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Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book I Chapter 44: Enlargement of the City.
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The work of the census was accelerated by an enactment in which Servius denounced imprisonment and even capital punishment against those who evaded assessment. On its completion he issued an order that all the citizens of Rome, knights and infantry alike, should appear in the Campus Martius, each in their centuries. After the whole army had been drawn up there, he purified it by the triple sacrifice of a swine, a sheep, and an ox (1). This was called "a closed lustrum," because with it the census was completed. Eighty thousand citizens are said to have been included in that census. Fabius Pictor, the oldest of our historians states that this was the number of those who could bear arms |
Enlargement of the City.
To contain that population it was obvious that the City would have to be enlarged. He added to it the two hills -- the Quirinal and the Viminal -- and then made a further addition by including the Esquiline, and to give it more importance he lived there himself. He surrounded the City with a mound and moats and wall; in this way he extended the pomoerium." Looking only to the etymology of the word, they explain "pomoerium" as postmoerium;" but it is rather a circamoerium." For the space which the Etruscans of old, when founding their cities, consecrated in accordance with auguries and marked off by boundary stones at intervals on each side, as the part where the wall was to be carried, was to be kept vacant so that no buildings might connect with the wall on the inside (whilst now they generally touch), and on the outside some ground might remain virgin soil untouched by cultivation. This space, which it was forbidden either to build upon or to plough, and which could not be said to be behind the wall any more than the wall could be said to be behind it, the Romans called the "pomoerium." As the City grew, these sacred boundary stones were always moved forward as far as the walls were advanced.
(1): As in the case of Tullus Hostilius. This sacrifice was afterwards regularly offered on the completion of each five-year period (lustrum).
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Lustrum:Lustrum, or expiation. The last act of the censors during their period of office was to offer an expiatory sacrifice for the whole people. On the appointed day the citizens assembled in military formation in the Campus Martius. The victims, a boar, a ram, and a bull -- hence the name of the sacrifice, suovetaurilia" -- were carried thrice round the assembled host, who were then declared "purified," and whilst the animals were being offered on the altar, the censor to whom the lot had fallen of conducting the ceremony recited a traditional form of prayer for the strengthening and extension of the might of the Roman people. As the censor's office was originally fixed for five years, "lustrum" was used to denote that period of time.
Pomoerium:A space within and without the City walls which, as sacred, was kept clear of all buildings. As the City grew so the pomoerium was extended. Also used for the City as a whole.