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Among the Romans the socii, as distinguished in constitutional law from Roman subjects, were the allies who, while their independence was recognized, stood in a more or less dependent relation to the Roman State. Under the Republic, up to the time when the right of citizenship was conferred on all the free inhabitants of Italy (B.C. 89), the Latins, and the Italian communities on the same footing with them, enjoyed a privileged position among the other allies. In the military organization of the Roman Republic the contingents which they furnished were called socii in contradistinction to the legions and the non-Italian auxiliaries. (See Exercitus; and cf. Legio.) Socii Navāles are the crews, furnished by the allied towns, of the ships of war. See Mommsen, Staatsrecht, iii. pp. 645-718; and the article Foederatae Civitates.

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