CITY OF ROME: Security


Livy   39. 14 (186 B.C.)

The consuls [Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Marcius Philippus] ordered the Curule Aediles to search out all the priests of this cult, and to keep them under house-arrest for the inquiry. The Plebeian Aediles were to see to it that no celebration of the rites should take place in secret. The Triumviri Capitales were authorized to arrange watches throughout the city, to make sure that no nocturnal assemblies were held, and to take precautions against outbreaks of fire; while five regional officers were to act as assistants to the Triumviri, each of them being responsible for the buildings in his own district...."

Plutarch   Life of Marcus Crassus 2:

He was conspicuous for the way in which he never once refused to accept or to buy up property at the time when Sulla, after his occupation of Rome, was selling the goods of those whom he had put to death (81 B.C.). Sulla considered and indeed called this property the spoils of war, and was anxious that as many and as influential people as possible should share the burden of his own guilt. Crassus also observed what frequent and everyday occurrences in Rome were fire and the collapse of buildings owing to their size and their close proximity to each other. He therefore bought slaves who were architects and builders, and then, when he had more than 500 of them he would buy up houses that were either on fire themselves or near the scene of the fire. The owners of these properties, in the terror and uncertainty of the moment, would let them go for next to nothing. In this way most of Rome came into his possession. Yet though he owned so many workmen, he built no houses for himself except the one in which he lived. In fact he used to say that people who were fond of building needed no enemies; they would ruin themselves by themselves.

Lex Julia Municipalis (Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 6085, 20-21):

As for the roads which are or shall be within the City of Rome, or within one mile of the City of Rome, and within the limits of continuous habitation, it shall be the duty of every person before whose property such a road shall run to maintain that road to the satisfaction of the Aedile in whose charge that portion of the City shall be assigned by this law.

Municipal Charter of Urso [Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum II Supp. 5439]:

Whenever a majority of the Decurions present at a meeting shall have decided to call out armed men for the purpose of defending the territories of the colony, it shall be lawful, without risk of personal penalty, for the responsible Duovir or Prefect invested with judicial power in such a manner to call out under arms colonists, resident aliens, and attributed persons: and the said Duovir . . . shall have the same authority and the same power of punishment as belongs to a Military Tribune of the Roman People in an army of the Roman People . . . .

Velleius Paterculus History of Rome II. 91:

Shortly afterwards [19 B.C.] a similar attempt [against the life of Augustus] was made by Egnatius Rufus, a man who in all respects resembled a gladiator rather than a senator. Securing the favor of the People in his Aedileship by putting out fires with his own gang of slaves, he increased it daily to such an extent that the People gave him the Praetorship immediately after the Aedileship. . . . After being thrust into prison with his fellow conspirators he died the death is life richly deserved . . . .

Cassius Dio 54. 2.4 [ca. 22 B.C.]:

He committed the charge of all the festivals to the Praetors, commanding that an appropriation be given them from the Aerarium, and also forbidding any one of them to spend more than another from his own means on these festivals, or to give a gladiatorial combat unless the Senate decreed it, or, in fact, oftener than twice a year or with more than 120 men. To the Curule Aediles he entrusted the putting out of fires, for which purpose he granted them 600 slaves as workers.

January 26, 2010 12:55 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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