Comitia tributa

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The Roman Republic ( res publica Romana ) formally divided the legislative power into three separate assemblies, the comitia centuriata , the comitia tributa and the concilium plebis .

The comitia tributa , also called comitia populi tributa (tribute comitia ), comprised patricians and plebeians , divided among the 35 "tribes" ( tribus ) into which all Roman citizens were classified for administrative and electoral purposes. The great majority of the urban population of Rome belonged to the four urban tribes, and since the individual votes were not decisive here either - as with the comitia centuriata , the voting was done indirectly within the tribe, which in turn only had one vote in the comitia tributa - election results were mainly dependent on the behavior of the 31 rural tribes. The comitia tributa originally met in the Comitium , then from 145 BC onwards. In the Roman Forum . They chose the curular aediles ( aediles curules ; since the introduction of this office in 367 BC), the quaestors (since 447 BC), the military tribunes ( tribuni militum ) and various lower (for example vigintisexviri ) or extraordinary magistrates . More and more court hearings were held in front of them until the dictator Sulla established the permanent courts of justice.

The role of the Senate's action on the tribute committees has been inconsistent. As in the case of the central committee, there was no way of circumventing high magistrates who wanted to introduce bills to the assembly, because a senate resolution was necessary for this . The situation was different in relation to the tribunes , because the Senate had no authority over them.

During his consulate in 88 BC In BC Sulla issued a series of leges Corneliae , which radically changed the political structure of the republic. His third law forbade the concilium plebis and the comitia tributa to discuss laws that had not been introduced by a senatus consultum . His fifth law stripped these two of their legislative functions, so that all legislation lay with the nobility-dominated central committee. The tribal meetings were thereby limited to the election of certain magistrates and the management of negotiations, which, however, could not be started without authorization by a senatus consultum .

These reforms were reversed by the Populares under the leadership of Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Cinna , reintroduced by Sulla during his dictatorship rei publicae constituendae and suspended again after his death. They represent one of the most far-reaching interventions in the constitution of the Roman state, both in the republic and in the principate .



  1. ^ Wolfgang Kunkel with Roland Wittmann : State order and state practice of the Roman Republic. Second part. The magistrate . Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-33827-5 (by Wittmann completed edition of the work left unfinished by Kunkel). P. 638 f. (Problem area: upper magistrate); P. 637 (Problem area: People's Tribunate)