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Ancient Rome : from the earliest times down to 476 A. D.
written by "Pennell, Robert Franklin"
...all citizens. The people voted every year whether they should have consuls or military tribunes, and this custom continued for nearly a half-century. The patricians, however, were so influential, that for a long time no plebeian was elected. As an offset to these gains of the plebeians, the patricians in 435 obtained two new officers, called CENSORS, elected from their own ranks every five years (lustrum) to hold office for eighteen months. The duties of the Censors were:— I. To see that the citizens of every class were properly registered. II. To punish immorality in the Senate by the removal of any members who were guilty of offences against public morals. III. To have the general supervision of the finances and public works of the state. This office became in after years the most coveted at Rome. A few years later, in 421, the plebeians made another step forward by obtaining the right of electing one of their number as Quaestor. There were now four Quaestors. Thus the patricians, in spite of the most obstinate resistance, sustained loss after loss. Even the rich plebeians, who had hitherto often found it for their interest to side with the patricians, joined the farmers or lower classes. Finally, in 367, the Tribunes Licinius and Sextius proposed and passed the following bills, called the LICINIAN ROGATIONS. I. To abolish the six military tribunes, and elect annually, as formerly, two Consuls, choosing one or both of them from the plebeians. II. To forbid any citizen's holding more than 500 jugera (300 acres) of the public lands, or feeding thereon more than 100 oxen or 500 sheep. III. To compel all landlords to employ on their fields a certain number of free laborers, proportionate to the number of their slaves. IV. To allow all interest hitherto paid on borrowed money to be deducted from the principal, and the rest to be paid in three yearly instalments. These rogations were...

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