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DEPONTA´NI SENES

DEPONTA´NI SENES a name given to men sixty years of age, hence called sexagenarii, because they were freed from the obligation of voting in the comitia; that is, of passing over the bridges (pontes) which led into the saepta, [p. 1.618]where the voting took place. [COMITIA p. 508 a.] This is the most probable explanation of the word; and it is doubtful whether men of sixty years of age were absolutely deprived of the franchise, though this was the case if we accept literally the statement that they were thrust back from voting, “de ponte dejiciebantur” (Fest. pp. 75, 334, M.). Some ancient writers supposed that the name depontani and reference to a barbarous custom of antiquity, that men of sixty years of age were thrown down from the pons sublicius into the Tiber, but this interpretation was repudiated by Varro and Verrius. (Fest. ll. cc.; Varr. ap. Non. p. 523; Cic. Rosc. Am. 35, 100; Ov. Fast. 5.623; Macrob. 1.5; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 32.

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