censor

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censor

(sĕn`sər), title of two magistrates of ancient Rome (from c.443 B.C. to the time of Domitian). They took the census (by which they assessed taxation, voting, and military service) and supervised public behavior. They also had charge of public works and filled vacancies among the senators and knights.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Censor

 

in ancient Rome, one of the highest magistracies. There were two censors, who were elected by the comitia centuriata (Centuriate Assembly) once every five years. According to classical tradition, the office was created in 443 B.C. Originally held only by patricians, it was opened to plebeians in 351 B.C. The censors conducted the census, supervised morals, compiled lists of senators and equites (after the late fourth century), and administered state finances. The office gradually lost its importance, and under Sulla the censors were essentially deprived of their authority. Beginning with Julius Caesar in the mid-first century B.C, the Roman ruler assumed the power of the censors. Subsequently, in the imperial age the office was eliminated.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

censor

1. (in republican Rome) either of two senior magistrates elected to keep the list of citizens up to date, control aspects of public finance, and supervise public morals
2. Psychoanal the postulated factor responsible for regulating the translation of ideas and desires from the unconscious to the conscious mind
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005