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IF anyone had allowed his land to run to waste and was not giving it sufficient attention, if he had neither ploughed nor weeded it, or if anyone had neglected his orchard or vineyard, such conduct did not go unpunished, but it was taken up by the censors, who reduced such a man to the lowest class of citizens. 1 So too, any Roman knight, if his horse seemed to be skinny or not well groomed, was charged with inpolitiae, a word which means the same thing as negligence. 2 There are authorities for both these punishments, and Marcus Cato has cited frequent instances. 3
1 Made him an aerarius, originally a citizen who owned no land, but paid a tax (aes) based on such property as he had. The aerarii had no political rights until about the middle of the fifth century B.C., when they were enrolled in the four city tribes. See Mommsen, Staatsr. ii. 392 ff.
2 More literally, inpolitia is “lack of neatness,” from in-, negative, and polio, “polish,” from which pulcher also is derived.
3 Fr. 2, p. 52, Jordan.
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