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While the consuls were thus occupied in their widely separated spheres of action, the censors, M. Livius and C. Claudius, were busy in Rome. They revised the roll of senators, and Q. Fabius Maximus was again chosen as Leader of the House. Seven names were struck off the roll, but none of them had ever filled a curule chair.  The censors insisted upon the exact fulfilment of the contracts which had been made for the repair of public buildings, and they made additional contracts for the construction of a road from the Forum Boarium to the temple of Venus with public seats on each side of it and also for the building of a temple to Mater Magna on the Palatine.  They also imposed a new tax in the shape of a duty on salt. In Rome and throughout Italy it had been sold at a sextans, and the contractors were bound to sell it at the old price in Rome but allowed to charge a higher price in the country towns and markets.  It was commonly believed that one of the censors had devised this tax to spite the people because he had once been unjustly condemned by them, and it was said that the rise in the price of salt pressed most heavily on those tribes who had been instrumental in procuring his condemnation.  It was owing to this that Livius got the name of Salinator.  The lustrum was closed later than usual because the censors had sent commissioners into the provinces to ascertain the number of Roman citizens who were serving in the armies.  Including these, the total number as shown in the census amounted to 214,000. The lustrum was closed by C. Claudius Nero. This year, for the first time, a return was furnished of the population of the twelve colonies, the censors of the colonies themselves furnishing the lists so that the military strength and financial position of each might be permanently recorded in the archives of the State.  Then followed the revision of the equites. It so happened that both the censors had government horses. When they came to the Pollian tribe, which contained the name of M. Livius, the usher hesitated about citing the censor himself.  "Cite M. Livius," exclaimed Nero and then, whether it was that the old enmity still survived or that he was pluming himself upon an ill-timed strictness, he turned to Livius and ordered him to sell his horse as he had been condemned by the verdict of the people.  When they were going through the Arniensian tribe and came to his colleague's name, Livius ordered C. Claudius Nero to sell his horse for two reasons, first because he had borne false witness against him, and secondly because he had not been sincere in his reconciliation with him.  Thus at the close of their censorship a dispute arose equally discreditable to both, each besmirching the other's good name at the cost of his own.  After C. C. Nero had made the usual affidavit that he had acted in accordance with the laws, he went up to the treasury and amongst the names of those whom he left disfranchised he placed that of his colleague. He was followed by M. Livius who took still more dramatic action.  With the exception of the Maecian tribe, who had neither condemned him nor afterwards, in spite of his condemnation, made him either consul or censor, Livius reduced to the status of aerarii the whole of the remaining tribes of the Roman people on the ground that they had condemned an innocent man, and afterwards had made him consul and censor.  He argued that they must admit that either they were acting wrongfully as judges in the first instance, or afterwards as electors.  Amongst the thirty-four tribes, C. C. Nero, he said, would be disfranchised, and if there were any precedent for disfranchising the same man twice he would have inserted his name specially. This rivalry between the censors in affixing a stigma on each other was deplorable, but the sharp lesson administered to the people for their inconstancy was just what a [16??] censor ought to have given and befitted the seriousness of the times.  As the censors had fallen into disfavour one of the tribunes of the plebs, Cnaeus Baebius, thought it a good opportunity for advancing himself at their expense, and appointed a day for their impeachment. The project was defeated by the unanimous vote of the senate, who were determined that the censorship should not for the future be at the mercy of popular caprice.
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