Class (Nova Roma)
There are 5 classes in Nova Roma into which all citizens are distributed in voting centuries. The 1st class is the highest, containing the top citizens. The higher the class, the more centuries it contains, consequently, the more voting weight it has.
In ancient Rome, citizens were distributed into classes depending on their social status (wealth), and after having a citizen assigned to a class, he was placed in a century within that class. This is the system we implemented in Nova Roma, too, but instead of wealth, our citizens are classified by their merits, services and contributions to our republic.
Each Nova Roman citizen is assigned to a class and placed into a century within that class. Assiduus citizens, the elite of the citizenry, can be assigned to any of the 5 classes and placed in one of the 30 small centuries distributed between the 5 classes, while capite censi can be assigned only to the lowest (5th) class, and only in one huge century therein, the 31st. The top of the 1st class is the order of knights, the equites. All Nova Roman equestrians are placed in the 1st century within the 1st class, called the equestrian century. The bottom of the 5th class are the capite census citizens, this is the 31st century in the 5th class. The more century points a citizen has, the higher century he is placed in. Citizens in higher centuries have more voting weight, as higher centuries have less citizens in them, therefore each citizen's vote carries greater weight.
Assignment of citizens into the 5 classes
The censores are tasked to assign a citizen to a class based on his taxpayment and century points (merits, public service). Within each class, the number of citizens must be spread as equitable as possible, with the exception of the equestrian century (century No.1) and the capite census century (century No.31). If there are centuries assigned to classes that do not have the citizens to fill those centuries, then the censores cannot fill those centuries.
The number of census points determines what class citizens are allocated:
- 220 or more census points and admission into the ordo equester: 1st class, equestrian century
- 140 or more census points: 1st class
- 100 – 139 census points: 2nd class
- 50-99 census points: 3rd class
- 35-49 census points: 4th class
- 17-34 census points: 5th class
- Citizens who do not meet the minimum threshold of 16 census points: 5th class, capite census century
Distribution of centuries between the 5 classes
The number of centuries in each class is set as follows:
- Class I: 49% of the total number of centuries, with one single century (century No1) reserved exclusively for equestrians
- Class II: 10% of the total number of centuries
- Class III: 10% of the total number of centuries
- Class IV: 10% of the total number of centuries
- Class V: 15% of the total number of centuries, with one single century (century No31) reserved for the capite censi only.
Previous system of centuries in the past of Nova Roma
Before the year St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXVII a.u.c., the censores first assigned a citizen to a century based on his taxpayment and century points (merits, public service), and after having placed the citizen into a century, they distributed the centuries between the five classes. So, while in ancient Rome class determined placement in century, in the previous system of Nova Roma, century determined placement in class. Before the year St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXVII a.u.c., the number of centuries was determined by dividing the number of assiduus citizens by eight, rounding down. There could be no more than 193 and no less than 51 centuries, but in practice it remained always 51. The assignment of citizens took place before every election by the censores.
The censores were allowed by the lex Octavia altera de comitiis centuriatis to determine the number of centuries in each class by edict, but no censores choose to do so, so the initial proportions set up by the law was adhered to until the new system was introduced. The relative sizes of each class was set as follows:
- Class I: 29% of the assiduus centuries.
- Class II: 24% of the assiduus centuries.
- Class III: 20% of the assiduus centuries.
- Class IV: 16% of the assiduus centuries.
- Class V: 11% of the assiduus centuries, plus 1 century reserved for the capite censi only.
The division of the centuries by the five classes as defineded by the lex Octavia altera de comitiis centuriatis resulted in the following division:
- Class I: centuries 1-14.
- Class II: centuries 15-26.
- Class III: centuries 27-36.
- Class IV: centuries 37-44.
- Class V: centuries 45-50.
- Capite censi: century 51.