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Timeline - Censors of Rome During the Roman Republic

Background on Censors

The fifth Roman king, Servius Tullius, divided the Romans into tribes, creating new ones in addition to the 3 original ones (ramnes, tities, luceres), and carried out the first census to distinguish the people into ranks based on wealth and property. After the dissolution of the monarchy, consuls took over the task of taking the census, and then in 443, a new magistracy was created to carry out the task of taking the census. In addition to serving as census-takers, these high ranking magistrates acted as censors dealing with morality, and were called censores. By being two in number they carried on the tradition of the dual consuls.

• The comitia curiata elected the censores.

• At first the censors' term of office was a lustrum or about 5 years, but it was soon reduced to a period of 18 months.

• Although the censors were awarded no imperium, and therefore had no bodyguarding lictors, the office was second only to the office of dictator in dignity.

• The dictator Q. Publilius Philo proposed what are called the Leges Publiliae (339 B.C.). The first of these laws was one to make one of the censors a plebeian. According to "The Roman Censors," by Robert Vincent Cram (Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 51, In Honor of William Scott Ferguson. (1940), pp. 71-110.), the first plebeian censor was C. Marcius in 351 B.C.

• According to the same source, the censorship ended in A.D. 22 when the emperor assumed the role of censor.

• In 280 the first plebeian censor performed the purification rite (lustrum) for the people of Rome.

• In 131 B.C. both censors were plebeian for the first time.

• The censorship lasted from 443-22 B.C.

Livy IV 8.2-6.
Censor - William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.
T.J. Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome. Routledge: 1995. [A valuable addition to your home library.]

Index of Roman Timelines | The Census | Roman Timelines

Year Patrician Plebeian
280 Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus Maximus
275 Quintus Aemilius Papus Gaius Fabricius Luscinus
272 Lucius Papirius Praetextatus Manius Curius Dentatus
269 Lucius Aemilius Barbula Quintus Marcius Philippus
265 Gnaeus Cornelius Blasio Gaius Marcius Rutilus Censorinus
258 Lucius Cornelius Scipio Gaius Duilius
253 Lucius Postumius Decimus Junius Pera
252 Manius Valerius Maximus Messalla Publius Sempronius Sophus
247 Aulus Manlius Torquatus Aulus Atilius Caiatinus
241 Marcus Fabius Buteo Gaius Aurelius Cotta
236 Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus Quintus Lutatius Cerco
234 Aulus Postumius Albinus Quintus Atilius Bulbus
231 Titus Manlius Torquatus Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
230 Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus
225 Gaius Claudius Centho Marcus Junius Pera
220 Lucius Aemilius Papus Gaius Flaminius
214 Publius Furius Philus Marcus Atilius Regulus
210 Lucius Veturius Philo Publius Licinius Crassus Dives
209 Marcus Cornelius Cethegus Publius Sempronius Tuditanus
204 Gaius Claudius Nero Marcus Livius Salinator
199 Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Publius Aelius Paetus
194 Gaius Cornelius Cethegus Sextus Aelius PaetusCatus
189 Titus Quinctius Flaminius Marcus Claudius Marcellus
184 Lucius Valerius Flaccus Marcus Porcius Cato
179 Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Marcus Fulvius Nobilior
174 Aulus Postumius Albinus Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
169 Gaius Claudius Pulcher Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus
164 Lucius Aemilius Paullus Quintus Marcius Philippus
159 Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum Marcus Popillius Laenas
154 Marcus Valerius Messalla Gaius Cassius Longinus
147 Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Lupus Lucius Marcius Censorinus
142 Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Lucius Mummius Achaicus
136 Appius Claudius Pulcher Quintus Fulvius Nobilior
131 - Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus
& Quintus Pompeius
125 Gnaeus Servilius Caepio Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla
120 - Quintus Caecilius Metellus Baliarus
& Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi
115 - Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus
& Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
109 Marcus Aemilius Scaurus Marcus Livius Drusus
108 Quintus Fabius Maximus Eburnus Gaius Licinius Getha
102 - Gaius Caecilius Metellus Caprarius
& QuintusCaecilius Metellus Numidicus
97 Lucius Valerius Flaccus Marcus Antonius
92 - Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
& Lucius Licinius Crassus
89 Lucius Julius Caesar Publius Licinius Crassus
86 - Lucius Marcius Philippus
& Marcus Perperna
70 Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus Lucius Gellius Publicola
65 - Marcus Licinius Crassus
& Quintus Lutatius Catulus
28 Imperator Caesar Augustus Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
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