a class of Roman citizens, excluded from
the tribes, and liable to pay a poll-tax, at the discretion of the censors.
They consisted of three classes :--
- 1. Municipes sine suffragio. These were the
inhabitants of conquered towns, which had been deprived of their
local self-government. Their citizens obtained the conubium and commercium, but no political rights. As Caere was the
first municipium sine suffragio (about
B.C. 353), the lists of the burghers of Caere were called the
tabulae Caeritum; and this came to
be the general name for the lists of the citizens who held only this
inferior franchise. Hence in tabulas Caeritum
referri came to be equivalent to
aerarium fieri (Ps. Ascon. on Cic. Div. in Caec. 3, p. 103 Orell.;
Schol. Cruq. on Hor. Ep. 1.6, 62; Gel.
16.13.7; Cic. Clu. 43, 122: cf. Madv. Opusc.
1.233; Mommsen, Röm. Trib. 160 f.).
- 2. Infames, i.e. those who had
incurred legal infamia, by (1) some
dishonouring act, such as bigamy; (2) a
dishonouring profession, such as that
of leno, actor, gladiator; (3) a
judicium turpe, such as
condemnation in a prosecution for furtum,
injuria, dolus, or in a judicium
tutelae, pro socio, or mandati (cf. Lex Jul. munic. 11. 110-125: Cic. Cluent. 42, 119; Caec. 3, 8;
Rosc. Coin. 6, 16; de
Orat. 1.36, 166, &c.).
- 3. Those visited by the severest nota
censoria, who were said to be tribu
moti et aerarii facti (Liv.
4.24; 24.18, 43; 42.10; 44.16; 45.15).
All these three classes were aerarii,
had to pay protection-money (aes
exclusion from the tribes and the centuries involved the loss of the
suffrage, and doubtless also (though this has been denied) the ius honorum.
The only instance of a magistracy held
by an aerarius is to be regarded as the result of an amnesty passed by the
supreme authority of the people. The infames
were always excluded from military service (Liv.
; V. Max. 2.4
), and could not rise above the class of aerarii:
the municipes sine suffragio
served in the legions, or formed a special corps (e.g. legio Campana
), and ceased to be aerarii
when they [p. 1.37]
attained the full
franchise, as all the Italians did by the leges
and Plautia Papiria
by the censors generally had more
burdensome conditions of service (Liv. 24.18
but the nota
could be removed by succeeding
The origin of the class of aerarii
is a much
disputed question, the ancient authorities only referring to the class as
existing. Mommsen (Hist.
1.389) and Lange (Röm.
1.406) held that they were originally resident aliens (metoeci
) holding no freeholds, and therefore not
included in the tribes. Niebuhr (Hist.
held that they consisted of artisans and freedmen, a view not widely
differing from that of Mommsen in practice, though based upon a different
idea. Madvig (Verf.
1.122) maintains that they were only a
class of degraded citizens, not including either the cives sine suffragio
or the artisans, who would be classed
according to their property. Willems (Droit Romain,
note 4), following Göttling, argues that these could not have been
citizens in any sense, and that the class cannot be traced back as far as
Servius Tullius, but probably grew up by degrees. The first view is perhaps
the most correct. (Comp. Zonaras, 7.9
Verfassung des Serv. Tull.
p. 494, &c. ;
Göttling, Gesch. der Röm. Staatsverf.
260, &c. ; Becker, Handbuch der Röm.
vol. ii. pp. 183-196; Lange, Röm.
i. pp. 408-9, 678-9.)