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CONCIL´IUM

CONCIL´IUM an assembly in general, sometimes used in a loose way to designate the comitia of the centuries (Liv. 2.28), or any contio (Liv. 2.7, 28, 5.43; Gel. 18.7; comp. Becker, Handb. der Röm. Alterth. vol. ii. part i. p. 359, note 693). For the concilium plebis, see COMITIA p. 510. The word also denotes the assemblies or meetings of confederate towns or nations, at which either their deputies alone, or any of the citizens who had time and inclination, met, and thus formed a representative assembly. (Liv. 1.50.) We find frequent traces of this, not only among the Italian nations, e. g. the Aequi (Liv. 3.2), Samnites (4.25; x 12), Etruscans (4.23, 25, 61; 5.17; 6.2), Hernicans (9.42), and Latins (6.33; 7.25; 8.3); but also in the Greek states (τὸ κοινόν), e. g. the Achaeans (Liv. 36.31), Aetolians (31.29, 38.34), Boeotians (42.43), Macedonians (45.18; cp. Gel. 2.6). As the Romans conquered the neighbouring states of Italy, it was a regular part of their policy to break up the union of the vanquished tribes by forbidding the existence of such concilia (Liv. 8.14, 10, “ceteris Latinis populis connubia commercia que et concilia inter se ademerunt:” cf. 9.43, 24). After the defeat of Perseus, four concilia were established for Macedonia (Liv. 45.29). But Augustus not merely allowed the concilia to continue where they had previously been held, but instituted them also in other provinces, and this representative character was recognised. In theory, they were associations formed for the worship of the imperial house. The president was the ἀρχιερεὺς or sacerdos provinciae, an official elected annually by the deputies (legati) from the most important towns. This dignitary was usually one of the most eminent and wealthy of the provincials, and had the immediate direction of the finances of the temple and its festivals; at a later time he had a certain power of control over all the priests of the province. After the concilium had taken part in the religious festival, it met again for the conduct of business. Its first duty was to pass the accounts of the expenditure connected with the provincial temple to Augustus, and to provide for the maintenance of the worship for the coming year; but then it was entitled to criticise the conduct of the governor, and either vote thanks to him, or lay a complaint before the emperor (cf. Inscription of Torigny edited by Mommsen), which was frequently followed by his accusation (Plin. Ep. 7.6). In this manner some control was exercised over the governor, and there was some approach to the creation of a representative body. As the worship of the emperors fell out of use with the growth of Christianity, the concilium provinciae replaced by degrees the old conventus (cf. Willems, Dict. Romaine, p. 594), and became a representative assembly for each diocese. (Cf. Marquardt, Röm, Staatsverw. i.2 503-516, and his important essay in the Ephem. Epigr. 1872, pp. 200-214; Mommsen, Provinces [p. 1.525]of the Roman Empire, 1.35, 94, 300; 2.238, &c.)

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