Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A law enacted in ancient Rome by the lower rank of citizens meeting in the assembly called the comitia tributa, under the presidency of a tribune or some other plebeian magistrate; a decree of the plebs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Rom. Antiq.) A law enacted by the common people, under the superintendence of a tribune or some subordinate plebeian magistrate, without the intervention of the senate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical A law enacted by the common people, under the superintendence of a tribune or some subordinate plebeian magistrate, without the intervention of the senate.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin, from plebs, plebis, common people + scitum decree. Compare plebiscite.

Examples

  • The plebiscitum, which is simply an appeal to the people outside of government, is not valid when the government has not lapsed, either by its usurpations or by its dissolution, nor is it valid either in the case of a province, or of a population that has no organic existence as an independent sovereign state.

    The American Republic : constitution, tendencies and destiny

  • And returning, they attacked the cottage, and by a general plebiscitum, ransacked the little dwelling, partly in indignation, and partly, if the truth be told, in the hope of plunder; but plunder there was none.

    Westward Ho!

  • Roman emperors attained not this right by a senatus-consultum, duly founded upon a plebiscitum, it is very likely that they fully enjoyed it by the courtesy of the ladies.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Before this time, it required a “plebiscitum,” a law of the nation, to deprive a Roman of his country.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • It is very singular that in Rome, where the tribunes were so sacrosanct, it was never even imagined that they could usurp the functions of the people, and that in the midst of so great a multitude they never attempted to pass on their own authority a single plebiscitum.

    The Social Contract

  • A plebiscitum Claudianum forbade senators and their sons to own a ship of more than 300 amphoras.

    227

  • BISMARCK has notified the Upper House that no exemplification of the categorical plebiscitum will be favorably entertained or rejected.

    Punchinello, Volume 1, No. 12, June 18, 1870

  • It is very singular that at Rome, where the tribunes were so revered, it was never pretended that they could take upon themselves the functions of the people, and that, in the midst of such a multitude, they never attempted to pass a single plebiscitum on their own authority alone.

    The Social Contract

  • A plebiscitum, lex Ganucia, 412 a.u.c. went so far as to forbid all interest whatever, but, at a later period, the Roman law allowed interest at 1 per cent monthly, or 12 per cent per annum.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15: Tournely-Zwirner

  • This uneasy apprehension of a fall was publicly betrayed afterwards by the unnecessary plebiscitum.

    Philip Gilbert Hamerton

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