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date: 28 November 2020

lex curiatalocked

  • Andrew Drummond


In the late republic a law carried through the curiate assembly (represented by thirty lictors) was deemed necessary to the full legitimacy of those holding the upper, and perhaps also the lower, magistracies (cf. especially M. *Valerius Messalla(2) ‘Rufus’ (consul 53 bce) in Gell. NA 13. 15. 4, although the text is controversial). See comitia; magistracy, roman. The centuriate assembly passed a comparable law for *censors. This and the use of the archaic curiae (see curia(1)) suggest that the practice of passing a curiate law is ancient and could even go back to the monarchy, although only *Cicero (Rep. 2. 25, etc. ) and Tacitus (1) (Ann. 11. 22. 4) explicitly ascribe it to the regal period. See rex; rome, history. The most significant modern theories of its (original) function are: (i) it conferred *imperium on those magistrates entitled to it; (ii) it conferred rights to auspices (see auspicium); (iii) it defined, conferred, or confirmed a magistrate's powers in general; (iv) it acknowledged or recognized the assumption of office; (v) it was an oath of obedience.

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