List of censors of the Roman Republic

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This list of Roman censors includes all holders through to its subsumption under that of Roman emperor in 22BC.

Censors were elected by the Centuriate Assembly and served as a duo. Censors were elected to take an account of all citizens and their property value before performing a rite of religious purification. Roman taxes were levied based on the censors' account, and the censors could punitively tax citizens who failed to present at the census or falsely accounted for their property.

Whilst having no right to uphold law or command in war, the office of censor was the highest honour. Unlike the office of consul, which deteriorated over the Roman Republic period, most censors were men of exceptional standing and character.[1] Censors were known also as castigatores (English: chastisers) for their duty as the regulators of public morality. For instance, in 92 BC censors Domitius Ahenobarbus and Crassus condemned the teaching of rhetoric in Latin (as opposed to the customary Greek):

We have been informed that there are persons who have established a novel sort of instruction and that the youth gather at their school; that these people have styled themselves "Latin rhetoricians"; and that young persons idle away whole days there. […] These new practices, which do not accord with ordinary custom and the way of our ancestors, are vexatious and wayward-seeming. Therefore we make our judgment plain both to those who preside over these schools and those who have become accustomed to attending them: we do not approve.[2]

Initially, censors were chosen exclusively from among Roman citizens of patrician birth. In 332 BC, Quintus Publilius Philo was elected the first Pleb censor[clarification needed] after legislation – that he introduced while dictator – providing one censor of each two must be a plebeian.

5th century BC[edit]

Before 443 BC, the consuls were responsible for the census. In 443 BC, the right to take the census was moved from the consuls to the newly established office of censor. They were chosen exclusively from Patricians.

Year Birth Names Completed Changed Senate or equites roll Laws or regulations promulgated Undertook public works or building
443 Patrician Lucius Papirius Mugillanus Yes No No No
Patrician Lucius Sempronius Atratinus Yes No No No
435 Patrician Gaius Furius Pacilus Fusus
Patrician Marcus Geganius Macerinus
418 Patrician Manius Aemilius Mamercinus
Patrician Lucius Papirius Mugillanus
403 Patrician Marcus Furius Camillus
Patrician Marcus Postumius Albinus Regillensis

4th century BC[edit]

In 393 BC, Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis was elected suffect censor to replace the deceased censor Gaius Iulius Iullus. In 351 BC, Gaius Marcius Rutilus was elected as the first plebeian censor. According to the Lex Publilia, since 339 BC at least one of the censors had to be plebeian. In 312 BC, Appius Claudius Caecus was elected censor without being consul before.

Year Birth Name
393 Patrician Lucius Papirius Cursor
Patrician Gaius Iulius Iullus
Patrician Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis (Suffect)
389[3] Patrician Marcus Furius Fusus (?)
Patrician Lucius Papirius Mugillanus (?)
380 Patrician Spurius Postumius Albinus Regillensis
Patrician Gaius Sulpicius Camerinus
378 Patrician Spurius Servilius Priscus
Patrician Quintus Cloelius Siculus
366 Patrician Gaius Sulpicius Peticus
Patrician Postumius Regillensis Albinus (?)
363 Patrician Marcus Fabius Ambustus
Patrician Lucius Furius Medullinus
351 Patrician Gnaeus Manlius Capitolinus Imperiosus
Plebeian Gaius Marcius Rutilus
340[4] Patrician Lucius Cornelius Scipio
Plebeian Publius Cornelius Scipio
332 Patrician Spurius Postumius Albinus Caudinus
Plebeian Quintus Publilius Philo
319 Patrician Gaius Sulpicius Longus[5]
Unknown Unknown
318 Patrician Lucius Papirius Crassus
Plebeian Gaius Maenius
312 Patrician Appius Claudius Caecus
Plebeian Gaius Plautius Venox
307 Patrician Marcus Valerius Maximus Corvinus
Plebeian Gaius Junius Bubulcus Brutus
304 Patrician Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus
Plebeian Publius Decius Mus

3rd century BC[edit]

In 294 and 265 BC, Gaius Marcius Rutilus Censorinus was elected censor. This was the only time a person was elected censor twice. Marcius prevented this situation from repeating itself by originating a law stating that no one could be elected censor twice.

Year Birth Name
300 Patrician Publius Sulpicius Saverrio
Plebeian Publius Sempronius Sophus
294 Patrician Publius Cornelius Arvina
Plebeian Gaius Marcius Rutilus Censorinus
289[6] Patrician Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges (?)
Plebeian Spurius Carvilius Maximus (?)
283 Unknown ?
Plebeian Quintus Caedicius Noctua[7]
280 Patrician Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus
Plebeian Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus Maximus
275 Patrician Quintus Aemilius Papus
Plebeian Gaius Fabricius Luscinus
272 Patrician Lucius Papirius Praetextatus
Plebeian Manlius Curius Dentatus
269 Patrician Lucius Aemilius Barbula
Plebeian Quintus Marcius Philippus
265 Patrician Gnaeus Cornelius Blasio
Plebeian Gaius Marcius Rutilus Censorinus II
258 Patrician Lucius Cornelius Scipio
Plebeian Gaius Duilius
253 Patrician Lucius Postumius Megellus
Plebeian Decimus Junius Pera
252 Patrician Manius Valerius Maximus Corvinus Messalla
Plebeian Publius Sempronius Sophus
247 Patrician Aulus Manlius Torquatus Atticus
Plebeian Aulus Atilius Calatinus
241 Patrician Marcus Fabius Buteo
Plebeian Gaius Aurelius Cotta
236 Patrician Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus
Plebeian Quintus Lutatius Cerco
234 Patrician Aulus Postumius Albinus
Plebeian Gaius Atilius Bulbus
231 Patrician Titus Manlius Torquatus
Plebeian Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
230 Patrician Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus
Plebeian Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus
225 Patrician Gaius Claudius Centho
Plebeian Marcus Junius Pera
220 Patrician Lucius Aemilius Papus
Plebeian Gaius Flaminius
214 Patrician Publius Furius Philus
Plebeian Marcus Atilius Regulus
210 Patrician Lucius Veturius Philo
Plebeian Publius Licinius Crassus Dives
209 Patrician Marcus Cornelius Cethegus
Plebeian Publius Sempronius Tuditanus
204 Patrician Gaius Claudius Nero
Plebeian Marcus Livius Salinator

2nd century BC[edit]

In 131 BC, for the first time both censors were plebeian.

After only one year in office the in 109 BC elected censor Marcus Livius Drusus died. His colleague Marcus Aemilius Scaurus at first refused to resign but resigned when new censors were elected in 108 BC.

Year Birth Name
199 Patrician Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
Plebeian Publius Aelius Paetus
194 Patrician Gaius Cornelius Cethegus
Plebeian Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus
189 Patrician Titus Quinctius Flamininus
Plebeian Marcus Claudius Marcellus
184 Patrician Lucius Valerius Flaccus
Plebeian Marcus Porcius Cato
179 Patrician Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
Plebeian Marcus Fulvius Nobilior
174 Patrician Aulus Postumius Albinus Luscus
Plebeian Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
169 Patrician Gaius Claudius Pulcher
Plebeian Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus
164 Patrician Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus
Plebeian Quintus Marcius Philippus
159 Patrician Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum
Plebeian Marcus Popillius Laenas
154 Patrician Marcus Valerius Messalla
Plebeian Gaius Cassius Longinus
147 Patrician Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Lupus
Plebeian Lucius Marcius Censorinus
142 Patrician Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus
Plebeian Lucius Mummius Achaicus
136 Patrician Appius Claudius Pulcher
Plebeian Quintus Fulvius Nobilior
131 Plebeian Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus
Plebeian Quintus Pompeius
125 Patrician Gnaeus Servilius Caepio
Plebeian Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla
120 Plebeian Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus
Plebeian Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi
115 Plebeian Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus
Plebeian Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
109 Patrician Marcus Aemilius Scaurus
Plebeian Marcus Livius Drusus
108 Patrician Quintus Fabius Maximus Eburnus
Plebeian Gaius Licinius Geta
102 Plebeian Gaius Caecilius Metellus Caprarius
Plebeian Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus

1st century BC[edit]

Lucius Marcius Philippus and Marcus Perperna were elected censors in 86 BC. Due to civil war and the consequences of Sulla's dictatorship, no new censors were elected until 70 BC.

Year Birth Name
97 Patrician Lucius Valerius Flaccus
Plebeian Marcus Antonius Orator
92 Plebeian Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
Plebeian Lucius Licinius Crassus
89 Patrician Lucius Julius Caesar
Plebeian Publius Licinius Crassus
86 Plebeian Lucius Marcius Philippus
Plebeian Marcus Perperna
70 Patrician Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus
Plebeian Lucius Gellius Poplicola
65 Plebeian Marcus Licinius Crassus
Plebeian Quintus Lutatius Catulus
64 Unknown Unknown
Plebeian Lucius Aurelius Cotta[8]
61 Unknown Unknown
Plebeian Gaius Scribonius Curio[9]
55 Patrician Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger
Plebeian Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus
50 Patrician Appius Claudius Pulcher
Plebeian Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
42 Patrician Publius Sulpicius Rufus
Plebeian Gaius Antonius Hybrida
28 Patrician Caesar Augustus
Plebeian Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (They did not hold the title Censor)
22 Patrician Paullus Aemilius Lepidus
Plebeian Lucius Munatius Plancus
8 Patrician Caesar Augustus as sole censor

After the Republic[edit]

With the solidification of Augustus' rule, the Roman Republic came to an end. The office of censor nominally continued a small way into the Roman Republic, for example in 14 AD when Caesar Augustus held the office with Tiberius Julius Caesar.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cram, Robert Vincent. “The Roman Censors.” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. 51, 1940, pp. 71–110. JSTOR, JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/310923.
  2. ^ tr. W. M. Bloomer, The School of Rome: Latin Studies and the Origins of Liberal Education (2011).
  3. ^ Broughton notes "This censorship is very doubtful." Diodorus Siculus (15.22.1) is our source for this censorship; Livy does (6.5.8) not mention them; this portion of the Fasti Capitolini is missing. These persons are otherwise unknown. (Broughton, Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 1 p. 98 n. 3)
  4. ^ Velleius Paterculus, 2.8.2. Broughton indicates that this censorship is doubtful, "since Velleius may possibly be thinking simply of brothers who were colleagues in the same office and not specifically of the censorship." (Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 1 p. 137 n. 4)
  5. ^ Broughton: "The name of the second Censor is lost. They did not complete the lustrum and probably abdicated, since others were elected to the censorship in 318." (Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 1 p. 154 n. 2)
  6. ^ Broughton notes, "Both the date of this censorship and the names of the Censors remain not completely certain" and discusses the issues. Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 1 p. 184 n. 2
  7. ^ The authority for this year, the Fasti Capitolini is damaged at this point and only indicates Noctua abdicated.
  8. ^ According to Broughton, the name of his colleague is unknown. (Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 2 p. 161)
  9. ^ Although there is ample proof that censors were elected this year (for example, Dio Cassius 37.46.4), no primary source recorded their names. Scribonius was suggested by Bartolommeo Borghesi as one of the possible censors. (Broughton, Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 2 p. 179)

References[edit]

General
  • Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Philological Monograph No. 15, vols. 1 and 2. (New York: American Philological Association, 1951, 1952).