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LOCUPLE´TES (or adsidui) were Roman freeholders of land who were included in the five classes of Servius as liable for summons to service or tributum. Under this head came all who held land valued over 11,000 asses (cf. also Liv. 45.15, “eos qui praedium praediave rustica pluris H. S. triginta millium haberent censendi jus factum est:” for the arrangement of the classes, see COMITIA). The state was therefore divided into adsidui (or locupletes), i.e. those who had property, and proletarii, “begetters of children,” who were counted by heads, not by property [see PROLETARII]. This is shown in Cic. de Rep. 2.22, 40: “Servius Tullius quum locupletes adsiduos appellasset ab aere dando, eos qui aut non plus mille quingentos aeris aut omnino nihil in suum censum praeter caput detulissent, proletarios nominavit, ut ex iis quasi proles, id est quasi progenies civitatis expectari videretur.” As to the origin of the two words, for adsiduus we may safely reject the etymology given by Cicero, “ab aere dando,” and that suggested in Gellius, 10.16, “a muneris faciendi adsiduitate.” It means no doubt “settled on the soil,” or permanently domiciled (from adsidere; cf. residuus) = the German ansässig (Mommsen, Hist. of Rome, 1.196): locuples is derived by Ovid (Ov. Fast. 5.280) from landholding, where locus is made equivalent to ager; and so Plin. Nat. 18.11, “Locupletes dicebant loci id est agri plenos.” But it is clear that this is not the natural sense of locus, [p. 2.71]and it is better with Mommsen (Staatsrecht, 3.237) to take it as referring to wealth of money and connect it with loculi, the money-chests. From the passage in Cic. Top. 2.10, “Cum lex adsiduo vindicem adsiduum esse jubeat, locupletem jubet locupleti; locuples enim est adsiduus, ut ait Aelius,” it is clear that adsiduus was the older term, written in the Twelve Tables (cf. Gellius, l.c.).

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