Census reports (Roman Republic)

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Historical Context:

The census was first instituted by Servius Tullius, sixth king of Rome. Throughout most of the republican period the census was conducted in the Campus Martius centered around the censorial offices called the Villa Publica. After the auspices had been taken, the citizens were summoned to appear before the censors. Every paterfamilias had to appear in person before the censors, who were seated in their curule chairs, and those names were taken first which were considered to be of good omen. Different kinds of property was subject to the census, and in what way their value was to be estimated. Besides property, each citizen had to give an account of himself, and of his family. All of this information was declared to the censors upon oath, "declared from the heart". A person who voluntarily absented himself from the census was considered incensus and subject to punishment. Under the king and early republic this could mean imprisonment and death. In the middle to later republic a citizen regarded as incensus may be fined or if they could not pay the imposed fine sold by the state as a slave.

After the censors had received the names of all the citizens with the amount of their property, they then had to make out the lists of the tribes, and also of the classes and centuries; the position of each citizen in the Comitia Centuriata was determined by the amount of his property. The census documents, insofar as they were connected with the finances of the state, were deposited in the aerarium, which was in the temple of Saturn.


Modern Context:

Within the modern republic the census is conducted every year by the censors. During this time data is collected and updated from all citizens. The total denarii balance of citizen is also recorded and used to determine the composition of the Comitia Centuriata. In order for a citizen to remain in active status they must respond to the census. Those who do not respond lose the privileges of full citizenship until they register with the censors.

For more information regarding the current Roman census please see the (INSERT LEX HERE).


Official Census Reports (Maintained by the Censors)

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(consuls) MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c.

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