QUINTUS SERVILIUS CAEPIO, Roman general, consul 106 B.C. During his year of office, he brought forward a law by which the jurymen were again to be chosen from the senators instead of the equites (Tacitus, Ann.
on Aristophanes, Equites, 660.
They also acted as paymasters of the equites and of the soldiers on service in each tribe.
By the lex Aurelia (70 B.C.) the list of judices was composed, in addition to senators and equites, of tribuni aerarii.
Whether these were the successors of the above, or a new order closely connected with the equites, or even the same as the latter, is uncertain.
Then, as in the case of the equites, the term was subsequently extended to include all those who possessed the property qualification that would have entitled them to serve as tribuni aerarii.
EQUITES (" horsemen" or "knights," from equus, " horse"), in Roman history, originally a division of the army, but subsequently a distinct political order, which under the empire resumed its military character.
The statements in ancient authorities as to the changes in the number of the equites during the regal period are very confusing; but it is regarded as certain that Servius Tullius found six centuries in existence, to which he added twelve, making,' eighteen in all, a number which remained unchanged throughout the republican ' period.
Until the reform of the comitia centuriata (probabl' during the censorship of Gaius Flaminius in 220 B.C.; *see Comitia),` the equites had voted first, but after that time this privilege was transferred to tine cenfury selected by lot from the centuries of ' the equites and the first class.
The equites then voted with the first class, the distinction between the sex suffrakia and the other centuries being abolished.
Although the equites were selected from the 'wealthiest citizens, service in the cavalry was so expensive that the state gave financial assistance.
A sum of money (aes equestre) was given to each eques for the purchase of two horses (one for himself and one for his groom), and a further sum for their keep (aes hordearium); hence the name equites equo publico.
The origin of these equites equo privato dates back, according to Livy (v.
These equites equo private had no vote in the centuries, received pay in place of the aes equestre, and did not form a distinct corps.
Thus, at a comparatively early period, three classes of equites may be distinguished: (a) The patrician equites equo publico of the sex suifragia; (b) the plebeian equites in the twelve remaining centuries; (c) the equites equo private, both patrician and plebeian.
The equites were originally chosen by the curiae, then in succession by the kings, the consuls, and (after 443 B.C.) by the censors, by whom they were reviewed every five years in the Forum.
The insignia of the equites were, at first, distinctly military - such as the purple-edged, short military cloak (trabea) and decorations' for service in the field.
==lc, With the extension of the Roman dominions', the equites lost their military character.
The equites remained' at home, or only went out as members of the general's staff, their places being taken by the equites equo p y ivato, the cavalry of the allies and the most skilled horsemen of the subject populations.
The term equites, originally confined to the purely military equestrian centuries of Servius Tullius, now came to be applied to all who possessed the property qualification of 400,000 sesterces.
As the equites practically monopolized the farming of the taxes, they came to be regarded as identical with the publicani, not, as Pliny remarks, because any particular rank was necessary to obtain the farming of the taxes, but because such occupation was beyond the reach of all except those who were possessed of considerable means.
Although this measure was bound to set senators and equites at variance, it in no way improved the lot of those chiefly concerned.
When the control of the courts passed into the hands of the property equites, all who were summoned to undertake the duties of judices were called equites; the ordo judicum (the official title) and the ordo equester were regarded as identical.
It is probable that certain privileges of the equites were due to Gracchus; that of wearing the gold ring, hitherto reserved for senators; that of special seats in the theatre, subsequently withdrawn (probably by Sulla) and restored by the lex Othonis (67 B.C.); the narrow band of purple on the tunic as distinguished from the broad band worn by the senators.
In this he was successful at the time of the Catilinarian conspiracy, in the suppression of which he was materially aided by the equites.
But the union did not last long; shortly afterwards the majority ranged themselves on the side of Julius Caesar, who did away with the tribuni aerarii as judices, and replaced them by equites.
The equites equo privato were abolished (according to Herzog, not till the reign of Tiberius) and the term equites was officially limited to the equites equo publico, although all who possessed the property qualification were still considered to belong to the "equestrian order."
For the equites equo publico high moral character, good health and the equestrian fortune were necessary.
The sons of senators were eligible by right of birth, and appear to have been known as equites illustres.
Augustus divided the equites into six turmae (regarded by Hirschfeld as a continuation of the sex su fragia) .
Under these officers the equites formed a kind of corporation, which, although' not officially recognized, had the right of passing resolutions, chiefly such as embodied acts of homage to the imperial house.
It is not known whether the turmae contained a fixed number of equites; there is no doubt that, in assigning the public horse, Augustus went far beyond the earlier figure of ' Soo.
Thus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus mentions 5000 equites as taking part in a review at which he himself was present.
As before, the equites wore the narrow, purple-striped tunic, and the gold ring, the latter now being considered the distinctive badge of knighthood., The fourteen rows in the theatre were extended by Augustus to seat's in the circus.
After the completion 'of their preliminary military service, the equites were eligible for a number of civil posts, chiefly those with which the emperor himself was closely concerned.
At the same time, the abolition of the indirect method of collecting the taxes in the provinces greatly reduced the political influence of the' equites.
In the jury courts, the equites, thanks to Julius Caesar, already formed two-thirds of the judices; Augustus, by excluding the senators altogether, virtually gave them the sole control of the tribunals.
One of the chief objects of the emperors being to weaken the influence of the senate by the opposition of the equestrian order, the practice was adopted of elevating those equites who had reached a certain stage in their career to the rank of senator by adlectio.
The emperor Claudius tentatively entrusted certain posts connected with these to the equites; in the time of Hadrian this became the regular custom.
After the reign of Marcus Aurelius (according to Mommsen) the equites were divided into: (a) viri eminentissimi, the prefects of the praetorian guard; (b) viri perfectissimi, the other prefects and the heads of the financial and secretarial departments; (c) viri egregii, first mentioned in the reign of Antoninus Pius, a title by right of the procurators generally.
Under the empire the power of the equites was at its highest in the time of Diocletian; in consequence of the transference of the capital to Constantinople, they sank to the position of a mere city guard, under the control of the prefect of the watch.
Mention may also be made of the equites singulares Augusti.
In the time of Severus, these equites were divided into two corps, each of which had its separate quarters, and was commanded by a tribune under the orders of the prefect of the praetorian guard.
Bouche-Leclercq's Manse; des aratiq ites romaines, quoted in Daremberg and Saglio; and on the equites si aptlares, T.
The trabea, which in historical times was worn by the consuls when opening the temple of Janus, by the equites at their yearly inspection and on some other occasions, and by the Salii at their ritual dances, and had (according to tradition) formed the original costume of the augurs and flamens (who afterwards adopted the toga praetexta), was apparently a toga smaller in size than the ordinary civil dress, decorated with scarlet stripes (trabes).
It was fastened with brooches (fibulae) anch appears to have been worn by the equites, e.g.
The policing of the city had formerly been one of the duties of the aediles, but was now transferred to the praefectus vigilum, appointed by the emperor from the equites.
He deprived the senators of their military and provincial commands, which were transferred to equites.
His brother, Lucius Aurelius Cotta, when praetor in 70 B.C. brought in a law for the reform of the jury lists, by which the judices were to be eligible, not from the senators exclusively as limited by Sulla, but from senators, equites and tribuni aerarii.
Added to these were the 18 centuries of knights (see Equites).
The charge was absurd, but as the juries at that time were chosen from the equites, his condemnation was only to be expected.
At that time an agitation was going on for the transfer of the judicial functions from the equites to the senate; Drusus proposed as a compromise a measure which restored to the senate the office of judices, while its numbers were doubled by the admission of 300 equites.
But the senate was lukewarm, and the equites, whose occupation was threatened, offered the most violent opposition.
medieval knights had nothing to do in the way of derivation with the " equites " of Rome, the knights of King Arthur's Round Table, or the Paladins of Charlemagne.
But all knights were also knights of the spur or " equites aurati," because their spurs were golden or gilt, - the spurs of squires being of silver or white metal, - and these became their peculiar badge in popular estimation and proverbial speech.
From the speech pro Cluentio (1 451 54) we gain unique information concerning the condition of society in a country town, the extraordinary exemption of equites from prosecution for judicial corruption, the administration of domestic justice in the case of slaves examined by their owner (ib.
Provincetown village was long second only to Gloucester in the cod fisheries, which low prices and the introduction of larger vessels and correspondingly costlier fittings have greatly 1 Sulla excluded the equites from the list; the lex Aurelia (70) reinstated them.
The following year saw the work of Sulla undone; the tribunate was restored, and the administration of justice was no longer left exclusively to the senate, but was to be shared by it with the wealthier portion of the middle class, the equites and the tribuni aerarii.
The public baths were kept under strict supervision; the toga was ordered to be worn in public by senators and equites on solemn occasions; extravagant banquets were prohibited; rules were made to prevent the congestion of traffic in the streets.
He effected a material and moral improvement in the conditions of service and mode of life, but in other respects he does not appear to have introduced any important military reforms. During his reign an advance was made in the direction of creating an organized body of servants at the disposal of the emperor by the appointment of equites to important administrative posts, without their having performed the militiae equestres (see Equites).
Under the empire the freedmen rose steadily in influence; they became admissible to the rank of equites and to the senate; they obtained provincial governments, and were appointed to offices in the imperial household which virtually placed them at the head of administrative departments (see Pallas and Narcissus).
The' change of the equites into a body of financiers was further materially promoted (a) by the lex Claudia (218 B.C.), which prohibited senators from engaging in commercial pursuits, especially if (as seems probable) it included public contracts (cf.
Apparently Gracchus at first proposed to create new senators from the equites and to select the jurymen from this mixed body, but this moderate proposal was rejected in favour of one more radical (see W.
In 82 Sulla restored the right of serving as judices to the senate, to which he elevated 300 of the most influential equites, whose support he thus hoped to secure; at the same time he indirectly dealt a blow at the order generally, by abolishing the office of the censor (immediately revived), in whom was vested the right of bestowing the public horse.
By the lex Aurelia (70 B.C.) the judices were to be chosen in equal numbers from senators, equites and tribuni aerarii (see Aerarium), the last-named being closely connected with the equites), who thus practically commanded a majority.
Although free birth was considered indispensable, the right of wearing the gold ring (jus anuli aurei) was frequently bestowed by the emperor upon freedmen, who thereby became ingenui and eligible as equites.
Thus a civil career was open to the equites without the obligation of preliminary military service, and the emperor was freed from the pernicious influence of freedmen.
One-third were to be senators, and two-thirds men of equestrian census, one-half of whom must have been tribuni aerarii, a body as to whose functions there is no certain evidence, although in Cicero's time they were reckoned by courtesy amongst the equites.
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