Greek and Roman Dictionary


CTVITAS (TOAi-rtio), citizenship. I. Greek.

In the third book of the Politics, Aristotle commences his inquiry into the nature of states with Use question, ** What constitutes a citizen ? ** (iroAivijs). He defines a citizen to be one who is a partner in the legislative andjudicial power (jteroX« mpitrtwt icai &px5*)> No definition will equally apply to all the different states of Greece,or in any single state at different times; the •bore seems to comprehend more or less properly all those whom thecommon use of language entitled to the name.

state in the heroic ages was the government of a prince ; the citizens were his subjects, and derived all their privileges, civil as well as relieioos. from their nobles and princes. Nothing could have been further from thenotions of those times, than the ideas respecting the natural equality of freemen which were considered selfevident axioms in the democracies of an afterperiod. In the early governments there were no formal stipulations; the kings were amenable to the cods alone. The shadows of a council and assembly were already in existence, but their Duyines* was to obey. Community of language, of religion, and of legal rights, as far as they then existed, was thebond of union; and their privileges, such as they were, were readily granted to naturalised strangers* Upon the whole, as Wachsmuth has well observed, the notion of citizenship in the heroic age only existed so far as thecondition of aliens or of domestic slaves was its negative.

The rise of a dominant class gradually overthrew the monarchies of ancient Greece. Of Buch a eiasa. the chief characteristics were good birth and the hereditary transmission of privileges, the possession of land, and the performance of military service. To these characters the names yduapot, hnrcis, fwraTpfScu, &c, severally correspond. Strictly speaking, these were the only citizens ; yet the lower class was quite distinct frum bondmen orslaves. It commonly happened that the nobility occupied the fortified towns, while the Otjjaos lived in the countryand followed agricultural pursuits: whenever the latter were gathered within the walls and became seamen orhandicrafuroen, the difference of rank was soon lost, and wealth made the only standard. The quarrels of the nobility among themselves, and the admixture of population arising from immigrations, ail tended to raise the lower orders from their political subjection. It must be remembered, too, that the possession of domestic slaves, if it placed them in no new relation to the governing body, at any rate gave them leisure to attend to the higher duties of a citizen, andthus served to increase their political efficiency.

During the convulsions which followed the hemic ages, naturalisation was readily granted to all who desired it ; asthe value of citizenship increased, it was, of course, more sparingly bestowed. The ties of hospitality descended from the prince to the state, and the friendly relations of the Htmeric heroes were exchanged for the wpofeWai of a later period. In political intercourse, the importance of these last soon began to be felt, and the s-po^cTos at Athens, in after times, obtained rights cnlr inferior to actual citizenship. [hospitium.] The isopolite relation existed, however, on a much more extended scale. Sometimes particular privileges were granted: as iviyafdoy the right ofinter

marriage; eyicnjo-iy, the right of acquiring landed property; oWXcio, immunity from taxation, especially kriKua fxeroiKiou, from the tax imposed on resident aliens. All these privileges were included under the general term io*orcA.cia, or (WroAfTcto, and the class who obtained them were called iffoT€A«?$. They bore the same burthens with the citizens, and could plead in the courts or transact business with the people, without the intervention of a irpooTtfTij*. (Bbckh, Public Econ. of Athens^ p. 540,2nd ed.; Nicbuhr,7/&. Rom. ii. p. 53 ; Herman, Lehrhuch d. GrUch. Staatsalth. § 116.) If the right of citizenship was conferred for services done to the state, the rank termedvpothpia or vcpyeda might be added. Naturalised citizens even of the highest grade were not precisely in the same condition with the citizen by birth, although it is not agreed in what the difference consisted. Some think that they were excluded from the assembly (Niebuhr, I. c), others that they were only ineligible to offices, or at any rate tothe archonship. The candidate on whom the citizenship was to be conferred was proposed in two successive assemblies, at the second of which at least six thousand citizens voted for him by ballot: even if he succeeded, his admission, like every other decree, was liable during a whole year to a ypa#h irapa.v6fj.wv. He was registered in a phyle and deme, but not enrolled in the phratria and genos; and hence it has been argued that he was ineligibl e to theoffice of archon or priest, because unable to participate in the sacred rites of 'AirdAAwy Tlarpyos or Zeus 'Epxuos,

The object of the phratriae (which were retained in the constitution of Cleisthenes, when their number no longer corresponded to that of the tribes) was to preserve purity and legitimacy of descent among the citizens. Aristotle says (Pol. iii. 2) that for practical purposes it was sufficient to define a citizen as the son or grandson of a citizen,and the register of the phratriae was kept chiefly as a record of the citizenship of the parents. If any one's claim was disputed, this register was at hand, and gave an answer to all doubts about the rights of his parents or his own identity. Every newly married woman, herself a citizen, was enrolled in the phratriae of her husband, and every infant registered in the phratriae and genoB of its father. All who were thus registered must have been born in lawful wedlock, of parents who were themselves citizens; indeed, so far was this carried, that the omission of any of therequisite formalities in the marriage of the parents, if it did not wholly take away the rights of citizenship, might place the offspring under serious disabilities. This, however, was only carried out in its utmoBt rigour at the time when Athenian citizenship was most valuable. In Solon's time, it is not certain that the offspring of a citizen and of a foreign woman incurred any civil disadvantage; and even the law of Pericles (Plut. Peric. 37), which exacted citizenship on the mother's side, appears to have become obsolete very soon afterwards, as we find it re-enacted by Aristophon in the archonship of Eucleldes, B. C. 403. (Athen. xiii. p. 577.)

It is evident then, from the very object of the phratriae, why the newly-admitted citizen was not enrolled in them. As the same reason did not apply to the children, these, if bom of women who were citizens, were enrolled in thephratria of their u

maternal grandfather. (Isaeus, I)e Jpol. Hertd. c 15.) Still an additional safeguard was provided by the registry of thedeme. At the age of sixteen, the son of a citizen was required to devote two years to the exercises of the gymnasia, at the expiration of which term he was enrolled in his deme; and, after taking the oath of a citizen, was armed in thepresence of the assembly. He was then of age, and might marry j but was required to spend two years more as a irsphroAo* in frontier service, before he was admitted to take part in the assembly of the people. The admission intothe phratria and deme were alike attended with oaths and other solemn formalities: when a SoKiimcria or general scrutiny of the claims of citizens took place, it was entrusted to both of them; indeed the registry of the deme wasthe only check upon the naturalised citizen.

These privileges, however, were only enjoyed while the citizen was falTi/tot: in other words, did not incur any sortof arifda, which was of two sorts, either partial or total, and is spoken of at length elsewhere. [atimia.]

Recurring then to Aristotle's definition, we find the essential properties of Athenian citizenship to have consisted inthe share possessed by every citizen in the legislature, in the election of magistrates, in the tioictfiaaia, and in thecourts of justice.

The lowest unity under which the citizen was contained, was the yivos or clan; its members were termed ytvvrrraxor A>wydAeucT«. Thirty yirn formed a tpparpla, which latter division, as was observed above, continued to subsist long after the four tribes, to which the twelve phratries anciently corresponded, had been done away by theconstitution of Cleisthenes. There is no reason to suppose that these divisions originated in the common descent of the persons who were included in them, as they certainly did not imply any such idea in later times. Rather they are to be considered as mere political unions, yet formed in imitation of the natural ties of the patriarchal system.

If we would picture to ourselves the true notion which the Greeks embodied in the word iriJAir, we must lay aside all modern ideas respecting the nature and object of state. With us practically, if not in theory, the object of statehardly embraces more than the protection of life and property. The Greeks, on the other hand, had the most vivid conception of the state as a whole, every part of which was to co-operate to some great end to which all other duties were considered as subordinate. Thus the aim of democracy was said to be liberty; wealth, of oligarchy; andeducation, of aristocracy. In all governments the endeavour was to draw the social union as cloBe as possible, and it seems to have been with this view that Aristotle laid down a principle which answered well enough to the accidental circumstances of the Grecian states, that a Tt6\is must be of a certain size. (Pol. vii. 4; Nie. Eth. ix. 10. Ou -yap IkMica fivptdtiwv v6\ts eVi icnly.)

This unity of purpose was nowhere so fully carried out as in the government of Sparta; and, if Sparta is to be looked upon as the model of a Dorian state, we may add, in the other Dorian governments. Whether Spartan institutions in their essential parts were the creation of a single master-mind, or the result of circumstances modi

fied only by the genius of Lycurgus, their design was evidently to unite tne governing body among themselves against the superior numbers of the subject population. The division of lands, the syssitia, the education of their youth, ail tended to this great object. The most important thing next to union among themselves, was to divide thesubject class, and accordingly we find the government conferring some of the rights of citizenship on the helots. Properly speaking, the helots cannot be said to have had any political rights ; yet being serfs of the Boil, they were not absolutely under the control of their masters, and were never sold out of the country even by the state itself. Their condition was not one of hopeless servitude; a legal way was open to them, by which, through many intermediate stages, they might attain to liberty and citizenship. (Miiller, Dorians, iii. 3. § S.) Those who followed their masters to war were deemed worthy of especial confidence; indeed, when they served among the heavy-armed, it seems to have been usual to give them their liberty. The o'€o-iro<rioyai»Tai, by whom the Spartan fleet was almost entirely manned, were freedmen, who were allowed to dwell where they pleased, and probably had a portionof land allotted them by the state. After they had been in possession of their liberty for some time, they appear to have been called rfotap&otis (Thuc vii. 58), the number of whom soon came near to that of the citizens. ThefUBwvts or /jdfkuccs (as their name implies) were also emancipated helots; their descendants, too, must have received the rights of citizenship as Callicratidas, Lysander, and Gylippus were of Mothacic origin. (Miiller,Doruuu, ii. 3. § 6.) We cannot suppose that they passed necessarily and of course into the full Spartan franchise; it is much more probable that at Sparta, as at Athens, intermarriage with citizens might at last entirely obliterate thebadge of former servitude.

The perioeci are not to be considered as a subject class, but rather as a distinct people, separated by their customs as well as by their origin from the genuine Spartans. It seems unlikely that they were admitted to vote in the Spartan assembly; yet they undoubtedly possessed civil rights in the communities to which they belonged (Miiller, Dorians,iii. 2. § 4), and which would hardly have been called roKtu unless they had been in some sense independent bodies. In the army they commonly served as hoplites, and we find the command at sea intrusted to one of this class. (Thuc viii. 22.) In respect of political rights, the perioeci were in the same condition with the plebeians in the early historyof Rome, although in every other respect far better off, as they participated in the division of lands, and enjoyed theexclusive privilege of engaging in trade and commerce. What confirms the view here taken, is the fact, that, as far as we know, no individual of this class was ever raised to participate in Spartan privileges. Nothing, however, can be more erroneous than to look upon them as an oppressed race. Even their exclusion from the assembly cannot be viewed in this light; for, had they possessed the privilege, their residence in the country would have debarred them from its exercise. It only remains to consider in what the superiority of the genuine Spartan may have consisted. Inthe first place, besides the right of voting in the assembly and becoming a candidate for the magistracies, he was possessed of lands and slaves, and was thus exempt from all care about the necessaries of life; secondly, on the fieldof battle he always served amongst the hoplites; thirdly, be participated in the Spartan education, and in all other Dorian inimuUons, both civil and religions. The reluctance which Sparta showed to admit foreigners was proportioned to the value of these privileges: indeed Herodotus (ix. 35) says that Sparta had only conferred the full franchise in two instances. Is legal rights all Spartans were equal; but there were yet several gradations, which, when once formed, retained their hold on the aristocratic feelings of the people. (MQUer, Dorians, iii. 5. I 7.) First, as we should naturally expect, there was the dignity of the Heraclide families; and, connected with this, a certain pre-eminence of the "HyUean tribe. Another distinction was that between the tfutiot and irrofitlovis, which, in later times, appears to have been considerable. The latter term probably comprehended those citizens who, from degeneracy of manners or other causes, had undergone some kind of civil degradation. To these the Zpotoc were opposed, although it is not certain in what the precise difference consisted. It need hardly be added, that at Sparta, as elsewhere, the union of wealth with birth always gave a sort of adventitious rank to its possessor.

All the Spartan citizens were included in the three tribes, Hylleans, Dymancs or Dymanatae, and Pamphilians, eachof which were divided into ten obes or phratries. Under these obes there must undoubtedly have been contained some lesser subdivision, which Muller, with great probability, supposes to have been termed rpuueds. The citizensof Sparta, as of most oligarchical states, were landowners, although this does not seem to have been looked upon as an essential of citizenship.

It would exceed the limits of this work to give an account of the Grecian constitutions, except so far as may illustrate the rights of citizenship. What perversions in the form of government, according to Greek ideas, were sufficient to destroy the essential notion of a citizen, is a question which, following Aristotle's example {Pot. iii. 5), we may be content to leave undecided. He who, being personally free, enjoyed the fullest political privileges, participated in the assembly and courts of judicature, was eligible to the highest offices, and received all this by inheritance from his ancestors, most entirely satisfied the idea which the Greeks expressed in the word Woxittjs.[B. J.]

2. Romas. Civitas means the whole body of cives, or members, of any given state. Civitates are defined by Cicero{Somn. Sdp. c. 3) to be M concilium coetueque hominum jure sociati." A civitas is, therefore, properly a political community, sovereign and independent. The word civitas is frequently used by the Roman writers to express thecondition of a Roman citizen, as distinguished from that of other persons not Roman citizens, as in the phrases dare civitatem, donare civitate, vsvrpare cirttatgm.

If we attempt to distinguish the members of any given civitas from all other people in the world, we can only do it by enumerating all the rights and duties of a member of this civitas, which are not rights and duties of a person who is not a member of this civitas. If any rights and duties which belong to a member of this civitas, and do

not belong to any person not a member of this civitas, are omitted in the enumeration, it is an incomplete enumeration; for the rights and duties not expressly included must be assumed as common to the members of thiscivitas and to all the world, or, to use a Roman expression, they exist jure gentium. Having enumerated all thecharacteristics of the members of any given civitas, we have then to show how a man acquires them, and how he loses them, and the notion of a member of such civitas is then complete.

Some members of political community {cives) may have more political rights than others; a principle by the aid ofwhich Savigny {Gesddchte de> Rom. Rechts im Mittelalter, c ii. p. 22) has expressed briefly and clearly thedistinction between the two great classes of Roman citizens under the republic: — "In the free republic there were two classes of Roman citizens, one that had, and another that had not, a share in the sovereign power {optima jtire, turn Optimo jure cives). That which peculiarly distinguished the higher class was the right to vote in a tribe, and thecapacity of enjoying magistracies (suffragium et honores)." According to this view, the jus civitatis comprehended part of that which the Romans called jus publicum, and also, and most particularly, that which they called jusprivatum. The jus privatum comprehended the jus connubii and jus commercii, and those who had not these had no citizenship. Those who had the jus suffragiorum and jus honorum had the complete citizenship, or, in other words, they were optimo jure cives. Those who had the privatum, but not the publicum jus, were citizens, though citizens ofan inferior class. The jus privatum seems to be equivalent to the jus Quiritium, and the civitas Romana to the jus publicum. Accordingly, we sometimes find the jus Quiritium contrasted with the Romana civitas. (Plin. Ep. x. 4. 22 ; Ulp. Frag. tit. 3. § 2.) Livy (xxxviii. 36) says that until B. c. 188, the Formiani, Fundani, and Arpinates, had the civitas without the sunragium ; and, at an earlier time, the people of Anagnia received the Civitas sine suffragii latione." (Liv. ix. 43.)

Ulpian {Frag, tit 5. § 4; 19. § 4 ; 20. § 8; 11. § 6) has stated a distinction, as existing in his time among the free persons who were within the political limits of the Roman state, which it is of great importance to apprehend clearly. There were three classes of free persons, Cives, Latini, and Peregrini. Gains (i. 12) points to the same division, where he says that a slave, when made free, might become a Civis Romanus, or a Latinus, or might be in thenumber of the peregrini dediticii, according to circumstances. Civis, according to Ulpian, is he who possesses thecomplete rights of a Roman citizen. The Peregrinus had not commercium and connubium, which were thecharacteristic rights of a Roman citizen, not viewed in his political capacity; but the Peregrinus had a capacity formaking all kinds of contracts which were allowable by the jus gentium. The Latinus was in an intermediate state ; he had not the connubium, and consequently he had not the patria potestas nor rights of agnatio; but he had thecommercium or the right of acquiring quiritarian ownership, and he had also a capacity for all acts incident to quiritarian ownership, as vindicatio, in jure cessio, mancipatio, and testamenti factio, which last comprises thepower of making a will in Roman


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