Officium Consulare MMDCCLXVIII
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This is the office of the consules M. Pompeius Caninus and his colleague (not yet elected) for MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c
Oath of Office of Consul
Edicta of the Consules
The edicta are general or individual rules of law that, within Nova Roma as in the ancient Rome, this office is allowed issue. These rules provide enforcement, application, and completion of the general rules issued by the Constitution of Nova Roma, its By-laws, made by the People or the Plebs through their comitia (assemblies), or by senatus consulta, or decrees issued by the Senate of Nova Roma.
These edicta cannot be issued outside the fields of responsibily as defined by the Constitution, in its paragraph IV, A, 4, and stated above.
In the first column you may check the "Status" of the edictum: in force ("Val." valido) or lapsed. A lapsed edict has either be withdrawn/removed by the issuer or her/his successor ("Exp." expunctus), either been replaced by another one ("Sub." substituo), or, at last, vetoed ("VETO") by a higher magistrate (for ex. a consul : "COS") or by a tribune of the plebs ("TB"). The current consular edicta are classed by number (2nd column). Except in an extraordinary case, the higher the number, the later the issuing day. The "Consul" head abbreviation designates the consul(s) who has issued it ("MPC" for Marcus Pompeius Caninus). The "Forum message ref" is the number of the original message posted in the Forum Romanum (Yahoo! "Main List"). The "Subject" indicated the nature of the edictum.
Dialog with P. Porcius Licinus regarding the lex Cornelia de classibus et ordine equestri
In December 2014, a newly elected plebeian tribune, P. Porcius Licinus, contacted me expressing concerns about the fairness of elections under the lex Cornelia de classibus et ordine equestri, a law that had been passed in the comitia Centuriata about one year earlier with more than 75% of the vote in favor of its passage. It became clear during our discussions that the tribune was unable to provide any indication of how many citizens had expressed concerns to him about the law. If two other citizens had come to me and expressed concerns about the lex or the fairness of elections held under the lex I would have begun work on a potential replacement lex. I was reluctant to spend time working on a replacement based on the word of just a single citizen as the lex required an extraordinary majority (67%) to overturn it. Especially so in a case like this where a claim is made there are an unspecified number of citizens who wish to remain anonymous. However, no other citizens contacted me and it was also clear the tribune did not understand the law.
First, he claimed the math did not work but failed to see the math he was using only covered 29 of the 31 centuries. This issue appears to be based on an incorrect assumption that Century 1 is included in the percentage specified for Class I centuries and Century XXXI is included in the percentage specified for Class V. The law separates the first century for the ordo equester and the last century for capite censi. These two centuries account for 6% of the total centuries, and added to 94% for centuries 2 through 30, the composition of the centuries totals 100%.
Second, he claimed the citizens were not assigned to the correct centuries. However, the only citizen who was improperly assigned was one in Century 13 who was placed there as a result of a typographical error as she should have been in Century 31 with the other capite censi. At no time did this citizen actually cast a vote in the comitia Centuriata while she was assigned to Century 13. The most likely reason for his confusion on the assignment of citizens to centuries is the citizens are not always assigned in the order of their census point totals and he likely assumed the assignments would be made in order from highest to lowest total of census point. Citizens are assigned to a century class first and then to a specific century. A citizen can be in any century within the class appropriate for their census point total.
Third, he claimed citizens were being disenfranchised by the assignments to the centuries. As can be seen in our dialog, the tribune was actually concerned with rewriting the law in order to diminish the influence of the Class I voters. At the same time he basically dismissed the voting rights of the capite censi . While the capite censi have only a single vote in our comitia Centuriata, it is an important vote and cannot be dismissed lightly. Voting is a basic right of citizens whether or not taxes are paid.
The core of the complaint was actually a desire to throw out the existing law and replace it with one that would reduce the voting power of members of the Senate. Again, writing a new law would make little sense unless more citizens showed a desire to make century assignments more democratic, and even then such reforms could only go so far or there would be risk of moving to a non-Roman voting system. Some degree of reform in combination with a better explanation of the mechanics of century assignment may make a better law.
You can find the dialog as a series of PDF files:
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