Servius Tullius


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Servius Tullius

 

Lived in the sixth century B.C.. According to Roman legend, the sixth king of ancient Rome, from 578 B.C.. to 534–533 B.C.

Roman tradition associated the name of Servius Tullius with reforms that had helped establish the system of government. The most important of these was the centurial reform, which created a new system of territorial tribes to replace the ethnic tribal organization of early Rome and incorporated the plebs into the Roman community. According to the reform, the entire population of Rome, both patrician and plebeian, was divided into five classes, or orders, according to property qualifications; each class was to furnish a fixed number of military units called centuries (hundreds) and was to receive a corresponding number of votes in the comitia centuriata (Centuriate Assembly).

There was a total of 193 centuries, apportioned as follows: the first class, consisting of persons with property worth 100,000 asses or more, furnished 98 centuries; the second class (75,000 asses), 22 centuries; the third class (50,000 asses), 20 centuries; the fourth class (25,000 asses), 22 centuries; and the fifth class (11,000 asses), 30 centuries. The proletarii (those not included in the five classes) furnished one century and thus had one vote in the popular assembly. Servius Tullius is also credited with religious reforms and the building of a city wall.

REFERENCE

Nemirovskii, A. I.”K voprosu o vremeni i znachenii tsenturiatnoi re-formyServiiaTulliia.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1959, no.2.
References in classic literature ?
* Proletariat: Derived originally from the Latin PROLETARII, the name given in the census of Servius Tullius to those who were of value to the state only as the rearers of offspring (PROLES); in other words, they were of no importance either for wealth, or position, or exceptional ability.
The last king of early Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ("Tarquin the Proud"), was a vicious despot who came to power by murdering his predecessor, the aged monarch Servius Tullius. Tarquin is said to have been aided in his misdeed by Tullius' daughter Tullia, with whom he had developed an adulterous liaison.
The remaining eight papers -- all quite short and highly readable -- cover the popularity of tyrants (Salmon), the cohesiveness of legislation (Osborne, again), the susceptibility to change of early Sparta (Hodkinson), the archaic image of citizenship (Robertson), and the concept and cult of themis (Stafford), as well as several topics which leave the territory of the polis: a preliminary survey of some ethnos sanctuaries (Morgan), a comparison between Cleisthenes and Servius Tullius (Smith), and a reassessment of early Greek overseas settlement (Wilson) which argues convincingly that the conventional distinction between apoikia and emporion was not made, and does not apply, before the fourth century.

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