Senatus consultum ultimum de classibus et centuriis et tribubus

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Enacted on: a.d. VIII Id. Oct. Q. Arrio P. Annaeo cos. ‡ XXII ANRC et MMDCCLXXII AUC (In the year of the consulship of Q. Arrius and P. Annaeus, 13rd April, 22 ANRC / 2772 AUC / 2019 AD)


When reigning Nova Roma unconstitutionally as sole consul, L. Sulla enacted a series of laws that made the electoral system of Nova Roma unable to work properly, and the distribution of citizens into classes and centuries, and their census point account have been incorrect and dysfunctional since that time. This was further disturbed by the coup d'état of Cn. Caesar and the same L. Sulla, although, since the restoration of the lawful government under the consulship of Cn. Lentulus Alexander and T. Domitius Draco, corrective steps were made, but the regulations themselves in the leges Corneliae of L. Sulla are not compatible with the census point accounting system of our website and with the size of our taxpaying citizenry. As the fight against the coup and its consequences, the so called "civil war" is about to its end, and Nova Roma is returning from emergency operations to normal democratic working, it is important that our elections and votes on legislation be as accountable, transparent, regular and Roman as possible, therefore the consuls must see to it that the republic suffer no harm, so the senate enacts this senatus consultum ultimum to correct the mistakes in the system of classes, centuries and census points.

I. The validity of the lex Cornelia de punctis censualibus is suspended, with the exception of this instruction from Section III: “It is the responsibility of each citizen to review their CPs details and ensure that all of their previous service is represented. The Censors, strive to be as accurate as they can be, but it is only with the active cooperation and involvement of citizens that we can ensure the records are as close to perfection as possible.” Effective retroactively from the time of the enactment of the lex Cornelia de punctis censualibus, which was impossible to implement, the counting of the census points is officially according to the lex Fabia centuriata (in practice, this was done without interruption, the lex Cornelia de punctis censualibus was never put in effect: now this practice is made law again).

II. The validity of the lex Cornelia de classibus et ordine equestri is also suspended, and the following regulation is put in its place:

A. All taxper (assiduus) citizens are distributed among the rural tribes and into the 5 assiduus classes and their centuries, and all non-paying (proletarius) citizens are distributed among the urban tribes, and in 1 proletarius century as capite censi "infra classem" ("under the class system"), technically part of the Vth Class. Among the assidui, a selected few public equestrians with 150 or more census points are given 6 centuries "supra classem" ("above the class system") category, but technically within the Ist Class. There shall be no other requirement and no other way to be placed into the rural tribes and into the 6 classes of assiduus centuries: the participation in previous elections as a requirement lapsed in practice many years ago, and now it’s suspended by law.

B.1. There shall be two categories within the ordo equester, as described in the SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON A SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION TO ELEVATE MERITORIOUS CITIZENS TO THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER, the public equestrians, an awarded title of distinction, and the private equestrians, a status given automatically to those assidui who reach 150 census points. The regulations in the SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON A SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION TO ELEVATE MERITORIOUS CITIZENS TO THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER are hereby reinforced (but the entry into the private knighthood is lowered from 151 to 150 census points). Equites privati belong to the Ist Class as any assiduous from 100 CP. Equites publici with lower than 150 CP shall be placed into the class where they would belong based on their census points. Equites publici with 150 or more CP shall be placed into the 6 equestrian centuries, but only as many of them as many the equestrian centuries can contain without becoming larger than the rest of centuries of the Ist Class. The criterion of how many public equestrians must be allocated into each equestrian century depends on the population density of the other centuries of Ist Class: no equestrian century may contain more citizens than any century in the Ist class. If there are more equites publici than place in the equestrian centuries, the censores shall decide which ones will remain in the regular Ist Class, and which ones will be allocated into the 6 equestrian centuries "supra classem", as a special honor in addition to their distinction as equites equo publico.

2. Any citizen who contributes a donation five times the amount of the current year's basic tax shall receive membership in the ordo equester as private equestrian until the closure of the next tax season.

C. While the proletarii shall be grouped into one single century, assidui shall be classified by the amount of the census points before each election or comitia voting, according to the following scheme:

- 0-24 census points: Vth Class, distributed into 3 centuries, 1 of which is reserved for the the Proletarii Capite Censi, Infra Classem

- 25-49 census points: IVth Class, distributed into 2 centuries,

- 50-74 census points: IIIrd Class, distributed into 2 centuries,

- 75-99 census points: IInd Class, distributed into 2 centuries,

- 100- census points: Ist Class, distributed into 8 centuries, where also Equites Privati with 150 or more census points shall be allocated without any difference,

  • Selected Equites Publici with 150 or more census points: Ist Class, Supra Classem, distributed into 6 centuries, which are called the equestrian centuries.

D. Before each comitia voting, the censores shall ensure that the following requirements are met:

1. Each century within a class must contain an equal number of citizens, maximum with a difference of one citizen in only one (or in as many as mathematically necessary) of the centuries of the class.

2. No century in a higher class may contain more citizens than any century in a lower class.

a. If it is impossible to satisfy this requirement because there are more citizens in a certain class than what can be distributed according to II.C with the result of a lower number of citizens in each of its centuries than in all of the centuries of the classes which are lower than the class in question, then the censores are ordered to add exactly as many centuries (and no more) to the class in question which will be enough to satisfy this requirement. The censores may add only 6 extra centuries in total to Classes II-V (they can add all 6 to one class, but the total number of extra centuries in the entire system of all classes must not be exceed 6; extra century is defined as any century in excess to the normal number of centuries in a class). The number of Class I centuries must never be increased.

b. If it is impossible to satisfy this requirement because there are not enough citizens in a certain class to form the required number of centuries with the required number of citizens, that is, more citizens than the centuries of the higher classes contain, the censores are ordered to disband centuries in the class in question, merging the citizens of the class into fewer, but larger centuries. If there is not even one person to fill a century, that century shall also be disbanded. Disbanding a century does not allow the number of extra centuries to be more than 6, a disbanded century does not add the possibility of one more extra century.

c. If satisfying the requirement at II.D.2 by the processes described at II.D.2.a-b is still not possible in a certain class, the censores are allowed to add extra centuries or to disband existing ones in any of the classes (excepting Class I) under or above the class in question, not just in the class in question, in order to establish a decreasing (or at least equal) century size in each higher class in comparison to the class immediately under it. The number of extra centuries added in total is limited to 6, as described in II.D.2.a.

d. If adding or merging centuries in other classes, besides the class in question, still doesn’t solve the problem, the censores are also allowed to transfer as many citizens with the highest CP from (or to) the class immediately under the class in question, or with the lowest CP from the class immediately above the class in question, into (or from) the class in question as it is mathematically absolutely necessary in order to reach the size required to maintain the decreasing size of centuries upwards the classes. It is permitted to fill only one century within a class with transferred citizens, and the maximum number of citizens thus transferred to that single century cannot be more than 50% of the population of that century. If the size of the centuries of a class from which citizens has been transferred would thus become smaller than the required size for that class, then instead of transferring citizens, the two classes shall be combined, and treated as one class (bearing the name of all the combined classes). The censores must never transfer citizens from or into the Ist Class, and the Ist Class must never be combined/merged with another class.

e. During the process of adjusting incorrect century sizes to satisfy the requirement at II.D.2, the censores are allowed only to make the most necessary interventions and they shall not deviate from the regular number of centuries in each class as described in II.C, except to the absolutely necessary extent. They shall adhere to the prescribed number of centuries in each class as closely as possible. The following process must be observed: The censores must first determine the “minimum size of century”, which is the number of citizens in the smallest century of the Ist Class excepting equestrian centuries. All centuries of the other classes shall contain more citizens than this minimum number, except the equestrian centuries. Then the censores shall fill the 6 equestrian centuries with the public equestrians possessing at least 150, using the “minimum size of century” as the maximum size for equestrian centuries. If not all public equites with 150 CP fit into the equestrian centuries, the censores must select those who will be placed into the equestrian centuries as a special honor, the rest of them must be placed into the regular Ist Class centuries, and then the “minimum size of century” has to be recalculated due to the increased number of citizens in the 8 regular Ist Class centuries. Only then shall the censores fill the centuries of the rest of the classes, and add extra centuries, abolish centuries, transfer citizens and combine classes if needed, starting from the Vth Class, and going upwards to the IVth, and only after that to the IIIrd, and after that to IInd Class as the last step. In this, the following strict order of operations must be followed: First the censores must always try to solve the problem by adding extra centuries to the problematic class if it is too large, then shall they resort to disbanding centuries in other classes to compensate for the too large size of the class in question. If centuries in a class are too small, first the censores must always try to solve the problem by merging the centuries within the class, and then, if needed, by adding extra centuries to other classes. If, and only if, the previous operations didn’t solve the problem, are the censores allowed to transfer citizens from or to the neighboring classes, and if, and only if neither the adding and disbanding of centuries, nor the transfer of citizens helped, then and only then are the censored allowed to combine classes.

The following detailed example demonstrates the process described in points II.D.2.a-e.:

"There are 50 citizens in the Ist Class, among whom there are 10 public equestrians with 150 CP, to be distributed among 8 pedestrian centuries and 6 equestrian centuries. This means that 40 citizens will be allocated into 8 centuries, which results in the minimum century size of 5 (see II.D.2.e): there will be 5 citizens in each of the 8 pedestrian centuries. This also means that none of the 6 public equestrian centuries may contain more citizens than 5. There are 10 public equestrians with at least 150 CP, so the censores must place all of them into the 6 public equestrian centuries, which is mathematically possible the following way: 4 equestrian centuries contain 2-2-2-2 citizens, and 2 equestrian centuries contain 1-1 citizens (satisfying requirement II.D.1). The censores are now allowed to start with the Vth Class, then to go upwards the classes. There are 2 assiduus centuries in the Vth Class (the 3rd century is proletarius so it doesn’t belong to this process), and the Vth Class contains 20 citizens for 2 centuries, so 10 citizens in each. There is no need for adjustment. The IVth Class contains 26 citizens for 2 centuries that would result in 13 citizens in each, but this is not acceptable according to II.D.2., this number must be equal or smaller than 10 (based on the 10 citizens in both centuries of the Vth Class). Therefore the censores shall add one century to the IVth Class (according to II.D.2.a.), so IVth Class will have 3 centuries with 9, 9 and 8 citizens in them. The censores now examine the IIIrd Class: it contains 80 citizens for 2 centuries which would result in 40-40 citizens in each century. This is not acceptable according to II.D.2. The censores would have to add 8 more centuries, giving a total of 10 centuries in the IIIrd Class, so that each century may contain no more than 8 citizens (this upper limit is determined by the smallest century of the IVth Class, the class immediately under this class), however, it is also unacceptable according to II.D.2.a, because the censores can add only 6 centuries in total to the class system. The censores can detract, according to II.D.2.c, 1 or 2 from the currently 3 centuries of IVth Class, resulting in century size 13 or 26 in IVth Class, in order that the maximum number of citizens in Class III be bigger than 8; but then IVth Class would have centuries with more citizens than the centuries of Vth Class (10-10). Therefore the censores must also merge the 2 assiduus centuries of the Vth Class, which will thus have 1 assiduus century with 20 citizens, then to detract the previously added 1 extra century from Class IV, which is now restored to its normal number of centuries, 2 centuries, with 13 citizens in each, and thus the IIIrd Class can now be divided into the maximum number of 8 centuries, 10 citizens in each. The censores can now turn to the IInd Class, which contains 4 citizens for 2 centuries, that is, 2 citizens in each. Again, this is not allowed according to II.D.2, the number of citizens in Class II centuries must not be smaller than the number of citizens in the Ist Class centuries, which is 5. The censores can merge the 2 centuries of Class II (as per II.D.2.b), resulting in 4 citizens in 1 century, but it’s still not satisfactory. The censores cannot add more centuries to the Ist Class to make its centuries smaller (see II.D.2.a), so instead they shall transfer, according to II.D.2.d, exactly as many citizens of the highest CP from Class III as are enough to make Class II fill the requirement at II.D.2. The censores shall transfer 1 citizen, because the minimum size of century is 5. It is allowed because adding 1 citizen is less than 50% of the century to which the citizen is added. Class III will thus have still 8 centuries: 7 with 10 citizens and 1 with 9 citizens in them, and Class II will have 1 century with 5 citizens in it, one of whom is legally a IIIrd Class citizen. If the censores had had to add more than 4 citizens from Class III to the single century of Class II, transfer would not have been allowed, but they would have had to combine Class III and Class II, merging all IInd Class citizens with the IIIrd Class citizens, as described at II.D.2.d, and it would have been called the Combined IInd-IIIrd Class. These steps satisfy all criteria listed under II.D.2.a-e."

f. The mergers of centuries and the addition of new centuries shall be reverted after each comitia voting to the original number of centuries in each class within one month after the comitia. If more than one comitia are held within one month, one such temporary merger or addition of centuries may be used for all subsequent voting sessions, and the one month deadline for restoration to the original set up shall be counted from the closing of the last comitia which was held with the temporarily re-arranged centuries.

E. No comitia voting may start if the requirements in this senatus consultum ultimum are not met, and the correct century and class allocations of the citizens are not are updated in the album civium.

F. The four urban tribes Collina, Esquilina, Palatina and Suburana, reserved for capite censi, are all kept, but from the rural tribes, only the 15 oldest Roman rural tribes remain, for the time being, in Nova Roma: Aemilia, Camilia, Cornelia, Fabia, Galeria, Horatia, Lemonia, Menenia, Papiria, Pollia, Pupinia, Romilia, Sergia, Voltinia and Voturia. The tribe of a citizen should be permanent. Assidui in the rural tribes should not be moved to another tribe, except at the request of a citizen, depending on censorial approval. In case of loss of assiduus status, the name of the original tribe of the citizen must be recorded, and if the citizen restores his assiduus status, his original tribe should be restored, too. If there is no record of the previous rural tribe of a citizen currently in an urban tribe, the censores have freedom to allocate this citizen to any rural type. When distributing citizens into rural tribes, the censores must ensure that rural tribes contain an equal number of citizens, but they should not move citizens between rural tribes to equate the number of citizens in the tribes: the only method to balance the number of citizens in the rural tribes shall be the addition of new assidui to the less populated tribes.

III. If there are no censores in office, the consules (with the praetors as deputies) are empowered to attend all of the duties of the censores specified in this senatus consultum ultimum and in the legal code of Nova Roma, in cooperation with the officers of the Censorial Office, appointed by the last censores in office.

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