Censor

Definition

A censor was one of two senior magistrates in the city of ancient Rome who supervised public morals, maintained the list of citizens and their tax obligations known as the census, and gave out lucrative public contracts and tax collecting rights. The title is the origin of the modern related terms 'censor' and 'censorship' as censors could mark down and remove people from the citizen list. The office was terminated c. 22 BCE, with its powers going to the emperor or redistributed to other officials.

More about: Censor

Timeline

  • 443 BCE
    The position of censor is created in Rome.
  • 339 BCE
    The leges Publilae decrees that one of Rome's two censors must be a plebeian.
  • 184 BCE
    Cato the Elder is made censor.
  • 131 BCE
    Two plebeians hold the two positions of censor for the first time in Rome.
  • 81 BCE
    The reforms of Sulla diminish the power of Rome's censors.
  • 65 BCE
    Marcus Licinius Crassus is made censor.
  • 22 BCE
    The last censor is elected in Rome.
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