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Jauchart

How were Senators chosen?

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The senators were elected by the kings and later by the consuls, sometime between 316 BC - 312 BC the Lex Ovinia was enacted and gave the censors (elected every five years) the authority to appoint (and expell) senators this action were known as the Lectio Senatus, usually they elected curul magistrates to the senate and if there were a vacancy they elected other magistrates as senators.

 

Initially the censors were free to freely choose new senators, in the end of the second century BC the Lex Atinia force they to appoint all those whom served as tribunes of the plebs between the time of each lectio, in 81 BC the dictator Sulla determine that all ten questors would become senators at the end of their year of office.

 

In the imperial era the privilege to appoint senators transfered to the emperor.

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Weren't the Censors constrained by property requirements? Or was that an effect of Sulla's Reforms too? They certainly had discretion to remove Senators on the basis of conduct.

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"Freedman and sons of freedmen were usually not admitted. It is also evident that senators had to be qualified for membership of the equestrian order, which meant ownership of landed property worth 400,000 sesterces." Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edition.

 

In the imperial era, the requirement was for 1 million sesterces.

Edited by Ursus

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