2009 Volume 118 Issue 4 Pages 551-575
It is well known, that for a period of the fourth and third centuries B.C. Rome annexed some cities in central Italy by giving not civitas optimo iure, but civitas sine suffragio, and in the annalistic tradition we find in fact a couple of cases of such annexations after the Latin War (340 to 338 B.C.). However as to the origin of civitas sine suffragio scholars of Roman history are notoriously divided. Some critics for example suppose that the Etruscan city Caere was the first community which Rome annexed in such a way, while others will deny it. It is also disputed that civitas sine suffragio was from the beginning a form of annexation and it is often argued that this concept changed during its history. There is even a hypothesis that the civitas sine suffragio was originally a sort of honorary citizenship and could be given individually. This essay clarifies and examines the dispersed historical material and the results of former studies concernig the origin of civitas sine suffragio and its history, and concludes that Caere was not the first city to have been annexed by civitas sine suffragio, and that the idea of depriving the citizenship of suffrage developed from the necessity to annex Capua and some other cities in Northern Campania. After the Latin War Rome took an increasingly deeper interest in this area because of its fertility and the threat from the neighboring Samnites. Therefore immediately after the settlement of a colonia at Cales, the Romans decided to annex Capua and some other Campanian cities, though they tolerated a large scale of self-government amongst the inhabitants of the annexed area. In addition to a relatively great distance from Rome, linguistic and customary differences may have urged the Romans to work out a new form of annexation. That is to say, civitas sine suffragio was created by the Romans in order to annex some Oscan cities in Northern Campania and its bestowal was from the beginning a form of annexation by Rome.