (Varro, de Ling. Lat. v. 181), and in case they did not fulfil this duty, the soldiers had the right of pignoris capio against them. (Cato,

1143

TRIBUNLIS.

ap. Cfell. vii. 10.) In later times their duties ap­pear to have been confined to collecting the tribu-turn, which they made over to the military quaes­tors who paid the soldiers. [quaestor.] The lex Aiirelia (70 b. c.) railed the tribuni aerarii to the exercise of judicial functions, along with the senators and equites. as these tribunes represented the body of the most respectable citizens. (Orelli, Onom. TulL iii. p. 142 ; Appian, de Bell. Civ. iii* 23.) But of this distinction they were subse­quently deprived by Julius Caesar. (Suet Caes. 41.)

3. tribuni flebis. The ancient tribunes of the plebeian tribes had undoubtedly the right of convoking the meetings of their tribes^ and of main­taining the privileges granted to them by king Servius and subsequently by the Valerian laws. But this protection was very inadequate against the insatiable ambition and usurpations of the patricians. When the plebeianSj impoverished by-long wars and cruelly oppressed by the patricians, at last seceded in the year 494 b. c. to the Mons Sacer, the patricians were obliged to grant to the plebeians the right of appointing tribunes (tribuni plebis) with more efficient powers to protect their own order than those which were possessed by the heads of the tribes. The purpose for which they were appointed was only to afford protection against any abuse on the part of the patrician magistrates ; and that they might be able to afford such protec­tion, their persons were declared sacred and invio­lable, and it was agreed that whoever acted against this inviolability should be an outlaw, and that his property should be forfeited to the temple of Ceres. (Liv. ii. 33 ; Dionys. vi. 89.) This decree seems to contain evidence that the heads of the tribes in their attempts to protect members of their own order had been subject themselves to insult and maltreatment; and that similar things occurred even after the sanctity of the tribunes was established by treaty, maybe inferred from the fact; that, some time after the tribimeship was instituted, heavy punish­ments were again enacted against those, who should venture to annoy a tribune when he was making a proposition to the assembly of the tribes. The law by which these punishments were enacted ordained that no one should oppose or interrupt a tribune while addressing the people, and that whoever should act contrary to this ordinance should give bail to the tribunes for the payment of whatever fine they should affix to his offence in arraigning him before the commonalty: if he refused to give bail, his life and property were forfeited. (Dionys. vii. 17.) It should however be observed that this law belongs to a later date than that assigned to it by Dionysius, as has been shown by Niebuhr (ii. p. 98) ; it was in all probability made only a short time before its first application in 461 B. c. in the case of Caeso Quinctius. (Liv. iii. 13.) The tri­bunes were thus enabled to afford protection to any one who appealed to the assembly of the common­alty, or required any other assistance. They were essentially the representatives and the organs of the plebeian order, and their sphere of action was the comitia tributa. With the patricians and their comitia they had nothing to do. The tribunes themselves however were not judges and could in­flict no punishments (Gellius, xiii. 12), but could only propose the imposition of a fine to the com­monalty (multam irrogare). The tribunes were thus in their origin only a protecting magistracy of

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