Talk:Senate report MMDCCLIX August 6 (Nova Roma)

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Preamble : Commentary

"Popularibus Romani"

The phrase "Popularibus Romani" is presumably an error for "populo Romano".


The term contio is incorrectly used here. What is meant is simply the period during which the proposals were discussed before voting began.

III : Commentary

"Age exemption"

The Senate is empowered by the lex Vedia de magistratuum aetate to allow a citizen to stand for office before he reaches the minimum age stated in the lex Iunia de magistratuum aetate. This is the exemption sought here.

There is, however, a puzzle. The lex Vedia states:

An exemption to this law may be granted to a person by the approval of both censors and a senatus consultum approved by a two-thirds majority vote.

A two-thirds majority at this meeting would have been 17 votes. Each proposal received only 14 votes, but both were considered to have passed. Apparently a simple majority was considered sufficient. This may be an example of mos displacing lex.

III.A : Commentary

"Pius specially"

The comment of Fr. Apulus that "both the Candidates, Pius specially, are good and skilled citizens" is not very helpful since "Pius" is a cognomen of both candidates. He probably meant T. Octavius, who had been called "Pius" for many years by the time of this meeting and is commonly so called, whereas Q. Metellus acquired the name "Pius" later and is not commonly called by that name.

IV : Commentary


As Ti. Galerius indicated in the comment accompanying his vote, there is no Roman precedent for a declaration of an individual as inimicus populi Romani, and indeed the Latin word "inimicus" more normally means a personal rival than a formal enemy of a state.

It is therefore far from clear what legal effect, if any, the Senate intended this designation to have. The most likely interpretation is that no legal effect was intended and the declaration was intended to have purely symbolic value.

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