35 Tribes of Rome
"At the time when all the Roman citizens were contained in the three tribes of the Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, each of them was headed by a tribune, and these three tribunes represented their respective tribes in all civil, religious, and military affairs; that is to say, they were in the city the magistrates of their tribes, and performed the sacra on their behalf, and in times of war they were their military commanders."
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875.
Functions and Divisions of the Tribes
In the early days of Rome, there were only 3 tribes
- Tities and
Each tribe was headed by a tribune who acted as civil, religious and military magistrate for the tribe. Each tribe was divided into 10 voting wards (curiae). These 30 curiae formed the comitia curiata or curiate assembly.
The assembly of the tribes was called the comitia tributa. It was a court of appeal for cases in which the death penalty did not apply; it also acted as a legislative body.
Each tribe had 1 vote, so by the time there were 35 tribes, the 4, more heavily populated urban tribes had less power per person than the rural tribes.
From the mid-second century B.C., the name of a Roman citizen included the tribe in which he voted.