A name given at Rome to men sixty years of age, hence called sexagenarii
, because they were freed from the obligation of voting in the Roman
comitia; that is, of passing over the bridges (pontes
) which led into
, where the voting took place. (See Comitia
.) 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 deiiciebantur
(Fest. pp. 75
, Fest. 334
M.). Some ancient writers supposed that the name depontani
had reference to a barbarous custom of antiquity, that men of
sixty years of age were thrown down from the pons sublicius
Tiber, but this interpretation was repudiated by Varro and Verrius ( Fest. ll. cc.; Varr. ap.
Non. p. 523; Rosc. Am.
35, 100; Ovid,
Fast. v. 623
; Macrob. i. 5; Quaest. Rom.