from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A popular assembly in ancient Rome having legislative or electoral duties.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A popular legislative assembly in ancient Rome
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. A public assembly of the Roman people for electing officers or passing laws.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In Roman antiquity, assemblies of the people.
- An assembly.
- In the English universities, same as act, 5.
These assemblies when legally convoked were called comitia: they were usually held in the public square in Rome or at the Campus Martius, and were distinguished by the names of Comitia Curiata, Comitia Centuriata, and Comitia Tributa, according to the form under which they were convoked.
When lawfully summoned, these were called comitia: they were usually held in the public square at Rome or in the Campus Martius, and were distinguished as comitia curiata, comitia centuriata, and comitia tributa, according to the form under which they were convoked.
When the comitia were abolished at Rome, the Prætorian guards took their place: insolent, greedy, barbarous, and idle soldiers were the republic.
He can deceive himself with impunity on the tribunes, comitia, and dictatorships.
This seems less clear when two or more orders enter into the constitution, as patricians and plebeians did at Rome; for quarrels between these two orders often disturbed the comitia, even in the best days of the Republic.
Without going here into further details, we may gather from what has been said above that the comitia tributa were the most favourable to popular government, and the comitia centuriata to aristocracy.
The comitia curiata were founded by Romulus; the centuriata by Servius; and the tributa by the tribunes of the people.
No law received its sanction and no magistrate was elected, save in the comitia; and as every citizen was enrolled in a curia, a century, or a tribe, it follows that no citizen was excluded from the right of voting, and that the Roman people was truly sovereign both de jure and de facto.
For the comitia to be lawfully assembled, and for their acts to have the force of law, three conditions were necessary.
Most of the tumults that arose in the comitia at Rome were due to ignorance or neglect of this rule.
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