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A ''tribus'', or tribe, was a division of the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
people, constituting the voting units of a legislative assembly of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
.''Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities'', "Tribus."''Oxford Classical Dictionary'', "Tribus." The word is probably derived from ''tribuere'', to divide or distribute; the traditional derivation from ''tres'', three, is doubtful. According to tradition, the first three tribes were established by
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus ...
; each was divided into ten ''curiae'', or wards, which were the voting units of the ''
comitia curiata The Curiate Assembly (''comitia curiata'') was the principal assembly that evolved in shape and form over the course of the Roman Kingdom The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the ...
''. Although the curiae continued throughout Roman history, the three original tribes that they constituted gradually vanished from history. Perhaps influenced by the original division of the people into tribes, as well as the number of thirty wards,
Servius Tullius Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two d ...
established thirty new tribes, which later constituted the ''comitia tributa''. This number was reduced to twenty at the beginning of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
; but as the Roman population and its territory grew, fifteen additional tribes were enrolled, the last in 241 BC. All
Roman citizens Citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its c ...
were enrolled in one of these tribes, through which they were entitled to vote on the election of certain magistrates, religious officials, judicial decisions in certain suits affecting the
plebs In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian ...
, and pass resolutions on various proposals made by the
tribunes of the plebs #REDIRECT Tribune of the plebs#REDIRECT Tribune of the plebs Tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune ( la, tribunus plebis) was the first office of the Roman state that was open to the plebeians, and was, throughout the his ...
and the higher magistrates. Although the ''comitia tributa'' lost most of its legislative functions under the
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

Empire
, enrollment in a tribe remained an important part of Roman citizenship until at least the third century AD.'' Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities'', Second Edition,
Harry Thurston Peck Harry Thurston Peck (November 24, 1856 – March 23, 1914) was an American classical scholar, author, editor, and critic. Biography Peck was born in Stamford, Connecticut. He was educated in private schools and at Columbia College, graduating i ...
, Editor (1897), "Comitia".


The Romulean tribes

The first three tribes are said to have been established by
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary foundation of Rome, founder and King of Rome, first king of Ancient Rome, Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus ...
, the founder and first
King of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two different meanings of magistrate have often overlapped and ...
, shortly after the foundation of the city. Following the
Rape of the Sabine Women The Rape of the Sabine Women ( ), also known as the Abduction of the Sabine Women or the Kidnapping of the Sabine Women, was an incident in Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is ...

Rape of the Sabine Women
, the
Sabines The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; grc, Σαβῖνοι ''Sabĩnoi''; it, Sabini, all exonyms) were an Italic peoples, Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of the ancient Italian Peninsula, also inhabiting Latium north of the An ...
under
Titus Tatius 300px, ''The Intervention of the Sabine Women'', by Jacques-Louis David, depicts Titus Tatius at the left According to the Foundation of Rome, Roman foundation myth, Titus Tatius was the king of the Sabines from Cures, Sabinum, Cures and joint-ru ...
attacked Rome, and successfully entered the city. After fierce fighting, the Sabine women themselves interceded, stepping between their husbands and their fathers to prevent further bloodshed. Peace was concluded, with Romulus and Tatius ruling jointly, and a large Sabine population relocating to Rome; the nascent city was thus evenly divided between
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition La ...
and Sabines. At this time (traditionally 750 BC), Romulus divided the people into three tribes, known as the ''Ramnes'' or ''Ramnenses'', named after himself; the ''Tities'' or ''Titienses'', named after Titus Tatius; and the ''Luceres'' or ''Lucerenses'', whose name and origin were obscure even to the ancient historians. Known as the three ''Romulean tribes'', these first tribes have often been supposed to represent the major ethnic groups of early Rome: the Ramnes representing Rome's Latin population; the Tities representing the Sabines; and the Luceres probably representing the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of List of ancient peoples of Italy, ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna ...
. Rome lay on the
Tiber The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the in and flowing through , , and , where it is joined by the River , to the , between and . It estimated at . The river has achi ...

Tiber
, the traditional boundary of
Etruria Etruria () was a region of Central Italy Central Italy ( it, Italia centrale or just ) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), a Italian N ...

Etruria
with
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory large ...
, and may have had a substantial Etruscan population from the beginning; but certainly there was a considerable Etruscan element in the Roman population by the sixth century BC; the fifth and seventh kings of Rome were Etruscan, and many of Rome's cultural institutions were of Etruscan origin. It may be to this period, rather than the time of Romulus, that the institution of the ''Luceres'' belongs; and indeed the names, if not the ethnic character, of all three of the Romulean tribes appear to be Etruscan.
Robert Maxwell Ogilvie Prof Robert Maxwell Ogilvie FRSE FSA FBA DLitt (5 June 1932 – 7 November 1981 at St. Andrews, Scotland) was a prominent scholar of Latin literature and Classical language, classical philology. Life His parents were Sir Frederick Wolff Ogilvie ( ...
, ''A Commentary on Livy, Books I–V'' (1965).
Although the theory that the Romulean tribes represented the city's original ethnic components continues to be represented in modern scholarship, it has never been universally accepted, and this view is rejected by many scholars.


The ''curiae''

These three tribes were in turn divided into thirty ''curiae'', or wards, the organization of which is unclear; they were said to have been named after thirty of the Sabine Women, but of the nine ''curiae'' whose names are known today, several are of geographical origin. The only ''curiae'' whose names are now known were: ''Acculeia, Calabra, Faucia, Foriensis, Rapta, Tifata'', ''Titia'', ''Veliensis'', and ''Velitia''.''Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities'', "Curia." In the past, it was widely believed that membership in the ''curiae'' was limited to the
patricians The patricians (from la, patriciusPatricius may refer to: People * Patricius (consul 500), prominent East Roman general and consul *Patricius (jurist), 5th-century Roman jurist * Patricius (usurper) (died 352), leader of the Jewish revolt aga ...
, and that statements to the contrary, indicating that clientes were admitted meant no more than that they were passive members with no voting rights. However,
Mommsen Mommsen is a surname, and may refer to one of a family of German historians, see Mommsen family: * Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), classical scholar, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature * Hans Mommsen (1930–2015), historian known for arguing ...

Mommsen
argued convincingly that the
plebeians The plebeians, also called plebs, were, in ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in ...
were included in voting, and this view now appears to have prevailed; the plebeians were included either from the beginning, or at least from an early date; certainly from the earliest years of the Republic. The members of the ''curiae'' were known as ''curiales.'' Each ''curia'' was attended by a priest, or ''curio'', who assisted by another priest, known as the ''flamen curialis'', undertook the religious obligations of the ward. Each had its own place of meeting, also known as a ''
curia Curia (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...

curia
.''


The ''comitia curiata''

When the various ''curiae'' were assembled for voting, they formed the ''
comitia curiata The Curiate Assembly (''comitia curiata'') was the principal assembly that evolved in shape and form over the course of the Roman Kingdom The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the ...
'', the oldest legislative assembly of the Roman Republic. One of the ''curiones'' was appointed or elected ''curio maximus'', and presided over the assembly. Under the kings, the ''comitia curiata'' was summoned by the king or by an
interrex The interrex (plural interreges) was literally a ruler "between kings" (Latin ''inter reges'') during the Roman Kingdom and the Roman Republic. He was in effect a short-term regent. History The office of ''interrex'' was supposedly created followi ...
, who would present questions upon which the ''comitia'' might vote. These included the election of a new king, as proposed by the interrex; the passing of a law conferring
imperium In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A histori ...

imperium
on the king, known as a ''lex curiata de imperio''; whether to declare war; rulings on appeals; matters relating to ''arrogatio''; and whether to allow foreigners to be received among the patricians. Under
Servius Tullius Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two d ...
, the rights to declare war and to decide appeals were transferred to the ''
comitia centuriata The Centuriate Assembly (Latin: ''comitia centuriata'') of the Roman Republic was one of the three voting assemblies in the Roman constitution. It was named the Centuriate Assembly as it originally divided Roman citizens into groups of one hundred m ...
'', another legislative assembly. After the downfall of the Roman monarchy, questions were presented to the ''comitia curiata'' by the Roman Senate. However, between 494 and 449 BC, most of its functions were relegated to the ''comitia tributa'' and the ''comitia centuriata.'' The higher magistrates were elected by the ''comitia centuriata'', which also presided over certain capital trials, and held the power to declare war, and to pass legislation presented by the senate. Lesser magistrates were elected by the ''comitia tributa'', which also elected religious officials, presided over trials affecting the plebeians, and passed resolutions based on legislation proposed by the tribunes of the plebs and various magistrates. The ''comitia curiata'' retained the power to confer imperium on magistrates elected by the ''comitia centuriata'', and to confirm alterations in the
Roman constitution The Roman Constitution was an uncodified set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent.Byrd, 161 The Roman constitution was not formal or even official, largely unwritten and constantly evolving. Having those characteristics ...
decided upon by the other two comitia; both of these, however, required the senate to propose them before the ''comitia'' could act. The ''comitia'' also retained the power to decide whether to admit a non-patrician into that order, and to oversee the process of ''arrogatio,'' particularly when a patrician was being adopted into a plebeian family. By the late republic, each ''curia'' was represented by only one
lictor A lictor (possibly from la, ligare, "to bind") was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *'' ...

lictor
.


The Servian tribes

The institution of the tribes that made up the ''comitia tributa'', as well as the centuries of the ''comitia centuriata'', occurred under Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose reign is traditionally dated from 578 to 534 BC. According to Livy, Servius divided the city into four regions, called tribes. The surrounding land seems to have been divided originally into twenty-six ''pagi'', out of which the earliest rural tribes were later formed, perhaps by Servius himself. The names of the four "urban" tribes were based on the four regions of the city that they represented, while those of the "rural" tribes were likely based on the names of families that owned considerable tracts of land in those areas. The four urban tribes were the Collina, Esquilina, Palatina, and Suburana (also called Succusana); and the original sixteen rural tribes: Aemilia, Camilia, Cornelia, Fabia, Galeria, Horatia, Lemonia, Menenia, Papiria, Pollia, Popillia, Pupinia, Romilia, Sergia, Veturia, and Voltinia.


Later tribes

The dates of the creation of the remaining tribes are all known. When the Sabine
Appius ClaudiusAppius Claudius is a combination of first name ''(praenomen The praenomen (; plural: praenomina) was a given name, personal name chosen by the parents of a Ancient Rome, Roman child. It was first bestowed on the ''dies lustricus'' (day of Lustratio, ...
removed to Rome together with his ''clientes'', in 504 BC, he was admitted to the patriciate, and assigned lands in the region around the mouth of the
Anio The Aniene (; la, Anio), formerly known as the Teverone, is a river in Lazio, Italy. It originates in the Apennines at Trevi nel Lazio and flows westward past Subiaco, Italy, Subiaco, Vicovaro, and Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli to join the Tiber in northe ...
. These settlers became the basis of the ''tribus Claudia'', which was admitted in 495 BC, during Claudius' consulship, and subsequently enlarged to become the ''tribus Crustumina'' or ''Clustumina''. Four more tribes were added in 387 BC: Arniensis, Sabatina, Stellatina, and Tromentina. With the addition of
Volsci The Volsci (, , ) were an tribe, well known in the history of the first century of the . At the time they inhabited the partly hilly, partly marshy district of the south of , bounded by the and on the south, the on the east, and stretching ro ...

Volsci
an territory in 358 BC, two more tribes were formed, Pomptina and Publilia (also found as Poblilia). In 332, the censors
Quintus Publilius Philo Quintus Publilius Philo was a Roman politician who lived during the 4th century BC. His birth date is not provided by extant sources, however, a reasonable estimate is about 365 BC, since he first became consul in 339 BC at a time when consuls coul ...
and Spurius Postumius Albinus enrolled two more tribes, Maecia (originally Maicia) and Scaptia. Ufentina (or Oufentina) and Falerina followed in 318, and in 299 Aniensis and Terentina were added. The last two tribes, Quirina and Velina, were established in 241 BC, bringing the number of tribes to thirty-five. Eight tribes were added at the end of the Social War, when the Roman franchise was extended to the
socii The ''socii'' ( in English) or ''foederati ''Foederati'' (, singular: ''foederatus'' ) were peoples and cities bound by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually ent ...
, but they were later absorbed into the other thirty-five. The thirty-five tribes (with their usual abbreviations) were: The four urban tribes * Collina () * Esquilina () * Palatina () * Suburana () The rural tribes * Aemilia () * Aniensis () * Arniensis () * Camilia () * Claudia () * Crustumina () * Cornelia () * Fabia () * Falerina () * Galeria () * Horatia () * Lemonia () * Maecia () * Menenia () * Papiria () * Pollia () * Pomptina () * Publilia () * Pupinia () * Quirina () * Romilia () * Sabatina () * Scaptia () * Sergia () * Stellatina () * Terentina () * Tromentina () * Ufentina () * Velina () * Veturia () * Voltinia () Although the names of the older rural tribes are those of patrician families, the tribes themselves were probably entirely plebeian until 449 BC, after which both patricians and plebeians were enrolled; before this time, many of the powers and responsibilities later held by the ''comitia tributa'' still belonged to the ''comitia curiata.'' While we know the origin of their names, the location of the territories which defined these tribes is uncertain. Subsequent tribes were based in territories where Roman settlements had been established, or in which the inhabitants had received the Roman franchise. In later periods, citizens might be enrolled in tribes without reference to geography. The enrollment of new citizens in particular tribes became a significant political issue during the
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...
of
Appius Claudius Caecus by his sons. 19th century painting by Cesare Maccari Cesare Maccari (; 9 May 1840 – 7 August 1919) was an Italian painter and sculptor, most famous for his 1888 painting ''Cicerone denuncia Catalina'' (usually translated as ''Cicero Accuses ...
in 312 BC. Those who wished to limit the voting power of the lower social orders, and particularly of freedmen, advocated enrolling them only in the four urban tribes. This effort was largely unsuccessful, except with respect to freedmen, who were nearly always enrolled in one of the urban tribes. A similar attempt to limit the power of newly enfranchised citizens followed the end of the Social War. It was also possible for one of the censors to punish an individual by expelling him from one of the rustic tribes, and assigning him to one of the urban tribes; this was known as ''tribu movere''. The tribes functioned as civil divisions of the populace for purposes of the census, taxation, and military service. Each tribe possessed its own officers, including a ''curator tribuum'', who served as the head of the tribe, and ''tribuni aerarii'', or tribunes of the treasury, whose responsibility was for the tribe's financial obligations; they were responsible for collecting the war tax, and distributed pay to the tribe's soldiers. Toward the end of the Republic, the importance of the tribus was such that it became an official part of a Roman's name, usually appearing, in the most formal documents and inscriptions, between a citizen's filiation and any cognomina. In imperial times, the enrollment of citizens in tribes along a geographic basis was resumed; for instance, easterners were typically enrolled in the tribes Collina and Quirina, while in
Gallia Narbonensis Gallia Narbonensis can be seen in the south of modern-day France as a Roman province. Gallia Narbonensis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin wa ...
enrollment in the ''tribus Voltinia'' was preferred.


The ''comitia tributa''

Together, the Servian tribes constituted the ''concilium plebis'', or plebeian council; as time passed and the council's authority to pass legislation developed, it was increasingly known as the ''comitia plebis tributa'', or tribal assembly.''Oxford Classical Dictionary'', "Comitia." A law passed in 449 BC made resolutions of the ''comitia tributa'', known as ''plebi scita'', or plebiscites, binding upon the whole Roman people; this law was not ratified by the senate until 286 BC, but even before this its resolutions were considered binding on the plebs. Because all citizens, whether patrician or plebeian, received the same vote in the ''comitia tributa'', and because the assembly was much simpler to convene than the ''comitia centuriata'', the ''comitia tributa'' was Rome's most democratic assembly. By the end of the Republic, the plebs greatly outnumbered the patricians, and it was through this ''comitia'' that the collective will of the citizens could be exercised without regard to wealth or status.


Powers

The ''comitia tributa'' elected all of the lower magistrates, including the
tribunes of the plebs #REDIRECT Tribune of the plebs#REDIRECT Tribune of the plebs Tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune ( la, tribunus plebis) was the first office of the Roman state that was open to the plebeians, and was, throughout the his ...
, the
military tribune A military tribune (Latin ''tribunus militum'', "tribune of the soldiers") was an officer of the Roman army The Roman army (: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of , from the (to c. 500 BC) to the (500– ...
s, the
plebeian aediles The plebeians, also called plebs, were, in ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in ...
and the
curule aediles Aedile ( ; la, aedīlis , from , "temple edifice") was an elected office of the Roman Republic. Based in Rome#Monarchy.2C republic.2C empire, Rome, the aediles were responsible for maintenance of public buildings () and regulation of public festiv ...
. A committee of seventeen tribes, chosen by lot, nominated the
Pontifex Maximus The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it becam ...
, and coöpted members of the ''collegia'' of the
pontifices A pontiff (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...
,
augur An augur was a priest and official in the classical Roman world. His main role was the practice of augury Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion Religion in ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion In religious ...

augur
es, and the decemviri sacrorum. The ''comitia'' could pass resolutions proposed by the tribunes of the plebs, or by the higher magistrates, on both domestic and foreign matters, such as the making of treaties or concluding of peace. Proposals had to be published before receiving a vote, and were passed or rejected as a whole, without modification. Although the senate might review these resolutions, it could only reject them if they had been passed without the proper formalities. The ''comitia tributa'' also decided suits instituted by the plebeian tribunes and aediles, for offenses against the plebs or their representatives. In the later Republic, these suits typically involved charges of maladministration; the tribunes and aediles were entitled to levy substantial fines.


Procedures

Beginning with the institution of the tribunes of the plebs in 494 BC, the ''comitia tributa'' was normally summoned by the tribunes themselves. Magistrates could also convene the ''comitia'', but only with the consent of the tribunes. The ''comitia'' was summoned by the proclamation of a ''praeco'', a crier or herald, at least seventeen days before the meeting. The
auspices Augury is the practice from ancient Roman religion Religion in ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion In religious studies, an ethnic religion is a religion or Belief#Religion, belief associated with a particular ethnic group. ...

auspices
would be taken, and the meeting could only proceed if they were favourable. The tribes convened at daybreak, and were obliged to adjourn at sunset. If summoned by one of the tribunes, the tribes had to gather within the city, or within a one-mile radius of the city; this was the boundary of a tribune's authority. In the first centuries of the Republic, the ''comitia'' usually met on the
Capitol A capitol is a building in which a legislature meets, including: Political authority of a territorial unit * United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. * Numerous List of state capitols in the United States, U.S. state and territorial capitols * ...
, in the
Forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *Forum (Roman), open public space within a Roman city **Roman Forum, most famous example *Internet forum, discus ...

Forum
, or at the
Comitium The Comitium ( it, Comizio) was the original open-air public meeting space of Ancient Rome, and had major religious and prophetic significance. The name comes from the Latin word for "assembly". The Comitium location at the northwest corner of the ...

Comitium
. If summoned by one of the magistrates, the comitia typically met on the
Campus Martius 300px, The Pantheon, a landmark of the Campus Martius since ancient Rome. The Campus Martius (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally ...

Campus Martius
. After a prayer, unaccompanied by sacrifice, proposals would be read, and the citizens arranged by tribe. The first tribe to vote, known as the ''principium'', was chosen by lot, and the result of its vote announced. The other tribes would then vote simultaneously, and the results of their votes announced in an order also determined by lot, before the final result was proclaimed. Laws passed by the ''comitia'' took effect as soon as the results were announced. Although the order of voting was determined by lot, there was also an official order of the tribes, known as the ''ordo tribuum''. The first four tribes were the urban tribes, in the order: Suburana, Palatina, Esquilina, Collina; the rural tribes followed, concluding with Aniensis.


Decline

In the final years of the Republic, participation in the ''comitia'' was quite low, and its acts increasingly the result of
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying, or deliberately withholding information, or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, ...
.
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey Caesar's C ...

Caesar
deprived the ''comitia tributa'' of the power to declare war or conclude peace; the early
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
s further curtailed its power.
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
removed the ''comitia's'' judicial function, and preserved its power to pass legislation only in form. He filled half of the available magistracies with his own candidates, and
Tiberius Tiberius Caesar Augustus (; 16 November 42 BC – 16 March AD 37) was the second Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titl ...

Tiberius
transferred the comitia's remaining electoral authority to the senate. Although the emperors received many of their powers from the ''comitia tributa'', this was only a formality. Although the ''comitia tributa'' continued to exist until the third century AD, its only remaining functions were symbolic; it took auspices and gave prayer; it conferred the emperor's legislative powers and other authority; and it proclaimed the laws presented to it for approval. But by this time voting was done not by ballot, but by ''
acclamatio In Ancient Roman and Byzantine tradition, acclamatio (Koiné aktologia) was the public expression of approbation or disapprobation, pleasure or displeasure, etc., by loud acclamations. On many occasions, there appear to have been certain forms of ...

acclamatio
''.


See also

*
List of Roman tribes Tribes (Latin ''tribus'') were groupings of citizens in ancient Rome, originally based on location. Voters were eventually organized by tribes, with each Roman tribe having an equal vote in the Tribal Assembly. Original tribes Latin ''tribus'' ...


Notes


References


Bibliography

; Primary sources *
Marcus Terentius Varro Marcus Terentius Varro (; 116–27 BC) was one of ancient Rome's greatest scholars and a prolific author. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus. Biography Varro was born in or near ...
, ''De Lingua Latina'' (On the Latin Language). * Titus Livius (
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
), ''
History of Rome The history of Rome includes the history of the city of Rome as well as the civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law has influenced ma ...
''. *
Sextus Pompeius Festus Sextus Pompeius Festus, usually known simply as Festus, was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Ro ...
, ''Epitome de M. Verrio Flacco de Verborum Significatu'' (Epitome of
Marcus Verrius Flaccus Marcus Verrius Flaccus (c. 55 BCAD 20) was a Ancient Rome, Roman grammarian and teacher who flourished under Augustus Caesar, Augustus and Tiberius. Life He was a freedman, and his manumitter has been identified with Verrius Flaccus, an authority ...
: On the Meaning of Words). ; Secondary sources * Timothy Cornell, ''The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars'', Routledge, London (1995). * Michael H. Crawford, "Tribus, Tesserae, et Regions," in ''Comptes rendus de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres'', vol. 146, pp. 1125–1135 (2002). * ''
Oxford Classical Dictionary The ''Oxford Classical Dictionary'' (''OCD'') is generally considered "the best one-volume dictionary on antiquity," an encyclopedic work in English consisting of articles relating to classical antiquity and its civilizations. It was first publis ...
'', N. G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard, eds., Clarendon Press, Oxford (Second Edition, 1970). * , ''Römische Forschungen'' (Roman Research), Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, Berlin (1864–1879). * '' Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities'',
Harry Thurston Peck Harry Thurston Peck (November 24, 1856 – March 23, 1914) was an American classical scholar, author, editor, and critic. Biography Peck was born in Stamford, Connecticut. He was educated in private schools and at Columbia College, graduating i ...
, ed. (Second Edition, 1897). * D.P. Simpson, ''Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary'', Macmillan Publishing Company, New York (1963). * C.J. Smith, ''The Roman Clan: The Gens from Ancient Ideology to Modern Anthropology'' (2006). * John C. Traupman, ''The New College Latin & English Dictionary'', Bantam Books, New York (1995). {{Authority control * Government of the Roman Republic
Roman law {{CatAutoTOC, numerals=no Law in ancient history Ancient Rome, Law Indo-European law, Roman Law by former country ...
Historical legislatures