XXVII[27arg] The meaning of comitia calata, curiata, centsriata, and tribulta, and of concilium, and other related matters of the same kind.
IN the first book of the work of Laelius Felix addressed To Quintus Mucius it is said 1 that Labeo wrote 2 that the comitia calata, or “convoked assembly,” was held on behalf of the college of pontiffs for the purpose of installing the king 3 or the flames. Of these assemblies some were those “of the curies”, others those “of the centuries”; the former were called together (calari being used in the sense of “convoke”) by the curiate lictor, the latter by a horn blower. [p. 119] In that same assembly, which we have said was called calata, or “convoked,” wills were customarily made and sacrifices annulled. For we learn that there were three kinds of wills: one which was made in the “convoked assembly” before the collected people, a second on the battle-field, 4 when the men were called into line for the purpose of fighting, a third the symbolic sale of a householder's property by means of the coin and balance. 5 In the same book of Laelius Felix this is written: “One who orders a part of the people to assemble, but not all the people, ought to announce a council rather than an assembly. Moreover, tribunes do not summon the patricians, nor may they refer any question to them. Therefore bills which are passed on the initiative of the tribunes of the commons are properly called plebiscita, or 'decrees of the commons,' rather than 'laws.' In former times the patricians were not bound by such decrees until the dictator Quintus Hortensius passed a law, providing that all the Quirites should be bound by whatever enactment the commons should pass.” 6 It is also written in the same book: “When voting is done according to families of men, 7 the assembly is called 'curiate'; when it is according to property and age, ' centuriate'; when according to regions and localities, 'tribal.' Further it impious for the assembly of the centuries to be held within the pomerium, because the army must be summoned outside of the city, and it is not lawful for it to be summoned within the city. Therefore it was customary for the [p. 121] assembly of the centuries to be held in the field of Mars, and the army to be summoned there for purposes of defence while the people were busy casting their votes.”