Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Alternative Augustan Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Josiah Osgood, Kit Morrell, and Kathryn Welch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901400.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2020

Rebuilding Romulus’ Senate

Rebuilding Romulus’ Senate

The Lectio Senatus of 18 BCE

(p.46) 4 Rebuilding Romulus’ Senate
The Alternative Augustan Age

Andrew Pettinger

Oxford University Press

In 18 BCE the ancient procedure for revising Senate membership, the lectio senatus, was radically changed. Thirty specially chosen senators were to nominate five individuals, with one of the five chosen by lot to become a senator; these thirty would in turn nominate five individuals. In this way, a Senate of perhaps 850 was to be reduced to its ancient size of 300. But a Senate of 300 never emerged, with 600 eventually chosen by Augustus himself amid acrimony and threats. Moreover, Augustus, trumped by Antistius Labeo’s legal auctoritas, was unable to exclude his rival Lepidus from the new Senate. By examining the lectio process and seeking to recover the legal minds behind it, this chapter shows that in 18 BCE Augustus’ hold of the res publica was not absolute, and that others, who did not know the future, had something meaningful to say about the shape of their political life.

Keywords:   Senate, Augustus, lectio senatus, sortition, Marcus Antistius Labeo

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .