, AES HORDEA´RIUM
AES MILITA´RE, were the ancient terms for the pay of the Roman
soldiers, before the regular stipendium
introduced. The aes equestre
was the sum of money
given for the purchase of the horse of an eques; the aes
the sum of money paid yearly for the keep of the
horse of an eques--in other words, the pay of an eques; and the aes militare,
the pay of a foot-soldier. (Gaius,
The aes equestre
was probably introduced in the
Constitution of Servius Tullius, by way of compounding for the horse
previously supplied at the public cost to the country. It amounted,
according to Livy (1.43
), to 10,000 asses:
according to the method probably followed in Livy's estimates [CENSUS
], this sum represents 2000
libral asses, or pounds of copper. As each knight had two horses (Paul. p.
221)--one for himself, one for his attendant squire-this tallies with
Varro's statement (L. L.
publicum mille assarium esse.
The aes hordearium
was the money paid annually
by the state for the purchase of corn (hordeum
for the equi publici.
It was derived from the
contributions of the viduae et orbi,
unmarried women (whether widows or not), orphans, and perhaps also childless
old men, past the age for military service. The sum allowed to each knight
was 2000 asses, i. e. 400 pounds of copper: the total amount paid to the
1800 knights was therefore 720,000 libral asses. There can be little doubt
that this sum was levied upon the viduae et
in proportion to their rateable property, and paid into the
whence, like the aes equestre,
it was distributed by the tribuni aerarii
[q. v.]. Both Gaius (4.27) and
) expressly tell us that the knights
had a right of distraint (pignoris capio
against the tribuni
(or, as Gaius says,
is qui distribuebat
), and there is nothing
in the principles of Roman law to make us doubt this. The statement of
Cicero that this practice was introduced by Tarquinius Priscus is probably
only based upon the erroneous notion that it was borrowed from Corinth
2.20). Cf. Lange, Röm.
1.474-478; Marquardt, Röm, Staatsv.