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Gaius Paulinus Maximus

Roman Tribes.

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I know there were 35 tribes in Rome and that you had to be a Roman citizen to be a member of a tribe, and unfortunately that's about as far as it goes. So what I'd like to know is.....

 

Who or how was it determined which tribe a citizen belonged to? Was it hereditary?

 

Where some tribes more powerful than others? If so, which one's?

 

Is there a list or source that tells us which tribes some of the more famous and powerful Romans belonged to?

 

Here's the list of 35 tribes.......

 

Aemilia (Aem.)

Aniensis (Ani.)

Arnensis (Arn.)

Camilia (Cam.)

Claudia (Cla.)

Clustumina (Clu.)

Collina (Col.)

Cornelia (Cor.)

Esquilina (Esq.)

Fabia (Fab.)

Falerna (Fal.)

Galeria (Gal.)

Horatia (Hor.)

Lemonia (Lem.)

Maecia (Mae.)

Menenia (Men.)

Oufentina (Ouf.)

Palatina (Pal.)

Papiria (Pap.)

Poblilia (Pob.)

Pollia (Pol.)

Pomptina (Pom.)

Pupinia (Pup.)

Quirina (Qui.)

Romilia (Rom.)

Sabatina (Sab.)

Scaptia (Sca.)

Sergia (Ser.)

Stellatina (Ste.)

Suburana (Sub.)

Teretina (Ter.)

Tromentina (Tro.)

Velina (Vel.)

Voltinia (Vol.)

Voturia (Vot.)

 

If anyone can add anymore info on the 35 tribes that would be great.

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Who or how was it determined which tribe a citizen belonged to? Was it hereditary?

 

As the name of one's tribe could be an element of one's own name (for male Roman citizens), it's my understanding that one would belong to the tribe of one's father if one's father had been a Roman citizen. This is despite the fact that the tribes were geographically based voting units.

 

Newly made Roman citizens, such as freedmen and sponsored foreigners, would be assigned to one of the existing tribes, but generally they went to the four urban tribes, named for specific areas of Rome: Collina, Esquilina, Palatina, or Suburana. If a citizen moved to a new area, he didn't change his tribe -- his assigned tribe was a permanent feature of his name.

 

Where some tribes more powerful than others? If so, which one's?

 

The political importance of the tribes changed over time (as the number of tribes rose to 35) with the non-urban based tribes (representing landowners) carrying more weight -- until the creation of the Comitia Tributa (which formed one of two assemblies of Rome), which gave more say in political matters to the urban dwellers and plebeians. (Someone who is more versed in Rome's politics, please correct me if I'm a bit off here).

 

Is there a list or source that tells us which tribes some of the more famous and powerful Romans belonged to?

 

Not that I know of, but what a wonderful project that would make!

 

-- Nephele

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Is there a list or source that tells us which tribes some of the more famous and powerful Romans belonged to?

 

Not that I know of, but what a wonderful project that would make!

 

-- Nephele

 

I thought that it was probably wishful thinking on my part, but your right though, it would certainly make a wonderful project and interesting reading, but to be honest I wouldn't know where to start looking......

 

Thanks for the info anyway Neph.

 

click HERE for a bit more info on each individual tribe.

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THIS would be a good place to start looking......

 

Two introductory chapters deal with the origins and character of the tribes, and - less convincingly - with the respective roles of censors and people assigning them. Part i covers the geographical distribution of the tribes and contains separate chapters on such topics as the location of the original tribal area's, the order of the tribe, and the freedman's vote; and part ii consists of a list (with comment and analysis) of all senators who tribe can be determined with any degree of probability.

 

I don't suppose you have access to this at your library do you Neph?

Edited by Gaius Paulinus Maximus

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THIS would be a good place to start looking......

 

I don't suppose you have access to this at your library do you Neph?

 

Ooo, great find, GPM! Yes, I do have JSTOR access at my library. Unfortunately, I don't have remote access, so I won't be able to read that article until I'm back at work tomorrow morning. Can't wait! PM me your e-mail addy, if you like, and I'll e-mail you a copy tomorrow (if you don't already have JSTOR access of your own).

 

Meanwhile, I've put together a little chronology of when the various Roman tribes came into existence. Quotes in dark blue are by Dr. Leonhard Schmitz from his article titled "Tribus" in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Indented quotes are from Livy and Broughton.

 

"The four city tribes were called by the same name as the regions which they occupied..."

 

SUBURANA

ESQUILINA

COLLINA

PALATINA

 

"For the city being divided into four parts, according to the regions and hills which were then inhabited, [servius Tullius] called these divisions tribes, as I think, from the tribute." -- Livy, 1.43

 

"The names of the sixteen country tribes which continued to belong to Rome after the conquest of Porsenna, are in their alphabetical order as follow..."

 

AEMILIA

CAMILIA

CORNELIA

FABIA

GALERIA

HORATIA

LEMONIA

MENENIA

PAPIRIA

POLLIA

PAPIRIA

PUPINIA

ROMILIA

SERGIA

VETURIA

VOLTINIA

 

"As Rome gradually acquired possession of more of the surrounding territory, the number of tribes also was gradually increased. When Appius Claudius, with his numerous train of clients, emigrated to Rome, lands were assigned to them in the district where the Anio flows into the Tiber, and a new tribe...was formed..."

 

CLAUDIA

 

"For Attus Clausus, afterwards called at Rome Appius Claudius...fled from Regillum to Rome, accompanied by a great number of clients. The rights of citizenship and land on the other side of the Anio were conferred on them. It was called the old Claudian tribe, and was increased by the addition of some tribesmen who had come from that country." -- Livy, 2.16

 

"Then Ap. Claudius and P. Servilius were elected consuls [495 BCE]...The tribes at Rome were increased to twenty-one." -- Livy 2.21

 

"This tribe, which Livy (ii. 16, if the reading is correct) calls vetus Claudia tribus, was subsequently enlarged, and was then designated by the name..."

 

CRUSTUMINA or CLUSTUMINA

 

"This name is the first instance of a country tribe being named after a place, for the sixteen older ones all derived their names from persons or heroes who were in the same relation to them, as the Attic heroes called [eponumoi] were to the Attic phylae. In B.C. 387, the number of tribes was increased to twenty-five by the addition of four new ones..."

 

STELLATINA

TROMENTINA

SABATINA

ARNIENSIS

 

"The successive interreges were, Marcus Manlius Capitolinus, Servius Sulpicius Camerinus, and Lucius Valerius Potitus [387 BCE]... Four tribes were added from the new citizens, the Stellatine, the Tormentine, the Sabatine, and the Arnian, and they made up the number of twenty-five tribes." -- Livy, 6.5

 

"387 B.C...Four new tribes were created out of the former territory of the Veii..." -- Broughton,
The Magistrates of the Roman Republic
, Volume I, p. 99.

 

"In 358 B.C. two more...were formed of Volscians..."

 

POMPTINA

PUBLILIA

 

"To this disaster moreover was added, the laying waste of the Roman territory, which the Privernatians, and afterwards the people of Velitrae, committed by a sudden incursion. The same year two tribes, the Pomptine and Publilian, were added." -- Livy, 7.15

 

"In B.C. 332, the Censors Q. Publilius Philo and Sp. Postumius increased the number of tribes to twenty-nine, by the addition of the..."

 

MAECIA

SCAPTIA

 

"The same year the census was performed, and the new citizens were rated; on their account the Maescian and Scaptian tribes were added: the censors who added them were Quintus Publilius Philo and Spurius Postumius." -- Livy, 8.17

 

"332 B.C...Censors Q. Publilius...Sp. Postumius...Enrolled new Latin citizens, adding the tribes Maecia and Scaptia..." -- Broughton,
The Magistrates of the Roman Republic
, Volume I, p.141-142.

 

"In B.C. 318...were added..."

 

UFENTINA

FALERINA

 

"Marcus Foslius Flaccinator and Lucius Plautius Venno were the next raised to the consulship [318 BCE]... At Rome, two additional tribes were constituted, the Ufentine and Falerine." -- Livy, 9.20

 

"In B.C. 299 two others...were added by the censors..."

 

ANIENSIS

TERENTINA

 

"The general survey was performed, this year, by Publius Sempronius Sophus and Publius Sulpicius Saverrio, censors; and two tribes were added, the Aniensian and Terentine." -- Livy, 10.9

 

"300 B.C...Censors P. Sempronius...P. Sulpicius...confirmed by Livy (10.9.14), who has them complete the lustration in 299, after adding the tribes Aniensis and Teretina." -- Broughton,
The Magistrates of the Roman Republic
, Volume I, p. 172.

 

"...and at last, in B.C. 241, the number of tribes was augmented to thirty-five, by the addition of the..."

 

QUIRINA

VELINA

 

"This number was never afterwards increased, as none of the conquered nations were after this incorporated with the sovereign Roman state."

 

-- Nephele

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THIS would be a good place to start looking......

 

I don't suppose you have access to this at your library do you Neph?

 

Ah, I just realized that this is a book review, not an article on the Roman tribes. I checked with Amazon and I see that the reviewed book, The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The Thirty-Five Urban and Rural Tribes by Lily Ross Taylor is only available as a used copy -- and quite a pricey one at that. I'll have to see about the possibility of interloaning this book from another library that may already have it, as I'm not certain I'll buy the expensive used copy for my own library.

 

-- Nephele

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THIS would be a good place to start looking......

 

I don't suppose you have access to this at your library do you Neph?

 

Ah, I just realized that this is a book review, not an article on the Roman tribes. I checked with Amazon and I see that the reviewed book, The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The Thirty-Five Urban and Rural Tribes by Lily Ross Taylor is only available as a used copy -- and quite a pricey one at that. I'll have to see about the possibility of interloaning this book from another library that may already have it, as I'm not certain I'll buy the expensive used copy for my own library.

 

-- Nephele

 

Yeah, I knew it was just a review but I had my fingers crossed that you'd have the book at your library, but never mind, if you do manage to get your hands on a copy then that would be great because it seems from the review that it could answer a lot of our questions.

 

It isn't even listed on Amazon U.K. so the chances of me getting hold of it are pretty slim and especially at that price a well!!

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Yeah, I knew it was just a review but I had my fingers crossed that you'd have the book at your library, but never mind, if you do manage to get your hands on a copy then that would be great because it seems from the review that it could answer a lot of our questions.

 

It isn't even listed on Amazon U.K. so the chances of me getting hold of it are pretty slim and especially at that price a well!!

 

I found a local university library that has the book, and I'm picking it up tonight! Will share information here tomorrow, after I've had a chance to read relish this book. :ph34r:

 

-- Nephele

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Yeah, I knew it was just a review but I had my fingers crossed that you'd have the book at your library, but never mind, if you do manage to get your hands on a copy then that would be great because it seems from the review that it could answer a lot of our questions.

 

It isn't even listed on Amazon U.K. so the chances of me getting hold of it are pretty slim and especially at that price a well!!

 

I found a local university library that has the book, and I'm picking it up tonight! Will share information here tomorrow, after I've had a chance to read relish this book. :lol:

 

-- Nephele

 

Good work Neph :ph34r: , can't wait to hear your findings.

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Lily Ross Taylor's book is the basic work on the topic and has not, apparently, been superceded since the sixties. It has a fold out map with the geographic locations of the tribes and an appendix with the tribal affiliations of senators that are known.

 

The"power" of the tribes was theoretically equal, but in reality the individual voters in the rural tribes carried more weight than those in the urban tribes. The tribal assembly used a bloc or unit voting system. A majority of voters present carried each tribe, and a majority of tribes carried the assembly. Since when voting took place there were usually more voters present in the urban tribes than in the rural tribes, the individual vote of a rural tribesman carried more weight. There were no absentee ballots in Rome so members of rural tribes who resided in the city (including senators and businessmen and displaced farmers from the countryside) and those who might travel to the city to vote on a particular measure (like Gracchus' land bill) were the most sought after voters.

Edited by Pompieus

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I've been reading through Taylor's book and see that Pompeius here has nicely and succinctly summarized Taylor's research pertaining to those questions you'd asked, GPM, regarding which tribes held the most power.

 

The"power" of the tribes was theoretically equal, but in reality the individual voters in the rural tribes carried more weight than those in the urban tribes.

 

Taylor makes it clear that the reason why the rural tribes carried more weight than the urban tribes is because the aristocrats of Rome (who were also the landowners) primarily belonged to the rural tribes. Freedmen were generally assigned (by the Censors) to the urban tribes, which also consisted of tradesmen, craftsmen, and immigrants. Of the four urban tribes, it appears that the Suburana and the Esquilina were the weakest. Taylor states:

 

"The inferiority of the Suburana and the Esquilina comes out clearly in the exclusion of these two tribes from the Augustan assembly of senators and knights which served for the destinatio of consuls and praetors. As I have stated elsewhere, that exculusion was based on republican precedents, and those two tribes had probably had a less favorable place inthe comitia, perhaps being excluded from the lot for the centuria praerogativa of the centuriate assembly, which the Augustan assembly replaced." (p. 148)

 

As for the most powerful of the tribes... If "power" is to be deemed by the number of senators that could be found within each tribe, then Taylor gives the following ranking (based on "chance discoveries of inscriptions and incidental allusions in the sources") in her chapter titled "Analysis of the Lists of Senators and Tribes." Starting with "most powerful" and working downwards (Taylor's quotes are in dark blue):

 

"The largest number, including some queried names, is seventeen in the..."

 

PAPIRIA

 

"...with many representatives of the Fulvii and the Porcii. Next come the..."

 

AEMILIA

CORNELIA

MAECIA

QUIRINA

SERGIA

TERENTINA

VELINA

 

"...with twelve to fifteen nomina. The smallest numbers, omitting the Esquilina with no names, are in the..."

 

VOTURIA (3)

SCAPTIA (2)

COLLINA (2)

SUBURANA (1)

 

I'm still reading Taylor's book -- it's fascinating, and I've decided I'll have to get a copy of my own.

 

-- Nephele

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To amplify a bit... The tribal organization always subordinated the industrial population of the city to the rural landowners (senators, wealthy landowners, businessmen who would invest in land, even the small farmers). The four urban tribes probably always had far more members than the rural tribes, and freedmen and men under some sort of punishment were apparently assigned to the urban tribes.

 

The tribes were the most important political organization, they had headquarters in Rome and elected officers called curatores and divisores who helped with the census, were present at elections and distributed gifts to the tribesmen from leading members.

 

No new tribes were established after 241BC, but new areas were assigned to the existing tribes so that a single tribe might have five or six different districts all over Italy. Cicero's tribe - the Cornelia - included Arpinum, Nomentium (in Latium), and areas of Umbria, Bruttium and Apulia.

 

Also, sometime after 241, the centuriate assembly was reorganized so that the centuries were associated with, or became subdivisions of the tribes (Cic. Planc.49). It's not quite clear how this worked, but the most popular interpretation is that each of the five voting classes had one century of iuniores (men under age 45) and one century of seniores from each of the 35 tribes.

Edited by Pompieus

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GPM, I know you asked me this in PM, but I'll post it here for anyone else who's interested in this information. I checked Taylor's book for the information you'd wanted, but she doesn't really break down the population figures by tribes for the last century BCE that you're interested in.

 

However, she does give a listing of the distribution of the newly enfranchised Latin colonies into the existing voting tribes, following the Social War. Here's what she gives:

 

AEMILIA: Suessa Aurunea, site of an old Auruncan town, placed not in the Terentina, the tribe of the Aurunci, but in the tribe of neighboring Formiae; Copia and Vibo Valentia in Bruttium.

 

ANIENSIS: Carsioli in the Aequi, whose territory was in this tribe; Ariminum in Aemilia and Cremona in the Transpadana.

 

CLAUDIA: Luceria in Samnium.

 

FABIA: Alba Fuccens on the border of the Aequi; Luca in Etruria.

 

HORATIA: Venusia in Apulia and Spoletium in Umbria.

 

LEMONIA: Bononia in Aemilia.

 

MAECIA: Hatria in the Praetuttii; Paestum in Lucania; Brundisium in Apulia.

 

PAPIRIA: Sutrium in Etruria; Narnia in Umbria.

 

POBLILIA: Cales in Campania.

 

POMPTINA: Circeii, which adjoined the tribe.

 

ROMILIA: Sora on the border of Greater Latium.

 

STELLATINA: Nepet in Etruria; Beneventum on the border of Samnium.

 

TERETINA: Interamna Liernas, which adjoined this tribe.

 

TROMENTINA: Aesernia in Samnium.

 

VELINA: Firmum in Picenum, most of which was in the Velina; Aquileia in Istria.

 

VOTURIA: Placentia in Aemilia.

 

Taylor wrote: "I turn now from the most favored group, the Latin colonies, to the allies who had revolted against Rome." The following is a list I compiled from Taylor's section on the tribes assigned to Italians in the Revolt.

 

SERGIA: "All the Marsi and the Paeligni were placed in the Sergia, in which some of the Paeligni may have been registered earlier..."

 

ARNENSIS: "...the Frentani and the Marrucini..."

 

QUIRINA: "The Vestini in the revolt, dwellers in villages in the region, were presumably, like the people of Pinna who were faithful to Rome, placed in the Quirina in which other peoples of the Vestini had already been enfranchised.

 

VOLTINIA: "The Samnites were put in the Voltinia..."

 

POMPTINA: "...the Lucanians in the Pomptina..."

 

GALERIA: "Some of the Hirpini were placed in the Galeria, perhaps the tribe of viritane awards to Scipio's troops..."

 

CORNELIA: "...but the people of Aeclanum, the chief town of the Hirpini, were put in the Cornelia."

 

MENENIA: "A strip along the Campanian coast, including Pompeii, which was among the rebels, was enrolled in the Menenia, perhaps already the tribe of Salernum."

 

CLUSTUMINA: "A number of Umbrian communities in a continous region east of the Tiber were placed in the Clustumina, extended from the southerly territory of Forum Novum which, probably with Interamna Nahars, was already in that tribe."

 

FABIA: "...which became the tribe of Asculum Picenum..."

 

FALERNA: "...in which Telesia was placed..."

 

Hope that helps some.

 

-- Nephele

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