Comitia centuriata (Nova Roma)
The comitia centuriata is one of three voting assemblies within Nova Roma. The main function of this assembly is to elect the year's two praetores, two consules and one of the two censores. It is sometimes called to vote during the year on laws, but this function is usually performed in the comitia populi tributa. It is also empowered to try legal cases in which a citizen is subject to permanent removal of citizenship.
Every citizen is grouped into one of 31 centuriae. Originally, Nova Roma followed ancient Roman practice and had 193 centuriae, but this was abandoned due to insufficient numbers of citizens, and a system with 51 centuriae was adopted, which was further decreased in the year L. Sulla (III) cos. sine collega ‡ MMDCCLXVI a.u.c. to 31 centuriae due to the loss in the number of citizens.
The placement of citizens into a centuria rises and falls depending on the attainment of census points. During the times of ancient Rome, financial assets and wealth determined the assignment of citizens into centuries. In Nova Roma the lex Arria de censu civium aestimando places point values on the holding of offices, length of citizenship, participation in various sodalitates, etc. The censores than group the appropriate number of citizens who have approximately the same numbers of points together in accordance with the lex Arria Tullia de classibus et centuriis et de tribubus novis. The idea of buying century points has arisen in the past but has generally been rejected.
The voting procedure in the comitia centuriata is currently defined by lex Tullia de comitiis habendis. Where possible, voting is conducted electronically via a voting platform of our website referred to as the cista ("voting urn", Lat.). Otherwise voting is conducted via email. Citizens vote by centuries, the result of the votes within a century is the vote of the century. The final result is calculated from the votes of the centuries, not from the votes of the individual citizens: this is why it is called the "Assembly of the Centuries". The concept of personal vote does not exist in the Roman (and Nova Roman) voting system.
- Learn more in the article about centuries.
Past regulations of the Comitia Centuriata in Nova Roma
Before St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXVII a.u.c., the comitia centuriata, and all other Assemblies of Nova Roma, functioned according to a much more historically accurate mechanism, based directly on the Roman practice. The voting procedure in the comitia centuriata was defined by lex Fabia de ratione comitiorum centuriatorum, and it was sequential as in ancient Rome. In a first voting round only citizens of the centuria praerogativa could vote. This centuria praerogativa was selected by a lot from the centuries of the 1st class. In a second voting round only citizens of the centuries of the first class, including citizens of the centuria praerogativa that had not yet voted, could vote. In the third and final round all citizens, including any citizen from the 1st class centuries that had not yet voted, could cast their votes.